Hiatus

Alright everyone. I am going to be doing my own little NaNoWriMo next month. Yes I know it’s officially in November, but if I followed silly things like rules I wouldn’t be the success I am now.

But NaNoWriMo means I’ll be taking a break from my blogs, and my friends, and even my crafting (that’s how you know I am so serious about it).

I promise I will be back in April. I have lots of stories left to tell. And more upcoming adventures where I am sure I will manage to maim myself or others (or both!).

 

So this is my last blog post until next month. And it isn’t even funny. But, since it IS Thursday; I’ll give you a little something to remember me by. A throwback Thursday photo of when I was thin and miserable and had the worst god damn hair cut in the history of the world.

 

Enjoy it!

 

 

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And the drummer at this concert was being a total creeper that day too.

 

 

And if any of you find that you cant live without me, I am only an email away.

 

 

Ambien Sleep

This is basically just a continuation of my last post. I really wanted to tell you guys THIS story but got all hung up with how gross I was. Sorry.

 

After I got all shaved up, I was left to my own devices. Trying to fall asleep the night before my first heart surgery. I have terrible insomnia even at the best of times. And this was not the best of times.

I was 26. I was not emotionally ready to have heart surgery. I wasn’t ready to be talking about living wills and death. Unfortunately, I had to do all those things and more.

 

So I was lying there, wide awake and knowing sleep was never going to come. Soon it was 9pm and I was still awake. I had a 5am surgery that they wanted me to be well rested for. And that was just not going to happen.

 

Finally, I pressed the call button and the night nurse came in. I explained to her about my insomnia. And I told her that I didn’t know what to do. How was I ever going to sleep?

 

She checked my chart and found that I was allowed to take an Ambien.

So innocuous.

Now, I’m sure many of you have heard the stories about Ambien. That it gives you crazy dreams. That it makes you sleep walk, sleep talk, sleep eat. I wasn’t too worried. I already do all those things (except sleep eating, I hope).

 

I had also heard (from a source that will be unnamed but you know who you are) that trying to stay awake while on Ambien can make you hallucinate. And all of that sounded pretty funny to me. Especially in the hospital, strapped to an IV, with a dangerously elevated heart rate.

I think I got off easy, honestly.

The nurse came in and broke the Ambien in half and gave me one half. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my mother would make my sister and I share a piece of gum.

 

So I spoke up, “Excuse me. I am a grown fucking woman. I think I can handle an entire pill.”

 

The nurse laughed and said, “Well, we’ll just put it on the counter here and if you still need it later you can get it.”

 

So I said, “Listen, you haven’t let me up in weeks. Plus, I have this IV. How about you just let me hold it. I won’t take it unless I need it.”

 

The nurse studied me for a second and then relented. “Okay, here you go. If you aren’t asleep in ten minutes go ahead and take it.”

 

And I honestly laughed in her face at the idea that I could be asleep in 10 minutes. I have never fallen asleep in 10 minutes in my entire life.

 

The next morning I woke up with half an Ambien clenched in my fist. I hadn’t even stayed awake long enough to set it on the tray table.

I was pretty disoriented. I was like, what year is it?

The night nurse came in and I smiled at her, embarrassed.

 

“How’s my grown woman this morning?” She asked. Then she laughingly told me she had tried to come in the night before to get the pill out of my hand but I wouldn’t let it go.

 

I started cracking up and asked her if I could keep the other half to take home. Which she did allow.

 

She was the best nurse I had the entire time I was there. I know I talk a lot of trash about some of those nurses. But she was lovely, caring, and funny.

Though I only got to see her a few nights, she made my recovery better every time I got to interact with her. I knitted her a beautiful white seed stitch scarf and brought it to her once I was released. As a thank you. And she cried when she saw it.

Like this but white as the Magical Ice Cream Suit.

Shaved

So this one time I was in the hospital, waiting to have a heart surgery. I’m pretty sure it was the first one. To be honest, they start to blend together after enough of them.

 

The reason I think it was the first one is because I was in the hospital for about a month during that first stay. And I wasn’t allowed out of bed, at all, the entire time.

 

Every time I so much as sat up my heart rate would jump to over 180 bpm and all the machines would start beeping in a panic and the nurses would run in, sure that I was dying.

 

This means that I was using a bedpan for a month, which made me feel pretty sexy. Also, I wasn’t allowed to bathe. Or brush my teeth. And no, I wasn’t getting any sponge baths either. I was just marinating in sweat and body odor the whole time. It was gross.

