Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'll Have a Cup of Tea and Tell You of My Dreaming

Here is a picture that Coadster took of the silhouette of our house and a storm a-brewin' last Sunday. I think it's pretty kick-ass.

Soooo, only two more days left of the week. Then we'll have our 4th of July weekend and Jazz Fest here in Iowa City. Is it just Iowa, or is there a different Fest every weekend in the Summer?

The weather took a turn on Sunday, and it's been amazing ever since. Perfect for running. I've finally been getting into shape the last few weeks. I'm very close to being able to kick all of your asses. Of course, I never would...I just like knowing I could.

After the busy, craziness of this weekend, I've slowed everything down and become really boring. Last night I had a dream that I was sitting in the rain somewhere that looked suspiciously like Golden Gate Park. I was watching a guy photograph a wedding party and I worried that he was going to ruin his camera in the storm. That was the whole dream. See what I mean? Even my dreams are mundane this week, and that's just the way I want it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This Band's Curse Inflicts All Its Members

So, here's one thing I forgot to mention yesterday. On Saturday the girls and I went to Trek Fest in Riverside, Ia. - the future home of James T. Kirk. It was the 25th anniversary. We missed the parade in the morning, and weren't about to go to the casino and pay $25 or more to see Uhura, Sulu and Chekov. We, did however, catch enough Star Trek kitsch to last a lifetime. Oh yeah, there was also a car show at the same time, so we had lots and lots to look at.

Here I am getting attacked by the Horta on one of the floats leftover from the parade. Trek Fest can be very, very dangerous, you know.

Here is Coadster getting ready to board the Starship Enterprise...

...And here she is on the bridge with her finger on the contols.

Apparently, being in charge of all the controls really freaked-out Stinky. That was not the only time she made that face while we were there.

Eventually, we tried to escape the oppressive heat and humidity by entering the Star Trek museum place. Only in Iowa, do Trekkies and farmers co-exist so peacefully.

The girls were hanging with Spock and Kirk for a while, but then we quickly moved on. As far as I'm concerned, I don't trust the captain around my daughters.

I thought we'd be safe when we entered the next room, but were suddenly faced with a gigantic shrine to The Shat. This photo doesn't do it justice. I wish I had one of those panorama cameras, to show you all the crap they had in this room to pay homage to the man.

The rest of the day, I spent running and showering and dying of heat exhaustion and dehydration after my run. Then I got the girls to their respective places and headed out into the night.

Here are the Meat Puppets seriously kicking ass.

At first, I went to the Dublin to hang out with a few friends. We were having a great talk and watching baseball, when a bachelor party arrived, in an advanced state of innebriation. I was invited to the corresponding bachelorette party, but was too lazy to go to all the bars with them, so we were waiting for them to show up at the Dublin too. They eventually did, right when I was supposed to go to the Meat Puppets show. My doppleganger who also shares my name, kept trying to get me to stay. She told me the show was canceled because the whole band had diarrhea, but I didn't believe her and finally took my leave.

The band didn't have diarrhea (that I could see, anyway) and they were so awesome, I could barely stand it. Like the temp in my office said, they looked old, but they didn't play old. It was one of the best shows I've been to since Dinosaur Junior last year.

Here is Dexter and LN.

The show was sold-out and packed and hot and suffocating. Lucky for me, my friends Dex and LN, found the very best seat in the house. It was booth with really bouncy seats, located directly under the air conditioner. Basically, I jumped up and down with the air blowing on me for over an hour. If you ever get to see the Meat Puppets, I highly recommend bringing a mini trampoline and your own air conditioning unit. It's truly the best way to see them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

You Could Say I Am Tired

This weekend was full of wonderful. If there was any way I could have rolled up a dollar bill and snorted all the events into my nose for the head rush, I would have. It was that fun. Since I packed so much in it, I'm just going to discuss Friday night tonight.

I got home from work and spent time with the girls and got them where they needed to be. Then around 9, I met my girlcrush and other friends at the Foxhead where Mr. Meister was working.

