Sunday, October 31, 2010

You Know, That Thing With The Stuff...

This started on facebook among multiple friends... but I thought I'd take it here since it seems everyone is doing a random list of things about themselves. I know it's the easy way out 'cause I'm just answering questions, but...


If you want to play, just post this list on your blog, replacing my answers with yours.

my middle name is the same as BOTH my parents, as well as the first name of my maternal grandfather.

I was watching some of those "It Gets Better" videos and the one by BD Wong totally made me tear up at the end. (In fact I dare any of you to not cry if you watch it. )

It would look a lot better filling out a blank check signed by Bill Gates.

roast beast

wonderfully immature friends, yes... kids, no.

totally, then I'd finally have someone to stay sober for me and be the designated driver.

pshyeah.... what do you think?

sure, the jar of them is still there..... oh wait... you mean MINE?.. not my collection of them? Yeah, I still have 'um.

if you could give me a good enough reason to risk my life on a rubber band, okay.

Fiber One Nut Clusters (I know, weird.)

if I'm wearing my boots that lace up to the knee, yes.... otherwise I'll have to live with the nickname "stumpy" after I perform an impromptu amputation.

I prefer vanilla or coffee fro yo, or strawberry sorbet

height, then smile, then hands, then eyes, then lips... in that order every time.

I like them both equally

That questions like this force me to use almost unbearable restraint from tearing myself apart piece by piece when really I should be trying to like myself instead of picking myself apart.

every single person in my life that has passed away, all friends that live far away, and my carefree self at age 23.

sure, why not? I'd also like 'um to link me to it so I can read their answers.

barefoot and in a skirt.

there appears to be a suicidal squirrel in the tree outside my door right now, and a VERY loud bird trying to talk him down.

I took a quiz once that claimed to tell you what color crayon you were; I got "spank me pink"... so I'll go with that one only because I have no other answer.

Fahrenheit men's cologne by Christian Dior, fig candles, burning pine, my skin after a day in the sun at the beach, & heliotrope.

Pretty sure it was my housemate Colin, but I could be wrong.... wait, I am wrong! It was my little brother.... though I can't remember why he called, oops! (does this make me a bad sister or what?)

 I like him, but I don't "like like" him... you know EXACTLY what I mean.

Shinty, Rugby, Football (soccer, not American football), & little kids playing baseball/softball

dark brown with bright fuchsia streaks

brown (unless I wear periwinkle blue, then they turn green... it's waaay creepy)

you betcha

fruit: granny smith apples & tomatoes
veggies: asparagus & spinach
meat: roast beef & duck
bread: indian flat bread (the way I make it) & rye
candy: Wine Gums, Good & Fruity, & Strawberry Twizzlers
desert type stuff: strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, white cake w/butter cream frosting
(how was THAT for a thorough answer?!)

Twisted comedies

"Better Than Sex"... own it, love it, watch it way too much, totally bananas for it.

dark charcoal gray

late spring/early fall

uh.. yes & yes..... & PLEASE!

anyone with a sense of humor

people with no sense of humor

The Norton Anthology of American Literature. I pulled it off my shelf last night for a reference and became engrossed again.

what is this mouse pad you speak of?

I can't remember the name of the show, it was something like "I Shouldn't Have Survived" or "I Should Be Dead" or something like that. True stories about people in mind boggling situations where most would perish.

soft rain falling on the ocean; children laughing hysterically; fire crackling in the wood burning stove; & a guy at my door with a giant check telling me I just won the "Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes" (not that I've heard that, but I reckon it'd be my favorite sound EVER.

Those two can NOT be compared, sheesh!

distance wise, Hawaii (I checked the miles) but I've lived in two other countries besides the US.

I do... it's called "keeping a secret."

I was born a poor black child........

please refer back to #'s 34 & 35

A cell phone wielding, espresso drinkin' Buddha sealed the deal.

(if any of you do "copy" & post this with your own answers, please let me know, I'd love to read it)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Knock Knock

 (You know, come to think of it... my house is kinda creepy looking- okay, I know it's just this picture that makes it look creepy, but I kinda like it)

In 2000 I bought this house that I live in. Yes, it's a freakin' shack of a house, and I will be paying for it till I'm 93 in my next life- but it's mine damnit! Anyway, that year we ("we" being my (now) ex fiance (Brett) & I) bought it in the late winter (March I think), and planned to move in by May that year. The people we bought it from were building one of those pre-fab homes, but needed a place to live till the house was ready. What did we do? We rented the house back to them.

See, the downstairs has a studio apartment and a full basement, so we thought we'd just live down there for a month. Those pre-fab homes can go up in a matter of days, so we didn't really think anything of it- plus we were getting $ from them. So, we move into the studio apartment thinking that if we were going to do any renovations, what better way was there to figure out what was needed than to live in the space. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

May came and went, and so did June... July... August... and September..... you know what also came? Rain. Yes, it rained like every single day of the summer that year, for real. I think there were 4 sunny days in total. Not even kidding. So we were stuck living in a tiny, dark, damp, little space in our own house for about 6 months. To say this caused stress would be a HUGE understatement. Throw in the fact that for a few months our friend Bill and his dog, Kaya, were living with us too. Seriously tight quarters down there. All I wanted to do was unpack and get on with life.

I was sick of being asleep on my day off and having the wife of the couple upstairs waltz down to the basement and do laundry.  She'd flip on the overhead light (UGH!) and stomp down the stairs and be all like "oh! I didn't realize anyone was down here, sorry!"... then she'd continue over to the washer and dryer and start doing the laundry. Throw in the fact that every week they'd say "we're expecting to move out by the end of next week"... EVERY WEEK.

