Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Said, "Do That Hand Jive One More Time"

Today I decided to bring my camera to work in order to take some photos of the amazing flowering trees, and then maybe break-up the monotony of inputting information into my computer all day by going out on my breaks to see if I could capture some other arresting images.

Well, holy shit. I done hit the jack pot. That's right. I went out on my three o'clock break, and what did I see just sitting out there on the Pentacrest in front of god and everybody, but a real live mime. Not only that, but he was trying to propagate his species by training some other poor soul to join his speechless minions.

Now, before you start freaking out about how I'm being all prejudiced and feel like you need to call the ACLU on me, just let me reveal a little secret to you: I married a mime. (that should be the name of my new sitcom) My ex-husband actually studied with Marcel Marceau in the seventies. For real. Yes, I was young and impressionable, but sometimes those mistakes follow you around for life, because that also means my girls are half mime.

I was a little worried when Coadster was born with a strawberry colored birthmark on the back of her head that it might be some kind of "band of the invisible box making hand" sign. But now I can breathe a big sigh of relief, because both the girls have come out of puberty and I've never once caught them alone in their rooms trying to pull an imaginary rope. Whew. I think we might be in the clear.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well They're the People That You Meet When You're Walking Down the Street

Here's me being obnoxious and sticking my tongue out at you. Now there's something you don't see every day...Or maybe it is.

I was sitting around pondering what to write about tonight. It's Tuesday and I gave myself a night to relax, since for the next two weeks I should be running around like a crazy(er) person. I was kicking around the idea of writing about the dangers of texting, because Coadster told me one of her friends was texting a boy she liked and accidentally sent him a text that was intended for her girlfriend where she gushed about how excited she was to be texting said boy. I also wanted to say that I RSVP'ed my friend Libby's husband R.'s 40th birthday party with this:

Hey there honey bunches of oats. I'm officially RSVP'ing for the bowling party on the 16th. I checked with my daughter, and for some reason she doesn't want to hang out with her mommy on her 16th birthday party. Who knew? Apparently, though, I am allowed to give her money so she can party with her friends. Awesome.

I will warn you that I haven't bowled since junior high, so the comic factor should be really high.

Okay. See you at the alley.


She responded thusly:

I love you.

Which made my extremely boring day at work that much better. If you knew Libby, you would totally understand. I run into her sometimes in the mornings when I'm on my way to work and she's walking her dogs. When I ask her how she is, she always responds with, "I'm just a little bit better than everyone else." And it really is true. Oh, and she swears a lot. See? Now you can like her too.

So, I guess that's all I've got to say in this post. Feel free to tell me about one of your favorite people in the comments.

Monday, April 28, 2008

And You Could Just About Find a Freak Anywhere

Here is a picture of some leftovers in the hallway on the weekend of the state pool tournament.

So, today after work was just unbridled craziness. There was a track meet and then picking the other one up from soccer and then dropping that one back at school for the solo fest and then me going to the high school to witness said solo fest and then taking both girls to their dad's. Whew. Shit.

Hey, I'm kinda tired. I think I'll finally do that meme that Q tagged me for. I'll post the rules so you can see what I was supposed to do, and then you'll know exactly how I'm breaking them.

Here are the rules:

1. link the person who tagged you. Q

2. mention the rules in your blog…

3. tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours

4. tag 6 following bloggers by linking them. leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

Here are my quirks:

1. When I was a kid I used to play with the cans in the pantry like dolls. You know, the giant Dinty Moore Stew can was the dad, the bigger soup can was the mom, the regular Campbell soup cans were the teenagers and the Bumble Bee tuna cans were the babies. Every once in a while when I walk past a pantry, I get the urge to go in and create a little world.

2. I have the ugliest feet ever. Is that a quirk, a disfigurement or just a turn-off? I know a lot of people think they have ugly feet, but those people haven't been running since they were 10 - the first five years in those flat basketball looking shoes.

3. I have an unnatural love of eating popcorn. I'm not sure if I could ever get tired of it. What? WHAT?!

4. I play with my hair a lot. Don't worry, I have a reason. You know me, I'm lousy with excuses. It's because it's super curly and it dreads up at the drop of a hat. When I straighten it, I still play with it, because then I have to make sure my edges aren't starting to frizz.

5. I love to make up stories about people I don't know in bars. If it's a couple, I try to imagine what their relationship is like by watching their interactions. When I worked at a coffee shop/ice cream joint called Great Midwestern, me and my friend Ben used to play, "guess the customer's situation" and make up all kinds of shit about unsuspecting coffee drinkers. It's actually pretty fun. You should try it sometime if you're bored and at a bus stop or wherever.

6. Everything. Do people really only have 6 unspectacular quirks, or is it just a way to limit it and keep bloggers from blathering on and on about how adorably quirky they are? Because you know how much I love to go on and on about how adorably quirky I am.

Okay. Now you can guess which part of the rules I ignored. Oh, and do this meme if you find yourself fancying it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bloat, Bloat On

Okay. The Saturday Scavenger Hunt word this week was stuffed. There were so many different ways to take this, but I finally settled on one.

