Broken Glass

I guess I am doing a series of stories on why you can’t take me anywhere. There are a lot of them. It’s a multi-part series that may take a long time to get through.


This was a few years ago when I lived in the tiny apartment on the beach. I had been seeing a guy, M, who lived on the other coast of Florida. It takes about two and a half hours to drive across the width of the state. We would drive back and forth almost every weekend.


I was visiting him and he was taking me to see the big city. Well, at least the famous stores in the big city. My side of the state didn’t have things like IKEA and Whole Foods and Crate and Barrel.


The first place we went was a restaurant called Datz. I really can’t even describe this place. If you are anywhere near Tampa and you do not eat here you are robbing yourself. Go there. They also have burlesque shows. Here are some pictures to help convince you.

They used to have this dark chocolate lavender truffle. It was heavenly.

Why do I torture myself this way?

Afterwards we went to a swanky Publix that had a parking garage and escalators for your shopping cart. I wanted to ride in the cart escalator but they wouldn’t let me.  I was impressed though. It was so fancy, like a movie.


And then we went to Crate and Barrel. I am really into food and cooking and love looking at expensive cooking utensils that I would never buy for myself. We were wandering around Crate and Barrel and I was drooling over Le Creuset french ovens and Vitamixes (which I now own).

Still drooling over one of these…

I bent down to look at something on a lower shelf and almost knocked over a display with my enormous purse. I got a bit spooked and suggested to M that we get a move on. I had suddenly realized it was only a matter of time before I broke something out of my price range.


We were making our way to the register when I stopped to look at a clear glass bowl. I love clear glass dishes. I set it back on the shelf a little too close to the edge.

So pretty

Gasping, I reached up and pushed it back. I may have pushed it slightly too hard.


It turns out there was no back to the display. They were just flat shelves.  Want to know how I know?

Look at this fucking display!

I pushed that single glass bowl into a stack of glass bowls. And I pushed that stack of glass bowls into a second stack of bowls. And that second stack of bowls into a third stack of bowls. And then all of that fell right off the back of the display and onto the ground.


The clattering noise of shattering bowls echoed through the shop. It was louder than the Christmas music playing in the background. There was broken glass everywhere.

It felt like this much broken glass.

M turned around and I could tell he was confused. He had turned his back on me for literally seconds. How could I have created such a mountain of destruction in mere seconds?


Our eyes met. In that instant I knew we were both contemplating just bolting for the door and we were having a silent argument about who could get there first. (Hint: Me).


But instead we froze like a deer in headlights. Everyone in the store turned to look at me. And I just stood there, helplessly.

This show is my biggest obsession lately.

My face was burning, my heart was racing. I was worried I was going to suffer a cardiac event from the crippling mortification. Plus, there was no way in hell I could afford to pay for all those bowls.


After a only a few seconds an employee came over. She was about my age and very sweet. She assured me that it was okay. They would clean it up. I was not the first person to break something in the store. And didn’t I think it was dumb that these displays didn’t have a backing on them.


I thanked her about a thousand times. I tried to stay and help them clean up all the broken glass, but to be honest I was shaking so much that I was pretty much useless.


But the bowl I had originally been trying to save didn’t get broken.


It’s no secret that I should probably be dead. Evolutionarily, there is no real reason for my existence. In fact, if I had lived just 50 years ago, I probably would already be dead. I am merely alive through the sheer chance of science and modern medicine.


And that makes me undead.

I hope we have the technology to reanimate skeletons when I die. I am so in. After science has it’s way with me.


I am living a sort of second life. It is the life beyond what I should have lived. In all honesty, I am probably living a fourth or fifth life at this point.


Let’s examine the evidence:


I’ve had between 5 and 10 minor to major strokes. I’ve had 5 heart surgeries. Any one of those things should have killed me. Those things have killed many other people before me and will kill many more after me.

My first intentional pun!

I’ve fallen down a flight of stairs. On two separate occasions. Both of which could have resulted in a broken neck. I can only attest my surviving those incidents to my yoga and cat-like reflexes.

My reflexes are as good as this kitten’s.

