Thursday, July 24, 2008

These Two Lanes Will Take Us Anywhere

Hey, you know how I'm all weird and like to take pictures of bathrooms? Well these are of the bathroom in the building across from where I work.

This will be short, as I have much to do and tomorrow I'll have miles to drive before I sleep again. I have a few more things to pack and then I'll be ready. I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed. I've also contacted my uncle who lives out there and he's really excited to see us and wants to spend as much time with us as possible. He also seems understanding about the fact that we might need some space as well. After all, this trip is for me and the girls to be able to do our own thing together and on our own time. It does feel nice to have someone there who knows all the ins and outs of the city though.

The thing I like about this bathroom is that it's old and looks all industrial with all the pipes and ducts exposed, but the walls and tile are that almost flesh colored pink. I heart weird contrasts.

Okay, I doubt I'll have internet access while we're gone, so I probably won't hear from any of you until I get back on the 6th. If I come across a stray computer while I'm gone, I'll be sure to drop a line down on the blog. If that doesn't happen, have a great couple of weeks. RAWK!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like a Band of Gypsies We Go Down the Highway

Here's a recycled picture of me trying to hide from the camera when I lived in Leggett, Ca. in 1985.

Well, I'm this close to being done with planning my California roadtrip. I also had me a little meltdown tonight and gave myself a timeout before I got my ass up and moving again. I've never planned a trip of this magnitude without other adults before, and it's been a little draining.

If you'll recall, originally I was going to try and be all cool and groovy and not reserve rooms or tent spaces and just go where the wind took us and not be on any schedule. Then about a thousand dollars worth of car repairs and new tires made that dream impossible. We are now working on a shoestring budget and we can't really afford to be that fucking hippie about our trip. Man, I hate reality. At one point, I informed the girls of the fact that we wouldn't have the kind of money I thought we were going to have and asked them if they still wanted to go if we couldn't afford to do some of the things we thought we were going to be able to do. Coadster said she didn't care. She said after the tornado two years ago and the flood this year, she just wanted to get out of the Midwest for a while - even if that meant that we'd just be trading different natural disasters. Coadster just wants to see the Redwoods, wander around San Francisco and check out some hot surfer guys. Hey, that's all pretty much free and I wouldn't mind doing all the same stuff.

So, last week, I remapped our trip and reserved all our of sleeping places. We're going to skip Yosemite and just spend two nights and a day in The Sequoias. We're also staying at a relatively inexpensive motel in a suburb of San Francisco and we're just going to take BART or a bus into the city. That will solve the parking problem too. When I lived in San Francisco twenty years ago, I didn't have a car, so I wasn't able to really check out any of the cool coastal communities around the city. This time we're going to drive up the coast from Carmel and check things out. Since we're going to be in San Francisco for five days, we'll try to go back and spend a day or a couple of half days checking out beaches and maybe doing a little boogie boarding.

I've also been a little bit dependent upon the kindness of friends for this trip. Don't worry, I spread it out. I borrowed sleeping bags from my Hotz Street neighbors, a GPS device from my awesome friend D., and I took one of my ex-boyfriends up on his offer to lend me his portable DVD player thing so the girls can watch as many movies as they need to during our three day drive there and three more days back.

I'm almost all ready now. After work tomorrow, I have to grab a few more things from the store, drop off my post-dated rent check with the landlord, do the rest of my packing, fill up with gas and do a little more last minute cleaning. We're going to try not to eat crap on the road, so I'll make a bunch of sandwiches to go along with our drinks and fruit and crackers and chips. Even if I had a ton of money, I still would get tired of eating out all the time. Then on Friday morning, we're basically getting up and taking off down that long, hard, boring stretch of I-80. I'm going to try to drive at least 12 hours on our first day. If you've ever driven through Nebraska on I-80, you'd probably agree with me that you want to treat it like a band-aid and just rip it off all at once, as quickly as possible.

Okay, now I better go rest.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Little Things You Say and Do

So, here's the wedding date guy story:

He was at a party where he only knew his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend. He seemed kind of shy, so I tried to draw him out a bit. He was receptive, but still reserved. As the night wore on and he had more to drink, he was even more receptive and less reserved. He thought I was a fun party girl, but there probably wasn't much more to me than that. At one point he told me, "You are crazy, and that's really hot." An hour later he said, " I couldn't say no to anything you asked me." Really? How attractive is it when a guy tells you that? Extremely.

So, we had tons of chemistry, but that's all we knew about each other. Later when we talked when we were sober, we also had a lot of common interests. He admitted that originally his attraction was mostly physical, but after we had a real conversation, he was pleasantly surprised that I was not the person he thought I was. He asked how we were going to be able to have a relationship when we lived so far away from each other. I told him we probably weren't. If there was the hope of one of us moving closer to the other, that would be a different story. As things were, what I could give him was this: We could call and text whenever we wanted to, and whenever he came to town, I'd be happy to hang out with him. I figured that things would fizzle before we would have the chance to see each other. They didn't.

