from Portland, ME

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    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      9 years ago


      Transmutability, or, From Concerts and Cakes to Boys

      Perfect moments.

      They aren’t something you can plan. They aren’t something you can expect. They are moments you have absolutely no control over. And they make no sense, which makes them even more perfect.

      Perfect moments are when every single detail in your life lines up in complete harmony. It catches you off guard and you realize, “Everything in my life, at this moment, is absolutely where and how it should be. There’s not a single thing out of place. Everything is right, exactly right, in this moment.†And I mean, everything: from how you physically feel, to what you’re wearing, to who you’re with when it happens, to where you are socially, and professionally, and emotionally, and metaphysically.

      I’m not sure how other people might react to these deeply profound moments of enlightenment, of awakening within ourselves, of cosmic reassurance, but I am usually stunned to silent tears.

      Because perfect moments renew your existence.

      And life is a frequently trying journey, so anytime you, your world, your heart, your mind are validated, you really are left feeling refreshed within yourself and within your place in the human race. Ready to keep on at it. It being living.

      They are these glorious heart-breaking and instantly heart-healing moments, too. As contradictory as that sounds. It’s as if this infinitely enormous world actually cares, really cares about you, despite your smallness; and, it’s showing you that it’s okay to be broken. That it’s okay to revel in this brokenness for as long as you need to. Because at some point, you can be, and will be, fixed in a heart’s beat in these perfect life-altering moments.

      And maybe it’s me, but those perfect moments never seem like major life moments when we would expect our monumental revelation. They aren’t births or deaths or weddings or graduations or promotions or car accidents or divorces.

      They happen when you’re standing in line at a crowded grocery store.

      They happen when you’re driving through the woods of New England in autumn.

      They happen when you’re sitting on a hardwood floor of a concert hall in your favorite pair of jeans, with one hand holding a glass of red wine the other holding your sister’s â€" your best â€" hand, surrounded by people you don’t know and who don’t know you for once, listening to the perfect song: the melody mirroring how your soul feels, while the lyrics sound as if someone is reading the farthest depths of your heart, the farthest reaches of your mind.

      That’s when you realize: this is it.

      This is my moment.

      This is my life that I’m living, actually LIVING right now. Right. Now.

      As trivial as it might seem to every other soul in there, this is the moment hand-created just for you from the universe, from God, where you get to revel in inner-peace while being healed, bathed in a warmth and protection and fondness for you as an human being.

      However crazy this might sound, however absurd it may seem, it’s not. Innately you know it’s true. Infrequently, though it does happen, there are these instances in life when an unsettling feeling of calm, of certainty, that comes over us, and we don’t feel scattered or unimportant or uninvolved or underappreciated. There are no worries, no heartaches, no sickness, nothing. But for a brief second you feel collected and whole and at peace and connected with and within everything.

      We need to embrace these moments of transmutability.

      As I stood next to my sister, arms embraced, I realized we were both, in the glow of the hot blue and purple stage lights, unabashedly crying.

      I am not sure what internal war was waging within her, what hurt was being healed within her; for me, the healing balm of acceptance was being soothed onto all the battle wounds that I’d unknowingly let scar me.

      In my epiphanous moment I realized that there’s no stopping life. It goes on. That everything that I’m trying so desperately to hold on to â€" feelings, memories, people, things â€" is slipping away from me, because they aren’t mine to have forever. When things finish, when things go away, they leave the realm of existence and enter the realm of memory. And I hate that, because memory is the most untrustworthy thing there is. It alters and distorts minor details the older we get, the more we recall and retell it.

      Standing with my sister, I didn’t want the concert to end. A physical pain spread through my chest as I realized that it finishing was inevitable. It was a wonderful show and I just wanted to be able to enjoy it forever. And when my sister and I got back into my car, my hears still ringing with the audible perfection I had just encountered, I realized I could never listen to any music ever again; my heart was overjoyed from it and I didn’t want to lose that by flooding my senses with anything else.

      But then, how silly is that?

      Continued in comments . . .

    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      9 years ago


      The Car Cursed, or, Why I Owe My Dad Sixteen Years of Manual Labor

      I’m cursed.

      Maybe it’s me, but I believe that everybody â€" in their own right â€" is. That everybody has that one thing that just tears them down time and time again. I’m not talking about an addiction; I’m not talking about a fault in our personalities; I’m talking about something that is beyond our control, that no matter what it’s unavoidable and haunts us through our life’s story.

      I am cursed with bad car luck.

      I write this sitting in the auto center down the road from my house, where my uncle is my mechanic. He’s always been my auto mechanic. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing, because I have a trusted auto mechanic who’s always done me right, tells me straight what’s wrong with my car, and does really excellent work for reasonable prices. It’s a curse, because after my uncle checks my car he yells at me in parental fashion for my lack of auto knowledge and general maintenance, then calls my father to tell him how much I suck at taking care of my vehicle, and then finally my dad calls to continue the verbal abuse.

