I was nominated for something!?

Apparently, Amanda, over at  the Fake Gourmet was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am not sure why, but that lovely lady decided to nominate me. (Thank you very much for doing so). I had never heard of this thing before either, much like her, so I did some investigating.

sunshineaward

Sweet!

Apparently, this award is supposed to go to bloggers that are positive and inspire creativity. I am not too sure I do that. I mostly think I entertain with many many embarrassing moments. Basically I am the grown up version of Seventeen magazine’s traumarama. Sometimes our punchlines are even the same; “and then I got my period.”

And my super secret crush was there.

But I appreciate the nomination and will now bore you with answering the 10 questions in excruciating detail because you people have no idea of who you are dealing with. One does not simply answer a question like a normal person.

 

Here goes:

 

1. Why did you start blogging?

This is a really long complicated answer. I love to write very much and had been wanting to start a blog for some time. I kept want to do a craft blog because I have a ridiculous amount of crafty hobbies. But then I suddenly decided to start blogging anonymously about some of my problems. In doing so, I realized I also had a lot of funny stories that I wanted people to know too. But I didn’t think it fit with my original blog, so I started this one. I may still do a craft blog in the future. But for right now I like to imagine that I am an archaeologist of my own mind. Excavating and preserving memories right here for what I hope is your amusement.

 

2. Sweet or Savoury?

Savoury (does that even have a ‘u’ in it?). I get mad cravings all the time, which I am pretty sure means my body is not getting the right combination of nutrients. But I want things like steak, really dark organic chocolate, apples, homemade buttered popcorn with nutritional yeast. I know, I’m not only incredibly specific in my cravings, I am insanely picky.

Sweet fancy Moses, yes!

3. If you were to go on any reality TV programme, what would it be and why?

Hmm… I really like that show Oddities. I want an exploded skull. And some jewelry made from human teeth. That show is amazing and I would live in that shop.  I always hear that my place is some combination of a mad scientist’s lab, a witch doctor’s hut, a gypsy caravan and a yoga retreat. (I’ll post pics some time). And I can live with that.

This would be so cool!

4. What was the last thing you Googled?

Before trying to learn about the Sunshine Blogger Award? This is one of those things that could have turned out really badly because I look up weirdo stuff. I couldn’t live in society if people could see my Google search history. But the last thing I looked up was a favorite online comic of mine. It’s called Secret Garden by Hark! A Vagrant. (I don’t want to do a link without her permission but it makes me laugh no matter how many times I read it).

 

5. Night In or Night Out?

Luckily, I like having a night in. Being single, reclusive, and socially awkward keeps me home most nights. Hence the ridiculous amount of crafty hobbies. Not to mention two blogs.

 

6. What has been your favorite blog post to write?

Ooh. I have really liked writing a few. Probably either Microscopic or Rotten Potato Smell. I actually made myself laugh in writing both of them.

 

7. What’s the one thing you never leave home without?

Chapstick. I am obsessed. I can’t go one day without it. I have been exclusively using Whole Foods’ organic tangerine for several years. I believe it is an addiction. I am always wearing it. If I see someone putting chapstick on, I have to put some on. And this has gone on since I was 10.

That’s the stuff.

8. Where would you most like to travel to?

New Zealand. I love the accents and the scenery. Plus, as a bit of a LoTR fan, the fact that it was filmed there is an added bonus. Or Bali. It’s also supposed to be a beautiful country and I am really into plants. They have an interesting cross section of Australian and Asian plants.

Who wouldn’t want to go here?

Or here?

9. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

This is a great question to ask a comic book/sci-fi nerd like me. I don’t even think I could pick one. Probably telekinesis; the ability to move things with my mind. And clairvoyance; the ability to predict the future. But I would be afraid that nobody would believe me if I had clairvoyance. The Cassandra complex is the number 3 most common theme in my nightmares.

 

10. What can we expect to find from your blog in the future?

Probably more of the same. I don’t seem to be slowing down in making poorly thought out decisions, currently. And I haven’t even come close to telling all the ones from my past and childhood.

So, there you go. Probably way more information than anyone ever wanted. Thanks again for the nomination!