I don't think I have to tell you how much I like making sandwiches at bars, do I? It's that perfect combination of ridiculous and fun that I can't get enough of. At first, the other people in the bar may raise their eyebrows in some kind of "less dorkier than thou" judgment, but you know, for me, that just makes it more fun.

So, last night we chose two very fun slabs of bread and set to making human sandwiches. Each one was goofier than the next. Oh, in case you're wondering...Just because you are making a sandwich, it may not necessarily hide the fact that you spilled your beer down the front of your shirt. I'd like to say I was really drunk when I did it, but really, I'm just messy.

Eventually, the people who were once judging, came by to witness the fun close-up. At one point a girl (who's photo isn't on here) came up and called me and another woman "fiesta girls" and told us how great she thought we were. I'm never sure if those people really mean it, or if they're being facetious and making fun of us. I like to assume they really mean it. It's much better for my self-esteem that way.

I have no idea who this guy is, but he was very excited to be the meat in the sandwich and kept saying, "I get to be the meat. I get to be the meat," Over and over again. I kept my mouth shut and didn't tell him that we had all been the meat before him. What the hell, I'll let him feel special if that's all it takes.

Oh, and let me bring this all back around to the Saturday Scavenger Hunt word, okay? After four bar sandwiches, I sure am stuffed. Yeah, I know it's cheesy, but when you do yours late, all the cool takes on the word have already been covered. Sue me.

I was also tagged to pick the next word. So, I think I'm going to go with opportunity. I'm curious to see what all your opportunities look like.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Heard You Singing, You Sounded Brave

Here is my friend W.'s dog wearing a Western shirt and with a bunch of different people's hands and feet in her face.

So, for not having any plans, last night turned out rather well. As usual, I trucked a bunch of junior high kids around, and then I let them off downtown where they were going to meet some more friends and dine at Panchero's and then go to the student union and see a free performance by a band called Quiet Drive.

I then met my friends' K., S., and H. and H.'s house where they were drinking tequila. I abstained, because I knew I had more driving of junior high kids planned for later and now when I think about drinking tequila, I hear my friend Rory's voice in my head saying, "You always take a wrong turn at tequila." After a little bit, we went to the Picador to see Jon Langford and Sally Timms of the Mekons perform for free. Free is good and their show was excellent. It was more acoustic than punk and Sally not only played a ukulele, but this accordion looking thing, and I'm not sure what you'd call it. Anyway, it sounded great and I am a big fan of using less ordinary intruments. You know, play a mandolin, or xylophone, or a zither or cowbell and I'm all in. It's just that I've seen a lot of live music in my life, and so much of it is guitar, bass and drums. It's just nice to see something different.

The show ended before 11, just as my daughter's show was finishing up, so it was perfect timing. The rest of the night included me picking up kids, taking them home and then watching a movie until I fell asleep. Again, not a bad night at all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Even My Mama Thinks That My Mind is Gone

Here are some train tracks running parallel to the Mississippi River.

Well, kids. I don't have much for you tonight. Not that I ever do, but this time I'm REALLY boring. I could revert to one of my favorite crutches, writing a conversation I had with junior high kids on the way home from track practice, and then I could tell you about my nonexistent plans for the weekend. Does that work? No? Too bad. It's all I got.

I was taking Stinky's male friend J. home from track practice and they were trying to flash stupid gang signs and I did my mom duty by doing my best to deglorify gangs. I told them that when I lived in Los Angeles in 1988, you could get shot just for wearing red or blue depending on if you were on the wrong side of town. Stinky was doubtful and didn't understand much about the Crips or the Bloods so I told her the little I knew and tried really hard to make it sound unattractive. (but one thing I learned in the early eighties is that there's no fighting MTV video images) Then J. says, "yeah. My uncle got shot just for wearing plaid."

And I'm all, "Really? Who did that piss off? I guess I've never heard of a gang that wears plaid..."

"Well, he ran into a wild bunch of golfers," J. said. And I got to feel like a total asshole for being gullible for one and now I'm almost certain I've heard that joke before and forgot it, so now I get to start stressing about my early onset of Alzheimer's for two.

Now, on to my weekend plans....Well, uh. The truth is, I don't really have any and I'm not sure how I feel about that. There's a part of me that's kind of glad and I'm thinking about all the shit I could be getting done around the house, but then there's that other part of me that wants to find an excuse not to do anything around the house and would like to have some options.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What If All These Fantasies Come Flailing Around?

Blogger seems to be all tweaked out and it won't even give me the code to upload a photo. So, all you get are words from me tonight.

I had this dork-ass kitschy post all planned out, but then when Blogger started being such a bitch and getting all stubborn with me, I decided to give up and just write it out without the cheesy shit (or at least, not AS cheesy).