      As I wait for him to come out and yell at me for this most recent bout of car neglect, I reminisce (as I always do when I’m sitting here) about all the other cars I’ve had in my life.

      My first car was the best car I owned. She was a 1984 Volvo station wagon. Her name was Ovlov. I bought her off my dad for $1,000 when I was a senior in high school. She was a long car, beautiful pale blue in color, with vinyl seats that burned your thighs in the summer and froze stiff in the winter.

      I loved Ovlov.

      Two days before high school graduation I got into a massive car accident and totaled Ovlov. I didn’t see a stop sign that was covered by some tree branches and rolled through it while a one ton pick-up truck was speeding â€" going forty over the speed limit â€" through the other side of the intersection, intentionally ignoring the stop sign (we would later find out that the truck had two women in it, the driver was trying to bring her drunk friend back to their apartment so she could get back to the bar to continue having a good time). The truck t-boned me and Ovlov, crushing her to death; bad enough that I had to be slid through the shattered front window to get out of the car.

      Later I was told by my mom that when the medics showed up they asked her (assuming she was just an on-looker) where the body was. My mom responded that the body, her daughter, was fine and was with an officer. The medic apologized and then went on to extol the tank-like qualities old school Volvo wagons had. “She was lucky,†he told my mom. “They don’t make cars like that anymore.â€Â

      I had her for exactly one year.

      What I didn’t know then was that this was the beginning of my lifelong Car Curse.

      I was bedridden for two months as my body healed, and when I could finally walk again I immediately wanted new wheels. But, I was broke and couldn’t afford much. We went to see an exceptionally questionable car dealer, and he talked me into purchasing a dark blue 1984 Chevy Citation.

      I don’t know if you know much about cars â€" I obviously don’t â€" but I know that Chevy Citations are these really ugly cars that were created, not-so-jokingly, so that it could lose a wheel and still be able to operate on just the other three. They are squat, ugly things; and, I swear to you, there are maybe only twenty-three of them left in all of America.

      One of which, I was the not-so-proud-owner of.

      What the dealer neglected to tell me when I bought it for $600 (after talking him down $150) was that it didn’t have a radio. Or a heater. And that the ceiling of the vehicle had been thumb-tacked back into place. And that the drivers’ side door didn’t open from the outside, so you had to crawl through the passenger side. And that if it dipped below thirty degrees, the car wouldn’t start. Oh, and if it was more than seventy-five degrees, the car wouldn’t start.

      It was basically four wheels, an engine, and some steel.

      I dubbed him The Captain.

      When I got the car Uncle The Mechanic, told me “This is a horrible car. You have ONE year with this. I shouldn’t even allow this on the road â€" I should be calling the authorities on you for this. But I feel bad, so for this one time only, I’m gonna look the other way. But, in ONE year, you better NOT BRING THIS CAR BACK TO ME.â€Â

      I hated The Captain.

      Exactly a year later, while I was working out at the gym some lady overheard me talking about how I was on the verge of being transportation-less. She then offered to give me her car.

      “How much?†I asked skeptically.

      “Free,†she retorted.

      And, so, she gave me her car â€" a pale blue 1986 Toyota Camry â€" for free.

      Come to find out she had received the car from a friend when she was down on her luck. So she knew there would come a time when she would have to “pay it forward†and give the car to someone else who needed the boost. And so, I named the Camry “G.Sam†for Good Samaritan.

      I loved G. Sam.

      Nearly a year later, I noticed that the temperature gauge started acting funny. Uncle The Mechanic told me that they could fix the problem â€" it would cost thousands of dollars â€" or, I could ride it out, since the car didn’t have much life left in her anyway. Not having thousands of dollars, I decided to keep driving G. Sam, hoping to push it for a couple more months.

      One night, driving home from work I started to smell oil. Smoke started pouring out of the engine before a loud BANG! CRACK! SIZZLE! DEATH! was heard. I pulled over, popped the hood, and backed away as the smoke began to billow out of her. Peering in after most of it had cleared, it appeared that there was a giant crack down the engine, and fluid was leaking out everywhere.

      I sat on the curb and laughed.

      Continued in comments . . .

    • Fact is Better: Naked Triathletes . . .

      9 years ago


      . . . Probably Love Gelato

      Last weekend the gelato company that I work for was a vender at a triathlon. My boss asked me to be at the park (it was this beautiful state park on the ocean) at 10:30, since the first rush of people was expected at 11 or so.

      That seems normal enough, right?

      My life, however, doesn’t work that way.

