Category Archives: my life let me show you it

While My Lap Gently Fills

I’m sitting here, typing one-handed as Mr. Man is cuddled in my lap.  It’s that precious time right after he’s eaten when he looks up at me with absolute trust and love in his eyes–then spit-up comes drooling right out, quickly followed by a salvo from the general direction of his posterior.

 

So, while I try to deny that I’m sitting here with a lap full of pre-owned milk (from both ends of my child) I shall quickly post something, then get up and find my haz-mat suit.  The following came from a Facebook app that compiles statuses over the past year…it grabbed some good ones that I had forgotten, so I’m re-posting them over here.

 

-Welp, there’s only one explanation.  We’ve got a small but malevolent spirit apparently inhabiting our house and absconding with important possessions.  BD’s first wedding ring, the title to my old car, my ever-loving PASSPORT!  I shall call it Glenn.  I hate you, Glenn.

-Well, vacuuming just turned into an impromptu dance to Rhianna’s “The Wait Is Over”.  Guess my jubilation at starting a new job next week just got the best of me.  Sorry neighbors, I’ll try to keep my spontaneous weirdness away from the windows next time.

-Baby’s room=messier than when we started.  Good thing we have 5 months to get it cleaned out, right?  Right??

-I don’t know if it’s the Mexican vacation (although that was weeks ago) or some weird side-effect of pregnancy, but I’m peeling.  I mean PEEEEEELING!  LEPROSY, WOE, DESPAIR, etc, etc.  Please don’t be offended if I shed in your general direction.

-Oh, crap.  Baby Smelks is kicking it up while Ryan and I watch a DVRd episode of Top Gear.  And he/she stops when we hit pause… does that mean I’m gestating a tiny gear head?

-Some people listen to “Let it Be” by Lennon/McCartney when they’re having a bad day–I sing “I Go On” by Bernstein.  Who’s with me?

-Well, we ditched AT&T and the iPhone 4 today…just couldn’t handle the dropped calls.  Fortunatetly, my parents are hoarders, so we’ve got a few old loaner phones while we wait for our new Verizon phones to ship.  Yay, parents!  Boo, AT&T for such crappy coverage!  (And Apple?  My husband’s face shouldn’t be able to turn on speaker phone, face time and hang up a call…I’m jus’ saying.)

-A note to my sister-in-law’s dog, who is currently “vacationing” with us:  If you so much as utter one more pitiful whine in my general direction simply because you’re outside, I’m taking you to the nearest restaurant and selling you for meat.

-Holy moly!  Undying love to my mom and aunt for coming over today and rescuing me after I pitched a complete wobbler about my first day alone with Mr. Man.

-Things that annoy me: 1.  How bloody long it takes me to fall asleep after getting up to feed Mr. Man and 2. Randy Moss.

 

Hee.  Ok, I promise that I won’t do that sort of re-posting thing too often, and I will NEVER post that funny dream I had, or interpret search strings that led to my site, but damn, folks.  I don’t care who you are.  That shit’s funny right there!

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Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Arg.  Blah blah blah talky-speak excuses.

I’m back.  I’m going to be blogging here until I’ve got my typographical feet back on the ground, then maybe look to moving back to my own domain.  I’ll see if I can retroactively add my old posts to the archives, and at some point come up with a fresh new design, instead of hacking the old SASM header to fit.  Till then, rejoice!  Something & Something More lives again!

(bwa ha ha ha ha!)

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Take My Parents, Please

It all began with a chicken.  Well, actually, it all began with an orange*, but this part of the story begins with a chicken.  A small ceramic chicken that was a gift from my parents to me.  For my collection.

self:  Um, gee, thanks, guys!  A chicken…

mom:  For your collection!

self:  Oh, yeah!  My…what?

mom:  Well, your father decided you needed to collect something.  So we bought you a chicken.

dad: [nods emphatically]

self: Riiight.