We had been discussing how big our arms seem to look in photos. I suggested we just banana clip our upper arms, so we tried it out, and look how much smaller they are here.

After a bit, we headed to the Dublin and tried to mass our troops before we made it to the Mill to see the House of Large Sizes play.

We got to the Mill just as the band was starting and found out the show had sold-out. None of our guy friends had a ticket, so we said our good-byes and went into the bar.

It was populated with mostly old people - which is my kind of show. Luckily they weren't too mature NOT to make a beautiful pyramid of PBR tallboys.

The show itself was awesome. The band could still rock and boy howdy, did they. A few of my friends had never seen them before, and they were really impressed. With so many people, it was super hot and stuffy. So, after being in the thick of the crowd for a while, I went back to the bar and stood by my friends Bronson and Craig, where I could actually breathe.

Once the show was over, we went back to the Mill, where I took photos of my adorable friends and talked a bunch of shit.

Mr. Meister was nice enough to give us all a ride home after he got done tending bar. When we were in front of the bar waiting for him, this gigantic six year old looking guy (that's how some of my friends described him) kept bugging me about taking a photo of him. I obliged, just to shut him up, but while it was being taken, he started yelling, "I don't know what to do with my hands!" and then tried to get me to take another picture with him. Luckily, Mr. Meister drove up and I jumped into his car.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life Ain't So Bad at All, If You Live it Off the Wall

Here is a crooked photo of the doors my neighbors painted on their porch.

Wow. What a crazy day today was. First I'll address all the dead people talk. I'm sorry to hear about Farrah. I know a lot of boys lost their...Whatever to her poster.

Second I'll talk about MJ. I'm sad that he's dead. His music was amazing pop. The Jackson 5 was crazy huge when I was in grade school and I saw The Wiz at the the theater for my 12th birthday (I think). In high school we used to run to Off the Wall and some of the girls - you know, those kind of girls would get a little teary whenever they heard Michael's voice crack with emotion in that one part of "She's Out of My Life". Which was always good for a laugh. Thriller came out my senior year in high school and seemingly played non-stop all the way through my first year in college. I remember watching the world premiere of the Thriller video at my sister's friend Julie's house that first night it aired. Of course, his life was fucked and he was whack and he had a lot of scary issues that took away any respect I had for him. I think it's weird how people try and make him a saint because he's dead. I'm all for acknowledging his talent, but I can't forget the bad stuff either.

Now, I will stop talking about dead people and discuss something way more interesting - Me. I got my migraine meds switched back to the stuff that works now. It took me almost a week to hear back from the dial-a-nurse people, but once I did, they got it all taken care of in a day. I was beginning to dread my three day migraines again.

This weekend should be full of music. On Friday night, I'm going to the Mill to see a local'ish band called House of Large Sizes play. Then on Saturday night, I'm going back to the Mill to see the Meat Puppets. I had an opportunity to see them at a basement party in 1985 when I was staying with my oldest sister in Tempe, Az. I decided not to go, because back then we were all such hardcore assholes and very territorial. We weren't nice to punks we didn't know who came to shows. So, I was too much of a wuss to go and risk getting my ass kicked. Now, I'll get to see them when I'll actually remember the show. I can't say that about many of the shows I saw in the 80's.

Soooo, what are you planning this weekend? Will you be busy mourning dead celebrities? Or will you be watching old people try to rock and not throw a hip out at the same time?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Think I Thought I Saw You Try

Here is some graffiti of a boy.

I think tonight I'll just talk about a few of our obsessions. The first one is Stinky's cell phone. She is so obsessed with texting, that she made a fatal error last night. I've told her a million times NOT to bring her phone into the bathroom. There's no need for it there and there are too many things it could drown itself in. Of course, since she's 15, she didn't listen to me and it fell into the bathtub as it was draining. Oops!

