Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sooooo, tonight I wasted a bunch of time doing one of those "25 things about me" Facebook memes. Apparently, I thought that was so much more important than cleaning or organzing. Who the hell knows? What I do know, is that I need to gear up for this weekend, because it could be busy, busy.
Tomorrow night, I was going to try to see FMDM's band play at the Picador, but I was fooling myself, because I don't have any money, and I do have the girls. So, instead I'll probably do my normal Friday night gig where I go running and then sit on my ass and watch movies all night. It never gets old.
Here is a side view, just in case you were as obsessed with it as I am.
On Saturday night, I think I'm going to some party in a little town called Hills with my friend G. and a few other folks. Because we have no imagination, or maybe we do, but the rest of the bars don't, I'm sure we'll end up at the Dublin when said party is over.
On Sunday, I will not rest. Instead, I will make chicken enchiladas and beans to add to all the other awesome food that will be at the Superbowl party at my friend J.'s house. I'm really excited, because the Steelers are playing, of course, but I also like Arizona. We never had a professional football team when I was growing up in Arizona and that guy Vai who lived down the street from me used to play for the Cardinals back in the day, so they're probably my third favorite football team, after the Bears and the Steelers. I can't lose for winning this time.
The party itself should be fun too. A few nights ago after midnight, my friend J. was drunk and sending us extremely excited e-mails about the the Superbowl party to be. Of course I didn't get them until I got to work at eight a.m., but they were still pretty funny.
Anyway...Plans for the Superbowl, or happy fun times for the rest of the weekend? Lay it on me in the comments.
Now, I'm also going to post a piece from my old blog tonight. I'm keeping with the driving - or not driving theme. This was also written in January of 2006. Here it is:
I didn't learn how to drive until I was 30 years old. My aunt wouldn't go to the notary to sign my permission slip for driver's education which meant I never learned in high school. After high school it was difficult to get any consistent instruction. I had a million friends who said, "Oh, I love to teach people how to drive. I'm really good at it. I've taught everyone in my family how to drive." But since they were all in college, anytime I asked them, they had other plans or they were still hung over from their previous plans.
My brother was the first person who seriously tried to teach me to drive. I was 18 and a freshman in college. He was a year older than I was and we both fooled ourselves into thinking that we were more mature than we were. My brother has always been a suck-it-up-and-deal-with-it pragmatist and I have always been the opposite. So, in his older brother wisdom, he decided to take me for a driving lesson during a snow storm. Because, as my brother said at the time, "If you can learn to drive in a snow storm, you can drive through anything." No. After I slid his 75 Caprice Classic into a dumpster, he told me that my first instinct was to spaz (which I don't deny) and punched me in the arm.
My next attempt at driving was when I lived in Norhtern California. In the Conservation Corps, in order to become a crew leader, you not only had to have a driver's license, you had to have a CDL so you could drive a van and transport passengers. My friend Kathy took me to a gravel parking lot in her Gremlin and I turned in circles a couple of times. That same week, one of the guys we worked with was driving his motorcycle down an old logging road that simply stopped but he and his motorcycle didn't. He was fine, but we were all a little spooked. The first time Kathy had me drive out on Highway 101 it just took one huge, insane, logging truck to come around a curve going 80 mph taking with it much of the paint on my side of the car, to make me decide that I didn't really want to be a crew leader anyway.
After I moved back from California in 1988, my friend Mel took me driving at the catholic high school parking lot in her diesel VW Rabbit. We were fine at first but then Nancy Sinatra's version of "These Boots Were Made for Walking" came on the radio. Mel's boyfriend had just cheated on her for what Mel described as a "skanky slut", and so she felt compelled to turn up the radio and sing loudly with her eyes closed. At the same time, another car came up behind me. "Shit! What should I do?" And exactly as my brother had predicted, I spazzed and just stopped the car where we were and the people behind us honked and drove around flipping us off for a good block with their hand out the window to make sure they were being clear enough.
I finally learned to drive from a driving school. My aunt must have felt some guilt, 15 years after the fact and she and my sister went in together to pay for my lessons. I spent a few weeks of the summer with a man named Randy who was fifty years old, and apparently pregnant with triplets. I'm still not sure how he got behind the steering wheel. He was a proud member of The Promise Keepers and liked to go into full detail about all the rallies. I finished that course over a week early and passed my driving test with flying colors. Proving that there is no better motivation than the prospect of spending more time in a small car with a chatty, sweaty Promise Keeper.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
So, here's what happened. I took a half day off to do my taxes, and got them all done for the most part. Which means I'm awesome, right? Wrong. I couldn't actually e-file because I guess not all the forms are out, and now I have to wait until mid-February to submit them and finally get my refund. Grrrr. At least they're done now, so I don't have it hanging over my head. Which means I can start playing video games again, reading books and am ungrounded to do things besides sit around and so actively NOT do my taxes, but not do anything else either. I'm emerging from a kind of a weird purgatory that those of us who are chronic procrastinators create when we have something to do that sounds too practical and probably involves math. Hopefully, you are not like me and don't have to ground yourself just to get anything done. GAWD!
On the plus side, I gave myself an alone time afternoon, AND I accomplished something. I feel stupid ever complaining about my lack of alone time, because my girls will be gone all too soon and then all my time at home will be spent by myself. But I not only like, but I need to be alone at least once or twice a week. When I get that time, I'm a way better parent and more pleasant person to be around in general. Although, I'm sure with as silly as I was being tonight and with all the goofy dancing around the house that occurred on my part, my daughters would rather I were cranky and shushing them every five minutes while I clumsily tried to work with numbers.
Tomorrow will be a new, less taxing day. No, it won't be seventy-five degrees and sunny, with birds chirping around me as I walk to work, but I'll just have to picture that in my head and try not to slip on the ice. Tra, la, la, la la...