At the end of October 2000 we finally moved upstairs. Moved into a house that had no floors, just sub flooring; a kitchen sink that would leak a gallon of water every night (till we figured out it just needed a 5¢ washer replaced); a serious leak coming through the sub-floor of the bathroom into the basement (which we quickly, once in the main house, figured out was only because the idiot former home owners didn't properly caulk around the shower door and the water was dripping out of the shower, down the side of the tub, and through the floor; a bathroom sink that didn't work (because they failed to connect it- at all); windows that wouldn't open (because the idiots painted them shut); and some of the most ridiculous electrical wiring we had ever seen.

The first thing we did was start on the flooring so we could move furniture & everything else in.  Brett was fantastically handy with that sort of thing. For real, I don't think there was anything he couldn't build or fix, it was more than a little impressive. Getting him to actually FINISH all that he started, well, that's another story... I'm not gonna say anything bad about him though. I love that guy, seriously. He's one of the coolest people I know- still. Brett and I were just meant to be friends- everything beyond that was wishful thinking because we got along so well for so many years. We're still good friends. Anyway.. where was I? ....... Right... flooring. We went with Pergo® floors, "antique pine" to be exact.

One evening I decided to make a run to the grocery store. We were moving along quickly with the flooring, so I figured I had the chance to leave to get food. Upon arrival at the grocery store I noticed a cute little girl dressed like a princess. Not only did this not phase me in the least, but I kind of expected it. See, I know that sometimes kids want to wear stuff like that at random, but on this island where I live it's almost like it's a requirement for some of them. Like some freakish "crunchier than thou" code that many families follow here. I think they get made fun of by each other if any of their kid's socks actually match. Don't get me wrong, I am 110% behind self expression, imagination, and having fun... but I don't think it's cool to look down on others who don't follow that way of life. Believe me, it really is like that here.

So there I was with my cart, walking by the little princess, and heading for the deli section. What do I see? A stormtrooper. Not a child one, an adult one.... holding a bag of potatoes in one hand, and a lightsaber in the other. I remember thinking that was probably even faster than a microwave when you wanted a baked potato, but then just sorta stood there wondering what what going on.
After a stroll down by frozen foods, a brief interaction with a vampire that couldn't reach a box of Cheerios® on the top shelf of the cereal aisle, and a handful of zombies... I realized I was missing Halloween. How was this possible?! I had always LOVED Halloween. Most years I would start planning my costume no later than August... that year... I had other things on my mind. I quickly went to the aisle with candy and snatched up a few bags of Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and went to pay and get home.

I walked through the front door yelling for Brett, I couldn't believe we were missing Halloween. I ran to the basement and ripped open the box with kitchen stuff in it to find a large bowl so I could empty the candy into it, and then informed him I was putting it by the front door for when trick-or-treater's showed up. I went to the back of the house where the bedrooms are and continued with my job of putting clothes in the closest & drawers. Brett was out in the livingroom working on the flooring, and having a hell of a time because our saw had broken and he only had one other option...

5 silent minutes later I heard the sound of giggles and footsteps coming up the stairs to the front door.... and then I heard three noises all at the same time. A knock, a chainsaw, and blood curdling screams... then rapid footsteps racing down the stairs. I ran out to the livingroom to find Brett standing there with a chainsaw (his "one other option" till morning to get some more floor cut) laughing his ass off.

Apparently at the exact same moment that these kids were knocking on the front door, Brett had started the chainsaw and spun around to see what the knocking noise was.... mind you the front door is 1/2 window, you can totaly see into the house through it....honestly, if I was a kid, and I was greeted by that... yeah, I'd run away screaming too. I'd probably first piss myself, but I'd run like I was on fire. It could have made matters worse that Brett, especially that night, looked like a cast member of "The Devil's Rejects," (minus the blood, obviously). You know, where as normally he resembles a lost Allman Brother.

click to enlarge

So, you see, every year as Halloween approaches.... I usually don't bother buying candy. I KNOW we won't get trick-or-treater's here. On the years where I do have candy, for one reason or another, as soon as I leave the house, the first kid I see out with a parent gets the whole stash. I tell the parent why, but I just tell the kid it's 'cause they have the "Best. Costume. EVER!" It's a win/win.

This year, I am gonna buy some candy, it has been 10 years, and one never knows. Well, I'll either buy candy or borrow a chainsaw... you know... for another 10 or so more years of not having to answer the door on October 31st.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Call Me Crazy, But...

This is the story .......
of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived in our lifetime.
 Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

 (Lucy Burns)
...And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'...
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food...all of it colorless slop...was infested with worms.
 (MrsPauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a 60 day sentence.)
 In 2004 HBO released the movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that they could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have their say. Most women will be ashamed to admit they need the reminder, but you should all watch it.
(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press. 
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown, New York)
HBO has released 'Iron Jawed Angels' on video and DVD, & general consensus, among those who have seen it, is that all history, social studies and government teachers should include the movie in their curriculum. In fact show it ANYWHERE women gather. Obviously this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be... and to be honest... a little shock therapy is in order.

 (Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn.   Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.' )

The actual act of voting has become less personal for many in recent years -- more routine.  Frankly, voting often feels more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it is even considered inconvenient.
Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at  National Woman's Party headquarters, Jackson Place , Washington , D.C.Left to right: Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer,  Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel,  Mabel Vernon (standing, right))
So, refresh my memory.... Some women won't vote this year because - Why, exactly? You have carpool duties? You have to get to work? Out too late the night before? There's a marathon of your favorite tv show on? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining? 
 Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote. Otherwise you're insulting & disregarding all that the women before you have done.