 

I get that when you are on the verge of dying, having fresh breath and clean hair isn’t a priority to the hospital staff. But I felt repulsive. And I had always been obsessively diligent about cleanliness, so it was extremely frustrating. On the plus side, it almost completely broke me of my OCD.

 

But, since I was bedridden and also on loads of blood thinners, I also wasn’t allowed to shave. So, the night before my surgery, a nurse came in to shave my pubes.

 

Being me, I tried to lighten the horrifying situation.

 

I mean, her face was down in my unwashed vaginal area. I’d had a period come and go, and no bathing. I could smell myself from where MY face was.

 

Now that I think about it, I just realized this is where my vagina smell complex started.

 

So, this older lady came in with an electric shaver and I said, “I hear you’re going to give me a trim and a perm.”

 

Nothing. No smile. She barely even acknowledged me.

 

So, I tried again. “Actually, I was hoping you could do something fun down there. Maybe a mohawk or a Charlie Chaplin?”

 

Still no response from her. It’s possible she didn’t speak English. Or that I am completely unfunny.

 

She yanked the covers back, lifted my hospital gown and shaved me totally bald. When I looked down and saw it I said, “Oh, the old Bruce Willis. I dig it.” And then I winked at her.

 

And I need to tell you guys right now, that I have invented my own winky face emoticon. Because when I wink, I don’t smile, like this  😉 . Or grin, like this ;D . I kind of make this face ;V .

 

It’s really awkward.

 

She just kind of rolled her eyes at me and left the the room. Leaving me alone with my newly shaved vulva and insomnia. But that is another story.

 

Fucking Bomont

We had just finished a 3 day binge in Memphis. But now it was time to get down to the real purpose of our trip. Arkansas. And that meant cleaning out my father’s storage unit, which was only going to be made more miserable by the heat wave hitting the bible belt. Several people had died from the intense levels of heat. And even though we were used to it, being from Florida, it was still miserable.

 

My father’s mountain property is near a small tourist-y town with an old fashioned downtown area. It is also in a dry county, which was a drastic change from the alcohol laden, party atmosphere in Memphis.

Our first day we went to see my father’s property. The mountain was beautiful and more of a soft, rolling hill than the sharp peaks I normally picture when someone uses the word mountain.

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It was beautiful

He had several acres of woodlands and a house in the basin. During our initial survey I found several crystals just lying on top of the ground on his property. It felt like they were waiting for me to find them. Like an offering. Maybe an apology in advance for our stay in Arkansas.

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I have a bag of crystals I found up there. This one is in my office at work.

We went down the basin to see the condition of his house. A winter ice storm had knocked out the power a few years previously and we weren’t even sure if the place had been  condemned. Imagine our surprise to find a car in the driveway.

 

We knocked on the door and my father’s ex girlfriend answered looking shocked. She asked what we were doing there and we kind of had the same question for her.

 

It turns out she had gotten the power fixed and had been staying there, free of charge and illegally for almost a year. She had not notified my father of her intention to move back in. She hadn’t spoken to him at all since he had moved back to Florida.

 

And can you believe, this bitch had the fucking nerve to be angry with us for not calling to tell her we were on our way!

 

I had never liked this woman and was not about to put up with her attitude. So I did my usual aggressive, confrontational smart assery. But my father stopped me and she agreed to let him in (his own house) to talk to him. But not us.

 

So my sister, brother and I waited outside. In the heat. For about 20 minutes.

 

I cannot imagine what there was to talk about during that time. She was living there illegally. She was not on the mortgage. She wasn’t paying to live there. I suggested several times, in a shout loud enough for her to hear, that we just call the cops and let them sort it all out.

 

Finally, I was fed up with waiting and sweating outside. I walked inside just to hear her whining about how we were making her feel attacked by showing up unannounced and expecting to have access to his house.

 

At which point I laughed and laughed until she got mad and left the room. She asked if we would come back the next day. We left and found a motel nearby.

 

Instead we emptied my father’s storage unit. In the blazing heat of a dying sun. From an unairconditioned metal box of storage unit on a concrete slab into an unairconditioned metal box of a moving van. I have never sweated so much in my life. I actually lost weight on that trip despite all the ribs and biscuits I was eating.

 

My father, a former construction worker in Florida, got heat stroke. It was so bad we wound up leaving him in the hotel room later that day and wandered around the town while he rested. It was a pretty little town. Like something from the 50s.

