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.

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.

June Search Terms

 

A new month is upon us and don’t think I’ve forgotten what that means. More search terms! There were plenty of horrifying, incestuous porn search terms once again this month.

 

This is also the month of my birth and I am going to be 30 on the 20th. I can’t wait! I know some people freak out when they turn 30. But for me, it is something to celebrate. There was a time when I wasn’t sure I’d make it to 27. I always say getting older is better than the alternative.

 

Some people came across my blog by specifically looking for me. Or nude pics of me. Either way, I’ve come a long way baby.  Also, let me know if you find any nudes of me. I want to make sure I make a good showing.

 

Now, on to those search terms:

 

Life Lesson in a Blow Pop: I’m pretty sure the lesson is that it only takes three licks to get to the center of anything. Oh, wait, that’s Tootsie Roll Pops. Nobody is in a rush to get to the center of a Blow Pop because that gum sucks.

 

Barbie Drag King: Did you guys know that my official Drag King name is Maurice?

 

Exchange student doesn’t love me back: It happens to the best of us. I hope my story about losing my virginity eased your pain.

 

Zoo vagina: I feel like I should be offended. While I do talk about my vagina a lot, I never talk about zoos. Oh wait, I did that one time. Carry on.

 

Gushers eat each other commercial: They really aren’t using cannibalism enough in advertising.

 

Horror movie about a woman who goes crazy in a zoo: I feel like this is a little harsh, Google. I didn’t go crazy, I just realized I never wanted children.

 

awesome nude pics (a little bit safe) that are cartoons: What an oddly specific request. Why bother looking at nude pics if they are a little bit safe?

 

Are teeth hollow: No, rest assured, only mine are hollow.

 

Fucking worlds most prettiest elder sister: I am going to just take this and run. Thank you, Google. That totally made up for the going crazy search term earlier.

 

My dog came inside and puked a bunch of maggots: Hahaha! Now THAT should be in a horror movie!

 

When a woman eats cabbages and potatoes so much can her pussy have a bad smell: Um, I hadn’t heard that. But I wonder exactly how much cabbages and potatoes you are eating that this is a concern.

 

Fucking vomiting on the beach: That’s one place I have not vomited. Yet.

 

Who had a crush on Li Shang: I’m pretty sure the answer to that is everyone.

 

Cosmic Owl dream: Dude, those things are real. I’m telling you.
Sex tape in Taco Bell restroom: I really don’t want to perpetuate the pervy search terms on this blog. But I would totally watch this. Now I must find it. Of course, it will only lead me to my own blog and create some kind of wormhole that will destroy the entire universe. And that’s how the world ends, with Taco Bell porn.

 

Seattle: Portland Addition

My second day in Seattle, we took the bus to Portland. Remember when I mentioned that I was a pain in the ass to travel with? Well, it was a four hour bus ride and I was car sick the whole way. Even after taking my nausea pills.

 

Watch these two cities battle it out!

 

It was nice to have so much down time to really talk to my sister. But the very first thing I did in Portland was find a bush to vomit into. A kind lady stopped to ask if I was okay. Portland’s a friendly city.

 

Portland is beautiful. And interesting. But I honestly did not have a great time there. I don’t blame the city. I was tired and cranky and sick. My sister and I only knew a few things to do. And we had no car, which meant a lot of walking. Which made me even more cranky. Yes, I am the worst.

 

But J and I did meet up with Dave from Dave’s Corner of the Universe. He is another one of my blogger friends. And if you like sci-fi or comics and don’t read him then you are  missing out. His blog is genius. Seriously, genius.

 

We ate at a food truck and then went to Powell’s books. I don’t even know how long we were in there. Hours. It was huge and amazing and there were so many freakin’ books!

 

It’s three stories and one city block!

 

After Powell’s J and I walked down to Voodoo Doughnuts. I don’t know quite how to say this, so I am going to get it out fast. I hate doughnuts. And pastries, pies, cakes, and candy. I have no excuse for myself. I really only like chocolate.

I laughed for like 5 minutes over their slogan.

