Monday, September 13, 2010

On Second Thought (cont'd)

Before reading this post, please refer to the previous post dated September 7, 2010.

     "Do you smell smoke?"  I queried as I awoke from my afternoon nappie with a start.
     My teenage son, C.P., looked up from World of Warcraft and responded with a grunt.
     "I smell smoke!" I yelled.
     The bottoms of my bare feet burned as I skidded to a stop in front of the open kitchen window.  Everything looked OK outside but the smell was stronger than before.  What an odd time of year for someone to be stoking up their fireplace, I thought.
     "Fire!"  I spun to my left and saw that my son had run behind me and was now standing at theback window in the mudroom, yelling. Beyond that, flames were spiraling out of control throughout our back yard, headed straight for the house.  Time immediately slowed and the thoughts that went through my mind during the next several minutes could have filled a journal:  Oh, my...look how those flames are leaning towards the electrical, cable and phone lines.  Wow!  Those flames are really tall.  They're taller than the weeds.  If the fire reaches those lines, the rest of the day is shot.  Everything electronic will be gone!  I just want to sit comfortably on the couch and watch TV.  Should I run outside?  This is gonna suck!  I don't have a bra on.  I'm still in my nightgown and I haven't shaved my legs for 2 and a half weeks.  The back yard is such a mess.  Jake's gonna kill me (did I mention how at the party the night before, Jake gently reminded me that my back yard weeds...the ones that he had been waiting to come over and help me with needed to be dealt with NOW and it didn't matter if the washing machine was broken down or not because those weeds needed to be taken care of NOW and that he had the field mower all lined up and he was ready to do it NOW and even though I said that I needed to take care of the washer first that that he was going to ignore me and just show up and take care of those dam weeds NOW because it couldn't be put off any longer?) (big breath)!  What will the firemen say when they see a crazy lady with no bra on who's still in her pajamas in the middle of the afternoon?  Crap.  My pajamas are kind of see-through!  How embarassing. I wonder if I'm going to have to take the day off tomorrow?  Wait...tomorrow's a holiday.  Maybe I can just fold my arms across my chest when the firemen get here.  Surely they've seen people in their pajamas before and maybe they'll think that I have a bra on underneath because surely nobody is that big of a slob.  If the power lines burn, how will I live without air conditioning?  I wonder if we'll have to stay at Mom and Dad's house.  Sheesh...I could go on and on, but I think you get the general idea.
     Running out the back door seemed to be the best option, so I chose it.  Then I ran back in.  CP was still stanidng by the back window.
     "C.P!  Call 911!  Grab the phone!"
     He ran and grabbed it.  Handed it to me.  WTF???  Why did't he just call?  I pushed 911.
    "What is the address of your emergency?"
     "4- 2 - 4 - West - Wasatch - Street,"  I responded deliberately.  Chatter-Chatter-Chatter.  Don't they have caller/address ID or something like that?  At least they picked up.  All those recurring nightmares where I dial 911 and get a busy signal over and over are not going to come true...thank God! 
     "Could you repeat that address?"
     I repeated as I ran back out the door, "4 -2- 4 - West - Wasatch -Street. Send someone quickly!  Please hurry!  My back yard's on fire!"
     A neighbor from across the street (Tim) was just rounding the corner of the front of my house as I reached the padlock on the gate of the 3' tall fenced entrance to the back yard.  Oh, good.  He wasn't wearing a shirt.'s been a while since I saw a man who wasn't wearing a shirt.  Well, that's not quite true because what about all the times that we go swimming at Jolen and Jake's swimming pool?  Yeah.  How could I forget about that?  I think I'm kind of turned on...crap!...I'm in my pajamas and I'm not wearing a bra.  How embarassing.  Tim's two kids were in tow and they all looked panicked!  What am I saying?  They ARE panicked!  I started fumbling with the padlock and was having a really tough time.  Two unknown men (one who was barefoot) flew in front of my face and over the fence into the back yard as I continued to fumble with the lock.  CP flew over the fence behind me.  CP came running with the hose just as I saw a set of arms reach in front of me and grab the hose from his hands.  CP ran back to the spigot and the water began a-flowin'! 
     "Can you open the padlock?" I shouted at Tim.  Duh...what a stupid question.
     "Stay on the line with me until the fire truck gets there," the dispatcher gently urged.
     "OK."  I handed the phone to Tim.  WTF?  What was I thinking?  That they could make plans to meet for coffee?
