Steak Knives

I am sure all of you guys enjoy these stories. But, you may say, these stories are from years ago. What have you done to humiliate yourself lately? How can you say you are an idiot if you have learned your lesson? Well, number one: You are very presumptuous. Two: I am definitely still an idiot. And three: This story happened Friday night.

 

Being that it was a Friday night, I was out with my brother. (Where else would I be? A date? Ha!) We decided to go out to eat at the restaurant where I fell down a flight of stairs.  This restaurant is so fancy. It is the kind of place people go to dress up and celebrate milestones.

Actual balcony of the place.

Except my brother and I usually show up in shorts, flip flops, and dumpster t-shirts. Dumpster t-shirts are shirts my brother and I dig out of a dumpster near his house. It is almost solely the only thing I wear when I am not at work. And they are amazing.

 

But this restaurant does not treat us like the hobos we generally look like. And we always ask to sit outside. My brother, T, is loud as fuck and we generally discuss things that are inappropriate for polite society.

This is basically how we dress.

Friday night we were sitting out on the balcony. He doesn’t follow my blog so I was talking about my vagina post. Right before I said the word “vagina” our waiter walked up and I immediately stopped talking. He was new and I didn’t want to offend him.

 

But he seemed offended that I had stopped my conversation. So he dared me to continue my story. I started talking about vaginas again. The waiter stopped smiling and whipped his head around him, paranoid that someone else would hear. That’ll teach him to dare me to talk.

 

I ordered a steak and they brought me out a very fancy and sharp steak knife. It was a JA Henckels, which is the same brand I use at home. I can’t believe anyone trusts me with knives. Even myself, sometimes.

Look at these sharp little bastards.

When the steak came, the waiter decided to wait to make sure my steak was cooked properly. I hate having an audience when I am eating. I wish they would just walk away and come back or something.

 

In fact, I hate it even more when the manager comes over and asks how my meal was. You know what? If it was bad, you would already know. Let me eat in peace!

 

I cut a piece of meat, took a bite, and set my knife down on the side of my plate. What happened next was a series of events I could not possibly have predicted would happen.  Despite my ability to destroy everything.

 

I guess I put the knife too close to the edge of the table. It slipped off the table and clattered onto the balcony floor. Before I could even begin to reach for it, it slid between the wrought iron fence railings and onto the awning below us.

 

I breathed a sigh of relief. Sure, it was out of my reach. But at least it was on the awning and hadn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it was probably for the best that it was out of my reach.

 

And then, in slow motion, I watched in helpless horror as it slid off the awning and down into the busy parking lot below. Where we were seated over the entrance to this fancy and popular restaurant. On a Friday night.

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Here is the whole set up. The table edge, the balcony, the awning, the parking lot below. And of course my sexy, sexy knee.

I didn’t even think to call out to warn the people below. I just sat there, struck dumb at the improbability of the whole thing.

 

Thankfully, it landed harmlessly on the asphalt. As soon as I saw I wasn’t going to inadvertently murder someone I began to laugh. I still had a piece of steak in my mouth, I had forgotten it was there in my moment of suspense. Now I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t chew it.

 

I could not stop laughing through the rest of our meal.

 

As we were leaving, I approached the manager. “Hello.” I said innocently.

 

He looked at me and squinted. “Why do I know you?”

 

“I fell down your stairs last year.” I explained.

 

“Oh, that’s right. How are you?” He eyed me up and down, looking for signs of my ailing back.

 

“Well, I feel fine but I just dropped a steak knife off your balcony so I am pretty sure I am going to be banned from here at some point.”

 

He laughed. “But nobody was hurt. So it’s okay.”


I walked out to the parking lot and looked up at where I had been sitting. I learned an important lesson. I should not be trusted near ledges. And I should never sit over the entrance of that building ever again.

Zombie Attack

There is a giant flea market near where I live. We used to go when I was a kid. I had pretty fond memories of Flea World.

Even the sign looks dirty.

 

I mean, it was kind of skeezy, but what flea market isn’t? It did seem like the kind of place where you would get Hepatitis C from the turtles. Or feline AIDS from the cats. But still…

 

One day, my ex, A,  my brother, T, and I decided to go back to that flea market. I believe we were on an epic quest to find some cheap, interesting bandannas for T. He had long hippie hair and kept it back with a never ending supply of bandannas.

 

Like this. In case you were picturing either Bret Michaels or Tupac.