This then multiplied to a flock (a cluck?) of chickens.  The most recent came as a house-warming gift and was the straw (feather?) that broke the camel’s back.

self:  I don’t WANT to collect chickens!

mom:  yes you do!

self:  Are you mental?  I think I’d KNOW if I wanted to spontaneously collect figurines of flightless domesticated birds! What the hell am I supposed to do with a bunch of ceramic chickens?

dad: talk to them!

mom:  Cluck!

self:  [bangs head against counter, slowly oozes to floor]

At that point, it became war.  We had given my parents a key to the new house, and came home the next day to a suspicious absence of chicken… until they started turning up.  In the dryer.  In the medicine cabinet.  Every time I opened a door, I cringed in anticipation of a beak in the dark.  After several days, I rounded up ALL the chickens and dumped them in a basket, abandoning them in the one room we haven’t unpacked yet…a horrifiying seething combo of office furniture, computer stuff, spare home decor, craft supplies and laundry called the Disaster Room.  Those chickens were as good as gone.

Or so I thought.

There came a time recently when my mom called and requested the return of a disk of programs she had loaned me several months ago.  I promised to dig it out and leave for her to pick up, and completely forgot.  I was at work when she texted, asking if she could go get it.  I explained that the disk was really easy to find…I’d conveniently left it in a spindle of blank CD’s but that the spindle was on top of a box of computer stuff and hard to miss.  She trooped right over to my house and texted me when she found the CD:

mom:  got it, thanks.

mom: cluck.

self:  Yay!  I was worried you had gotten lost in the disaster room…oh SHIT.

self:  Um, are you clucking for any PARTICULAR reason?

mom:  Why, yes!

self:  Crap.  There had better not be a chicken in my underwear drawer or I’m going to be very upset.

The basket?  With the incarcerated chickens, hidden from my parents?  Was right next to the box of computer stuff.  I have NO idea what I’m up against when I get home, but I think it’s not going to be good.

*(to be continued…at which point I’ll hopefully explain about the orange)

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This Seems Like A Problem

What, exactly, does it mean when you blow your nose, your ear goes *poink* and the world goes pear-shaped?

There I was, minding my own business (and battling a cold) at a stoplight.  I blew my nose, and suddenly I thought I was drunk.  (And had a fondue fork in my ear.)  Shit was spinning, the light post started going wavy, and I halfway expected to see Wayne and Garth on the sidewalk doing the finger thing and going “doodly-oo doodly-oo doodly-oo…”  (and if you get THAT reference, my friends, let me be the first to welcome you to being old.)  Frankly, it was a damn good thing that the light stayed red for the duration of the freak-out spell, becuase yanking my car into the bushes in an attempt to keep it between the (wavy) lines seems like it could have been a problem.

I love cold season.

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Potted Meat Food Product For The Soul*

Lately, since joining Facebook, I’ve been thinking about my drum corps days.  Seems every time I log on, I have another friend request from someone I haven’t thought about in years, but who I can instantly remember and say “My god, remember the time that we hid in a train tunnel to avoid a tornado/had a disco party on the bus/performed in a thunderstorm/were threatened with a trip to the pokey in Alabama?”

In a nutshell, drum corps is like marching band.  It’s horns and drums playing music and a colorguard spinning while marching on a football field, (flags, represent!) but it’s a culture as well.  It’s the distilled essence of band geek and the most athletic activity 90% of the performers will ever do.

It’s an entire summer with 127 other performers, traveling across the country in a caravan of busses, semis and assorted support vehicles, all full of people whose only job is to keep the corps rolling so all you have to think about is the performance.  It’s cut-throat, intense competition with other groups, all of you hell bent for leather as you strive to be the best of the best, but it’s also years later, coming across someone who might have marched with another group, and spending the entire time laughing till you cried about how incredible the experience was.

I’ve started going through my old photos and scanning them in to my computer, and my god!  Film pictures!  How archaic!  I’m surprised the busses we rode in didn’t have stone wheels…thanks for not having modern day essentials like digital cameras and cell phones as standard equipment, LATE NINTIES!!!  Way to be!  And let us not, let us NOT forget that iPods were a thing of the distant future!  The CD binders, they were immense!  The AA batteries for the CD players were ubiquitous!  My punctuation usage is getting out of hand!!111!!!!11

Ahem.  Sorry.