 

I’m not kidding when I say that. Did I mention there was no alcohol in the county? Well, there were also signs once we got into the downtown area that cursing was banned in the town and you could be fined, arrested, or banned from the city limits.

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Seriously!

When I saw the first of many of those signs I said, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

 

At which point my brother elbowed me and looked around nervously. “No cursing!”

 

“But seriously,” I said. “Look at this bullshit. What is this? The town in Footloose? No drinking, no cursing, no dancing, no music. Jesus!”

 

My brother told me I was going to get arrested and banned from the town.

 

To which I replied, “Good. I don’t want to be in this candy ass town for another second! Ugh, what the fuck?”

 

And in case you didn’t know before, now you really see how much I like to curse. That town was offending my personal morals. But, I figured I could behave myself. After all, I rarely swear at my job and I’m there most of my waking life.

 

We walked into an antique store and the shop owner was an older grumpy looking guy. We said hello very pleasantly to him and he didn’t respond. His wife came out from the back and chatted with us for a minute. I think she may have been flirting with my brother, but who can tell.

 

The grumpy guy suddenly interrupted, “What is that?”

 

I looked and he was pointing to my brother’s shirt. It was from one of my favorite plays, Avenue Q. And the shirt had a quote from one of their songs. It read, “It sucks to be me.”

Amazing play. Good song too.

We explained it to the guy and he squinted at us like the bunch of heathens we are. “That looks like cussing to me. There ain’t no cussing in this town.”

 

I nudged my brother and muttered, “And you were worried about me swearing. Who’s going to get us kicked out now?”

 

We tried to explain to him that it was a joke and not meant to be offensive. But he didn’t want to hear it. He asked us to leave his shop and we did.

 

My brother is a pescatarian and I didn’t have much hope of finding something he could eat. But we stumbled upon some sort of anomaly in a town that backwards (to me anyway).

 

We found a bookstore/cafe. It had organic wraps, vegan cookies, herbal teas. The girl that worked there was friendly and interesting. She was a breath of fresh air in that town of conservative uptightness.

 

The girl that worked there was very chill and we spent a good part of the day there, laughing and talking about how horrible the town was. I even kept the receipt from our meal as a reminder that no matter how dismal something looks, there is always hope that it will get better.
My father still owns the property and his ex eventually moved out (as far as we know anyway) a few years later. Still without paying him any rent to live there. And though it is beautiful countryside, I will never again go back to that fucking town where I can’t swear the way god intended me to as a foul mouthed, vulgar American.

Walkin’ in Memphis

This is a two part story about the only vacation I have ever taken with my family. This happened when I was 25 or so. I was between heart surgeries and living in the old apartment.

 

My father, sister, J, and brother, T, all took a drive. My father owned part of a mountain in Arkansas. There was a house on it, and we weren’t sure if his ex girlfriend was still in it or not. He also had a full storage unit that needed clearing out.

 

But we decided to have a little fun on the way up and stop in Tennessee to visit Memphis before we went to Arkansas. My father had some money as his mother had fairly recently died. My brother and sister were both in between jobs. And I hadn’t taken a vacation in several years due to my heart surgeries.

 

My father drove the entire way from Florida to Memphis. We left on a Friday after I got home from work. We were all supposed to sleep while he drove and then be refreshed Saturday morning for Memphis. But I have terrible insomnia under ideal situations. And my father’s driving is far from ideal.

 

Unsurprisingly, I could not relax enough to sleep. So I stayed awake and talked to my father. I was convinced that if I just kept vigil then he couldn’t wreck and kill us all. And he didn’t, so I can only assume I was right.

 

We got to Memphis Saturday morning and took showers and immediately went out to explore the city. I hadn’t slept in about 27 hours by that point. We had breakfast at the closest place to our hotel. It was directly across the trolley tracks.

 

The restaurant was called the Blue Plate Cafe. It was adorable inside. We were served with a big basket of all you can eat biscuits to go with our meal. Now, many of you know that I like to cook. And I am a good cook. And I make excellent biscuits. But these biscuits made mine seem like hockey pucks. I took some home and had them cold later in the day and they were still fantastic.

Just looking at them makes my mouth water

 

Then we took the trolley down to Beale St. This was long before I started drinking. And it was still early in the morning. So we explored the shops. Trolley rides were a dollar and some of the cars were so old and cool.

