Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'mma Do the Things That I Wanna Do

Here are some miscellaneous photos I had leftover from the last couple of weeks. They're of Iowa City. Shocker.

Tonight was one of those where I hit the ground running after work. I ran my four mile route because I was pressed for time. I made dinner, we ate, then we went shopping for last minute Halloween costume accessories. I got Stinky to her babysitting gig at 7:30 and Coadster back home. Whew!

Finally, I stopped by my friend A.'s BBQ around eight. His friend, who's first initial is also A., was visiting, so he had some folks over to eat. I heard about it at the last minute, and I had the girls, so I was only able to do a drive-by. When I got there, everyone was on the deck drinking wine, eating and hanging out by the fire. It was very nice. My friends K. and I.M. were there as well as some people I had met at the hippie music fest this Summer. I only stayed for about a half hour and I didn't eat or drink, but I did really enjoy the conversation. It was perfect, because right when people were getting ready to take their show on the road to the bars downtown, was also right when I was ready to go home.

I love the plastic flowers decorating the milk crate on this bike.

So, Halloween...I'm not quite sure what I'm doing for that. I'm going to try to remember my camera tomorrow so I can take pics of costume wearers about town. At work every year we have a cookies and cider day, where people either make baked goods or throw down some money for hot apple cider, so I'm sure I'll need some insulin by the end of the day.

Here is a guy on a little machine that takes him up and down so he can wash the public library windows.

Now, for Halloween evening. Honestly, I'm not sure what the hell I'm doing. I know a guy who's having a party, and some other friends are going to the Mill. There are a bunch of local bands who are impersonating more famous bands. Ed Gray and another guy are going to do covers by The Replacements and I can't remember what other bands are doing which other covers, but it sounds pretty cool.

My other option is that, since my girls will both be gone at their various social activities, I could stay home and have the whole place to myself. I might play a video game or two and sit down on my couch with a cheap bottle of Chiraz I have and drink some wine and watch movies. Doesn't that sound nice? Yeah, I thought so too.

Here's a guy reading a book on a bench by my office.

At this moment, I'm not committing to anything. My plan is to get home from work, go on a nice long run, stop by my friend K.'s house and drop off some food I made, and see how I feel. I like this conundrum. I have three really wonderful options and I'm sure I won't have any regrets with whichever one I chose.

How about you guys? Do you have amazing options for the holiday? Will you be out and about or relaxing with a bottle of wine?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And After It Rains, There's a Rainbow

Bags grow on trees here. it's true.

I'm sure you probably get tired of me always showing photos and yammering away about my town, but I'm going to do it again. It could be the weather, or the trees changing or the fun I've had recently, but I'm feeling particularly crushed-out on Iowa City lately.

Here is a picture of some guys taking their copy machine for an afternoon walk.

I've always had a thing for this town. It's weird, and quirky and it wears its politics on its sleeve, or The Pentacrest or downtown... It's always been really sweet to me too. When Coadster got in that horse and buggy accident when she was almost five months old, or after Stinky got meningitis or when we got hit by that tornado, it seemed half the people here asked what they could do to help. Iowa City has been extremely thoughtful that way.

Iowa City has really strict leash laws. So, don't go bringing your tables and chairs downtown without tying them up.

Sure, we've had our issues. It can be on the pretentious side. If I have to hear another sentence start with, "When I lived in New York... In New York, blah, blah blah..." I might have to punch someone's face in. It's also a little young for me. It's always so concerned with college classes and working on its movie or novel or band. How about a little less talking about it and a little more working on it, huh?

The walls of Iowa City closing in.

Iowa City can also feel like it's suffocating me. Sometimes I just need a little room to breathe, you know? Don't fence me in and all like that shit there. I do appreciate how much it notices things, though. I can't go anywhere without getting sighting information on my girls. I know it cares about my daughters safety and that means a lot to me.

A guy walking a tightrope on the Pentacrest, just because.

