Neighborhood Spacecraft

The house I was born in was a tiny box of a house in a shitty neighborhood. There was an empty lot next door where prostitutes would hang out at night. During the day we would go play in the empty lot. My father had to clean up the used needles and broken glass to ensure it was safe for us.

 

Like this, but more sandspurs.

 

There were these concrete steps that my brother fell down a lot. He has a little scar on his chin where he split it open once. Or twice. It’s hard to know.

 

I remember very little about this house or this neighborhood. We moved away before my little sister was born, so I was probably two when we moved.

 

But I do remember our neighbors. They had this thing in their yard. It was a giant metal spaceship. It was a life sized replica of a spacecraft.

 

I swear it looked exactly like this!

 

We would go back to visit the old neighborhood and I was always excited to see it. I would wonder, for hours, where and why they had bought it. Or had they made it themselves?

 

Were they UFOlogists? Was it secretly a working spacecraft that they intended to try to fly? Was it secretly a crashed alien spacecraft? Did they have aliens hidden away in their basement?

 

The possibilities were really endless and endlessly fascinating. I would sit and think about it for hours. Literally, hours. I was fucking obsessed with the riddle of this bizarre spacecraft hidden in the middle some drug filled city neighborhood.

 

In retrospect, this was probably the beginning of my interest in the occult. Let me explain, that I don’t really necessarily believe in the occult. But I am unusually fascinated by it.

 

It’s just interesting.

 

I have thought about this UFO off and on for many years. I first saw it when I was two. But never forgot about it. I still think about it once in a while. Still wondering what the purpose was. I think this might say something about me, because…

 

I finally asked my father about it a few years ago. It took me a few minutes to explain what I was referring to. But then he finally realized that I was talking about our neighbors that had an old airstream trailer in their yard.

 

There is no way this is what I was looking at.

It’s funny how memories work sometimes. It’s funny the way my mind remembers what was probably a broken down, rusting, trailer as this incredible spacecraft. And it’s funny the way my mind refuses to believe it was anything but that.

Shake and Vomit

This is a gem of a story. I actually had completely and utterly forgotten about this event. I don’t know how. My brother reminded me of this story yesterday and I laughed so hard I almost puked. Again.

 

My family is not an affectionate or loving family. We did not hug, or touch each other in any way. Like, ever. Not even when I was a child. Which is one thing that makes this story so strange.

 

Once when my brother and I were both in high school, we were hanging out int the kitchen together. I suspect we had just finished eating an after school snack and were cleaning the kitchen. You didn’t leave messes in my house.

 

Even this level of messy makes me anxious.

 

For some unknown reason, my brother picked me up off the ground and started shaking me. Like, shaking me up and down, the way you would shake up a soda to be a dick.

 

This shit is funny!

 

I don’t know what possessed him to shake me. And he didn’t know when I asked him why yesterday, either.

 

We laughed and I said, “Stop shaking me or I am going to puke!”

 

But I was laughing and after putting me down for a second, he picked me back up and shook me again. Still laughing, I again threatened to puke on him.

 

And instead of stopping, he shook me again.

 

 

 

Like a vodka martini.

 

I puked all over him. All over the kitchen. All over myself.

 

Two gifs, one post… Sorry.

 

 

 

Right then, we heard my father pull up. We surveyed the mess and looked at each other.

 

We started cracking up laughing. In fact, we were laughing so hard, I was crying. We knew we had to get the mess cleaned up before my father got in the door.

 

Just remembering the story made me laugh harder than I have in a very long time.

 

My brother yanked off his vomit soaked shirt and I grabbed the kitchen towel. We mopped up the pile of vomit with a speed never seen before.
We got the kitchen cleaned in record time. We threw the vomit-y clothes and towels in the washer and started the load. And my brother and I were upstairs laughing in our rooms before my father ever made it in the front  door.

My Life in 6 Songs

Here it is. My life in 6 songs over at Running on Sober. At first I was going to try to make it all funny stuff. Like I like to think my blog is.

 

But that wouldn’t be the truth. I always said I would tell the truth here. My life wasn’t always so funny. And I couldn’t deny that when trying to tell the story of my life.

 

If you are here for a laugh, come back in a few days. I have more funny stories to tell. But that’s not the story I’m telling today. Go check out my life in 6 songs, if you want.

 

I am always scared and hesitant to be serious. Maybe if I am not funny or entertaining, you guys wouldn’t be here reading and following and commenting. But I am going to be serious.