*this post inspired by a recent email from a very good family friend

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Me

How many times have you said, or even just thought, "I wish I could go back in time and tell myself a few things"? Or maybe you'd like to go back and prevent certain things from happening? Or maybe just speed other things up?

Yeah, I have those thoughts all the freakin' time... but tonight I came across this great website that takes it a step further... talking to your future self.

I totally did it, I wrote a letter to myself that I will not be able to read till 6 months from now... and I am more than a little interested to see where I'm at/what's going on in life, in my life. Did I predict certain thing correctly? Have I followed through on some of the items on the "to do/hope I did" list I made? 6 months from now I'll know.

I could have sent it to myself a year from now, or even just a day from now... or even YEARS from now... and I might just do that too. See, I am sorta thinking that if we document certain things, for ourselves, when the time comes to look back & reflect, maybe... just maybe, we won't wish we could go back in time. We might even be pleasantly surprised to see how on target we were/are. One never knows...

In the meantime, while I doze off and contemplate all this.... you should go there (HERE)and write yourself a letter. I honestly can't even remember all that I wrote, I just remember typing "PS. You're beautiful" ..... which is funny (slightly) because I'm hoping that in the future I might smile and believe it.... as opposed to hearing that annoying song by James Blunt play over and over in my head when the phrase "you're beautiful" is said/written/read/sung.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Thing Socks Are Stretchy

My feet are size 11 in the US, in the UK (depending on style) they are a 9 or 9 1/2, in European sizing they are a 42. If you wear a size anything from a size 10 (US) down... well.. I might just hate you a little, mostly due to extreme jealousy.
In first grade I could wear my Mother's shoes. I even remember wearing a pair of her knee high leather boots (it was the 70's, Mom wasn't a hooker) to school one day so I could walk there without getting my pants all wet from the snow that had fallen the night before... only problem was (ready? This is about to get REALLY REAL here) the zippers got stuck and when I left to go use the bathroom and couldn't unzip the boots, which were just tall enough to make it so I couldn't sit down on the toilet because they prevented my knees from bending properly, nor could I wedge my jeans over them far enough to sit down, I just sat down and peed, right through my jeans into the toilet. Yup. I was "Lil' Miss Peepee Pants" that day.

I knew it was "story time" in class and that all the students would be sitting around the big blue rectangular carpet listening to Ms. Lang (yes, I remember my 1st grade teacher's name) read a story to us. I peeked out of the bathroom door to see if anyone was in the hallway all secret agent style, saw the coast was clear, and rushed back to the classroom. I sat behind the last row of kids and bided my time till the bell rang. All the while devising my plan. It was snowing out again, kids would rush out of class to go play, so I figured I could go unnoticed.

As soon as the bell rang I stood up and backed up towards my desk, grabbed my coat, tied it around my waist, and hightailed it for the exit door closest to my path home. Once outside I went to put my coat on (it was snowing, it was Chicago, I wasn't stupid... well... not totally stupid) and felt the icy cold air hit my pee covered butt. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!! It was in that moment I knew I wanted a new longer winter coat.

I made it home in record time, and even paused to go sit in a snowbank thinking, in my genius 1st grade wisdom, that the snow might soak my jeans and get rid of the pee and I'd just look like a normal kid that had been playing in the snow. Did it work? In a word, no. I basically had soaking wet jeans, coated in pee & snow, with little peesicles forming. When I got home my mother greeted me at the door and helped me get the boots off, and it wasn't till later before dinner she asked me why her boots smelled like pee. I'm pretty sure I just shrugged... I'm also pretty sure she threw them out shortly thereafter.

I still borrowed my Mother's other shoes when she let me, and sometimes her clothes- specifically sweaters and jackets. By high school I had left my Mother's closet and moved into my Father's closet. Good thing baggy jeans were in style for a while there. I just took my Father's jeans for the length. Back then inseams on women's pants/jeans rarely went beyond 30"... and keep in mind the style was right at the ankle. A 32" inseam fit me right at the ankle. My Dad is 6'2"... his jeans, when worn at the hips, were just long enough to wear, taper, and roll. (Oh 80's... you bitch.)

As ugly as the clothes in the 80's were, I am kinda grateful that baggy, shapeless, and asymmetrical hems were all the rage... or I would have been screwed! I was 5'9 till Senior year of high school... and by the time I decided to leave for college I had managed to grow 2 inches. (Yes, it's true, even recorded on doctor's forms) I now stand at 5'11.

Let me tell you something, having size 11(US) feet and being 1" shy of 6' is no fucking cakewalk. I hear shorter people often say "oh I wish I was taller, I have to hem EVERYTHING!" Well, I would much rather feel the need to cut off than ADD ON.

It wasn't till fairly recently that the inseams of pants/jeans started growing beyond 32".... oddly enough because so many women want to wear heels of skyscraper proportions with them... where as me & my 35" inseam (I have seriously long stems) live in flip flops & Chuck Taylors.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE heels... love love love them, they however do not love me. Either they don't come in my size, claim to be my size but don't fit.., or they are astronomically expensive. (I'm talking to YOU Stuart Weitzman! You and your awesome, beautiful, drool worthy shoes that I will never afford... you dick.)