So, last night I had this really, really bad dream. I woke up all stressed-out and had to check my girls to make sure they were okay (I counted them - one, two - one,two)and then the door to make sure it was locked. That was at 3:30 am. The rest of the night, I would start to fall asleep and try to wake myself back up again, so as not to land back into the bad dream. Now I don't even remember what scared the shit out of me, but last night, I was terrified.

Today was sleep deprivation day for me. My attention span totally ran out on me. I still went to supper club after work, but I had kicked around the idea of getting a drink after that, and decided against it. My friend Colleeny weinie was in town and we were going to try to meet up as well, but she left her cell phone in a different car and the other friends she was with didn't have my number, so we missed each other. She'll be back in town again really soon, and I'll get to see her then. it was probably for the best, as she wasn't in the best place after dealing with her sick mom for the last few days, and I would have been no help to her on account of being all sleep deprived and shit.

What I did do at eight o'clock was go home, pick up Coadster from the bus after her out of town soccer game was over and hang out in my lair and watch a totally fucking stupid movie. It was really all I was up for, but exactly what I needed. The end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Where We Really Want to Go and We'll Walk in the Sun

My mom on one of her adventures. Possibly Bermuda?

So, you know lately I've been talking about taking the girls on that road trip to California, and then the minute I do, the gas prices get all ridiculous and try to stop me. If I were a smarter girl, I'd probably cancel it and just take the girls to the State Fair like we do every year, but I think I'm just going to be fiscally irresponsible and take them anyway.

I love a good road trip. I always have. My mom traveled a lot before she got married, and then she had to settle for driving us around to cool places in Arizona because we were so poor. My big fantasy when I was younger, was that I'd buy a big station wagon when I became an adult and just drive from place to place for the rest of my life. You know, just like the Hulk.

My brother tanning on his '75 Caprice Classic at Papago Park in 1984.

When I was eighteen, my brother, my middle sister and I drove down to see my oldest sister back in Arizona. Back then we drove down in my brother's gigantic Chevy. Now the gas alone would cost us thousands of dollars in that car.

Me and my family, pretty cold and miserable at The Golden Gate Bridge.

The first trip I made to San Francisco was with my family in 1977, I think. I had no idea how cold it was going to be. I also didn't know how much I would love the city when I was older. I lived in San Francisco on and off from 1985 -1988. It was a perfect place to spend my early twenties. I can't wait to show it off to my daughters. I haven't been there in twenty years, so we'll see if it holds up to my memory. I'm pretty sure the dance clubs don't play Gang of Four anymore, do they?

Here's me and my first boyfriend when I lived in Leggett, Ca.

In my trip planning, I've decided not to head up to Mendocino and Humboldt Counties where I lived in 1985, like I originally thought I would. The gas thing has me trimming things up a bit, and I just can't fit it in. Instead we'll go to Yosemite and Sequoia and King's Canyon before we finally head to the Coast and up to San Francisco.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to let go of my dream of seeing Southern Utah on this trip also. I only have so much time and money. I think we'll be overwhelmed enough with what we're doing.

Stinky at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, South Dakota for my fortieth birthday trip in 2005.

My girls have also inherited my wander lust. They love the whole process and are actually pretty great in the car for long stretches. We are an awesome roadtrip crew.

Coadster at Mt Evans in Colorado in 2000.

Coadster has a sense of direction and is an excellent co-pilot. She always makes sure all my food, drink and music needs are met while I drive. Stinky is the one who pushes us to take more risks and do more stuff that Coadster and I might just by-pass for a safer, more mellow option. Which means I may have to ride a rollercoaster with her on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

My friend Eggo's husband has been really helpful in the planning of my trip. He left a mysteriously anonymous comment a month back or so, and then asked me about my trip while at the Dublin one night and cleared up my confusion. He has told me of a cool place to stop in Wyoming, which was the only hole in my trip. Now we have amazing points of interest all the way down I-80...Okay, except Nebraska. I'm going to drive through as much of that at night as possible.

Even though it seems a way off, I really need to get cracking and reserve rooms and camping spots and start making lists of all the crap we're going to need. As usual, I'm hoping to stumble over my trust fund before now and the end of July too, so I can thumb my nose at the heinous gas prices.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Did My Words Not Come Out Right?

Here is a picture of a building in Davenport. I just liked the look of it.

Today was nice and warm and mellow. The girls were supposed to go to their dad's house, but they stayed with me until a little after nine. It was fine. I got to catch up on all the teen drama and tried to keep straight which friends they were on the ins and the outs with and then my head exploded.

This weekend was also on the mellow side. I caught up on sleep and got some cleaning done finally. I went out for a few hours both nights. On Friday we went to the Foxhead because our friend Brad was tending bar. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of people there who I loved and I had a great time. It's just that there always tend to be certain uptight pretentious grad students who are WAY too cool for school, who make me want to be even more obnoxious than usual. Mostly though, I had a great time and spent all my energy on my friends in the bar and some drunk texting to people outside of the bar and it was great.

