Signs

I try to be very tolerant of other people’s beliefs. I know they are very personal. Very important. I also try to not talk about religion or politics on here. If you know me, my personal opinions are easy to figure out. But this story does involve uptight religious people. Be warned.

 

My hometown is very religious. We have regular religious protesters on the biggest intersection in our downtown. They are always going on about judgement day and the apocalypse.

 

There used to be an old woman that sat outside all day and would stop us to tell us we were going to hell. Because all teenagers were going to hell. I can tell you that at that point in my life the worst thing I had ever done was ride my bike on the sidewalk (which is totally illegal in that town).

While it is really dangerous, I doubt it is the thing that would land me in hell.

I generally politely ignore these people unless they refuse to accept my polite ignoring. It happens. And then I just make a joke and keep on walking.

 

But there is a bead store in my hometown. Just one. And you guys should know that I am freaky into beads. Like, borderline hoarder.

My precious…

I was on a trip to my home town sometime last year with my brother, T, and friend, C. We were all itching to look at the pretties in the bead store. My father knew the woman that owned the bead store and he warned us that she was a “religious nut.”

 

I should also let you know, I was not on drugs that day. So I can’t even use that as an excuse, like this time.

 

So, we walked into this bead store and I saw an old woman behind the counter. I tried to make polite conversation with her. So I said “Hello.” And then asked “Is this your shop?”

 

I had never been into this bead store because it is closed my two days off per week.

 

The woman behind the counter said something that sounded like “My name is on the door but God owns it.”

 

I sort of thought I had misheard her. And anyway, I was being polite, remember?

 

We started talking about my father, who is a local character. She knew who he was based solely on my description of his appearance. But he also has a pretty popular nickname.

 

T and C weren’t saying much and I sort of wandered away from the owner to look at the stuff. I found a few things I liked and was talking about them with T and C. We walked around the whole store a few times and I had about 5 semi-precious stones in my hand.

 

We made our way back up to the front and I picked up something else I wanted. It was a green onyx heart. I actually had been looking for one for a little while. I turned to the shop owner and said, “I can’t believe you have this! I’ve been wanting one.”

I still don’t have one.

She looked at me sternly. “That is part of the display and not for sale!”

 

I shrugged and put it down.

 

But now I was on the shop owner’s radar. She came over to me. I towered at least a foot over her.

 

“Do you have items to purchase in your hand?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Did you not read the signs?” She pointed and I saw at least 5 signs hung in various places that all items for purchase are to be placed in a basket.

 

I had not seen the signs. I swear. I said, “No. I didn’t. I’m sorry. I’ll put them in a basket now.”

 

I got a basket and put the 5 things that had been in my hand into a basket. “See? It’s fine. They’re in a basket.”

 

“How did you not see the signs?” She demanded.

“I ask myself that all the time. I am oblivious.” I joked.

 

She was not amused. “These baskets are to prevent theft.”

 

I looked at the basket and then at her. “But, it’s not like I couldn’t steal it out of this basket. I mean, I’m not stealing.”

Fail proof anti-theft devices.

“Excuse me? What did you say?” She yelled.

 

I didn’t realize how angry she actually was until that moment. And T and C, who had been talking in the corner, suddenly fell silent.

 

I looked over at them and they looked from me to this old lady. It was some sort of silent standoff. The seconds ticked by. I wondered if she was going to call the police on me.

 

Finally, T asked her a question about something and she went to help him. I didn’t say another word until we had left. But I heard her saying something about young people today and sin and hell. So, there’s that.

 

I am happy with what I bought, but it would not have been worth getting strip searched over.

Though maybe for these these spiny oyster beads I got.

In Love

I want to tell you guys about the only time I have ever been in love. I have dated a lot of people. I have slept with a lot of people. I cared about a few of them. I loved a few of them. But I have only ever been IN love with one person.

That might sound bad considering how many people I have dated. But I think after this story and this story, you guys might have started to realize I haven’t really dated anyone worth falling in love with. And none of you have even heard the worst of it.

 

This was during my heart surgery phase. I love that expression. It sounds like my heart surgeries were just a phase I was going through; like wearing glittery eye shadow or side ponytails.