Throw in the fact that the LAST thing I need is more height and the idea of throwin' on a pair of 4" heels is just not something I do. Is it ironic that I find heels very comfortable and love wearing them? For real, I'll put on a pair, think I'm lookin' good, then some asshat feels the need to walk up to me and let me know (you know, in case I wasn't aware) just how tall I am. Why doesn't anyone stop and think about how they know it's rude to walk up to a short person and tell them quite bluntly "wow, you're really short!" (Or any other obvious attribute that a person might have.) yet tellin' me "woah, you're waaay tall!" isn't intended to make me uncomfortable in my own skin, or feel like an ogre, ... 'cause it does. I should say "it can"... sometimes I am able to just ignore the idjits and go on about my business... but let me tell you, that has taken years... and I'm still workin' on it. Maybe I should put an end date on that? Like I'll be cool with it all by March of 2023? Yeah, I'll go with that... check back with me periodically and we'll see where I'm at. M'kay?

Maybe by then designers will have grasped the concept that just because someone is tall it doesn't mean they have fucking gorilla arms..... the meantime I will keep reminding myself, and all my friends, that the size on a tag should be used as merely a suggestion. I know for a fact that I can put on top in a size "L" from a place like The Gap and I will be swimming in it... but if I try a size "L" at a store like Express, 9 times out of 10 I get this:
That's a fucking hot look isn't it? Yeah baby. No, that is NOT me, but if i was in the dressing room at Express... it could be.

Same goes for pants/jeans/skirts... I only know one female that doesn't fear this.... the dreaded......

Muffin top: helping to sell Spanx® since 2000 (bless their non-existent VPL lil' hearts!)

The length of skirts is a whole other issue for me. Mini skirts are.. well... let's just say that some skirts are so short I gotta consider shavin' more than my legs to wear 'um.  I tried to find a good example of a skirt that is just too damn short, but I kept coming up with really trashy pictures of women so tiny they looked like Q-tips with eyes, and the skirts were just sorta trashy lookin'... but I did find one perfect example. I can't show you though.. it's just too... oh man... it's... ugh... ok... fine.... here it is:

(seriously, scroll quickly past this... it's pretty bad. Funny, but pretty bad. )

See? Sorry, hope you're eyes didn't just bleed or anything. Really though, who leaves the house like that? Who lets someone leave the house like that?! Whenever I come across a person dressed in an unfortunate manner I tend to feel really bad for them. Not even because they are dressed totally inappropriately, but because I am convinced they have no one in their lives that love them enough to say "dear god, DO NOT go out dressed like that!"
Kinda like that TV show "American Idol"... you ever watch the auditions for that? (The only part of the show worth watching really)... who lets their friends or family go do that when they suck that badly? It's horrible! Fun as hell, but horrible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fashion plate. I can pick out a fake Prada bag in a crowd, and tell you why a $300 Armani button down shirt is going to be far superior to one from Old Navy... but I'm still sittin' here in my livingroom wearing an old pair of jeans and a giant wool fisherman's sweater that is so big I could fit two other people in here with me... which might be nice, 'cause it's cold and I'm barefoot.... because I can't find cute shoes that fit.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It Hurts So Good

It all started years ago when I was like 15 years old.....

We were sitting around in my friend Karl's living room, while his mom was in the hopo giving birth to a baby boy... 11 lb 6oz if I remember correctly (he was a ridiculously huge baby)... we didn't know what to do with ourselves... so we decided to give each other tattoos.

Trust me when I tell you NONE of them were awesome, none of them amazing, and all of them truly stupid... but we did it anyway. I only remember mine and the one my friend Kristina ended up with. I got a small rose on my forearm, she decided to tattoo "Pink Floyd" on her arm... only Kristina was not in the "right" state of mind that afternoon and tattooed "Fink Ployd", true story. Later, either that night or a day later (it has been over 20 years since this all went down, minor details are fuzzy) she attacked her own arm with salt and a wet wash cloth and scrubbed till it became a big bloody "Fink Ployd" free zone. I kept my flower. It's faded now, VERY faded... but it serves a purpose for me. Not only a memory of youth, and stupid decisions, but Karl (with his girlfriend Jen) was killed a few years later by a drunk driver. This faded little rose is my reminder of Karl.

I remember thinking back then that he and I would be friends for life, that we would both always be around... I was wrong. That is why I keep the ugly little tattoo on my arm that most people don't even notice since it's faded so much over the years. Those that do notice it usually have to ask "what's that?"... or my favorite "what's that say?", to which I reply "it says "it's a rose." In my head I think "it's a memory of Karl."

There is only one tattoo in the world that I would be willing to cover that rose with... but I'm just not ready for it yet. (I'm keeping it to myself in regards to what I would get there, because the tattoo would be for me, not you, ya know?) I know this because every year as the anniversary of his death draws closer (Nov 2nd) I find myself feeling very melancholy and sort of on the verge of tears for no apparent reason. It happens every year... every year since he died.

(this would be what the one on my leg looked like years AFTER it was done a 2nd time, and the red ink on the stem is just from a pen)
The next tattoo came along the summer when I was 15 after I let some crazy ass skin head named Justin, in Hyannis MA, tattoo (with an actual tattoo gun) the outline of a large rose, that my friend Abby drew, on the side of my calf. It was a far cry better than the one on my arm (& way bigger), but it still wasn't great. Years later when I was 19 my Mother couldn't take it anymore and told me to go get it fixed. I went to a tattoo shop in Norwalk CT and some guy there gave it color and shading etc... but the truth is, it still wasn't all that great. Cut to about 15 years later and I am sitting outside the local tattoo shop in town and the guy who owns the shop (who at the time was a good friend of mine, now... well... no.) .... I stare down at my leg and look up at him and say "what do you think? redo or remove?" He says "I was just thinking the same thing, come inside." 10 minutes later he's got the tattoo gun going on my leg.

