Friday, August 31, 2007

Wave On, Wave On

Just by having a blog, I'm at least flying my geek flag at half-mast. When I start talking about how much I love comic books on here, I'm essentially raising it all the way up the pole. So, you know, what the hell, I may as well enlarge my geek flag and dress it in neon lights by talking about video games...Again.

I took the plunge this week and traded in all of our Play Station 2 stuff for an XBox 360. It's part early birthday present for Stinky and part fun, new toy the whole family can enjoy.

I initially went to the gaming store in the mall downtown to see what kind of credit I could get for all of our PS2 stuff, but the guy I talked to was absolutely no help at all. Every question I asked him, was answered with, "I don't know." So, I took my business out to a store in Coralville, where the guys were very knowledgeable and and they didn't even look annoyed when I asked stupid question after stupid question. I'm sure they were just polite enough to wait until after I left the store to laugh their asses off. Plus, they gave me tons of in-store credit that I applied to our pretty new toy. And our new toy is really, really pretty. It's amazing how much better the graphics and the controllers are on the XBox.

Originally, I was going to get Guitar Hero for Stinky's birthday, but a new one's coming out in October, and it seems way smarter to wait until then. For now, we did the "buy two used games, get one free" deal at the gamer store. Stinky wanted Burnout Revenge, of course, and a Tony Hawk game. For me, I got the geekiest of the geek games. It's called The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and it's full of magic potions and knights and shit, all mixed in with kicking demons' asses. I watched Mr. Dateman play it a while ago, and it was pure escapism at it's finest.

All day today while I was totally bored at work, after I did my PeeWee Herman impersonation to amuse my co-workers, I just kept thinking about how awesome it would be to go home, eat pizza and start playing my dork-ass game. Which, I know makes me twelve years old, but I don't care. So, now I'm off to geek-out. You can just go run along and feel superior now. Scoot. Shoo!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Know Just What You're Saying

Here is a photo of some nice, relaxing, umbrella chairs.

Oh, how I love the Friday before a three day weekend. Oh, how I need a three day weekend. I got so spoiled all Summer when I tore through all that vacation time. But now? Now I have to learn to balance my time. And I'm sure you won't be at all surprised to hear me tell you that I'm not very good at that.

It's been a particularly long week. Do I say that every week? I feel like I do. Well then, every week is very long in my world.

I know I say this all the time too, but I can't stress on here enough, how wonderful my girlfriends are. Sometimes it's tough having teenage daughters, who are awesome as far as that goes, but they're still teenagers and they are girls. In case you've never met a female before, they generally tend to be a little verbal, and if they're my spawn, they're also very open in general. They (those people who write them thar child rearin' books) always say it's good that your children feel safe enough to tell you stuff, but "they" lie. It would be nice, every once in a while, to be blissfully ignorant of the trials and tribulations of teen world. Being single, I don't have that other person to vent to about the things I have to know - which is where my awesome friends come into play. They not only let me vent, my friends also help me locate my sense of humor by relating their own hilarious tales from high school. They made mistakes, they did really stupid shit, and they're not only still around to tell about it, but thriving and totally hot, to boot.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I'm planning on spending this long (but not long enough) weekend, appreciating my friends and my daughters. I may also try to do it all while wearing earplugs, and a blindfold for my own protection.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It Cuts My Security

Here is a picture of a big jalapeno. Mmmm, spicy.

So, you know how I have a tendency to live in my own little world, and how on my planet everything is beautiful and things can really work out for the best? And if, say, I had a problem with the exhaust system on my car, in my head, it would end up being something minor that would only cost a teensy bit of money?...Wait. Let me say this again, a little more efficiently - so, you know how I often tend to be delusional? Well, this time my little fantasy world turned out to be real.

I took my car into a muffler place this morning and walked to work. When I got there, my boss was working with the police department to document all of the bomb threat spam we were getting in our e-mails. The drag about all of these bomb threats, is that we're all so blase' about them now. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we all got blown to bits, as we blindly stepped over the abandoned backpack in the middle of the room. The only good thing about the threatening e-mails, was that they gave me an opportunity to use my English degree for the first time since I graduated in 1990. The very young, very handsome cop who investigated, was reading the subject heading of one and wondered allowed, "So, who's George Orwell? The name sounds familiar..." I was able to give him all the background he needed, and more. He stopped me in the hall on his way out to tell me how impressed he was. The sad thing is, I didn't really need an English degree for that. Don't most people know who George Orwell is?

...So, weren't we supposed to be talking about my car here? Oh yeah, the car guy called me during all the virtual drama to give me an estimate. He first started talking to me about the problem, and I honestly didn't care. My eyes were glazing over, so I interrupted him to ask what the damage was in terms of dollars. "It'll run you $42.28," he said.

"For real? Wow. Okay. I love you," I said, still in shock.

"Well, I am a lovable guy," he informed me, and who was I to argue? I've never had a car problem that was fixed so cheaply before.

I spent the first hour of work waiting for bombs to drop. Thank god, they were all duds this time. Of course, tomorrow is another day...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Living On My Own Was the Least of My Fears

How creepy does this goat look with it's shining blue eyes?

I don't know, kids. I just don't have much to share with you right now. I just feel like I don't even get a second to process anything enough to write about it. I come home from work, run my ass off, both literally and figuratively and then by ten o'clock, I'm done. My brain is fried and stringing words together seems really overwhelming. There's got to be something more worthwhile I should be doing instead, like isn't there an old episode of Flavor of Love on that I could watch?

Hey, I know...I could talk about my bed. I'm a little sad that I haven't had the time to get to know my bed properly. I feel like I was so irresponsible to go to all that trouble to make a room for it and bring it into my home, but not really get to spend any quality time with it. Sure, I sleep on it every night, and I usually make it in the morning, but I would be much happier if I could give my bed the hours of uninterrupted personal attention we both really need and deserve.

This is the first time I've owned a queen size bed all by myself. It's crazy to have so much room in a bed. It's funny to see which side I actually prefer. I've never been with a guy who hasn't been weird about which side they want/have to sleep on. Since I normally don't care, I take what's left. In the last couple of weeks, I've had the chance to discover my side...I guess I'm more comfortable on the right side of the bed. Who knew?

