Cardboard Sledding

When I was a kid, we didn’t have cable. Or even a working TV sometimes. We definitely didn’t have video games or cell phones. And nobody I knew did either.

 

Summer meant being outside all day. We would only come inside for food and water. And not always even water because we could always drink that warm, rubbery water from the hose. I’m pretty sure I recently read that it is considered a carcinogen now.

Thanks for the cancer, parents.

I had some friends as a kid that weren’t even allowed inside their own house in the summer. They had to ask permission to go inside, even to pee. And while we were allowed inside at my house, we didn’t ever want to be there.

 

When I was 10 we moved to a small town right next to the ocean. We were one bridge and about two miles away. The bridge was one of those huge ones that the boats traveling down the intercoastal could pass under without anything being raised and lowered.

This is it.

That bridge was a bitch to ride your bike up. I never successfully managed it. But it had these massive embankments leading up to support it. Like four giant hills guarding the bridge.

 

My brother T, sister J and I would go hang out behind the local businesses at the base of the bridge. We would wait till they threw out a few cardboard boxes. Then we would climb into the dumpsters and pull out some nice big pieces of cardboard.

 

On a semi-related note, we also used to play in this giant shipping crate that they used to collect newspapers for recycling. It was literally a steel box full of old newspapers. I have no clue what the draw was, but I remember it being fun. Those were dark and desperate times for entertainment.

We would climb in and out through the donation holes. Until my mother found out and we got in trouble.

We would rush away from those empty lots and dirty dumpsters, sometimes with shop owners yelling at us to keep out of their trash. We would take our stolen cardboard down to the bridge and climb the embankment.

 

Then we would sit on the cardboard and push ourselves off and slide down the hill. Those embankments were the highest hills we had ever seen. It was thrilling.

Apparently a lot of people did this.

We would slide down the embankment for hours until the cardboard was torn into tiny, useless shreds. Or until someone got hurt. Getting hurt was always the universal symbol for us to go home.

 

But there was this one time that my piece of cardboard had been damaged before anyone else’s. And rather than wait my turn, I thought I would try to see what happened if I tried to roll down the hill on my side.

I wasn’t even this smooth.

I don’t recommend this to anyone.


I made myself sick (because I get ridiculous motion sickness) and tore my favorite pair of shorts. They were just a simple pair of elastic waistbanded shorts that my mother had made. We were so poor that she made a lot of our clothes. They were white with rainbow pinstripes. They went with everything I owned and made me legs look extra tan. I really miss those shorts even though they would never fit me now. They were my Technicolor Dream Shorts.

I would so wear this thing.

August/September Search Terms

It looks like I forgot to do this last month. And the month before. My life has been in upheaval! But I am going to make up for it now because they really do amuse me.

 

Sexy cartoons: This has been the single biggest search term for my blog since that post. I’m glad the internet knows me as the perv that wants to bang cartoon characters.

 

Handsome hairy men: This is the second biggest search term in some variation. Also something I am proud of. I need more handsome hairy men in my life and blog.

 

Cross stitch “I’d call you a cunt”: I am very surprised to see this (more than once). The quote you are looking for is “I’d call you a cunt but you lack both the depth and warmth.” You’re welcome.

 

Sexvideo.taco: There seems to be some underground subset of Mexican food related porn that I am not aware of. And they keep getting directed to my blog.

 

Fucking bizarre inanimate objects porn: Is that like when I have my stapler make out with my letter opener?

 

Penis through the wreath: This is like that dick in the box thing, right? Christmas themed penis pranks are the best.

 

Tiny banana bikes: I’d like one of those, please.

 

I put a bag of maggots in my pussy: Um…okay…why?

 

A roach bite my vagnia: Alright. You’ve gone too far. I want to sleep again someday.

 

Would a cracked tooth smell like poop: Wow. Just. Wow.

 

Invento Robotico Octopus 2014: I smell a sci-fi movie coming.

 

Take my bra out conversations: I don’t take my bra out. I take it off. I think taking it out implies showing it to people. Though I guess I did in that one post.

 

Fuck Okeechobee Florida: Hey! It’s not that bad down there. Too many love bugs, though.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Banana Seat Bike: I want this!

Fucked up mottos: My mottos aren’t fucked up. Your mottos are fucked up.

Is my tooth hollow: Maybe. And it might also have a tiny world living inside it like in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

I’m starting to just feel sorry for all the people innocently looking for porn and are instead directed to my inane profanity. I bet it really spoils the mood.