One of my favorite stories begins, as all things should, with clothing.  Or lack thereof… You see, when you’re traveling across country in old Greyhound busses, your packing space is limited.  Pretty much one giant duffle-type bag, and one sleeping bag (or air mattress and blanket, which was my preferred method for sleeping on high school gym floors EVERY night) per person under the bus.  Of course, the amount of crap you could squeeze ONTO the bus was only limited to your ingenuity and the amount of patience your seatmate had.

The other factor to take into consideration was the heat.  There are not many places in this country where it can’t get to eleventy-million degrees in the summertime, and I think we practiced in them all.  Even one tour through the Cascades featured 90+ temperatures and sunny skies!  Hell, the year I taught, the staff bus engine caught on FIRE driving through the Washington mountains, and we all just stayed on the bus, because it was cooler than outside.  Anyhoodles, since we practiced outside 99% of the time, ALL day during the summer, the accepted uniform for a female in drum corps was a bikini, boy shorts, tennis shoes and a small notebook tied round the waist with “dots” or coordinates listed inside that told us all where the hell we were supposed to be at any given point in the show.  The string was a convenient place to clip a Sun Smacker lip balm or two, as well.  (But NEVER the yellow “sport” flavor, ‘cause that shit tasted like a backed-up toilet used by a vomitous skunk.)  In fact, most of the girls in the guard omitted the shorts and shoes part of the equation, because at a certain length, what are boy shorts but bikini bottoms anyway, and who wants to be wearing TWO layers?  Not the person whose knees just started sweating, that’s for sure.  Many of us would also forgo shoes whenever possible, ostensibly so we could dance better, but mainly to avoid the dreaded sock tan line, that most obvious of all drum corps tell tales.

Now due to the packing constraints, most of us ran out of clothes before we ran out of days on tour, and laundry day came but once (!) a summer.  We would all cram as many bathing suits as possible into our bags, along with socks, undies, towels, actual clothing, toiletries, uniforms, shoes, and in my case, at least 50 books.  At one point I think I had 12 bathing suits, but even that was not enough.  We would string rope and bungee cord across the bus and wash the day’s suit in the shower to hang and dry on the bus overnight.

By my third year, my seat mate and I had enough seniority to claim two seats each, and as we didn’t want to sit in the back of the bus (some things never change, and the fact that the “cool” kids sit in the back of the bus is one of the rules chiseled in stone) we had the entire front row to ourselves, which happened to feature one of the only working windows on MY side.  As the air conditioning in our bus was laughable at best, the window stayed open most of the time, so I stretched my bungee across the opening and safety pinned my drying suits and towels to the line.

Picture this: 3 coach busses, two full-size tractor/trailer rigs (one semi hauling a trailer full of equipment, the other a trailer converted into a traveling kitchen), one conversion van pulling the small souvenir trailer and an RV serving as the command center and head of the operation, driving through the absolute backwoods bayous of Louisiana.  We were on our way to a competition at Tiger Stadium on the LSU campus, when the unthinkable happened.  My day’s swimsuit bottoms (blue bikini with a daisy on the hip) were sucked right out the window.  Gloom descended on the front of the bus, as Mama Pickett the driver (rightly) refused to pull over so the whole bus could look for the wayward bottoms.   It was a dark few minutes, till a shout rang out from the girls with the only other functioning window on my side.  Most of the bus crammed their heads out the windows to see where, down by the back fender where some long gone Greyhound driver had years ago hit something and ripped a small piece of metal up from the fender, my bikini bottoms.  Waving frantically in the wind of bus, they were the object of much pointing and waving as cars passed the caravan by.  Mama Pickett was by this point on the CB with the other drivers, as they all tried to formulate a plan that didn’t involve stopping the caravan, but would allow for retrieval of the bottoms.  Just as someone made the suggestion to try to snag them with a flagpole held out the window of one of the other vehicles, the bikini bottoms flew off the metal spar and landed by the side of the road, where they started to sink gently into the bayou.  As the entire guard bus began to mourn the passing of the bottoms, the van full of volunteer cooks and support staff bombed over to the side of the road, and one of the dads leapt from the vehicle and WADED through the swamp to rescue my bikini.  And there was much rejoicing.