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Another Day for You and Me in Paradise

Here are some purdy flowers to take your mind off of the bitter bile I'm about to spew. Nice.

It must officially be Fall, because the students are back in full force, driving the wrong way on one ways, crossing the street in front of your car when the light turns green and traveling in packs even though they're all on their cell phones talking to other people. If you've never lived in a college town before, it's hard to imagine what happens at the end of August when several thousand people, mostly under the age of 25, invade. It made me cranky when I was still in school, but now I just try to sit back and watch the homeless people and the Emo kids deal with the overpriveledged college students from the North Shore Suburbs of Chicago. Today that one toothless, homeless woman who sits in front of the old Hills Bank, was screaming at all the cars going the wrong way down Washington Street. If I had had any money on me, I would totally have given her some for that.

The other thing Fall means to me, is that at work we have our Fall kick-off retreat at work. Apparently, someone has invested way too much time and money attending motivational seminars and feels like they have to put it to good use. Some of the offices get really into it, but in keeping with our slacker ways and bad attitudes, the people in my office roll our eyes a lot and create really stupid scenarios in our head about how we'll defy the forced cheese.

Last year, we were supposed to do a "getting to know each other" activity. I don't know about you, but the less I know my co-workers, the better. I'm forced to spend eight hours a day with them. Isn't that enough? Anyway, we were supposed to bring items that we felt best represented our interests. Most of the women brought some craft or other they were making. The IT guy brought a remote control for his TV and a controller from his XBox. He joked that they were more important than his newborn son and that's why I think he's so awesome. I suggested that we bring items all of the same theme. You know, to promote team work or some such bullshit. Like, one of us could bring a video camera, someone else could bring hand-cuffs and a riding crop, maybe the ex-nun would want to bring her leather chaps or assless pants - whichever she was most comfortable in, and I could look around and see if I could round up a ball gag.

This year, we're supposed to bring in a picture of us from high school or before. I imagine we'll have to guess who's who, or something equally lame. My co-worker John has threatened to bring in that scary pig photo I had up on my blog a few days ago and say it's his senior picture. I've already double dog dared him, so he pretty much has no choice but to follow through. So, maybe after we get fired at the retreat, the toothless, homeless woman will share her corner and we can help her yell at cars all day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Well That is That and This is This

Here are some plastic veggies set on stainless steel for you.

This weekend went by so fast, I'm not really sure what happened. It's almost easier to figure out what didn't happen - namely, all those cleaning projects.

I started the weekend with a bang. I was running late for work in the morning, so I drove in as close as I could get before I hit the metered parking. As I reached my car after work, my friend J. was driving by and very kindly stopped to talk some shit. When I got in my car and started it up, there arose such a clatter. Yup, the rattling noise my car had been making forever and that Mr. Dateman wisely diagnosed as an exhaust problem, had made my car sound like the loudest of Harley's. If only I were one of those go-getter types who would actually get shit checked out before it became a very loud problem.

Most of Friday night I had a dull migraine that I treated with my wide variety of meds. Saturday I think I did some stuff...Oh yeah, I ran and drove kids around and tried to coordinate Saturday night festivities with several different people. It went from a gang of folks meeting at George's for cheeseburgers and beer, to a girl's night where we ate Indian food and then drank at 126. My friend A. got called into work for a co-worker who's dad died, so we figured we'd be nice and drink and very loudly keep her company. I drank Mojitos, which probably wasn't the best choice for me, because they don't taste the least little bit like alcohol and so I was kind of surprised when I was suddenly stoooopidly drunk. My friend S. did a great job of keeping us entertained with her gruesome substitute teaching stories. I almost felt kind of grateful to work in a sterile, bland cubicle...Almost.

Today, I was a bit on the hung-over side. Not bad, but kind of d-u-m and lame. So, I guess I wasn't much different than I normally am on Sunday.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's My Life, Don't You Forget

Hell, I'm sure it's been a couple of days since I put up one of Stinky's self-portraits. So, here she is, giving the peace sign and looking bored. Wooo-Hooo.

Tonight, I'm just going to post some fascinating conversations I've had lately. I'm sure each one will reveal my impeccable taste and refinement.

The first one happened last night while Coadster was watching me play Burnout Revenge.

Coadster: So, you just laughed out loud, by yourself after you crashed your car into that brick wall. You've already crashed it about a thousand times into everything else on the screen. Is it really that funny every single time?

Me: Uh, yeah.

The second conversation was from a week or so ago when I got a call from an adult male on my cell phone.

Guy: Hi. Is Coadster there?

Me: Can I ask who this is?

Guy: This is T.

Me: ...And how do you know Coadster?

Guy: Oh, I work at 126. A. gave me your number.

Me: Okay. Is this T.W? And are you trying to see if she can babysit for you?

Guy: Yeah, exactly. Sorry.

Me: That's okay...I just have to make sure that when an adult male calls asking for my teenage daughter, he's not some creepy guy.

Guy: Well, I did meet her at the bus stop...

Me: I figured either that or a chat room.

The last conversation occurred at my friend T.'s place, when I called Stinky at home.

Me: Hey, I'm just calling to see if we have reception here. Everybody else here has Qwest and they can't get any reception in T's apartment. So, can you hear me okay?

Stinky: Loud and clear.

Me: Then it must just be the carrier for some reason. Verizon seems to work just fine.

Stinky: Yup.

Me: (Belching into the phone because I think it's important to expose my daughters to their proud White trash heritage) How about that? Can you hear me now?

Stinky: Yes, mother. Now I wish we had Qwest. It would be great not to have reception right now.

Me: You're grounded.

Stinky: What? I can't hear you. You're breaking up. (hangs up)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We Take a Week Off, Let the Garden Grow By Itself

Well, hello there pig thingy from the State Fair that is even scarier than a clown. I thought I'd share, so we could all have nightmares together. No really, you can thank me later.

Okay, I better make this quick. It's been storming on and off for the last 47 years, or something like that and another one is rolling through. So, I'm just going to make this a quickie and be all random and if you're not satisfied when it's over, you'll just have to finish yourself off with some other blogs or maybe even actually read a book. Yeah, whatever.