Menstruation

Growing up, I was given to understand that the terrible experience of menstruating was to happen once a month for most of my adult life. It sounded like a pretty shitty deal to me, but whatevs, being a woman sucked sometimes. Or most of the time.

 

In my naive youth I had thought I was only going to get my period for one day every month. It still sucked. But I could deal with it for 1/30 of my life.

 

My parents never talked to me about it. Not surprisingly considering the sex talk I got. Not one of my four older sisters talked to me about it either. Also not surprising considering how much older they were than me and that we all kind of hated each other.

 

I didn’t get my period until I was 14. The same year my little sister got hers. I was seriously underweight and that probably delayed it. Also, I was pretty sure I had been delaying it through sheer force of will which was the same reason I never had a pregnancy scare before the procedure (at least in my mind). I may be overestimating my will here.

But seriously, I am all ‘mind over vagina’ over here.

I was wholly unprepared for the immense shame I would feel in getting my period. It didn’t matter that I rationally knew every woman menstruated. It didn’t matter that I logically knew I had done nothing wrong. It was gross. And bad, somehow.

 

I didn’t tell anyone for the first few months. I threw away my ruined underwear when it caught me off guard. Which happened very frequently at that age. I used up the feminine products my sister had left when she moved out. Then used the little money I had to buy my own. Then just used toilet paper for one awful month.

Also, we were poor. So it was this bullshit.

One day my parents were in my room. I don’t know why. But they went through my closet and found a bag of used feminine products. I would keep them in my closet until it was over and then sneak them down to the trash can outside. The perfect crime.

 

I was found out. My mother sat me down and tried to have the menstruating talk with me. I wanted to die. If it was possible to die from shame and humiliation I would have right then. I was nauseated by my shame. My face was burning, my heart was pounding. I just wanted to say whatever needed to be said to end the conversation. I couldn’t even hear her over the sound of my heart beating and the blood rushing to my face and neck. She could have literally said anything to me.

 

Besides,  I had already been menstruating for months and months by this point. She had nothing useful to tell me. Except that it would hurt and that I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons till I was 18. (I have no fucking clue why).

 

The thing was, it didn’t hurt. I was so thin that I hardly ever even got my period for many years. And even when I did, it was short and painless.

 

Little did I know, it was biding it’s time. Because I believe my period is sentient. And it hates me.

 

I know there is supposed to be a 28 day cycle. Bullshit. My cycle is: when do you have something important planned? Good. That day.

 

Going to a party? Have a date when I finally decide to sleep with that dude? Going out of town? Getting hijacked by pirates? Having heart surgery? I’ll be on my period for that.

 

Think I am exaggerating? I’ve had 5 heart surgeries. I was on my period for 4 of them. That is not a coincidence. I’m sure I will even be on it during my honeymoon (if I ever have one). Or if I am ever hijacked by pirates.

 

Once, during my heart surgery phase, I went up to see my mother. I was on blood thinners at the time. Yes, they do thin all your blood.

 

I was already having issues with my blood. I wasn’t building red blood cells properly. I was bordering on anemia. I kept losing so much during my surgeries. And I was a vegetarian.

 

I had planned to get my period up at my mother’s (which I did, thank you). By this time I was using the Diva Cup. Which is really going to be a wonderful story for another post coming soon.

 

Diva cups are awesome. I can’t recommend them enough. Blah blah blah. Read about them here. (And no, they aren’t paying me for that glowing endorsement, but they should. Maybe by the next period story).

This little guy.

But being on blood thinners meant I needed two lines of defense against the enemy. The cup and the pad.

 

My mother and I went out for a day of shopping. We went to one store and I “refreshed my defenses”. Then we drove to the next store. It was about a 15 minute trip.

 

As soon as I got out of my mother’s car, I suspected something was wrong. You know how you just get a sinking feeling in your stomach and just know? Like when you let your best friend cut your hair in sixth grade and even though you hadn’t looked in a mirror or seen the look on her face, you knew something was wrong. It was like that.

 

I walked straight to the bathroom. Dreading each step that brought me closer to my doom. Hoping I wasn’t going to find what I thought I was going to find.