But these doughnuts were like eating baby unicorns in a rainbow sauce of sunshine and happiness. It was like Lisa Frank all up in my mouth.

 

Don’t act like you were too cool for Lisa Frank. Check out this brunette Pegasus!

 

 

 

I had the maple bacon bar and the Mexican hot chocolate. And a taste of J’s roommates apple fritter.

 

 

 

Oh my god, get in my mouth, doughnut!

I had seriously eaten one bite of the maple bacon bar and I wanted to go back inside and buy a second one. But unfortunately the line was too long and we couldn’t wait forever.

 

This is why it’s called Voodoo Doughnuts.

 

Because we had to go see Mill Ends Park! Please read about it on wikipedia. It is one of my favorite things ever. It is the world’s smallest public park. And I loved it.

 

20140605_161418

So adorable!

 

By this point we had barely enough time to eat dinner and catch the bus home. I took my back pain meds as I was ready to lay down in the street and die by this point in the day.


I slept the whole way back to J’s place.

Courted

Trigger warning: This post discusses abuse and rape.

After my minor medical procedure, C, her husband and I had no time for lunch. It was court time. We stopped on the way and J got me an Arizona  tea and a Reese’s stick. He knows what I like. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t having it that day.

We drove to the courthouse and I changed from my pajamas into a sheath dress. I’m glad I chose a dress, I don’t think I could have managed buttons.

It’s hard to write about this without feeling like I am plagiarizing. The talented and hilarious Aussa wrote a much better post regarding all this here. Feel free to read that instead of, or in addition to, this post.

I was already feeling sick. I hadn’t seen A since our incident. I had moved out in a panic the next day while he was at work. I do wish I had been able to see his face when he got home from work and everything I owned was just… gone.

The injunction had taken me seven hours to complete. A lot had happened in our two years together. The people at the courthouse had to sit me down and talk me into it. It was a bad relationship, but I didn’t want to ruin his life. I still felt bad for filing against him. I only wanted to feel safe.

And I was afraid. Afraid the judge wouldn’t believe me. Afraid that since I didn’t leave him that time he pushed me, or the first time he sexually abused me, or the first time he intimidated or manipulated me, or the first time he told me I was crazy and stupid and worthless, that I deserved what I got. Afraid his lies would be more believable than my truths.

We walked up to the metal detector. I had my stainless steel water bottle. They asked me to drink from it, in case it was acid that I was going to throw on someone. I somehow still managed to make a joke; “What if I had wanted to drink acid today? Then the joke would have really been on you guys.” I don’t know what I was thinking. I blame the drugs.

I was nervous. My stomach hurt. I couldn’t tell if I felt so shitty from the procedure or from worrying. I scanned the parking lot, trying to see his car. The car I had given him.

The elevator doors opened and I checked to make sure he wasn’t on it before getting on. We got to our floor and all I could do was sit, staring out the window, waiting to see him. Wanting to get it over with and wanting him to not show up at the same time.

I started feeling really sick. C took me into the bathroom where I vomited back up my candy bar. I started crying. I wasn’t sure I could do this. I was freaking out. My heart was pounding which was upsetting me even more. Was I having a panic attack? Was I having a stress reaction? Was I having another heart episode that would mean more surgeries? I was a mess.

I was on hyper alert. We walked out into the waiting area and he came in. I had never seen him dressed up. He was in a full suit. He was with a woman I had never seen before. I assumed she was his lawyer. I didn’t have one. Turns out, neither did he. We never figured out who she was. Probably a new girlfriend.

We went into the courtroom. I never looked directly at him, but I knew exactly where he was the entire time. My body stiffened when he scratched his nose, or turned towards me, or shifted his position. At one point C went to the bathroom and he got up and left the room as well. I freaked out and insisted J go out there with her.

After four hours of waiting on a hard wooden bench, C finally asked the bailiff if I could go next due to my medical procedure that morning. I was in agony. The bailiff looked shocked we had waited so long.

We were called up. The judge could not even finish reading my injunction before I was bawling. I answered her questions as best I could. He had written a point by point response to all ten pages of everything I had said.