Mostly, I love how Iowa City is never boring. I can be ready to gouge my eyes out with my letter opener after inputting hundreds of high school transcripts at work, and think to myself as I leave for my lunch walk, "Okay, someone better fucking entertain me right now, or I can't be held accountable for my actions." And Iowa City always comes through. There's either guys walking tightropes or crazy people having in-depth conversations with inanimate objects, or I'll see some of the regulars who used to come into all of the restaurants where I worked and I'll crack-up thinking about the nicknames we gave them. I could easily be the mayor of this town of freaks...Okay, I'd have to get elected for that and I'm too lazy to run for office. How about the princess? Isn't that something you just fall into? I could be from some hidden royalty, don't you think?

Who knew tightrope walkers had groupies?

Whatever. I'm going through a HUGE honeymoon phase with this town right now. I'm old enough to know that the honeymoon can't last. In a month or so, when it's twenty below zero out, and icy and Iowa City is exerting its control issues by not letting me run outside, I'll totally bitch to my girlfriends and wonder what I ever saw in it, but right now, we're all rainbows, and unicorns and butterflies.

So, how about you? Are you crushed-out on your town or are you living together in quiet, or not so quiet resentment?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's a Wonder I Can Think at All

Another recycled picture of me. Sorry, I don't have all that many kid pics of myself, so I have to use the same ones over again.

So, hey. I finally got my XBox back from the shop and it seems to be working just fine again. Stinky worked on her carpal tunnel by playing Guitar Hero for way too long, and I figured out how to reset it so it would work with my wireless router. I'm awesome. Anyway, it seemed like a good night to steal a post from my old blog. So, here goes:

When I was in 4th grade, I was desperately trying to get diagnosed with a learning disability. Both my brother and my sister supposedly had one and they got to see Mrs. Sanchez. She was a big proponent of positive reinforcement, so my siblings were constantly coming home with super balls, candy and best of all, stories about their lunches at McDonald's. Back in 1974, you were still allowed to use food as a reward. My plan was to get diagnosed, have my class in Mrs. Sanchez's room and then be so good that I used up her entire budget on McDonald's lunches every week. The school indulged me a couple of times, but the third time I asked to take the test that should have led me down my Mccheeseburger path, I was denied.

I don't remember specifics, but I think the principal sounded like this; "Listen kid. You don't have a learning disability and you're not gonna get one by taking the tests over and over. So, scram." Actually, it was the seventies and we lived in Mesa so I'm sure he spoke less like Nick the bartender from It's A Wonderful Life and more like a progressive Mormon worried about my self-esteem.

What I lacked in a learning disability, I made up for in a speech impediment. I had a lisp up until that year. Lisps are adorable until you reach that awkward age and unless you're moving to Barcelona, you want to try to lose it and fast. Which meant I had to meet with a speech therapist. Unfortunately, she was no Mrs. Sanchez. She was so boring, I don't even remember her name. I sat in her room and recited, "Sammy snake, Sammy snake, Sammy snake..." into a tape recorder.

I know I can't make it through a post without mentioning my short attention span, so I figured I'd bring it up again. Sitting down for very long is difficult for me as an adult, but as a nine year old, it was torture. Finally, one day my teacher went out and left me to my recitation so she could smoke a ciggie in the hallway and chat with some of the other teachers. I continued on and she told me she would listen to it later. Halfway through, I belched very loudly into the microphone. I felt so rebellious. But instead of listening to the tape later, my speech therapist came back early and decided to go over it with me. I couldn't look at her as the tape rolled on. "Sammy snake. Sammy snake. Sammy snake. Bwaaap! Sammy snake..." My teacher was sufficently horrified.

"Chur-LEE-ta!" I was so busted. I didn't even laugh uncomfortably like I normally do in awkward situations.

"I'm sorry, but it was soooo boring." She wasn't sympathetic. She was, in fact, very annoyed for the duration of our classes together. I once heard her relating the incident to another teacher when they were standing outside the door. The other teacher said,

"I guess there's one in every bunch..."

