I’ve never hated anything more than getting my photos taken for Costco and Sams. In both situations, the workers behind the counter held up a little ball thingie that doesn’t resemble a camera at all. And didn’t even give me a good ‘ole count-to-three. They held up their hand and down it went again. I thought they were holding a stress-reliever thing and was adjusting their unstressed arm while a decidedly stressed new customer slowly comes to the realization of what just happened.

Thank god the photos I took of the cards didn’t come out well. Otherwise I think the reality of such a horrible pic would have shocked you straight into a coma. I just came out of mine.

"Hello, My name is Carolyn…"

I was flipping through our school’s handbook and came across the Drug & Substance Abuse Policy. It listed some tendencies that could be indicators of said drug/substance abuse. One of those lists caught my eye…the Social Impairment list. Once I read it, I knew I was in trouble. I almost created my own personal intervention because I was convinced I had a drug or substance abuse problem solely based off this list. 

“Carolyn, I know you smelt the fruit-scented Crayola markers daily while attending Kindergarten class. I love you, but this is what I will not do for you 23 years ago if you don’t stop smelling those markers. I will not allow you to watch Mary Poppins and pretend to be dancing with penguins. I will not let you go in the side yard to eat the weird orange-like fruit off that tree with your grade school friends..the fruit whose skin is sweet & edible and pulp is sour. Lastly, I will not allow you to sleep with your favorite teddy bear to whom you whispered nightly that if a robber came in, you would sacrifice yourself before him. Now, will you climb into that time-travel machine and get the treatment you need?”

From the blog posts alone, I can diagnose myself as being socially impaired. And off we go:
  • Inappropriate verbal remarks (subjects/words/expletives)— my social impairment crosses cultures.
  • Angry outbursts/unrestrained agitationyelling in a enclosed stairwell at Six Flags.
  • Crying that cannot be explained I tried putting it into words, but don’t know if I conveyed the depth of it.
  • Euphoria — Can you beat antiques, nature, and beach cruisers with a little wine tasting sprinkled throughout?
  • Paranoia — accusing wild spiders of a failed assassination attempt.
  • Hallucinations — thinking a hat was my adopted child.
Behaviors that are markedly changed for that individual such as:
There you have it. Take me or leave me. But, I’ve got to run. Gotta throw out all my fruit-scented markers so I can let my 5-yr old self watch Mary Poppins again.

I guess ours could have been worse.

One of my co-workers is a justice of the peace and will randomly marry couples in our building. A young couple eloped in one of our classrooms today.

I didn’t think anything would have been worse than where R and I got hitched. When our original building’s roof blew off from a tornado a month before the date, we scrambled and found a little church in the same town.

They positioned their church as “from the 1800s”. We later found out that only the stones used to build the church were from the 1800s…and really, doesn’t that include just about every stone anywhere? Anyway, we attended a service to check it out and after it ended, what happened was straight out of “Children of the Corn”. The entire congregation turned around with their arms outstretched and walked zombie-like to greet us. It was terrifying.

I noticed a paint-by-number “Last Supper” and R spotted Jesus’ hologrammed rookie card. We were sold.

Eat, Pray, Loved It

When I sat down to write this post, I immediately had a flashback to writing my third grade book reports. For some reason, I always insisted on drawing a big fish and then writing my book report within that fish. The title and author would be inserted in the tail and the body of my review would be written, well, on the fish’s body. In order to be done with my homework as soon as possible (so that I could play GirlTalk), I would normally write really big and use very similar, very repetetive adjectives in my description. Little did I know that I would be foreshadowing my college career in writing term papers. Expanding the margins by .25 and then increasing the font by .5 at a time until I achieved the desired length. In my spanish papers, I also used the word ‘muy’ too many times to count… Until by the end of it, the teacher couldn’t remember if it was muy good or muy bad, but just that it was muy something.

One time R used the word ‘nay’ a couple too many times in a paper. For instance… “I liked it. Nay, I loved it.” Until his English professor pulled him into the office and asked him why he was doing that. The teacher rose his hands in a shakespearean fashion and said “Nay… NAY!”..mocking the melodramatic implication of the word.