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.

Baby Robot Octopus

Alright, I am about to do something I have never done yet on this blog. I am going to show you a semi-sexy picture of myself. I am really nervous about posting it. but I want you all to get what I am saying here. Please be kind in the comments, at least about my body. Feel free to be dicks about everything else.

 

After every heart surgery, and still at random intervals even now, I have to wear a portable heart monitor. This thing looks like a baby robot octopus attacking my chest. It’s how I have always imagined it.

It actually looks like an iPod until it is attached.

The first time the nurse tried attaching it to me, I wrapped the cords around my neck and pretended it was choking me. I was shouting and fighting it off like a hero.

Oh god, it has me in it’s slimy grasp!

She was not amused. She was a tough older Russian lady. She was clinical, cold, and very unfriendly. I was a little bit intimidated.

 

Until I turned around to assist her in attaching this thing to me. Apparently, I was the first person to ever help her attach it to me. I was dumbfounded. I was just being courteous. I mean, she wasn’t my servant, she was my nurse. But after that, and ever since, she has always been very kind to me. She still doesn’t think I am funny, though.

 

The way this thing works is that there is a small box, about the size of a deck of cards. It has a green light and four leads that come out of it. The leads are wires with snaps on them. The snaps attach to half dollar size stickers that attach to your body.

20140320_232211

So, this is how it looks attached. Fun bonus for you guys, you can totally see my third nipple here.

The real issue is that you can’t shower while wearing this. And you have to wear it for 24-48 hours. I work a pretty physical job, in Florida. That means lots of sweating.

 

Not only do I smell bad, but the leads can come unstuck. The trick to keeping them stuck to you is two things: sandpaper tape to rub off the top layer of skin and hair, and a skin safe epoxy to keep them extra stuck.

 

The problem with those two options is that I have EXTREMELY sensitive skin. I have a mild form of dermatographia.

Mine is not quite this bad, but I do have a future story about it.

Also, as mentioned here; I am allergic to everything. This means that by the time the leads are attached, my skin is angry and irritated like a huge blotchy rash. It also means that when they are removed I have giant scabs, like I really have been attacked by an octopus.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, it looks exactly like that.

So they rub my skin raw, coat the raw skin with epoxy, and then coat it with a lead patch. They take the actual device and put it either in a halter mount, for men, or in your bra, for women. I don’t know why they cram it in there, I mean, my bra is already being used to hold my boobs. But that’s where it has to go for some reason. And you can’t remove the bra to sleep either. That is super uncomfortable all night.

 

When wearing these leads, I have to keep a journal of everything that I do and also any symptoms I feel. I like to make that fun for the people reading it, which I suppose is my cardiologist.

 

Here is an example of what I like to put (just so you know, all these examples are true things that happened):

 

6:30pm-7:00pm eating dinner (I eat really fast and food excites me, don’t be surprised to see palpitations here).

 

8:00pm-8:15pm sponge bath (bow chicka bow wow).

 

10:30pm-10:40pm I thought I saw a roach and freaked out, but it turned out to be a very roach realistic woodgrain pattern in my new wood floors (definite palpitations).

 

3:27am-3:45am I had a dream I was in an abandoned construction site fighting a zombie horde (definite palpitations).

7:00am-7:05am really hot guy smiled at me and I accidentally punched myself in the face trying to put on my seatbelt (possible pounding heartbeat).

 

After the allotted time, I would go back to see my nurse and she removes all the leads. She tries to do it carefully, but it doesn’t really matter. I usually remove my bra while still in the office. It peels off like a used band-aid. Then I drive immediately home and shower. And wash my bra.


The giant sucker marks generally go away after a week or two.

Accented

Back when I lived in Miami, I ate a lot of food. It was my first time away from my parents. It was the first time I could buy exactly what I wanted. And I ate what I wanted, whatever that meant.

 

Usually, it meant a lot of chocolate and fried foods. That was something we almost never had growing up. We rarely ate out. We rarely even ate pre-packaged foods.

 

For example, things like McDonald’s, and Taco Bell, and Chef Boyardee, and Fruit Loops; I didn’t have until I was an adult. So you can imagine, I went a little overboard when I moved out. I actually gained about 20 (much needed) pounds in just a few months.

I’ve still never eaten most of these things.