I invited him to be my date for that wedding in June. As I've already documented, we had a great time. He made plans to see me for the hippie music fest after that, and again we had a great time. At the beginning of that weekend, I felt the need to lay down some rules since this non-relationship was lasting longer than my last real relationship. "We should both feel free to do whatever we want when we aren't together in the same town, but I don't want to know anything about it, and I won't bother you with any of my details either. When either of us gets into a real relationship with someone else, then we need to tell the other one right away, and just be friends. Does that work?" He said, okay.

Before you go giving me shit about making too much about the distance thing, there are other factors to consider. He is several years younger than I am, (don't give me that look, if there was a datable man my age anywhere near this town, I'd be all over him) he wants a family eventually and I was done making babies in my twenties. The last thing I want, is for him to resent me for not being able to give him what he wants. If I accepted his offer for a relationship, he wouldn't be free to meet someone who might live closer to him, who wanted the same things he does.

The other thing is that we only know our weekend selves. He didn't even know I had curly hair until two weeks ago. He is more of a perfectionist, and my brain is messy and disorganized. Last time he was here, he even said that he doubted we'd still be dating each other if we lived in the same town and saw each other all the time. And since we'll never meet each other in real time, we won't ever know if it could work out.

So, now what we have is a fun, casual thing where we see each about one weekend a month. He's traveling this weekend, and I'm traveling the two weeks after that. We have a tentative plan to hang out the weekend I get back from California, but anything can happen in a month and my abandonment issues make me wonder whether I'll see him then or not. There were a couple of weeks last month where I didn't really hear from him, and it was hard to know if that meant he was over it, or if he was just busy. I finally texted him to check in and he texted right back to say that he was just busy, and he was very excited to see me again. I've never done this kinda, sorta relationship thing before. It's strange territory for me. In some ways it's hard to know what the rules and boundaries are. In others, it's really nice. I have tons of freedom and time and when we see each other, it's always fun and amazing. It's been good for me to learn how to let things go a little more and not take it all so seriously. And really, when you think about it, we are both conscientious people who genuinely care about and respect each other and have a lot of fun when we're together. What's not to like about any of that?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Feel No Sorrow, Feel No Shame, Come Tomorrow, Feel No Pain

Here is some steam clouding up an alley by where I work.

So, I was thinking I might talk about boys tonight. What do you think about that? I have to write to sort things out and try to make sense of them, but with guys, I could probably write all day and it wouldn't help. I have to try though, right?

I have two to discuss, so let's get started, shall we? Remember how I changed Mr Awesome's name to Mr. HitandRun a few posts back? Well, true to his name, he hit again while I was at the wedding. I checked my phone to make sure my girls hadn't tried to call, and there was a text from him. It was just a dorky photo of himself with a beer can balanced on his head. Of course, I was at the wedding he was supposed to be accompanying me to, and I figured it was his way of being sorry and making sure I hadn't written him off. We did a little superficial texting, making fun of the photo and I went on with my evening. By one in the morning, I was exhausted and started walking home, when my phone rang. It was Mr HitandRun. He asked me what I was doing and I explained to him that I was walking home from the wedding. He said, "Oh, yeah. Sorry about that." I called him Mr HitandRun and asked him why he did it. He reminded me that he never hit anything and then gave me some bullshit excuse about working and being a single dad. (huh, what's that like?)

I said, "Yeah, but it would take exactly five seconds to text me back and let me know whether you were going to show or not." He said he was sorry and that he was just lame that way. On the other hand, he was very appreciative that I was so good about answering his calls and texts. He told me he would make it up to me by coming to see me the following weekend. I told him that I'd be gone on my roadtrip then. He said he'd come and see me on my birthday next Wednesday then. My birthday was last Wednesday. I didn't correct him though, because I knew I wouldn't hear from him anyway, so why waste the energy on that conversation.

The good thing about him, is that he's very funny and even though he's eight years younger than I am, he gets all my pop culture references (and you all know how important that is to me). He even sang the "Yuck Mouth" song from the Public Service Announcement about remembering to brush your teeth. He also told me he was drawn to me and couldn't help himself from calling me even if I was married or had a boyfriend...So, for me all this means, is that he can be a fun friend who contacts me sporadically and I just have to ignore the parts where he pretends like it's going to be anything more than just that. We hung up and when I woke up, I saw that he had texted me at 6 am, asking if he could call me. Um, not at six am on a Sunday, he can't.

If things go the way they usually do with him, I should hear from him again out of the blue in about a month.