 

So we pulled into this parking lot. And it’s huge, like the size of an actual mall parking lot. But we were one of only a very few cars.

 

The place looked run down and seedy. And honestly, kind of creepy. Where were all the people? It was a Sunday!

 

We walk up to the first row of booths. There were no vendors. And there was nobody around. We did not pass a single other person.

 

We walked down the row, and there was not even one booth set up. The place was as eerie as a ghost town. The only sign of civilization was some trash blowing in the light breeze.

 

Actually, a ghost town would be less creepy.

 

We were all exchanging glances with each other now. What the fuck was happening? This place used to be crammed with people all weekend, every weekend.

 

We turned a corner to the intersecting row. And again, it was completely deserted. I started to feel like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I was getting a bad feeling by this point.

 

I turned to A and T and asked if they felt like they were in some kind of post apocalyptic movie. Before they could answer, we all suddenly heard something.

 

There was a sound system set up in the flea market. I don’t know if it was actually from the 1950’s or if it was just shitty and poor quality. But the music being played on these tinny, scratchy speakers was something from the Depression Era. It wasn’t this song, but something similarly haunting.

 

I love Depression Era music, and even I thought this was disturbing. At this point the three of us looked at each other. I was positive we were about to get attacked by zombies at any moment.

 

I started looking around for a weapon. It was too creepy for something really bad to not happen. I felt like I was in a movie. It was a very surreal experience.

 

I’d rather be dead.

 

We stupidly continued on in the face of an almost certain horror movie ending.

 

We turned another corner and finally saw someone. I was what appeared to be actual, living people. It was a band. The people in the band looked like something out of Deliverance. And the closer we got, the better I could hear their music. They were playing weird religious revival music.

 

You’d be surprised how much of Florida looks like this.

 

By this point, I could not have been more ready to leave. But T and A were having a great time. They were loving every second of this disturbing shit. I think they play too many video games.

 

In the end, we did find the bandannas and I did not get Hepatitis C, Feline AIDS. And nobody was attacked by zombies.

 

Thursday Night, Family Night

In case any of you have been missing me, wondering where I have been or why I haven’t been lurking on your blogs lately: I have been writing  hella science fiction lately and it’s been taking me away from my blogging life. I’ll try to do better in the future.

As you may recall, my father is recovering from open heart surgery. He can’t lift more than 5 lbs. I went over to his place on Sunday to help him clear an area to build a shelf to go through his more than 7,000 vinyl records. And no, 7,000 wasn’t a typo.

 

7000 albums looks kind of like this. Only they are disorganized and stacked precariously and sliding all over at my father’s.

 

He lives in an old creepy farmhouse that has been converted into a new age church. My ex, A, used to say that it was abandoned by the living but haunted by the dead.

My father is a bit of a hoarder, but the stuff he hoards is actually cool. I guess that makes him more of an eccentric collector.

I have included some pictures here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

 

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The front of the building and the porch that is blocked off.

 

After I left on Sunday he told me that he had found a nest of black widows near where we were working. I decided it wasn’t worth mentioning that I had felt something in my pants, biting me, on the drive home.

I went back tonight with my brother,T, to move a few more things about.  I have mentioned my brother several times, but I forgot to direct you here for more about him.

First we had to move all the records we had stacked in one room on Sunday to another bureau. We were moving two bureaus up the stairs. The stairs that had no guard rails. And steps that ranged between three different heights seemingly at random.

 

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Peeling paint, creepy access holes, fancy chandeliers. It’s all here!

 

Then my father needed us to move a sofa bed couch out to the trash for him. It was pouring down rain in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. I was sweating my ass off and had dropped a rusted nail studded board on myself and stabbed myself in the back with a key stuck in a door.

 

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The almost definitely haunted outbuildings that I almost got murdered at for this picture.

 

My brother went to move the couch from where it was standing on end, and knocked over a stack of boxes 6 feet high. He and I started cracking up laughing. We had narrowly missed a desk covered in crystals and knick knacks.

Once we both had this couch in our arms (and faces) my father tells us that it had “bugs.” I almost dropped the thing, fearing that he meant roaches. But no. Bed bugs? No. Termites? No. Just silverfish, no biggie.

T and I lugged this giant sofa bed couch outside, then set it down on it’s wheel and raced  it, laughing, down the long driveway to the curb. In the pouring rain. We got stuck a few times and nearly fell on the disgusting thing.