On Saturday I met my friend K. and her boyfriend A. at the Dublin. It was one of those weird nights there where there weren't very many regulars. It just meant that we had to give Scooter the bartender more of a hard time. I asked him to make me a girly shot and he told me I didn't really want one (which is what I predicted he would say) and then when I assured him I did, he said he would surprise me and K. with one and made us a really good and girly pineapple upside down cake shot. My friend K. said he would be into it and make us something good because he likes to mix drinks, so she got to be right too.

We talked to him about Rock of Love 2, because he's surprisingly really into that show. Then, not more than a half hour later, someone called down and told Scooter that Brett Michaels' tour bus was in front of the bar. I told him I'd go check it out. He asked me if I'd knock on the door of the bus and I said, "Duh. Of course". So, I went outside and knocked on the door of the bus. An old guy who looked like he could be from Keokuk, Iowa opened the door.

"Hi. Um, what's this bus for?" I asked.

"It's a charter bus," he responded, only slightly annoyed. I knew better than to ask straight out if it was Brett Michaels tour bus because it was looking less and less likely to be true and I doubted he had even heard of Poison.

"Okay, but what's it for?"

"It's for a bachelorette party," he said and I thanked him. I knew he wasn't lying to try to get rid of me either, since I didn't see even one bandana or cowboy hat on that bus.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feet On the Ground, Head in the Sky

So, have I ever told you guys how awesome Iowa can be when it finally warms up and actually stops raining for a day? Well, It's really great. We all try to stay outside as much as possible and take advantage of the weather, because we all know how fast it can change back.

Today was one of those wonderful Iowa Spring days where everyone was that much happier from the feel of sun on skin and the freedom of slipping on a pair of flip flops and being able to comfortably go for a walk outside. I, of course, ran my eight mile route and it was heavenly.

When I went to the store this afternoon, I ran into my friend Eggo and she started talking about Morrell mushroom hunting. She and her husband had been out hiking and saw the May apples, and everyone in Iowa knows that means we have about a week before we can start looking for Morrells. She was kicking around the idea of having a camping party out in the country one weekend night here soon, where we all go mushroom hunting and then spend the night so we can drink and not have to drive home and wake up and make Morrell omelettes the next morning. I literally raised my hand and told her to be sure and pick me to be a part of that.

Then later this evening, I went to a kid friendly cook-out at my friend K's most wonderfully amazing boyfriend A.'s place. The food was oh, so good and I met some new people who I really loved. So much so, in fact, that I had to gush all over them and tell them how great I thought they were before I left. Stinky came along and thought all of A.'s friends were really cool too...And that's coming from a teenager, so you know it had to be true.

Anyway, it's been one of those days where I want to stop my life, so I can wallow in how lucky I am. Do you ever have those days where you look around and think, "Damn! I really have it pretty good"? Yeah, well I do a lot and I don't always take the time out to appreciate it. But today? Today, I'm stopping to smell the warm loamy Iowa Spring air and recognize just how good I have it. I hope you all are in a place to do that too.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Words Have Always Nearly Hung Me

Hey, check me out. I'm doing the Saturday Scavenger Hunt on Saturday for a change. The word this week is communication. There are definitely many different forms of communication. Some people are talkers, others are quiet and let their eyes do their speaking for them, and some people (like me) gesticulate wildly and jump up and down and use their outside voices everywhere they go to spout mountains of bullshit. The other side of the communication, is the listener. I happen to have a job where I speak to many, many international students over the phone every day. I've had to learn to become a very good listener. That doesn't mean when I'm out with my friends, however, that I always listen well, or even let people finish their sentences before I get really excited about what they're saying and jump in. You know, we all have things we need to work on, right?

The picture above is from the state pool tournament when one of my friends wasn't quite listening to the other, when she told her she didn't want her to try to bite her breast. So, she quite literally made her talk to the hand. At that moment, it was the only language she could understand...And that's why she's my girl crush.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Want to Tell You Something You've Known All Along

Hey, here's this creepy gingerbread thing we found just sitting at the bar where we met the kilt wearing boys.

So, this is my 500th post on this here blog and I don't really have much to say. You'd have thought I would have saved something monumental, but I got nuthin'.

I went to see my friend Ed Gray play at the Picador tonight and that was cool. My girl crush might come into town tomorrow night and that's the coolest. I suppose I could put a text conversation I had on here from last Friday night. I'll warn you first that's it's completely wrong and inappropriate and so if you're easily offended, you probably won't want to read on. If you're not, it's just kind of ridiculous. I won't put the names of anyone involved on here either. Oh, and don't be surprised when it sounds like two 10 year olds. Remember, one of them is me.

Me: How's uranus?

Other Texter: My turd cutter is just fine thank you.

Me: Our friend (the person who was sitting next to me at the bar) is grossed out by the term turd cutter.

Other Texter: Our friend needs to get her shit pushed in.

Me: What? Do you mean ass fucked?

Other Texter: Excuse me. Our friend needs to have anal intercourse.

Me: Thanks for clearing that up.