I’ll be writing more on my experiences in the next few posts…stay tuned for such adventures as Why Trash bags Are Always Good and Yes, Virginia, There Can Be Tornadoes In Denver.

* I recently (like, 20 minutes ago, after a bit of a search) came across my journal from my four years in drum corps, and that was the title.  The sub-title was “A Book of Semi Inspiration”.  Why potted meat?  Well, someone (cough, DAD) hid a can of Hormel’s Potted Meat Food Product in my tub of bus snacks for me to discover one lonely night on the road.  And so I give you this:

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Happy Thoughts

Well, that last post was cheerful, no?  I’m just a giant fricken ray of sunshine over here, folks.  I’ve been trying to look on the bright side of this whole “losing my position” thing, and have come up with a (very) few positives.

1.  I don’t have to keep buying chargers for my various electronic devices every time I leave one at home.  (This is an actual problem, people!  I traveled with 2 phones, iPod, laptop, camera, other LARGER camera, and thanks to SantaParents, a GPS.  I own 4 iPod chargers and SEVEN chargers for 2 phones!) (You may wonder why the HELL I need so many electronics.  It’s a sickness, and I blame my father.)

2.  I’ll get to sleep in my very own bed every night!  Or the couch!  Or have a slumber party on the kitchen table!  The possibilities are endless!

3.   Um…

4.  I have to give back my corporate phone (lowly assistant managers don’t get PHONES, are you nuts?)  So I am relying again on my personal phone, which was due for an upgrade, and what better way to celebrate losing a job (but retaining employment) then to spend some money on an iPhone!

Yup.  That’s how I roll.  Got told on Friday my position was being axed, accepted crumby assistant manager job w/ same company on Saturday, bought an iPhone on Sunday.  This was my last week in my current position and so, iPhone in hand, I went off on my penultimate trip (I’m off to South Dakota tomorrow for one more store visit.)

That’s a shot of not only my dashboard, but the exit sign to Grove, where my family always went for summer vacation.  I’ve driven past it countless times since I began traveling for my company, and never had the time to go back.  Sigh.   This is also the photo I sent my mom, with the subject line “one hand and no brains on the wheel”.  She was less than pleased.

This is also the stretch of highway near the asylum, so the highway is lined with signs that say “do not pick up hitch hikers, as they may be escaped inmates.”  Way to take a picture of an EXIT sign, and not a cool
WATCH OUT FOR THE DAMN CRAZIES sign, self!

Ok, now that WEE little white sign over the side view mirror is a 2007! Quality!  Award!  Winning! Rest stop! sign.  You might be impressed, until you notice that every single rest stop on I-44 has one.  Look, Missouri, if everyone is special, then NO ONE is.  (Oh, yes, I’ve driven the entire length of 44 with a friend, and not only is every rest stop special, but there are more adult bookstores than I’ve ever seen in my LIFE.)  (Of course, the adult bookstore billboards are comingled with the fundamentalist Christian billboards.  I think good ol’ Missouri is a bit…confused.)

Awww…this is the liquor store that Rosie and I would drive up to when we were working together earlier this year.  Sadly, the county we were opening the store in was a <gasp> DRY county, so we had to hightail it across state lines to get the booze.  Which we may or may not have left in a friends’ freezer to “chill” for way too long, resulting in a high-velocity assualt on a bag of frozen peas by a ballistic wine cork.

. . .

I’m really going to miss that job, and all the iPhones in the world can’t really make up for it.  Sigh.

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Snow

Holy moly!  It’s a little dirty around here…hold on…

<phoof, phoof>

Ok, that’s better. Sorry if I phoofed dust in your eyes.  CLEARLY, someone has been letting the ol’ website languish away in some dreary corner of the Internet.  Ahem…don’t look over here, although I did actually predict something like this happening, back in this post.  It’s entirely possible that I have devolved into the aforementioned homicidal googly-eyed maniac, although it’s not due to the stress of moving so much as the stress of NOT BEING HOME EVER EVER EVER OMG.

My eyes are starting to twitch as we speak.

