Sunday, September 30, 2007

Twitching Like a Finger On TheTrigger Of A Gun

Here is a photo of the girls before they left for the wedding. I hope you like Coadster's dress. You're going to see it in pictures again next week for Homecoming.

Today was another beautiful day. I keep thinking that every weekend will be the last nice one, and then there's always more. I'm not complaining. I love warm weather and I was able to run six days this week. It's just that my body is ready for a little rest, and I won't go into hibernation mode until it starts getting a little cooler outside.

I only caught a little bit of the Steelers game today. When we first got to The Vine, there were still tons of Bears fans hanging out. Yes, I do consider myself a Bears fan, but unfortunately, that game was lost before it started. None of our guy friends showed up, but since we were the only Steeler fans with a table, we let a bunch of people I'd never met before sit with us and there was much bemoaning of the how bad the Hawkeyes suck this year too. I guess all that's left for me to say at this point is, go Cubs!

At 4:30 I dashed over to the Bijou to meet my other friends to watch King of Kong:A Fistful of Quarters. It was actually pretty good. If you ever want to feel really sane and not at all nerdy in comparison, you should go see this movie. I know I can be weirdly obsessive about shit, but I'm too lazy to be totally OCD like the one guy in this film.

The other weird thing about it, was that they showed a lot of footage from the video game olympics in Ottumwa in 1982. It was really strange to see the town the way it was when I was in high school. I hardly ever go downtown when I go back to visit, and it doesn't look like it used to anyway. It brought back some memories, looking at the inside of the video game arcade where I used to hang out and spend all my detasseling money and seeing the movie theater where my sister worked for several years, exactly the way it used to look.

The rest of the evening, I actually did boring practical things and got caught in a huge downpour and thunderstorm while bringing in groceries from my car.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Did You See Any Action? Did You Make Any Friends?

Here is me playing the photo game from Evil-E's blog, Random Crap. The word was "fall". So, this was taken last Fall of some fallen leaves.

Today was kind of excellent. I finally got some real sleep - almost ten hours to be exact. Nice. After I got up and actually moved, Stinky and I went downtown so she could cash some birthday checks. It was a little before noon and the downtown area was insane with Homecoming kids. There was a lot of black and then even more gold and I almost got drunk from huffing the fumes that came off of almost everyone who walked by me.

I helped the girls get ready for their cousin's wedding. I was invited but opted not to go, because it was my ex-husband's family. While I love many of his family members, it always feels kind of weird being around everyone and blah and blah. I wouldn't mind it one bit if my kids wanted to bring me some sopa back, however.

I went running after the girls left and it was windy and around eighty degrees and I think I could easily have continued for half the day. My iPod is funny because it tends to play certain songs over and over again, and others not so much. Today though, it brought up some music I hadn't heard in forever. The Knack's "My Sharona", Head East's "Never Been Any Reason" and my two favorite Van Halen songs besides "Runnin' With the Devil" - "Jamie's Crying" and "Dance the Night Away" all came on. It took me right back to Summer in junior high when I lived in Alsip, Illinois, and I would listen to WLS on the radio when I weeded the garden and sigh a little bit about a boy named Robert DiGregorio.

In the afternoon, my friend K. called to see if I wanted to join her, T. and our friend Ashley and her beautiful baby to walk her dogs in Hickory Hill Park. Hell yes, I did. We were still laughing about the other night when Ashley and K. and I were walking home from a show and were getting harassed by some guys who told us they were Marines. My friend Ashley, who is very tall and very gorgeous told them they looked too short to be Marines and then threatened to kick their asses if they didn't leave us alone. K. and I would totally have had her back, if they hadn't wisely crossed the street and finally shut their pie holes.

Around five'ish I traveled to an Iowa City suburb for a BBQ at my friend S.'s house. Her boyfriend excellently cooked us steaks and so I got to eat and then drink and watch a movie and talk shit. What more could a girl want?

Tomorrow, I'm going to do some stuff that even after a couple of beers, I know is bad planning for a Sunday afternoon and evening. At three I'll meet some kids at The Vine for more football viewing and then I'll leave that early to go see King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters at the Bijou with another friend of mine named S. and her husband J.. It's a documentary about two guys trying to break records on Donkey Kong. In the Apple trailer, they even show a snippet of filming that photo I put up on here from when Ottumwa was in Life magazine for the video game olympics in the early eighties. I like movies, I like video games, so a movie about video games should be the best thing ever, right?

Friday, September 28, 2007

And Your Destination, You Don't Know It

Here are very many tomatoes.

Well kids, I'm beat. My mission tonight is to get as much sleep as possible. Earlier in the evening, my mission was to avoid going downtown at any cost. Neither of the girls went to the Homecoming parade or to the free Three Dog Night concert that followed. Coadster went to Dubuque to watch the high school football game and Stinky went to the movies.

I drove over to my friend K.'s house where she and our friend T. were knitting what I thought looked like the beginnings of thongs, but they both assured me they were going to be washcloths and watching whatever crap was being served up on network television. There wasn't much selection, so we settled on wrestling. Who doesn't watch wrestling while they knit?

Earlier in the day, as I walked downtown surveying all the preparations for the parade, the guys who were setting up the big stage were cranking Roxy Music's Avalon. I think the reason that album cracks me up so much, is that almost every woman I know of a certain age (read: old) has probably had some cheese ball guy try to seduce her to that in the eighties.

After I came home from picking Stinky and her friends up from the movies, I played some Halo 3. At one point, Coadster called me to tell me she and her friends were back from Dubuque and were eating at IHOP. I quickly tried to turn the volume on the TV down so she couldn't hear the voices from my game saying, "Die demons!", but then all her guy friends wanted to tell me hi over her phone, and I finally gave myself away by telling them I had to go or I was going to get shot. They all had a good laugh at my expense and my guy died anyway. The end.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Heard it From a Friend Who, Heard it From a Friend Who

Here is a cute little pony.

Well kids, I'll just warn you that I'm feeling a little random tonight. Who knows where the hell we'll go in this post. This was a total ADD evening and I'm still going with it. I had a little time to kill after work while I charged my iPod, so I played a few quick games of Centipede. Then after I ran, I picked Stinky up at the junior high and we grabbed food and came home. I remembered that I had to get a few things at the store, so I ran there and back. I received a text message in there somewhere from my friend K. saying she and some others were at the Dublin, but they were coming out right as I was getting there. They were headed to someone's house for a bit, but I didn't think I had it in me to hang out and not be fidgety, so I went home and washed some dishes and then messed around downloading and organizing songs on my computer. Yeah, so please pass the Ritalin.

The IT people cleaned up my computer today. While that was going on, I had to sit at the empty desk next to my friend John. He can't hear very well, so if you speak to him and he's not sure what you're saying he makes fun of you, and says, "Ack, ack, ack, ack?" Like it's your problem for not speaking clearly. It reminded me of this guy from Nicaragua I worked with at a restaurant that I not so affectionately called La Caca. One time the Nicaraguan guy was trying to sing an REO Speedwagon song, but he didn't understand the lyrics, so he sang it, "Fummalumma friend who, fummalumma friend who, fummalumma another you been messin' around..." I loved it so much, that whenever anyone says something I can't make out, I say, "Fummalumma?" It made me curious if everyone does this, or if it's just the weirdos I know.