I was going to write something about my other monthly guy, The wedding date guy, but this is already too long, so I'll tackle that one tomorrow. Until then, I'll leave you with this photo of me looking like I'm picking my seat, but really I'm just trying to keep my dress from flying up and making me real popular, real fast. Yeah, I have everyone's best interests at heart.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I've Seen them Dancin', To Hell With Romancin'

So, here's the happy couple from the wedding I went to. No, wait.

Now, here's the happy couple from my girl crush's wedding. Although, if my girl crush's groom left her for my favorite bartender S., that would mean that both of their wives would be open and look how good I look with S.'s gorgeous lady:

And then there's always me and my girl crush:

Yeah. This is all sounding a little too Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice for my blog... So, hey. What was the Saturday Scavenger Hunt word for this week again? Oh, that's right, it's refreshed. So, lets refresh this post and start over.

I took both Thursday and Friday nights to relax and recoup so I'd be all refreshed for Girl Crush's wedding on Saturday night. Of course, that meant that I had exactly one beer on Friday night and then came home and apparently the minute I walked in my door, all the fun started. I got texted a few times telling me to get my ass down to a bar because all the cool kids were there. Shit. I was already in my jammies watching Superbad for the 3rd time, so I wasn't going anywhere.

It was just a damn good thing that there was even more fun on Saturday night when I went out to play. Look how refreshed I am in the above picture. Ahhhhhh!

Here is a picture of me in my daughter's Homecoming dress and my other daughter's Homecoming shoes.

The other important business I wanted to talk about in this post was my wedding attire. Stinky bought a dress last month for Homecoming already, because she loved it and there was only one. Turns out, I loved it too and since I didn't have anything else to wear, I agreed to pay for half if I could wear it to the wedding first. Stinky was all kinds of interested in that, so that's what I wore...That and Coadster's silver and white strappy sandals from Homecoming last year. It's just a damn good thing that my girls go to semi-formal dances, or I wouldn't have anything to wear to weddings.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

With or Without Your Best Intentions

Okay, kids. Here's the dealio. I started this post last night, but then there were all kinds of crazy thunderstorms and we always turn-off and unplug our computer when there's lightning dancing around outside. So, now I'm going to write this in the morning.

What did I do last night? Well, I'm glad you asked. When I got home from work, I reserved all the camping spots and motels for our vacation. I had been waiting a bit, because of the wildfires, but then there was only a week left and I wanted to make sure there were spaces available.

Then I got a text from my friend K. telling me to come meet them. I thought about it, but I was too tired and just wanted to stay home with my girls. So, I called her back and they were at George's eating cheeseburgers and drinking beer, and even that couldn't get me out of my house, so I wussed out and stayed in with my girls and watched a little bit of the Rock Honors Tribute to The Who and then we watched that literary girl movie where Anne Hathaway plays Jane Austen, and then I went to bed. As far as I was concerned, I couldn't have spent my evening any better.

So, hey. Guess who's getting married on Saturday? That's right. My girl crush is. She was supposed to jump the broom at the student union, but since it's all gross and flooded and probably stinky and full of mold spores, they moved it to a better location on campus. I cannot wait. My girl crush, being my girl crush, is all about the dorky dancing too, so it should be crazy good times.

Plus, look at those two crazy, whacky/unpredictable kids:

Could you even imagine them NOT having a fun wedding? I know. Me either.

As a side note: Mr Awesome texted and called me a few weeks back (when he was sober, for the first time) to see if I would hang out with him if he came to visit me the weekend after the Fourth. I told him I had plans that weekend. My wedding date guy had already said he was coming up for the hippie fest thingy. Since the wedding date guy had already proved to me that he was willing to make an effort and be consistent and fun and treat me very, very well, I sure as hell wasn't about to throw him over the side for Mr Awesome who was fast becoming Mr HitandRun guy.

So, I told Mr Awesome that if he wanted to see me, he could come the following weekend and be my date for Girl Crush's wedding. He said that would work and we had this great, long phone conversation, and then I haven't heard from him since. His loss. His name has officially been changed to Mr HitandRun and I'll be attending this wedding solo. Which, if I remember junior high and high school dances correctly, is always way better because you're free to hang with your awesome girly friends and aren't stuck trying to entertain a guy who may or may not be all that much fun.

Have a great weekend. I hope you all have as much fun as possible whether you go places by yourself, or with a greatly significant other.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Won't You Come and Join the Party Dressed to Kill

Just in case you've never been to the Midwest before, this is what it feels like to be surrounded by corn.

So, my birthday was very nice and mellow - just the way I wanted it. I worked all day, received some very sweet birthday texts from the wedding date guy and some messages from my friend C. who lives in Fort Madison and FMDM., almost my whole family called me and left messages and I got various other texts from friends and all the attention I could ever want...And I'm the youngest child, so it's hard to get to that place with me.