When he was done..... I had this:
Way better, eh? Yeah, I didn't love it (specifically the white outline that made it look like it was a sticker, that shit took years to fade)... but... it meant more to me that someone (at the time) I considered a good friend had done it. Doesn't matter to me that were not friends any longer, it matters that we were back then. Don't get me wrong, he did a fantastic job, he's a VERY good tattoo artist, and he's done others for me, and redone another tattoo on the back of my neck and did a fabulous job on all of them.
 (& after)

There were other tattoos before that one was redone, quite a few... I've lost count honestly .. but all of them are in places that I could easily cover with hair (which once hung to my waist), clothes, or jewelry, plus my back was the only "canvas" I was saving... saving it for a flower garden... so there was very little back there until my big brother Mike (who is not blood related, but is totally my big brother) gave me the flower garden of my dreams. 
My only stipulations? "no bright red, cover the turtles (*they were the turtles from the cover of "Terrapin Station" in the middle of my back) & no "real" flowers... just make 'um up... " ... and that's what Mike did. 
I will eternally love this tattoo, and not even because it took almost a year to complete. (He lives an 8hr drive away, and while it technically only took 3 sessions of about 5 or 6 hours each, there was one hell of a fiasco, which I might very well post on this blog someday that makes me laugh now in retrospect, that prolonged the finishing of the tattoo) Not even because it's awesome (it totally is, Mike is an incredible artist)... but it's my constant reminder that Mike has always got my back... and he's one of the very few men in my life that have ever given me flowers. Funny that one... all but one of my tattoos (not including ones with words) have flowers in them... it should be a dead give away that I LOVE FLOWERS....but many guys are freakin' idiots, moreover many of the guys I've dated are idiots. (In fact, with the exception of my ex fiance, and "The Jerk" (yes, that IS my pet name for him, and it's said with ♥), they all were idiots)... Anyway... this is a before/after for ya (granted there is like over a 2 yr lapse between photos)

(after... duh)

I haven't gotten any more since Mike finished my back, but I do plan to get one removed (the one over the wreath at the back of my neck above the words "je suis prest")... and I am pretty sure that rose on my leg is gonna get covered... and I am also pretty sure what I want covering it is a sugar skull.....

(not this one, even though it's totally bad ass, but I just wanted to put up a picture of one for anyone reading this (is anyone reading this?!) that didn't know what a sugar skull was)
(You know you can click on any picture and enlarge it, right?.. ok.. just a lil' FYI if ya didn't know)

Wait.. that's a lie, I did get one other... but it's not there anymore (?!).. my friend Rocco did a tiny little heart on the inside of my arm, but apparently my skin was in the same frame of mind as my soul at the time and completely rejected it. Seriously, all the color popped out and I have what looks like a tiny burn mark on my inner arm. I like to tease Rocco & tell him he "gave me heart burn."... and .. oh! right...then (oh man, I keep forgetting about the tiny lil' ones... my friend Gemma gave me one I was wanting for ages... a very simple little "X"... as in "X marks the spot" behind my ear.. you know, in the "sweet spot"... that place that when the one you're with kisses you there it makes you all weak kneed. Yeah, I always felt some of them could use the helpful tip.
(yes, I know it looks kinda wonky, but it's actually perfectly done... just an odd camera angle and the cream on it -since it had just been done a min. before the pic was taken- that distort the pic a bit)

So... why did I write this? What was the point? Well, tattoos have been on my brain lately because a friend of mine recently mentioned that she'd like to get one of hers covered... she's 20.. the tattoo is only 2 years old... and it's not a bad one, it's just not "her" any longer. 

   I think this is the problem with almost everyone that doesn't hold off a few years. Yeah, the legal age is 18... but... please trust me when I tell you that there is a 99% chance you will regret a decision you make at 18 when it comes to tattoos. (Thank fucking god I didn't sneak away at 13 to get Duran Duran lyrics on my arm!) Plus, they're super addicting (trust me on that one too!) I fully wish I never got that rose on my leg to begin with, and that wasn't even done by a professional the first time... well... he was a professional freakin' weirdo, that's for sure... but what did I know? I was just a stupid kid... now I'm just a sometimes stupid adult. The difference isn't so much the age as much as the years between then and now and all that I have learned.... but according to a story with a phrase I've loved since childhood that I had tattooed on my inner wrist, I'm not done yet:
"Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning.)
(at age 87 in 1562)
- Michelangelo

...... and that's all I have to say about any of that..... for now.

wait, I lied.. I have one last thing to say... a few years back I was doing a manicure for this woman (because I used to run my own business doing mani/pedis- legally thankyouverymuch) and she says "your tattoo is upside down, why?" 
I look at her and say "upside down? what do you mean?"
She replies "well I can't read it."
I just laughed at her and said "well, that's okay... 'cause I didn't get it for you, I got it for me."

I hope no one ever gets one for someone else, you will regret it....and PLEASE never put someone's name on you, specifically a significant other... it's basically the kiss of death for any relationship. Ask anyone that has done it. (* no, I was never THAT dumb.)
Should anyone reading this want to get a kick ass tattoo, one you will NOT regret because you have given it much thought and consideration....
Go see Mike "Deuce" at Tattoo Kamikaze in Rochester NY (actually, ALL the people that work there are phenomenal, and you'd be damn lucky to have any of them tattoo you)
check 'um out: they have a facebook page

&/or Jeff Gemma @ Secret Society Tattoo in Worcester, MA: Secret Society has a facebook page as well.