Every Friday I would cash my paycheck and go to this seafood restaurant. The only seafood I like is fried clams. And I fucking love fried clams. So, I’d eat my big plate of fried (as I always call it). Fried clams and french fries with ketchup, which is almost a food group for me.

 

I really shouldn’t have Googled this at this time of night. It has awoken a hunger in me that can only be slain by fried clams.

After a few weeks, I was more or less a regular to the restaurant. I kept getting the same, VERY unfriendly waitress. She was much older and was very rude to me. She would talk to me as though I were stupid and sometimes I would see her eyeing me suspiciously from across the restaurant.

 

I generally ignored this. I mean, it was probably my imagination. I had done nothing to her. I was an excellent tipper. And I tried to not be too demanding. But her dislike for me was unmistakable.

 

One day, after going there maybe six or seven times, the waitress came up to me. With a forced casualness she asked, “So, where are you from?”

 

“Here?” I answered slowly. I thought maybe she thought I was a tourist.

 

“No, I mean, where did you grow up?” She was looking at me with open suspicion.

 

“Florida.” I was really confused now.

 

“Where are you originally from? Where were you born?” She was getting impatient with me now. Like I was hiding something from her.

 

“I was born in Florida.” I can be very thick and I was still not getting it.

 

“Where are your parents from?” She was up in my personal space now. Grilling me.

Now I’m hungry and just posting random pictures of fried food.

That’s when I finally got where she was going with this. “Well, my mother was born in Florida. My father is from Ohio. Why?”

 

“I don’t like you coming in here. I can hardly understand you when you order. You have a very thick accent. I know you aren’t American.”

 

Readers, some of you know me in real life. I don’t even have a Florida accent, let alone a foreign accent. But I am very used to this type of reaction.

 

However, this woman was the worst. She refused to believe I was from this country. And she made several comments to me about how “dark” I am. (I hear I look like various non-white groups all the time, usually Hispanic).

 

Finally, I “confessed” that I was from Czechoslovakia (it just popped in my head). She triumphantly exclaimed that she knew I had been lying and went back to being rude and giving me the evil eye.

Did you guys know that I eat fried foods when I am stressed? It helps.

But she had made me so uncomfortable and unwelcome that I never went back to that restaurant again. I am older now and would probably report someone that treated me that way, but I was 17 and so unsure of myself.

 

I have been told for my entire life that I have an accent. As you all may recall, I had to learn to speak English as a child due to an accident.

 

In high school I was at a my boyfriend’s guardian’s party. Someone sat down and chatted with me for 10 minutes before interrupting our conversation to tell me “You speak very good English.”

 

To which I idiotically replied, “Thanks.”

Now I am just torturing myself.

I found out later they thought I was also a German exchange student, like my boyfriend.

 

And at my current job, I have customer’s asking me all the time if I am Canadian or European. This happens on an almost weekly basis. But they usually believe me when I say I am not.

 

Strawberry Fields

NPR did a piece this morning on Paul Cezanne’s fruit paintings and it made me think about my relationship with fruit. In this post, I alluded to how much I love strawberries. What I didn’t mention was that I am kind of freakishly into fruit in general. I think fruit is delicious, beautiful, and kind of sexy.

 

Fruit and skulls? Sign me up!

 

There is nothing like biting into a white apricot and tasting that floral sweetness, feeling the soft flesh of it in your mouth, smelling the almost overwhelming scent. Or the creamy smoothness of a banana. Or the crisp pop of a ripe grape.

This is making my mouth water.

 

So, I get why painters used fruit. It is a total sensory experience. The smell, the juiciness, the flavor, the mouthfeel…

 

But, I am also insanely picky. And never so much as I was a child. I basically lived on peanut butter sandwiches (not peanut butter and jelly because I hated jelly).

 

I didn’t have a strawberry until I was 8 years old.

 

We had moved to a tiny town just outside of Plant City, which is also a tiny town. Plant City is mostly strawberry fields.  Every year there is a strawberry festival, which is sort of a county fair with a strawberry theme.

 

I’ve gone back as an adult. It’s still fun.

 

Even to this day I love strawberry themed, well, basically, everything. I think they are adorable.

 

Don’t think I wouldn’t wear this.

 

 

Or this.

 

 

 

Or this. Dear lord, this!

 

This was one of the poorest times of our lives growing up. So going to fairs and such was a rare treat. And the price of admission usually meant we couldn’t even buy anything once we got in.