Monday, January 26, 2009
This evening I've been working on my taxes. I haven't done my state taxes for the last two years, so I have to finish those before I can even start on my federal taxes. The fact that I've been putting off doing my state taxes for so long, makes me a big dumb wiener. I know that. I'm paying for it in so many ways, but I will finish them for sure this year, and hopefully this week. I think I'm going to ask to take off a half day of vacation tomorrow to try and get them all finished. It's so hard to do math while my daughters are in the house, asking questions, and listening to music, and talking on their phones and breathing. I can't ask them to stop being teenagers or breathing, so I will ask for time off and work on my taxes while my daughters are being teenagers and breathing at school.
In other unrelated news, I'm going to talk about Facebook again. As you well know, I don't have a real life, and Facebook, sometimes, kinda, sorta fills that void. I initially got on it because I had friends who asked me to join. My first friends were mostly current pals, then I started finding friends from long ago, and far away. Most of these folks either worked at assorted bars, restaurants and coffee shops with me, or hung-out with me at punk rock shows back in the 80's when we were all so fashionably angry.
Now, people from high school are finding me on Facebook and that is REALLY bizarre. I only lived in Ottumwa for the 4 years I was in high school and I wasn't allowed to go out back then. Plus, like many kids who grew up in abusive households, I was good at being invisible. I was that girl who blended into the lockers, and didn't establish eye contact when walking down the hall. When I went to my 20th high school reunion, I had a guy, prompted by a large group of men, come up and ask me who I was. None of those guys remembered me. I told him my name and reminded him I sat next to him in study hall junior year.
The only people I really knew, were kids I had classes with or kids who ran track. To the people I knew, I was my normal goofy, silly self. A couple of the guys I'm now Facebook friends with, knew me like that. One of the guys was even my first real crush. I doubt he knew it back then, and I'd never tell him now, but he was just a really nice guy, and he was into all the weird bands I liked.
Anyway, here's the weird thing. Both he and my first real boyfriend live in Northern California and work in the wine industry. But not just work, they're those wine people, who think it's a lifestyle and talk about it all the time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a glass of wine now and again, but it's a beverage, and that's it. I have to be careful, because I'm so tempted to call it grape drank around them and watch their heads explode when I'm bored.
The wine obsessors remind me a lot of the coffee obsessors I knew when I worked as a barista for 15 years. People would talk for hours about blends and presses and blah and blah and blah....
So, now I think I've ranted myself into forgetting my point....Oh yeah, it's just kind of odd that the first two guys I really liked in my life, although I met them in totally different parts of the country and weren't at all into it when I met them, are both living about an hour away from each other doing almost the same job. Weird.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
So, this weekend was punctuated by my migraine. (mostly question marks and exclamation points) I had my meds, so the pain only lasted for a couple of hours here and there, but as I've said many times before, my meds make me loopy and stupid and oh so tired.
I didn't get a whole hell of a lot done this weekend. Both of my girls had colds, so we were all pretty low energy. It seemed as if nature was telling me to slow my roll - because nature speaks all wanna be street like that, you know. So, I listened to it and I did.
On Friday night, I had my usual movie watching extravaganza. While the girls were out doing their social activities, I watched the movie, Silk. I thought it was really slow and boring and I don't really recommend it. Then Stinky came home from the basketball game, and we watched Bolt together. It was pretty entertaining, and sweet and a little sassy. If you have kids, it's a good movie to watch for both of you.
Here are two chuckle heads at the Dublin on Saturday night. The guy to the right is supposedly the inspiration for the Bill the Cat character in the Bloom County cartoons. The guy on the left is just an asshole who was criticizing all the women playing pool that night without any fun lore about him.
Saturday was a very lazy day at the Churlish household. I took my bottles and cans to the Can Shed and they gave me $7 for them, so that was good, but other than that, I did some lying around waiting for my migraine meds to kick in, and then some napping after they finally did. I was absolutely NOT going out on Saturday night.
Coadster and I watched Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist earlier, before she left me to work a benefit for the emergency housing project. It was pretty typical high school fare. Then G. called me and told me she got talked into going out and wanted to know if I would join them. Since I hadn't spoken to anyone older than 16 for well over 24 hours, I thought it might be a good idea.
I headed downtown, but was very low energy. I had a fun conversation with these two college aged girls who were sitting out our table. One of the guys we were with flipped them shit about their girl talk and they dished it right back talking about guys. One of them said, "Have you ever noticed that if a guy gets screwed over by even one girl, he spends the rest of his life using that as an excuse to be a jerk to every other woman? Of course, women let themselves get screwed over again and again, and still keep trying. Usually because they think they can fix each guy they date."
"Well, at least we can make up our minds," the guy countered.
"Oh yeah," she said. "You make up your mind for the first month you date a girl and you're all into it, and then when it looks like there might be some comitment involved, you suddenly need a break and go back on everything you said at the beginning."
"Uh, well...I have nothing to say to that," the guy said.
"How about, wah, wah, wah. It's all that one girl's fault I dated when I was in high school who made me so jaded," the other college girl said. They were so awesome and funny. I'm sure the guy at our table was totally smitten with them. After they left, my friend D. said she thought what they said was pretty true.
"I know," I agreed. "And the crazy thing is, those girls were in their early twenties, and they figured that out before we had."
As is their usual fashion, my hot, crazy friends showed up a little before bar close. They had gone to the Sports Column and were still in shock from all the whackiness that happened there.
We chatted for a bit and then all waited inside of Pizza on Dubuque for a cab and watched some guy getting busted by the cops. I was really exhausted by that time. I basically went home and crawled into bed.
I woke feeling a little better, but by three in the afternoon, my migraine came back. So, I had to go through the whole routine I did on Saturday all over again. Ugh.
Now, I better get going, so I don't start the week out with another migraine.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So, it got into the 30's here and felt like Spring. It seems like as good a time as any to get all bawdy. I'm nothing, if not inappropriate and I think sex/ relationships between men and women are hilarious. I thought I'd post some conversations I've either heard or taken part in. Most of them are sweeping generalizations and I know that, so don't get your panties in a wad. I also promise not to identify who said any of this, on account of the incrimination factor.