But I digress. Eat, Pray, Love has many simple reminders for us to hold onto throughout our lunch hour, our workday, our weekend, our lives. So, if you will indulge me, I’ll just post one passage.. Controlling our thoughts. If we feed the negative lion, it will become stronger. But if we deny it, and try to let in only elevating positive thoughts, we become stronger. But at the end of the day, it really is our choice and we must hold ourselves accountable.
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets I can buy, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, who I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life — whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can’t rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook.) I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts…..

…You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts — all these will be turned away. Likewise, any pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways — you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquillity. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind — otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.”

A reproduction of my early, nay, my current work.


Doesn’t this remind you of the cut-out shadows you created in pre-school? I can still feel the crayon move slowly around my head…along my arms…and then in between my fingers as I was traced onto paper. Smiling to my little self and relishing those few moments of complete relaxation. That just might have been my first yoga class.

Counting down the days until…

we have internet. I must say, though, that this weekend felt especially long. Could be because we don’t have internet. The first day here, I went straight to the library (where I’m at now) and haggled with the lady to give me a card even though I don’t have any mail stating I live in town. It was pretty scandalous. I found some movies and books to read…but I also found something that starts up this week and hopefully I’ll meet people through it. We’ll see.
Ryan spent the majority of his time absorbing coloquial phrases (“I preciatecha”) and figuring out the correct number of fingers people use to wave while driving. Apparently, there are many variations of this wave (well, I take that back. There are only 5 variations depending on how many fingers you have) and he is on the verge of declaring this town as a ‘one-finger wave’ community.
I’ll be back in KC to see a show this week and will use that opportunity to post some very random pics.

No Seriously, Cue it.

S and me before our night of toe-tappin.
Notice the strained smile on my face. Stress.
Music is a soul’s medicine, isn’t it. It can penetrate any armor you’ve put up around yourself. Mine, this week, has been the “wound so tight she’s going to snap” shield. R has been tip-toeing around me as I make list after list of what we need to do to the house before putting it on the market. Phone calls with friends have been short. The foam egg mattress we have on our bed has not helped me have a good night’s rest.

Wound tight.

..and then like a dam breaking, a night listening to music at the Nelson Art Museum helped me break free of my mummified state of stress. it massaged my temples and shoulders more than a masseuse ever could. just what the doctor ordered. I laughed and smiled and forgot all about the lists.

Not only was the act of listening to music helpful. To me, more importantly, it was the type of music. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a die hard junkie on Bluegrass. Old Country. I came into that genre late, listening to K’s burned cds my third year in college. The tunes caught my ear, and I never asked her to turn them off. But I also never instigated playing them. Then one night in a seedy dark bar, I caught a showing of a bluegrass band, The Wilders. It was in a room painted all black, and there was a crowd of maybe 75 people. The music started and the rest was history. I was a fan. Then for Christmas, my parents-in-law gave me a record player. I bought some records on eBay..a few of which were old country: Hank Williams Jr, Johnny Cash, early Dolly Parton. I also bought others, but those three were the ones I came back to night after night. These classically trained musicians of The Wilders, one of which meant to become an opera singer, became my doorway drug into this new world.

And the layers of the instruments. If anyone remembers the part in Amadeus, when Salieri describes his first encounter listening to Mozart’s music.

“On the page it looked like nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse – bassoons and basset horns – like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly – high above it – an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight.”

I focus on the layers of the bluegrass bands. I try to listen to each instrument separately..and then as a whole. The sum truly is greater than the parts, although the parts are pretty sensational. Plus, Betse can kick some fiddle ass.

I don’t think my mom’s Motown/Rock/Broadway influence will ever leave me. But I can’t deny the new love in my life. Thanks for cheering me up, bluegrass.

Here are some songs from the Wilder’s website. Enjoy.
Two — Betse kicks it!