I'd also highly recommend Stephan Lanphear in Pittsfield, MA @ Lefty's World Famous Tattoo, 'cause holy crap he's amazing! (and a really sweet guy)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Not Goin' Down There, YOU Go Down There!

I'm pretty much in love with this blog... and what sucked me in was this post. Aside from the obvious to those who know me there's the simple fact that I am not a fan of basements. ( Thank you Amityville Horror., you ç0©k$u(ker! )
Anyway... this blog is hysterical. I came across it a few months back and actually meant to put up a post about it, but tonight I turned on the 'puter before heading to bed and saw it made it onto the list for Blogs Of Note (well done them!)... so I figured I'd go on and post this since it's like all timely n' shit in blogger world.... and now I'm off to bed, g'nite.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Does Anyone Else Understand Us?

Colin, as most of you know, has been my housemate for YEARS... and here is the perfect example of why:

this conversation began as he walked in the door from work:

Me: dude, the stove top shit the bed.
Colin: (looks around) which one?
Me: uh... (points at sofa) that one.
Colin: huh? 
Me: the one your standing next to, goober.
Colin: oh, I was all worried you meant stuffing.
Me: when have I ever made you stuffing?
Colin: 4 Novembers back when Tyler was here.
Me: right, no... good memory though, but no. It smoked then flames shot out of it. Call me crazy, but electric ranges aren't supposed to do that right?
Colin: nope
Me: please tell Santa I need a new one
Colin: this Santa can't afford it.
Me: (looking at prices on line) Ohhh! I found one, only $7000 and change.
Colin: Oh, yeah, I got that, no problem
Me: pocket change, totally
Colin: totally
Me: If I had a space twice as big, 15' ceilings, and about 100,000 extra dollars, I'd put in an amazing chandelier, a huge hanging pot rack... and get a Viking.
Colin: you'll need a big ass range hood for a Viking
Me: no, I mean a real viking, like with a cool helmet and stuff
Colin: oh, right.. ok... what's he gonna do?
Me: make us oatmeal.
Colin: obviously.
(again... this is why we have lived together for 8+ years...we "get" each other. )
This would be my favorite picture EVER of Colin & I... 'cause I look shitfaced, and he looks all protective.... when in actuality, that night I was dead sober (and the DD for the night- I almost always am) and he was downright pickled... see what happens in a literal blink of an eye? (which is why I look plastered, I blinked right as someone took our picture) I also love the fact that he's wearing a tux and I have on my Great Grandmother's fur shawl... we looked awesome that night! ... I also had a full on black eye from a stupid curtain hanging incident the day before, but I'm quite good with make up :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

What The....

Look, I get it... when magazines put someone on the cover they are going to want the best picture. They will photoshop it. I photoshop pictures all the time... but I do it to remove a zit on someone's face, or enhance the color if the lighting was off. I do NOT try to make someone look thinner/fatter/taller/shorter or like something they are not. There is a HUGE difference between bringing out the best in a picture and totally distorting reality.

Case in point:

I am so happy my housemate has a subscription to this magazine, because I intend to rip the cover off and save it with that infamous picture of Cindy Crawford in 1998 when ELLE magazine photoshoped out her bellybutton. What they hell are these people thinking? No wonder women (and some men) have such poor body images! Apparently we are expected to not have vital organs, limbs, birthmarks, stretchmarks....or any kind of proof of life really.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Well Played Rabbit... Well Played

There once was a bear and a rabbit and they hated each other. The bear and rabbit then stumbled upon a magical talking tree. The tree said: "I will grant you 3 wishes a piece if you will stop fighting!"

So the bear went first. "I wish all the bears in the forest to be females." And all the bears in the forest turned into females.

The rabbit said: "I wish I had a helmet." Rabbit gets the helmet and the bear looks at him funny.

The bear wishes: "I wish all the bears in the country to be females." The wish was granted.

The rabbit says, "I wish I had a motorcycle." By this point the bear thinks the rabbit is the stupidest thing he's ever seen. The rabbit could wish for money and have all the motorcycles in the world.

The bear says: "I wish all the bears in the world to be female." The wish is granted.

When it's the rabbit's turn to wish, he puts on his helmet, gets on his motorcycle, and says: "I wish that bear to be gay."

 c'mon.. admit it, you laughed.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Because Someone Asked

"Why did you name you blog that?"

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
- Charles Darwin (Origin of Species)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Only One Thing Was Missing

Last Saturday my Mother (Margo) got married (!!!). It was an amazing and beautiful day. Her new husband is one of the sweetest, funniest, kindest men I have ever met & I loved him the moment I met him. So, needless to say, this was one hell of a happy occasion for all involved. My Mother is awesome and deserves someone great, so when the two of them announced late this past spring that they were getting married I was overjoyed.

 I remember going online to Anthropologie (I can not even begin to tell you how much I love that store, I think 99% of my clothes are from there) that night to look at dresses to wear to the wedding... finding one that I loved, then getting the big sucker punch of reality when I saw the price. I waited till it went on sale... and when it did, it was only available in a size 4. I don't think my feet have ever even been a size 4... and at 5'11, I won't ever be either- that'd be gross. Months later I managed to find it on ebay (& win it for like $5.00) as well as shoes to match(!!)... the whole outfit, including shipping cost me under $20, so that was awesome.