That scrunchie is a nice touch.

As soon as the anaesthesiologist pumped me full of magical knock out drugs, I was out. I could have been dead for all I knew. The last thing I’d see was some random forest scene on the ceiling of the operating room. Then I would suddenly be riding out of the operating room on a stretcher and into the recovery room with no memory of the passage of time.

And I’d always be like, I don’t want to die looking at pine trees on a screen.

It was in the recovery room that I fell in love.

 

There was a perianesthesia nurse there in that room. He was the same person every time.  And this may partially be the drugs talking, but he was the loveliest human being I have ever met.

 

Waking up from anesthesia is traumatic. I would be wheeled in with IV lines in my arm or neck (or both) and heart catheters still hanging out of my groin. I also had very bad reactions to anesthesia every time.

 

But that nurse would talk to me with a voice that washed over me like a soothing balm. He was calm and soft spoken. I knew he would keep me as safe as he could.

 

He never put his hands on me without warning me first. He never lied to me. He told me it was going to hurt for a few minutes while he pulled my caths out. And it did. A lot.He told me it was going to hurt while he put pressure on my groin to keep me from bleeding to death with all the blood thinners I was on. And it did.

Apparently he was pulling this thing out of my heart. No wonder it hurt.

While he was hurting me and helping me, he was also talking to me. He would joke with me. He actually made me laugh in my miserable state. He made sure I felt okay, he would check in with me every few minutes. He didn’t try to rush me out of the room. He treated me like I was the only person in the world. Like I mattered. And he gave me some amazing drugs.

 

He told me I was brave and strong and good. And when he said those words I believed him. He made me feel brave and strong and good. He told me I was going to be okay. And I believed that too.

 

I think it is hard to not fall a little bit in love with someone when they are so good at their job and that pride and skill shows in their work. I think it is hard to not fall a little bit in love with someone that helps you through one of the worst experiences of your life.

 

I think we all want to be with someone that makes us feel brave and strong and good. Someone that makes us believe we are going to be okay. I never wanted to leave that recovery room. Each time I would stay literally for hours, just listening to his voice.

 

He never told me his name. I never saw his face. All I know is that he was a man and, judging by the ring on his finger, he was married.
I don’t want to find him. I don’t wish I knew who he was (though I do hope he knows how much I appreciated him). What I wish is that I could meet someone that made me feel as brave, and strong, and good, and safe, as he made me feel. But preferably without all the drugs and hospitals and surgeries.

Lost Forever

I was 12 when we moved to the small town that I consider my home town. We stayed there till I graduated high school and my father still lives in this small town. It was the longest we lived anywhere. I like to think that I became who I am in that town.

 

But the day we moved in; my brother, T, and my sister, J, and I decided to go for a bike ride to explore the town. We were only in the way of the parents’ unpacking.

 

This was long before the days of giving children cell phones with GPS units. Or maybe it wasn’t. I think poor people grow up in a different generation that middle or upper class people.

 

We grew up without AC, in Florida. We didn’t have cable, or even a color TV for some period of time. We didn’t eat fast food, or junk food, or fancy store bought bread.

 

So J, T, and I hopped on our bikes and explored our new town. The parents didn’t ask where we were going, and we didn’t think to tell. We rode down to the main strip. It was like a cute little town in an old movie.

 

The main strip was a bit touristy, but it was full of quaint old shops and antique stores. There was a bakery and new age shop and a comic book store. And, most importantly for me, a two story library.

 

It was summer, and hot out. I was the responsible one, and hadn’t thought to bring water. And we didn’t have money to buy any.

 

Also, we were utterly and completely lost.

 

None of us had paid attention on our way to the downtown area. We were young and drunk on the freedom of a new town and adventure. We had just been riding for the pleasure of riding.

 

We were exhausted and pedaling back slowly in the midafternoon heat. Sweat was running down the nape of my neck. I wanted to stop and rest, but I wanted to find our way home more.

 

We rode for a long time, longer I felt, than we had gone out. And still, none of us recognized our surroundings.