Then I told her to take the battery out and put both the phone and the battery in front of a fan to dry out over night. Her sister suggested putting it in the toaster oven to dry out. She said it was faster. I told her that didn't sound like a very good idea. Guess which one of us she listened to? That's right. Stinky put her phone into the toaster oven until both the battery and the phone were starting to melt and turn into Shrinky Dinks. Um, duh. Of course, Stinky was horrified and started trying to shame and blame her sister. I told her to knock it off. She had made two bad decisions in a row. She was allowed to be upset about it, but not to direct that anger at anyone else who was mistaken, but still just trying to be helpful. Stinky told me she couldn't see anything positive in the situation.

After she went in her room and calmed down, we were able to come up with a solution. We do have insurance on our phones (I know how we all are). It still costs $50, which I refuse to pay, since I wasn't the one who made the wrong choices (that time, anyway). Stinky had $25 that she was going to bring with her to her church group's trip to Adventureland to pay for her food there. I told her I would spot her the rest until she could pay me back and we bought a bunch of healthier snacks for her to sneak into the park when she goes. I also refused to deal with the cell phone insurance company, since I hate doing that kind of practical stuff, and again, I didn't kill my favorite obsession (that time, anyway). So, Stinky had to go on the website and figure out how it all worked. She did a great job and her phone should be delivered to my place of business tomorrow.

Here is some graffiti of a girl.

LauraB. from What Fresh Hell is This blog, turned me on to the show Nurse Jackie on Showtime. It stars Edie Falco, who I've always loved and it is awesome. I watched the first 5 episodes in one sitting and am jonesing for more. It's about a woman who is really great at taking care of everyone else's needs and fucked-up situations, but not her own. It looked a little familiar. Hmmmm...

I've also started watching the first episode of the first season of Dexter and it looks really great too. It's a damn good thing I don't have anything else to do, or I would be in big, big trouble. Ahem.

Oh, and one last obsession. FMDM has been bugging me for a while to try a game on XBox called Peggle. It's kind of like pinball, but so much better and bigger and gayer. When you finish a level, there are fake fireworks noises, and giant rainbows and they play the Hallelujah Chorus and I get to celebrate my wonderfulness at video games again and again and again.

Okay, those are enough obsessions for now. Laura B. tagged me to do a meme about obsessions, but I'm not very good with the structure right now, since I've apparently been piddling all my time away staring at glowing boxes. I still may try to do that meme, but if I don't get around to it, this is my lame-ass attempt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh, Simple Thing, Where Have You Gone?

Here are some stairs heading down.

All this recent talk of Father's Day and dad's and blah, blah, blah, got me thinking about my own history with dad type figures...Well, that and the fact that Stinky is having HUGE issues with her father right now.

If you couldn't tell by my sad, sorry dating past, I haven't had the best male role models growing up. My dad disappeared when I was four and the few memories I do have, were of him being on the emotionally distant side. Then at ten, my uncle became my legal guardian and he was violent and abusive, and mean in general. Not surprisingly, my relationships have been with men who were either controlling and angry or EXTREMELY emotionally unavailable.

I started dating the girls' dad when I was 22 and he was 35. At the time, it didn't occur to me how odd it was that a 35 year old man was still living the life of people my own age, or that I didn't deserve all the name calling and drama he was so fond of. Of course, I finally figured that out by the time I hit my thirties and had two very young kids.

I wouldn't change a thing, because it gave me my girls. I just feel bad that they have to deal with the bad decision in a partner I made when I was too young to know better, for the rest of their lives.

When the girls were younger, Coadster told me that even though she wanted to stay at her dad's house, she sometimes felt abandoned by me when her dad was on a tear. We solved that problem, by me calling during their dad's night and if he was behaving badly, Coadster would tell me she didn't feel well. He'd rather not have to deal with them when there was a possibility of them being difficult, so I would tell him one of them were sick and I'd pick them up and take care of them.