1.) A friend of mine likes to say that all women are crazy and all men are stupid about them. I disagree. I know plenty of crazy men and tons of women who are stupid about them. I think everyone is crazy, and you have to find someone who's crazy you can deal with.
2.) A friend of mine was drinking at a bar called Joe's Place. A guy came up to her and said, "You look like you have the kind of ankles I'm attracted to hidden in those boots." She said she doubted it, and that her ankles were bigger than most men liked. His response was, "I knew it. I love a woman with big, solid ankles." Of course, she gave him her number. Every woman I've told that story to said they would too. Nothing is more attractive to a woman than when a man makes her feel sexy about the body part she's most self-conscious about. (Guys, if you were paying attention, I just gave you a freebie. You're welcome.)
3.) Some people at the bar were talking about getting dumped. One woman said you should have sex with someone else as soon as possible after a break-up or you'd end up masturbating to your ex, since they were the last sexual experience you had. She said nothing was more pathetic than that. One of the guys lamented that it was much easier for women to do that than men, because women could get laid by hot guys anytime they wanted and it wasn't the same for men.
Another woman said that was true, but men had an easier time finding relationships than women did. She thought that was one of the fucked-up things about it, as far as she was concerned. Most women she knew could get all the casual sex they wanted, but mostly wanted to be in relationships and most men she knew could find women who wanted a commitment from them, when all they wanted was to get laid.
4.) A woman was detailing her experiences with dirty talk and said that she liked it, but it made some of the men she "knew" uncomfortable.
The guy in the room started laughing and said, "The only reason it would make a guy uncomfortable, is because he wouldn't know how far he could go. Most guys are afraid they're going to talk too dirty and ruin the whole thing." Then someone brought up a Seinfeld episode to illustrate that point.
Okay, those are just a few things I have for now. How about you? Do you have any funny sweeping generalizations about male/female relationships on this fine Friday?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
When I was nineteen I had fucked up most of my classes and was asked to leave the university until I could get my shit together. I didn't want to stay in Iowa City like a lot of my friends who were just working at restaurants and going to see different bands every night. My roommate's sister had been in the California Conservation Corps and really liked it until she met Dina Shore's son and eventually left to live in a little town outside of Eureka with him. I was up for an adventure and so I thought I'd sign up. In order to join the Corps you had to have a California address. My roommate's sister and Jody were nice enough to let me use their address and even forwarded me my mail.
I decided to move to Santa Rosa because one of the dishwashers at The Mill told me it was a cool place to stay. I flew there by myself and stayed at the Redwood Motel. It was a very charming town. At the time, they were shooting, Peggy Sue Got Married and they wouldn't let anyone go to the downtown section since it was a period piece. I had to take care of a lot of business before I could get accepted into the CCC and then once I was signed up I would have a month to kill before I started. I needed an interview, a physical and to take care of a lot of other paperwork. Since I didn't know how to drive at the time, I had to walk everywhere and make a wide circle around the downtown area. It was so much easier to hitch a ride. Of course, now I know how stupid that was, but at the time, I needed a ride and people (meaning men) would just pull over and ask me if I wanted one. I liked to tell myself that since I didn't stick my thumb out, that I would be able to choose. If someone pulled over that looked too scary, I'd just tell them that I was going for a walk and didn't want a ride, thank you very much. In reality, by the time I said, "thank you very much," they could have me pulled into their car and driven off with me anyway.
One of the other really stupid things I did at the time was take caffeine pills. This guy I knew in Iowa City, ordered a big bag of them out of the back of one of those punk rock magazines and I kept them with me wherever I went. I thought the pills made me more alert, but really they just made me spazzy and more annoyed with people than I already was. Bad idea.
Most of the rides I got were fine. Usually, it was some smarmy middle aged guy who wanted to talk to a young girl. They never asked about me, which was perfect because I didn't feel like talking, they would just go on and on about their jobs or their families until we reached our destination. The day before I left, I had come out of my physical where I learned for the first time that I had a heart murmur. The doctor referred to the kind of murmur I had as a "fad". I guess I never thought of myself as being all that trendy. So, on the walk home, a very nondescript man asked me if I wanted a ride. I got in his car and everything seemed fine. About a mile out, he stopped talking and became agitated. I could feel how pissed off he was. He wouldn't look at me and just gripped the steering wheel tighter and tighter. I finally asked him to pull over.
"We're not there yet, " he said and kept driving without looking at me.
"That's okay. I forgot I had some other errands to run so if you could pull over right here, that would be great." He didn't say anything and didn't pull over either. I was really nervous at that point and the pills were making me hysterical.
"Pull over! Pull over right now! I want to get out!" I meant to sound forceful and angry but I think I sounded more like a squeaky, petulant, little girl. He did pull over however, and before he could come to a full stop, I grabbed my backpack and ran. You think that would have kept me from hitchhiking but I told myself I would do it one last time to get to the bus station so I could leave Santa Rosa which didn't seem quite so charming anymore.
A guy named Roy stopped to offer me a ride. He was wearing one of those gas station attendant shirts with his name embroidered on it. I had my army duffel bag and my backpack (everything I owned) on me. He asked me where I was going and I told him I was meeting my family in San Francisco. I figured if he thought I had people expecting me, that he wouldn't try anything funny.
"You oughta be careful down there in the city. You know, I seen a lot of pretty girls like you become whoores in San Fran. It's just a shame what happens."
"I'll be fine," I assured him. "I'm going to meet my family and then we're driving to Yosemite together. See? Nothing to worry about with me." I wasn't even fooling myself, so I'm sure he wasn't buying my perky girl act.
"Instead of going down there and running into some bad business, you know you could always stay here. I got a trailer. Really, I got two trailers. You could live in one and I could live in the other. I'm working a vein in a gold mine up there in the hills and I just need someone to cook for me. It wouldn't be nothin' sexual, just some cooking and maybe some cleaning..."