 

In the bathroom, I pulled my pants down and saw it. The horror. I had bled through. Everything. It was like the final scene in Carrie. (Shoutout to Stephen King!)

Pretty much my exact face.

I took my pants off and then my underwear. I didn’t know what to do. I rinsed my pants off in the sink. They were beyond hope, but I had to wear them out of the store. Thank god there was a handicapped stall with a sink or the other shoppers would have gotten quite a show.

 

I threw my underwear away right then. They were too wrecked to even put back on. I didn’t want to put my pants on, but I had little choice.

 

Have you ever gone to the bathroom while wearing a wet bathing suit? Not in the suit, but in a bathroom? And then you have to pull this cold wet thing back on you. And it feels so gross and clingy. I hate the way that feels. And as you already know, I hate not wearing underwear.

 

I found my mother in the store. She looked at me horrified. “What happened in there? How did you get soaking wet?”

 

And I for a brief second, I felt that burning shame from all those years ago. My face began to flush and my heart rate increased. And then I thought, fuck it. So many worse things had happened to me by that point. This was nothing. This was fucking hilarious. I explained to her what happened and we laughed.

 

We ended up walking down the strip mall to a Bed Bath and Beyond to buy the darkest towel possible so I would have something to sit on for the drive home.

 

Everytime I use it, I think of this story and laugh a little to myself. Even more so when someone else uses it. So if you ever come over, now you’ll know why I have that one brown towel.

Styrofoam Cups

My little sister lives in Seattle. We were very close growing up (despite my stories on here). And I miss her a lot.

 

I have only seen her twice in the past few years. She flew down last year on 9/11. Her last night in town we all went out for BBQ (my favorite). We said our goodbyes and I drove home.

 

I started crying almost as soon as I drove away from her. Which is not unusual for me. I am not much of a crier, but when it comes to her…

 

Anyway, I was driving home and I had a half gallon sized styrofoam cup of tea (I technically live in the south). I know styrofoam is awful for the environment, can we all stay focused here?

The second biggest size here.

I went to put the cup down in the cupholder, but I missed it. I guess I was distracted by all the tears. I somehow punctured the base of the cup.

 

Tea began gushing out all over my car. My lovely, innocent car that I had bought only a  few months previously. It had been in nearly pristine condition. And now, my drink was urinating sweet sticky liquid all over.

 

I was driving down the road as my center console filled with tea. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t throw the cup out of the car window as I didn’t want to litter. And the tea was rushing out at an alarming rate. Luckily, the console was mostly water tight but it wasn’t big enough to contain the entire cup.

It was completely full.

I pulled over and dumped the remaining contents out in an empty parking lot. 3/4 of it was now sloshing around in my console. I opened my glove box, which is where everyone in my family keeps extra napkins. But I was out. I has been using them to wipe my eyes and blow my nose from crying on the drive home.

 

My only options were the two most unabsorbent things known to man. I dug through my purse and pulled out a handful of crumpled receipts. Then I reached into my back seat and found my bathing suit. I stuffed the receipts and the bathing suit down into the console.

 

It was so pathetic that I couldn’t help but start cracking up. Like in that scene from 101 Dalmations.

Totally me with my wet receipts and bathing suit.

I tried to drive home with extra care as I didn’t want to splash Console Tea Lake (as I named it) all over everything. It didn’t deserve to end that way. I had wanted that tea inside me. I thought about drinking it. I had a straw. And no shame left in life. Besides,  the console was mostly water tight.

 

But in the end, my squeamishness won out. The little flecks of purse lint and gum foil were unappetizing enough even for me.

What the bottom of my purse turns into. Is this just me?

And I stopped feeling sad about saying goodbye to my sister. And started feeling sad about ruining my car.

Guns And…

While working in the meter reader type position mentioned here, I had another experience that I wanted to share.

It was a lovely fall day and I was walking through a particularly gorgeous mobile home park. I was happily crunching through the leaves and looking at how beautiful the sky was. I love days like that.

About 300 feet in front of me I saw a man out in his backyard. My route was taking me directly towards him. He seemed very engrossed in whatever he was doing on his work table and I didn’t want to startle him. (I am known to be incredibly quiet and sneaky).