You know, I haven't talked about food in a while. I'm at that point in the Summer where I feel like I should eat corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes every meal, because the good stuff is almost all gone. This hot guy who looked like he was easily in his mid-thirties came over to me at the grocery store while I was checking out the corn and said he figured we were already about two weeks over the good stuff and I had to agree. Then I got scared and left abruptly. I'm really suave that way. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are still awesome and crazy. I feel bad, because I no longer have anyone to give the extra ones we have and I hate to see them go to waste. We've been eating a lot BLT's, but how many can one family eat? I think we're about to find out really soon here.

I'm going over to check out our tomato situation tomorrow. My friend K. sacrificed her adorable little ankle to the Foxhead stairs the other night and won't be able to hobble down to the garden for quite some time, I fear. I did tell her that if she wanted anything to call me - even if she was just sitting on her couch with her foot up watching really bad TV and decided she needed ice cream - like we all do. I would totally make a run for her. I just hope she doesn't get that urge at 3 am, because that would make for another long, cranky Friday for me. I'd still do it though, because I've never made an offer that I haven't followed through on.

My sister and brother-in-law and their children stopped by on Sunday afternoon and took us out for lunch. They celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary the night before and thought it was really funny to give us WAY too much detail, WAY too often about just how they celebrated. Sure, they used a lot of innuendo, but my girls are at an age where they understand it, which I think made it even funnier for my brother-in-law. When my sister told me they split a bottle of wine for dinner and got a little tipsy, I asked who drove. To which my brother-in-law answered, "We both did...At different times, of course." A big Ewww, was had by all.

After lunch, we went back to my place and played one of my favorite games. I have tons of music on my computer and what do you do with it all, besides listen to it? You play Name that Tune, is what you do. I have TV show theme songs and stuff too, we had to identify the show and the year(s). The only drag, is that my brother-in-law was a DJ at an oldies station for most of his adult life, so he kicked it up a notch. He could even tell us how many minutes each song ran, off the top of his head. Apparently, he has several talents.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yeah, I Followed the Pack, I Learned That I Wasn't Up to Specs

I really gotta be more careful about the shit I write on here. You know how yesterday I was talking about how nice I thought I was? Yeah, well today I was the queen of hate. I woke up cranky and all the way to work I had this horrible tape in my head that ran on and on and sounded something like this:

I hate that I have to work everyday and I hate it that I have to walk and I hate it that it's so humid out and I hate that it might rain and I can't find my umbrella and I hate that I'm not more organized and I hate it that my ex-husband's car broke-down and he can't afford to fix it and now I have to drive the girls to every little thing they do and to their dad's and I hate it that there really isn't one guy in this town anywhere near my age who actually has a job and doesn't have a drug and/or alcohol addiction and is mature enough to handle being in a relationship but is immature enough to be goofy and fun and I hate to admit that there are those men in town, but other, smarter women snatched them up while I was busy wasting my time gambling on the wrong guy's wasted potential and mostly, though, I hate it that I'm so hateful.

Whew! See what I mean? My head can be a scary place. Luckily for my co-workers, I kept all that shit undercover. I did warn people that I was cranky. I believe I said, "Yeah, it sucks that the computer can't answer all these phone calls it generated by sending out the wrong letter, but I'm going to be cranky no matter what, so I might as well have a reason." Of course, my co-workers took full advantage and started every sentence to me out with,

"..Since you're going to be cranky anyway, why don't put out this ridiculous fire..."

The good thing was, that I had the evening to myself. The even better thing was, that the documentary American Hardcore was on Starz OnDemand. If I was going to think like a surly teenager, I might as well relive that past, right?

As I've stated before, Hardcore was definitely my movement. I was too young for the first Punk Rock wave, but I was the perfect age for Black Flag and DOA and Bad Brains. I've watched a lot of those kinds of pop culture movement documentaries, where Allen Ginsberg and Henry Rollins (who are both in almost every one, have you noticed?) speak about the significance and the rise and fall and blah and blah, but this was the first one where I had seen most of the bands play live, and actually wasn't too young or too old for and lived the lifestyle they were describing. It was interesting to see part of my life viewed through an anthropological standpoint. When they spoke of the women's role in that world, I saw a lot of people who looked and acted just like me at 18 or 19. Scaaaarrrryyyy.

I got away from the scene when I moved to California in the middle of 1985. At the time, I figured I'd either just outgrown it once I hit twenty, or maybe that a new state brought different interests, but according to the documentary, the party was over anyway. Pretty much everyone else was done with it too. Damn, and here I thought I was all special and different and shit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Well, That's Like Hypnotizing Chickens

Here is a picture of a cowboy throwing a rubber chicken. I can't imagine that there is anyone out there who wouldn't want to see that.

I'm kind of one of those people. I tend to be on the friendly side and strangers seem to find me accessible for some reason. I used to date a guy who told me I was too nice and that men took it the wrong way, but I'm nice to women too and so it's not like I'm trying to be all flirty or anything. Just last week, one of the homeless panhandler girls stopped me in the Ped Mall and said, "Hey, you're the nice lady who always says hi to me." I am?

The thing I've learned to be careful of is the god people. There was a woman at the farmers market who sold us cookies and chatted with us, until one day she got overly aggressive about trying to get us to go to some church group or other. No thanks. And then there were the Moonies who stopped me when I was eating lunch downtown when I lived in San Francisco and tried to get me to attend one of their events. None for me, thanks.

Last Fall, I met a woman who works at the bank where I take the work deposit. She stopped me outside to introduce herself. She told me she saw me running and she thought I looked really cool and wanted to meet me. So, we talked for a bit. She has a daughter who is a little younger than mine and so we had that conversation. Throughout the year, I'd see her around and one time she was having lunch with another friend of mine, who I think is wonderful.

Today at the bank, she asked me if I played ultimate frisbee. I never have before, and I'm not sure exactly what it is even. She said that she and some friends met on Saturday afternoons at the Reservoir and that I should join them sometime. Honestly, I'm not all that good at team sports because you have to pay attention, and I don't think I have to explain to you all again that I'm not very good at that, do I? But she does seem really nice and I've been thinking I should maybe be better at expanding my horizons. If I do, I promise not to drink any Kool-Aid or shave my head or carve a swastika into my flesh. So, what do you think?

Monday, August 20, 2007

When There's No One Else in Sight, In the Crowded Lonely Night

I can't believe what a good sport Stinky was being here. She's about as afraid of clowns as I am.