Even though it sounded like every girl's dream, I talked my way out of that offer and out of his car. I kept reassuring him about my family, but what I really wanted to say was that I would rather take my chances at becoming a whoore in San Fran - at least there I wouldn't also have to cook and clean for anyone.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So, my first boyfriend has been calling me every Saturday for the last month or so. Sometimes I answer and sometimes I don't. It would be fine if he were just calling me to chat as friends, but in his head we're not only going to get back together, we're going to get married and have babies together too. What?
Don't worry. I've told him several times that I just want to be friends and I don't want to move to California and I don't want him to move here. I don't know if he thinks I'm just kidding, or if he thinks he can wear me down. He can't. If you know me at all, you know that I don't pull any punches. Most guys I know tell me they appreciate my brutal honesty (personally, I prefer to think of my honesty as refreshing). I try really hard not to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also don't think I'm doing anyone any favors by leading them on.
You may be wondering why I don't just tell him to fuck off. I may have to eventually, but first I'd like to see if we can establish a friendship. I like him as a person, I just would never date him. He told me he wasn't afraid to admit that he was lonely and wanted to be in a relationship. I think it's great that he's open about that. He seems to think of me as instant girlfriend just add water, because we dated over twenty years ago, and he loved me back then. I'm a much different person than I was in my late teens and early twenties (thank god), and he may not like the less needy, fucked-up version of myself.
As I've mentioned before, my biggest problem with him is the fact that he doesn't take an active part in his son's life. I've asked him about it several times and he gives me all these lame-ass excuses about how he can't see his son without his ex trying to get back with him. He also doesn't have a car and can't drive the hour to see him. Why would I ever have a child with someone who isn't accountable for his first kid? You can't keep having children and ditching them when it isn't convenient, until you get it right. It's such a strange concept to me.
He seems to be assuming that I'm as lonely as he is. I'm not. Of course, I'd love to find someone to be in a healthy committed relationship with, but it just may never happen for me. I'm content with my life the way it is. I've been single for so long, that I'm pretty good at it. I don't feel like the one thing I can't have is overshadowing everything else in my life. Neal doesn't believe me when I tell him that.
If he can't be my friend and get past thinking we're going to get back together, then I'll have to let him go. It would be a shame after recently finding him again, but if he doesn't listen to me, it won't be much of friendship anyway.
Monday, January 19, 2009
So, uh. Yeah. I've been a little absent from blog world this weekend. I was trying really, really hard to get some shit done in the real world, so blogging was thrown to the side for the most part. Did I get a lot done? Yes, I did. Did I finish my taxes? Um, no. But I've got it all set-up, so hopefully tomorrow will be tax day.
What I did notice after Saturday, is how much of a time suck kids can be. I know, I know. I've been a parent since I was 26 years old and I'm just figuring that out now? No, I've been very aware of it, but this weekend just brought it to my attention all over again.
Remember how on Saturday I told you that I had the day to myself? Yeah, well I got all kinds of shit done. Then on Sunday the girls were both home and they were all needy and wanted to hang out with me, and I figured, what the hell. So, we went to the mall and made fun of all the 70's clothes and ate food and then all got groceries together, and then when we made it home, it was late and almost time to watch the Steelers make it to the Superbowl. Guess what kind of practical things got done on Sunday? Not a whole hell of a lot. Guess how concerned I am that I didn't clean and sort a room or finish my taxes? Not at all. It's what I signed up for. In four years, when both the girls are gone and I'm living on the Riviera with a young stud named Bruno and I look back on this three day weekend, I doubt I'll agonize about what didn't get done. I'll probably just sip my Margarita, while Bruno applies sunscreen to my back and try to remember the names of those two girls who I had such a great day with all the way back when I lived where it was cold in the Winter.
No, really. I did get a lot done this weekend. I finally went through and pitched all my old tapes, both video and cassettes that I've had trouble parting with. Okay. I did save Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Anchorman and The Matrix, but everything else got tossed - including my Best of Blondie cassette and an old mix tape titled "Hits Del '95" that a coworker from Great Midwestern made for me 14 years ago. Sigh. If I remember correctly, there was a lot of Pavement, Morphine and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on that CD.
Here are some chairs that are really stacked.
Though I didn't go out on Saturday night, I did a couple of social things so that I talked to people other than just high schoolers. Since I'm not in a relationship and don't have an adult to speak to around my house, I find it very important to try to socialize with adults especially on long weekends. You know, just so I don't start every sentence out with, "OMG!" or "Totally!" It helps to keep my co-workers from killing me when I get back to the grind.
Anyway, I went to my friend's house where I watch football on Sundays on his 60" screen in HD and it was great, until they kept showing Hines' brutal knee twist about 7,000 times. Then today I went to George's at five to meet some ex-co-workers (again from Great Midwestern days). One is a professor in the Center for the Book here and the other is getting her master's in library science. Oh yeah, and they're both gorgeous. I could sit and talk about books with super hot women all day long, but I had to take Coadster to show choir only an hour and a half into it. Hopefully, we'll find time to meet again another night.
Okay. Tomorrow's Obama's big day. I'm so excited. I certainly don't envy the man, I'm just glad he wanted the job.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I accidentally picked the Scavenger Hunt word again this week. Oops! Sorry. Anyway, I was functioning on a maintenance level this week, since I was so busy and the weather was so crappy, and stuff, and all I could do was tread water. Now it's the weekend, and I'm working more on balance. I'm trying to balance being practical and getting shit done, with relaxing and cutting myself some slack. It's been going pretty well so far.
I've had the entire day to myself, which has been strange but nice. I drove the girls where they needed to go this morning - Coadster made it to the show choir bus by nine and Stinky made it to her religious retreat thingy by 9:30. I'll pick Stinky up at seven this evening and I'll get Coadster whenever they get back, maybe 10'ish? I slept a lot and was woken up by a phone call. I spent some time dicking around and playing video games, but then I dug in and got to cleaning. My kitchen looks amazing right now. I'm spending two hours a day on getting my apartment in order and then another hour a day working on taxes and paperwork and returning emails. So, when I'm done writing this, I have to start in on my taxes. Wah.