 

We came to a shady spot in the sidewalk. And J just stopped.

 

She was the baby and T and I knew we couldn’t leave her, so we stopped too. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

 

She was nearly in tears. “I can’t go on! Just leave me here! Go on without me! Have mom and dad come back with the car to get me.”

 

T and I exchanged looks. I could tell he was trying to not crack up laughing. It was so her. Melodramatic and unintentionally hilarious. And we wouldn’t dare to laugh at her in the moment. No matter how hard it was not to.

 

T said, “No, we can’t leave you here. We have to be close.”

 

I said, “Yeah, J. Please keep going. You can do it!”

 

“No, I can’t! Just leave me here! Go on without me!” J wailed. I’m pretty sure she even got off her bike at this point and flounced down on the sidewalk. Correct me if I am wrong here, J.

 

It took some doing, but we somehow convinced her to keep going.

 

She got back on her bike and we rode around the corner. We had been two blocks from our house.

 

We have NEVER let J live that down.

 

Every time I drive past that spot in town by our old house, I crack up. Every time someone in a movie says anything like that (no matter how serious the scene), I crack up.* And sometimes, one of the three of us will randomly call the other and say those words, and I crack up.

 

In fact, I have been laughing so hard writing this that I am crying.
*I am the WORST person to watch movies with.  My favorite thing to do is urge two men to kiss during those intense and weirdly homo-erotic fight scenes where they are all up in each others faces. Also, I make fun of everything. Even in movies I love.

My Crafting Adventures: Embroidery

Warning: I’m basically telling this story to show off my new obsessive  hobby. Sorry for the blatant self indulgence.

 

My sister, J, asked me to make her a beaded bib necklace. She wants something large and intricate and reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha. He is one of our favorite artists. And since you all know how much I love my sister, I was determined to learn how to make it for her.

She wants this chest piece, specifically.

But I realized I needed to learn to embroider to learn to embroider with beads. Embroidery was already on my list of crafts to learn anyway. I figured there was no better time.

 

I decided I wanted to embroider an anatomical human heart. I doubt that is surprising to anyone that reads this blog. I also didn’t put any thought into the level of difficulty involved in this project. As usual.

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My first embroidery!

You guys have already seen my cross stitch creations. Embroidery may look similar, but the techniques could not be more different. Embroidery was hard. And serious. And gorgeous.

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This is framed and hung over my toilet.

I was only learning embroidery at this point as a means to an end.  I had no intention of falling in love with it. And yet, I am completely obsessed. It is so satisfying to finish a piece. I love everything about it. It is soothing and rhythmic. And just mindless enough to do when I am emotionally exhausted.

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I made this for Debbie at More Than Sweet Potatoes. It’s a whale skeleton. Freaky.

Embroidery is like drawing with fabric and string. You can make anything. In fact, if you guys go to my Pinterest (link on the right) my crafts page is mainly full of incredible embroideries done by people far more skilled and clever than myself.

 

I have gotten around to making myself a beaded bib necklace, but that is a story for another post. I haven’t made hers yet. But I will, and once I do, I will share it with you all.

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This is a Nordic protection symbol. I have always loved it.

Almost every other craft I have ever learned had a learning curve. The first few times I tried it were awkward, uncomfortable, and the results were pretty disastrous. I’m not sure why embroidery wasn’t that way.

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Fetus in feto for my sister. What can I say? I like bones and diseases, she like furs and medical disorders.

I fell in love with the first thing I ever made. And have been mostly pleased with all my pieces since.

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Owl for my brother.

I can foresee me turning into a crazy embroidery lady with hoops on every wall, just littering my apartment with string and fabric pictures.

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

The Honey Incident

Let me preface this story with a disclaimer: this incident was the opposite of sexy.

 

When I first moved into my basement apartment on the beach, my sister, J, came over to stay for a few days and help. My sister, J, is my favorite person in the entire world (no offense entire world).

 

The cable people were out to hook up my TV and internet and J and I were getting ready to go to a party. Not just any party. A full moon party at my dad’s ex, S’s, place.