Well, kids. I made it through today - barely. It was as bad as you'd think the first Monday back after a week's vacation would be. It was also the girls' first day back to school. When I got to work, it was apparent that my computer was once again crawling with viruses. The IT guy was out of ideas, so he just wiped the system clean and I had to start all over again. That meant remapping my keyboard and reloading every program I had on there - not to mention I lost all the music I ripped onto Windows media player. Wah. It probably wouldn't have been so bad, had I gotten any sleep the night before. I got so off of any kind of sleeping schedule during my vacation, that I didn't fall asleep until well after two. Wah, again. I was even too tired to want to shoot hookers when I got off work, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow for that.

The last week or so, I've been trying to just spend some time alone and do my own thing and clear my head a little... Or a lot, would be ideal. I've discovered that it's nearly impossible in my life right now. I was thinking Saturday night would be good for that, but I found out at the last minute, they were having a block party. I haven't been very good about spending time with my neighbors this Summer, and they all comment on it whenever I see them. So, I figured I better make an appearance. When I walked over the first time, I only recognized a few people. We seemed to have had a ton of people move in and out this year. Since I wasn't in the mood to meet a bunch of new people, I just kept on walking. When I got closer to my house, my friend K. called me. I told her that I only felt like talking to about three people in the world right then, and unfortunately for her, she was one of them. I stopped by her house until Stinky called to tell me that the neighbors I actually knew had shown up at the party.

When I went back, it was pretty fun. I only drank one glass of homemade sangria, but that didn't stop me from making an ass of myself. I did checkity check myself after I did some poppin', and before I started break dancing. One of my friend's husbands was trying to goad me on by threatening to find me a board, but I was smart enough to know when it was time to go home...At least that night.

I'm still looking for that alone time. Although, I'm not counting on it anytime soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's So Easy When You Know the Rules

Here is a picture of the alien commander getting ready to send his Dora The Explorer army out to take over the world, one toddler at a time.

So, here's kind of a weird thing. You know how when you start hanging out with someone, you learn about their world through their interests? Sometimes you aren't all that interested in their shit, and that's okay, because if you were exactly the same, you would get very bored. Other times, you find yourself becoming more and more intrigued, and sometimes you realize how much you miss it after it isn't around anymore.

That's what I found happening to me the last week or so with video games. I played them a lot in high school and then kind of stopped when I got older and worked several jobs and went to school and then worked several jobs and raised children. The girls had a PS2, but I didn't get all that into it. Then when I started hanging out with Mr. Dateman, I discovered a whole new world of shooting people's heads off, and crashing into cars and blowing shit up, that frankly, appealed to me. Video games were like comic books, but better because they were interactive, and did I mention you could crash into stuff and blow shit up?

I didn't play them around Mr. Dateman, because he is very good at them and, of course, I sucked. Last week, in the privacy of my own home, I started playing Galaga again. I started out pretty sucky, but the thing about video games, is that you get better really quickly and I shore do loves me some instant gratification. Today Stinky and I went to look for Centipede for PS2 and had absolutely no luck finding it. Since we were standing in front of all the games anyway, Stinky asked if we could get a few. She told me she thought I'd like a game called Burnout. It turned out to be a game where you not only race cars, but you get points for crashing into them. Once you hit several cars, the word "GOOD" comes on the screen to give you some positive reinforcement. We also got that one game. You know the one that is so violent and misogynistic, and where you drive around and shoot hookers? That one. I haven't played it yet, but I think after my first day back to work in a week, I'll be all ready to shoot me some hookers. Hey, it's way better than shooting my co-workers, and what's so wrong with displaced aggression, anyway?

We'll see where all this takes me. Seein's how I'm single now, my girls are rarely home and hibernation season is a stone's throw away, it could be just the thing for me. I worry a little bit, because I tend to have a bit of an addictive personality. (running, anyone?) And when I talked to my friend J. about it last week, he told me once you play Guitar Hero, there's no going back. Is there some kind of 1-800-GAME-OFF number, just in case? I guess it could be worse, I could have dated a crack head.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Colors Crash, Collide in Bloodshot Eyes

Last night Stinky had an end of the Summer sleepover. Originally, I had big plans of hiding out in my brand spankin' new room and solving the world's problems or at least my own. (although mine might take longer) Do you want to know what I did instead? I went into the girls' room and drank beer and played Galaga. Do you want to know what I was thinking while I was doing that? Well, let me tell you. I was thinking that if someone told me in high school, that as an adult, I would not only be able to drink beer out in front of god and everyone, but that I wouldn't have to pay each time I lost at Galaga and wanted to play again, I would have thought that was as likely as me getting tired of playing it. And I did get tired of playing it, but, of course, it took a while. Now that it's a new day - er - night, I think I'll go back and play it some more.

These things here were at the State Fair, but I'm not sure exactly what they were or why they were everywhere. All I really know, is that Soy was apparently on parade.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Got the Feelin' I Should Leave Before the Roof Caves In

Here is my nephew Sam being really, really funny.

And here is my smarter sister's other child and all her blonde curls.

After the last few goofball posts, I'm feeling a little more thoughtful and reflective. I figure none of you will be that surprised when I turn around and go completely the opposite direction. I've always been an "Every Which Way but Loose" kind of girl, and one of these days, I'm going to get me one of those adorable little orangutan side-kicks.

So, ahem. I've been thinking a little bit about maybe getting some therapy. For those of you who have ever read my blog before, you can all say, "Um, duh," in unison. The thing for me is not so much that I feel depressed or anxious in general, it's more that I have a few (cough) issues. The one that bothers me the most is how hard it is for me to let go of relationships that are either unhealthy, or just not right for me. So, I wouldn't need anti-depressants or anything, but if there was a pill I could take that would give me better relationship judgement, I would OD on them every single day of my life. I'm in no way blaming any of my exes and it's something I've been kicking around for the last few years now.