The other part of my equation is relaxing. As soon as I'm done with paper work tonight, I get to crack open a beer and watch a movie. Hooray! All my friends are going out tonight, and I'd love to join them, but this weekend is about doing some inner work. Wish me luck!
Oh yeah. The Scavenger Hunt word...Maintenance. During the Winter I've been trying to maintain my sanity by thinking back to our roadtrip this Summer when it was so warm and all we had to do all day was frolic in the woods...
...And play on the beach.
But when that doesn't work, there are always drugs.
Oh, just kidding. I don't have enough time or money for a decent drug addiction. When remembering the wonders of Summer doesn't help get me through the Winter, I just become even more obnoxious and that always seems to take the edge off.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I have one more day to get through before things get better. Just one day. I can handle one day, can't I? Then I have three glorious days off and the temperatures are supposed to warm up forty degrees to be in the twenties on Saturday. I'm sure it will feel like Summer to us, and I won't be surprised to see idiots wearing flip-flops and shorts either.
Here is a trumpet player messing around with his mute.
I'll just warn you right now that I'm going to be talking about the weather tonight. Call me shallow and boring, but the weather is the most exciting thing going on around here. I woke-up to 46 degrees below zero with the windchill and 21 below zero normal temp. I'm fine, I have all the right clothes for layering and walking a mile to work. Of course, the people in Iowa are so awesome, that they won't just offer you a ride when they see you walking in that cold, they'll insist on it.
I walked a half a block before an older gentleman stopped and offered me a ride, not even knowing where I was going. I politely declined, because I'm 43 and am finally smart enough not to trust strange men. I walked one more block, and a college girl was walking to her car that was warming up in her driveway. She asked me if I would please let her give me a ride to wherever I was going, and that time, I took it.
When I got to work, it seemed a little chilly, but the longer we sat at our desks, we realized there wasn't any heat coming from the registers. Apparently, some pipe exploded and most of the heat in our building and a few others was out. Sweet. It was partially heated, so it was closer to 50 degrees inside. It wasn't unbearable, but really annoying and distracting. We were told the biology building was the priority because of the animals. I think the facility guy's big joke was, "Hey, lab rats are expensive!" Ha ha ha ha ha...Shut-up.
Anyway, the heat started working by around two, but then it went into overdrive. The facilities guys came by and said, that they were waiting on a part and they couldn't regulate the heat. It was either full on or all the way off. Which did we want? We all said, "cook us." So, we spent the rest of the afternoon and we'll probably spend tomorrow being uncomfortably warm.
Here are some of the kids in the jazz combo.
So, like I said, tomorrow will be another brutally cold day, and then I'm off for three. My girls have had snow days since Wednesday. They will have a 6 day weekend altogether. I'm so jealous. Stinky got so bored today, that she cleaned and organized her room. She came out with a trash bag full of clothes for Goodwill. Maybe we should have excessive snow days more often.
Stinky also wants money, so she's cleaning the kitchen in addition to her normal vacuuming. Hopefully, I'll come home from work to a nice clean house. The girls and I are planning on running at the rec building, and then I'll make stuffed pork chops, rice and steamed broccoli with white sauce for dinner. I think Stinky's going to a basketball game, but I'm going to stay home and watch The Wrestler and drink a beer or two. It sounds like heaven to me right now.
The rest of the weekend, I plan on running and hibernating. On Sunday I'll go to a friend's house and hopefully watch The Steelers win their way into the Superbowl.
Okay, kids. Stay warm and let me know how your weekend is shaping up.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tonight I need sleep. I haven't been getting much, what with being so busy and all and now I'm pooped as pooped can be. Soooooo. Hey kids, what time is it? That's right, it's time for another installment of my old blog. This post I wrote in January 2006 and it is partly about how my town in high school was given the prestigious title of video game capital of the universe, or some weird shit. Anyway, it ties in with all my talking about King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Just know that I wrote this before that movie came out, so there might be some ignorance there. it shouldn't shock you too much, if you've ever read my blog before. In the other documentary who's name I can't remember, they talked about what those gamers were doing now, and none of them seemed all that accomplished or happy or sane really, so I guess I made some bad assumptions in this too....Yeah. story of my life. Okay, dig in:
I graduated from Ottumwa high school in 1983. When we first moved there from Chicago, I was really into making fun of the Ottumwa accent. A lot of people said warsh instead of wash, they did the deeshes instead of the dishes and the city's motto was "Ottumwa someplace special" except they pronounced it, "spatial" and that always amused me too. I only lived there the four years I was in high school, but in those four years, a lot of cheesy shit happened. We were on the Today Show, in Life Magazine and we were on That's Incredible! several times.
It's odd for such a small town to get that much publicity but there were a couple of factors that went into it. The biggest was probably the proximity of Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa. The Maharishis, more affectionately called Gurus or Fuckin' Rus, in general have a lot of money and come from either of the coasts. They used to have representatives come to our high school and try to talk about reaching spiritual enlightenment to a bunch of red necks whose only previous aspirations were trying to get laid in the back of their pick-ups. I always loved it when some guy in my class would raise his hand and ask, "So, if you guys can fly, then why don't you just jump out this window right now and show us?"
Maharishi International University also brought Andy Kaufman to Ottumwa. In the early 80's he used to hang out at Happy Joe's and ask the high school girls to mud wrestle him at the Ottumwa Coliseum. We all knew who he was, but no one wanted to take him up on it.
Another guy from Maharishi, gave us the title of, "Video Game Capital of the Universe"in order to promote his arcade. He started keeping the highest scores from all over the country and that first picture (I just posted that photo two days before, so you know what I'm talking about) of the post is from the 1982 year in review in Life magazine. The cheerleaders are from my grade but the nerds behind the machines were the best gamers in the United States at the time. I'm sure they all have WAY more money than I do right now (and probably an XBox in every room of their house).