The good news is, that I lost my lisp that year. Maybe the therapist had a plan all along. Her strategy was to bore the lisp right out of me. And now I don't even have to consciously think to put my tongue behind my teeth when I say Sammy snake. Which is good, because you know how often I'm always talking about Sammy snake.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Then You Say, Go Slow - I Fall Behind

Tonight is going to be self-esteem night for all y'all. That's right. With the help of Nursula's (I use internet names for folks if I have them) photos, you get to see a bunch of pics of me dancing. All you have to do is view them and you'll feel a hundred million times better about yourself and your own funky fresh moves. The other part is that I'm random again today, so not only will you feel superior about how you dance, you'll feel like you have the longest attention span ever after you finish this post.

I had a couple of conversations about dancing this weekend. The first one happened when I was walking from The Dublin to The Picador and we walked past The Sports Column where people were either drunkenly lurching about or drunkenly grinding into each other. My friend Carrie pointed and laughed and I asked the people I was with to shoot me if I ever danced like that. Then I'm presented with a picture like the one above, and I think maybe someone should have shot me anyway.

On Sunday my daughters were in the living room doing homework and listening to "Dancing Machine" by The Jackson Five. Of course, I had to stop cleaning and start doing The Robot. The first time I ever saw it done, was to "Dancing Machine". Stinky immediately got out the camera. Instead of taking pictures, she videotaped me. "Have you ever seen what you look like when you dance, mom?" She asked. "Because I'm doing this for your own good. Maybe if you can see yourself, you might not think it's such a great idea to keep doing it all the time.

"Yes. I have seen a video of myself, thank you very much. And I've decided it's just easier not to look at videos any more and keep dancing like a dork whenever I want."

"Okay. If you insist. But I may have to put this up on Facebook for everyone to see," Stinky said.

"Really? Because I think you'll find you're only hurting yourself with that one. For one, you're not my friend on Facebook, so none of my friends will be able to see it. And for two, all your friends will see it instead and since they're kind of smart, they'll figure out that you have half my DNA and you just might find them forgetting to invite you to parties and dances." Stinky didn't say anything after that, but the look of horror on her face was precious.

Here I am with my thumbs up tribute to dorkiness. Derrrrrr.

On Sunday it was suddenly cold and crazy windy. My body went right back into hibernation mode and I started thinking about storing all my comfort items. I dug through boxes and found some nice mellow CD's to load into my computer - Iron and Wine, The Shins and Willie Nelson and Emmy Lou Harris' El Teatro were just some of the discs I loaded.

I also cooked up a storm. I made fresh salsa with the last of the garden veggies my neighbors gave me, I baked au gratin potatoes and made some hummus for the girls for an after school snack. I was also going to make some pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, but I couldn't find the can of pumpkin goo I thought I had. I finally remembered that I used it a couple of weeks ago when I made pumpkin pie. Luckily it's cheap, because now I REALLY want some pumpkin bars...Especially the cream cheese frosting part.

Here's me finally flipping off someone else who's taking a picture of me. How do you like me now?

Coadster had to write a short story for her English class. It was supposed to take place in the future and be scary. So, she wrote this Blair Witch type teen story where some kids got trapped in a cabin in a Summer snowstorm caused by global warming. The cabin was empty except for a TV that they couldn't turn off, that only played campaign ads. I said, "Jeez, Coadster. That is frightening. Do they all end up killing themselves at the end?" I'm pretty sure I would after about five minutes.

Here is our artsy dance sequence. Doesn't it look like we could have easily been dancing to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". We're so unusual.

At work today, I was once again quoting old Hee Haw episodes. I'm sure you all know how that goes. It was one of those shows growing up that my parents were pretty much appalled by, but everyone else in my neighborhood just loved. I'm guessing that's why I'm still quoting it at my desk at work in my cubicle in my forties. Either that, or I'm just that big of a freak. (shut-up) After I sang a little of the "She met another..." song, my cubicle neighbor came up with some of his own quotes. I told him I thought it would be so awesome if he would perform a Hee Haw episode where he acted out all the parts - even Barbie Benton's. He said that if he hadn't smoked so much pot in the seventies, he may have been able to remember one. As it was, he could really only recall some Minnie Pearl'isms. Hey, that worked for me.