Lately, Stinky has been having real issues with her dad. She doesn't feel like she should have to put up with his swearing at her, calling her names and "borrowing" her babysitting and birthday money and not paying her back. I agree. She has decided not to go to his house for the rest of the Summer and reevaluate in the Fall. I tried a couple of times to get them to talk things out, but he got even more upset and sent her some horrible texts that would be appalling from a high school boy, let alone a man in his fifties. All I can do at this point, is support her in her decision. I try really hard not to trash their dad, because they love him and they are after all, half him. But I do want to make sure they know that all of that bad stuff he lays on them are his issues and he says those mean things to them because he is messed-up and unhappy. It's just a tricky, icky, sticky situation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In the End the Path is Clear

As promised, here are the pics from Stinky's day at the Wapello County Fair. She went with her two friends. She said the lion cub beat her with its tail.

Well, kids. My 5 day weekend is officially over now. Wah! I love having all that time. I always say that I'd never get bored if I didn't have to work...At least if I had enough money. I have way too many hobbies and I do love to spend time by myself.

She and her friend's brother rode the camel.

The only thing is, I have no idea if that's really true. I don't think I've been unemployed longer than a month during my entire adult life. Up until a few years ago, it felt like a luxury to only work 40 hours per week. Plus, I've been a parent since I was 26 years old, and we all know what a time suck kids are.

Here she is looking back at her friends.

These five days have been really nice. It's not that I hate my job or anything. It's fine. It's more that I'm not the best time manager in the world. I try to do WAY too many things in a day and can't get through all of them. So, having 8 and 1/2 extra hours, really took away that stress. I was able to balance everything so much better. It was also a huge treat to be free when other businesses were open. I got my car registration renewed, Stinky's social security card ordered, paid my dentist bill, and went to the bank. Weird.

You can tell by how spazzy she is that we share the same DNA, can't you?

I only went out one night during those 5 days. Since it's Summer, it seems there was something to do every night I was off, but I'm such a homebody. I was really happy just to hang out at my house with my girls and eat dinner and watch movies. Especially with Coadster, I am painfully aware that time is very limited, so I try to take it whenever I can get it.

So it is, that I go back to work tomorrow. My house is looking pretty good, most of my errands have been run, I had tons of time with my girls, and many miles were run. I guess I can handle working four more days until the next weekend.

Darlin' In My Wildest Dreams, I Never Thought I'd Go

Here is a school bus with a jet engine.

Well, kids. I still have one day left on my vacation, and I also have a ton of stuff to do. I'm sorry if I haven't been very good at keeping up with blogs, but I've had a lot of fun and great experiences with running and hanging out with my girls. I promise to get back to the blogs starting Tuesday.

Here are some girls with corn dogs.

Friday night was nice and mellow. I watched two really long and depressing movies. There Will Be Blood was interesting, and there was some blood, just not as much as I imagined.

Here is the deck that Big 10 Rentals set-up for us.

Saturday, I woke-up early for me. I drove the girls a few places, and then met my friends who were driving me to the Air Show in the Quad Cities. Stinky decided not to go. She opted to go to the Wapello County Fair to see some country singer named Jimmy Wayne (I think?). I kept asking her if that was L'il Wayne's brother and she rolled her eyes at me. Awesome.

She got to ride a camel at the fair. Don't you fret. I'll be posting that pic tomorrow, for sure.

Our friend who hosted the air show, had the best set-up for adults and children. This inflatable slide held the kids' interest the whole time. As you can see here, the planes were a little loud for the youngin's who didn't have ear plugs. They were a little loud for me too, and I thought I lost most of my hearing at hardcore and metal shows.

Here I am documenting my stupidity....Again. I was insane about applying sunscreen every hour or so, but forgot my feet. I have to say, the sunburn pattern with these shoes, is pretty cool.

It was very hot at the air field, but the kids were smart enough to keep cool by bobbing for water bottles in the ice.

My friends were really impressed with how big the propellers were. There was a LOT of power in those planes, and best of all, there was a guy named Sargeant Swinger. We might have to make a habit of going to more air shows in the future.