I talked to my sister about it a little bit this weekend. She, of course, agreed that it would probably be a very good thing for me. Then I asked her why she thought it was so scary for people (and when I said "people", I meant me) to get the help they need - especially when "those people" just might have insurance that covered it and already talked to their girlfriends months ago who recommended an excellent therapist. Because my sister is way smarter than me, and as she likes to point out very often, practically raised me, she gave me this brilliant answer:

"I think it's because if you go to therapy, then you don't have an excuse to be lame anymore." She then elaborated, "It's like me and the much bigger house I'm going to move into in October. I'm excited about it, but I'm also feeling some weird pressure. When we lived with four people in a tiny, two bedroom house with no closets, I had an excuse to leave it messy. Everyone understood that there was no way to keep it clean. Now, though, our new house is big and has huge closets and so people will expect it to be tidy, even on days when I'm busy and tired." I hate it that my sister knows me so well, but she was totally right. So, I guess I'm left with a decision. Do I stay in a small house where I have an excuse to be a mess, or do I move into that bigger house and quit being so goddamn lame? Believe it or not, that decision is harder than you'd think.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

La La La La La La, When You're Hot, You're Hot

Here is Harry Potter made out of butter and his faithful sidekick, the butter cow - now new and improved with matching glasses.

Man oh man, am I tired. I just spent the last two days being hot and sweaty and grubby. Today I moved stuff and cleaned stuff and organized more stuff. It made me never want to ever have to move again. I can't believe how much crap we cleared out of our apartment, and even worse, how much shit we still have left. The good thing is now I have my own room with a really nice bed and brand new sheets. The bad thing is that I'm too stoopid to put a post together. After yesterday's maturely crafted blog, I'm sure it will come as a relief to you all that I'm making this very short.

It's weird, but after the last very hectic and physically demanding days, the office doesn't seem so bad. When I go back to work next week, I may not even feel the beige cubicle slowly sucking my soul to the sounds of my co-workers bitching about each other and creating bizarre scenarios about bullshit that may or may not happen... Oh wait. Who am I kidding? Even with as tired as I am and as stressful as it was to lift many heavy objects all by myself, (don't worry, I always lifted with my knees) it's still better than being at work.

I also tried to find a tourniquet to help me quit hemorrhaging money this month. Admittedly, some of the spending was my own damn fault, but then there was all that other stuff like school supplies and fees and shoes for the youngins that sucked up all my cash. Stinky just told me that she really wants Guitar Hero for her birthday next month. Coadster is under the impression that if we had it, Stinky would never leave the house. It seems like such a small price to pay to keep a fourteen year old girl out of trouble. Maybe there isn't a strong enough tourniquet in all the world to help me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Don't Miss It, Don't Even Be Late

So, Stinky and I met my family at the State Fair to celebrate my aunt's seventieth birthday. Contemplating the enormity of someone turning seventy, made me think about her previous year. Which led me to wonder if, by the time I'm that age, will I finally be mature enough not to try and get people to ask how old I am so I can respond, "Sixty-nine, baby. All. Year. Long." God, I hope so.

This year at the Fair, I realized that it wasn't quite as family friendly as I had once thought. Iowa is wonderfully bizarre on so many levels, but did they really need to have a gigantic box of corn for my two year old niece to recreate her favorite "rolling around in food" scene from the movie Tommy?

After that, I started noticing not so subtle sexual content in almost every booth we passed. First we met Dirty Dan wielding his huge sledge hammer.

Then, I couldn't escape the plethora of fresh, firm buns waiting for me around every corner...

...And every girl's favorite, foot longs.

The fellas will be happy to know that it wasn't all just eye candy for the women.

The fair offered images of some of the largest nipples I had ever seen...

Not to be outdone by the meat-on-a-stick for ladies, this year they offered a heterosexual male option of egg-on-a-stick. Mmmmm.

As you can see, it might be safer and less obscene just to take your kids to Vegas next year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Way I Talk is Just the Way I Talk

Well, whadaya know, another photo from the state fair last year. Let's hope to god I get new ones posted tomorrow night. We got our iPod newly stocked and charged, and I'm all ready to make myself sick eating meat on a stick (shut-up) and funnel cakes. I should be back early in the evening to try and read blogs and stuff.

Hey, I thought you might all appreciate this new thing I'm going to try out on here today - I'm actually going to take a break from my incessant whining and wallowing. Yeah, I thought you'd like that. Instead I'm going to talk about a new friend I made on Saturday night. Her name is B. and she is ever so much fun.

My friend K. introduced me to her and when she found out I'd just been dumped she said, "You should definitely get drunk and then you should have sex with W., (a local musician) but make sure he wears a condom because he's apparently done it with every other girl in town too." I took her up on her wonderful getting drunk idea, but I stayed far away from the man whore. I didn't want to have to make a visit to the free clinic on top of everything else I've got going on right now.

The other cool thing about her, is that she grew up in Utah as a non-Mormon, and I grew up in Mesa, Arizona as a non-Mormon, which is practically the same exact situation. My friend K. who also has had strong Mormon influences in her life, and B. and I tested out our memory of Mormon children's songs. Later in the evening, after I was sloppy (read: screeching) drunk, I thought it was really funny to mix the Mormon lyrics with metal songs. One of them I sung went something like this: "Book of Mormon stories that my teacher tells to me, are about the Lamanites WHO UNLEASHED THE DOGS OF WAR! (the last part was sung in that growly metal voice - you know the one) Anyway, because B. humored me through all of that, she is now my new BFF.

There, I made it through a whole post without whining... And you thought I couldn't do it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

And Perspective Pushes Through

Here is Stinky's reflection furtively checking out the anatomically correct Superman made from butter at last year's State Fair.

Well, kids. It's been almost a week since I got dumped, and I still feel like I'm riding the sucker's roller coaster. I don't know how many times I've already said it on here before, but I hate the process. I don't want to feel the things I still feel and I just want to be over it all. Is it easier for people to let go who don't have the same abandonment issues I have?

Luckily, this weekend, I had my friends around to keep my mind off of things. I had a little relapse on Saturday, so I was annoyingly distracted that afternoon when we were at the pool and during dinner at The Hamburg Inn. I got over it that night once I had enough alcohol in me, and Sunday wasn't really all that bad either. I went with my friends to see the movie, Stardust and it was excellent escapism. It was just what I needed.

