Friday, January 26, 2007
I am constantly in awe of Fundamentalist Christians. When do they have time to sleep with all this soul-saving?
I grew up in a fundie household. My parents are still very much into the Jesus thang. I am not. We don't discuss it.
I remember my father's dire warnings about Dungeons and Dragons when I was younger. He told me that kids got so into the game that if their character lost an arm, they would cut off their own arm! He said it was an evil game--the "devil's work".
Had he told me that only dorks played it, it would have made more of an impact. All this crazy talk he was throwing at me only made me want to play it more.
Other failed attempts by my Dad at molding me into a good Christian soldier:
1. "BOO for booze and NOPE to dope"
I tried my first cigarette in 6th grade, had my first drink in 7th grade and smoked pot for the first time the summer after 7th grade.
2. "Sex is a sacred act between a man and a woman, united in marriage in God's eyes"
I held off being a complete slut until college, but I more than made up for lost time.
3. "Vote Republican"
I haven't been to church since I moved away from home. My parents don't even ask anymore.
When I got married, we went the Unitarian route. We thought about doing a Justice of the Peace, but I wanted something a little more traditional. We thought about having a ceremony outside somewhere, but I am way too anal. And seeing as I can't control the weather (yet), that idea was nixed.
Even with my complete disdain for organized religion, I really wanted to walk down an aisle on my father's arm. The problem was no church would have us if we wouldn't declare our undying devotion to the big Dude upstairs. I couldn't fake it just to get use of a gorgeous sanctuary. I didn't think lying was a good way to start off a marriage.
Luckily, the Unitarians came to the rescue.
They had a few ceremonies to choose from. We were also free to write up our own. We ended up taking bits and pieces from a Lesbian commitment ceremony they had performed there recently. It was really beautiful, talking of love, equality and two people joining together, but still staying two separate people. It was perfect.
When my Dad found out about it, he was disappointed. He didn't get it, saying "Well, may the force be with you."
Pretty funny for a stodgy old coot.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
My inlaws live in Peoria, once rumored to be the "Teen Pregnancy Capitol of the Nation". My husband grew up there, and assures me that it isn't just a rumor.
I drove there this past weekend and noticed a prime example of the proverbial shaft lower income citizens get in the way of ob/gyn services. There are several women's health care centers up and down Knoxville. From what I can gather, the end my inlaws live on is quite nice. Nearer to the interstate, the demographic changes as does the apparent quality of doctor's offices.
Wexler and Feinstein OB/Gyn and Day Spa
"Blue Cross/Blue Shield covers our manicures!"
Loving Womb Midwifery and Doula Service
"You can do it. We can help."
"We haven't been picketed since 1993!"
Women's Health Care Center
"Enter through Rear"
Uncle Todd's Pawn Shop and Discount Abortionarium
"You make 'em, we scrape 'em."
I think I need to write my state representative.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Today is my 33rd birthday.
By the age of 33:
Hemmingway had written A Farewell to Arms.
F. Scott Fitzgerald had written The Great Gatsby.
Liz Phair had completed Exile in Guyville
The Rolling Stones had about 4,ooo concerts under their belt 33 years after forming
and Jesus...well he died for our sins, giving us the chance for eternal life.
These are some hard acts to follow.
I haven't written anything more than some bad poetry and a whole lot of bitching on the internet. I was in a band that played one song at one show, never to be seen again.
And I'm not about to try to hang on some cross. I'll leave that to the guys on Jackass.
My little brother called and left a voicemail this morning, wishing me a Happy Birthday...from Paris...where he is staying for free. He was on his way back from Tunisia and it seems the plane had a little trouble over France. Not only was his plane ticket free (business trip), but his hotel was as well (on the airline). He said he was calling me from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
I still live in the same town I went to (and subsequently dropped out of) college in. I think I'll call him on his birthday from the top of Watterson Towers. Take that, overachieving sibling!
Some people that share my birthday:
Jodie Sweetin of Full House fame is 25 today!
Shawn Wayans of In Living Color fame is 36 today!
Dolly Parton of the plastic surgery hall of fame is 61 today!
Shelley Fabares of Coach fame is 63 today! (Did you know she also sang Johnny Angel?)
And the dearly departed:
Janis Joplin of Jack Daniels fame would have been 64 today!
Tippi Hedren of Alfred Hitchcock fame would have been 76 today! (She is dead, isn't she?)
Edgar Allan Poe, the world's first official Goth, would have been 198 today!
I should clarify that I'm not having some kind of crisis about getting older. It's not so bad being in my 30's. I get treated like an adult most of the time, but I can still get carded for cigarettes if I buy them on campus.
I haven't written a great American novel, put out an incredible album, had sex with David Bowie (yet) or been crucified, but I've gotten quite a bit accomplished in this first third of my life (because I plan on living until 100, you see). I'm married to a comic book store owner (please contain your jealousy), have two beautiful children, two obnoxious dogs and I'm about to buy the house I plan on living in for the rest of my life.