 

I was obsessed with riding them

 

That song was stuck in my head the whole time I was in Memphis.

 

I ate ribs for lunch and dinner every day we were in Memphis. They were delicious every place we went. My father even ate them and he doesn’t eat pork.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of me. No sleep and in a head shop looking at penis candles.

 

We of course drove past Graceland. And saw the Martin Luther King museum that was built at the hotel where he was shot and killed.

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That white dude is my brother.

 

Every night we went down to Beale St and everyone got drunk (except me) and had a great time. As you know, my family gets on VERY well we we are all drinking.

 

But the best thing we saw was the Belz museum. It was our last day in Memphis and I had wanted to go to the Cotton Museum (I love any kind of museum about pretty much anything) but tickets were just too expensive. As we were wandering the city we happened upon the Belz museum.

 

 

Go there!

 

My family is Jewish and the combination of Asian and Judaic art was pretty much irresistible to us. Also, it seemed like a bizarre combination.

Four foot high semi precious stone carved horses.

 

This museum was incredible. If you are in Tennessee and don’t visit then you are only cheating yourself. I literally gasped at some of the pieces on display there.

Carved mammoth tusk

 

Memphis was a friendly and fun city. However, Arkansas was our next stop and we were going to find it very different from Memphis. In my next post.

 

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I love this piece so much

 

Patron Saint of Driving

I was working on a completely unrelated story when I got side tracked talking about how my family drives and I decided to turn it into it’s own post.

 

My family are all the worst drivers I have ever met.

 

My mother has never learned to smoothly operate a vehicle. Her foot is either on the gas or on the brake at all times. I can’t ride more than 100 feet as a passenger in her car without getting sick.

 

And I get carsick a lot. As long as I am in the front, I am generally okay. Except with her. This leads to me doing most of the driving now that I am an adult, but I am okay with that.

 

My mother also has a very low tolerance for things like stress, traffic, and getting lost. Every time she gets lost, she calls me up frantic and pissed. Sometimes she even cries. And then she doesn’t even know where she is so I can help her find her way. No road names. Nothing. Sometimes she will say something helpful like, “I’m passing a Burger King.” Like that narrows it down.

 

My sister, J, is a VERY careless driver. (I love you J, but it’s true). I remember once when we lived together she was driving us somewhere and changed lanes without even checking the other lane. At all. She was just like, “Oh, I need to be over there.” And swerved into that lane like a fucking maniac.

 

One of my other sisters did not learn to drive until she was over 30. And a third sister taught me many creative uses of the word “fuck” when driving with her. She was also one of the most angry, aggressive drivers I have ever met, even to this day.

 

My brother T is probably the best of the bunch. But as he is usually on some kind of drug or alcohol or both. It tends to make me not trust him with my life.

 

But the truly bad driver is my father. He speeds. To excessive, insane speeds. I recall many times when he was in no particular rush and was still going 100+ miles per hour on the highway. Just because. And he tailgates like crazy, blaming it on the fact that he used to drive in Los Angeles.

 

He doesn’t pay attention to the road. He will slam on his brakes and pull over at almost anything. Yard sales, construction sites, empty lots, trash piles. My father loves them all.

 

He also rolls the windows down and blares rock music. Which he then shouts over to talk to you. And if he is talking to you, he is looking at you. He cannot have a conversation with you without making eye contact with you.

 

He writes himself notes while driving. Ideas for necklaces, poetry, reminders of errands or groceries. And if he wants to look at something on the side of the road, say, a pretty girl or a new billboard; he will twist completely around in his seat to make sure he does not miss one second of it as it passes. And he is interested in looking at every one and every thing. He has some kind of driving ADD and everything catches his eye.

 

He also has zero regard for other drivers or little things like courtesy, medians, traffic lights and sidewalks.

 

One time (recently) we were trying to make a U-turn on a very busy road in Orlando. U-turns were illegal at the next two median breaks. So my father, ever the problem solver, cut across the concrete median. And when his wheel turning base on his truck was too wide to make the U-turn into a proper lane, he drove up over the curb and down about 300 feet of the sidewalk of a newly built restaurant to get to the cross street he was heading for. On the wrong side of a busy road. Against traffic. On the fucking sidewalk.

 

And then he seemed confused and hurt when I wanted to drive after that.
I’m not going to lie and say I am some patron saint of driving. But part of my job involves driving a company vehicle. And though I have been in many accidents, none of them have been determined to be my fault thus far.