I was a little on the melancholy side today again. I've been trying to be good and work on my projects. Last Thursday, I did that thing that people do sometimes where they buy things to fill a void. And besides the stress of spending the money, I have to say, it worked pretty well and gave me my two current projects. One of the things I bought was an iPod. I even got the thing to stick in my tape player so I can listen to it in the car. It holds thousands more songs than my phone, so I've been obsessive about transferring, downloading, and ripping songs into my iTunes. I'm also still working on my home cleaning and organizing. I've decided to take a room a day, so I don't get so overwhelmed trying to do it all at once, that I just quit. My kitchen, which is bigger than most living rooms, looks amazing right now. I'm afraid to cook in it, for fear of messing it up again. So, I'll be continuing with that, except for Wednesday, when Stinky and I will meet my family at the State Fair and see things made of butter for a day.

I think I'm done with the "going out" portion of the process for a while. I kind of needed to last week, because I was afraid I'd spend too much time wallowing and dwelling and creating REALLY stupid scenarios in my head, if left to my own devices. Now, though, I need to just start delving into the shit, so I can get over it more quickly. I've got my projects, and plenty of comic books, and soon I'll have my own room where I can hang-out by myself and listen to Amy Winehouse, and start the business of getting over myself. Hell, I might even take Stepping Over the Junk's break-up advice and buy myself some fun, sexy underwear to make myself feel better. Hopefully, one of these days I'll be able to slip into my Levi's Movin' On jeans and just keep movin' on.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

So You Think You're a Romeo

I took this at the State Fair last Summer. I know, I know, I need to take a more photos this week.

It's no surprise to anyone, especially me, that I'm not even close to ready to start dating again. What did seem odd to me, was that I'm not really ready to even flirt with guys yet. It probably didn't help that both the boys who hit on me on Saturday night were in their early twenties. I'd be a lot more flattered by that, if I weren't old enough to know that it's about as difficult to get hit on by a drunk twenty year old boy as it is by a prison lifer - it's not that I was hot, it's just that I was handy.

The hipster sound guy, who was the more aggressive of the two, followed me around for a while. He generously offered me cigarettes (but never asked me whether I smoked) and showed me how to tell if a band was rocking hard enough, by placing my hand just above a beer bottle to feel the vibrations. I'm definitely a girl who likes a good parlor trick. After a while he said, "Well, I think I'm going to get ready to go soon..." and looked expectantly at me. Lord knows, I hate to be a bitch...Wait, that isn't always true, but I don't like hurting people's feelings. I just wasn't going to tell the boy what he wanted to hear, so I shook his hand and said it was nice to meet him. Apparently, that was somehow insulting or mean or I don't know what, because he turned away and huffed off without even finishing his beer.

When the band stopped playing, I found my friend T., who is much smarter about these things than me and very funny, and who awesomely made me laugh several times throughout the evening by yelling, "Tits!" as loudly as possible in between songs. I posed this question to her, "Hey, if a guy tries to ride your jock all night and then says to you, 'Well, I think I'm going to get ready to go soon', all expectant and shit, what would you say to him?" And T. answered,

"I'd say, 'Okay. Have a nice night.'" So, then I didn't feel as bad. Thank god, I have girlfriends to help me maneuver through the tricky stuff. You know?

Friday, August 10, 2007

This Is Your Night, Baby You've Got to be There

This was taken about a month ago. I was on my way to go out drinking with my friends and my disproportionately knobby chin. (thanks a lot, mom)

Tonight was a much needed ladies night in my world, except no one in their right minds would refer to me and my friends as ladies, so maybe "fun girl night" was more like it.

First, I had to stop by my next door neighbor's who had won some local news contest for a free backyard barbecue. It was really hot outside, so I did my cameo and went home right away. It was kind of lame of me, but not as totally lame as it would have been had I not shown up at all - kind of lame, I can deal with.

Ondine was in town from North Carolina, so we all drove out to Coralville for appetizers and sushi. It was my favorite kind of meal where we ordered tons of different types of food and all shared. I was a good girl and didn't drink sake. It was too early in the evening and I'm a girl who can't handle her liquor. Even though I keep threatening a bender, I haven't gotten to that point yet.

After dinner, we bought alcohol and went to my friend T.'s amazing apartment to drink it. It was so nice and quiet and there were no drunk guys to invade our space and make us uncomfortable. We stayed until we were all at that point where we were just kind of babbling about nothing...Okay, until I was at that point where I was just kind of babbling about nothing. My friend K. kept offering to drive my car, but I wasn't drunk, so much as exhausted. It's been a really long week for me. So, all in all it was the perfect evening. We ate, we drank, we talked shit and I won't even have a hang-over tomorrow.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Get Out of That State, Get Out of That State You're In

Here are some red snapdragons and lavender from the front of my house.

In the interest of pulling my head out of my ass, I thought I'd get a project going. You know, something to take my mind off certain dwelling and self-indulgent behaviors? It's not that I'm trying to be all in denial and pretend that everything's fine, it's more that I have to go to work and be a mom and function and get shit done. It's not like when I was twenty and I could afford the time to lie around smoking too much cheeb and eating ice cream and listening to The Cure and feeling so put upon and misunderstood or whatever the hell I did when I was younger and my relationships failed. The girls will spend most of the weekend in the Quad Cities eating mole and sopa and tamales at their dad's family reunion, so there will be plenty of time for self-destructive behavior then. Then I have the next week off and after that, the girls go back to school. Holy shit! What the hell happened to the Summer?

My project involves a couple of things I was gonna do and either half-did, or didn't quite get to. So, in the next week, I'm going to work on cleaning out all of my old crap in my house and get my brand spankin' new own room/woman space all in order. I took the first step toward that today. No, I wasn't up for doing anything that required physical or emotional energy, so there was no cleaning or organizing and only a little bit of deciding that I did. After we got done with Coadster's high school registration and went somewhere and had appetizers for lunch, we then went bed shopping. Lebeda was having a HUGE sale and even though I spent a little more than I wanted, I got a super, duper, kick-ass, queen size bed. Hooray. They're even going to deliver it to my house next Thursday. I'm sure I'll feel like cleaning and reorganizing our bedrooms before then, right?