The Blue Angels flew for the finale. It was cool, but so loud and most of the interesting stuff seemed to take place directly in front of the sun. My friend G., joked that it was sponsored by the Eye Care Clinic of the Quad Cities.

After we got back from the Quad Cities, I took a nice little nap. Coadster had spent the day giving tours of her high school to the class reunion of 1989, and then went to her dad's house, and Stinky was at that fair, so I had that luxury.

After I woke-up, I got a couple of calls from people asking me to meet them out. My friend K., took myself and the girls I went to the air show with, to a karaoke event.

I finally got my friend G. to participate. She always claimed she couldn't sing, and to that I said, "Hooey!" We started off singing "Harden My Heart", by Quarterflash. We wanted to sing "Papa Don't Preach", but they didn't have it. Instead, we sang "Like a Virgin" and G. started the song by saying, "I love reality" into the mic.

I headed home around midnight, but G. told me they didn't get home until 8 am. They made a very early morning trip to Perkins before that. I am such a lightweight.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I See You Walkin' Real Slow and You're Smilin' At Everyone

Here is that sign again, but this time they cleaned up the language. It said "asinine" last week, but this week it's "inane". I'll check again next week to see if it changes again. Luckily, we live in a community of writers, so the sign makers are bound to have a good thesaurus.

Today was my first day off, and it was delightful. I tried to do all kinds of wonderfully Summery things, and I think I was successful. The one thing I didn't do very well, was reading blogs. I'm going to try harder tomorrow. If the weather is as bad as they're predicting, I should have plenty of time.

Here is a drinking fountain at College Green Park. It was kind of tricky to shoot this with one hand.

I slept in and that was heavenly. I'm glad I'm not one of those people who can't sleep late any more. It's one of my favorite decadent things to do. When I finally hauled my ass out of bed, I lounged around and made some cinnamon toast and lounged some more. Later I had to run some errands and take Stinky to basketball practice.

All the storms had passed, and I was able to run in the very hot, horrible humidity. I came back and bathed and picked Stinky up from basketball camp. Originally, she wanted to go see the Star Trek movie, but while we were getting ready, she got a call from a friend who wanted her to go to the pool, so I was quickly abandoned. As you can see, I used my alone time to wander around town and take some pics of things I think are typical of Summer.

When Coadster got home from work, and Stinky got back from the pool, they asked me to drive them to the mall. What is it with that place? It's like a giant teenager magnet. I started getting hungry and cranky, so we went home and I grilled cheeseburgers, and I made corn on the cob - because we're Iowans and it's a law that we have to eat that kind of food.

Around 10, I decided to watch the movie Into the Wild. I thought it was a little long, but I did like it a lot. Some parts of it hit close to home. That whole "wandering vagabond in his early twenties" and the arrogance of throwing caution to the wind, was like looking in a mirror. Except, I didn't grow up rich, so I had a lot more respect for the little money I did have.

It's been a while since I've seen a pair of shoes stuck up in a wire.

Tomorrow I plan on getting some practical things done. Right now they're saying it's supposed to rain all day, so it would make it easier not to want to spend all day playing in the sun. I'll let you know what happens.

On Saturday I think I'll be going to the Quad City Air Show. There's a guy in town who is a Dublin semi-regular who owns a rental business, and he bought a bunch of tickets. He gave them away free to all of his friends and is supplying food and drink to all of us. How nice is that?

Coadster can't go because she already volunteered to work the 1989 class reunion at her high school. So, I'm going with Stinky and some of my fun girlfriends. Hopefully. I was supposed to get the tickets in the mail this week and they still aren't here. If they don't come tomorrow, I'll have to think up a plan B.

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be reuniting and it feels so good, or will you be looking to the skies?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For useless Twisting of Our Then New Technology

Here is some roadwork.

Do you ever find yourself searching for something on the web? You stalk people on Facebook, peruse blogs, Google shit you don't really care about. You're not even sure what you want. A connection, a sign, the answer to a question you don't even know how to ask? You find yourself frustrated, because out of your hundreds of Facebook "friends", there isn't one who has posted any new photos or had a witty comment thread that went on for hours and stopped making sense about fifteen comments ago.