In the afternoon after my computer was all cleaned up and I could move back to my desk, I realized that I kind of missed the sicko ads that had been popping up. After two days of my imaginary friends from the internets flashing me pictures of their nether regions, just sitting at my desk and actually doing my job, felt kind of lonely and boring.

Okay, now I'm going to try this new thing where I get more than five hours of sleep tonight. I thought about taking cold medicine if I couldn't fall asleep again tonight, but then I remembered how stoopid it makes me for much of the next morning. Instead, I thought I'd try to remember what it felt like at about three o'clock at work today and I figure that should put me right on out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Words She Knows, The Tune She Hums

Here is Coadster with a friend at Homecoming last year. This is one of the few times I've seen her wear make-up besides show choir. That's okay, Stinky wears enough for all of us.

My sleep deprivation is getting the better of me. I woke up at 4 this morning with a terrible migraine. So, I'm extremely slow on the uptake and I will try to make this as short as possible.

My computer at work is full of viruses and frightening ads keep popping up on my screen. I would be a little embarrassed to have some of those images showing up on my computer in the privacy of my own home, but at work, it's especially unseemly. Porn and a state job aren't exactly two great tastes in one candy bar, if you know what I mean.

The last few weeks I actually had a social agenda, but this week I got nuthin', and that's okay too. I'm always up for going out and having fun, but I'm also down with hanging out at home and geeking-out. I like to look at it as win-win either way. It is Homecoming for the University this weekend, and Three Dog Night is playing after the parade on Friday night. Coadster loves Three Dog Night. Yes, she's fifteen, but I'm her mom and the poor girl has been exposed to all different kinds of cheese. So, yeah. I'll throw a few more bucks in her therapy fund just to appease my guilt for that one too.

Homecoming for high school is next week, and Coadster just agreed to go with the guy who asked her. She's known the boy forever because when his mom and I were in college, we worked at this groovy, organic, vegetarian restaurant called The Farmer's Market and Bakery. It was on Linn Street and both of us lived in the apartments above it. We'd go upstairs for "smoke breaks" and come back to work so much more relaxed. After we had kids, we'd see each other at the park or the library or wherever.

Once when Coadster and the boy were three, they were playing at College Green Park, and the boy asked Coadster if she wanted a knuckle sandwich. She was hungry and so she said, "Sure." What she got, was a knock on the top of her head. Now that I think about it, maybe I'll suggest she not go out to dinner with him before the dance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Floatin' Around I'm a Real Low Mind

Here is a photo of some tackle hanging up in a barn.

First I want to clarify yesterday's post. I wasn't trying to say it was the man's responsibility to pay for everything. Hell, I'm a modern girl. I was just saying that it would be refreshing if I didn't have to pay for everything, and that it was a very nice gesture on T.'s friend's part. I believe that relationships, or friendships for that matter, should be equitable and reciprocal and both people should be conscientious and thoughtful and honest and there should be rainbows and daisies and unicorns and cute little puppies running around everywhere. I'm not even kidding, that really is what I believe and it's the reason I probably shouldn't try to date.

Okay, on to the next thing. Last week, when one of Coadster's guy friends found out we got an XBox, he asked, "So, when did you get a little brother?" Then when I was talking to my best friend B., he mentioned that his wife played video games. Later, when we were all hanging out at George's, I asked her why she never mentioned that before.

"Well, it's not the kind of thing you just admit to," she said. So, apparently there is a bit of a stigma attached to being a mom who plays video games. I used to run a chainsaw for a living when I was on The Salmon Restoration Project in Humboldt County, California and I was a line cook for many years too. Luckily for me, I could give a rat's ass what people think is appropriate behavior for a woman or a person of a certain age. I do what I like (and try not to hurt anyone else) and I like to read comic books and play video games and run for many miles to relieve stress. Hell, while we're at it, I'll just go ahead and admit to being a music hoarder as well. I would jam every song in the world into my iPod if they made one that big. I never know what I'll want to listen to from one minute to the next and as I've said before, I pretty much like everything. Plus, it's hilarious to put it on shuffle and have Christopher Cross' "Sailing" wedged in between N.W.A.'s "Fuck the Police" and Pig Destroyer's cover of "Down in the Street".

Okay, so now some of my weirdness is out there in the open, I'd love it if we could all move on. I just hope I can keep dodging all my daughter's male friend's inquiries to get my XBox live profile name so they can say the kicked someone's mom's ass in Halo 3.

Monday, September 24, 2007

With Some It's Just As Well

Here is some sand art from the State Fair. I think you know how much I love kitschy art and sand art is rivaled only by decoupage in kitschiness.

So, I guess I'm on a roll with these bar conversation posts.

On Friday night I met some friends out at the Dublin Underground. They just happened to be sitting at a table with Chester. If you've ever lived in Iowa City, chances are, you've seen Chester. He works at Iowa Book and Crook and he's another Iowa City action figure. He is nothing, if not entertaining, so much so, that my friend Ed Gray wrote a song about him. Anyway, I got to the table, and reintroduced myself. He said, "I know you. You used to work at The Mill and you are somehow related to L. Is your name, Mary Anne?"

"No, it's Churlita, and I used to be married to L."

"Oh. Oops," Chester said. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah, me too," I said, cracking myself up. And that there was another situation where one of my ex-boyfriends would tell me it was a good thing I was there to laugh at my own jokes. Hey, if I don't, no one else will. Thank god for me.

Around 10:30, I had to take off for a minute to go get Stinky and take her home. When I got back, all my friends were at the Picador to see some bands. I finally got to meet my friend T.'s new friend and he is just about perfect. I went to order a drink and he stopped me. "What are you having? I'm buying."

"For real? What planet did you say you were from?" I asked in shock and awe.

"I'm from St Louis, why?"

"Because all the men we know in this town, expect us to pay for them."

It was right about at that point when a big gaggle of guys I used to work with at a now defunct establishment called Great Midwestern, (it was where 126 is now) showed up. I'm Myspace friends with their band, but I hadn't seen some of them in a few years. I was talking about it with a guy named J. and he said,

"Actually, I see you running all over town."

"Really? Then how's come you never honk or say hi?"

"Who's to say I haven't, but that you just ignored me and kept on running?" J. countered.

"Oh, yeah. Sorry. I just get all high and spaced out when I run." Man, I've been getting called on my shit a lot lately. Maybe I should start thinking before I speak....Nah.

Once the last band started playing, I was tuckered out and ready to give my friend K. a ride home. We talked about the lack of relationship material in any of the guys we knew and seriously thought about making a pilgrimage to St Louis - the mythical land where men actually pay for things. I also suggested that although I wouldn't be in a serious relationship with any of them, there were a few guys that I might think about making out with. We joked about going on Make Out Quest 2007. Then K. thought we should make a video game out of it. We could choose weapons with which to fight off all the demon, user guys, on our way to the totally hot, totally deserving make out king. When we told our friend C. about it the next day, he thought it sounded like a great game as long as he could be the goal.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All We Do Is Live to Win

I was going to put Coadster's school photo up when we got it, but apparently, according to Coadster, it was just too hideous and no one could see it. I thought it was really cute, but I remember being fifteen and I'm sure if I told her that, the horror of her mom saying her "hideous" picture was cute, might cause her to have a seizure. So, we are allowed to show you this one from the last football game with her friends.