Trying to interpret this photo is a little tricky. I'm thinking I was trying to get back to my cultural roots by performing my version of the River Dance, and it made my friend sick just to watch it.

Oh yeah. I was tagged to pick the Saturday Scavenger Hunt word this week. What the hell, I think I'm going with Street. Has that been used?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We're Going to Dance and Have Some Fun

I went out both nights this weekend. It was hard to leave my house each night, but I remembered my "when in doubt, go out" mantra and I bucked up and made my way into both rainy Fall evenings.

I'm really glad I did, because both nights were tons of fun. On Friday, my girl crush came into town and my friend C. was also here from Fort Madison. I started out at The Dublin with a bunch of fun girls.
My friend K. and I went to the Picador to see her roommate's band play. The other girls were on their way to the Foxhead to see our friend Brad who was tending bar there. As at every metal show, the guys were very enthusiastic about showing me how much they appreciated my presence. They even used their fingers as visual aids.

The show was loud and fun. I tried to create as much mischief and mayhem as I possibly could by talking shit and taking photos.

At some point, I got a text from my girl crush. She said they went back to our friend J.'s house. I stopped over there on my way home and I got there just in time for pizza and hilarious conversation. It was exactly what I needed to give me the energy to make my way home.

On Saturday, we found out that Coadster made All-State. She auditioned and got called back and then made it. She said it was ridiculously stressful, but she was glad it was over.

In the evening, the girls went to their dad's house, and I got a little bit of alone time before I went out and met some friends at the Picador. A local band called Wax Cannon played and our other friends from Minneapolis came back to their home town to entertain us.

They brought their wives, who helped out by holding signs with song lyrics for those of us who couldn't make them out. This sign says, "My rights cost more than I want to pay".

In between bands, I went to the Dublin with a few of my friends for one drink. A couple of the regular guys were sitting at the bar and asked me what I had been up to that night and if it was fun. I explained that I had been at the Picador and that there had been two women practically having sex with each other in front of everyone.

One of the guys, who is 24 and grew up in Iowa City said, "You know. I've seen that so often in this town, that I'm actually a little bored by it." I laughed and told him that there were some guys standing right next to the girls and photographing and filming it with their cameras. They must have been from out of town.

We made it back for the end of the show. It being close to Halloween, I got to witness some festive, holiday hijinks.

Simon took a mannequin head out of a back pack and paraded around the stage with it. It may have had something to do with the lyrics of his song, but I wasn't paying enough attention to piece it together.

I was a little distracted by all the hot chicks dancing in front of me. Apparently, I wasn't nearly blonde enough to hang with that crowd.

The nicest thing about the show for me, was all the old people who showed up. One guy was in town from Europe, but most of the people were just old and had families and never hardly ever went out. Now that I'm on FaceBook and connecting with people who used to live in Iowa City, but have since moved all over the world, I've been even more nostalgic than usual. We did a little reminiscing about the old days and talking about how weird and mostly wonderful our lives have become since then...Oh, and also teased each other about some of the losers we slept with when we were in our twenties and too young to know any better.

As I've said before, there's usually some event that triggers my flight response at the end of the evening. This time it was two guys hijacking the microphone and chanting another guy's name. Okay, time to go.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

As I Watched it on TV, Somehow It Really Bothered Me

So, I've been getting these subtle reminders of what I'm supposed to do here in the next week or so...

I remember saying I was going to try to get to it, this week, but then I keep forgetting what it is I was supposed to do...

Wait. It's coming to me...Oh yeah, I need to get my ass in gear and vote. I've heard there are long lines, and I'm sure the more I procrastinate, the worse that will be. I'm thinking next week. Coadster will be done with all-state rehearsals and my taxiing duties may calm down for a bit before Stinky starts basketball. Maybe I'll make it my practical thing to take care of on Saturday.

It looks like I might actually have some fun things going on this weekend. Tomorrow night, there is a home game at the high school. Stinky is planning on going to that and then to a friend's Halloween party not far from our house. Finally. Most of her friends seem to live way out away from town and that requires a lot of driving on my part.