Prelude to a Friendship.. Part One

The Friendship Face-Off
Okay, so my closest friend, K. (see Iowa post) and I are approaching our ten year anniversary. I decided to dedicate a series of posts to our commemorative meeting sophmore year in Spanish class.. It’s eerie how people can be so close to meeting each other, but never do. Luckily, we talked about ourselves incessantly, and so quickly put together the many pieces leading up to that earth shattering moment. I demanded that K. add her side of the story as well, and have been very bossy in my new role as Editor-in-Chief.

Year: 1997, two years prior to Manolo’s Spanish IV class
Location: TPAC, Topeka KS
Show: Grease

K: My first ‘real’ experience with live theatre was going to a performance of Grease. I loved the movie when I was young —

Carrie: And hasn’t stopped doing the gun-at-the-hips dance move since. Sorry, keep going.
K: So I loved the movie and couldn’t wait to see the musical. My mom, sister, and I drove all the way to Topeka for the big show. We even got to eat at the Red Lobster.. which was a treat since Pinky’s was the only restaurant [a term used very loosely] in Courtland, KS. Nevermind that I ate my weight in shrimp scampi, threw up, and have never eaten there since. But I digress.

We arrived at the theatre, and oh my gosh how exciting it was! The lights, the performers, the music. I was in sensory overload. …And then, they announced that there would be —

Carrie: Wait!! I have to lead up to my experience. My mom won two tickets through her work to go see Grease and I was the lucky child who got to go. I didn’t know if it was because she knew I’d like it or because she felt guilty for forcing me to try out for ‘The Wizard of Oz” a few years prior. [Side note: The role of Dorothy had already been taken and so I was auditioning with 18 ‘little people’. Horrifying.]

K: Isn’t that when you sang “It’s a Grand Ole Flag”? You know… to show off your range?

Carrie: [Carrie rolls her eyes in an attempt to look like she’s annoyed that the detail was brought up, but is secretly glad that the focus is still on her.] Yeah, I didn’t have music. So I took my pre-fetus level piano book and pounded away at the keys while recording myself on a cassette tape. When I got to the audition, the lady did a slightly fancier version and I had no idea it was even the same song. Now I digress.

So we’re in the audience, whey they announce “There will be a Grease Dance-Off starting in a few minutes. Please come up to the stage if you’d like to participate.” A dance off?? Is this a dream?? So I turn to my mom and begin the list of reasons why she needs to do this with me, starting with “Remember when you never let me…” and ending with “..So you owe me this.” —

K:I so wanted to do it… but couldn’t convince anyone to go with me on stage, so I had to settle with watching all the contestants take the stage. That’s when I noticed them. A mother-daughter team…

Carrie: Me!

K: …dancing like they’ve never danced before. I kept my eyes on them, rooting for them all the way.

Carrie: Are you kidding, K? This has never been added to the story before. Don’t feel like you have to embellish for the blog’s sake. I know you were routing for the two 7 year olds. They were so quick on their feet.

K: The contestants slowly began dwindling as team by team were asked to leave the stage.

Carrie: Wait, wait. Now I know you’re either being sarcastic or can’t remember. My mom and I got 5th place. Out of five. It just wasn’t our night, guys. Our arms never really locked into place during the pretzel, and I stepped on her toe during the Cha-Cha.

K: Well, I do remember that you guys danced as if your lives depended on it. Maybe it did, for all I knew.

Carrie: What, like there was a bomb attached to one of us and we couldn’t dance below 55 mph?

K: Well, you do look like Sandra Bullock from the balcony.
… Stay tuned for part two of “Prelude to a Friendship”

Tree Hugger

There are certain trees that make me catch my breath every time I see them. They’re magical to me in a way similar to how ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ or ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ made me feel when I was young.

First, the Weeping Willow. Nothing says whimsical like this tree. Pond is optional. I’d rather swing below it’s branches.

Some type of fir tree. I don’t know the name of this specific one. But everything is droopy. It reminds of an old man, hanging in there with old age. Even though this one has some dead branches throughout, it adds to the elderly image.
They look like gray bushy eyebrows.

And to round out my magical forest, all trees must have a moss-covered trunk.