I had a really good weekend. I ran a lot and the weather was amazing for that. I went out to a couple of different drinking establishments on Friday night and had a blast. On Saturday night I hosted Stinky's birthday party and it was surprisingly low key - except when the teenagers swarmed my house like locusts and ate and drank everything in my fridge.

As we were all getting ready to go home on Friday night, we wisely decided to skip the Guitar Hero thing at the Bijou. We figured we were all too lame to leave our houses after ten o'clock. Today I met my friends at The Vine for more Steelers watching. Originally, I thought I'd write about our Friday night exploits, but now I think I'll save that for tomorrow and write about football watching tonight, while I'm still kind of remembering our conversations.

This whole watching football on Sunday with my friend K. and some of our cute, funny male friends, is quickly becoming my new favorite thing. I'm even meeting some of the other guys outside of our table and they're really nice too. At one point, a man at the bar said, "Enough of this Tom Foolery, let's just start passing the ball."

"Excuse me. Did you just say 'Tom foolery' in reference to a football game?" I asked.

"Uh, yeah. I guess you don't hear that phrase very often any more do you?" He said and looked all sheepish.

"And that's why it's awesome. I think we should all try to say that at some point this afternoon." Of course, we all forgot about two seconds later, but I loved that it was said at all.

My friend C. came into town the night before and was on hand for the game. At one point, he started in on one of his favorite rants about how friends shouldn't ever date other friend's exes and he has reasons for this rant, but we all know his take on it by now, so I felt like I had to call him on his shit.

"This town is so small and incestuous, that if we didn't date our friend's exes, then we may not have anyone to date at all."

"That's bullshit. There's plenty of other people. I've never dated any of my friend's exes. I'm a man of principles," C. said.

"Okay Mr. Man of Principles, I dated a friend of yours. You mean to tell me that if I asked you to go home with me and have sex, you would say no because of your strong loyalties?" C. started to say something, stopped and quickly started talking about something else. "Oh no. Don't change the subject. I want to hear what you'd do." I knew C. well enough, to know that he'd figure out a way to rationalize being able to have sex with someone somehow, I was just curious to see what he'd say.

"Oh, well...Okay. That doesn't count because you guys only dated for a few months and he didn't really care about you anyway." Shit. I hate it when he pulls that card.

"Yeah. You're right. I guess that doesn't count. I was stupid and let myself get played."

"Good. I'm glad you said it, so I didn't have to."

"You know I'm not going home with you, right?" I asked.

"I know."

Ba De Ya - Never Was a Cloudy Day

This post was supposed to be written on the 22nd, but what with all the birthday festivities and tons of kids in my house, I couldn't get anywhere near the computer for most of Saturday. Let's just pretend it isn't slightly after midnight, okay?

Dear Stinkyjandra Luz Maria,

You were born at 7:08 pm fourteen years ago today, and you have kept me hopping ever since. You were never one of those cautious, "worried about what other people thought" kind of kids, like your sister. You've always had your own special sense of style.

I know we've tried to count how many trips we've taken with you to the emergency room, but it's easier to figure at least once a year. It's not like you ever meant to get into some of the scrapes you have, you've just had a little problem with boundaries. I've always said about you, that you will jump off a cliff and worry about where and how you're falling after you've hit the ground. When you were younger you used to climb to the top of any structure and laugh and ask, "Mommy, are you having a heart attack now?"

The answer to that was always, "Yes, honey. Now can you come down from there?" Said with that nervous hitch in my voice.

But you've also always been very, very funny...Just ask you. Once when you were two or three, I thought I lost you at Sears, and I was so frantic, I had everyone in the store looking for you. The only way we found you, was because you were hiding in the middle of one of those circular clothes hanging things and you were laughing so hard, you gave yourself away. After I went off on a long winded lecture, the first thing you said was, "But I funny Mama. I funny." Even at that age you knew that in our house, whatever you did was okay as long as it made me laugh.

As you've gotten older, you have been better about understanding boundaries. It's been a long hard struggle, but this Summer you finally got it. When we were talking about how much better behaved you had been, you said, "Well, I figure, that you let me do a lot of the things I want to do, unless I get in trouble and lose your trust. And I like having that kind of freedom, so being good isn't that hard anymore." Hey, it only took you thirteen years to figure that out, now maybe we can devote more energy into keeping your room clean.

You have grown into such an interesting person. Everyday you surprise me with you're fun and quirky ideas. Last Saturday, you met me a block away from home when I was running to ask if you could have a friend or two over for a tea party and you had the table set and everything ready to go. Today for your birthday, you invited your girlfriends over to paint t-shirts with some of our fabric paints, and you all spent over an hour drawing and painting. Of course, we can't forget your penchant for taking artistic self-portraits.

Mostly, I want to thank you for teaching me how to be a better parent and forcing me to be more of a girly girl. Before I had you, I had no idea that shoe shopping was a legitimate hobby. I can't wait to see what the world looks like from your eyes in the next fourteen years.


Jo Mama

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why Do They Gotta Front?

I'm blogging early tonight, because I'm going out and I'm already going to expose you to something kind of scary in this post, I don't want to make it any worse than it is by writing it when I'm a little inebriated. I do want to preface this all by saying, good lord and Jaysus, Mary and Joseph and then, ah, for fuck's sake.

Have you ever gone out and had a beer or two and forgotten how white you were and decided it would be really, really funny if you made the gayest guy in the bar do some eighties dancing with you? You figured it would be fine because everyone else seemed to be at least as drunk as you, so they probably wouldn't even remember it the next day. Then about a week later your friend Dexter might send you an email with a photo of your sad, sorry excuse for dancing. Granted, he is nice enough to tell you that he got rid of any other copies, so if you deleted the one from the email, there would be no other traces. When you foolishly opened it at work, you had to stifle your horrified scream, because it looked like this:

Eeeeeek! Right? Your first impulse would probably be to hit the delete button about thirty times in a row, just to make sure it was really and truly gone. Then, after you thought about it for a minute, you thought it was just as funny as it was frightening, and if it were someone else, you would want them to post that photo of themselves so you could feel better about yourself in general. Plus, you know that you seriously have no shame, so there's really no use in pretending like you do.

So, what the hell, you all get to see me being a complete and total dork. Feel better about yourselves now? Yeah, I thought so.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Mind Goes Sleepwalking While I'm Putting the World to Right

Here is a farmer gritting his teeth and looking very stereotypically Iowan.

Kids, I'm exhausted. I haven't been able to get to sleep lately, and then when I do, I have really vivid and bizarre dreams. And not the fun kind either, godammit. The only reason I can think of for my sleeplessness, is the change of seasons. In general, I'm actually happier than I've been in a long time. I've been running enough, I'm not all that stressed-out or anxious about anything, but I just can't seem to get to sleep. I try to make up for it on the weekends, but by the middle of the week, I'm back to looking 90 years old and having to put out an APB on my attention span.

The other thing I have to tell you, is that I went to Stinky's first marching band experience at the football game tonight. I hadn't been to a high school football game since I was in high school. Sitting in the stands with some of the other parents I know, I was trying to remember the last game I attended.