     "OK.  I can do this.  I'm gonna take a deep breath.  In.  Out.  In. Out. I can do this.  The firemen are going to need to get through this gate and I've got to do it.  In.  Out. In. Out.  One of Tim's kids was patting me on the back, helping me breathe and reassuring me that I could do it.
     Yes!  Success!
     Turning around, I spotted the barefoot guy, holding the hose and spraying madly.  The second guy (who was shoed) was stomping on the ground on the watered-down sections and the sections where the flames were only 12" or so high.  Sometime within the next hour or so (or at least it seemed like it), firemen were descending upon the Anderson household.  A firetruck pulled up behind the house (there's a road to a middle school back there-no neighbors) and one in front.  There was an ambulance in there somewhere, too, but I can't remember where it fits into the story. 
     Soon, the fire was out and there were lots of firemen walking around with shovels and rakes, squelching the last of the "Great Fire of 2010."  The house was saved!  No one died!  The stench was horrific!  Smoke was everywhere!  Wow...the fire took out half of the back yard.  But, hey...the house was safe!
     Lots of hugging commenced.  I even got to hug shirtless Tim (giggle-giggle).  I think I was kind of turned on.  I hugged barefoot Joe (seriously...his name was Joe) and the melted-sole-shoed guy (I can't remember his name now, but somehow I learned that he lived at 325 West Wasatch Street and I can't remember where that tidbit fits into the story, either).  I started hugging the firemen (who, by this time, I am picturing with their shirts off after fighting a big, scary fire).  I think I was kind of turned on.  Seriously, have you every seen anything foxier than a fireman with his shirt off.  Well, I haven't seen it in real life, but I've seen it in calendars and on TV and stuff.  As to seeing it on the internet, I'm not gonna comment on that one.  I hugged Tim's kids.  I hugged C.P.  I hugged Tim again.
     Life at the Anderson residence had been restored to its former state.  Sort of.  Maybe I was going to get to sit on the couch and watch TV after all.   Hhhmmmm....on second thought...I nixed that.   There was still the other half of the yard that needed to be dealt with...the other half that was still flammable and weedy.  Shit.  You know exactly where I'm going with this, don't you?  Jake.  There was no way I was gonna get around that one.  He was gonna kill me when he heard about this.  Guess who got the first phone call?  Yep.  Jake.  (The story surrounding that whole scenario will be covered in yet another epic post which will shortly follow this one.  It's a good one.  Stay tuned, please.)
     Lesson learned #1:   Fire is a really efficient way to clear a field of weeds in a short time.
     Lesson learned #2:   When you get up, get dresseed.
     Lesson learned #3:   I need to get lucky.
     Lesson learned #4:   Mow my lawn in a timely fashion.
     Lesson learned #5:   (Yes, I'm finally going to reveal why I asked you to re-visit the post entitled "Blessed or Lucky")  Maybe there really are such things as blessings, are the subsections to "lesson learned #5.
     a.   Had CP and I not played hookie from church, the house surely would have caught on fire because my heroes wouldn't have been able to find the hose or the spigot because they were covered with ivy.
     b.  Had we not played hookie, my dogs would most likely have died because when wer'e away from home, they're left outside (there's a dog door into the garage so that they can get away from the lements) but there would have been no place to where they could escape.
     c.  Had the heroes not been there to start hosing down the yard, the fire would surely have reached the structure before the firemen could get there.
     d.  Had we not played hookie, we wouldn't have been there to catch the so early.
     e.  The section of the yard that the fire burned was the half that needed the field mower...thus...I didn't have to pay to rent the field mower.  The unburned section was easily cut down with a mulcher ('ll read about it in the next post).
     f.   Had the fire progessed one foot further to the east, it would have been completely done for...there was more flammable underbrush along the east side of my property than the rest of the yard all put together.
    g.   I am blessed with wonderful friends who came to my rescue (did I mention one of them was shirtless) friends (Joe and he-who-cannot-be-named-because I don't remember) and the old ones...Jake (Jim), Jacque (Jolene), Cindy (I haven't come up with a fake name for her yet), Bobbie (or her), and Daniel (or him), who flew immediately to my rescue (hold your'll be in the next post) to help us.
    h.  I got to hug a shirtless man!

     Yep...there ain't no way you're gonna catch me callin' this one lucky.  I am freakin' BLESSED!!!