      Me: *10:25, and I’m turning onto the road for the park, but cops have set up barricade*
      Cop: “Where you going, ma’am?â€Â
      Me: “I’m one of the vendors. I’m with Gelato Fiasco.â€Â
      Cop: “You’re late.â€Â
      Me: “. . . Um, excuse me?â€Â
      Cop: “You’re late. The other two gelato people are already here.â€Â
      Me: “Right, I know that. I need to get to them.â€Â
      Cop: “Well, you can drive down there, but the race has already started and the biker’s have the right of way. So if you drive down there, there’s a good chance you’ll probably hit a biker and kill them, at which point I’d have to arrest you for manslaughter.â€Â
      Me: “ . . . okay.â€Â
      Cop: “So, you can drive down the road, but if you see a biker you’ll have to drive off into a ditch and wreck your car . . .â€Â
      Me: “ . . .to avoid the manslaughter bit . . .â€Â
      Cop: “ . . . right, or you can park your car and walk down.â€Â
      Me: “What would you do?â€Â
      Cop: “I’d park and walk.â€Â
      Me: “How far a walk is it?â€Â
      Cop: “Meh, something like two miles.â€Â
      Me: “Two miles?â€Â
      Cop: *grinning* “Enjoy your hike, ma’am.â€Â

      So, I park my car and begin the walk down. I text my boss:

      Me: “I’m gonna be late. The cops are making me walk.â€Â
      Boss: “Too bad you don’t have a bike.â€Â
      Me: “ . . . laughing at the expense of my pedestrianism is unacceptable. I might just hijack a bike. No rules against that.â€Â
      Boss: “Throw a stick in their tires and get down here.â€Â

      After about a mile, I call a friend:

      Me: “It’s the third day of my new job and I’m hiking through a forest on a beautiful day while half naked, gorgeous men bike past me, and at the end of this walk is a giant cart full of ice cream. Could it get any better?â€Â
      Friend: “I don’t have to read next week’s blog then, ‘cause you’re obviously gonna write about this.â€Â
      Me: “Yes. I. Am. It’s like the universe was giving me naked triathletes who probably love gelato on a golden blogging platter.â€Â
      Friend: “Go you.â€Â
      Me: “Go me, indeed.â€Â

      True story.

      Further proof that fact is better than fiction.

    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      9 years ago


      My L.P., or, How to Win a Free Juice Box

      I signed on to and began typing in “lumbar puncture†into the search box (this was only after I had typed in “Spinal Tap†and received hundreds of videos about a fictional hard rock band - already a self-proclaimed rock star, I decided to focus my efforts on the actual medical videos of spinal taps).

      In less than twelve hours I was scheduled to have my very first LP. The only lumbar punctures I’d ever witnessed were ones on television medical shows where the person having the LP usually ended up frothing at the mouth, having a seizure, bleeding from the eyes, etc. I was thinking this probably wasn’t realistic, so I decided to do some investigating.

      The first two options that came up for “lumbar puncture†on YouTube was an instructional video on how to correctly perform one (this demonstration was done on a plastic doll) and of a small child getting one done. I clicked on the latter of the two and hunkered down for the eight minute long show.

      I only made it about three minutes in, before I, now sobbing hysterically, shut my computer off and called my mom.

      “What’s wrong?!†She asked.

      “I . . . I . . . I’m scared about tomorrow.â€Â

      There was a pause. “What did you do?â€Â

      “What do you mean, ‘what did I do’?†I asked defensively, hiccupping through the tears.

      “You were fine and then you weren’t. So what did you do?â€Â

      I wiped my nose on my sleeve. “Well, I may or may not have looked up videos on YouTube of people having lumbar punctures. And there was this kid! And he was howling like he was having a limb ripped from his body! I can’t do this!â€Â

      My mom paused again. “Are you dumb?â€Â

      I paused. “What?â€Â

      “Are you dumb? Why would you do that?â€Â

      “I wanted to know what it looked like,†I responded sheepishly.

      I could actually hear my mom rolling her eyes through the telephone. “Take some Tylenol PM, go to sleep, you’ll be fine tomorrow. You’re a rock star.â€Â

      This, as previously mentioned, wasn’t news to me. I hung up, took a fistful of sleeping aids, and went to bed.

      The next morning came, and after picking up my mom from her house, we headed to the neurologists. Upon arrival we were escorted to a sterile looking room divided into three sections by curtains. The far right “room†was empty, while in the middle “room†a man smiled passively as we settled into the left “room.†I hopped up on the bed, my mom taking a seat next to me.

      A nurse came in and introduced herself quickly as she placed the blood pressure cuff around my arm, and a heartbeat monitor on my finger. She rattled through a clearly practiced list of questions I’m sure she asks everyone every day.

      “Are you pregnant?†She asked, looking at the monitors on the wall.

      I guffawed. “Pfffffft! HAH. NO. C’mon!â€Â

      My mom started laughing, and the nurse paused from her obvious nurse-patient routine, looked at me directly and smiled. “Well, then.â€Â

      “There are girls ten years younger than you that can’t answer that fast,†my mom chimed in.

      “Well, ya know, it’s the life of a spinster.†I shrugged indifferently.