I went with my friend Alicia and the totally hot Mexican exchange student she was dating. He never spoke a word of English, but none of the girls in my school ever seemed to mind. He had a big white van and really good weed. I had never smoked before that game, and I remember saying over and over again, how I didn't feel any different. When my friend Alicia opened the van door, I followed the huge cloud of smoke out and landed flat on my face. I think I sat in the gravel of the parking lot, laughing with my friends for at least fifteen minutes.

Needless to say, tonight's experience wasn't quite as illegal or as much fun either. I left right after the band performed, but because we only live a few blocks from the high school, I could still hear how well we were doing for the next couple of hours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How Could I Leave This Behind?

Here is some eggplant. It is very purple.

Let's see. We might be a little scattered and random today, but you shouldn't expect any less from me by now. Tonight was what it was. I found out some things that didn't matter and I was stupid to react to, but I had had a couple of beers and I'm a girl, so I let certain things bother me more than they should. Anyway, by the time I met my friends, I was in kind of a weird space. My girlfriends were great as usual and talked me down. My friend A. even told us about the game she and some of the women she works with played the other night. They would name three guys and they would have to say which one they would push off of a cliff, which they would have sex with once and never see again and which they would spend the rest of their live's with and why. Hey, now that's just some fun there. While we were laughing about that, my friend S.'s husband leaned over and said, "What? isn't there anyone you would want to set on fire?" And that REALLY got our wheels turning. That is, until we started making plans for Saturday night (after Stinky's party) for the Bijou where they will have a Guitar Hero tournament at 11 pm, right before the midnight showing of This is Spinal Tap. It could be just about perfect.

Now, as I promised, I will totally change the subject and tell you some things I saw downtown this week during my lunches and breaks.

Yesterday I walked by the Java House and realized that I knew pretty much every person sitting outside on the little patio. My first thought was, my friends are a bunch of slackers who don't have to work all day like I do. I'm so jealous. My second thought was that once it starts getting cold and I can't go outside during my breaks, I won't have much of a social life unless I start getting better about going out more. I'm really going to try harder, because I think I'm about ready to try to start dating again, and just think how much fun it will be to read about how uncomfortable I am during that whole process?

On Monday I was passing my favorite homeless woman who sits in front of what used to be Hills Bank, but is now a Cold Stone Creamery. She was having some kind of altercation with a gray haired, heavily bearded guy who had parked his bike right in front of her. She told him to get lost and he said, "I can be wherever I want to. I'm an American citizen, damn it." To which the homeless woman responded:

"No you're not. You're a pothead!" If you have to choose between being one or the other, I have a feeling I know a lot more illegal aliens than I thought I did.

The last quaint little thing I saw downtown yesterday, were two people trying to light a cigarette with the sun and a magnifying glass. What kind of a smoker, doesn't have a light, but does have a magnifying glass?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All Of It Was Made For You and Me

Here is a picture of some feet and some shoes...Some very white shoes.

Kids, I just want to say, I know I done you wrong yesterday and I'm sorry. Can we still hang-out if I promise to be better about only using the same post once? It's just that I looked down the week and saw what was coming and I had to take Monday night to clean, or I knew there wouldn't be another chance. Does it help when I tell you my house is nice and tidy right now?

Okay, whatever. Let's just lay it all out for you. Tonight I had to pick girls up and then I went running and then came home and started making dinner, before I had to take girls to a volleyball game at the high school. I then had almost an hour before I picked girls up and then dropped other girls off at their houses and came home, cleaned my kitchen and got ready for tomorrow. See what I mean? It's all so crazy making, and I know it's what we all deal with in our own ways everyday.

Tomorrow will be just as busy, but the girls will be at their dad's house and he has his car fixed, so he can actually do some of the driving for once. Yeeeee Haaaaaaaw! What am I going to do instead? Well, I'm going to run around with girls, but just different ones. I'm finally going to cash in that rain check with my friend from last week for beer right after work. Then I'm going to leave that and meet some friends at George's so we can walk from there to Devotay to celebrate my friend T.'s birthday. Because T. was so awesome and fun on my birthday, I'm going to try really hard NOT to make happy hour evolve into sloppy evening. I hear it's all about moderation. I'll have to try that sometime.

Thursday night I may have to clone myself. Stinky is marching for the first time at the football game and Coadster has a cross country meet in Cedar Rapids. It would be great if their dad could have attended one thing and I could do the other, but he scheduled auditions for the play he's directing on that night without checking to see if it would work or not. That's all I'm going to say about that, because if I started, I might not stop. I think I'll have to skip Coadster's meet, since I just saw her run on Saturday and I don't want to miss Stinky's first marching band dealio.

Friday's kind of an open spot - which means I may do something, or I may just clean, dig around for sedatives and get ready for Saturday.

Saturday is Stinky's fourteenth birthday. Days like these were made for Valium. After last year, I originally said no more big parties, but then I caved. In my defense, she's been hanging with a different crowd these days - kids who are actually her age and don't seem to be the types to vandalize Taco Bell and bring all the plastic silverware and "Caution Wet Floor" signs to my house. Coadster will be at another DJ'ing gig in the Quad Cities and my friend A. won't be able to come over bearing wine like last year, so I won't have my people to help me. Actually, maybe days like these were made for a Valium, Xanax and beer cocktail.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

But You Better Not Complain Boy, You Get In Trouble With The Man

Here are some hollowed out bears.

All weekend I've been waging war against the migraine that keeps rearing its ugly head in my head and trying to mess with me. I have no idea why I've been getting them once a week this month. It could be the weather that goes from highs in the eighties to a high of sixty overnight. I don't know. Some people say it's my body telling me I need to rest. Normally, I try to listen to my body when it talks to me, unless it's the voices in my head - those I ignore and that's why my co-workers are still alive today.

The big problem comes, when I can't stay home and rest. On Saturday I was all zoned out on migraine meds and cranky from the pain. The girls and I were going to go to lunch after Coadster's cross country meet. I made the mistake of driving through University Heights where the cops have nothing better to do than stop and ticket cars going 26 mph in a 25 zone. I'm always careful to go the speed limit there, which is why I was surprised when a cop was flashing his lights at me. I pulled over and asked the girls what they thought was wrong. Coadster sitting in the back, said, "Maybe it's because Stinky forgot to put her seatbelt on." Shit. I didn't even think to check. We all always have them on, less because I'm worried about accidents, and more because of the fine.

The cop was kind of a dick and kept asking Stinky for her driver's license even after we told him she was thirteen years old. He couldn't believe that she didn't have an ID on her. Duh. We got hit with an $83 fine. Which wouldn't bother me as much if it went for something good, but I'm sure it's to support more cops with attitudes or maybe it goes to a coffee and donut fund. As you can tell from my tone here, I wasn't very good at handling the situation. I felt like crap and I was so annoyed and I even made a crack about University Heights cops before I left. Apparently, I'm a genius when I have a migraine. Stinky cried and said she was sorry, but I think I'm going to make her pay at least half the fine anyway. I know she spaced it off, just like I spaced off checking, but I think she'll remember better if it hits her where it hurts. I guess I'm just kind of "tough love" that way.

When I got home and checked my e-mails, I had at least 15 Myspace comments and messages. I guess some hacker got my log-in info and was spamming all my friend's comments with a lovely video. My favorite exchange about this was from my friend Ondine. Here's her message:

Did you really mean to send me a youtube video of a woman with ginormous breasts?