Oh yeah. The other thing I was going to say, was how great it is to have kids sometimes. Like when you go running in the late afternoon and it's really too hot for it and so when you get home, all you want to do is take a shower and put your jammies on at 5:30 in the evening. Then too late, you realize that you still have to get a few things at the store, but all you have to do is give your kid a couple of bucks and she'll be happy to run in and get all your crap for you, so you don't have to do anything too crazy like change into normal clothes or anything...Not that I would know from personal experience, but I've heard from some lame-ass somewhere that it's pretty great when your kids will do that for you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Many Blooms Still Linger There

Here is a photo of a discarded six-pack container in the gutter from last Winter. I'm thinking cold thoughts during these dog days.

Okay, um. I'm not sure how to write this post. The only reason I'm even putting it down here at all, is so that you'll know where my head is (exploding) and that my heart is kind of broken right now.

Mr. Dateman broke up with me tonight. I won't go into a lot of detail and this is probably the last you'll ever hear about it again. He's going through some shit and doesn't have the time or energy to devote to anyone else. Although I'm very sad, I still really care about him and hopefully we'll always be friends. Logically, we all know that if the timing doesn't work, then things weren't meant to be. I'm just not feeling super logical at this point in time. I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

Luckily for me, the girls were at their dad's house tonight, so I had the place to myself to wallow. If I were in any state to leave my house, I might have gone out and bought a bottle of whiskey, put on some George Jones and done my wallowing up right. Instead, all I had was a bottle of Corona and it didn't seem like the right drink for wallowing or George Jones.

Tomorrow I only have to work a half day because I'm registering Coadster for high school. Then I plan to run a few hundred miles. I'm sure by then I'll be ready for the escapism and the free high. So, yeah. I don't have much else to say.

I'm going to try to figure out how to take off the comment feature. I'll turn it back on tomorrow. I'm pretty much a train wreck right now and there's nothing to really say about that. The best thing to do at a train wreck, is drive by slowly, keep quiet and be thankful it wasn't you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Girls Smile and People Forget

Here is Stinky being Stinky and taking a photo of herself.

And here is me being like Stinky and taking a photo of myself.

Today I have been a little bit on the internal side - which means I tried very hard not to take an active part in the real world. Sometimes it's just better for me that way. Here are some random thoughts/observations that entered my tiny, demented, festering brain. Read on at your own risk.

1. When I took the deposit to the bank today, I saw some college looking guys get off the Cambus and seemingly, intently check out an older, heavier set woman. I thought, hey, if this is what the kids are hot for today, I might just be aging at the very rightest of times. As I got closer, however, I realized that the woman was having a very loud, very heated conversation with one of her other personalities (apparently, the disagreeable one) and the boys were just staring at her.

2. I vowed never to forget my lunch again after doing just that today. I had to forage for office food and made a lovely meal of cheese popcorn, trail mix and bite size Nutter Butters. My poor belly may never fully recover.

3. After walking about a mile home from work in the hot, muggy badness, I saw the ice cream truck parked right in front of my house. I got really excited, until I remembered that I had no actual cash on me. Don't think for a second that if the ice cream man would accept credit cards, I'd be above charging a Bomb Pop.

4. I stopped at my friend K.'s house on my way to buy charcoal in order to grill brats for dinner. I had to pick up some bowls that I had brought food over in. When her house mate opened the door, I thought I'd be kind and give him a heads up that I was "as fresh as a mother fuckin' daisy." He wisely stepped back a few feet after I entered.

5. Because it was so icky and sticky out again, I waited until later to run tonight. When I was almost home, a storm started a-brewin' and I turned my music up so I could drown out the sound of thunder and the hooting and hollering from the truckload of high school boys driving slowly past me. Cranking The Who's, Eminence Front while trying to outrun a storm and fielding calls from both of my daughters to make sure I was okay and that I'd remembered to unplug the computer, was actually fun. I know I've said time and time again that I hate drama, and normally I do - except when it's very contained and in my head and I can pretend that I'm running from the law in one of those crime dramas from the 70's, like Mannix or Streets of San Francisco.

Monday, August 06, 2007

And Other Peoples, They Have to Work

I know you'll all be surprised to hear that, for once, I don't have much to say tonight. There's a lot of shit going on in my head, (which is never good) that I don't know how to process right now. So, I'm thinking I'll leave it up there to fester and bubble up and turn a nice infected neon green color and hope it all clears up on it's own. That's healthy, right?

I made it through my first day back to work in a week. Mostly, I stayed at my desk and tried not to establish eye contact with any of my co-workers - because it is a proven fact that if you don't see them, they can't see you. I think I was pretty successful, because when I was leaving to go home at the end of the day, one of the women in the front offices said, "Oh, I didn't even know you were here today." I think tomorrow I'll try a cloaking device and continue to fly under everyone's radar. I'd probably be more successful if I weren't so damn loud...

Yeah, that's all I got. I could talk a little about what a jerk my ex was being to my girls and how frustrating that was for me, but it makes me tired to think about and worst of all, it's not the least bit funny, so I'll stop here. Night, night.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Wish It Was Sunday, 'Cause That's My Funday

Here is another recycled photo of rolled hay and farm machinery.

I realize that I spend a lot of time whining on here about a whole lot of nothing. So, tonight I thought I'd list things from a day that was pretty okay. It wasn't such a great day that I'll worry about a tornado hitting my house to make up for it, but it was good. Here is a list of it's goodness:

1. I spent about a half a day with Mr. Dateman and his roommates. He flipped me shit. I flipped him shit. He and his roommate flipped me shit. Me and his roommate flipped Mr Dateman shit. The shit got spread around...There was balance in the universe.

2. When I got to my car and was getting ready to drive away from Mr. Dateman's house, Coadster called me to see if I would take her and her sister to the mall to go school shopping. Sure, I had to be at the big scary maul, and it was packed because it was tax-free weekend, but we got some good deals and the girls thought I was the shit for buying them clothes.

3. At the mall, we also worked out a plan to get me my own room. You know, one of those places where you get to sleep in a bed and shut and lock your door and have privacy? One of those. They both agreed that they couldn't share a room because Coadster is totally Felix to Stinky's Oscar. Instead, Stinky said she'd happily sleep on the futon in the living room. Okay. Now all I have to do is look for a sale on a good bed. I want a queen and I want it to be comfy. After sleeping on a futon for the last four years, I deserve it, godammit.

4. After a late lunch and our mall journey, I dropped the girls off at their respective social functions. I stopped by my friend K.'s house to drop off some DVD's. I also checked out the garden and got even more tomatoes. I swear there are hundreds of them this year.