      The nurse took the cuff off my arm. “You’re twenty-four? Aren’t you technically a bachelorette? I don’t think you become a spinster until you’re thirty-four. You got ten years. Enjoy it.â€Â

      This was the best news I had heard in days. I smiled at her, “Cheers!â€Â

      The nurse took my file in her hand, studied it for a moment, and then looked up at me. It was like a switch had flipped: her eyes were gentler, her demeanor much more empathetic. The finely tuned machine of pumping people in and out of the place was suspended for a moment as she looked at me like I was a real patient.

      “Why’re you here?†She asked kindly.

      “Like, in the grand scheme of things?†I paused.

      “Physically, not metaphysically,†she grinned.

      ( To read the rest of this blog, please visit my blog here!)

    • Fact is Better: How My Torrid . . .

      10 years ago


      Love Affair with Whiskey Began

      A new book about my adventures in alochol is brewing, and I was curious about what my first taste of alcohol was. Assuming it was wine in sixth grade (my parents were super European, and believed in drinking wine with dinner - even me, a twelve year old), I asked my mom. She quickly explained that I was a lush from the git-go of my life.

      Me: “What was my first experience with alcohol?â€Â
      Mom: “Why would you need to know that?â€Â
      Me: “Humor me, Dell.â€Â
      Mom: “. . .what’s your first memory with alcohol?â€Â
      Me: “Wine in sixth grade.â€Â
      Mom: “Okay. Wine in sixth grade it is then.â€Â
      Me: “. . .what should be first memory of alcohol be?â€Â
      Mom: “Well . . . alright . . . so, we used to rub whiskey on your gums when Anbesol wouldn’t work. This option came via Bob and Anita.â€Â
      Me: “THE TWO FRENCH GRANDPARENTS?!? The God-fearing, law-abiding, conservative French grandparents?!?â€Â
      Mom: “I believe the phrase used by not one, but BOTH of the Frenchies â€" on separate occasions in different months and with no knowledge that the other had said it was, and I quote, ‘You want her to sleep, don’t you?’ Damn smart, those French.â€Â
      Me: “This keeps getting better and better.â€Â
      Mom: “Apparently, other wise French people rubbed a whiskey finger or two on the teething Bob and Anita when they were wee French babies because there was no Anbesol or Orajel.â€Â
      Me: “Then they rubbed whiskey on you and dad’s gums, then you guys rubbed whiskey on me and Cari’s gums?â€Â
      Mom: “Well, by the time you guys were around Orajel worked great. There were just those few times that it just didn’t work, so whiskey it was. Funny we didn’t even have whiskey in the house. My Dad [Bob] gave us the whiskey in a little Tupperware mini container. We kept it in our fridge through three moves â€" just in case.â€Â
      Me: “So you’re the reason why I was a drunkard on whiskey.â€Â
      Mom: “Nope. Your grandparents were. And you were a lot nicer of a little kid with whiskey in your system. I’m sure the same was true when you were drinking it as an adult.â€Â
      Me: “Burn.â€Â
      Mom: “Truth hurts, Weffla. Deal with it.â€Â

      True story.

      Further proof that fact is better than fiction.

    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      10 years ago


      September 12th, or, The Worst Day of My Life

      It’s amazing to me how a single event that would appear trivial and otherwise unimpressive on the surface can turn out to be one of the most defining and pivotal moments in our lives.

      One never knows when that life-altering incident is going to occur; the solitary experience that will send ripples through the rest of your life’s choices.

      For me, I’ve been reflecting on such a moment in my own life’s story that happened a year ago and in my reflections am in total awe at how clearly I remember the event that happened, and how raw the emotions from it and from the months that followed still are in my heart and mind.

      When I have my heart broken I give myself a time-frame to grieve. Depending on the severity, I usually give myself between six months and a year for my heart to heal.

      Last year I had my first relationship-related heartbreak where I was the heartbreakee (after having spent my entire life as the heartbreaker). I returned home from Europe for a boy in a rock band whom I thought was waiting for me. Forty-eight hours after being back stateside he told me he didn’t actually love me anymore and that perhaps it would’ve been best if I hadn’t come home at all.

      He broke my heart in the spring, so I gave myself until the holidays in December to get over it. The problem was that despite his now apparent disinterest in me, it didn’t prevent him from continuing to have a meaningless, sexually-based relationship with me for several months after which didn’t help my grieving process at all.

      Throughout those months of casual dating with him, I frequently pushed for commitment like we had had prior to my overseas departure. He would brush me off and make rude comments about how unimportant commitment was, and we would continue to exist in our warped fake relationship with one another. I realized over the course of those months that he was in fact seeing other girls and had started talking to his ex-fiancée with more frequency.

      Following Labor Day he grew exceptionally distant and I snapped, I told him that I knew there was something going on with ex-fiancée. He denied it, and then went missing for a few days. Come to find out he had in fact driven ten hours to visit with her and then decided to bring her back with him so that she could see him perform at one of his last concerts.

      My friends and I had planned on going to see him perform, so when he texted me only hours before the show to let me know she was with him, I was devastated. But, she was the love of his life, I was never naïve, I knew this, so I forced myself to go that night to see what she looked like.