You are aware that you are a stalker. A voyeur into other people's lives. Not for any scary or violent reasons, you're just nosy. You want to know what other people do, what they think, how they feel about everything. Why not? You put your life out there for public view. It's only fair.

Because you've had this conversation with your friends, especially your single friends, you know you're not alone. No one bats an eye when someone talks about their web stalking habits. Okay, some people do....But you don't. Isn't it only natural? Before the web, there were neighbors and communities spreading the word about people's lives. You chalk it up to the human fear of living in a vacuum.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

That Music's Lost It's Taste, So Try Another Flavor

Hey, here's a classy photo of Stinky. Just so you can see that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree hugger. (as my friend K. said once)

So, I guess tomorrow will be my Friday. I'm trying to stop saying that, because then I confuse myself about what day it really is, and my brain might explode and I don't want to spend all of my vacation with my head wrapped in duct tape to keep my brain from oozing out. Oh, I like the word, "ooze", by the way.

a.) After that last paragraph, it's clear that I'm all random tonight. There's no point in fighting city hall, so I'm going with it.

b.) I got a call at work from someone representing a McDonald's in town. She wanted to know if anyone from our school would help them write a training manual in Spanish. She offered to pay whomever that person was, in $150 worth of McDonald's gift certificates. When I talked to my co-workers about it, I tried to imagine how much grease that would buy. John, who sits in the cubicle behind me told me to shut-up or he promised to McVomit. So, I did.

c.) I've been having territorial sidewalk issues lately. As I mention on here ad nauseum, I either walk, run or ride my bike almost everywhere I go. So, I'm familiar with sidewalk etiquette. As far as I'm concerned, pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what. They should come before runners, who come before sidewalk riding cyclists. I understand that it is pretty dangerous to ride your bike on many of the streets in my fair city. If you're riding on the sidewalk, you should never push the pedestrian off. Dude, you're riding a damn mountain bike for christ sake, why should the pedestrian have to go off-road? Okay. That's my gripe and I'm sticking to it.

d.) The weather here is still really cooperating with me. Now that I work all day, it's been cloudy and/or raining until my walk home. Then it clears up in time for me to run in the ridiculously humid air.

e.) I'm a little more than annoyed with my iPod's shuffle lately. I have over 3,000 songs on it. There is no reason that it should play the same 25 songs over and over, but it does. Today, however, it finally behaved and played songs I forgot I even had on there. Here are some of them:

1.) "Run Through the Jungle" - Creedence Clearwater Revival

2.) "Love Plus One" - Haircut 100

3.) "Superunknown" - Soundgarden

4.) "Lazy Eye" - Silversun Pickups

5.) "Antmusic" - Adam Ant

6.) "Fortress" - Pinback

7.) "Fairytale of New York" - The Pogues

8.) "The Rockafeller Skank" - Fatboy Slim

9.) "Stone Free" - Jimi Hendrix

Okay, have a great day today. Whether it's your Wednesday or Friday or Monday, or whatever the hell day it really is. Agh!

Monday, June 15, 2009

If I Don't Get Some Shelter, Oh Yeah, I'm Gonna Fade Away

Here is my friend G. and I doing a cheesy-ass pose for the camera with a camera. Yes, we do have issues, why do you ask?

Well, I only have two days left in the week to work before I start my 5 day weekend. Yeah, I said 5 day weekend. What about it? Holy shit, dude! 5 days in a row. I can't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow...

My goal this week is to just try to get shit done and be mellow and less social than I was last week. I went to 4 cookout'ish things in 5 days. Don't get me wrong, they were all great and saved me tons of money on food and I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long, long time. I'm just socialed-out for a bit and I'm taking it down a notch.

My plan is to replace a lot of that socializing with cleaning my house, playing video games, reading things in addition to blogs and to take some new pics, so that I have something other than party photos to post on my blog. Won't that be nice?