I called out to him. “Hello!”

He looked up at me, clearly startled. I continued to walk towards him.  He was a tall man, taller than me. He was burly and bearded and kind of scary looking (which in my experience are usually the nicest guys). He was wearing what I thought were suspenders.

It turns out it was a gun holster. Which I found out when he pulled a gun from it.

You can understand my confusion.

I stopped dead in my tracks (no pun intended). I looked around me, hoping someone else was around to intervene, or at least bear witness at the murder trial.

I was alone with him. I then looked to try to find a tree or bush or shed to duck behind. But there was nothing. I had stupidly wandered into a clearing like Bambi’s mother.

And children everywhere were traumatized.

I looked up at that perfect blue sky I had just been enjoying. I looked at the fallen leaves I had moments ago been happily crunching.

Luckily, this was during my heart surgery days and I had long ago come to grips with my mortality. I long ago stopped fearing death. I was ready to die whenever death came ( I had just expected it to come on the operating table or recovery room).

All I could think was that I was going to die. After living through all those heart surgeries only to be shot by this random stranger. What a stupid way to die. And that would have been the last thing I thought in this life if he had shot me.

Only a few seconds had passed with all these thoughts racing through my mind.

The man was definitely holding a gun. He looked at it and looked at me. “Oh, don’t be alarmed.” He smiled.  His smile was not reassuring.

How could I not be alarmed? He had clearly seen me. He had pulled a gun on me. What the fuck was going on?!

“There’s a cougar in the woods.”

“Okay.” Was this some kind of code? Was he a spy?

“It climbed a tree and landed in my neighbor’s yard the other day. And since I’m out here working alone… I thought I would feel safer with a gun.”

Turns out he meant a real cougar.

“And you thought I would feel safer with you pulling it on me?”

“No. I didn’t want you to walk up and see me wearing a gun in a holster. But in retrospect, what I did was actually much worse.” He laughed.

I laughed. Still very uncomfortable and unsafe feeling.

“Look, you can come closer. I’ll put my hands up.”

So, even though he had a gun and I didn’t, he put his hands up. I walked towards him.

It turns out he was a really nice guy. He was an artist that did metalworking. (Which is totally sexy). I wound up talking to him for about an hour about his art and my art. It’s too bad he wasn’t 30 years younger.

This stuff is sexy. Or is that just me?

And that’s how a senior citizen pulled a gun on me.

Weird Things

My last post got me thinking about all the weird games I used to play with my siblings as a child or just things we used to do that I don’t do anymore (as far as you guys know). So I thought I would take some time today to talk about those weird games. I already mentioned one in this post. So yeah, that was still my favorite.

My little sister and I love black olives. In fact, I can and do eat an entire can by myself. She and I would sit down with a bowl of them and put one on each finger of both hands and eat them off.

You all know you did this.

We also used to play with lizards all the time. We would catch them and let them bite us. We would dangle them off our fingers or our ears like they were clip on earrings. One time my brother let one dangle off his tongue. Ew.

I don’t believe we ever did this, though.

We were really poor, as I believe I have mentioned a few times. We used to have two television sets. One only had audio and one only had video. They were stacked on top of each other so we could watch TV. But we would turn the two TVs to different stations and watch it carefully, like the whole Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz thing. Sometimes it lined up and we would go nuts laughing. (Shut up, we were poor and easily amused).

They were pretty much this old too.

The hallway in our childhood home was long and narrow and we would climb up it to the ceiling like a spider monkey. It was awesome and amazing and made us feel like ninjas. Also, in retrospect, how the fuck did I have the body strength to ever do that?! There is no way in hell I could do that now.

I would still do this if I could.

We would bite the tip off a grape and spin it around. We would bite down hard on it and it would spray everywhere. They were like mini water pistols (which we were not allowed to have as my parents didn’t support children playing with guns).

And, yes, I am obnoxious with a fake gun now. Like, really obnoxious.

We would climb into the dumpster recycling bin and steal cardboard boxes. We would break the boxes down and use them to slide down the hill by the bridge near our house. It was super fun.

We would spin around in circles until we got so dizzy we would fall down. Or, better yet, we would have the boyfriend of one of our older sisters grab our hands and swing us around and around like it was a human discuss throw.