He offered up several gems during our brief hearing. Things so awful that his defense made even the judge, stenographers, and other petitioners audibly gasp.(He really should have gotten a lawyer). Things like how pushing someone isn’t abuse. And neither is calling them names. And how I only took his rape threats as a threat because I was conceited and thought everyone wanted to rape me. (That last one brought the gasps).

At one point I was crying so hard, C handed the bailiff a cloth handkerchief from my purse (that’s right, I’m classy as fuck). So I could at least blow my nose.

The judge was fair. I had no proof of my allegations. I had stupidly deleted many of his texts (lesson learned). But he was ordered to never contact me again via any means at all for any reason. And was ordered to not contact anyone in my family either.

We walked out of the courtroom, they let me leave first, I guess so he didn’t try to murder me in the parking lot. The bailiff leaned over and told me that they were going to hold him for a long time, so I would have extra time to leave.

In the elevator I turned to my two friends. They were looking at me with concern. I smiled and said “I’m so conceited; always thinking everyone is trying to rape me!” They laughed.

And I had assumed he would not contact me. A restraining order would mean he would lose his job and never get another one in his line of work. But he apparently cared more about harassing me than having a job.

He continued to email me. He didn’t think I had “the right” to end our relationship without his permission.

And I had to go back to court and do it all over again. Four more times. And each time I got that same apprehension walking through the parking lot. Looking over my shoulder, wondering where he was. Feeling sick, wondering if the judge would believe me. Wondering if he was going to show up. Wondering if he was going to show up with a gun. But he never did.

There is no resolution to this story. He was never served the second set of papers. The police department doesn’t know where he is. He hasn’t contacted me in six months.

I’m sorry this post wasn’t funnier. This is the most anxious I have ever felt about sharing something I’ve written. Let us never speak of it again.

Rotten Potato Smell

While working in Miami I spent a considerable amount of time house sitting for my boss. Nearly every weekend he and his wife flew (their own plane) down to their condo in the Bahamas. They left their three Rottweilers at home.

I know we all know what they look like but, puppies!

 

I had always been afraid of Rottweilers until I met these three dogs. They were sweet and friendly and extremely loving. Besides, my boss’ home was immeasurably nicer than my crappy apartment.

 

So when my boss’ in-laws went on a month long vacation, it was only natural that they ask me to house sit for them. Their house was hidden away on a shady plot in a quiet neighborhood. But inside, their collection was more impressive than some museums I’ve been in.

Exactly like this.

Exactly like this.

 

The place was overflowing with history. But more than that, they were collectors. They had a wall of military helmets from every major US war. They had antique glass on every surface and original artwork covering every inch of space on every wall. It was a pleasure to spend time in their home.

 

And also a huge responsibility. I had only met this sweet older couple one time. They had no idea the kind of destruction I was capable of.

 

Somehow I made it through the entire month without a single incident. I was ready to breathe a sigh of relief. I drove home in a kind of last minute panic that evening. I had one day to pack for a week long road trip to Maine.

 

When I stepped inside my apartment, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It smelled like spoiled fish. I assumed it was originating in my uncle’s room. He was an avid fisher and had pole after pole propped against the walls in his room. Not mention all the tackle boxes.

 

I stepped into his room and took a deep, long sniff. But the smell was not coming from the bedroom. I turned and headed into the kitchen and took another deep inhale. This time I was rewarded with burning nose hairs and lungs.

 

As my eyes watered I opened the door to the refrigerator and searched for the offending odor. But it wasn’t in there. Next, I tried the freezer. But it wasn’t coming from there either.

 

I turned and my eyes fell on the pantry door. It’s white slats were impossible to read. The door was innocently closed with no hint of the horror that lay beyond it.

 

I gingerly reached out and slid the door open slowly, as though I were expecting a body to fall out on me. The smell was stronger now, my lungs filling with acrid stench every time I inhaled. I searched the shelves.

 

The smell was now unreal. Like nothing I can even describe. It still smelled slightly of rotting fish mixed with human corpse, mold, and maybe a hint of gym socks. It was pungent and burning. I needed an oxygen mask. This could have served as a training module for firefighters.

 

Where could it be coming from?