P.S.  No, I am not recanting how I feel about those who suffer misfortunes...they are equally as worthy as I of receiving luck/blessings...I'm not saying I did anything at all that qualifies me for getting special treatment from fact, the opposite is quite true...I'm the last person who is deserving of special treatment  I'm just saying that I'm re-evaluting my thoughts about the long-held opinions I expressed in "Blessed or Lucky" and I'm left with lots of new questions now about why some people have horrific ordeals to suffer through while others don't. 
P.P.S.  Someday I'm going to tell y'all about my theory regarding why I was the "recipient" of this divine fire. second theory, that is...the one about why I think God blessed me with a hug from a man who wasn't wearing a shirt.

Please forgive me for typos or the lack of editing/revision...I'm anxious to get this posted for precious Jacque...she's been dying to read the rest of my story.  I'll get back to the revisions later!  Hope you like the story, Jacque-O!




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Second Thought...

Before reading this, please review my post "Blessed or Lucky" from August 13, 2010.

The month started badly with the washing machine's demise.  It was an inconvenience, but it was easy enough to work out a schedule between the landromat and Mom and Dad's house.   A nasty summer cold quickly set in and a week later, it had turned into pneumonia.  Not as bad as two years ago when it landed me in the hospital for five days, but it was enough to sap all of my energy.  And on top of that...the last several months (well, maybe the last couple of years) have not been kind to my my body.  Every muscle hurts and I'm starting to understand the concept of creaking bones.  The first Saturday of the month began with hauling laundry to Mom and Dad's followed by hauling it all back home.  There have been more than one morning when there weren't any clean socks (I am always running one load ahead of where I am at the moment) since the washer died.  There were soccer cleats to be purchased, fundraisers for school and church to work on, kids to run around, a dead, overgrown and tinderous back yard to be dealt with, dishes to be washed, writing that needed to done, a sleepover birthday party for a 13-year old that must be a smashing success event though the bank account is sorely know the routine.  After getting all the laundry home, I needed to run home and take a shower.  It had been three days (I was sick, remember?  Give me a break!) and I couldn't stand my own company.  Then a party at Jolene and Jake's house (the names have been changed to protect the innocent).  It was sheer torture getting ready and by the time I arrived at the party two hours late, I was having a hard time putting a smile on my face.  As  soon as I walked in, Jolene took one look at me and instantly knew something was wrong.  She pulled me into another room just as the tears exploded from my face.  Before I knew friend, Candy, was also at my side.  These two women have uncanny empathic skills.  What followed was a diatribe of verbal self-pity that was a real downer.  "I'm so exhausted.  I'm so tired.  I'm so overwhelmed.  I just can't do it any more."  You get the idea.  I left the party early (as I usually do because I turn into a pumpkin at 9 PM).  I decided to play hookie from church the next morning.  I slept in.  My son slept in.  We stayed in our pajamas.  Had a late breakfast.  Stayed in our pajamas.  Watched a movie.  Stayed in our pajamas.  And then...all hell broke loose.  Quite literally, it was hell on Earth...right in my own back yard.

To be continued...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here I Go Again

So...Janet Reid, literary agent, is hosting another writing contest on her of those funky little 100-word or less stories (no, I didn't even get an honorable mention from the last one that I did and most of the other entries made no sense, so I guess what she really likes are submissions that refer to inside jokes of the trade that the rest of us don't get).  This time, we are to tell a story utilizing the following five words:  minion, sinister, nemesis, heinous and headgear.  Here's mine...
C.P. the Conqueror and his loyal minion, Clancy, were 13. By Vanqasian standards, they were old men. their establish dominion over President Dellanovia's sinister nemesis, JimHaShpa of Planet Vanq. In preparation for disembarkment, the check list began. Lasers...check. Invisibility cloak...check. Force field...check. Wait...a heinous substance oozed onto C.P.'s hand. Something struck his head! CODE RED!!!
C.P. lifted his head from the slab of wood laminate. Drool pooled on the desktop and his headgear was jammed into his gums. He composed himself without a moment to spare. "Yes, ma'am. the square root of 16 is 4."
Not great, but I love doing these exercises...didn't get to do her last two contests but now that August (my most harried momth of the year) is almost over, I've got more time to write.  Wish me luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blessed or Lucky?