 

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My amazing photography skills at work here. But at least you can tell it is stormy as fuck.

 

But it was pretty fun. I could see that catching on. Two man couch races. It was like pushing a bobsled with four shitty grocery cart wheels through soft sand.

By this point, we were exhausted. Soaking wet from the rain and sweat. And I had been accidentally stabbed twice.

And that’s when we found the bottle rockets.

No matter what I find at my father’s place, I am never surprised. I suspect the Bermuda triangle actually has one point in central Florida at my father’s, one point in northern Florida at my mother’s and the third point extends out into the Atlantic. Anything could be there. And anything is there.

 

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This is actually the background on my phone. It was unstaged. Just a normal vignette of a human skull, crystals, incense, razor blades. That’s at everyone’s father’s house, right?

 

My brother, father and I went out onto his side porch and lit bottle rockets, from a planter on the covered porch, into his yard, at the garage apartment on the property. It was undeniably stupid.

 

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The garage apartment where the human skull was famously found.


But nobody got hurt. Except me. On the key and rusty nail.

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The old field really cleans up nice when it isn’t mowed.

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.

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.

The Trip to IKEA

After my most recent heart surgery; I had a massive hematoma on my inner thigh. By massive, I mean it was the length of my entire inner thigh from my knee to my groin and it spread to half the thickness of my thigh as well.

 

 

I actually have a picture of it, but it turned out to be a bit of a crotch shot (a disturbingly graphic underwear shot)  and I don’t want to traumatize you kind people any more than I already have with my stories. But here’s a picture of exactly what it looked like.

 

It looked exactly like this.

 

It was so swollen and painful and I had to go back into the ER for a few days so they could do an MRI of it to make sure I wasn’t going to bleed to death internally. The thing I like best about MRIs is how they take a day or so to be analyzed so you have plenty of time to think about blood transfusions and internal bleeding. Fun times.

 

I was out of work for two months after the surgery and one day my brother and I decided to go to IKEA. I had never been before and had been wanting to go for some time. I  had also heard of it’s magical  ability to initiate arguments in any group that went there. I sort of imagined it to be the equivalent of wearing a horcrux. I was secretly excited to test it out.

 

Why am I not a member of this club?!

 

When T and I got there, I was already having a bit of trouble walking but I was determined, as usual, to do whatever the hell I wanted (despite it being a very bad idea). Heart surgeries and hematomas be damned! This is the part where I tell you again that I am an idiot.

 

Walking into the store through the parking lot, we found a collapsible cane. I hobbled out into oncoming traffic to rescue it from being run over. I felt it was very serendipitous but T was worried we were taking a cane from someone that needed it. My attitude was: fuck the original owner. I legitimately needed a cane. And if the owner had needed it so badly, he/she wouldn’t have left it in the parking lot to begin with.

 

 

 

How sexy is this?

 

I used the cane for the remaining months and in fact still own it.

 

T and I had intended to rent me a wheelchair once we got into IKEA. It doesn’t get you reduced wait times or anything, but it was the best solution we had. At that point I had ridden in wheelchairs all over the place. Grocery stores, parks, malls, basically anywhere anyone would rent one.

 

Like being on a rollercoaster.

 

If any of you have never ridden in a wheelchair, they are pretty fun, provided it is temporary. But they give me hella motion sickness. Also, people treat you very differently when you are in a wheelchair.

 

For one thing, did you know you aren’t allowed to have a sense of humor when you are ill in public? Any time I made a joke about my health condition, I horribly offended other people that had never gone through what I was going through. Also, if I laughed at anything anyone else did, people questioned the seriousness of my illness.

 

I had several people comment that I didn’t look ill enough to need to rent a wheelchair. Even people that were actively making money off of renting me a wheelchair. This is another one of those 0 to bitch in 0.3 second moments of my life. I don’t generally get all ranty on this blog: but fuck those people. Seriously. Fuck them.

 

It turns out the wait for the wheelchairs was longer than anything I have patience for (ie: more than 5 minutes). So T grabbed a flatbed shopping cart and suggested he push me around on it. I looked at the uncomfortable metal frame. I looked at T. I could tell he really wanted to do this.

 

My chariot

 

 

 

Also, there wasn’t any other way (aside from waiting in line for 5 minutes) for me to view the store. So I gingerly climbed on.