      Every one of his friends and family members, who never liked me, showed up at the performance to see his ex-fiancée. The one friend of his that I thought liked me went out of her way to come up to my table of friends to ask me if I knew that he carried pictures of her in his truck and in his wallet, because she was his muse.

      I proceeded to get very, very drunk.

      It seemed like a good idea at the time: alcohol, I knew, would numb all the hurt feelings I was having and had been having since I had returned home for this boy who had been clearly using me.

      Five whiskey and cola’s later my next brilliant idea was to get up on stage, find the microphone, and declare very loudly how much I hated this boy and his ex-fiancée and all his stupid friends. I believe the majority of what came out of my mouth was hate-filled expletives towards these people.

      My friends eventually rescued me off the stage and I convinced them in my charming, wide-eyed ways that I was sober enough to drive home. Even as I was getting behind the wheel of my car I knew what an absolutely irresponsible and reckless idea this was.

      I pulled out of the parking lot and made sure that all of my attention was on safely driving. The speed limit was twenty-five MPH, and I absolutely was going no more than thirty MPH.

      Within minutes there were blue lights in my rearview and I was being pulled over.

      Digression: earlier in the day I had received a parking ticket from an officer right as I was getting back to my car.

      A few hours later, I was pulled over by a state trooper for not having my seatbelt on.

      And now, more blue lights.

      This was clearly not my day.

      As I pulled over and shut my engine off I quickly texted the friends who had been with me at the bar, “being pulled over. Think I’m going to jail.†I found a half-drunk chocolate milkshake and a half-drunk energy drink in my car that I downed as the officer was walking over to my car.

      “Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?â€Â

      “I don’t, Officer.â€Â

      “You were speeding.â€Â

      I guffawed. “I absolutely wasn’t. I was going thirty in a twenty-five.â€Â

      The officer looked nervously away. “No, ma’am, actually you were going thirty-two in a twenty-five and the folks in this neighborhood have been complaining about speeders.â€Â

      A few cars zoomed past us going forty or fifty MPH.

      “This is fucking bullshit,†I said.

      “Ma’am, have you been drinking?†He asked, leaning his head towards my car window.

      “Yes. Yes I have.â€Â

      “Yeah, I could tell. You absolutely reek of vodka.â€Â

      “Really? Because that’s not what I was drinking tonight. So that’s interesting.â€Â

      “Did you eat anything tonight, ma’am?â€Â

      “Is that relevant, Officer?â€Â

      “I’m going to need you to step out of the car.â€Â

      Without having made eye contact with me since the beginning he stepped back as I opened my car door and followed him to the side of the road.

      Continued in comments . . .

    • Fact Is Better: "Mars Ain't No Place . .

      10 years ago


      . . . to Raise Your Kids"

      The other night we working as Newcastle beer models in Newcastle, ME at the Newcastle Publick House.
      (Someone planning this thought they were witty).

      The following happened towards the end of our promo . . .