Back in the school saddle again…

I thought I only had one preconception of my sign language class: the more I had to practice sign language at home, the more silence there would be for R. A win-win situation. I quickly realized how many more suppressed ideas I really did have. Let me list them. I thought that:
  • the teacher (A.) would not be deaf — Why was I shocked when a man standing in front of the room was rapidly signing about how he wanted to strangle his high school class from earlier that day. He was making small noises that kind of sounded like words, but only when you knew exactly what he was saying via the interpreter. Speaking of which…
  • due to said deaf instructor, we would have an interpreter — Actually we did have an interpreter for this first class. But A. was quick to inform us that this was the last time he would be interpreting for us. As soon as we walk through the door next week, it will be silent. For two hours. No speaking allowed. Am I capable?
  • my class is past 3rd grade level — When given an open forum, why did one person actually ask “When did deafness start?” [I think] the interpreter deliberately misinterpreted the question. So, based on what the interpreter signed, A. answered with a brief history of the only deaf college in America (his alma mater — of which he had previously mentioned in class).
  • i wasn’t going to be afraid to state my name and why i wanted to take this class — For a second I imagined myself launching into all of my fears leading up to my previous blog post. I somehow managed to fall back onto the ole “i’d like to take on a new challenge”. That always works. 
  • sign language is all about your hands — This is going to be more of an acting class than anything else. Expression is key to signing effectively. Asking ‘why?’ versus ‘WHY?’ is distinct by your facial expression.
I’ve already sized up my class too. There’s the straight-A cocky student who sits in the front of the classroom, signing back to the teacher throughout his lecture to us. Isn’t that the same as talking? So why wouldn’t that be just as rude as responding with “I agree” or “Yes” or “Amen!” every time someone says a sentence in a lecture setting?

There’s the mid-sixties couple who are learning sign language because the man has been given a couple years before he is completely deaf. He seems reluctant and/or sad to be there. I’m glad he has our instructor, though, because A. is very gregarious and interesting minus the interpreter. A good representation of the quality of life one can have without this sense.

Then there’s the girl who chose a seat in the middle of the classroom, expecting to have at least one person to talk to. Instead, every seat to the front, back, and sides of her stayed empty. That’s me. Do I have the plague? Maybe I’ve already lost my sense of smell. Literally, people chose to sit in the front row rather than next to me in the middle. That’s bad.

At the end of class, A. tickled my foreign language fancy by sharing a mistranslation of the sign language sort. In college, he met a friend from Ireland. Because of the different dialects (and therefore, different signs), they would go all over town signing words for this and that. Below is the sign for ‘candy’ in America. Let’s just say, don’t ask for ‘candy’ in Ireland. It will either cost a lot or you’ll get slapped, depending on who you ask. 

Don’t ask why I look like a demon. I got a little crazy with the red eye reducer.

I’d choose common sense. Oh, done.

Tomorrow I’m attending my first sign language class. I don’t know why I chose this subject to study. It may be due to my slight paranoia of losing a sense and then not having a way to communicate. Like you know when you dust off your earphones and put them in, only to have your ear drums blown out by the decibel level? What if it was just loud enough to make you go deaf? What if after you put in your earphones, you step back and crash into your hallway mirror, causing shards of glass to fly into your eyes & mouth and then you’re blind and mute? The next thing you know, some lady is nodding her head excitedly in your hand because you finally signed the word ‘water’. Well, after these classes, I’ll be prepared.

Because of my recent morbid obsession, it has brought to light some good conversation. What sense could I live without? If I go blind, you would have to describe the environment to me. And then I’d be mad if you left out small details like.. the gilding on the ceiling molding is chipping away from the white plaster underneath. I mean, c’mon. That type of detail can make or break the feeling of a room. If I go deaf, I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between real and courtesy laughs. Eventually, I would assume you were just mouthing laughter and so I’d force you to laugh into my hand so I could feel your breath. If I lose my smell, I wouldn’t be able to tell if the cucumber that’s been in the fridge since 1998 is ready to be thrown out. Why name it the crisper drawer if it’s not going to keep its crunch. If I lose my taste, well.. that might not be a bad thing from a waistline point of view. But how can anyone live without ‘The Paper Bag’ dessert from McCormick & Schmick’s? If I lose my touch*, I would last about two minutes on this earth. I am a complete Amelia Bedelia. And even though she isn’t known to be clumsy, (only literal — for example, when asked to draw the drapes at sunrise, she uses a pencil and paper instead of just closing the drapes), her name has a somewhat awkward sound to it & so I use it to describe this unfortunate gene. 