After work, I went to the Farmer's Market and to the Co-op. It's such a social scene in this town, so it's impossible to run down and get a few things and leave. I ran into my friend Ashley and her man and her gorgeous little girl. She was on her way to the same cookout where I was headed, so we chatted quickly and I bought my fresh basil and the few things I needed at the Co-op and dashed home to make the cheese tortellini with pesto and sour cream mixed together and fresh spinach.

I got to K.'s boyfriend A.'s house and the spread there was insane. There were tons of salads and breads and sauteed beets, and shish-kabob and salmon, and hotdogs for the kids and sangria and what my friend W. called Tarjitos (which is based on my name and it was like a mojito but with vodka instead of rum). Everything was wonderful.

There were tons of little boys there who were happy to play warriors with me and I gave myself the super power of being able to heal myself from all my wounds. But then the oldest kid there said we could only have so many lives and that totally screwed with my awesome super power. Stupid older kids and their rules...

Anyway, I ate amazing food, I drank a couple of really nice drinks and got to use my special karate chopping action and Kung-Fu grip. In other words, my birthday was exactly what I wanted. And best of all, it's not over until I say it is, and Friday I still get to go on a girl date with my daughters to see a matinee and eat appetizers for dinner. Hip hip, hooray!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

(Come Tomorrow) May I be Bolder Than Today?

So, hey. Guess what? It's my birthday on the 16th. I'll be recycling some old photos just for the occasion. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have enough old photos on blogs. If any of you want to feel free to post pics from your childhood or your parent's childhood, I promise to make a big stinking deal about it and oooooh! and aaaaah! all over them.

So, here's me destroying my sister's doll at one of my dad's studios. I'm not sure how old I was, but even then you could tell there was no hope of me ever growing into my cheeks.

Here is a photo of my mom and my oldest sister.

I am now the age my mom was when she died. It's weird to finally get here. I have no idea how my mom would have aged after this point, but she looked way better than I did at any other age, so maybe she isn't the best aging marker for me. My mom didn't have me until she was 33, which was pretty old in 1965, especially when we lived in Mormontown Arizona where all the other moms had their kids before they were out of high school.

I was my mom's last baby. Her blood pressure was out of control even at that young age, and she was basically told that if she had any more children, she could die. Hey, so I broke the mold, so what? I will say that I was very lucky to have my mom as long as I did. I'm sure you won't be too shocked when I tell you that I was one of those overly sensitive Cancer children who's feelings were constantly hurt. My mom used to say things like, "Here let me do it. That way I can't yell at you if it doesn't work out right." I loved that, because when I was young, I thought I was the only person in the world who made mistakes, and I would stress about it and there was my mom admitting that she did too.

Here's me at my dad's studio when I still had red hair. As I recall, this was taken shortly before he disappeared. I also have a vague memory that my dad threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned 4 and he would have been gone about a month after that, but you'll have to ask my siblings. They're older and remember that time better. I have a hard time sorting out the things that really happened back then, from the world I created in my head. In other words, I haven't changed a bit since I was four...Except I don't have quite as much red in my hair anymore.

Here's me when we lived in Alsip, Illinois. I think I was eleven here. (Please try hard not to be jealous of my denim wrap-around skirt) It must have been about a year after my mom died. I like to call the time after my mom died until I turned eighteen, my Dickensian years. No one called me Pip or Oliver and there was no Miss Havisham or Artful Dodger, but there were plenty of other similarities. The one thing I can say about those bad times is, that in comparison, my life now is almost perfect.

Every year I say that I'm so much happier than I've ever been, but I'd like to stop aging right here. Then I get another year older and things are that much better still. It's not so much that bad things have stopped happening to me, it's more that I'm getting so much better at dealing with them and putting things in perspective. Plus, I'm not nearly as hard on myself as I was in the past. So, now I'm thinking that this whole aging thing isn't so bad and I might as well just find out how much better my life can keep getting. Forty-three? Fuck yeah. Bring it on.

July is Dressed Up and Playing Her Tune

This will be quick and random since it's late and I'm still brain dead from this weekend.

Poptart asked for more hoola-hooping photos and I'm always happy to oblige, so here is one of my friend K.

I'm still working out the kinks with my computer. I know now that it's the stupid Windows update that has brought me all that grief. The big problem now, is that I had to turn off my automatic update, or it keeps reinstalling it when I turn off my computer and then I have to continually take my computer back in time to Sunday or Monday before it was installed and it just goes on and on. I did figure out how not to automatically update on my computer, but does that mean I can never install an update if I want internet access, and if so, don't I need the other updates that don't prevent me from getting to the web? Ugh. I just don't know.