I swallowed at least one, fairly large piece of glass. Which I suspect is still floating around waiting to lodge itself in some crucial organ. Like my lungs.

microscope lens

Excuse me, I just need to go swallow this real quick.

Not to mention all the things in my environment that are trying to kill me. For example, one time I brushed up against a plant at work. It had been recently sprayed with pesticides. I found out the hard way that I am allergic to them.


I broke out in hive all across my neck and throat. And then my face. And then my arms and hands. And then my throat started swelling so bad that I couldn’t turn my head. Or pesky other things, like breathe.



Know what’s sexy? Not hives.

I still don’t know what the pesticide was. Every once in a while, I will re-discover it and break out in hives again. It’s sort of like being a detective adventurer, except I could die.


Then there was the time my air conditioner broke in the middle of summer. I came home to a house that was almost 120 degrees. The AC men came out and fixed it, but after they left, I kept noticing a weird smell.


I let it go for a few days, but I felt like it was getting stronger, so I called them back. They said it was leaking freon, which they claim didn’t smell like anything. (Then what was I smelling, huh?!) They couldn’t fix it that day, but assured me it was no big deal. It was only harmful to people with heart problems.


It wound up taking them over a week to fix even after I told them I did have heart problems.


So, I am sick, and clumsy, and unlucky, and allergic to life. And I haven’t even mentioned my emotional problems. And I can’t even reproduce, not that I wanted to.  So why am I even alive, from an evolutionary standpoint? I really don’t know. Hopefully I am funny enough to be using up all the resources I am.


What about you guys? Are any of you undead too?

My Crafting Adventures: The L Word Birthday Miracle

Let me just get this out of the way first. The time stamp on my WordPress is always all wonky. As I am writing this, I am two hours away from turning 30.


I should explain that the Birthday Miracle part of this is something I stole from my brother. He calls our birthdays “Birthday Miracles.” Last year for my birthday miracle he discovered the cache of dumpster shirts.


There were nearly 100 in all. He was walking through an industrial part of town and came across a dumpster full of shirts. He fished them out and they were awesome. We go back periodically for more and it’s mostly all I wear anymore.


Like that time I met Debbie? Dumpster shirt. Or when I was riding the giant brass piggy bank in Seattle? Dumpster shirt. They are secretly embedded everywhere on this blog.


Dumpster tank top. Also, I look exhausted here.


Anyway, I decided I was going to make this craft project as a birthday present to myself. I always give myself gifts on the corresponding occasions. I am an amazing gift giver. And I always know exactly what I want.


If you read my Twitter, you may have already seen this craft project. But too bad. It’s my birthday and I do what I want.


A few months ago, I was watching The L Word. I really liked the first season but stopped somewhere in the third.


At some point during the The L Word marathon, there was an artist that made these things. They were delicate mobiles covered in ornaments and glass balls and crystals. The real artist is Julia Condon.

I am clearly not, and will never be, at this level.

They actually reminded me of a the skeleton of some strange creature. All shiny metal and sparkling glass. Like what a dinosaur jellyfish skeleton would look like in a dream.


They are amazing!


And I knew I had to make one for myself.


In typical me fashion, I put this project off until this week. I had already bought the ornaments and had plenty of crystals and beads lying around. Plus, I knew I had some copper wire. Somewhere.


I sat down last weekend and patted myself on the back. I was going to cobble this thing together with plenty of time to spare. After all, I am a crafting genius.


I started putting it all together, but shit wasn’t working. My copper wire was too flimsy. I needed something heavy duty enough to handle the crystals. This thing is pretty precariously balanced. It takes finesse, which I do not have.


Yesterday, when I got off work, I headed over to Home Depot for some industrial strength copper wire. When I brought it home, I quickly realized it was way too thick for my intentions.

It felt like this.


I sighed. I was like fucking Goldilocks and the Three Copper Wires. Which I think is a way more realistic fairy tale. I mean, bears don’t even eat porridge. They eat little girls that fall asleep in their beds.


I found the right wire today and got down to business. And it turns out the thing was so much harder than I thought it would be. I hurt myself several times. But after four hours, I finally finished.


I felt so proud of it, I spammed everyone I know with pictures. Including Twitter.