 

One thing we could afford was going to U-Pick-It farms. We would spend the whole morning in a beautiful field, everything shimmering like jewels with morning dew. Sometimes there would be a thick fog and I would pretend we were the last people on Earth (which is something I still do).

 

Like a thousand tiny jewels glittering.

 

In Florida there are plenty of fruit farms. We had done oranges many times (great for making fresh squeezed orange juice) and one time we picked 20 lbs of blueberries for $20. We had so many blueberries that I was sick to death of them long before we had made it through even half the frozen bags of them.

 

They were so cheap.

 

But this was our first time picking strawberries. We spent the whole morning pulling these bright red jewels off the tiny plants. I had already determined I didn’t like strawberries. I didn’t need to eat one to make sure. They looked gross to me.

 

It really was nothing but this for miles.

 

It was back breaking work and by the time we had finished, I wanted even less to do with strawberries. In fact, it was fine with me if I never saw one again.

 

On the drive home from the field that day, everyone had plastic bags of their fresh picked spoils in their laps. They were taking huge bites and throwing the stems out the open windows. To hear them tell it, these strawberries were like heaven on Earth.

 

My siblings started taunting me. Telling me what a weirdo I was for not liking strawberries. It was so unbearable that I moved into the way back seat to get away from their ridicule.

 

And that’s when I decided to try one of these magic berries. I pulled a giant red one out of my plastic bag. I had to admit, it smelled good.

 

Yum!

 

I looked around. Nobody was watching. I went to take a bite when I noticed something. It was completely covered in seeds.

 

Now, I was no dummy. I knew you couldn’t eat fruit seeds. Most of them were poisonous and all of them were inedible. So I dutifully started removing all the seeds.

 

They’re poison, I tell you!

 

After a few minutes, I began to doubt that strawberries could possibly be worth all this fucking work! How did people even eat them? It took forever.

Ooh, Bill Nye.

 

In the middle of my endeavor, my older sister, W, looked back at me. I was so quietly absorbed in my task I had gone completely silent. I was focused. I would get every damn seed off that fruit if it took the whole drive home.

 

When she saw what I was doing, she shrieked with laughter. In a few seconds, the entire car was dying, laughing at my ignorance and idiocy. Of course you could eat strawberry seeds! Who had ever heard of picking all the seeds off? That would takes ages.

 

For a moment, I wanted to shrink away into invisibility. This wasn’t something anyone would soon let me live down. And they didn’t.
But you know what? That first strawberry; freshly picked, sun ripened, and seedless, was the best damn strawberry I have ever had.

 

PS: I always say there should be more buildings shaped like food. I’m going to start collecting pics.

The Old Apartment

Some time after my fourth heart surgery, I was finally allowed to start having a normal life again. I did what I should have done almost a year earlier and dumped my boyfriend, T, and moved out.

We had both been biding our time since I had initially gotten sick. Sometimes an illness can bring people together and bring out the best in someone. For, T, my illness was a huge hassle.

He hated everyone always wanting to talk about me. He hated having to visit me in the hospital (and didn’t do it very often). And he hated the way I wasn’t fun anymore. I could barely walk for months.

My sickness was probably the worst thing to ever happen to him. But I get it, we weren’t in love. Dating me was fine when I was fun, but when things got too real, he couldn’t handle it.

To be honest, our relationship was the worst I have ever been in. And I have been in some bad ones. Being sick kept me there as I literally was not capable of leaving. We were together for almost 4 years.

When I moved out, I was broke and physically very weak still. I had missed a lot of work and it took a financial toll. I needed some place cheap.

I was so broke that for that entire year, I would have to make a decision when buying my groceries. I could splurge on one thing a week. I usually had to decide if I wanted strawberries or lasagna. Strawberries won most weeks.

 

Yum! Food porn!

 

I was 27 and had never lived alone before. I always had a roommate or a boyfriend. And I had gotten rid of all my furniture when I moved in with T.

I found a furnished apartment across the street from the beach in a fairly bad neighborhood. It was a basement apartment in a house that had been converted into 3 apartments.

Basement apartments are almost unheard of in Florida, and this one was on a sloping property. The windows in the living room and bathroom were on the level with the ground. It was under 500 sq ft. Maybe even under 400 sq ft.

The ceilings were only 7ft, which is freakily low for someone over 6ft tall like me. Being on the beach meant everything was always wet. I had to mop the ceiling with bleach on a regular basis to keep the mold growth down.