After how nutty the office was today, I'm glad I only have two days of work left. We got a letter sent to our school by someone on the wrong side of crazy. They were part of one of those whacked-out animal rights groups, and since we had a building severely vandalized a few years back, we are very, very careful about those things. There was all kinds of nutjob writing all over the envelope, so we called campus security to take care of it for us. The guy they sent was pretty cool and was making just as many "anthrax spores" and "bomb tripping" jokes (albeit nervously) as we were. In the end, they just sent us an article about some bullshit that was so boring and anti-climactic, that we threw it away and no one remembers what it was.

I also led some parents around for orientation. One of the women was from Iowa City and her daughter went to school with my girls. She told me this was her last kid. I said I bet it was kind of sad to see the last one go. She said, "Eh, the one thing I've learned as my kids have become adults, is that they don't really leave. You'll never be completely alone..." I'm still not sure if that was more comforting or disconcerting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Even My Shadow Leaves Me All Alone at Night

Well, this weekend pretty much just flew by. I did get to watch Wall-E on Friday night and I loved it. I was so glad I got a night to watch movies and veg out on Friday, because the rest of my weekend was insane.

Saturday afternoon I went to the Dublin Underground owner's cookout. My original plan was to stay for an hour or so, and go home and clean and have some wonderful alone time. The girls had left for the Quad Cities with their dad, and this was the first time in months and months that I would have 24 hours to myself to do whatever I wanted.

At one point during the cookout, I got cornered by a woman who wanted to talk about all of her shoes. She was speaking in designers and dollars and I don't really speak that language. The only thing I could think of to say was, "I spend a lot for running shoes...". It seemed like the perfect time to make my exit, but when I went to say goodbye, the hostess and my friend G. dragged me into a room and they started playing dress-up with the hostess' scarves and making hilarious outfits, so I ended up staying until 9 in the evening.

I went home for about an hour to relax and get ready. Originally, I was going to meet my friends out at the Industry where my friend G.'s co-worker's band was opening for a Tool cover band. Since we got going so late, her friend's band was almost done, and I couldn't see paying any money to see Tool, let alone their cover band, so I went down to the Dublin and waited for them there.

The rest of my night was nice and mellow. One of my ex-boyfriends showed up and we had a nice talk. We've been friends since he was 17 and I was 19. Sometimes we get along swimmingly, and sometimes he feels the need to prove that he can still push my buttons and piss me off. Luckily, this was one of the swimmingly times.

My friends left to find after hours fun, and I went home. I woke up on Sunday to find that someone had called and left me a voicemail at 4 in the morning. The voicemail was just someone breathing and then a quick hang-up. I checked my missed calls and it was from Mr. B. Wha? I wonder what the hell he thought he was going to say to me. "I'm sorry I'm a sociopath?" or "I'm sorry I was such a lying little skeez?"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We're All Looking at a Different Picture Through This New Frame of Mind

Here is a guy I don't know with a bag of CD's attached to his ass.

Jinkies! I can't believe the week is almost over. I guess time flies when you're busy creating strange dark scenarios in your head, huh? The last couple of nights, I've gone to cookouts with my friends who all seem to have tons of kids. My girls even went with me tonight. They babysit our friend, A.'s son. He was there and was all excited that his babysitters were there, but got a little confused because he thought they were the same person(they usually babysit him separately) and all of the sudden there were two of them. My girls don't think they look that much alike, but everyone else seems to.

Here is a friend of mine sitting on an orange cone. Just because.

Sooo, this weekend? I'm not sure. Everything seems to be shaping up for it today. I got an invite from the owners of the Dublin to come to their house for a cook-out on Saturday night. It also looks like the girls will go to the Quad Cities with their dad that same night. It will be weird not to have them around then.

Friday night should be pretty mellow. I'll run after work, if the weather permits, then I'll hang out and watch a movie with Coadster. She has to take her ACT test on Saturday morning, so I'm sure she'll go to bed early.