      Crazy Dude: *hustling to the door* “You ladies comin’ to see the spaceship?â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: “What?â€Â
      Me: “Dude, we’re done working, we’re le . . . wait, what?â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “The spaceship. Duh!â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: *whispering discreetly to me* “This is the guy that thinks were prostitutes.â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: *whispering equally discreetly* “He’s also been drinking his weight in whiskey all day.â€Â
      Me: “Okay, wait, so, you’re going outside to see a spaceship?â€Â
      Crazy Dude: *throws hands up* “That’s what I said! It’s coming at eight o’six! And it’s eight o’four, so we gotta get out there if we wanna see it!†*runs out the door*
      *we look at each other before following him outside*
      Crazy Dude: “Awww, you ladies are gonna see the spaceship with me!â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “We were sorta on our way out anyway.â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: “It’s cold outside, I might just leave.â€Â
      Me: “How do you know there’s even gonna be a spaceship at eight o’six.â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “MY FRIEND TOLD ME!â€Â
      Me: “Is your friend a reliable source?â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “Well, he heard it from another friend who said he heard it from his mom who was watching the Na-saw channel. And they said that one of their spaceship-shuttle-things was gonna be popping into our very skies TONIGHT. AT EIGHT. OH. SIX.â€Â
      Me: “So you didn’t hear this from NASA directly?â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “No . . . what, do you think I have connections to Na-saw? Are you crazy?!â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “Says the man looking for a spaceship in the sky.â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: *fiddling with her Blackberry* “The NASA website says the shuttle is supposed to land Thursday, September 10th.â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “That’s tomorrow. So how’s it supposed to show up in the sky tonight?â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “It’s just peakin’ it’s head out to say ‘HI!’ that’s all!â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: “Annnnnnnnd, I’m leaving.â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “Awwww, no, listen, just stay! I promise its gonna happen. At worst, you lost five minutes of your lives; at best, you got to see a spaceship. And how often does that happen in life?â€Â
      Me: “Sound advice from a man who thinks we’re hookers.â€Â
      Crazy Dude: *shudders* “Don’t be that way. ‘Hookers’ is such a vile word. ‘Prostitutes’ is so much more, business efficient sounding.â€Â
      *we all crane our necks to look into the star-studded sky*
      Crazy Dude: “Oooh, ouch, don’t think I can look up like that. Yesterday I dove into a sandbar after me and my good friend Jameson spent the afternoon together. You ladies look up and tell me when it appears.â€Â
      *a quiet moment later after craning our necks*
      Me: “Eight o’seven, my man, where’s the spaceship?â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “You would think NASA would be more on time.â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “IT’S GONNA HAPPEN. I KNOW IT IS!â€Â
      *another long moment goes by in silence.*
      Crazy Dude: “But for the record, you really are the most lovely prostitutes I ever met.â€Â
      *another moment*
      Me: “You’ve gotta be kidding me right now.â€Â
      *after what looked like a quick burst of light, a larger glowing thing appears in the sky and starts moving slowly across the dark night canvas*
      Promo Girl 2: “THERE’S A FREAKING SHUTTLE!!!!â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “I told you ladies!â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: “That can’t be real.â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “You see the entrails?! THOSE ARE THE ENTRAILS OF A SPACESHIP!â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “I SEE ENTRAILS!â€Â
      Crazy Dude: “YOU SEE THE ENTRAILS?!?!â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “I SEE THE ENTRAILS!!!!â€Â
      Promo Girl 1: “I’m leaving.â€Â
      *she leaves, the shuttle moves across the sky, and the guy looks at us satisfied*
      Crazy Dude: “Well, hot damn. Think I’ll go celebrate by drinkin’ me some more whiskey.†*he starts to leave, but turns around* “And, listen, ladies, charging $3.50 is beneath you. You should at least hold out for a solid five.â€Â
      Me: “Three fifty?â€Â
      Promo Girl 2: “That’s how much the beer was tonight.â€Â
      Me: “You realize these are the situations that people think I make up.â€Â

      True story.

      Further proof that fact is better than fiction.

    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      10 years ago


      My Best Friend's Wedding, or, Life Lessons from the Backseat Driver

      Weddings are funny organisms, aren’t they?

      A wedding is a beautiful expression of two people’s love, tailor made to celebrate the individuals marrying as together they choose certain flowers, special songs, and the appropriate people to partake, all of which are chosen for very important reasons specific to that couple.

      And yet, while no two weddings are alike, the more weddings I attend the more I realize that, at the heart of it, every wedding is the same: it’s the union of two lives.

      Between the minute detail of seating arrangements and the major detail of the life-long commitment to another human soul are life lessons, though.

      That, for now, have been worthy of learning a thing or two from.

      On The DJ
      “Now, I want everyone to notice the bride and groom cutting the cake. See how his hand delicately covers hers? Do you know why they do that? It’s not for the photographer. Nosireebob, it’s actually so that the groom can know what it’s like to have the upper hand one last time in his life.â€Â

      Enter the sound of crickets.

      I’m not sure why wedding DJ’s feel like they need to be mean-spirited, limelight seeking, leeches, I mean, comedians. Most weddings I’ve been to have had some insufferable DJ wax on about himself and make derogatory anti-marriage cracks throughout the reception aloof of the lack of laughter or general discontent of the party.

      At one point, at the most recent wedding I attended, one of the other bridesmaids and I went up to the DJ and requested a newer pop song we knew the bride would dance to. So far throughout the evening, the obnoxious DJ had played a lot of music no one was interested in so we thought it might be nice, since the majority of the people in attendance were twenty-something’s, to hear some loud, bass-driven pop. He played us a song and we all danced our hearts out, and then punished us with the next three songs he played which were all slow songs from the nineteen-sixties.

      Again, some of the bridesmaids and now some of the brides’ friends went up and asked him if he had any other fun pop music made within our lifetimes. He snapped at us and said, “I’ll see if I have it, but I’m playing SPEFICIALLY WHAT THE BRIDE AND GROOM ASKED FOR!†And I responded, “Right, we know that. We appreciate the job you’re doing. But, we also know the bride and groom, and know that more people, including them, would dance if you played these songs.†He looked at me and said, “Listen here, princess, I’ve been doing this for twenty-one years, I THINK I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING,†before storming off. The next few songs he played were, again, slower songs from an era in which we were not born yet. And we, being a generation of people who don’t suffer fools lightly, boycotted dancing.

      Note to self: DJ’s are worthless.

      Long live the self-made playlist.

      On Wedding Diets
      “I think, in total, I’ve consumed like ten and a half calories this week,†my friend said. “Just a few more days for the wedding, and I can eat again!â€Â

      Girls are certifiably nuts and I can say this because I am a girl (my dad once told me that “there are two truths in life, Stephanie: 1. All boys are assholes. Even if they’re not, a girl will somehow make him out to be at some point. Which brings us to number 2: All girls are crazy. Little girls are crazy in their own adorable right, teenage girls are a whole world of crazy, and adult woman are crazy because they know more than men, despite what men think.†This might’ve been the best lesson any kindergartner could receive).