My response:

Well, I've been meaning to for a while and never got to it. Luckily some nasty fucking hacker did it for me. Enjoy! And please feel free to delete that.


Needless to say, I stayed home Saturday night where everything was cozy and nice and I didn't have to deal with The Man even one little bit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Happy Day and Then You Pay

I posted this photo once on my old blog, but I thought it was time to show it off again. This was in Life magazine in 1983 when my town was named "The Video Game Capital of the Universe" or something like that, and housed the video game olympics. It was a great marketing ploy by the guy who owned the arcade in town. I just thought you'd like to know that I come by this video game playing honestly, and I'm sure none of you are surprised that I wasn't a cheerleader in high school or a good enough Centipede player to be in this photo.

And on Friday, I rested. Surprisingly, I wasn't hungover so much as tired and all socialed-out. I never heard from my friend tonight, so I had almost all day and all night to myself. It was exactly what I needed. In the afternoon, I drove the girls around to all their things, and then I was at home, enjoying my lair and messing around on XBox Live downloading demos and trying to remember all the little strategies I used when I obsessively played Centipede in high school at the arcade from the Life magazine photo.

I also finally watched Pan's Labyrinth and it was just as violent and depressing and amazing and wonderful as I had heard it would be. I feel like I need some emergency therapy after it, though.

This was the first time since I've had my own room that I've been able to spend any real time in it. I think it's going to work out just fine. I did a lot of lounging and living in my own world, and not even running. (if you can believe that) My window faces out to the street, and at one point I saw this other woman jogging by who, in the past, has stopped me to tell me that I'm her running inspiration and I didn't even feel the least bit guilty. I needed a day off and I took one and I am so much the better for it, so there.

With a Boulder on My Shoulder, Feelin' Kind of Older

Here is a pretty flower.

Please note the time this was written and help me wish that some day, I will get really smart and buy a breathalyzer for my keyboard. I have Friday off, and I have all these things I'm supposed to do. I was thinking about writing a list, so I'd remember to do them all, but lists have bad connotations for me. My friend T. and I were talking about those bottomless chore lists our parents or legal guardians made for us in the Summer and how, because of them, it's hard to make lists for ourselves. The problem for me is that I remember to do a lot of everyday things, but forget to take care of the odd things, like making a hair appointment that has already been paid for. I'll have to wait for tomorrow to make that list, because I'm obviously a little on the dee-runk side right now. And judging by my behavior so far this evening, my "Churlita's drunken list of things to do" must have looked something like this:

1. Drink some PBR.

2. Talk loudly and yell, "Tits!" and Woo-Hoo!" a lot.

3. Get my drunk ADD on and only stay in one place for about 15 minutes at a time before I walk down to the beer garden, up to where the bands are playing and back downstairs to buy a beer.

4. Pretend to listen to my friend talk about whatever stuff he was talking about, but secretly be longing for my TV that I left home, all alone in my room.

5. Listen to my friend K. tell me that my friend wanted me to know that he wasn't trying to hit on me.

6. Walk up to said friend and say, "Hey, quit trying to hit on me, goddammit."

7. Point out the scariest looking guy in the bar to my friend K. and say, "That's your new boyfriend."

8. Watch my friend K. point to the guy who won't stop whistling and hear her say, "That's your new boyfriend then."

9. Try not to laugh two seconds later when "my new boyfriend" approaches me and asks, "Do you shop at the Co-op?"

10. Answer, "Sometimes..." and watch as he points to his chest and says, "I work in the meat department." Lie and tell him I think I recognize him and do my best not to look at my friend K. when he says, "You're fuckin' beautiful. I just had to tell you that."

11. Thank him and suddenly decide I need to go back by the bar and get myself some water.

12. Find the gayest guy in the bar and make him dance with me.

13. Abandon the gayest guy in the bar for my friends Brie and Ashley, so that we can do our kick-ass, punk rock, show choir moves.

14. Wonder to myself why people stopped naming kids Mary and Susan after 1975.

15. Leave through the beer garden, but stop along the way and introduce myself to people much younger than me and then explain to them that I used to work with their parents or their girlfriend's parents. (this is why, this is why, this is why I'm hot (not))

16. Blog drunk, drink a full glass of water, take an unhealthy amount of pain relievers and bemoan the fact that Stinky has early volleyball practice and must be at school at 6:30 in the morning.

17. Gaze longingly at my TV until I fall asleep.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lovin' Every Minute of It

Here are some trays of corn.

My day was so much different than I thought it would be. Since I'm not a structure person, it didn't stress me out. I kind of like going for a ride and seeing where it takes me.

My friend e-mailed me early in the day to tell me that happy hour would have to be postponed on account of her allergies acting up. I've had many friends with that very same affliction, and they have all assured me that this time of year can really fuck a person up bad. We've rescheduled, and hopefully, the elements will behave a little better next week.

Just a little before two, I got a call from the school nurse at Stinky's junior high to tell me to pick up a certain teenage girl who had a temperature close to 102. So, I got out of work 2 1/2 hours early, walked home, got my car and drove up to see Stinky lying on the bench outside the school. Poor baby. She had the chills and she was all different kinds of dizzy. We made a quick stop at the store to buy chicken noodle soup and rent .99 videos.

If you're into stats, I was just given the gift of about four extra hours today. How sweet is that? I got some business stuff taken care of before 5, I cleaned, I sat with Stinky and watched a movie and I extended my run to seven miles. Now, all I have to do is get through tomorrow and I'm off on Friday. Yea me!

It seems I hardly ever talk about Coadster on here, and that's because I rarely see her anymore. Lately, I've been walking past her room, and noticing her TV sitting on its perch all lonely and abandoned, and I started coveting it. I know that technically, it's my television so I'm actually coveting my own possession, but you know what I mean. I've been thinking how nice it would be to have it in my room where I could love it and give it my full attention.

I know I've detailed all the difficult things about having teenage daughters on here, but I don't talk about the bonuses - of which I can only think of two right off the top of my head. Number one is that they're so easy to embarrass. Apparently, all you have to do is drive past them when they are running down the street with a gaggle of other girls during cross country practice and honk and yell woooo-hooooo! out your car window very, very loudly. I've never seen anyone run and roll their eyes that hard at the same time before. (I'm sure that bit works better if you're wearing your robe and have curlers in your hair, but I haven't had that pleasure yet)

Number two, is that by the time you've raised them to that point, you learn exactly how to work them. So, say you want to move the television set from their room, into yours, you just have to figure out how to set it up to your advantage.

Me: Coadster, I'm going to propose something, and you're probably not going to like it. Are you ready? (If you prepare them for something really horrible, they'll be almost relieved when you tell them the tiny, little thing you want)

Coadster: What is it?

Me: You know how you're almost never home, and I'm a loser so I'm always home?

Coadster: silence

Me: Do you agree that you're almost never home? (I'm still setting the stage here. Sure, it's a little manipulative, but the pay-off is usually worth the guilt)

Coadster: I don't know. Maybe...

Me: (going in for the kill) I was thinking that maybe we could move your TV into my room. If you wanted some alone time to veg-out and watch a movie or something, you could always visit it and hang out on my amazingly comfortable bed. (At this point, I was trying to think of other things I could use to argue my point after she would almost assuredly shoot me down)

Coadster: Okay. Sure.