It's funny how clearly I remember taking the ACT. I was sicker than a dog that day. I had had a track meet the night before, which didn't help. I was okay at the beginning of the test, but by the time I had to do the math section, I was fading fast. I think I had answered only a few questions when they told us we had five minutes left to finish up. Shit! I did what I could and got a decent enough score to get into a state school, which is all I could afford anyway. I didn't bother to take it again. Coadster is already planning to take it again in September. She doesn't do the best at standardized tests. She gets awesome grades, but she second guesses her answers and doesn't trust her knowledge and doesn't test that well. I just hope her ACT experience is a million times better than mine was.

What are youse guys' plans? Will you be cooking out or testing yourselves in any way?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lights Going Out and a Kick in the Balls

Here is a road leading up to a barn and a silo thingy.

Have you ever had that? Where you're driving down a familiar road in your town? Your eyes are a little glazed over and you can see a car parked about a block away. Your mind is suddenly awake with perverse thoughts. You could go a little bit faster, crash into it and do a hell of a lot of damage.

You can hear it. The horrible sound it would make. The glass would break, your car would shriek as the front of it was pushed back, maybe as far as the hatchback. You are familiar with the metal taste of blood in your mouth and the pressure of the steering wheel crushing your chest. Such violence, what incredible force. All the world's pain and suffering happening right then in the small space of your vehicle.

You have the power to change your life forever. All those stupid things you worry your little pea brain about: Did you finally remember to pay the water bill, what will you make for dinner, what time was that show you wanted to watch? Those would be completely forgotten. Exchanged for something real, like survival and recovery. In a split second, the world would be a very different place for you.

As you finally pass that car, without accelerating, without making any kind of impact whatsoever, you think, "Whoa! Where the fuck did that come from?" Then you drive the rest of the way home with a little more purpose, carefully watching for any other obstacles.

*I thought I better put a disclaimer on here. This is really more of a writing exercise than anything. So, please don't worry about me, 'Kay? Though, you might want to worry about my writing...

Monday, June 08, 2009

Hey, I Wish I Had My Way, 'Cause Everyday Would Be a Friday

Here is a street musician putting her fiddle away and wearing an Iowa flag.

The rest of my four day weekend went pretty well. I've done a ton of running and even more cooking. On Sunday night I made chicken enchiladas, fried tostada shells, cooked frijoles and arroz and made de gallo salsa. I took a little break to have root beer floats with the girls. You know, I needed the sugar as fuel. I tried to watch the new version of Get Smart, but the constant storms cut the satellite signal about halfway through. I'll have to try again later.

Speaking of the weather... It has stormed here a lot this weekend, but it's been kind enough to do it mostly at night and in the morning. The afternoons and evenings have been great.

Here is some art sitting around outside at night during Arts Fest this weekend.

Today was my last day of freedom until next weekend. I spent most of it with Coadster, since Stinky went to a water park in Waterloo for her friend's birthday. She said it was really cold up there. It's funny what a difference an hour and a half can make weather wise.

I ran while Coadster started her Summer job. She's working at a Summer day camp. The same one she went to when she was a little girl. She got CPR certified this evening, so she's all ready to go on Wednesday when it starts. It will be a great job for her, since she wants to go into education and she loves working with kids.

The money will also come in really handy. Especially since we just went on a consult for her senior pictures today and they are going to be extremely PRICE-y. I told her I'd pay for the sitting fees, an 8 x 10 for me and a portion of the wallet fees. The rest she'll have to come up with, and if her dad wants a pic, he'll have to pay for it himself. She was really happy with my offer and has no problem putting up some cash for what she wants. I'm trying to walk that line with my girls, where I help out, but make them work for stuff too. I know people who's parents gave them everything when they were younger, and I don't think they did them any favors. Sometimes I'm almost (that's a BIG almost) glad I don't have a ton of money, because I would be tempted to give my kids too much. I don't want them to have to work as hard for everything as I did, but I also want them to learn how to budget and work for the things they want. It can be a tricky little line.