      Girls are perhaps their craziest, though, when it comes to dieting for a wedding.

      I don’t know why, but the majority of our gender is under the impression that they need to be a “buff bride.†That it is absolutely imperative to squeeze into a dress that’s smaller than our normal bodies could fit into all for the big wedding day. Specifically: for the pictures from the big day.

      At the rehearsal dinner for this last wedding I was involved in one of the bridesmaids asked how the bride and my diet’s were going (I didn’t want to look swollen for the wedding, so I too was on the “celery and water; running ‘til I puke†diet in preparation for the big day, that is until my parents, independently of each other, told me that I was acting crazier than normal and should try eating some carbohydrates). I told her how happy I was to be eating again, as I leaned across the table and took a giant forkful of some groomsman’s dessert.

      The bridesmaid then went on to say, “I’m not gonna work out compulsively or prevent myself from eating what makes me happy before my wedding day.†Her fiancé, sitting next to her chimed in, “And I don’t want you to. You’re already the best thing I’ve ever seen, and that’s not gonna change a few plus or minus a few inches. And besides, the wedding is only one day â€" what’s one day in comparison to our whole lives?â€Â

      And, that, right there is perhaps the greatest lesson any twenty-something could receive.

      When we find the right one, right enough that we’re marrying them, we should love ourselves enough at that point and be inspired by their abundant love for us that we shouldn’t feel pressured by family, or by magazines, or by some inherent crazy gene in our gender that demands us to be something we’re not for our wedding day.

      Which is one day in comparison to our whole lives.

      Besides, my hips and ribcage can’t get any smaller, so I might as well accept this now and save myself the heartache of trying to change my bone structure in years to come.

      Continued in comments . . .

    • Fact is Better: Chainsaw Throwing

      10 years ago


      I went to my dad’s house on Monday to help around his property. He had just cut down several tress on his land (after I had hugged them), and needed to move the burnable wood to our camp.

      Me: “Hey, how’s it going?â€Â
      Dad: *glares at me, sweat soaking through his shirt.*
      Me: *looks away and kicks some leaves on the ground*
      Dad: *he attempts several times to start the chainsaw, but it keeps turning over; he then picks it up and throws it violently into the woods*
      Me: “Did you just throw your chainsaw?â€Â
      Dad: “I was hoping to teach it a lesson by smashing into a tree. But I forgot I had cut them all down.â€Â
      Me: “It’s not every day you see a grown man throw a chainsaw in a temper tantrum.â€Â
      Dad: “I would really appreciate it if you didn’t put this on the internet.â€Â
      Me: “Okay.â€Â

      Later on we arrive at my summer camp to drop off the wood for the fire pit. My four year old cousin comes bounding up the hill. You have to understand she is potentially one of the coolest human beings on the face of the earth. Last Easter she got up on the table and announced, “When I grow up, I want to be a cardiologist! And if that doesn’t work out, then a dinosaur!â€Â

      That’s alright in my book.

      Just remember throughout this conversation â€" she’s only four.

      Piper: “HI GUYZ.â€Â
      Dad: “Hi, Piper. What’ve you got there?â€Â
      Piper: *holds up her stuffed dog* “This is Marley, he’s my pet dog.â€Â
      Dad: “Don’t you have a pet dog?â€Â
      Piper: “Yes. But he’s loud. And I can’t do this to him . . .†*she throws her stuffed animal as hard as she can against a tree trunk*
      Me: “There’s something not quite right with this family.â€Â
      Dad: “What about your pet fish? Don’t you like him?â€Â
      Piper: *heavy sigh* “About that. I’m not happy with my pet fish. Every year the Easter Bunny gives me a fish, but I think he’s giving me the rejects. ‘Cause they’re always the lazy and ugly ones.â€Â
      Me: “Maybe you should write to the Easter Bunny and demand top quality fish for next year.â€Â
      Piper; “Or I can write to the Easter Bunny and demand no fish for next year.â€Â
      Dad: “Steff’s got a bunny. She’s giving him wood to chew on.â€Â
      Me: “That’s what she said.â€Â
      Piper: “Bunnies don’t chew wood. They chew on carrots.â€Â
      Me: “Mine doesn’t eat carrots.â€Â
      Piper: “Well then your bunny is stupid. Maybe you should write to the Easter Bunny and demand for less stupid rabbit relatives.â€Â
      Dad: *laughs so hard he drops a log on his foot, swears, then reaches down to pick up the log before throwing it into the stacked pile, which immediately falls down all over the place.*
      Piper: “What’re you guys doing?!â€Â
      Me: “We were stacking wood.â€Â
      Piper: “Can I help? You should let me help.â€Â
      Dad: “It’s not really very much fun, Piper.â€Â
      Piper: “But, that’s okay. ‘Cause, see, if more people help to get a job done, then it gets done quicker, which leaves more time for everybody to do fun stuff!â€Â
      Dad and Me: *staring at each other*
      Dad: “You were not the profound at her age. I think you were still sticking food to your face.â€Â
      Me: “What makes you think anything has changed in twenty years?â€Â

      True story.