Granted the person selling the shoes scared me by telling me he had posted the wrong size, yet had a different color in my size (11)... but I took the size 10's 'cause I needed & wanted them to be ORANGE.... and hoped for the best. (And after a week of wandering around the house in them, up and down the stairs to do the laundry in them, and cleaning the kitchen in them... the suckers fit.)

I love orange, I love wearing orange.. and I have no idea why I had it in my head that whatever I wore to my Mother's wedding HAD to be predominantly orange... but I did.
(my little, yes LITTLE, brother & our Mother)
Oddly enough, when I finally asked my younger brother what he planned to wear, he told me all he had picked out so far was his tie... which was.... wait for it.... wait for it.... ORANGE! My reply to that? "FINALLY! Proof we are siblings after all!" (Ok, there are other things... like the fact that he & I are both waaay taller than average, and can, individually, do some of the best spot-on impressions of our father... & Pres. George Bush Sr. ... cause we secretly think they might be the same person)

So, the day finally arrived... Saturday October 2nd 2010. It had been crappy out for the previous 24 hours, and everyone was worried that the ceremony would have to be moved to an indoor location. I, however, had been adamant that "at noon [that day] it would be 65˚ and sunny" because Mother Nature (the bitch that she is) owed me BIG TIME for this past winter and spring. Well, she came through. It was PERFECT out! (65˚ and sunny to be exact!) Not too hot, not too cold, bright sunny skies... everything was going as planned. All signs pointed to the ceremony starting on time!

All I had to do was swing by my best friend's (Wendy Mae) work and pick her up, then drive back to her place (which is conveniently located on my Mother's property where the reception was going to be), let her run inside & change, and grab her two boys... then we would drive to the ceremony site for family pics before the wedding.

When I pulled into the driveway I noticed that there were a ton of people out on the wrap around deck at my Mother's... and knowing my Mother like I do, I started to worry that it was stressing her out.

You know how some house guests are, right? They are trying to be good, and overly polite...asking your permission for everything, no matter what you may be doing at that moment... even if you are the bride, it's your wedding day, and you are in your bathroom trying to get ready to get married (stuff like: "Do you mind if I use a glass to get some water?"... "is it okay if I turn on the tap to get some water?"..."do you need anything?"... "can I help?"....") I know people mean well, but sometimes, especially in situations like that, it really puts people over the edge. Plus, because she's my Mother and I know her better than anyone else in the house that day... and I know I have a tendency to want to react to things the way she does sometimes... she was probably about to go bananas.

So I walk into my Mother's house, ask where she is... and head into her room. She's in the bathroom getting ready... and what do I do?

"Mama? You need anything?"

"Yes, to be left alone."

"Ok, just checking... now open the damn bathroom door so I can give you a quick hug."

*sigh* "I can't.. just.. I'm just trying to get ready..."

"Ok, I understand.... now just open the damn bathroom door or I'll slam up against it and start making out with it...loudly"

*door opens, my Mother smiles, I hug her, she hugs me back...*

"Could you help me zip my dress?" she asks.... and I get all misty eyed on the inside as I do it. My lil' brother was the one who was walking her down the aisle... so zipping up her dress, and seeing that she was wearing the small pale blue aquamarine earrings I bought her the day before in a panic of "but you don't have "something blue" you have to!" was a nice little moment for me.

I went to go leave the room, but asked once more if there was anything she needed done... & then we picked out her shawl. I took the thicker one out to her sweetie and asked him to put it in the car in case it was chilly/windy at the lighthouse where the ceremony was... and then the phone rang....

I picked it up w/out looking at the caller ID... and heard my brother's voice. He was sick, VERY sick. He was scared he might not make it to the ceremony. My mother was all of 5' away from me as he was talking into my ear... so I just sat there with a smile on my face, and used the calmest, most soothing voice I had to say "That's ok, don't worry about anything. It will all be fine. Everything is covered" etc.... Then I had to calmly & gently tell my Mother that her son was ill and might not be able to make it to the lighthouse in time for the picture taking, but that he'd be there for the ceremony. (I was convinced he would be, so I wasn't lying...)

I must have sounded really convincing, 'cause she was just like "oh, poor thing, his stomach was bothering him so much last night, I hope he's okay." (Typical of my Mother... there's a chance your son might not show up to your wedding to walk you down the aisle, and the ONLY thing that is on your mind is that he isn't feeling well?! God I love my Mother! )

I leave, go grab Wendy Mae & her boys, and off we go to the lighthouse in East Chop where the ceremony was taking place.

The photographer was supposed to be there early, along with the wedding party, for some photos of the site, the bride & groom, family photos... stuff there wouldn't be time for afterwards since there was another wedding happening like an hour after my Mother's. (Can I just tell you once again how awesome and sweet my Mother is?! She found out there was someone else getting married an hour later at the East Chop Lighthouse, so she contacted the bride so the two of them could make arrangements regarding the chair rentals. (We set 'um up, they take 'um back) and she brought, on her own wedding day, a sweet gift all wrapped up beautifully...for the OTHER bride. Seriously, how sweet is that?!)