Okay, I'm tired of all this computer talk. It's making my head hurt. Instead, let's make fun of me for a minute. First of all, look at how dorky I am when I'm hoola hooping. Secondly, I'll tell you all a little story from Sunday. Wanna hear it? No? Too bad. Here it goes:

Stinky and I were at the store in the frozen food aisle. As I was looking at something in one of the freezers, Stinky walked by and swatted me on the butt with whatever grocery item she had in her hand right then (she's really funny like that). She must have kept walking, because when I looked behind me to see what the hell she was doing, there was only a very professorial looking older gentleman standing there. He had a big smile on his face and said, "Just so you know, that wasn't me." And then we both had a good laugh. Oh, the dorkiness never ends in my world and I always appreciate it.

This kid here was at the festival teasing all the other kids with his dollar on a string trick. That is, until one of the other kids got really annoyed and put his squirt gun up to his head and told the kid to hand the money over. It was so very wrong and funny and not the least bit groovy all at the same time.

Okay, that's all I got. Come back tomorrow when I'm going to try not to be so sleep deprived. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to hold a thought or finish a sentence. Anything's possible, you know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Through Every Forest Above the Trees

Well, kids. I finally got my internet up and running again. I messed around with it and then just restored the session to a happier, magical, mythical time when my internet actually worked - like last Sunday. So, now it's up and running and I have oh, so much to post. Tonight I'll just do a quick review of the hippie music fest with tons and tons of photos - just to make up for all the pics I haven't been able to post lately.

If you've ever been to a music fest, this one wasn't too different. It had all those things you expect to find with hippies. You know, like people selling everything from shrooms, to smoothies, to ceramic pipes, to tie-dyes.

Here is my wedding date guy hula-hooping. We all got into it, so don't be surprised if you get a bunch more photos of us in the very near future.

My wedding date guy came up on Thursday night and so we got to spend lots of time together this weekend. I had my girls on Friday, which meant that I came out to the fest for a bit and drove back and forth into town, taking my girls where they needed to go and then finally just staying home and going to bed.

The Iowa City rugby team provided security for the event. My friend's husband is a member, and so when I came back on Saturday afternoon, she filled me in on the drama that I missed the night before. Apparently, some chuckle head decided it would be a great idea to mix E and PCP and then freaked-out at about 3 am (duh). He went around screaming that he was going to die and biting people, until someone alerted security, who were all off at 2 and may have been a little, tiny bit drunk. I guess they finally rallied their troops and took the dumb ass down and hopefully, he didn't have rabies.

Anyway, Saturday was more fun than anyone should be allowed to have. I didn't love every band, but there were a couple of really amazing performances. There was this band called Bumpus from Chicago who played super, funky 70's soul music and they were fucking awesome. They did a cover of Nine Inch Nails', Closer that would have knocked my socks off, had I been wearing any. If you like that kind of music, you should check them out. Cornmeal also played and I'm a girl who likes Bluegrass in any form, so they made me very happy too.

There were also tons of drum circles, as you would expect. Some of the guys in this picture were from Africa and they had all kinds of super cool instruments who's names I can't either remember and/or pronounce. Trust me, the sound was great.

I know you won't be surprised when I show you this photo of people all fucked up and lying on the ground, holding hands and looking at the stars. They were trying to get me and my friends to join them, but I don't think I had been doing enough of the right kind of drug to forget how itchy I would get from that beautiful, wonderful experience, man.

Finally, at the end of every night, there was a rave with a DJ and cool light show and a bunch of guys dancing around with fire. There was more spectacle than you could shake a fiery stick at.

Whew! I'm tired just relating it all to you. I promise, if my internet holds out, I will get into some of the other topics I threatened to talk about last week. Fair warning.

Friday, July 11, 2008

She Told Me She Worked in the Morning and Started to Laugh

Well, yesterday was day two of no internets for Churlita. Because I took tons of science classes when I was younger and thought I was going to be pre-med in college, (I know, Shut up) I had plenty of experience eliminating variables. So, last night that's what I did and you want to know what I found out? Both my internet and router must be working because my XBox Live is up. Now, I'm thinking it might be something to do with the fact that I downloaded the 8.0 edition of the free AVG virus scan. For anyone with this kind of knowledge, would that prevent me access from my beloved internet? And if so, do I just take the program off and start all over?

Anyway, I will keep trying to work on this over the weekend, but we'll see how far I get. The guy who was my wedding date last month is in town this weekend and we're going to be hanging out at the local hippie'ish music fest right outside of town and probably won't have tons of time to work on my computer woes. If I do get it up and running, I'll be sure to try and write a post sometime in the next day or two.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh, and I Guess That I Just Don't Know

Well, kids. My internet isn't working at home right now, and you know how frustrated I get when things don't work. I came home last night and did all the troubleshooting stuff for my wireless router and everything seems to look like it should work, but then it doesn't.