So proud.


This must be how new mothers feel. I wanted everyone to see what I had made. Except my thing wasn’t ever in my vagina.


I did it! I made this thing!


And so, The L Word Birthday Miracle was created. It is currently hanging over my beading table. It has passed the first test of a successful project: It didn’t fall and break immediately.


Birthday Miracle!

The second test is to make sure it doesn’t fall sometime in the night. That test is more important as it gives me a coronary and also makes me think I have poltergeists. So, we’ll see.


I originally thought his story took place when I was around 7, but my mother says she was pregnant with my sister so I was probably actually three…

One of my siblings had a microscope lens. It was very small and thin. About the size of two dimes stacked together.

microscope lens

The object of my tiny obssession

For reasons I don’t recall, we were all putting it in our mouths. This was indeed just a random piece of glass. After pulling it from one of our mouths (I’m betting an older sister) my mother placed it high up on a built in bookshelf in our living room.

She did this in plain view of all of us. In retrospect, that was a mistake. One she should have known better after having  8 children.

Knowing it was up there became an obsession for me. I needed to put that piece of glass in my mouth in a way that I can’t even describe to you. Hell, I couldn’t even explain it to myself at the time. It was like the beating of the tell tale heart, mocking me. It’s very existence was torture.

Finally, my tiny mind was driven insane and I devised a rudimentary  structure to assist me in my goal. My sheer desire for that microscope lens had transformed me into some sort of architectural wizard.

I climbed to the top with trepidation. The life’s dreams of my short life were about to be realized. I would have that piece of glass in my mouth once and for all. At first, it was pure joy. My thirst was slaked. My desires were fulfilled.

But, like most obsessions, I soon realized it wasn’t enough. My craving was not satisfied by that first glorious moment of triumph. I needed more.

I began sneaking into the living room and piling things up over and over again to get to it. I knew I couldn’t risk taking it. Someone might notice and I’d be found out. I was like a crackhead, going to extreme lengths to hide my addiction from my family.

Every free chance I got, I was sucking on that piece of glass. I felt anxious all the time, wondering when my next fix was going to come. Some days, I didn’t get the opportunity and I lie awake in bed at night, thinking about it. Jonesing for it.

I think my mother and siblings had mostly forgotten about it. They didn’t glance at the shelf every time they walked past it the way I did. They didn’t seem to be having any trouble sleeping or concentrating at school. I couldn’t fathom their lack of interest. This piece of glass had consumed my every waking moment.

One day, I went too far. I had probably missed my fix the day before and it had made me desperate and careless.

My mother walked into the living room while I was sitting on the couch, getting my fix. In my panic at being caught, I accidentally swallowed the lens.

It couldn’t have been more than a day or two later when my mom glanced up to that shelf and noticed the microscope lens was gone. She demanded to know where it was.

My other siblings convincingly told her they had no idea. But then, they’d always been convincing liars. The best thing about having 7 siblings was the anonymity of bad behavior. Without a witness it could have been any one of us. And my denial somehow blended in with the others. Despite my lack of skill at lying and my obvious (at least to me) guilt.

“That’s fine.” My mother said. “You don’t want to tell me where it is. Fine. But one of you is going to put it in your mouth. And you are going to accidentally swallow it. And that piece of glass is going to cut up your insides and you are going to die a horrible and bloody death.”

I still remember the exact words of her death sentence after all these years.

I immediately burst into panicked, uncontrollable tears. I was going to die! A horrible painful death. I was inconsolable and certain of my impending demise.

I can only imagine how much my mother regretted saying those words at that moment. I had always been a bit emotionally fragile. None of us were sure if I was going to recover from this one.

My mom wound up driving me to the emergency room for a stomach x-ray. I sat there waiting in a shell shocked silence. I had cried every bit of tears that my poor doomed body was capable of producing. Now, I had resigned myself to waiting for the inevitable end.

After many hours of in the waiting area we were finally told by the x-ray tech that nothing could be seen as it was clear glass and that I would probably pass it through my system with no issues.

Sometimes, I like to imagine that I didn’t pass it, though. I like to think it is still somewhere inside me. Always with me. Forever.