All in all, not too shabby.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I thought they could have fleshed out the character's relationships a bit more and that chick from the OC was distractingly annoying. I kept telling myself "At least it isn't Katie Holmes", and I was satisfied enough to carry on watching.
I went to return said movies this afternoon and noticed a trend. Almost everyone in the place was a male blue-collar worker. I could tell because they variously had paint splattered cover-alls, shirts with their name on them, and/or work boots on.
I normally have an affinity for the work shirt/dirty under the fingernails set, but these guys were both too old and too creepy-looking for my taste.
What were these guys doing at Family Video presumably on their lunch hour, seemingly all at once? Why wouldn't any of them make eye contact with the cashier? Why did they all walk out the same way-quickly and hugging thier rentals close to their Carhart coat?
It had to be porn.
I feel like I've cracked some kind of secret society or something. I can't help but picture laborers all over this fine city going home at the lunch hour for a sammich and a wank.
If in my new house I need some new windows put in or my AC worked on, I guess I'll know why the guys come back from lunch extra happy.
Come to think of it, it's really not a bad idea.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
So much so that she even talks (loudly) in her sleep. The first time she did it, she was about 18 months old. She was sleeping in our bed at the time and in the middle of the night sat up and yelled, "NO MAMA! MORE CHIPS!"
Needless to say, the Mister and I were jolted awake. She fell right back asleep, but we were up for a good 20 minutes giggling about it.
We thought it was a fluke, but over the years it's gotten more and more frequent.
She doesn't do it every night, but when she does it is our own personal hell. Being woken from a dead sleep every other hour is like being tortured.
Mostly she yells at me during her late night diatribes which makes me feel absolutely awful, not to mention a bit defensive. What did I do? Does she secretly hate me for not letting her wear her bathing suit and a feather boa to preschool? Is she still angry I dared to bring another kid onto her turf?
The scariest part is when I (or my husband) go into her room to check on her and she is sitting up in bed shouting, but still completely asleep. I've tried to wake her from what seemed like a nightmare, but to no avail. A few times her eyes were actually open (which freaks me out to no end), but she isn't aware or awake.
After particularly bad nights, I've asked her about her dreams over breakfast the next morning. She never remembers anything scary or bad so I don't imagine it is doing her any harm. I just have to wonder what is going on in her mini-subconcious to make her do this. Surely I have scarred her in some way--but how?
I suppose years down the road when she is telling her therapist about the time I wouldn't let her eat Laffy Taffy for breakfast, we'll figure this one out.
Monday, January 15, 2007
He ended up ripping out two utility poles and tearing the meter box off of my house (and the sign shop's next door) leaving the whole block without power.
The best part is that he then tried to drive away from the scene. He didn't make it far considering he had part of a light pole and several severed power lines hanging off the back of his truck. The cops caught up to him down the street trying to drive the wrong way through the park.
As it is January in Illinois, we really needed power. It wasn't below zero that night, but it was cold enough that we'd be mighty frigid by morning if we didn't get the heat back on in the following hours.
We were informed by the police the the meter box was our responsibility and we could take it up with our insurance (and presumably the truck driver's insurance) to get reimbursed. My husband called the electrician and he was out here doing his thing within 20 minutes. Impressive if you consider it was 9:30 on a Saturday night.
As he banged around the outside of the house, yakking it up with the power crew fixing the power poles, the Mister and I mused just how much this bill was going to run us and how we could convince our insurance agent that our vehicles were somehow damaged by this. We got our power back up a couple hours later and spent the next couple of days anticipating the bill.
It came a week later: $800.14.
Panic subsided today when the truck driver's insurance agent called me to get a copy of the invoice. I knew we had a little time before the electrician would come calling for the money, but I didn't know how quickly we would get the check paying us back. Luckily they are on the ball over there at Great West Casualty.
He was a nice man, very pleasant on the phone. "Was there any damage other than the meter box?" he asked. "I can have a check out to you as soon as I have a copy of the invoice." he offered.
After a little chit chat about fax numbers and check-wrting, out of nowhere he says,
"A six-legged cow was born in Columbia."
"Uh, Missouri?" I asked.
"No, Columbia Columbia." he answered, pleased he had shared such a juicy piece of information with me.
I wasn't sure where he was going with this. I didn't know what to say except
"I'll have that check right out to you, Mrs. S. Have a great day."
Sunday, January 14, 2007
When I tell people that I live in an old house their immediate response is always, "Oh, I LOVE old houses. They have so much character!".
I'm fully convinced "character" is code for "dust".