We were on the Today Show for something totally unrelated to MIU. Somebody had a brilliant idea: they would take a bunch of men from Saudi Arabia, bring them to the heartland and teach them about computers. What they didn't count on, was that the Saudis would get corrupted by Western culture and start buying the high school girls cars and diamonds and all kinds of shit that their boyfriend's Wayne and Kinny probably couldn't even spell. Those girls may have taken Andy Kaufman up on his wrestling offer if he had offered to buy them a car. One of the young girls happened to be the sheriff's son's girlfriend and one day he and some of his boys shot up the house where the Saudi's were living. No one was hurt but it brought the Today Show to our town and believe me, they made the whole town look really tolerant and accepting. HA!
They solved the Saudi "problem" by moving them all down to Texas where there were no guns and people were much more accepting of other cultures. HA! HA! A girl in my class moved down to Texas with them, married one of the Saudis, found out he had other wives, divorced him and is now richer than god. I'm not really sure why I wasted my time going to college when there were so many eligible young men in my town. If I had only played my cards right, I could have an XBox in every room of my house. Hell, I'd be happy to own a house.
I keep forgetting to tag someone for this week's Saturday Scavenger Hunt word. So, I'm finally tagging Nor of No Regrets blog. What'll it be, princess?
From what I hear, tomorrow when I wake up we're supposed to have even more snow and the windchill is going to be about 15,321 degrees below zero. I know. I'll need to dress in layers for my walk to work again. Then, at some point in the day, I'll go rob a bank and plan a trip to a balmy exotic locale. It should be super awesome. I'll be sure to send you a postcard.
The word for this week is maintenance. With Stinky's basketball schedule and Coadster's show choir rehearsals, (their choreographer is in town from Los Angeles, so they have daily practices this week) the little time I have is all broken up between pick-ups and drop-offs. I'm only running about four times a week for about three miles each time. Normally, I run about six miles, 5 or 6 times a week. I've also gone back to the "clean my house for an hour a day" thing. I do one load of laundry, water one plant and wash as many loads of dishes within that time. It's not horrible, it's just busy, so I'm cutting myself slack and trying to be happy with the shit I can get done. It's actually going surprisingly well. The prize at the end of this week, is a fabulous, fun-filled three day weekend. Except to get the girls where they need to go, and to run, I plan on doing very little and taking on the role of shut-in. I can't wait. I have somehow come into the possession of some awesome movies that are getting Oscar buzz and may or may not ever get released in my town, so I'm finally going to give myself that stay at home date, as many days of the weekend as possible. I'm so excited.
Oh, and one last thing before I go to bed. With all this cold and wind, my entire world is as dry as a sun-dried bone. The air, my skin, my hair and my thoat are super arid extra dry. I would love to bathe in warm lotion right now. That is all.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Lawd Jaysus, but I'm tired. It was a crazy busy day at work and then there was all that snow to shovel and all that cold to get ready for, by gassing up my car and buying enough food so that I don't have to leave the house for next month. Whew! I suppose the good and bad news is that my ex is directing a play, which means I'll have the girls almost every night for the next month. It's bad in that I won't be able to go out socializing much for a while and I'll miss seeing my insane and wonderful friends. It's good in the fact that I won't be able to go out socializing much for a while, and I think the slowing down and hibernating just might do me some good. I could use a little rest after the holidays.
I went into the weekend knowing that it might be the last time for a while that I have that large chunk of time without my girls. It's not like I'll never be able to go out, I just won't have the freedom of not being responsible for making sure my girls get home safely on a Saturday night.
I went over to FMDM's house around eight to watch the second documentary about the video game olympics in Ottumwa. For some reason, I can't remember the name of it. It was pretty interesting. They basically expanded on King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. There was a lot more footage of Twin Galaxies, but I never could really tell which was my favorite Centipede machine. In the movie, they tried to make it seem like Twin Galaxies was the premier Video game arcade in Ottumwa, and they did have more machines than any other place, but as my sister says, it was where all the scurves hung out. I did a little brain exercise at one point to try and remember all the names of the cheerleaders in the photo shoot, and realized that three out of the five were named Tracy. Weird.
After the movie I went downtown to meet some other people. It was kind of an odd night. A lot of people converged on the Dublin, but not all at the same time. So, FMDM and his friend Adonnis (as far as I know that's his real name) showed up earlier and then left before my hot crazy friends showed up. Their loss.
I was very good about just having a couple of beers and then drinking water the rest of the night. Luckily, a little bit of alcohol goes a long, loud way with me. By last call, people were using their gloved hands to help others stick finger guns in their mouths, and that was my trigger to take off.
Just as we were stepping outside, this group of crazy, cuckoo kids stopped us. The guy had one really ugly blue shoe and was trying to get women to step into it and become his Cinderella. It was one of the few times I've ever been glad that I had freakishly large feet.
My friend, Dr. Lyd fit into the shoe just perfectly and the guy was spastically happy, until she informed him she was already married. He and his friends wandered off bemoaning his rotten luck and I finally went home and promptly fell asleep. So, the story had a happy ending...Well, for me anyway.
How about all y'all? Did your weekend stories have happy endings too.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
This weekend was really good, just really busy. It started out so restfully, though. I was just exhausted from the week, and asked my immediate boss if it would be okay for me to leave a couple of hours early to take a nap. She said I could leave at noon if I wanted, since most of the other people in our office took a week off here and there over Christmas. Since this is our busy season, I figured I better run with any time off I could get.
I had four whole extra hours in my day, so I decided I'd nap for a couple and clean for a couple. Instead, I fell asleep at 12:30 and didn't wake-up until Stinky called me to pick her up from basketball practice at 4:30. I must have needed the sleep.
The rest of the night was heavenly. I ran at the rec building and then came home and watched movies with Coadster.
Here is a photo of the outside of two houses.
I chose the Saturday Scavenger Hunt word this week and it was outside. Since it snowed on Friday night and a little more on Saturday, I posted a few photos of the outdoor scenery after it had been frosted.
I shoveled it all up on Saturday and got into a little altercation with my uptight neighbor. She just moved in this Summer, has never introduced herself to us, and both times she's spoken to us, she said, "I'm not trying to be a bitch but..." and then said something predictably bitchy.