My brother and I went on a tour of IKEA. It was one of the most fun days I have ever had. It was like being pushed around on a shitty, uncomfortable bed frame. And he and I disproved the IKEA fight theory. Or maybe it only works for couples.

My Crafting Adventures: Knitting

If you read this post then you know that I almost started a crafting blog instead of doing this blog. I have an insane amount of crafty hobbies and thought it would be fun to write about them. But things didn’t go that way.

 

I was thinking about it today and realized, there is no reason why I can’t talk about my crafting on here too. I had intended my crafting blog to be funny, inappropriate, and full of cursing. So it actually isn’t too different from what I am already writing.

 

So here is what I hope is only the first installment of my crafting adventures:

 

When I was 10 my older sister, W, tried to teach me to knit. She had very little patience and I had very little skill. It was a terrible, terrible disaster. She had given me this beautiful skein of ice blue fine mohair to practice with.

Almost exactly this.

The good thing about really fine mohair is that you can fuck it up pretty badly and still not be able to notice. After hours of exhaustive practice I managed to knit up a square about 5in by 5in. I gave this to her for her birthday as a thank you for attempting to teach me. (Reason number 857 to not have kids: pretending to like their bullshit homemade gifts).

Yeah, this is what my life was missing.

I promptly completely forgot about knitting and never attempted it again.

 

Until I was 23. My brother and I had been hanging out, watching a bit of an old Dr. Who episode. We were both intrigued by his crazy scarf. My brother commented that he might like to own a scarf like that.

This is all your fault, Tom!

I went online and saw how expensive they were. I idiotically decided that I could learn to knit and make him one for much cheaper. So I went out and bought the cheapest yarn and needles that I could find to learn on.

 

That was my first mistake. The yarn was synthetic which I am slightly allergic to and very rough. I watched a few YouTube videos, checked a ridiculous quantity of books out of the library and dove in.

 

I could cast on like a pro and I remembered it being the one thing I had been good at when I was 10. I attempted to knit my first row. But I couldn’t.

 

I literally could not get my hands to get into the positions I was seeing in all these damn books and videos. The movements were so awkward and alien to me. I have never been known for my co-ordination, quite the opposite in fact, but this experience was beginning to make me suspect I was not even using the hands I had been born with.

 

Maybe I had been in some horrible accident that I subsequently blocked out. As a result of sad accident I had gotten a double hand transplant. And the doctors had stitched the hands on incorrectly and now there were some crossed tendons in there causing these major disruptions to my desired goals. It was infuriating.

 

I tried for weeks to knit the first row. I tried until I got blisters, then tender sores, then callouses. I tried until the yarn began to disintegrate from sheer monotonous usage. And every time it was so fucking awkward!

Sorry, I couldn’t find any pics of people that looked like they didn’t know what the fuck they were doing.

I imagine this is how babies must feel right before they learn to talk. They know what the noises are that they need to make, they just can’t make them in the right order to be intelligible to anyone.

 

One day I sat down and picked up the needles and I felt sort of comfortable with them in my hands. I cautiously tried to knit. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much after weeks of crushing disappointment. To be honest, it wasn’t even about the scarf anymore. I was going to knit dammit! I didn’t care if it killed me. (What a way to die, in some yarn induced tragedy).

 

I knitted a row. And then another. And then another. I was a knitting fool!

 

I knitted back and forth, row after row, until I created what was undoubtedly the most sorry looking scarf ever created. But it was done. And then I had to learn to bind off.

 

I had been dreading this part so much. Knitting takes hours and hours of work. Dropping a single stitch can ruin the whole piece. But I knew I had to face my fears. I couldn’t call someone to help me every time I wanted to bind off a project. I had to face this on my own.

 

I actually did an okay job. I had finished my first knitting project. Next I tried out a new stitch and made myself a scarf. It looked exactly how I had intended it to. I was ready to knit my Tom Baker scarf for my brother, T.

 

I don’t want any of you to think I am some fabulous knitter at this point in my life. I enjoy knitting. It is very relaxing for me. Like meditating. I can knit for hours without scrutinizing every stitch.

 

But I also have never progressed beyond scarves, hats, cowls, purses, and bathmats. They are lovely gorgeous items. But you probably won’t see me giving away any socks or sweaters to my loved ones. Because if I invest that much time in something that complicated it will be for myself!

Plus, every knitter knows about the knitter curse. Never knit something for a friend or significant other. It will be the death knell of the relationship. (Hey, I don’t make the rules).