Well, I’m sure I’ll blog about it when I do lose a sense. If I can still see the screen, that is..

*I just learned that this is the one sense no one can live without. See title of post.

Skitzo or Romantic? You be the judge.

To me, the dirtier the house the better.

I like the monochromatic color of this house, along with the narrow window. Overgrown bushes frame the doorstep. I could do that. Easy.
Here’s something you may not want to know about me, I’m obsessed with the past. Not even with anything that could be useful in Jeopardy, like dates & facts…But more with the day-dreamy side of it all. Take the first photo on here. That house is for sale and I want it. I found a website that specifically sells historical properties and my eye was instantly drawn to it. Why this one instead of the beautifully maintained, ornate mansion? Well, because this one is dirty with a half dead tree in front of it and no official driveway. Isn’t it obvious? Come to think of it, maybe I’m not so much in love with the past, but with the deterioration of time.

Despite my husband’s eye-rolling, I broke down and purchased a civil war gown on Ebay. It looks like a bad bridesmaid dress, but it was selling at a good price and I couldn’t resist it. I can’t wait to mow the yard in it. Wait, they didn’t have lawn mowers back then, so does that mean I don’t have to do it?
Daydream haters will always tell me, “but Carrie, do you know how bad it must have smelt back then?” or “you wouldn’t last a day without modern conveniences, like air conditioning or $5 Little Caesar pizzas.” Well you know what, daydream haters? I just now ate pizza in a rose-smelling, cold New York Brownstone while wearing a civil war dress. So, leave me alone.

The ironic part is that I got my first dose of reality from a dream. A few nights ago, I spent many hours in a post-civil war village. I was the newcomer and a villager was taking me around town, proudly showing off its latest additions to Main Street. In the town square, we came upon a few tables with large pots. Women were standing around stirring the stew-mixture and gossiping. When I arrived they gave me a spoonful to try. It tasted flavorful and I asked my guide what herbs were in it. He laughed and said, “oh, there are no herbs. the flavor comes from all the insects that land on the stew and get stirred in.” I blanched and immediately clicked my heels together. But then the next thing I knew, I was sitting on a horse-drawn wagon with my legs dangling off the back. People were filing out of a home and singing a civil war song and laughing…and I was right back into my romantic vision of life during this time.

Hours can slip by while I immerse myself in these thoughts. Coming-to is the hardest part. Other people can stick to their cocaine and heroine… daydreaming will always be my drug of choice.

Photo du jour

Little known fact about Carolyn that normally wouldn’t have been shared if not for a computer screen’s false sense of security. She buys the gigantic Costco size box of Fiber One bars.

Please continue discussing ‘Last of the Mohicans’ dialogue.

Penne is not on the menu, ma’am.

On Saturday, I’m biting the nervous bullet and going to a Spanish conversational class at our local library. The last time I had an actual conversation in Spanish was while working as an interpreter for an insurance company 4 years ago. And even then, it wasn’t a situation in which I could fudge a little here or there. Those pleasant “talks” were recorded and used in court when needed. So, in light of the momentous occasion this weekend, I’ve decided to relive some of my more memorable linguistic moments.

As a claims interpreter, we had to speak on behalf of many different spanish dialects. Needless to say, I hadn’t really brushed up on Peruvian street slang while in college. The going got tough. Fast. ‘Honk’ was apparently a hard word for me to comprehend, for some reason. Here are a couple examples:
Claims Adjuster: “Did you make any evasive action to avoid hitting the car?”
Little ole me: “What did you do to avoid hitting the car?”
Customer: “I honked.”
[I quickly look up the word in the online dictionary. Horrible source.]
Little ole me: “I whistled.”
Claims Adjuster: “You whistled?”
Little ole me: “You honked?”
(Mind you, I’m still using the same word the customer did)
Customer: “Yes, I honked.”
Little ole me: “Yes, I whistled.”
Claims Adjuster: “I need a new interpreter.”