Probably very dangerous.

My little sister and I played with Barbies. And there is probably enough material there for a completely separate post. So I think I’ll save those stories for that.

The few days a year it was cold enough to see our breath we would walk around pretending to smoke. I would even get candy cigarettes to add to the effect.

One day it hailed so much that we went down to the retention pond and scooped up handfuls of ice. Then we got into a hail fight. It hurt.

My brother and I would have contests to see who could tie a cherry stem in a knot with our tongues the fastest. Which is actually a pretty weird thing to do with him.

We would lie down and put our head on each other’s stomachs. Sometimes for hours. And we would listen to the weird noises our stomach’s made.

My parents would buy water in these weird rectangular 3.5 gallon jugs. When we were really thirsty and didn’t have time/desire to pour it into a cup we would twist the spout and drink out of it. It was fun and messy (which is also fun when you are a kid).

Also, if you pull the spout out completely it is flesh colored and looks like a little penis.

We also didn’t have A/C growing up. In the summer it was unbearable trying to sleep. 90 degrees, 90% humidity, and the crickets were deafening because we had to keep the windows open to avoid death by suffocation.

We had a box fan in our room to help with these heat. It really just blew hot air around so it was more of a poor people’s white noise machine. But we used to attach our top sheet to it and hang out in the sheet fort. It was actually amazingly fun.

Shockingly, not invented by us, according to this picture.

Also, once I got A/C it took several years to get used to sleeping without the noise of a fan.

And this is the last thing I am going to mention. We used to play this human crane machine game with a stuffed football of my brother’s. We would pretend to press buttons (on the football) and one of us would be the crane. We would reach down into a pile of toys and grab them. If we were mad at each other we would make the crane drop the stuffed animal.

So, there are some much weirder (like really fucking weird) things that I don’t really feel comfortable sharing here. And now I am curious: What weird things did you guys do as kids?

Ratty

As a child, in the summer, my mother would throw us outside for the entire day. We were only allowed inside for lunch. If we got thirsty, we had to drink from the hose. And let me tell you, nothing quenches thirst on a miserable hot day like warm, rubber tasting water from a rusty hose nozzle. (Also, in searching for a photo I just found this is also unhealthy. Awesome.)

Mmm. Carcinogenic!

 

We did what we could to occupy ourselves. It usually involved digging holes in the yard. We would create this whole interlocking city with a series of canals and locks. We had a whole section of dirt in the yard where we could spread out. It was like a miniature, muddy Venice. These games with my little sister and brother usually devolved into someone getting pissed and destroying Venice in some kind of Godzilla crossover movie. It was ugly.

 

But our favorite activity was hanging out in the kiddie pool. We would drag the hard plastic pool into whatever spot of shade we could find. Then we would fill it up as high as we could with water. And the three of us would jump in.

I couldn’t find anything any cheaper looking. Also, it’s weird to think the three of us were ever small enough to fit in here.

We played a game called “Piranha” most often. Despite it’s ominous name, it entailed nothing more than us letting our legs trail behind us while we pulled ourselves around the perimeter of the pool on our hands. We would travel around the edge, whirling faster and faster, singing this song: “Piranha, piranha, piranha, piran.”

 

I have no idea why this was so much fun for us. As far as I know this game never culminated in us biting each other or anything like that. Which is actually very surprising considering my family.

 

One day, we were in the kiddie pool, playing Piranha when we heard a squeaking. We looked up, and there, by the water faucet on the side of our house, was a rat!

 

I’m sure this rat was just like any other typical rat you would see anywhere in Florida. But for some reason, in my mind I have it built up as some disgusting mutation of a rat. Actually, it looks like the grand high witch as a rat in that movie Witches.

What I saw.

My brother and I were grossed out by the presence of the rat. But we also didn’t want to do anything about it. We were very young.

 

My little sister, however, thought the rat was adorable (is it any surprise that she has a pet ferret now?). She jumped out of the pool and started carefully creeping up towards the rat.

“What are you doing?”

 

“It’s cute and I want to try to pet it.”

 

My brother and I laughed at her. “Don’t do that. It’s going to bite you.”