See what I mean? Wrong, bad, immature and perfect for my 500th post. I think it sums up my blog nicely, don't you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Search for the Beat in This Dirty Town

I took this pic at the pool tournament. They just had tubs everywhere there.

So, my weekday life consists of going to soccer games or track meets almost every day. Since my ex doesn't have a working car, I also have to run the girls every single place they have to go. Which is fine. It's all part of having kids and stuff and I love going to their events. In fact, Stinky got voted athlete of the week at her junior high this week because she got first place in discus and third place in shot. But you want to know what else I love? I love Wednesday nights, because after 7, I have the evening to myself, that's what.

It may have been because the weather was so nice, but tonight was actually really wonderful. I picked up girls from their practices, then I ran for a bit and then dropped off girls at their dad's house. Finally, I went to Sam's Pizza for supper club. It was a little smaller group tonight, but all the people who ever come are wonderful, so it doesn't matter who shows and who doesn't.

After supper club, we stopped by my beautiful friend S's house for a cook out. Because it was so nice out, and also because it's supposed to be way colder and rainy tomorrow, our friend Rory and his fiance E. were also having a BBQ. The best thing about it, was that they only live two houses away from each other, so I got to make the rounds. S.'s cook out had young kids and they were all totally into having a dance party with me. Then I stopped by my friend Rory's BBQ and there were just really cool people there too. I've always loved my friend Libby's husband, R., but I didn't know him all that well. Tonight we started talking and realized that we had almost all the same friends. That's always been the weird thing about this town. I can know every person of a particular group of friends, but not have met that one guy for whatever reason.

Okay. As much as I hate to see it end, my free, fun, me night is over. Tomorrow it's back to driving and attending my kids' sporting events and grocery getting and all that cleaning that didn't magically get done while I was out this evening.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

'Cause I Remember What a Night

Here is a picture of the mighty Mississippi for Gyuss. Since he's going to be canoeing down it in a few months, I thought he'd want to see how it's doing right now.

Today I'm combining a couple of things. I never got around to doing the Saturday Scavenger Hunt thingy. I thought I'd mix it up with the rest of this post. So, here goes:

I know I said last week that Sunday the 13th marked the two year anniversary of the tornado that took the roof off my house and the back window out of car, right? Well, let me tell you what we did to commemorate it.

This is where I do the Scavenger hunt part. The word this week was sharp. This is the house right next door, and the tornado took all the cars and smashed them together making for many sharp edges. It also busted out most of the windows in the neighborhood, and all that sharp glass meant that we probably still shouldn't walk around barefoot even two years later. See how I tied it all together?

In my neighborhood, we like to celebrate everything - even the bad stuff. We also like food and beer and music and apparently, very loud people. Have I ever mentioned how much I like my neighbors? Anyway, we had the party in the alley between Hotz and Rochester Street. There was an outdoor fireplace, much alcohol, tons and tons of food, and this guy, Dave Zollo played and sang in one of the neighbors garages. We joked a little about how much our neighborhood had expanded in the last year, as it seems like a lot of people from other places crashed it to get to hear Dave play for free (or a small donation). I did not choose to partake in the drinking of alcohol, since I didn't see the need for any more after Saturday. I did eat food and enjoy the music (especially the part where one of our neighbors was drunk dancing and actually fell down).

Mostly, I was happy to hang out with my friend Joanne and her girlfriend Stacy. They really crack my shit up. Joanne always laughs at me for dating men, but she seems to get a kick out of my awkward male/female relationship stories. On Sunday, I had plenty of goofy dating stories for her to make fun of. I'm always happy to brighten someone's day.

During these events, the kids in the neighborhood generally run around in packs. I remember last Summer one of the neighbors saying, "Maybe if we cut one away from the herd, we can weaken them and they won't be able to hunt us down later on." Which is what it feels like when you get all those kids together and many of them are now teenagers - like we'll all end up with our heads on sticks before the party's over.

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera. There's nothing more entertaining than trying to watch a bunch of White people dance and I would have loved to present you with that. You'll just have to wait until the next neighborhood party, when I haven't spent the weekend at a pool tournament and my mind is a little sharper.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We'll Leave the TV and the Radio Behind

Okay, so now where was I again? Oh yeah. When we last left the pool tournament, my friends and I were dorking out at the first bar, and getting updates about where the kilt boys were roaming.

We finally caught up with them at a bar called Shenanigans. How perfect. At first I was worried that the bar may not quite be my kind of place, but then we found a quiet little table by all the games and put up stakes there. We were able to have our private, dorked-out dance party and no one else seemed to mind or notice.

But as with all good times, there always comes a last call and we had to head back to the hotel. The kilt guys were staying at the same place, so we all walked together. As we passed the walkway to the riverboat casino, the guys asked us if we'd ever been up there before. None of us had, so we took the elevator up just to see the lights. They told us that the lights changed with movement and had us run down the hall in order to chase the rainbow.