I've never been able to keep up on the dirt. It accumulates along the tops of the old window ledges, on top of the impossibly narrow crown molding edges, and in between the teeny grooves of the wood floors. Combine that with the fact that we have not one, but two dogs who belong to a breed that shed all year long and I've got a real mess on my hands. I can sweep and mop after the kids go to bed and still wake up to dust bunnies the size of...well, bunnies the next morning.
I don't remember when it became so important to me to have an ultra-clean house. In college I practically wallowed in my own filth. I washed my clothes occasionally and showered daily, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times I washed my sheets that last year of school. A two foot high pile of dirty dishes in the sink amused rather than disgusted me. I didn't even own a vacuum until I was 24. I even had sex with a few hippies (not at the same time). And not just any hippies--the worst kind: The Suburban Transplant Hippie. The kind that treat brushing their hair and showering as some kind of inconvenience. I can't smell patchouli anymore without wanting to immediately wash my vagina out with bleach.
And speaking of bleach...
A friend of mine, who happens to be vigilant about being environmentally-friendly, told me that using bleach is tantamount to raping puppies. I took her advice to cease and desist, and instead started buying Method products. Up until I really took a look at them, I thought the pretty colors and pleasant scents were some kind of marketing ploy. Apparently they are good for the environment--or at least not as bad for our Mother Earth as other cleaning products.
I enjoy some of thier products. The dish soap is nice as is the laundry detergent and fabric softeners. I also like their shower,wood floor and window cleaner. The dishwasher tabs and the all-purpose cleaner suck ass.
I love the thought of using pink grapefruit smelling spray on my counter tops (and that whole saving the environment thing), but it just doesn't cut the mustard (or the bacon grease) when I need it most. Give me 409 Bleach-y goodness or give me death. Well not really death, just a not so clean countertop.
Maybe I just need to lower my standards.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
My favorite part, aside from physically walking though the house is looking up when the current owners bought it and what they paid for it. I also look up who else lives on the block (and what they paid for their house). I'm a sucker for stats.
This is a handy tool to have at my disposal. I've lived in this town for almost 15 years and in that time I've made my share of enemies. These people may not necessarily know I hate them as some things are better left unsaid.
I had a handful of clients who came to me for years to get their hair done that I hated. I hated their ridiculous requests, their shitty tips and their badly-behaved children. I hated the way they assumed I was a dipshit because I was a stylist.
I found a house that looked perfect online and the realtor set up a time to take us over to look at it. I looked up the property and everything seemed to be in order until I started a neighbor search....and there she was, just a few doors down.
For the sake of privacy, let's call her Pat McUnterson. Pat was a client for about two hellish years. She spoke with a clenched jaw (TMJ), had the pastiest skin I've ever seen (allergic to the sun), always complained of being tired (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), and bad-mouthed every other stylist she'd ever been to (Chronic Bitch Syndrome).
Every time she came in, she had something new wrong with her. It got so bad that when my coworkers and I saw her name on the book, we would place bets on what perceived ailment she would come in with that day.
She liked to diagnose other people too. When I told her my oldest daughter wouldn't eat anything but pasta, she told me that my child was addicted to carbs and this phase would surely stunt her growth.
She told me that her husband had drained their bank account twice in the last year on who knows what and was bi-polar. I cut his hair a few times, and he seemed alright to me aside from being a flaming homosexual married to not just a woman, but a very ugly and annoying woman. That might send me into a case of the crazies as well.
I knew I couldn't live anywhere near this woman. Thankfully, the house we looked at was a piece of shit.
And Pat paid way too much for hers.
Friday, January 12, 2007
- I now refer to myself in the third person quite often.
"If you two don't stop screeching, Mama's head is going to explode."
"Mama will buy you a goddamned pony if the two of you could stop trying to break the sound barrier for two seconds."
- I can get out of things I don't want to do.
"Gosh, I'd love to check out your church, but the baby kept me up all night crying."
"I'm sorry that I can't come visit you and your new slut wife for the weekend. The girls are allergic to whores."
- I get to lie.
"The store ran out of ice cream."
"Santa is watching."
"It's way past your bedtime."
"If you don't pick up your toys, a goblin will come in the middle of the night and steal them."
- I hate most people.
Women who dress themselves and their daughters alike
Churchy Moms Groups
The woman I saw walking into the grocery store with a toddler on her hip, puffing away on a cigarette
The guy I saw driving around with four little kids across the back seat, NOT buckled into carseats
Pervs who follow me around the grocery store, then try to talk to my kids
Strangers who try to engage my kids in conversation
People with this bumper sticker on their car
or any of these
or anything pissing on anything else
- I am not above bribery.
- Naps make the world a better place.
- Pullups are fancy, more expensive diapers (but we use them anyway).
- Breastfeeding doesn't just happen.
- It is possible to lose all the baby weight, yet still be a different size.
- Everything I ever did to my parents growing up will come back to haunt me in the very near future.
For Your Scrapbook
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