      Further proof that fact is better than fiction.

    • "Maybe It's Me" Monday

      10 years ago


      OLBC, or, The Lack of Decency with Dingle-Dangles

      “Have you seen those commercials for Online Booty Call?†My friend asked.

      “WHAT?! NO!!! I don’t have TV. THERE’S A PLACE TO GO ONLINE FOR A BOOTY CALL NOW?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!†Not only was I outraged, I was even more embarrassed by people my own age.

      “YES! It’s like or â€" only, they take care of the awkward first date, the awkward break-up, or, well, any dates or relationship that might actually take place in between those two moments, and just get right to the hooking up part. Apparently you sign on and give a bunch of information like what you’re willing to do, what you’re turned off by, how many people you’ll do it with, and then they match you with other, what? booty call people?, in your area. HOW DISGUSTING IS THAT?!? IT’S NOT ONLY A BOOTY CALL BUT IT’S A ONE NIGHT STAND . . . WITH A STRANGER!!!â€Â

      At that point she and I made several lengthy guttural sounds of horror and disgust.

      This launched us into a huge conversation about twenty-something’s and their frivolous views on intercourse. What’s wrong with us? What’s wrong with our generation? Why are we so okay, so totally nonchalant about meaningless, casual sex? It’s disgusting.

      The worst part is that these days it almost seems taboo not to be promiscuous.

      Prior to discussing Online Booty Call, this friend and I were talking about a former mutual friend, who proudly flaunted his ever-increasing sexual partner number to us all the time.

      “Why do you do that?†I once asked him. “Why do you sleep with all these girls?â€Â

      “Why don’t you?†He retorted. “You’re young! Why aren’t you going out and having fun?â€Â

      And that’s what it comes down to. At some point in our media brain-washed worlds, perhaps after listening to one too many pop songs about how awesome it is to be single and do whatever you want with whomever you want whenever you want just because you can, we have come to regard sex as an activity. As a game. Not as something special shared between two people, not as a form of the ultimate kind of love, and especially not as something sacred.

      It’s just a game to a lot of people it seems. And it was for my friend as well. Could he break my self-imposed ban on boys and dating? Could he wear me out to some breaking point when I would give in to his charm and my lust? He had convinced that someday we were going to have sex. Countless times I looked him in the eye and told him how repulsed I was at him and his careless views on intimacy, yet he was absolutely positive we were going to do it.

      He asked Friend A what his chances with me were. She guffawed in his face. “She doesn’t date. Soooooo, she doesn’t have sex. Because, yes, the two ARE connected.â€Â

      He asked Friend B what his chances with me were. She choked on her laughter. “Yeah, right. What can she get from you that she can’t get from her hand? Seriously. Move on.â€Â

      After that point it seemed that every time we saw him out, he was with a new horde of females, working his way through a new slew of young ladies who, like him, were out for blood in the world of casual encounters. At one point, a friend texted me and said, “Saw your boy out tonight with a gaggle of girls. That boy’s dingle-dangle is gonna fall off someday.â€Â

      I couldn’t stop laughing when I read that, so I texted my male friend and asked him if he’d been wrapping it up lately, because I was concerned, as should he be, that his dingle-dangle was going to fall off.

      That was the day he stopped talking to me.

      I am both amused and annoyed at this. He seemed to have no problem discussing his sexual escapades in great lengths with me. We’d go out, and he would point at all the girls he had already slept with and then laugh it off. I would ask if he had been tested or was at all concerned about his or their health, and he would respond, in the classic naïve invincibility twenty-something arrogance way, that he knew he was safe and that the girls he chose were safe and disease free, too.

      The MOMENT, however, I called him out on his filthy, crude ways he got offended and told me later on that I “had hurt his feelings.â€Â

      I am frustrated and let down by people my age. Call me old fashioned, but the moment I had sex with someone when there was an intense emotional connection as well, I couldn’t fathom sex any other way. I certainly had my share of questionable moments with boys, sure, but I can’t understand in a world where now one out of three girls get HPV, there’s rampant, meaningless sex happening.

      Because that’s what “going out and having fun†means these days it seems.

      Why’re we so desperate for the next best thing, the next person, the next adventure or conquest, that we’re going to websites like Online Booty Call to find locals in our area who have the same lack of self-respect and decency as apparently the majority of us do that they’re looking for a quick fling to tide them over to the next quick fling.

      Maybe it’s me, but what happened to class? What happened to our standards? What happened to our integrity as a young adult population?

      And if that makes me taboo, then so be it.

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