Coadster, will only go for part of the game, and then she'll have to go home and go to bed. They have to be ready to go for All-State around 5 am. That's right. FIVE. A. M.

It looks like for me, there could be a fun girl night out with the Dublin girls and my friend John's band is playing at the Picador, so I may try to run in there for a minute or two.

Saturday is all kind of tentative right now. The guys I know from Minneapolis are supposed to be in town and I'll try to hook up with them and my friend Lydia. I've also heard the band Bumpus is in town from Chicago and playing at the Yacht Club. My friend J. was talking about maybe seeing them and my friend K. says she's up for anything. There are a lot of maybe's and could happens in there, but no matter what, I plan on having a great weekend...And voting. I definitely plan on voting.

How about you all? Have you voted and/or had fun recently?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cause I Never Want to Make You Change for Me

I know it's been a while, so I thought I'd put up another of Stinky's self-portraits tonight.

Tonight I went to the girls' choir concert. The nice thing about them going to the same school, is that they're both in the same concert, so I won't have to go to another one next week too. The girls did very well. Coadster has All-State auditions this Saturday, so she's a little nervous. She made it as a Sophomore last year, and I think she's feeling more pressure this year. I told her it's just five minutes of her life, and not to stress out about it. I'm sure that's easier said than done. There's a home football game on Friday and I keep reminding her she's not allowed to scream during it. It should be pretty tough for her, she's one of those people who can't watch sports without yelling at someone or something. Just be glad you weren't here when the Cubs were in the playoffs.

I'm also using up some Fall foliage shots. Here's one of a sculpture on the Ped Mall.

The concert was very sweet. They did something new this year. They had the special ed kids perform. I thought it was awesome. They worked really hard and some were very low functioning, so they had plenty of people assisting and the kids seemed to have a lot of fun. We gave them a standing ovation and they definitely deserved it.

This one is of McBride Hall.

The executive story editor of True Blood, my sexy vampire show was sitting two rows ahead of me. It took almost everything I had not to go up to him and start grilling him about the show. Was Sam a werewolf? Who was doing all the killing? Is Bill really dead? Yeah, I know. I seriously need a life.

Here is a very yellow tree in front of the business building.

I was exhausted after work, so I took a little nap before the concert. I basically rolled out of bed, left my lounge pants on, did absolutely nothing with my hair and wore my big long coat to try to hide it all. I figured, I was going to a high school function, what difference would it make? Of course, five minutes after I sat down, this super hot guy asked me if the seat next to was taken. At first I thought, that's why I need to take a little more time getting ready. I remember one of the temps in my office saying that she never left her house without make-up and her hair done, because her mother told her that she never knew when she'd meet the love of her life. But then I decided that I'm pretty sure whatever guy was going to choose me to be the love of his life, wouldn't want a Barbie Doll, and didn't worry about it.

I noticed one of the big signs that the guy I was dating this Winter and I weren't well matched, when I woke-up early on a Saturday to take Stinky to basketball practice. I threw on whatever was warm and handy. When I got back, the guy was sitting at my kitchen table. He looked me up and down and asked, "So, do you think that looks good?"

I hadn't had any caffeine yet and I was more than a little taken aback and I said, "What? Oh. No. Not really, but I don't care because I was just jumping in and out of the car. It's not like I'm going to wear this out on the town or anything..."

He said, "Good," and seemed relieved, but I was pretty annoyed. I definitely wear dressier stuff and put on make-up and wear my "goin' out hair" (as Mr. B puts it) when the situation calls for it, but I'm just as happy wearing a Carhartt sweatshirt and jeans and going fishing or hiking or cutting wood, or whatever. I've had it the other way too, where guys I dated gave me shit about wearing make-up and being girly. I guess, whoever may become the love of my life, will be a guy who'll be okay with the fact that I like to mix things up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Got Motion, Restrained Emotion

Tonight I'm going to start this new old thing. I'm stealing this idea from a few others like the Alien and Dana. They have both been reposting entries from their old blogs, and I thought I'd do the same here and there. Those of you who have read and remember my old blog, I apologize. Most of you weren't around for it, and I've since made it private, so you can't read it even if you wanted to. I'm just going to go back and mine the sludge of blog posts of old, and if you do remember that blog, it's been a couple of years now, so hopefully these reruns won't be too tedious.