Please feel free to leave comments here or there. I’ll do my best to respond, but my father is also having open heart surgery today and I’ll be busy with that.

My Crafting Adventures: Sewing

My mother is an incredible seamstress. When I was a child, we were so poor, she would make our clothes. At the time, it was the most horrifically embarrassing thing that could have ever happened to me. In retrospect, she was so talented.

 

She had this cast iron, mint green, industrial sewing machine from the 70s. It weighed around 40 pounds. It was loud and terrifying. When she would turn it on, the machine would somehow interfere with our rabbit ear television reception. Even though I am talking about it in the past tense, she still has it and uses it.

 

It’s as loud as a fucking jet, too!

 

I hesitate to think what was going on with that machine. I am actually pretty convinced that the machine was involved in some kind of nuclear waste disposal. That cast iron body was protecting us all from radiation sickness. Or mutations that would give us amazing superpowers. Hmm….

 

Anyway, in sixth grade I took a home economics class. It was a required elective. I wouldn’t have been caught dead in some bullshit ‘womens’ class. But I did want to learn to sew. And my mother’s machine was too intimidating. The ones at school were newer white plastic and comparatively whisper quiet.

 

 

 

And it only weighed 10 lbs. What a wuss!

 

Unfortunately, they were still powerful enough to pierce my thumb on my right hand.

 

I think I was never meant to have the tip of that thumb. You may remember that I cut off my thumb in a car door. But that same year, before I cut it off, I once stapled it with one of my dad’s industrial staple guns. I was playing with it, fascinated with how it opened and closed. And the extra staple storage, and bam! I stapled my finger.

 

Believe me when I say, this hurts.

 

Once I cut off the tip of my thumb, I had a lot of scar tissue built up. I don’t really have much feeling in that fingertip anymore, so sewing it in class didn’t hurt. But it was disturbing. Even more so for the other girls in the class that didn’t know I had no feeling in my thumb. Or the teacher that was overwhelmed by the amount of blood.

 

I was able to get out of finishing that stupid stuffed rabbit, though.

 

I never wanted to have anything to do with sewing and sewing machines for a long time after that. I was scared. If I had so little feeling in my finger that I could accidentally sew it, what else could I mistakenly do? I needed my other fingers. And my hand. I stayed away from fast moving needles for a while.

 

 

That little eye hole is what really does the damage.

But then, I went to this quilt show. There was a raffle for various prizes. And that’s when I saw it. The most beautiful sewing machine ever. It was an old Singer hand crank from the early 1900s. I knew I had to own that machine.

 

I think I spent about $20 on raffle tickets for that machine. But I didn’t win.

 

At the end of the show, I was exhausted (this was during my heart surgery phase) and hanging around the raffle table, trying to catch a glimpse of the bitch that got MY machine. But instead this sweet old guy came over. He had donated the machine and wanted to talk to the raffle winner too.

 

Instead he and I got to talking. He had dozens of machines. He took me back to his table that I had somehow walked past several times. And I fell in love for the second time that day. With another machine.

 

I wound up buying it for myself for Christmas that year. It is a hand crank Singer from 1919 and was in Europe for WWI. It is the most beautiful sewing machine in the world. It is silent and every piece and part to this thing is gorgeous and sleek and sexy. It is all polished wood and gold gilt and brass bobbins.

 

So beautiful!

 

I am still not much of a seamstress. I can’t read a pattern if my life depended on it. But I can do tailoring. Sewing buttons. Normal things. I can also sew my own invented creations, but I will admit, I have not explored much of that. Someday, I intend to spend a bit more time making freaky creatures out of plush fabrics.

Florida Facts

By this point all of you know that I live in Florida. And I’m sure those of you that haven’t been here have some ideas of what Florida is like. Probably some of you that have been here have some idea of what it’s like too. You’re probably also just as wrong.

 

Ha. Florida is awesome!

 

I was born here. And so was my mother. I’ve lived all over this state for my entire life. So I am going to share a little something about Florida with you:

 

1. Florida is full of serial killers. Probably.

 

The FBI believes there are 100 active serial killers in the United States right now. That’s two for every state. However, some states can’t support two. I’m looking at you, Dakotas and Rhode Island. So some of the more populous states have to pick up the slack. New York, California, Texas, Nevada, and Florida.

 

Also, Florida has a large homeless, transient, elderly, and tourist population. Lots of people that could disappear for a while without being missed. In addition, I once read the environment here is ideal for quick decomposition of bodies. Between the heat, humidity and swamps. And that’s without taking alligators into consideration. Are you guys worried about how much I have considered this yet?