On the way back, we ran into these little Emo high school skater boys who asked us if we had weed. Uh, yeah. Maybe they thought guys running around in skirts chasing rainbows had to be high, but really, we were all just drunk and we didn't have any alcohol we'd share with them either.

We were all going back to the elevator, but I stopped for a minute to see if I could get some action shots of the stoner Emo skater dudes and when I headed to the elevator, the doors had already closed. It was fine. I figured I'd just go down the stairs and meet them on the first floor. As I was running down the stairs, one of the kilt guys met me. He told me they realized they had left me and per our "no person left behind policy", the rest of the group took the elevator back up to find me.

We headed down to greet all the kids at the elevator. And if you were wondering if there was anything under those kilts...

...You can probably guess by the look on their faces, that to some people, Commando is more than just a movie with Arnold Shwarzenegger - it's a lifestyle choice.

We finally made it back to the hotel, and the guys invited us to swim, hot tub and/or hang out in their room and drink some more. All of which we politely declined. We'd already had more fun than we could handle, and we didn't want to ruin it by extending it even further. And true to their totally non creepy natures, the guys were cool and didn't press it.

Because, honestly, the next morning was hard enough as it was. I probably would have had to have been carried out on a stretcher if I had any more fun or less sleep.

As I was driving home, I was still riding on the fumes of the magical world of the state pool tournament, and because of that, the first song that came on my iPod as I turned onto I-80 was Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out", and each song thereafter was better and better, and the weirdness from Friday was almost forgotten...Or at least overshadowed by the wonderfulness of the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well the Kids Are All Hopped Up and Ready to Go

So, this weekend was kind of a roller coaster. Friday night was hard for me for reasons I won't go into on here, but the weirdness carried into Saturday and I wasn't at all sure that I was in the mood to drive to the Quad Cities for the pool tournament.

As I've said before, I went for a four year period where I rarely went out and didn't date at all. Part of it was that I can be a bit of a homebody, but most of it was that I was scared of putting myself out there and getting hurt. Last year I vowed to just suck it up and make myself go do stuff. And yes, I have been hurt since then, but it's easily been overcome by the crazy wonderful experiences I've had. So, I decided to keep on keeping on, and made myself drive to the tournament.

As usual, the pay off was huge. State pool tournament land is different than the normal world. I walked into the hotel room and all my favorite girls were there, along with some new amazing women I hadn't yet met. The Ramones were on the CD player, and there was every kind of junk food imaginable, as well as lots and lots of drinks.

All of that sounds great, right? But not in comparison to the company. These women are awesome. They are total straight shooters, they don't backstab or stir shit and they are always there when you need them. They also respect their own relationships, and if they aren't in one, they respect everyone else's too. It sounds impossible, but they really are that cool. Plus, they had a strict no woman left behind policy for the weekend, so you didn't have to worry if you got too drunk or couldn't keep up.

The girls were done playing pool by the time I arrived, but they took the time to show me around the tournament, and even pointed out the woman who offered my friend T. a lap dance after their game. Then we decided to venture out into the big city of Davenport.

The first bar we entered was called Buzzie's, I think. The downstairs area was crowded and not very inviting, but there was the promise of cheese fries, so we soldiered on to the upstairs area where we found this large banquet table and decided to take a Last Supper inspired photo of the team. I think it turned out more than a little awesome.

The other side of the upstairs area was full of pool playing boys in kilts. For real. I know, we were all amazed by our own dumb luck too. They were from Cedar Rapids and there for the tournament. They told us they weren't allowed to wear their kilts during the tournament. When we got all up in arms about how sexist that was, one of them said, "Yeah, but we also don't have to have periods or go through menopause, so we can't get all that upset about it." Okay, they were our new best friends.

Because state tournament world is different than the real world, these guys were all cute and goofy and not the least bit creepy. They were all about having fun and they not only weren't intimidated by our bawdy, rowdy ways, they actually thought we were charming. See what I mean? This would never have happened at any other place or time.

The boys finally left to check out other bars, but not before one of our girls was smart enough to give them her number. They called and texted to let us know where they were at each new bar while we stayed a little longer to play pool, or in my case, to act like a total fucking idiot. Hey, I gotta go with my strengths.

Since this is already too long, I'm going to call this part one, and finish with part two tomorrow. Night night.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Always Searching for Paradise

This is a picture of the last time Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on me. Damn, but she has a horrible temper.

So, we're getting mighty close to the second anniversary of the tornado. In fact, it happened on April 13th, which will be a Sunday but it was a Thursday night two years ago. Just in case we forgot that stress, Mother Nature decided to remind us again tonight by creating all kinds of scary severe weather and flooding.

I almost had one of those Weather Channel experiences where I was driving one of Stinky's friends home and hit this lake in the middle of the road. I know they always tell you to "turn around and don't drown", but when it's dark outside, you don't even know you've hit it until your car is practically floating. I think it's time to have another little talk with Mother Nature and remind her that I don't litter, I reduce, reuse AND recycle, so maybe she could cut me some slack and get off my ass for fuck's sake.