But!  I’m home now, until all the way far away Tuesday!  Hooray!  This time, it was the getting home that was a real pain in the old keister.  For starters, I was a bit wardrobe challenged yesterday.  Let’s pretend that I own a fabulous red trench coat, mmkay?  Well, I have to start thinking a bit more about what I wear WITH the red trench coat.  And what I haul around while wearing the red trench coat.  Otherwise you end up with me yesterday…green casual slacks (from Old Navy, and they rock!)  bright BLUE carry-on wheely bag (so’s I can tell which one is mine, natch) and the happy bright red trench coat and matching red leather gloves.  I looked like a box of crayons.

Of course, when the plane landed at DIA yesterday, I could have cared less what color my coat and gloves were, because it was SNOWING.  And I was on a turbo prop that you exit via a staircase.  Into the SNOW.  So that was fun.  My seatmate and I took one look at the blowing snow outside the window, and flatly refused to get out of our seats until we saw our gate-checked wheely bags unloaded onto the cart.  (Oh yes, my travel life is so glamorous that 9 times out of 10, I’m on a plane that is too small to hold wheely bags in the overhead compartments, so they take them planeside, heave ’em under  into the cargo bay and return them as you deplane.)  Bag firmly in hand, I gingerly minced across the icy tarmac, because I was wearing (of course) snakeskin ballet flats.  In my defense, the weather didn’t call for snow when I left Denver, and my other choices of footwear were equally bad, as they both involved high heels.  So, mincemincemince across the ice, into the terminal, on the train, up the stairs, out the door to the parking garage.  Not that I park in the parking garage, because it’s to damn expensive ($18 a day?  Are you KIDDING me?) but so I could walk through the parking garage to the outlying lots, where I had cleverly parked close enough to walk, so I didn’t have to wait for the shuttle.  Of course, I totally would have taken the shuttle NOW, but I failed to remember where I was parked, so I wouldn’t have been able to tell the driver which row and section.  I’m sure that a feeble wave and declaration of “somewhere over there-ish…I think” would have just enraged the other passengers, as we weaved around searching for my car.

So, I hoofed it.  And it was bloody cold.  I spent most of this time on the phone with my mom because

a) I like to call my parents when I come home from trips to let them know I’m not dead

b) I wanted someone on the line with me that could call 911 if I gave in to exhaustion and collapsed into a snow bank.  At least she could tell them I was in the east parking lot, somewhere over there-ish.

Off I trudged, dodging snow plows all the way, looking for my damn car.  It took a while to find, because clever me did a pull-through, and although I remembered pulling into a spot on the north side of the row, I was actually on the south (duh.) There were small drifts all around my car, which a normal person wouldn’t have noticed, but a person wearing ballet flats?  Oh, that shit got noticed.  Stomp stomp stomp to the back of the car, up with the hatch, in with the bag, over to the driver’s side.  Of course, this entire time my conversation with my mom went something like:

“fuck bloody fuck fuck my feet are bloody freezing this f-in sucks ARRRRGGH!  My shoe just fell off!  Really? Really? FUCK!”

(fortunately, my mom is a-ok with the cussing.)

I get into the car, wipe my poor feet off with some random article of clothing left in the front seat, and start the damn thing so I can let it run and heat up while I get out and scrape the windows (I tried to just use the wipers, but they got stuck after moving 3 inches.  Stupid snow.  Stupid ice.)  Or, at least that was the plan, because the alternator?  She is dying in the poor car, and I had to keep revving the engine to keep it from giving up entirely.  So I ended up opening the door and standing with one foot in a drift, the other in the car firmly on the accelerator.  This meant I was working a one-handed scraping operation, but I persevered until I got the wipers unstuck, at which point they went FOOMP, and dumped an entire boatload of snow down my cleavage.  (Red trench coat?  I hate you and your stupid neckline!)  I lost it at that point, got back in the car, turned it to defrost, cranked the vents up to 11, and waited until shit started to melt.  I then spent twice my normal commute home stuck in traffic, because OMG!  Snow!  In Denver!  Clearly, the end of the world is imminent!

Lord love a duck, this traveling all the damn time has got to slow down after Christmas, or I may well go completely batshit crazy.  Hopefully I’ll keep you updated.  But till then?

I’m off to Fargo next week.

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