She must have been watching me shovel and opened her door to yell out, "Excuse me. Is there some reason you're putting all the snow in that one pile?" I'm sure she could care less why I was doing it, she obviously just wanted me to stop, but didn't know how to say that without being horribly condescending. I told her it was because it was easier than walking with a heavy shovelful of snow and dumping it further away. She told me she was worried that the snow might fall onto her part of the sidewalk and she didn't want to have to come out and shovel it again. What? The pile of snow was by my part of the sidewalk and none of it had fallen off of it.
I do understand there are all kinds of people in the world, and I'm thankful for that. If the world was populated with a bunch of people like me, everyone would just run around swearing and dancing to cheesy music all day long. I just don't understand caring about how anyone else shovels their sidewalks. In this town, I'm happy if anyone shovels at all. I wanted to tell her that she might want to spring for some cable TV or maybe she could find a nice hobby, or a cause that would keep her mind on something more important.
She kept trying to backtrack and tell me where the best place for me to put the extra snow would be and it wouldn't be that far of a walk and blah and blah and blah...All her talk, talk, talking was making my brain scab up, so I just waved her away. If you're going to be an uptight bitch, be an uptight bitch, but you can't be an uptight bitch AND a people pleaser without developing ulcers or stroking out at an early age. Ugh!
That is how my little shoveling chore turned into weird drama. My daughters told me that she was a junior high teacher, so maybe she's just used to being condescending to people. I guess I'm not going to get an A+ in snow shoveling this term, and that's just fine with me.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I cannot wait for tomorrow night. I'm really embracing my Friday night couch potato movie night. It's been a busy, busy week. Tuesday was the only night I didn't have to go anywhere, except to run at the rec building.
Coadster after the show. Still smiling.
Tonight was the second show choir performance of the week. I have to get up at 6:30 on Saturday morning to take Coadster to the bus for their first competition in Wisconsin. They stay the night there, so I won't see her again until Sunday afternoon. Wah.
I think this has been the best year for them. They finally seem to have it all together and with as kitschy as it is, I thought it was pretty damn entertaining. They had a photo shoot after the performance and it seemed to last forever. I got bored waiting, so I just kept taking photos. As I said in the last post, Coadster is extremely expressive and I tried to capture as many of those expressions as I could.
She's starting to get a little fidgety here.
I already said that I'm vegging out and watching movies with Coadster tomorrow night. (Stinky almost always has plans, so I'm assuming she'll be at a friend's house) I wanted to stay home on Saturday night as well, but a friend that I didn't get to hang with on NYE, has the night off with her husband to go to a belated Christmas party. She wanted to get a drink after that, since they already had a babysitter. We've both invited other people, so if everyone shows, it could be crazy good times.
Her patience is wearing thin.
I might also go see a movie at FMDM's place before that. He he has a documentary that's a counterpart to King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters. He said it's more about everything surrounding the first video game olympics and the Life magazine photo shoot with all the gamers in the early 80's. I guess there's a lot of film of Twin Galaxies and interviews with the gamers in the competition and the cheerleaders in the photoshoot. Since I graduated with all of those girls, I think it could be pretty interesting. I also want to see if they show the Centipede machine I always used when I was in high school.
Completely and totally over the photo shoot. Can I go now? How about now? Can I go now?
So, that's the plan right now and the plan usually changes some between here and Sunday. How about you? What's your weekend plan? Will you be watching documentaries about your hometown or going out with your crazy hot friends or both?
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I went to The Hilltop for supper club and it was really nice. With the holidays and everything, I haven't made it for a while now. I had a big plate of cheese fries and a pint of beer for $4.50. You really can't beat that with a stick, can you?
I'm going to try really hard to get as close to seven hours of sleep as I can tonight, so I'll make this quick.
You know how annoying I always am with my camera? Yeah. Well, I do feel sorry for my girls now and again. Stinky doesn't usually mind, but Coadster has never had much tolerance for it. Here's a little photo post showing her creative avoidance. The first shot was from Christmas Eve when she was all full of the holiday spirit and trying to humor me.
Here she's allowing it, but obviously completely over the whole experience. Maybe I wouldn't want to photograph her so badly, if she weren't so expressive. I blame her.
The rest of these were from one of Stinky's basketball games. The first one, she just puts her hood up and turns around. Nice and simple.
Here she's using gloves as a prop.
For this pic, Coadster is utilizing her fleece quite nicely, I think.
And finally, she resorts to the duck and cover. This is equally successful for both warding off your mom's aggressive picture taking and protecting yourself from a nuclear attack.
She really has become the master of photography avoidance. I'm sure she'll thank me once she's famous and being hounded by the paparazzi.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Kids, I'm cutting the excuses and just letting you know I'm feeling random. As always, enter at you own risk:
Sadly, my favorite form of embarrassment for the girls no longer works. In fact, now all of their friends think it's cool, so it totally backfired. I'm talking about the dorky dancing I used to do in front of the girls' friends. A couple of weeks ago, Stinky was having some girls spend the night and I did my usual frightening dance moves and all the girls instantly took their phones out and started recording. I stopped as soon as I realized, but not before one of them got enough footage and then texted me the video later that week when I was at work. Damn it! Now, I'm going to have to think of something else. Anyone got any ideas, or things that have worked well for you in the past?
Here is an abandoned snow blower in front of the Chabad house.
I was at work today and noticed someone's first name was Topeka. I wondered if that's where she was born or conceived. It made me think of the kid at my daughter's school who was named after the shrooms her parents were doing when he was conceived and wondered what would happen if all children were named in relation to their conception. Do you suppose names like Promnight, Icestorm and Newyearseve, would be as common as Ashley, Brittney and Madison are now?
Here is part of a building on the Pentacrest.
Tonight the girls and I went to the rec building to run after I got off work. It's that time of year again. That time when all the hormone fueled high school track striver boys go to the rec building to get in shape for the Spring season and to also talk tons and tons of shit, apparently. I'm sure the big reason they do it, is because they know it grosses my daughters out so badly.