Me: Wait. Really? Last time we talked about moving the TV in the other room, you were totally against it.

Coadster: I know, but that's because it was for Stinky. It's not that I wanted the television so much, I just didn't want her to have it.

Me: I can't believe you treat your sister that way. When did you get so mean?

Coadster: It's something I perfected in junior high.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just An Invitation Would Have Been Just Fine

Here is a photo of a metal sculpture at the State Fair. Now that I study it more closely, it kind of looks like a woman giving birth.

Tonight I'm taking a deep breath before heading into an increasingly social calendar for the rest of the week. Originally, I thought that I might go out once or twice this week, but things keep getting added on, and each event promises to be really fun. Here. Let me lay it all out for you:

Wednesday evening I'm meeting a friend right after work for a drink. I don't know if I've ever celebrated happy hour before. Normally, I go straight home when I'm done working and either go running, or drive the girls all over hell and then go running. I still have to get Stinky to volleyball practice at 6:30, so I will probably only have just one hour in which to get happy, but It makes me feel almost like a grown-up. Because isn't that what adults do - wear business suits and have cocktails during happy hour?

Thursday night, I will be nothing at all like a grown-up. I'm meeting several of my friends out to see bands play at the Picador. Some people I know are coming in from out of town, and it seems like it will be another one of those nights right out of 1997 at Gabes - except we're ten years older now. I'm taking the next day off of work, just in case I forget that I'm ten years older and need some recovery time.

On Friday night, another friend of mine is coming down from Minneapolis for the weekend. I haven't seen LA in so long I could cry, but through the magic of MySpace and blogging, we hooked back up and are ready for action. We hung-out a lot about ten years ago too when I was splitting with my ex-husband and the girls were very young. When I asked my daughters if they remembered LA, they said they weren't sure. Then I told them she was the one who gave them all those cool old school Polly Pockets, and they thought she sounded familiar. I finally reminded them that she was the one who told them to yell "Hey, you stinky hippies - Peeeee-Uuuuuuuu!" out our car window when that Vanagon cut us off at the gas station that one time. My girls suddenly remembered and said, "Oh, she's really cool."

Because LA is so cool, I'm going to look around for a bar that has one of those industrial fans so I can do my coked-out Stevie Nicks impersonation from the "Stand Back" video. LA has seen me do it before, but I think she needs a refresher. Now all I have to do is buy me a caftan, so I can do it up right.

On Saturday morning Coadster has a cross country race here in town. It means I'll have to get up WAY earlier than I want to, but then I'll run and maybe take a nap. As of right now, I don't have any plans for Saturday night, but resting still sounds like a really good idea.

I haven't heard of any more football watching plans for Sunday. On Sunday evening, Junot Diaz is reading at 6:30 (I think) at Prairie Lights. I love his work and really want to see him. Sunday nights are generally bad for me, bein's how it's a school night and all. I'm thinking I might be able to work it, if I make a pot of chili or potato soup on Saturday night and then I'd just have to heat it up and make sandwiches before I ran out the door to try and catch me some culture.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Not Far Back to Sanity

Hey, I got this picture from a site called Natalie Dee. It's another thing I stole from The Baby Seal Club blog. Maybe one of these days I'll find my own stuff to show you. Until then, I'll just keep going to JWilliam's blog and stealing his shit.

This will be quick tonight because it is very late. I finally got my XBox live going. I had much help from my friend G. And I figured I would just use my blog as a HUGE public apology for making him old before his time. I am very dumb when it comes to technology as I have mentioned again and again and again. I won't even admit to you some of the stupid shit I did or didn't do trying to set up my XBox Live stuff - it is wireless too and I think that's where some of the headaches arose. Anywhoooo, it's done. It's going and now I am fully aware that catching myself and saying the word "thing" instead of "thingy", as my friend G. pointed out, isn't any less annoying.

For those of you who have inquired, my XBox name thingy (I'm saying it proudly and not correcting myself here) is Churlita. Hmmm, what a shock. I guarantee you I will suck at almost every game right now, but I'm drinking milk, and one day I'll grow geekier and nerdier than...Oops. Let's just say, I'm sure I'll get better the more I play. I don't think I'll ever be like the Best Buy employee I was talking to last week who told me he was taking September 25th and 26th off of work to devote two entire days to playing Halo 3, without an annoying old job to get in the way.

I also promise not to talk about all this gaming shit and set-up and stuff quite so much. I actually have a few social engagements planned this week, so I'm sure I'll be able to entertain you all by making an ass out of myself, as I tend to be more than a little socially challenged.

Okay, I better go. Stinky has been sick, so in between all the gaming stuff, I've been making sure she has enough juice and someone to whine to. I'm all about feeding a cold that way.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

You Do What You Wanna Do

Here is a picture of some pumps and some hoses.

So, I opted for plan B on Saturday night. Stinky was at an end of the Summer party at the quarry, and Coadster was at her DJ'ing gig in the Quad Cities. After hearing that Coadster made $50 per hour and got to eat the wedding dinner and cake, I've decided that I'm in the wrong industry. Once she's fully trained, she'll make even more money. So, yeah, maybe she can start giving me an allowance.

Where was I?...Oh yeah, on Saturday night, I stayed home and happily enjoyed my alone time. I worked with my friend G. over the phone on getting my XBox live thing going, but I'm apparently still a ways away. What I really want, is a computer fairy to come over while I'm asleep and set it up for me, but I don't think that will happen. Sigh.

Today, I actually socialized for a couple of hours. Weird, huh? I ran in the morning, so I could meet some friends at The Vine to watch the Steelers game. Personally, I fancy myself a Bears fan, but two of my friends really, really heart the Steelers and they're about my second favorite team. The game was a total blow-out, so after the first big play or two, people stopped jumping out of their seats and clapping, and started to concentrate on drinking and eating wings and other kinds of greasy food. We spent some time trying to write lyrics for songs about chlamydia. It's tough to find many rhymes - "There once was a girl named Lydia. She gave me a horrible case of chlamydia..." See? We did kind of stretch it and used fastidious, but then we got smart and put chlamydia in the middle of the sentence, so we could rhyme better words. I also took a poll to see which of the guys at my table shaved their balls. We were kind of on the subject anyway, and you can't tell me you haven't wondered the same thing about your male friends. You might be surprised to know that only one in four of the men, answered yes to that. Apparently, there was a big fear of nicks and cuts, and who can blame them?

The only drag about drinking beer (I was good and only had one pint) and eating greasy food at noon, was that I couldn't go home and take a nap after the game. I had to take Stinky to the mall to buy black pants for marching band, and then get groceries and come home and grill brats. I'm not complaining, I just think a nap would have been nice.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

If I Were Superman Then We'd Fly Away

...And so it begins. Today was the first home football game here. Even though I've lived in this town for many, many years, it seems that I'm still not above learning new lessons. Like, just because the game doesn't start until seven in the evening, doesn't mean the kids won't be out partying at noon. So, unless I want a bunch of drunk frat boys asking my cleavage for its phone number, (and I really, really, don't) I better stay far away from Kinnick Stadium when I'm running. I suppose the positive thing was all the spectacle I got to witness and viewing all the different ways people found to match black and gold. Apparently, gold knee highs and gold clogs are the thing these days. I couldn't even count how many guy, barbed wire, bicep tattoos I saw and then there are always the Hawkeye striped overalls that look like this:

Ouch! At one point, some young blonde boy was running in the opposite direction and got really excited when he passed me and said, "Running on game day. Yeah!" and gave me both thumbs up. Yeah, indeed.