Okay, so here's the first one I drudged up. It's about, what else? An old relationship. Yup. Since I don't have anything going on in my life right now, I have to actually go back and steal from my former self. Damn, that's pathetic.

I originally wrote this in September of 2006:

Neal back in 1985.

We hadn't even left my apartment and already we were fighting. He had smoked some pot and was all lazy and high and now he didn't want to go.

"Can't we just put the tent up in your living room? We can camp here. It will be fun."

"No, it won't. I never get a day off and we've been planning this for weeks. I'm going. I need to go. I told you when we moved to the city that I was going to have to get out from time to time. Remember? You agreed and said you would too. Well, you do get out. You have days off. You go to Tahoe with your friends and ski and you go to Santa Cruz and surf. And when was the last time I got out? Oh let's see...When we moved here? That was the last time I left the city. You have options that I don't." It was the closest I had come to saying that he had privilege and I resented him for it. He could've easily shot my argument down by reminding me how difficult it was to be the only Black family in an affluent neighborhood in the seventies, but he didn't bring that up either. We both knew that in my head, I had it worse. And though we never clearly voiced our resentments, recently we had been letting them lie between us in bed.

"Okay. I'm going. I never said I wouldn't go, I just thought it would be way more cozy here at your place."

We took a van to Mount Tamalpais. It was only five dollars to ride and then another two dollars to camp in a communal space as long as we didn't drive a car there. Even I could afford that.

Once we had set up camp, we hiked down through Muir Woods and to the grassy area on the way to Stinson Beach. It was warm and sunny and I finally awoke from the influence of the ever present fog in the city. We messed around catching lizards and setting them free. Neal ran into a family of a dad and his sons and let them pet the lizard in his hand. Then he ate a grasshopper. He had taken one of those survival courses when he was in high school where he had eaten his first one. Now it had become his only parlor trick. I stood back and spoke to the dad. He was younger and handsome and Neal was keenly aware of his flirtatiousness. With the grasshopper still partially chewed in his mouth, Neal came up and kissed me in order to extinguish any interest the dad may have had in me. The family quickly moved on.

When we got down to Stinson Beach, we saw the signs for the nude section. "Do you want to go?" Neal asked and I nodded enthusiatically.

"Yes, please."

As we got closer, we noticed the kind of people who were either headed there or on their way back and we turned around as well. It proved once again that the people who were willing to get naked in public were never the ones you ever wanted to see without clothes.

We decided to pay to take the van back up to the campsite. It was wimpy of me, but this had been my only vacation all year and I felt I deserved to be pampered. Besides our tent, the rest of the site was still empty. We took advantage of it by having sex practically outside in the middle of the day. It wasn't as fun as either of us had imagined. I could still taste the bitterness of the grasshopper in my mouth or maybe it was just the weight of all of our grudges making our movements awkward and cumbersome and our words forced and disingenuous. When it was over, we both slept. Neal and I had always been big fans of the snorgasm.

We were awakened by voices and the dimming evening light. There were other campers now. Two guys a little older than we were. Both had worked in canneries in Alaska and were heading South to Mexico. They had indistinguishable one syllable guy names. I called one John and one Dave. John was riding his bike down the coast, while Dave was hitching rides. They had great stories and beer. Neal and I were too young to buy alcohol, but we had a one hitter and some weed. We all drank and smoked and they told us unbelievable anecdotes. One was about a beautiful, horny woman who gave Dave a ride and then soundly fucked him; and another was of the brush with death John had on Highway One, after a speeding logging truck nearly clipped him.

Neal was being sweet and charming too. He made fun of himself for being so baked and lame earlier in the morning and almost missing such a great trip. And I did an exaggerated impression of myself being a screeching harpy about it.