 

They will straight up devour your corpse.

 

2. Florida is full of bugs. Giant, prehistoric bugs. They are fucking everywhere. And they can fly. I am starting to think my apartment is some kind of cockroach mecca. I never see live ones around. I think they just come here to die. What can I say, my apartment has good energy.

 

Actual size shown here.

 

3. Florida is enormous and beautiful and seedy and wonderful. There is a strange kind of dichotomy between the huge sprawling cities and the acres and acres of glorious nature. We do have gorgeous beaches (naked ones too). And haunting swamp lands. And miles of orange groves with delicious smelling blossoms. (Fun fact: I lost my virginity in an orange grove). And Native American historical sites. And Wawas popping up everywhere I look.

 

Total Florida here. Beautiful beach sold to build condos.

 

Not THE orange grove. But similar.

 

 

Hint: There are 5 gators and 500 million bugs in this photo. Probably some fish too.

 

4. Florida is the country’s penis. It’s true. I won’t name names, but a few cities here are actually just raging genital warts. You’re welcome for that image.

 

5. There is a geographic difference in Florida. North Florida is basically southern Georgia/Alabama in every way possible. The accents, redneckery, everything.

 

Central Florida is a festive mix of rednecks, retirees, native Floridians, Hispanics. It’s a colorful mess of people that mostly hate each other.

Downtown Orlando every day in the summer.

Southern Florida has a heavy Hispanic population and a huge Jewish population. It’s also the most beautiful part of the state. Please visit.

So gorgeous to visit!

 

And then you have people that live on the coast. Beach side people are either true Floridians, or they should have been. Beach side people are all tanned, leathery skin.

 

 

 

Yup. There we go.

 

The men are scraggly, scrawny, and shirtless and ride their bicycles down to the gas station to buy beer because they lost their license from too many DUIs. The women are just as scrawny and scraggly. They wear garish makeup and bikini tops from the 80s and jean cut-off shorts. Actually, just imagine everything terrible from the 80s. That’s the fashion here.  Sometimes I look at the beachside and think that seeing it in the daytime is like seeing your grandmother naked. It is kind of sad and seedy. But I still love it. (Not that I love my grandparents. Or seeing them naked).
PS These are all generalizations. Except for the serial killer part. That shit is true.

Adventures in Blogging

I’m doing a picture heavy post today:

 

I had an adventure with the lovely and hilarious Debbie from morethansweetpotatoes. If you haven’t read her blog, go read it. And if you are a dude in South Florida, step up your game. She is awesome.

 

As I have previously mentioned, I am not very funny in person. Mostly just awkward. But I gave her fair warning so she knew what to expect.

 

We met at an animal sanctuary called Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. I warned her that the drive in was down a bunch of creepy back roads. But then you turn a corner and it is like some kind of children’s movie with deer and peacocks and butterflies.

If you live near here, please take the trip.

If you live near here, please take the trip.

 

I know there are a lot of jokes about all the bugs in Florida. It’s love bug season here right now. There were so many that one flew into my open mouth while I was singing. A second one splattered on my glasses. And yes, I do have a windshield.

 

The carnage.

The carnage.

 

This place is in the middle of a bunch of cow farms and dilapidated buildings that look like something out of a horror movie. Debbie is a very brave and adventursome woman. I don’t think I would have been willing to meet up with an internet stranger in the middle of nowhere. Especially after all my serial killer jokes.

 

Yeah... This was a gun shop on my way there.

Yeah… This was a gun shop on my way there.

 

 

And miles and miles of this as far as you can see. Perfect murdering conditions.

And miles and miles of this as far as you can see. Perfect murdering conditions.

 

But once you get there. It is a crazy zoo of animals roaming free. Mostly exotic. I took lots of pictures.

 

There were about 15 peacocks all doing their awesome cry. If you haven’t heard it, please look it up. It’s kind of disturbing and kick-ass.

 

He was kind of pissy, actually.

He was kind of pissy, actually.

 

 

He kept hugging his tail. I think he had anxieties.

He kept hugging his tail. I think he had anxieties.

 

This guy looked like a muppet.

This guy looked like a muppet.

 

We weren’t allowed to pet any of the animals as they apparently ALL bite. But after asking, we were allowed to bottle feed two adorable fawns!

I just wanted to squeeze it to death!

I just wanted to squeeze it to death!