5. I went grocery shopping by myself, which is kind of nice. I ran into one of my co-workers and his significant other. When I asked him, if I would see him at work tomorrow, he said, "Yeah, I guess I can't get away with calling in sick now, since you saw me here." Maybe next Monday.

6. I waited until almost sunset to run today because it was so hot. Since most of the students are gone, I hardly saw anyone out and about. It was just me, the heat and humidity and the nostalgia in my head. At one point, I smelled laundry dryer sheets coming from a house and John Denver came on my phone Mp3 player at the same time. That combination took me right back to being a kid in the Summer and made me very, very happy.

7. I had turned the air conditioner on when I left to run, so when I got back my place seemed almost cold which was a perfect contrast to the swamp I left outside.

8. I called the court house and got their automated message. Not only do I not have jury duty tomorrow, I won't be called again for at least two years. Sweet. I won't have to deal with The Man after all...Except my boss at work, but I'm used to his shit.

9. Apparently, my favorite word for this blog post is "shit". So, I'll end this shit by hoping you all have to deal with as little shit as possible on Monday.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Got the Wings of Heaven on My Shoes

Well kids, I'm just kind of blah today. It's my last official day of vacation, I spent a lot of time dealing with a banker (the man) trying to get my finances in order, and I may have jury duty on Monday where I would inevitably have to deal with the man again. Wah. I know, you've heard this song from me before, and probably don't want to hear it again. So, instead, lets all have a laugh at my expense, shall we? That's usually way more fun anyway.

Today when I got home from running, Stinky was waiting for me with a camera. I don't know why she didn't take photos before I ran and wasn't all sweaty and my braids weren't all frizzy, but, whatever.

So, here's me being a dork. I was trying to run like one of the Iowa City action figures. You know, the group of notable, lovable loonies who populate our city? Yeah, one of them. This one Mr Dateman calls "Jive Guy" because he walks all over town, all the time and his walk is most decidedly jivey. See? This was way more fun than listening to me whine about my overexposure to the man, right?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water, I Will Lay Me Down

This is a photo of my friend S.'s cat, Gink. I think she was a little annoyed with us when we stayed at their house because she peed on Stinky's clothes one day. At least we knew where we stood with her.

You know how I've been so good this vacation and didn't hardly drink and got a lot of stuff done and all? Yeah, well I kind of messed that up today. Don't get me wrong, I still got stuff done, but then at 5 I went to my friend K.'s house and chilled out with her and her housemate J. and drank a couple of glasses of wine before we all went our separate ways at 7. It's not so bad having a bit of a wine buzz when you have to do things like run errands, cook dinner and take care of your children. The big problem comes when you want to do something important like blog and then you're screwed.

So, since I'm on vacation and useless from drinking wine too early in the day, I'm going to cheat and post an e-mail I got from a friend today. I hope she doesn't mind, but there's nothing super personal in it and it's WAY funnier than anything I could write. My friend S. lives in Minneapolis and we stayed with her this time last year. Stinky and I were just talking about the trip and the bridge collapsing this afternoon when we had lunch at IHOP.(You know Apple's marketing is good when I am tempted to write iHOP instead) Anyway, when I got home, I found this e-mail waiting for me. All the names have been changed to protect the innocent...Except Gink's, because there's nothing innocent about her:

hey Churlita,
i've been keeping up with you via your blog. i'd been
thinking about you today, because the guys on the
radio kept bringing up last year at this time when it
was 100 degrees, and that's when you and the girls
were here. christ that was HOT. if Stinky wants to relive
it i could send you some cat-urine-soaked socks or
something. gink is pretending that she doesn't know
what i'm talking about.

but i wanted to let you know that the bridge that
crashed into the mississippi is the very one you took
to get into mpls, and out of, and that you exited one
exit after the exact place where the bridge collapsed!

i drive that spot all the time. i'm a little freaked
out by it. but i am enjoying how many times i get to
type 'collapse''s almost like i'm blogging about
lindsay lohan or something.

my friend j. came over for dinner; she was 10
minutes late leaving her house because somebody
called. she WOULD have taken the bridge, but got to it
about 7 minutes after it went down. did i mention that
i'm a little freaked out by it?

happy sorting of your stuff! i'm coming back down
soon, just don't know when.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

No, Don't Lose Your Head

Here is a photo of a line of headstones that I took last Summer in a country cemetery.

Kids, I will try really hard not to bother you with the details of all the practical shit I got done today. Really, the only interesting thing that came out of it, was discovering the cool superhero stamps I bought to send off all my bills. I think doing all this practical stuff gave me a bit of a migraine. It's the only thing I can think that caused it. The pain isn't horrible, it just makes me even more spaced-out and stooopid than normal. So, I ended up forgetting for just a second how to turn my brights off when driving home from Mr Dateman's house. I turned my windshield wipers on instead, and then finally remembered after the other car had passed me. Yeah, I was one of those assholes tonight.

Because I'm still on the migrainey (yes, it's a word because I said so) side, I will quickly talk about two movies I've seen in the past week. Tonight Mr Dateman and I watched 300. I don't know what this movie would be like for people who don't either read a lot of comic books or play a lot of video games. Luckily, Mr. Dateman and I have both of those covered. I think there was a little story line in there somewhere, but mostly there were naked people, lots of spectacle and violent battles. I think I counted three decapitations in about a half hour. So, really, what's not to like?

The other movie I watched was All the Kings Men. In my defense, I tried to watch it on Friday night, and Stinky was having some friends over in the living room for a movie party and all those teenage boys and girls and their hormones in the same room at the same time made me tired. At one point, I came out into the living room and yelled, "hand check". It was funny that all the guys knew exactly what I meant and threw their hands up in the air immediately and all the girls were confused and said, "What"?

Where was I again? (damn ADD) Oh yeah, All the Kings Men was a movie that seemed to involve many men wearing suits and talking. After all the kids left my house, I fell asleep while watching it and when I woke-up, it felt like I was having one of those dreams where people morph into other people, because Sean Penn was originally talking to James Gandolfini, but then he turned into Jude Law. I'm sure the movie was very good, but I didn't see any naked people, very little spectacle, and I don't think there were any battle scenes or graphic decapitations to speak of. In other words, I just couldn't get into it.