 

“No it won’t. I just want to pet it.”

 

My brother and I started yelling at the rat to try to get it to run away. We began splashing water in it’s direction, hoping to chase it off. Notice that we didn’t get out of the pool. We weren’t going to get bit by some rat just to save my sister.

What my sister saw.

My sister yelled at us to stop trying to scare it away. She was finally close enough to pet the nasty thing. She reached down, closer and closer.

 

My brother and I were mesmerized. Watching in anticipation. Wondering if she was going to get bit as predicted.

 

She reached down, and the fucking rat bit her!

 

My brother and I started cracking up. Laughing at her. Saying I told you so.

 

She went inside, crying to find our mother and tell her that we were making fun of her for getting bit by a rat. I don’t know if my mother ever even took her to get shots or anything. She could have gotten rabies for all we knew.

And J, if you are reading this, it really is your own damn fault. We tried to stop you.

Hero’s Rescue

When I was a kid we had a neighbor that lived catty corner to us. They had a daughter, A, she was between me and my little sister’s ages. (Which was 5 and 7). She was awful, spoiled rotten, bossy, and just a total ass. Naturally, she was our only neighborhood friend.

 

Her family was rich, at least by our standards. She had a TV in her bedroom. Her brother (who was away in the military or boarding school or juvenile detention, we were never sure which) has his own room. That he didn’t even live in! At this time in our lives I was sharing a room with my brother and little sister. We had bunk beds. My sister and I on the bottom, my brother on the top. My sister and I shared a pillow.

 

A’s parents fed her things like grilled cheese with Kraft cheese slices, Kraft mac and cheese, Pringles and Trix. We had never tasted these things before. She got dessert after every meal. Every meal. Even after her breakfast of Trix she got popsicles! And not homemade frozen fruit juice in an ice cube tray with toothpicks. She had store bought popsicles, the conjoined kind, sealed in wax paper. Shit was crazy at this girl’s house.

Crazy.

 

She also had a jungle gym. A store bought one. We had a set of metal pipes that my father screwed together to form a chin up bar for us to hang from. She had a store bought slip ‘n’ slide. My father took plastic sheets of visqueen that he would fold into layers and wet it with a hose.

Basically this.

And this. Only more poorly constructed.

We never wanted to play at our house, both for the reasons described above and because our parents would likely embarrass us with their nudity. So we spent most of our time at A’s house, playing on her jungle gym.

 

She was obsessed with playing a game I always called Hero’s Rescue in my mind. She was the damsel in distress that had been kidnapped by the evil villain, my little sister. And I was the dashing young hero that swooped in and rescued her.

 

I don’t know if my sister ever got sick of being the villain, but I definitely got sick of being the hero. I was already too tall and strong to be the damsel, but damn, couldn’t I have been the villain? I would have killed it that role!

Plus, the hero and the damsel always kissed at the fairytale ending of that game and she was a boring kisser. She wanted it the exact same way every time. I was always supposed to dip her and hold her in this really specific way that I almost never got right the first time. It was like trying to guess the correct combination to a rubix cube. Ugh.

 

Anyway, one time we were playing Hero’s Rescue and I thought I would try a sweet new move to liven things up. I leapt from the slide and tried to grab a hold of the jungle gym bar. And of course, I failed miserably.

 

I missed the bar and fell and hit my head. I hit my head very hard. So hard I had to call off the game and our play time. I went home to my mother and told her what had happened.

 

She brushed it off at first. But as the day wore on I got an increasingly worse headache, I was tired and light sensitive and my mother began to worry that I had a concussion. After a few hours we went to the ER.

 

After several mind numbingly long hours of waiting we finally went in to see the doctor. He was condescending and rude. He chastised my mother for wasting his time and had already decided I didn’t have a concussion. He ran a few cursory tests and then asked me to jump up and down.

 

Jumping up and down was abject misery, but this was long before I learned how to speak up and stand up for myself. I jumped a few times, painfully. The doctor declared me perfectly fine and healthy and sent my mother and I home.

 

I went home and immediately fell asleep. And that’s how the ER sent me home and allowed me to go to sleep with a probable concussion.