John, the more sensitive of the two said, "You guys really mesh. You," and he pointed at me with the one hitter. "You are the total anima. And you," he said now singling Neal out. "You are the animus." Because he spoke with such stoned conviction, we accepted it as truth. All of our differences were suddenly natural and necessary.

Enough time had passed from our nap, and we were finally tired. We reentered the tent and tried again. This time we had to be quiet out of respect for our neighbors, so our words couldn't betray us. This time the sweetness of the cheeb and beer was all I could taste. This time we had cleansed the air with the smoke of our peace pipe and chased away all of our grudges. This time we actually made love like we used to at the beginning, before we had become clouded by everything else.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Then Like a Distant Scream

Here are some pics I took last week while I wandered around my neighborhood. This a photo of a grown-up chair that fell over and a kid chair that's still standing.

I guess I'm going to be a little scattered tonight. I stayed up way too late last night for this one reason, and you know how I get when I'm sleep-deprived - my self-diagnosed ADD runs wild. Who knows what the hell I'll say.

This is some kind of garage like building with windows. I like the whacky color combination.

Stinky went to a haunted cornfield outside of town called Field of Screams. (have I mentioned lately how much I love Iowa?) One of the kids who went with, lives a block over. He's a good kid, but he's a total Eddie Haskell. Every time he's over, he just keeps kissing up and it's so obviously fake, that it annoys me just a little. Anyway, Stinky said when they were out at the haunted cornfield, at first he kept trying to be all tough and say, "Bring it. BRING IT!" And then when someone jumped out from the cornstalks with a fake chainsaw and a mask and indeed brought it, he ran down the field, screaming like a five year old girl. Damn. I almost wish I was there to see it.

Here is my favorite tree on my street. I'm also a fan of the 70's looking wagon type vehicle in front of it.

My daughters work and hang out with a girl who's dad graduated from high school with me in Ottumwa. It seems so weird. I remember running into him and his wife when our kids were little. We were all laughing (until we cried) about having kids so close together in age. My girls are sixteen months apart and his kids are about that same distance apart, except his wife had twins with the second pregnancy. So, when we saw them, they had three kids under the age of two. Shoot me. Anyway, if you had told me that our kids would grow up to be good friends, I'd never have believed you. Since I never lived anywhere longer than four years straight when I was a kid, the concept of knowing someone my entire life besides kin, is entirely foreign to me.

This house is also pretty seventies. My neighborhood is kind of retro like that.

I do this thing. Some people find it annoying. Of course, I think it's kind of charming, but since I know I'll never be able to stop, I kind of have to. I change the words to songs to fit the occasion. And just for the record, I did it long before Weird Al made it famous. In junior high, there was a kid named Sam. I'm not using last names anymore, because in the past, guys I knew from junior high have googled themselves and found my blog. It's actually been cool, because I hadn't heard from them since 1979, but I don't want anyone to take the shit I write the wrong way. So, Sam used to call me flea, since my hair was all wild and crazy and messy. Sam was a little heavy, so I got him back by changing the words to Foreigner's, "Hot Blooded", to "...He's fat blooded, check it and see. His pinky finger weighs a hundred and three...." Yeah, it was bitchy, but then I was fighting a guy who would sit behind me in class and take his finger and wave it all around my head and make a buzzing sound, like I had bugs in my hair, so I like to think we're even.

I continued with the Foreigner theme when the girls were little, and I used to sing "Juice Box Hero" when I got them their liquid refreshments, after they woke up from their nap. I also changed the Backstreet Boys song to, "Everybody, wash your body..." when it was time for their baths, until the guy I was dating at the time, put a moratorium on that one. What?

Today, my co-worker John was being particularly annoying, so I had to change the words to Barry Manilow's "Copa Cabana" to, "His name was John. He was a loser..." And then he threw a handful of rubber bands at me over the cubicle wall and it helped me get through the day.

