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

 

Gin and Tonic

I think I am going to need to buy a new laptop. Remember when I dropped it that time? Well, the power cord is loose now but I’ll just put it off until it completely stops working altogether and buy a new one in a frenzied, angry panic. Good plan.

 

I’m one of those people that has a very strong stomach for talking about gross things, or even doing gross things. But a very weak stomach for actual food.

 

I’m going to tell you guys right now; I hate junipers. I hate them. I hate them in any plant form that exists. I wish I had some horrible experience to blame my irrational hatred of them on. But I don’t. My granny had two giant ones in her front yard when we were growing up. And I hated them even as a small child.

Ugh. Look at this stupid fucking thing.

Now I have a reason to hate them.

 

Gin is made from juniper berries. I have always thought gin and tonics were very classy despite an interesting night I had with my sister J with them. But I had never tried one up till last night. And I was pretty convinced I would not like it. Because of my juniper hatred.

 

So last night I pour myself this gin and tonic. I carefully sniffed at the mini bottle of gin before pouring it into my glass. It smelled like juniper and I think my mind rebelled a little. But I was determined to try it.

It wasn’t this brand but look at this classy shit. I don’t even like lemon in my water.

I want to be classy, dammit! I want to be one of those people that eats linguine with clam sauce and drinks martinis, and always looks put together. I want glossy hair and clothes that flatter me and actual knowledge on doing makeup. And to me a gin and tonic is right up there with all the classy foods.

Just classy as fuck.

Foods I wind up not liking because I am not classy. I like fried chicken and barbeque and tacos. I wear men’s t-shirts my brother and I pull from the dumpster and jeans and sandals that I think make me look like a lesbian but I wear them anyway.

Get in my mouth!

But I try.

 

I took one sip of that gin and tonic and gagged. Not one to be deterred by a little thing like a gag reflex, I went to the kitchen, stood over the sink (just in case) and took another sip. I gagged again. You guys know I have an iron will and determination.

 

So I said, “You will NOT throw this up. You WILL drink this.”

 

I took another sip. And I threw up in the sink.


I poured the rest of that horrid drink down the drain and had a strawberry lime Rekorderlig instead. It was delicious and got the taste of failure and vomit right out of my mouth. They’re welcome to use that if they’re looking for a new slogan.

This is like alcoholic fruit soda.

Once again, my taste buds have prevented me from the classy lifestyle that is waiting just behind eating and drinking the right things. Apparently.

Fossil Show

I am back from my vacation/blog hiatus. I ate a bunch of BBQ, discovered champagne, hung out with my sister, and watched some terrible horror movies.

 

The weekend before my sister came to visit I went to a Fossil Show. I don’t know if any of you guys go to things like that, but let me tell you about it. It is 85% men at these things. Almost everyone there is over 60. And it is overwhelmingly white. Just old white men everywhere you look.

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Old white dude hanging out with a table of animal parts.

And then there’s me. I wore my Jurassic Park shirt in support of fossils. It got a lot of compliments. I generally don’t wear logo’d clothes because I feel like it is sort of an invitation for creepers to stare at my chest. But they stare anyway, so what the hell.

I don’t know why they put the logo right on the boobs.

I went with my brother and my father. We walked around examining baskets of discount animal skulls and so fucking many sharks teeth.

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So. Many.

I bought a giant ass crystal for my sister because I am awesome like that.

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Her actual new crystal. It is the size of a basketball.

And then we got to my favorite booth. The seller is a creepy old guy that has a ton of random shit. I see him at most of them gem and bead shows I go to (and I go to a lot). He never remembers me, which is just fine by me.

 

He sells lapidary supplies and cabochons and Native American jewelry (which is absolutely my favorite). But since I have been getting into embroidery, I have been interested in buying some cabochons for my collection.

If I ever get married, I want them to propose with a Squash Blossom Necklace.

My brother and I were sorting through his mess of a display when something caught my eye. It was a rough blue opal about the size of my thumb. I am not super into opals, I tend to be very picky about them. But this one was something.

It looked a bit like this.

I innocently picked it up, with no warning signs of the horror to come. I was showing it to my brother when the seller came over to us.

 

“That’s a nice piece of turquoise.” He told us.

THIS is turquoise.

It wasn’t turquoise, but whatever. Then he took it from my hand and said, “Here, check this out.” At which point he promptly popped it into his mouth.

 

He fished it out and held it back out to me so I could see how his saliva had brought out the colors.

 

But it was too late. I don’t know what kind of expression I had on my face, but it could only have been horror. I backed away from the table. I felt like my whole body was tainted. I felt…itchy.

Basically me.

 

My brother came swiftly to my side. He asked “Are you okay?”

 

“Did you see that guy? Did you see him? It was in his mouth. Who does that?” I was freaking out.

Adventure Time Freak Out animated GIF

Also me.

 

“Do you think he’s done that before with it?” My brother asked.

 

“Yes. Don’t you? I probably have Hepatitis now!” I was getting loud.

 

“Can you even get Hep from something like that?” My brother looked worried. Everyone in my family defers to me when it comes to diseases because I am the expert.

 

“Yes!” I whipped out my hand sanitizer and began compulsively spraying my hands. I was seriously freaked out.

Apparently drinking it is a thing. A very stupid thing.

 

Most sellers carry spray bottles of water that they use to bring out the color in their stones. I have never had someone put it in their mouth like that.

 

I walked over to another booth, far far away from that man. There was a young couple at the booth I happened to walk up to. The man started in on his little speech, but I was just staring blankly into the distance. I was shell shocked, unhearing and unseeing.

 

The couple I was talking to must have noticed something was off about me. They asked if I was okay. And the whole thing spilled out of me. They looked appropriately horrified and assured me that nothing at their own table had ever been in anyone’s mouth.


But the damage was done. I didn’t touch anything else for the entire rest of the show.

No touching!

Say it With Goats

My sister, J, came down this week for vacation so I am busy eating BBQ, watching horror movies, and drinking with her. I am having a blast so far!

I am in baby back rib heaven. Which is basically my regular heaven.

But I wanted to take a moment to discuss a pretty serious matter with you. Anyone that reads my blog should definitely also be reading Aussa’s blog.

 

She is getting married and we are all so happy for her! And we thought the best way to express our happiness was with goats.

 

So Leah came up with the idea to buy her goat plushies. Then I decided to bombard her with goat plushies because you should say everything with goats.

See: Goat

Now there is an Amazon Wish List that you can go to. The goats will be sent to me and I will send them to her. You know you guys want to be involved in this!

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a goat skull on Amazon. What the hell, Amazon?

If we send her enough goats she may be able to stitch them into a wedding dress. You don’t want her wearing some boring old white dress, do you?

Picture this, but all goats.

But wait, there’s more. Debbie then came up with the most amazing, brilliant, kind idea in existence. Which should not surprise anyone that reads her blog as she is one of the most amazing, brilliant and kind people in existence.

 

Click on the link above to help her fulfill her super secret mission. Click on the Amazon Wish List link to bombard Aussa with goats. Click on the link to Leah to read her lies about my sexiness. And click on the link to Aussa because you love yourself and deserve to read her blog.


I’ll be back in a few days with more stories. And happy goating!

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.

 

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.