I'm writing a little earlier tonight because I have two possible ways in which to spend my evening, depending on how things pan out. I could possibly see my friend Ed play at Wild Bill's coffee shop and then maybe meet my friend C., who might come into town in an attempt to escape Fort Madison for the evening, then drink enough beer that eating a Panchero's burrito at two a.m. would seem like a good idea. If that doesn't happen, I'll stay home and watch the Superman movie from last Summer and then play some of my geeky Oblivion game. I'd be happy either way.

On a Wire Between Will and What Will Be

First off tonight, I want to share a YouTube video with you that JWilliam from The Baby Seal Club added to my comments. If you're not a big Motorhead fan, (or even if you are) it might be too loud and creepy for you. Fortunately or unfortunately, it takes a lot for something to be too loud and creepy for me. Anyway, if you're interested, here it is.

Today was Friday and it was okay. We got through the afternoon, like we too often do, by talking about our favorite episodes of The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. Once we ran that into the ground, we all made fun of the one viagra commercial where they use that Elvis song to sing, "Viva Viagra". My main boss was talking about the list of side effects and was trying to imagine how uncomfortable it would be to have an erection lasting longer than four hours. Then my co-worker John said, "If I had a four hour erection, I'd go downtown with it." Then we all had to carry that wonderful image of him walking around downtown showing off.

After work, I dropped the girls off at the high school football game and gave them money for pizza and pop, which is exactly how Donna Reed always fed her kids on TV, I'm sure. Then I went running. The weather was perfect, and just as I was getting to Scott Boulevard, and all full of runner's high, The Breeder's "Cannonball" came on my Mp3 player. My neighbor was running the opposite direction and we very clumsily gave each other a high five as we passed. I felt compelled to add an obnoxious "Whoooo!" to it. I'm always good for that. Later in my run, as I was heading down Dodge Street and getting a little sluggish, "Maniac", by Michael Sembello, came on and quite literally ended my run on a positive note. It could only have been better if there had been someone to spray me with a hose while I ran in place...Maybe next time.

Okay, so here's where I reach out to you, my kind readers, for help. I'm still trying to get my XBox live going. Not so much because I'm ready to play people, (although I'm totally up for playing Uno with Q. and Fringes too, if she plays) but I really, really want to download old school arcade games. Alas, I can't get it going. I hooked it all into my router like it said in the instructions and my computer is working just fine through it, but I'm getting nothing from the XBox. I would be ever so grateful if anyone could tell me what I'm doing wrong.

After I got too frustrated trying to work my XBox, I gave up and watched the first four episodes of this season's Weeds. I had a year of free Showtime and it ends tomorrow, (or today) so I won't get to see the rest of the season until it comes out on DVD. Wah.

Now I gotta crash.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

As The Days Fly Past, Will We Lose Our Grasp?

Here's a picture of a cute, sleepy, little, baby calf. Awwww.

A week or so ago, Poptart wrote that Fall was more of a time of change and resolution for her than the new year. I tend to agree. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, I'm a hibernator. I get kind of excited the first few months of Fall, because I finally get to rest. In the Summer, I feel like I have to be out and about and going, going, going, but once it starts getting colder, I really slow down. So, during the Fall, I tend to get a little more reflective and start gathering the proverbial nuts (hee, hee - nuts) to fortify my lair and make it all nice and cozy.

The last few weeks, I've been doing just that. My new room and my awesome, gigantic bed (oh, how I love memory foam) are set and ready for hours and hours of resting. I've been thinking how nice it would be to get a TV and a mini fridge in there, but then I would never leave my house. I'd lose my job and have to call meals on wheels and my girls wouldn't be able to do any activities... So, maybe I'll hold off on that.

The difference between this Winter and last Winter, is that I'm really going to try harder to leave my house. I went for a few years where I had just given up on trying to date, and frankly, most of the things I like to do are fairly solitary activities, so I was happy to stay home and live in my own little world. But I promised myself that this time, once I feel ready to start dating again, I'm actually going to make an effort - well, at least go out every once in a while. I'm not sure how open I'll be to all the fix-ups my friends and neighbors try. In the past, after meeting one of the guys they told me I'd love, I had to wonder if my neighbor hated me, or just didn't know me at all.

Right now, though? Right now, I'm still not ready (you know, 4,320 times bitten, 8,640 times shy) and so I'm stockpiling all my comfort items in preparation for the very, very long nights ahead.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So I Got Me a Pen and a Paper, and I Made Up My Own Little Sign

So, today we had our staff retreat. As an extra added bonus, you get to view a photo of me being VERY, VERY nervous getting up in front of everyone and speaking. As you can see, public speaking is just not my thang - hence the imaginary bag I'm trying to breathe into. I had to talk about myself and show a picture of me from school, and it was kind of cute when everyone else was sharing...but did I mention that public speaking is not my thang? Good, then you know.

Now, let's move on, shall we? After the retreat, I was just minding my own business, walking out of my building for my usual "get as far away from my cubicle and stroll amongst the downtown freaks (otherwise known as my people) walk", when, what to my wondering eyes should appear - (for those of you keeping track at home, that is the second time in a week or so that I've used verses from "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" on my blog - I love myself) but two, weird homophobic men carrying signs. One sign read, "Outlaw Homosexual Acts" on one side and the other side read, "Sodomy Ruins Lives". These were men, remember. Now, I haven't met every man in the world, to be sure, but most men I have met would say that not getting a blow job would ruin their lives, not the opposite. On my way back, the campus cops were there and one guy who had made his own sign and was holding it up above his head that said, "Gay and Proud". That's a lot of drama there for the first half of my day.

After work, I tried to go running. Coadster had cross country and Stinky was still busy being the volleyball team manager, so I had a whole hour to myself. Of course, when I started running, it was sunny and nice, then suddenly, there were two clouds in the sky, it was still pretty sunny, but it started to downpour. I would have been fine with it, if I hadn't been carrying my cell phone/Mp3 player. I cut my run short and hightailed it home. It worked out okay, because Stinky got out earlier than expected and I was back in time to pick her up.

The rest of the evening, I spent trying to get my XBox live thing going on, and it didn't quite work, then my computer didn't work and then I called the cable company and they helped me figure out that my modem was kind of kooky, but it still stressed me out anyway. I was, however able to complete the circle of beginning my day being all stressed out and breathing into a bag, and then ending the day being all stressed out and breathing into a bag. It's really all about continuity, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

You've Still Got a View of the Summer Sky

Here is Stinky's latest school photo. Coadster didn't get hers yet.

...And here is Stinky's first school photo from kindergarten. It's weird how they change so much in some ways, and not at all in others.

As part of an attempt to get my shit in order, I ran 31 miles from Friday - Monday. It's those equal parts, meditation, escapism and free high that make running so addictive for me. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect for almost the whole long weekend. The other wonderful thing about running, is having an Mp3 player. For me, music makes everything better.