Claims Adjuster: “Did you honk your horn to avoid the accident?”
[Don’t use online dictionaries.]
Little ole me: “Did you play the horn (trumpet)?”
Customer: “No, I wasn’t playing the trumpet. I was driving my car.”
[Customer used a slang term for car which literally translates to…]
Little ole me: “No , I wasn’t honking my horn. I was driving my furniture.”
Claims Adjuster: “You were driving your furniture?”
Little ole me: “You were driving your car?”
(Again, I used the same slang word as the customer)
Customer: “Yes, I was driving my car.”
Little ole me: “Yes, I was driving my furniture.”
Claims Adjuster: “I need a new interpreter.”

And lastly, the ole ‘Make a Fool Out of Yourself in Front of Your Classmates’ routine. By the end of college, I had that one down. For homework, we had to describe our favorite meal to the class:

“I like penne pasta mixed with sauce and vegetables.” (Class snickers.) “Sometimes I add chicken to the penne pasta.” (Even louder laughter from the class). “Penne pasta is the best!” At this point, the teacher finally interrupted me to ask if I knew what I was saying. Apparently I was gushing “I like [male genitalia] pasta mixed with….” “[Male genitalia] is the best!”

This Saturday is shaping up to be interesting at least.

Optical Illusion?

So, a few friends & I are attempting the half marathon in October. I have no idea why I signed up. I think I’d just finished my first successful lap around Loose Park without dying and thought I was ready to move straight into 13 miles. Next thing I knew, we had a blog set up to track our miles each week to, you know, keep each other competitive. And it worked the first month …until I discovered that it’s a lot more fun to watch The Biggest Loser contestants run on T.V. while I eat Oreos.  **UPDATE** I, in fact, did not run in the race. I convinced R to move to Arkansas so I could get out of doing it. 

Actually, I really do enjoy my runs. Not 100% though, and I’ll tell you why. But first, have you ever seen this optical illusion of the lady & the hag? If you’re able to spot the two faces, you just experienced the cold dose of reality that hit me during my run last week.

Below is how I always pictured myself running. Full stride, arms pumping, and a smile on my face the entire time. Think June Cleaver meets Flo Jo. I even had the gall to give pitying looks to walkers. This was all until I caught a glimpse of myself in the local bank’s windows…

…and saw my actual stride. All of a sudden I look like I’m straight outta Cocoon heading to Denny’s to discuss my bowel movements.

It was one of the most disheartening realizations I’ve ever had. Even worse than when I found out Arrested Development was being taken off the air. I’m debating about dangling those Oreos in front of my face to pick up the pace. I’ll probably need the double-stuffed ones, though.

Disclaimer: No ladies or hags were harmed during this reenactment.

Purging for Peace

No I don’t have a philanthropic eating disorder. We’re purging our house of many belongings. Why, you may ask. Well, for starters, who likes to dust all that stuff anyway? Also, I love antiques. Not only frilly victorian stuff. I like Art Deco and Eames style furniture too. So I’m slowly going to replace everything we have to something non-Walmart/Target related — preferably items from another century. But more importantly, I’m in search of simplicity. A lot of the time I feel like I’m pulled in several different directions and then come home to rooms that continue that pull. Why do I have all of this? Really, could I live without my Seinfeld DVD collection? …or the 14 half-used candles that I refuse to throw away? Would the world end if I sold my roadside papasan (side note: please don’t tell the people on craigslist I found it on the road. i’m trying to make some dough). No, I think I’d be much happier and less cluttered mentally & physically.

In the meantime though, I’d like to share a smidget of my favorite things. I know you just sang that last line to The Sound of Music. Don’t deny it.

There is nothing like going to an estate sale and looking through old books. It’s even more exciting when a message is written on the inside. Behold, a normal looking story by Dickens.. owned by a Geneva Hagenstaff Wollard in Hardin, MO dated 10/2/1913. Maybe the date she received it?