I'm still working on plans for our big trip to California this Summer. My friend G. told me that AAA had something on their website where you could plug in nine different destinations and it would map out your trip for you, but I can't seem to find it. If any of you have used that particular feature and know how I can access it, let me know.

Since, I'm starting to get a little random here, I'll just tell you about my XBox live thingy. I talked to FMDM tonight and it sounds like he knows how to fix my issues (just about the XBox, I'm sure my other issues just scare the hell out of him). Of course, he was in the middle of his own shit storm on top of the real storm going on, so we'll just wait for a better time to get it working.

Okay, tomorrow night I hope to have a nice relaxing evening after getting the girls where they need to go. My favorite bartender is working, so I warned him that I may have to go down and have a beer and flip him as much shit as humanly possible for a bit tomorrow night and my friend K. might meet me down there too.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I Feel Like Swirlin' and Dancing

Here's me and my girl crush bringing out the guns.

Today two of my friends celebrated birthdays. One was my friend A. who lives in Texas and who I love and I've blogged about how wonderful she is on here several times now. I really wish I could have bought her a drink and had my daughters watch her boys so we could go out and properly acknowledge the day of her birth. Maybe next year...

I was, however, able to help my friend Schecky celebrate hers. Supper Club was at the Hilltop this week, which also happened to be where Shecky was hanging out, so it was perfect. It was the first time I had seen Shecky in about a month, so I was so happy to get to shoot the shit with her. I normally get home from Supper Club about eight, but my favorite bartender S. and his lovely wife K. came by to escort Shecky to The Dublin and they asked if I would meet them there. Who was I to say no?

The Dublin was great fun. We had all kinds of wrong conversations and my favorite bartender came close to making me spit out my drink not just once, but twice. My friend W. told me that some very attractive guys she knew were hot for me. Here's my question, why wouldn't they tell me that? If you're a single guy who reads my blog and you're attracted to someone, do you tell them? And if you don't, why not?

We also discussed some of the details of the upcoming weekend. I know I mentioned it once before, but on Saturday I'm meeting the Dublin girls pool team at the state pool tournament in the Quad Cities. It should be a frighteningly good time. We may or may not have the topless pillow fights we teased my friend L.'s husband about, but I'm sure we'll be up to no good in many, many other ways. When I asked the girls what the men at the pool tournament were like, they said it was hit and miss. Shecky said that out of 500 men, there might be 100 that were doable. As far as I'm concerned, those odds aren't too bad. Or maybe I've just lived in Iowa City too long...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We're All the Same Whatever We Do

Hey, lookee here. Stinky was finally able to take pictures of herself outside this weekend. And, the best thing was, there's no snow on the ground. Of course, now it just rains every day, but I was the one who was dumb enough to choose to live in Iowa, so I really have to just shut-up and take it, right?

First, I want to thank everyone for all your well wishing. It must have really helped later in the day. I woke up this morning and still felt like shit. The rest of the day looked like this: Felt like shit, felt like shit, felt like shit - then around 5 o'clock I had a total turn around and felt a million times better. The drag was that it seemed like I wasted two full days while I slept and watched movies and then slept some more. But I must have needed it.

Now I'll try to be raring to go for the rest of the week. I'm sure for me that means driving from soccer games to track meets to pick up tons of kids and take them to their houses. Today when I drove two of Stinky's friends who's names both started with J. home, our conversation sounded like this:

Stinky: Mom, it's J's birthday today so don't forget to say happy birthday to her...But don't say it all surly or dorky. Just say it nice and normal.

Me: (talking to the boy named J. who just got into my car) Get out!

Boy J: Oh, I'm sorry. Stinky said you'd give me a ride...

Me: I'm kidding. Get in the car.

Boy J: (talking to girl named J. who just got into the car) Get out!

Girl J: What?

Me: He doesn't mean it. I just did that to him. (to boy named J.) See? Wasn't that fun?

I wished the girl named J. a happy birthday and made sure to be all dorky and surly when I said it. Then they started talking about some other kid that goes to their school who got into a fight with the boy named J. a while back. Apparently, at some point, Stinky told the boy to stop and go home because he was losing and he did quit, but made sure to call her a bitch on his way home.

Boy J: ...He was crying too. How you gonna call someone a bitch when you're the one who's crying?

Girl J: He's also the Whitest Black person I've ever met. (both kids named J. are Black - just for reference)

Boy J: It's not that he acts White so much. It's just that he's socially retarded.

Before I could interject something (anything) about some of the issues I was having with their conversation, they quickly changed the subject to the girl J.s favorite topic - how ugly all of Stinky's boyfriends have ever been. Which is true and it's funny to watch her get all defensive about it. And now you can see why I get migraines and a bad belly from time to time. If you were stuck in a car with junior high kids for at least an hour a day, you might get a headache too.