I think that my router might just be a piece of shit. So, then I figured I could just avoid the middle man and not use my router. All that did was make my computer throw up some stupid note about how my computer wasn't connected or something. Either I didn't hook things up correctly, or there is some program attached to the router that I need to get rid of. Obviously, I have no idea what I'm doing, so if the whole world blows up tonight when I try to mess with things again, you can go ahead and assume that I pulled the wrong plug or reattached a bad wire and caused it.

Anyway, for right now, I'm stuck trying to furtively blog at work again. Ugh. We'll see if I can ask one of my friends who actually has some knowledge about such things and try to get it fixed.

My computer must have known I was going to write another post about boys last night and it was tired of hearing about that shit from me...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

'Cause I Headed West to Grow Up With the Country

This is one of those posts where I'm going to recycle photos I've used in the past. I think this was taken in Iowa City in 1984. I've also probably touched on some of this material in the past too, but you know, whatever.

By the time I was nineteen, I had already fucked up a lot of shit in my life. A lot. I couldn't help it. I didn't know any better. After my mom died when I was ten, I lived with very strict and abusive legal guardians, and then the minute I turned, eighteen, BAM! I was on my own. For years I had been told I couldn't do anything. I was told I was stupid. It took me a long time to figure out that most of what I was told was bullshit.

You'd think that the minute I was finally free, I'd be happy all the live long day, but instead I felt totally lost. I wasn't allowed to go out much in high school and for sure couldn't date. All those mistakes most kids made in high school, I had to make in college. I had a lot of catching up to do, and boy howdy, did I catch up. I fucked up my classes, I fucked up friendships, I did all kinds of drugs and drank and went to hardcore shows at 10 S. Gilbert and Selected Works Bookstore. The one thing I never screwed up, though, was work. I worked at The Mill at night and at Amelia Earhart's Deli during the day. I was also restless and starting to get bored. If I was going to drop out of college, I wanted to at least go on adventures. My original plan was to move somewhere where I could make more money and save to go to Europe.

I had a roommate who's sister had been in the California Conservation Corps., before she met Dinah Shore's son and moved to a small town outside of Eureka. I've always loved hard physical labor and I wanted to be able to do work that I believed in. Turns out, it was pretty easy to get into the Corps. All I had to do was use a California address - my roommate's sister said I could use hers, but I actually had to go there to sign up.

Not only did I not have a car, I didn't even know how to drive. A thinking person would have done some research and figured out that going almost anywhere in California without a license and a car was asinine. Good thing I wasn't a thinking person, or I would never have left Iowa City.

I had no idea where to go once I got there. Luckily, there was a dishwasher who worked at The Mill named Mark who was from California. He was also a DJ at one of the country music stations and introduced me to Emmy Lou Harris and Graham Parsons. I asked him where he thought I should move once I got there and he said he thought Santa Rosa was a nice place. I went to the library and got out Santa Rosa phone books. I found a place called the Redwood Motel and called them to reserve a room, just because I liked the name. Once again, a thinking person would have checked it out a little more thoroughly, but...

I went to the army surplus store to buy a duffel bag and a backpack. I had to get rid of everything I owned, except what I could fit into those two bags. My friend Johnny Rater bought me a bag of those fake white crosses out of the back of a punk rock magazine. I thought they would make me more aware, but really they just made me more annoyed with people than I already was. Thank god, they didn't take up much room.

I left at the beginning of April. It was weird how little fear I felt getting onto the plane by myself to move halfway across the country to a place where I didn't have affiliations with anyone or anything. If someone could have shown me what I would experience when I got to California, I still don't know that I would have been all that scared.

If Only You Believe In Miracles, Baby. So Would I

Well, lookee there. It's a photo of my shadow.

So, I've been thinking lately that I want to go back to actually writing in this here blog. Originally, I started the blog as a way to write everyday. I think I envisioned that I'd be all introspective and give myself the freedom to try all different kinds of writing styles and narrative voices and stuff, and I used to do that a lot more.

Lately, it seems like my blog entries have been sounding more like, "Blah, blah, blah. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Hey, look at me. I'm a douchebag!" Yeah, I know. They say to write about what you know, so I guess I've been doing that, but I feel like I should be branching out and doing different kinds of writing too.

I was thinking I'd try to do a little less obsessive documenting of my current world, and try to go back and write about some past experiences. This California trip has really got me all nostalgic about the first time I lived there, so I might work on some posts about that. Hell, I may even write a post or two in second or third person. I haven't done that in forever. So, don't be startled if the form changes on some of my posts. It could sound more like, "Blah, blah, blah. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Hey, Look at what a douchebag I used to be!" Oh, and I don't want you to get all crazy and start expecting anything, but I may even proofread a post or two, just to shake things up.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

You'll Drink the Night Away and Forget About Everything

Here is a picture of my beer and my phone and my girl crush's fanny pack.