Look, it’s a real thing in the world

Her full moon parties had gained an almost legendary status in our social circle. S had a gorgeous house on a lake with a pool surrounded by bamboo, a yoga studio, and bandshell, a greenhouse, and an enormous garden. It was basically the modern and wealthy version of a hippie commune. And I loved it there.

 

I had already been to a few full moon parties. There was drinking and food and a bonfire and midnight kayaks in the lake led by the best looking man I have ever met in real life. There was also pot smoking and meditating and skinny dipping. I don’t know what any of that had to do with a full moon, other than it being a full moon, but who am I to refuse a hippie moon party?

 

Is there anything more fun that night time kayaking? No, there isn’t.

So J and I are in the kitchen at my new place, remember? And we are unpacking boxes to find the supplies to make a snack for the party. I wanted something quick and easy and thought my peanut butter and honey rice krispy treats were just the thing.

They are delicious!

I buy my honey from local apiarists, as you may recall from this story.   I had this large mason jar with just enough honey for my recipe. My sister and  I are talking and having a good time, as we generally do.

 

And I am feeling so good. I just got my own place. I was recovering well from my heart surgery, I was hanging with my favorite person on the planet, and I was getting ready to go to a beautiful house to enjoy a fun party with people I liked.

 

I reach my arm down into this mason jar, trying to get that last few precious drops of honey. My entire arm was now covered in that liquid gold.

Honey is so good!

I am not one to waste food, so I start licking my fingers. And then I lick my hand. And then I lick my wrist, my arm, all the way down to my elbow. My back was to my sister and, to mess with her, I start making yummy moaning noises.

And I am really getting into it. I am licking up my arm with what is basically porno tongue.  I am licking like a cat cleaning itself with inappropriate enthusiasm.

 

 

Like this: all up and down my arm.

That’s when I hear a noise. I looked over and saw that the cable guy is standing there. Staring at me. With some inscrutable combination of horror, disgust, and confusion on his face.

 

Even with her back to me, I could tell that J was trying so hard to not crack up laughing.

 

I stopped licking, smiled sweetly, and say, “Can I help you?”

 

But the guy kind of backed away from us with his hands up as if I were holding a gun instead of an empty jar of honey. “No, no. I’m just going to go…uh…back outside.”

 

He literally backed away from me, out the door, and outside.

 

And that’s when my sister and I completely lost it.

 

Because I know someone is going to ask; here is the recipe for those peanut butter and honey rice krispy treats:

 

1/2 c honey

1/2 c peanut butter

6c rice krispies (I tend to go to the health food store and buy brown rice ones)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

chocolate chips (optional, but why wouldn’t you?)
Melt the peanut butter and honey on low heat, remove from heat when fully liquid and combined. Add the other ingredients. Pour into greased pan (I usually grease mine with coconut oil). Let cool and eat.

Fiction Tab

Okay, I keep talking about my fiction and hinting about sharing it in some super secret way for only the cool people to read. But I don’t really know how to do that. So, I will occasionally be posting some fiction under the fiction page at the top. I would love to have readers and feedback.

But if you don’t want to read it, or don’t want to give feedback; that’s fine with me. I probably wont post very much very often. And I will definitely still be telling my usual vomit and vagina stories on here.

I know I share some really personal stories on here, but in a way, they are just stories. They are part of my life and part of my past. But they aren’t me. They are only things that happened to me.

My fiction is more personal to me than my past can ever be. My fiction is who I am. And I have something posted over there now.

Allergic to EVERYTHING!

I know I have not posted in a while I have been dealing with things way above my maturity level. It was like some “very powerful episode of Blossom” or some shit. As a result I wasn’t feeling very funny. But I am doing better now.

 

In my quest to visit every kind of specialist in existence, I went to see an allergist. My hives were worrying as was my constant stomach ache. I figured I could finally sort out what I was allergic to and never have to worry about my throat closing down with hives again.

 

I turns out my allergist’s husband worked with my cardiologist. My worlds were colliding! The allergist was the sweetest doctor I have ever met.

 

And I have had amazing luck with doctors ever since I told my OB/GYN she could shove it up her stupid ass when she told me I was too young to make a permanent birth control decision. Apparently, 27 is too young to NOT have kids but she had her first baby at 23. Go figure.