The living room was the length of a couch and had a TV on the opposite wall, 5 ft away. The bathroom was smaller than a walk in closet. And I am pretty sure the building was built on an ancient ant burial ground. It was haunted with the ghosts of thousands of ants. I would find their corpses in piles, like tiny snowdrifts, all over the apartment. When I first moved in had thought their small crunching bodies were actually beach sand blown or tracked in.

 

They were mostly concentrated in the bathroom for some reason.

 

This was also where I had to take my laundry to a laundromat once a week. I know I have mentioned it several times. It was next to a seedy beachside bar.

But the price was right. The door locked. And I was safe inside. I had my first apartment.

There were two other apartments in the same house as me. The one directly above me was empty for the whole year I lived there. Sometimes at night I would lie in bed and hear things moving around up there. I blamed it on my disturbingly vivid imagination.

In the other apartment there lived three Czechoslovakian people. Two were married to each other and the third was a female friend.  I said hello to the friend a few times. None of them spoke English. After a few months I stopped seeing the wife. The husband and the friend had been having an affair and the wife moved back home to the Czech Republic.

There was an abandoned hotel across the street. It was a towering building about 40 stories, right on the beach. There were broken windows and on breezy days I could see the curtains waving in some of the rooms. It was like a scene from a post apocalyptic movie. I heard hobos would break in and squat in the lower levels. I never wanted to find out.

 

Pretty similar to this creepy thing.

 

Directly in front of my apartment was an empty lot. It was fenced off and for sale. Another condo waiting to be built. The lot was white sand, broken glass, and sand spurs. I could see the ocean between the buildings.

There was a house next to mine, on the other side of a private road. The set up was similar to my house. Several people lived in that basement apartment. They would sit outside drinking and smoking all night, every night.

A few days after moving in, I smelled the unmistakable smell of meth coming from that apartment. I knew the smell well as some neighbors had a meth lab at a previous apartment with a previous boyfriend. When they got busted, the cops said it was the largest meth lab they had ever seen. I quickly decided to avoid those neighbors.

I actually loved living there. I loved the freedom of being alone. I recovered well and gained back a lot of the strength I had lost during the past year.

When Christmas rolled around I was dating a new guy, M. He had lived in Japan for several years and was always talking about the buckwheat pillows they used there. I decided to buy him one for Christmas.

 

I find them uncomfortable.

 

One day, just before the holiday, I saw that my pillow had been delivered and that a neighbor had signed for it. I brought the tag over to the new Czech couple, but they pretended to not know what I was talking about.

I was confused and upset. The pillow hadn’t been cheap. And now someone had stolen it. I had no other neighbors that could have signed for it and I had no other gift for M.

One of the meth neighbors came running over as I trudged down the hill back to my apartment. He was clearly doing meth. The skin condition is unmistakable.

“Hey! We signed for a box for you today! Come on over and get it.”

I was hesitant to go into their apartment. What if the police chose that exact moment to bust them? Would I be taken to jail? Would I get fired?

I reluctantly followed him across the street. I waited in the living room while he went back into his bedroom to get it. I have no idea why it was in his bedroom. There were about 6 people in this dimly lit living room. People were lying on couches, chairs, the floor. Every surface was covered with bodies. And they all smelled awful.

The guy gave me my box and asked if I wanted to stay and have a drink. I practically ran from that apartment.

A few days later, I was making cookies to take to work. I created my own peanut butter cookie recipe that is amazing. My cookies are so good, that one time I had brought them to work and someone stole them off someone else’s desk and it turned into this huge investigation. HR was brought in for a resolution.  It was insane.

 

 

HR resolution cookies.

 

I decided to make a few to bring to my meth neighbors. I thought it would be a nice thank you to them since they had kept my package safe.

I made a dozen to bring to them. I used my fanciest homemaker skills and wrapped them in a white linen napkin and tied it with a fancy bow. I brought them over to my neighbors.

 

I’m capable of being pretty fancy.

They thanked me and after that would give me enthusiastic hellos anytime they saw me. But they never returned my napkin.

 

UPDATED: I’m including the recipe for Jana. But I am going to assume you guys know how to make cookies, in general.

 

1 stick butter (softened)

1 1/4 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. white sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 1/4 c. flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

peanut butter chips

 

Refrigerate batter for an hour before rolling into balls and cooking for 10 min at 375.

 

If any of you make them, let me know how you like them!