..and then outta no where. A list of all the “boys that I have gone with since 1915-1918″. In alphabetical order. This girl was detail-oriented. Who knew there were so many single guys in Hardin, MO and why didn’t we have a girls weekend there in my single days?

And of course, the ever present substance abuse scare tactic… The Curse of Drink. (but you must say it in a deep, throaty voice.)

Note that there are two titles: The Curse of Drink (deep, throaty) or Stories of Hell’s Commerce (non-chalant, happy.) That’s how I always read it in my mind.

Poor Hugh. He was probably headed out the door to meet up with his buddies at the local tavern for his 18th birthday when his parents grabbed him by the shoulder to give him his present. Did they make a big ordeal at the “presenting” ceremony? Couldn’t they have waited until after he played Flippy Cup for the first time?

I actually knew the person who owned this purse: my grandma. And inside is her phone number, back when I swear they used letters. I used this in college for a bit and am surprised it’s still in good shape.

Lastly, of my grandma’s, is an off-shoot of a plant from her home. All of the grandkids have one and its the only plant that I care about saving. I have a fern hanging in our screened-in porch that has seen its last days. They’re like cactus right? We don’t have to water them regularly. But Grandma’s plant…I’ve got to baby it. I love that idea though….passing on part of a plant/flower/tree. And would love to do something similar for my family. Why do I now have the urge to sing from the Lion King?

I like this post. Wait, no I don’t. Wait, yes I do.

We went to Blockbuster last night to rent Woody Allen’s most recent film and the cashier tried to cross sell us the latest deal.. You can rent however many movies/games you want right from the store & there’s no late fees, but you have to rent from the same store every time. I told him we couldn’t because we’re fickle. And then, in my head, I giggled.

First off, I love that word. Fickle. I like how it’s pronounced… how your tongue rests for a juuust a beat longer than normal, right where the roof of your mouth meets your teeth. Dr. Benson from KSU would be so proud that I’m even discussing tongue placements with you. We spent an entire semester dissecting Spanish dialects and where the sound originates in your mouth/throat & also where you place your tongue throughout the pronunciation of a word. My final project was comparing the Andalucian pronunciation with the standard Castillian. I later studied in Andalucia and realized quickly how tongue placement is thrown out the window when the horse you’re riding decides that he wants to take a scenic route down the side of a mountain instead of staying on the trail.

But more importantly, what I like most about the word fickle is the immediate image I have of Lucy Ricardo convincing both herself & her husband that she can’t go out into the living room to see Bill Holden. That’s the main reason I use the word. It’s my own personal homage to one of my favorite t.v. characters.

Here is the scene in question. If you have time, check out this earlier scene with Lucy & Bill Holden in the restaurant. Absolute classic.

No Joke.

Tonight we saw The Dark Knight. I saw it only fitting to bring along our adopted joker hat. We treat him just as if he were one of our natural hats.. One day we’ll sit him down and tell the story of his delivery. How his father selflessly talked with Bacardi girls in tight white tanktops…saving him from who knows what kind of abusive life lay ahead. He probably would’ve been smashed tightly in a cardboard box (A BOX! — it makes me shudder) with other orphaned joker hats, longing for their time in the sun. No, we’ve upgraded him to a top-quality rubbermaid container in our damp & dark basement. What a lucky guy.

Anyway, so he was pretty excited and really took to a good cleaning. Trying to be as sparkly as possible. Look at him…what a ham. Just like his mother.

He was so good the entire day, waiting patiently by the door until it was time to leave.

He begged me to drive. And so because it was a special occasion, I let him steer as I put on makeup.

We waited in line together. He was the one that wanted to get there almost two hours early. It was never our idea…never.

Eventually he got hungry and followed R. up to the food counter. He ended up buying the 3 for $7.50 deal: popcorn, milkduds, & coke (they were out of diet coke).

R. & I thought the movie went well and were getting up to leave when we saw joker’s hat with his hands in the air. He was distraught & offended at the portrayal of his lineage. I think he’s going to start up a blog and boycott the movie. R. & I had fun though….so who cares! Back in the rubbermaid box –er, container– you go!