Now, I will warn you for the five thousandth time that I am a girl who loves her cheese. Nowhere is that more evident than in my music preferences. Honestly, I like parts of almost every kind of musical genre, and that means lots and lots of really bad shit too. Really, there's something to offend everyone on my play lists. In the past I've teased Brando about the content of his play lists, in that way we do where we hope everyone focuses on the one finger pointing at someone else's cheese, in order to divert everyone's attention away from the three other fingers pointing back at us, er, me. So, in homage to Brando's (or as his wife affectionately calls him, The Circle Jerker) CJ's Random 11 posts, I'm going to share one of my random running playlists that came up when I put my Mp3 player on shuffle. Brace yourselves.

1. "Smile", by Lily Allen - It's a charming little ditty about a woman enjoying her exe's (who cheated on her) sadness. Quaint.

2. "Theme From Shaft", by Isaac Hayes - Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? SHAFT!... Why can't John Shaft live in my town?

3. "Mr. Brownstone", Guns N' Roses - Awesome music to run to. Duh. It's Guns 'N Muthah Fuckin' Roses, yo.

4. "Loser", Beck - Stinky very pointedly put this on here for me - just in case I forgot what kind of person runs 31 miles in four days. It makes her so happy when I tell her it came on during my run.

5. "I Don't Wanna Go to Rehab", Amy Winehouse - According to my girls, she did just that recently. Oops.

6. "Girl Like You", Edwyn Collins - Yes, this is off of the Empire Records Soundtrack and yes, I own it. No judgements.

7. "5:15" - The Who - Quadrophenia is one of the best albums to run to. When I lived in San Francisco, my ex-boyfriend and I would get high, put our Quadrophenia tapes in our walkmen and go running in the fog at night. It's the closest I've ever come to a liquid state.

8. "Such Great Heights", Iron and Wine - Skip. Sorry. It's too slow for running.

9. "Killed By Death", Motorhead - you can all shut your yaps. I heart Motorhead and no one will ever change my mind.

10. "Cynical Girl", Marshall Crenshaw - What can I say? Every girl's gotta have a theme song.

11. "Hard Luck Woman", KISS - Oh, wait. Maybe this is my theme song.

12. "Stranglehold", Ted Nugent - Yeah, we all know The Nuge has tons of scary issues. I find it easier to enjoy his music, if I just think of him as a cartoon character.

13. "Right Back Where We Started From", Maxine Nightingale - This. Song. Is. Awesome. Shut-up.

14, "Dancin' in the Moonlight", King Harvest - You're welcome to argue with me, but this very well might be the best pop song ever written.

15. "Know Your Onion", The Shins - It's gotta good beat and you can run to it.

16. "Tempted", Squeeze - The second best pop song ever written.

17. "Search and Destroy", Iggy Pop - I have to be careful, because sometimes this song makes me want to go find an innocent bystander, just so's I can kick his/her ass.

Okay. We're finally done. Once again, you are now free to feel superior. It's why I blog - to build you up.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Somethin's Burnin'

Here is a picture of a taffy pulling sign that I thought was kind of fun and kitschy.

First, I want to thank everyone and all their well wishing from my last post. I went to bed and the first couple of hours were rough, but somewhere during the night, the pain subsided. I've gone an entire day without a migraine and it's been wonderful. We'll see what happens when I go back to work tomorrow. I had a dream last night that only me and one other person showed up for work and we had to do everything that thirteen people normally do. I also had a dream that I worked at the Hy-Vee deli and I smelled exactly like the plastic wrap taste of the food there. So, apparently, I'm stressing out a little bit about going back to work...And smelling bad.

Except for the migraine, my weekend was grand. (as my Irish ex-boyfriend used to say) I was really good about hanging out by myself on Sunday and today. The girls were out and about and last night, while under the influence of my brain pain, I stupidly told Stinky she could have a couple of friends stay the night after the fireworks from the Regina Fall Fun Festival. Because, really, nothing is better for a migraine than three thirteen year old girls cranking bad pop music, singing to it, and dancing around.

I won't go into any detail about the shit I got done around the house, since it bores me to even think about it. Suffice it to say, I should come home from work to a clean house, that won't stay that way. Sigh. The most exciting thing about it, was that my vacuum cleaner died. Every time some appliance breaks, I'm always sure it's going to explode, (uh, spaz much, Churly?) but this time, my Don Knotts, bug-eyed spazzing was a little justified, since there were actual sparks shooting out of the vacuum. I took Stinky with me to get a new one and then we had burgers and shakes for dinner, just like they do in those old TV shows where teenagers hang-out at the soda fountain with their pals Chip and Kitten. The only difference is that we didn't go to a cool soda fountain, and Stinky found a fly dying in her milk shake. (for real - and we didn't put it there either) She got another shake and a free dessert, so it was fine in the end.

Tonight, was more mellowness. My friend G. offered to help me with any of my XBox questions and so I took him up on it. I'm not very good at asking for help, but if someone offers, then heaven help them. Poor guy. He was very helpful, but I'm sure if he had to hear me say the word "thingy" over the phone one more time, he probably would have thrown his cell phone across the room.

My Head's gonna Crack Like a Bank

Tonight I am migraine girl. I was going to try to write a post, but my brain is all wonky. So, instead I'll just wish you a quiet and painless night.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

What You Don't Have, You Don't Need It Now

Here is a cowboy boot made of barbed wire for $15.

Today was kind of perfect. I like to document those days, just in case someone complains that all I ever do on here is whine. I actually did exactly what I said I'd do a couple of posts ago. I spent the day appreciating my friends and my daughters.

Coadster was gone most of the day at a cross country meet in the Quad Cities. She'll be gone most of next weekend in the Quad Cities again to DJ a wedding. She was told today that she'd have to play a lot of new country music, which she isn't super happy about, but she makes enough money to suffer through it.

Stinky and I met my friends out for lunch. We ate a lot of appetizers and sushi, Stinky tried everything except for sushi, and ate sweet and sour chicken instead. Hey, what do you want, she's thirteen? We talked about how we missed our friend J. already, even though he'd only been gone about 24 hours and we planned another girl night. On September 13th a bunch of our friends' band are playing at the Picador. It's a school night, so I'm going to have to take the next day off. It's perfect, because it's a Friday so I'll get another three day weekend. My friend T. made us (meaning me) stop talking about nasty, hair clogged drain stories. So, instead I made fun of how Stinky and her friends just talk about boys, and my friend S. pointed out that it wasn't all that much different than our conversations. Will we ever grow out of talking about stupid old boys?

After lunch we went to the mall. You know I'm not a big shopper, but it was way more fun to look at shoes with other girls. Stinky is a HUGE shoe lover, so she was in hog heaven. The only drag about shopping with my girlfriends, is that I was tempted to buy a lot more stuff than I would have by myself. Normally, I go somewhere, get exactly what I want and leave. Stinky and I did end up leaving before everyone else, so she could get ready to meet her friends at the catholic school's big carnival/beer bash they have every year on Labor Day weekend.

I went running, and while I was huffing and puffing down Park Road, my friends were just coming back from the mall. There was much honking and woo-hooing and it was hard to laugh and run at the same time, but I managed it.

Now, it's Saturday night, my girls are carnivalling and then going to their dad's house. I have just spent a great and wonderful afternoon with Stinky and my friends and plan to spend a relaxing evening dorking-out by myself. I might have to balance out all that girliness by watching Dave Chappelle or a Jack Ass marathon or something.

The end.