 

The way the chemical patch tests works is they draw all over your back with a Sharpie. It is almost unbearably ticklish. I’m not even ticklish and I was squirming and giggling. Then they put three long stickers on your back and tape you up like some modern day mummy.

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My brother, sister and I used to tickle each by making a claw with our hand on each other and saying “ticky, ticky, ticky.” It never tickled.

Once again, as with the holter monitor, you can’t bathe for 24-48 hours. It’s really not my fault I smell bad sometimes. I can’t bathe like half the time.

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Also, I had hair back then.

After 48 hours of marinating in my own funk, I went back to get things removed and resolved once and for all. I found out what I am allergic to, basically life.

 

And then the allergist decided to do a food allergy test. She thought it might help figure out why I have a stomach ache 85% of the time. Most of my family has lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and eat very little meat. I however, having decided I already have one foot in the grave, eat whatever the fuck I want to whenever I want to.

 

The way they do a food allergy test is to lightly scratch the inside of your forearm and then rub the scratch with various food extracts. If the scratch gets inflamed, you are allergic or sensitive to that food.

 

She scratched my arm five times. Legumes, soy, dairy, gluten and who knows what the fifth one was. I assumed corn since it is in everything in the world these days.

 

It looks like this.

She left the room for about 10 minutes and I looked at my arm, fascinated to see what was going to happen. First, the one for legumes began to get red. And inflamed. It got raised and angry looking. It was like I had a giant hive on my forearm.

 

I was really upset. I didn’t want to be allergic to legumes. Beans and peanuts are two of my favorite things. That meant no more peanut butter, or peanut butter cups, or boiled peanuts. No more black bean soup, or southwestern egg rolls, or refried bean burritos.

 

NO! I didn’t want to live in the tragic new world. I always said I was one of those people that wanted to know. I wanted the truth no matter how sad or painful it was. And now, I was regretting that decision.

 

As I sat there, settling down into a funk of delicious food deprived-ness, I saw the other scratches on my arms get inflamed. They all got swollen and red, it looked like I had gotten into some poison ivy (which I am, interestingly, not allergic to).

Now that poison ivy rash is like some kind of biological weapon nightmare. Ew.

I was stunned now. If this was true, I was allergic to everything she had tested me for. What did that mean for my life? No legumes, no dairy, no soy, no gluten, no whatever that fifth thing was. What the fuck was I going to eat? Fruit and vegetables? No way. I would rather feel shitty all the time. I would rather be dead.

 

The nurse came back in and I thrust my forearm into her kind face. I was like some deranged person on the street. Waving my arms in her unsuspecting face.

 

“Look at it! What does it mean?” It was more conspicuous than a Death Eater with the Dark Mark tattoo.

This is an admittedly cool tattoo, but I would rather align myself with Dumbledore’s Army or the Order of the Phoenix.

“Oh dear.” She responded. She sat me down.

 

“And what is this fifth thing? What else am I allergic to?!” I was getting worked up and upset. I couldn’t handle this many new health issues. I just couldn’t.

 

“It’s water.”

 

I was stunned. I was allergic to WATER?! That was the end of it. I wasn’t meant to live. Evolution had fucked up. How was I going to avoid water?

 

She laughed at the look on my face. “We use it as a control. Let me see your other arm.”

 

She took a pen lid and scratched my arm. Within five minutes it became red and inflamed, like the other side was.

 

“You have dermatographia.”

Man, I really ran with the whole Harry Potter theme here.

 

“I do?” It may not surprise some of you that I already knew what that was. “How? Why?”

 

“This proves it.” She showed me the non-test arm.

 

“Is it dangerous?”

 

“No, it just means I can’t test you for food allergies. You should keep a food journal and try the elimination diet to see what upsets your stomach.”

 

I said I would. But of course, I didn’t. I already knew what upset my stomach. Eating. Especially if I ate more than a serving or two of dairy or gluten in one day.


And instead of finding out all the foods I should avoid, I found out that I have a skin condition that I never realized I had.