 

Debbie’s seemed to prefer suckling my finger to drinking it’s bottle. Maybe my finger tastes amazing. I don’t know.

 

Then we drove out to Lake Okeechobee and picked our way down through the rocks to touch the lake. I am not very graceful and I have terrible balance. I looked more like a drunken giraffe stumbling my way down. I even had to get on all fours at one point to avoid potentially killing myself.

 

Lake Okeechobee selfie with Debbie.

Lake Okeechobee selfie with Debbie.

And after that we had some BBQ. Which I am obsessed with. So it was a pretty perfect day.

 

PS I was so tempted to name this post ‘Debbie does Lake Okeechobee.’ You’re welcome.

 

Sunrail Curse

The sunrail opened up here last week. My brother, T, and I have been excitedly awaiting it’s construction. There is a station a few blocks from my apartment and one a few blocks from his apartment.

 

 

Looks like The Rocketeer.

 

During these first two weeks all fare was free to ride. We determined to ride the rails like hobos in the Great Depression.

 

I heard some of these guys didn’t know the Great Depression was over for years and years. Freaky.

 

Last week we went down to the station and waited for 45 min for a train. Only to find that the train would be delayed another hour. We shrugged and went to get dinner instead.

 

After dinner we went back to the railway station and waited another 20 min. Only to find that the train would be delayed another hour. We decided we weren’t meant to ride that night and agreed to try again in a few days when the sunrail people got their shit together.

 

Well, a few days turned into a few more days and I had to cancel again due to not feeling well and then a second time due to work scheduling issues (I am the worst, I know).

 

T and I began to joke that the sunrail was cursed for us. But we finally got together on Wednesday to ride this damn train.

 

The train was surprisingly on time and we even found a seat in one of the mid-level cars. I am 6’1” and my brother is 6’4”. These cars are very definitely intended for the “average” rider, maybe someone around 5’7”.

 

It was cramped and very crowded. But it was free, so we weren’t complaining. We were seated in a set of forward facing seats that faced a set of rear facing seats.

 

It was a bit like this.

 

I had taken something for my back pain. My pain medicine makes me very chatty and filter-less. It has gotten me into trouble in the past. But I was in a quiet mood that evening.

 

Until a crazy lady sat across from us. I don’t use the word crazy lightly. As soon as she sat down, I knew, she was going to say some shit to us. I immediately compliment her giant gem stone cross around her neck. I also told her it was glittery. But I immediately realized it sounded like I was going to try to mug her. I almost told her, “Don’t worry, I won’t rob you.” But was lucid enough to realize that would be the opposite of reassuring.

 

Shiny!

 

She was also wearing a stretch bracelet of various saints. It was very interesting. And sure enough, she talked non-stop about the government.

 

 

Now I can re-create her look.

 

Luckily, we were only traveling a few stops. We got off the train and set off on a quest to visit Super Target. After getting lost twice and taking a detour to the long way, we had reached our destination.

 

I was so tired from the walk that I rode one of those electric scooters around the store. I have a lot of experience with them from my heart surgery days.

 

The walk back to the station was much more pleasant and fast. We didn’t get lost and the sun was setting. It was 90 degrees instead of 97 degrees. We had bought a bag a groceries. Mine was mostly junk food. (Thank you, drugged up me!)

 

At the train station we heard an announcement. The train is running on a modified schedule.

 

I don’t know about you, but ‘modified schedule’ sounds like a bunch of pacifying bullshit to me. So I looked up the customer service number and called.

 

The customer service rep was actually pretty rude and unfriendly. He would only say. “The train has been delayed and is running on a modified schedule.”

 

“But what does that mean? I have groceries. Should I be calling a cab instead of waiting?”

 

“I can’t advise you of that, ma’am.”

 

“Do you not have any ETA? What is causing this delay?”

 

“There was an accident on the tracks with a car and a train.”

 

“So, it’s going to be a while.”

 

“They are saying it has been delayed indefinitely.”

 

I got a little pissed off at that. ‘Indefinitely’ sounds very different than ‘modified.’ They mean vastly different things.

 

I told the customer service guy, “I would suggest someone communicate that to the thousands of people waiting for trains right now.”   I am still surprised by how unhelpful he was.

 

 

Hahaha!

 

So I called a cab. It was only my second cab ride ever. It was scary. The guy was incredibly reckless. But he was fast.
My brother and I decided we were going to wait to ride again in the future. Though we were glad that our sunrail curse only ended in a cab ride and not in a train wreck or accident for ourselves.