Upon arrival it was apparent that the photographer was not there. I started to get really mad (on the inside only), I tried calling- no answer. I wandered around the grounds hoping I'd missed him and he's actually there... and then I saw my Mother & Wayne arrive with the rest of Wayne's family. (Did I mention that my mother's new husband is named Wayne? Well, he is.) I do EVERYTHING I can to distract from the fact that the photographer isn't there... and avoid all questions about the location of my younger brother (who did show up with 15 min to spare!!) I individually, and rather secretly, went up to every single guest I saw with a camera and politely said "we aren't sure what is going on, and we hope nothing bad has happened, but for some reason the photographer isn't here yet, so... if you were planning to take some pictures... please don't hesitate to get right up in there. We'd all really appreciate your help." (just a side note here- on the off chance you want some KICK ASS pictures of your own wedding, or someone elses... go on and hire a photographer, but ask them to dress like a guest or something and not make their profession known... and convince all the guests that they are now the wedding photographers 'cause the hired one never showed.) I have never seen a group of people take so many incredible wedding pictures before. Everyone wanted to help out.. and they did. The ceremony started exactly on time.. and the photographer DID show up in time for the vows... his car had broken down, but he showed up, camera in hand, and car grime on his clothes... poor guy, that had to suck.. but he showed up.

Everything went perfectly, the ceremony ended... My Mother & Wayne were now husband & wife.......
(Wendy Mae's 12 yr old son took this awesome picture with his phone, that kid rules!)

Wendy Mae, her boys, & I left for the reception in my car and stopped off at "Our Market" in Oak Bluffs for drinks... 'cause I was so beyond dehydrated I thought I was turning into a raisin. Mind you, not THAT kind of drink silly! I wanted some Vitamin Water or lemonade... and of course we all stood in front of the large glass refrigerators discussing the finer points of Orangina, but came the collective conclusion that while it is indeed yummy, it was the shape of the bottle we liked the most...

At the reception the photographer, who happens to be a friend of mine, pulled me aside and told me about the car troubles... and then we all sorta noticed that he had somehow miraculously managed to rush home after the ceremony, get showered and changed. Impressive, no?

Guests arrived, there was no "assigned" seating... with the exception of the one head table meant to be for the Bride & Groom ... and their family. Which meant my Mother & Wayne; Wayne's kids, their spouses & kids; plus me and my brother. No one was officially sitting down yet so I stopped to talk to family friends and do my part (as well as have a good time) by trying to talk to everyone. As the food came out.... people started sitting down at tables...I looked over at the table where I was expected to sit (& where I was planning to, and wanted to sit... you know since IT WAS MY MOTHER'S WEDDING) and this little bitch, who shall remain nameless... because "little bitch" seems to suit her better than any other name she'd go by (& because she's a friend of my brother's, which drives me batshit crazy because I do not personally know one single person that truly likes or trusts her)... yeah LB decides to park her ass at the head table to sit next to my brother. I'm sure my brother wasn't even paying attention to the fact that that table was supposed to be for family only (& this one time I'll let that part slide, he was violently ill all morning after all).. but  did LB even think for a second that that was probably not the place to sit? Did she choose to not notice when I walked over and one of Wayne's family members said "aren't you sitting at the family table?" and I just politely smiled and said "doesn't seem to be room" and then went to go sit with other friends.

When the time came for toasts/speeches... I gave mine. I read them something I had written the day before that started out as just a letter to the two of them... but read it aloud under that big tent.... as I stood by my Mother at the family's table ... and refused to let my eyes wander down to the other end of the table where LB was sitting.
I heard people laugh at parts, which was nice... especially when they laughed at something I MEANT to be be funny, as opposed to just laughing AT me, but at the end when I looked around... people were freakin' crying. What?! Damn, I made people cry... is it irony that I didn't intend to, but felt kinda good about that too?

(pretty sure you can click on that & it will enlarge it if you're inclined to read it)

The rest of the day went swimmingly. I even got a text message from my ex-fiance (who is a great guy) to wish my Mother all the happiness in the world... the funny part was that he sent it from his younger brother's wedding which was happening at the exact same time as my Mother's, only in New Orleans. I was invited to that, but had to choose which to go to, ... sorta obvious which one I'd be at, right?

The "Fauxtobooth" (get it? fake/faux photobooth) we had set up in the outdoor shower was a hit. ( I kinda knew it would be, I don't associate with people lacking a silly side) It loosened everyone up and many more laughs were had throughout the reception as random people would stroll by with a big clown nose on, or a feather boa. (There are STILL random feathers floating around my Mother's property from that... let's just say they weren't the highest quality ;p )
 (Yes, that is my mother on my lap... with Wendy Mae & Leandra lookin' extra stunning behind us)

The food was delicious, but I knew it would be since my friend Danielle was doing it. She owns The Scottish Bake House and is just plain out of this world fantastic.

...... and did I mention that the wedding cake (which was a most excellent gift from my mother's best friend Anne who got it from Cakes By Liz) totally matched my dress? How cool was that? It's almost like we planned it... but we didn't... plus it had strawberries in there! I could have died it was so good!

All the family has gone home now, Wayne's two kids & their spouses, & THEIR kids are all back home... even my Mother & Wayne have left the island to travel back to where Wayne's house is (I kinda love that they are keeping both their houses so they don't have to stay in one place... clever if you ask me, and can afford it)... and all the cake is gone, the booze has been finished, the tent is down, the decorations have been given or thrown away, my orange shoes are now at the back of my closet, the dress hung for the winter, and all that remains is what can't be bought...... I woke up on Saturday October 2nd 2010 with 3 parents (my Father is remarried), one brother and one sister (Wendy Mae isn't blood related, but she is family, plain & simple)...... when I went to bed that night I had 4 parents, 3 sisters, 3 brothers, and 3 nieces.... and as I drifted off to sleep I became more grateful than ever before that I had convinced my family years earlier to stop celebrating Christmas with gifts, and just relax to a good meal, good drinks, and lots of laughter.

What was missing?...... "My Jerk" ♥ sent my Mother a very sweet message that afternoon which made her smile... and then made my heart ache more that he wasn't there.