What songs do you change the lyrics to, and what do you replace them with?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Somebody Gotta Save My Soul

I ran my seven mile route that goes past the Halloween barn on North Scott Road. I hadn't photographed it in a couple of years, and I saw some new stuff, so I went back with my camera.

So, I took most of the weekend off from the blogosphere. I needed a break and I had a great weekend. I think most of that was due to the fact that I didn't have a migraine. So nice.

When I got off work on Friday, it was raining. Both of the girls took off to their different social engagements and I had most of the night to myself to hibernate and watch movies. I saw The Big Bad Swim, which had an ensemble cast. It was a little slow getting going, but I liked it by the end. If you're into fast action and shit blowing up, this probably isn't for you. The other movie I watched was Fracture with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. It was pretty interesting, and it had Ryan Gosling in it. There was a courtroom scene and some things seemed a little unbelievable, but it had Ryan Gosling in it. I think the most memorable thing about it was Ryan Gosling. Did I mention Ryan Gosling had a pretty big role in the film?

I liked this skeleton in parts on the fence.

The girls worked most of Saturday. I try to do at least one crappy practical thing during the day on Saturday. This week, I took in my recycling and did some house cleaning. I couldn't run my eight mile route, because there was a home game and the West side of town was crawling/stumbling with drunken Hawkeyes.

Apparently, you get dead from jumping on the bed.

Around six o'clock, my friend Sara came over and we ate nachos and drank beer and I let Sara burn some CD's of my incredibly cheesy music and caught up on the last year. It was perfect.

At one point, some of Coadster's friends came over to pick her up for a party. Sara hadn't been around teenage girls for a while and when they left, I asked her if her head hurt. She said, "A little." I told her the key was not to show fear around them. I just talk a ton of shit, and they always tell Coadster how cool they think I am, even though I'm probably the biggest dork they'll ever meet.

The skeleton on the lawn chair was the first thing that caught my eye when I ran past the barn.

Originally, I thought I was going to the Picador, but I guess that's next weekend. I figured I'd probably just stay home after Sara left. Around 9:30, I got a call from my friend D. asking me if I wanted to meet her at the Dublin. Sure, I did. She said she had just been on the phone with a woman she met when she was studying in Germany. The woman told her about how she had been in Europe for three weeks. The first week, she was at a wedding in England and the other two weeks, she walked across Spain. She then described her wonderful life in San Francisco, where she does swing dance competitions. After D. hung up the phone, she decided that after all her friend does, she should at least leave her house.

This demon head was pretty creepy too.

After some picking up of Stinky girls, I finally made it to the Dublin. It was packed full of twenty'ish year old boys. My friend Dexter, looked around at all the guys and told me it wasn't the best singles bar for him. I said, it wasn't for me either because they were all too young.

I love it that they used a rusty farm implement to make this creepy monster.

I finally decided to take my leave of the Dublin and as I was going, my friend D. introduced me to a guy she knew. He was pretty hilarious and very drunk. He was telling me about how all the women in the world wanted to sleep with him. He then pointed to the one table of cute young girls in the whole bar and said, "See them? Yeah, they're chubbie chasers. (he was heavy set) They're totally checking me out." I looked over at the girls, as they were all checking out some other hot young guy.

"Oh, yeah. They're all over you," I said. Then I told him I had to go.

"Is my hotness too much for you? You having a hard time controlling yourself?"

"How did you know?" I asked. "Was I that obvious? I'm going to run home and take a cold shower right now."

Here is a zombie coming out of the ground.

Sunday was pretty relaxed. I got a text from my friend K. to meet her and her boyfriend and his son at the Vine for football. Our friend James joined us a little later too. The Steelers won, my Bears won and The Cowboys lost, (if you're a Cowboys fan, I'm sorry. I like you, I just don't like your team) so it was the perfect football trifecta for me.

I've photographed this goblin before, but I still love it and now it's on the ground so I was able to get a better shot.

I also obviously ran my seven mile route and took some creepy photos. Now, all I have to do is gear up for Monday, and since it's after midnight by the time I'm actually finishing this post, what I really need to do is go to sleep.

Here is a head on a stick on a fence.