So, the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt word was Drink, chosen by DMarks. It was a great word for me for a few reasons. First, I've been running a lot this weekend. The weather was perfect on Friday and Saturday. Today, however it was warmer and much more humid. Since I've been spoiled by the nicer weather, I forgot how important it was to hydrate before I run on the hotter days. I ran the full six miles today, but I was so wiped out afterward, I had to rest and drink tons of fluids. Oops.

The second reason the word was perfect is that this weekend I had to serve as my own cautionary tale. Apparently, I can't drink half as much in the Summer as I can in the Winter. It's kind of weird, huh? I think it's because my metabolism gets so high in the Summer and totally shuts down once it gets cold outside. Plus, I run so much more when it's nice out, and I sweat out all the toxins during the day, so it's like starting fresh every single night with no way to build up a tolerance.

So, kids. The lesson we learned this weekend is to drink responsibly - whether it's alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Now, I think I'll take my leave and watch some After School Specials.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Know You've Been Eager to Fly Now

Hey, kids. This will be a mostly photo post of my 4th of July. It was an action packed adventure, after my hangover finally left me. I went out to the Radillac Farm where the girls and I used to live for a while and watched some bands.

I missed seeing FMDM's band play, but I made up for it by flipping him a bunch of shit when I got there. As you can see from this photo where he's walking away from me and I think flipping me the bird, he may not have thought it was a fair trade off.

Anyway, the farm had all those things you generally associate with the 4th. There were cute kids playing with gigantic beach calls.

There were lots of big dogs getting tons of attention from all the humans.

And there was also someone getting hooks pierced through his chest.

So, he could be strung up by them just like in those Native American sun rituals. I have to say, it was pretty tough to watch. I'd have to snap a photo, and then look away, and then snap a photo and then look away. I don't really get why anyone would feel the need to do this, but I guess that's why they call this a free country, huh?

After I got back from the farm, Stinky and I were just hanging out, eating dinner and watching stupid TV before we went to watch the fireworks, when I went out to my car to grab something. I walked outside to the sight of 15 cop cars blocking off our street for about a block each way. There were also two bike cops and an undercover police car, plus two more in the alley behind our house. We live in about the safest, most residential neighborhood you can think of, so I was very surprised. I went out to ask one of the cops if I should be worried and lock my door, but he said they just caught the guy. Apparently, some total asshole was all raged out and threatening to shoot people. Awesome.

You wouldn't think we'd need anymore spectacle or excitement in our day, but we went to watch the fireworks anyway. Hey, it was the Fourth of July. What else were we going to do?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Doot Do Do Do Do Doot Doot, Livin' in the USA

Here is a picture of my girl crush and my friend Erika drinking the delicious punch Erika made for the bachelorette party a couple of weeks ago.

So, apparently today is the day where I embrace my inalienable right to be hungover and walk around town with a belly full of shame. Since I'm not so good at holding my liquor, I have to be so careful about keeping track of how many pints I have. But last night, the guys at my table kept filling up my glass when I wasn't paying attention and now I'm a little worse for wear. I just hate it that you have to pay to play, you know?

It all started innocently enough. My friend J. called me and asked if I wanted to go for a beer. We used to work together at Great Midwestern about a hundred million years ago, and he had just broken up with his latest girly a couple of weeks earlier, so we had plenty to talk about. I really was only going to have a couple of beers. I'm trying not spend any money so I can save up for my trip.

Then my friend R. showed up with his younger brother and his friends. R. used to be a regular at Great Midwestern, so it was kind of a coffee shop reunion. Luckily, I didn't spend hardly any money, but like I said, I still drank WAY too much. I'm doing much better now, but at one point while I was running, "Tequila" by Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass Band came on my iPod and just thinking about the title of that song made my stomach turn.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You Say How and I'll Say When

Here is a picture of a messed up limb after a storm. It's kind of how my head felt for a while this evening.

I was trying to fight off a migraine most of today. It never got really bad, but it made me all stooopid and spaced out and after work there was much resting and taking of mini naps. The good news is that I think I killed it. The even better news is that in my migraine induced stupor, I decided to clean the hell out of my kitchen, water all my plants and make some raspberry lemonade. Yeah, I know. Maybe I should get migraines more often (No really, cruel sarcastic universal power, I'm just kidding. I didn't mean it. Don't wreak more migraine vengeance upon me.)

Me and some of my girly friends doing a hula dance.