 

I tried holding my breath for as long as I could to minimize my breaths.  But this only caused each breath I did take to be deeper and more painful. And then, I saw it. It was something that could only have come from a child’s nightmare. I blinked my eyes, willing it to not be real.

 

This was years before my heart surgeries. I was still squeamish at this point in my life.

 

I had left several potatoes on a phone booth before house sitting for my boss’ in-laws. They had putrefied beyond any hope of recognition. They were now a liquified mass that had soaked into the phone book.

 

And they appeared to be moving.

 

I moved closer, trying to discern what I was seeing in the dim recess of that pantry shelf. It was maggots. Thousands and thousands of maggots squirming en masse.

 

I recoiled in horror. I was not prepared to handle this. Not mentally, not physically, not emotionally. And the smell. I could not believe such a smell could come from a plant. I began to gag from the smell. But I did not vomit.

 

I searched the room frantically for some means of containing this. But my only choice was to take it off the shelf and put it in a trash bag. And I had no gloves.

 

I briefly contemplated going to the store to buy a pair. But I knew if I got into the car at that moment, I would drive away and never come back. I would drive away until I got the horror of what I had seen out of my mind and start a new life somewhere far far away.

 

I considered my new life for a moment. I would move to Belize and live in a treehouse with Sergio, my sexy imaginary boyfriend. We would drink fresh squeezed juice and make love for hours during the tropical downpours. I sighed.

 

And then I turned and faced my hellish reality.

 

I positioned a trash bag under the shelf and reached out with a metal spatula, trying to slide it off the shelf and into the bag as quickly and neatly as possible. But it was not meant to be.

 

The phone book was glued in place by rotten potato juices. I pulled harder, using the spatula as leverage, willing it to break free. Half of the phone book suddenly ripped away.

 

It hit me in the chest and trailed the entire length of my body. I saw, to my disgust, that there were no longer pages inside the phone book. It was a phone book cover surrounding a mass of maggots.

 

Maggots that were now wriggling on my clothes.

 

I walked away and I steeled myself, taking a deep breath, and went back in. I picked the phone book off the ground and tossed it into the trash bag. Then I reached into the pantry and dug my fingers behind the second half and began wiggling it, trying to free it.

 

The maggots took this opportunity to begin squirming their way slowly up my wrist. As long as I live, I will never be able to forget the feeling of reaching into a mass of live maggots and feeling them twitching their way up my arm.

 

I finally broke the phone book free and tossed it into the trash can. Then, ignoring the maggots all over me, I began cleaning the shelf. Trying to rid it of all evidence of this abhorrent experience.

 

I used an entire roll of paper towels scrubbing that shelf. I bagged up all the trash and walked outside grateful for the comforting smells of car exhaust and ethnic food. As I turned the corner to our building, I saw my uncle approaching.

 

I warned him. “Don’t go into our apartment yet. It smells awful and there were maggots.” I imagine how I must have looked to. Sweating, hair crazed and frizzy. My tone and expression the dull numbness that can only come from shell shock.

 

“Maggots?”

 

“Yes.” I didn’t have the wherewithal to explain. “I haven’t puked yet. And if you go in there, you will. And if you puke then I’ll puke. So don’t go in there, please.”

 

He waited outside while I made sure there was no longer a hint of stink or maggots.

 

I washed my hands up to my elbows. And then I did it again. And then I washed my face. And then I washed my hands and face. And I stared back into my own eyes in the mirror.

 

I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I was a stranger. I was someone that could be up to my elbows in maggots and not vomit. I once vomited from eating beets.

 

I felt something on my bicep. A weird tickling. I looked. It was a maggot. I picked it off and casually washed my hands again.

 

My uncle came into the room and stood looking at me for a second. “Are you okay?”

 

“Yes.” And the thing is, I really was.

 

“Want to go eat something?”

 

I looked at him. Despite everything, I was somehow hungry. “Yes, I do.”

 

And you know what? That night, less than and hour later, I even ate some potatoes.

 

PS: If you type ‘rotten potato smell’ into Google you will read some fucking hilarious stories. Seriously, I’m crying from laughing so hard.