I'm Sick When I Go to Sleep at Night

This will be a very quick post, since I woke up this morning and I was sick, sick, sick. I had the chills and a headache, a bad belly, and I was way dizzier than normal. I got up and pretended that I was going to make it to work, but both my daughters told me I was delusional and I should call in. I took their advice and I slept and then would wake up for an hour here and there and watch a movie and then sleep again, and then rinsed and repeated. I don't feel a whole hell of a lot better right now, but we'll see what tomorrow morning brings. So, if you'll all forgive me, I'm going to take my leave and try to get some more sleep - you know, to see if I can get some nice bed sores going.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

So That the Dancers Just Won't Hide

Well, kids. This weekend kind of got away from me and I still haven't had a chance to get my XBox live going. I was going to try to work on it on Friday night, but there was that whole sleepover thing happening, and then when I got the girls settled down, I realized that the movie Slapshot was just starting and I don't think I need to tell you what my main priority was right then. Of course, I don't - it's hockey, it's the late seventies and an EXTREMELY hot Paul Newman. The XBox was going to have to wait. FMBF/DM called me this afternoon, but I didn't have time to bug him with it, since I had to get to Coadster's choir concert and then I never got around to calling him back. Hopefully, Monday night I'll look at it after Coadster's first soccer game. FMDM, be you may want to turn your phone off, if you know what's good for you.

The other thing I did this weekend, was help my psuedo doppelganger, total girl crush and friend who shares my name, T. celebrate her birthday on Saturday night. People kept getting confused about which of us was having a birthday and coming by to wish me a great day. If I had been smarter, I would have let them buy me drinks.

We all met at the piano bar. It was the the first place I ever met my other girl crush on the Santa Crawl last December, so it holds a special place in my heart.

The piano player guy and the sound system weren't the best, but the bartenders were a lot of fun and they put up with all of our shit and sang and danced right along with us. So, it was all just fine.
Once we were through with the piano bar, we headed to, where else? That's right - The Dublin. But on the way, I was finally able to capture my girl crush's sparkle for real right in front of the dress store. Perfect.

Once we were back down at The Dublin, the dance party continued. We even moved the center table to make room for the mayhem. As you can see from this shot, we really have absolutely no shame whatsoever.

Then it was finally last call. Since my girls were at their dad's house, I stayed out even later and went to my friend J. and D.'s house for hilarious girl talk and dirt dishing and most importantly, Texas toast. I think we sufficiently celebrated the hell out of that birthday.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I'll Just Figure Everything is Cool

Oh my god, you guys. It is so nice outside here today. It's making me very happy. I ran my eight mile route today for the first time since November, I think. I do apologize for any accidents I may have caused from drivers being blinded by the glare off of my pasty, pale, ashy, Irish American girl who lives in Iowa and so her skin hasn't seen sunshine since October, legs, but that's why god made sunglasses.

Of course, I'm far away from being in the shape I was in this photo from last Summer, but that's not really what I'm going for anyway. Mostly, I'm in it for the free high. Now that I have my iPod and can listen to music while I run, the high seems to be even better. The only problem with listening to music, is that I have no idea what people are saying to me as I run past them. There's an old man who lives right next to the Catholic school in my town who tells me to run an extra mile for him every single time he sees me. So, when he was obviously speaking to me yesterday, I just assumed that's what he was saying and I smiled big and goofy and gave him a double thumbs up. Although, he could have said, "Die, you stupid, fugly bitch," for all I know.

Here are a few songs that came up on the random running playlist that I made last week. I'm sure I don't have to warn you that there's something here to offend everyone.

1. "Sex Beat" by The Gun Club - This song reminds me of hanging out at my friend Marty's studio above The Vine back in 1985.

2, "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas - I can't hear this song without remembering the fourth grade talent show. Patty Lopez wore her brother's Judo suit and her whole dance consisted of her swaying to the music until, he said, "Ha!" and then she karate chopped the air.

3. "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley and The Wailers - This is an awesome song to run to. That's all I have to say about it.

4. "Ch-Check It Out" by The Beastie Boys - this isn't the best Beastie Boys song, but it's one of the best ones for running.

5. "Til I Hear it From You" by The Gin Blossoms - Who doesn't love early nineties pop songs? You don't? Okay. I don't love every early nineties pop song, but this one is kind of sweet and there is that whole nostalgia thing where it reminds me of a time when my girls were young and definitely not teenagers.

6. "911 is a Joke" by Public Enemy - It's even more fun to crank this one when you're a middle aged, white, Midwestern woman jogging in a college town in Iowa. You have no idea how hard life is for us hear in I-town.

7. "Talk Talk" by Talk Talk - This must be another one of my theme songs.

8. "Fortress" by Pinback - What a nice little ditty this one is.

9. "Dr. Rock" by Motorhead - This is one of my favorite songs to run to of all time, and it hasn't come up on my playlist in months. In other words, it was perfect.

10. "Gimme Danger" by Iggy Pop - I love, love, love this song. I can't imagine ever skipping it no matter how many times it came up on my playlist.

Looking back at my playlist, I think it's WAY more than random. It's more like total chaos. And that's why it was perfect for me today.