When I finished my run, I walked over to the bleachers to get my sweats on and Stinky came up to me and asked, "So, do you want to know what Alex and James just said about you while you were running?"
"No, actually. I'd rather not have to hear it."
"Well, too bad. I'm gonna tell you anyway. First, Alex was all, 'Oh, if I knew your mom was running inside, I would have been coming here more often. You should give her my number.' Then I said, 'Ew! Gross! I'm not giving her your number. She is FORTY-three years old.' And James was like, 'I don't care. She's hot. If you won't give her my number, I'll give it to her myself. I wanna take her out on a date to the Olive Garden.'"
"Yeah. I knew I wouldn't want to hear it. How about you tell those boys, thanks but no thanks. None of them are worth going to jail for." I'm thinking it might be easier just to risk the icy sidewalks outside from now on.
Okay, kids. FMDM called me to chat and I wasn't paying attention to the time and now it is ridiculously late, so I'm stealing from the old blog. This was something from December of 2005: I swear, one of these days I'll start writing real posts again. Who knows? Maybe I'll even start tomorrow. But for right now, I'm serving up this:
On Friday night, I was driving down the Coralville Strip on the way to pick up Coadster from an ice skating party at the mall. Stinky and her friend were sitting in the backseat and I was looking like a lame ass taxi driver alone in the front seat. Of Course, I drive a total mom car - I have that pine green Subaru station wagon, the same color and kind that everyone else bought in 1999. It's a wonderfully reliable car and I even have a, "share the road with bicycles" bumper sticker so I'm unmistakably a big, old mom.
That's why I was surprised when a car full of young men (and I use that term loosely) pulled up next to me at the light. At first I wasn't sure if they were high school kids or frat boys, but then they didn't have a very nice car or an Illinois license plate with a dealership sticker from the Northshore suburbs of Chicago, so I figured they were high school kids. They started honking and waving and yelling to get my attention. I looked over and they made that gesture for me to roll down my window. Which I didn't do. I tried to ignore them and Stinky and her friend giggled and made fun of them while they then attempted to race me down the strip. When I didn't play along, they slowed down to my speed and kept yelling and honking. What the hell? I'm old, I'm not playing - why bother? I could see them doing that to a car driven by hot young college girls, but I was even wearing the same Carhartt sweatshirt that I always wear so I'm sure I looked like the worst kind of farm wife.
That went on for way too long and they got so carried away at one point that they nearly ran us off the road. I think coming close to hitting us, sobered them up and they finally let it go and drove off.
That wasn't the first time this year I had some younger kids flipping me shit. This summer I was running down Rochester and two boys, probably around 10 years old, had their super soakers out. You could tell they thought about it for a bit, but then they both aimed and fired right at me. I think I said, "Knock it off you little shits." But they fired one more time before they ran off. I couldn't believe how ballsy they were. What's with kids today? Is no one taught any respect any more? Is it more fallout from too much MTV and video games? Or were we like that with adults when I was younger and I just don't remember it?
If I go all the way back to Arizona and try to be honest with myself, I can think of a time or two when we treated adults badly. Arizona is a state filled with fringe movements. I kind of like that large populations of Mormons and bikers can live peacefully in the same state. But then you have to imagine what it would be like if they got into a war with each other...Sure, the bikers would win at first, they have all the machinery, but then the Mormons who got away could retreat to their bunkers with all their hoarded food and make like the righteous progenitors that they are to replenish their armies. I would probably put my money on the Mormons.
...What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, respect. When we were kids we used to make fun of the bikers who lived at the end of our street. A big group of us would walk back and forth in front of their house and yell/sing the words to, "Motorcycle Mama". Mostly we would sing, "...Motorcycle Mama, the queen of the highway, and we'll see the world through my Harley.." over and over again until the dad came out of the house and yelled at us to get the hell out and then we'd run away screaming and wait a while before we got the guts to start it up again.
The other time I remember being mean to a grown-up was in second grade. There was a kid at our school who's mom volunteered to help in our class. She still had one of those really high bouffants and we couldn't get over it. We called her the Eiffel Tower and any time she walked by us we would all act as if the hair tower on top of her head was going to come crashing down on us. All the kids would push each other out of her way. The principal came to our class to talk to us about hurting her feelings and I think that was the first sensitvity training I ever had.
I guess the big problem with all of this is that my disrespect was really funny and the shit those boys did, was just stupid - ok, shooting a mom with the big super soakers would have been really funny if I saw it done to someone else. I think it's just more of my take on things: When I do something, it's really cute and endearing but it's kind of annoying when someone else does it. Hmmmm.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
So, kids. It's been one busy weekend. I got a lot of projects done, and all of the Christmas decorations are put away, but I would love just one day where I'm not running around all over the place.
I did give myself a night to relax on Friday....Well, after Coadster and I went running at the rec building and then dropped off our rent check and then ran to the store and dropped Stinky off at her friends house, that is. I finally got to sit on my ass and watch The Golden Compass with Coadster.
My girl crush doing a great job of distracting G. during her pool shot.
Saturday was more running around. Coadster had show choir dress rehearsal from 10-2:30 and Stinky had basketball practice from 12 -2. Even though Stinky broke her finger and can't play for the rest of the season, she's still expected to go to games and practices. I also went running and did some cleaning.
Here we are on the sidewalk acting like action figures and waiting for a cab.
I was going to try to stay home on Saturday night as well, but I got an email from my friend G. asking me to meet her out and then she wrote me again and said my girl crush was coming into town too. So, I braved life and limb to walk downtown on the ice. Don't worry, I wore practical shoes this time. I still had to walk on the street though, because the sidewalks were way too treacherous.
It was worth it, because we had so much fun. My crazy, hot friends even showed up for last call. On the way home, we all decided to share a cab. It was so much easier than trying to walk on all of that nasty ice.
Now, I'm going to try to go to sleep as early as possible. I have to go to work and then run the girls all over hell as soon as I get home from that. I'm hoping that with the end of the holiday season, I'll get to slow down a little, but I'm not counting on it.