Since Friday is a holiday, tomorrow is my Friday...And it's just that kind of thinking that's been screwing me up all week. I keep thinking my pretend Friday is my real Friday and getting all confused about what day it really is. It's a wonder sometimes how I manage to function on a regular basis, work at the same institution for eleven years or raise two daughters. I think it must be true what they say about Jesus taking pity on small children and morons. That is what it says in the bible, isn't it? Eh, something like that.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. I plan on having a fucking awesome three day weekend with a clean kitchen, cold beverages, fun friends and family and as much dancing as humanly possible. I hope you all get to do the same.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Believe it or Not It's Just Me

Here is a photo that Stinky took of Clinton Street in downtown Iowa City.

Tonight I had a ton of stuff that needed to get done, and because I'm a total fucking genius, I piddled away all my time making mix CD's for some of my friends. I know I've mentioned several times that I get a little obsessive about music and I own probably the best and the worst songs you'll ever hear. The big problem with me, (okay, one of them) is that I'm an equal opportunity music listener, so inevitably all of you will hate me for different cheesy songs I put on the CD's. Of course, I'm going to show them to you anyway. So, I made a cheesy dance mix with suggestions from friends and then added some of my own favorite Velveeta. I also put together a 70's am radio compilation, mixed in with a few TV theme songs for my favorite bartender S. who appreciates schlock as much as I do. Without further ado, here are my two playlists. I can't wait to feel the collective wince from the blogosphere.

Cheesy Summer Dance Mix

1. Cruel Summer - Bananarama

2. Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson

3. Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe

4. Livin' On a Prayer - Bon Jovi

5. Fantastic Voyage - Coolio

6. Me, Myself and I - De La Soul

7. We Got the Beat - The Go-Go's

8. My Sharona - The Knack

9. Hey Ya! - OutKast

10. Fight the Power - Public Enemy

11. Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas

12. What I Like About You - The Romantics

13. Wild Thing - Tone-Loc

14. Could You Be Loved - Bab Marley and the Wailers

15. Any Way You Want it - Journey

16. Get Up Offa That Thing - James Brown

17. Groove is in the Heart - Deee-Lite

18. December, 1963 (Oh What a Night) - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

19. PYT (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson

Seventies Pop Hits and TV Theme Songs:

1. Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold

2. Couldn't Get it Right - Climax Blues Band

3. Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop

4. Sanford and Son Theme Song - Quincy Jones

5. I'd Really Love to See you Tonight - England, Dan and John Ford Coley

6. Never Been Any Reason - Head East

7. I Wanna Be Where You Are - The Jackson 5

8. The Banana Splits Theme Song - The Banana Splits

9. Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest

10. Shambala - Three Dog Night

11. Dance with Me - Orleans

12. Theme From The Greatest American Hero - Mike Post featuring Larry Carlton

13. Jackie Blue - Ozark Mountain Daredevils

14. Amy - Pure Prairie League

15. Ironside (excerpt) - Quincy Jones

16. Diamond Girl - Seals and Crofts

17. On and On - Stephen Bishop

18. I Saw the Light - Todd Rundgren

19. The Green Hornet theme - unknown artist

20. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

21. Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty

22. Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass

Okay, if those playlists don't leave you running for ice picks to dig out the ear worms, I don't know what will. You can thank me later - after you're calmed down, committed and on anti-psychotic meds.

It's Too Hot to Handle, So I Got to Get Up and Go

Here is a picture of some clouds and the countryside.

Kids, it just turned July and I can't say that I'm all that sad to say goodbye to June. It certainly wasn't all bad. I had some really great times and wonderful experiences. It was just rollercoastery and I'm more of a slow and steady girl (again, more emphasis on the slow and less on the steady). Last month just plum tuckered me out, is all.

Hopefully, we won't have any more flood drama, but I'm not counting on July to be all that very restful either. Here's how It's shaking out right now:

4th of July weekend - Right now I don't have a lot planned. I may stop by Billy Mac's farm on Dane Road and see some bands in the afternoon and I've tentatively planned to watch fireworks with K. and her boyfriend on Friday evening, but other than that, I'm totally open.

The weekend of the 11th - My wedding date is supposed to come back to town for the Euphoria Fest in Lone Tree. I'm taking a a half day off on Friday. I'll go for a while on Friday night and then camp out there on Saturday night.

The 16th is my birthday - I'm not sure what I'm doing for my birthday. I usually like to celebrate it for at least week. I really am that goddamn special. So, I might celebrate a little during Supper Club on Wednesday and then invite anyone who wants down to the Dublin on Thursday night. I'm taking Friday off work, so my daughters and I will go see a total girl movie matinee that day.

My girl crush at another wedding.

The weekend of the 19th - is my girl crush's wedding. I don't think I need to tell you what kind of crazy dance party will be happening there, do I?

The 25th of July - is when we leave for our California road trip. I'm sure I'll write more about that before we leave, but we won't be back until after the first week in August.

I sure didn't schedule any good resting or napping time, did I?