When people say, "I am so blessed" or "The man upstairs must have been looking out for me" or "She was saved by angels", it implies that those who are not so fortunate are less worthy of divine intervention than those that weren't so lucky.  Don't God and the angels care about them?  What about the victim of a drunk driver?  Or a child who is molested and killed by a pedophile?  The grandparent who just got bilked out of their life savings?  The person who lost their fight with cancer?  The starving child in Africa?  The child who is unloved and abused by his/her parent(s)?  The woman who is raped and then punished for it in the middle east?  Do we really believe that they have been forsaken and were not worthy of the same "blessings" that are bestowed upon us?  I suggest that we be thankful for our "opportunities"...our "luck"...our "good fortune"...and pray for God's understanding touch in all of our lives (and for his divine intervention when He sees fit).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life Lessons

   Josephine left our game of cards to go to the bathroom or maybe into her's fuzzy now...I was in second grade and she was in third and that was a LONG time ago.  The ring that she left on the table was the most beautiful I had ever seen.  The ring held a cameo of Mary holding baby Jesus (Josephine went to Catholic school-I was in public).  My mom wasn't too much into jewelry or other girlie things so we never had many "gazeable" objects around our house...but I lived for color and beauty and sparkle!  My hand shook as I reached out, grabbed the ring, drew my arm back to my body and put it in my pocket.  The sensation was intoxicating!  If the ring had been booze, I would have been drunk!  I now possessed the object of my bling-lust!
   "Hey, where'd my ring go?" 
  (Crap.  I thought she wouldn't notice)
   "I dunno.  What ring?"
   (Do you remember being a kid and thinking you were smarter than the rest of the world?)
   "My Mary and Jesus ring."
   "Oh, that.  I dunno.  Maybe it fell on the floor."
   (I should've been a search and rescue worker, because I left no stone unturned)
*******************************the next day*****************************************
   "Children!  Line up.  It's time to wash our hands before lunch,"  chirped Mrs. Burbridge. B-U-R-BRIDGE  (Thanks, Teach.  I will never forget how to spell you last name, but for the life of me I will never be able to remember how many c's are in the words occur or recommend-yes, I used spell check).
   Bonnie was behind me in the line and I hated her.  Her shoes made the coolest little clicking sound on the wooden floor as we walked to the girls' room...they were girlie shoes and mine were practical and rubber-soled, so they just sort of humpfhed on the floor.  We filed into the restroom and when it was my turn to wash, I carefully removed my beloved ring of power and placed it lovingly on the edge of the sink. 
  Whatever it was, is lost to me now, but I must have been distracted by something more beautiful or more sparkly than Mary and Jesus, because the next thing I knew, lunch was over...we were back in the classroom...I was reaching my hands into the incubator to grab one of the baby chicks our class was raising and I suddenly noticed that all of my sticky little fingers were as bare as the day I was born.   You don't need to be told how I felt.  Mrs. B-U-R-BRIDGE let me run to the restroom. It was gone.  Mrs. B-U-R-BRIDGE did everything she could to recover "my" beloved ring....checked with the class that washed up after us, asked the students in our class, even talked to the principal.  I just know that bitch, Bonnie, took it!
   The bus ride home was horrible.  I was haunted by the image of Mary's and Jesus' eyes boring into my soul every time I would squeeze my eyes together to expel the tears.
   My mother was waiting for me when I got home.
   "Did you steal a ring from Josephine?"
   "Put your hand on this Bible and swear to baby Jesus that you didn't steal it.  Josephine's mother called...told me everything...and I know that it disappeared while you were there playing cards.  If you lie, you will become very sick to your stomach."
   My hand (my utterly empty and ringless hand) trembled just a wee bit as I placed it on the faux leather embossed in gold with my father's name (thank Heavens he had his real naeme printed there...Richard Eubanks.  How embarassing to explain to people why the word Dick is prominently displayed on a Bible). 
   "I swear."  Sweet mother of God (how ironic).
   ...what had I done?  Death was certain!  Life as I knew it would cease to exist.
   Deny.  Deny.  Deny.  It was working.  I felt great!  Well, as great as a girl can feel who has just had her ring of royal entitlement stolen from her.  So, maybe I didn't feel all that great, but I felt relieved...until my dad got home.  The next five minutes of that day are engrained so deeply in my psyche that I fear God will strike me dead on judgement day for those five minutes and he'll completely overlook that one time that I...let's save that for a different post.
   As soon as he'd heard the story, he began to cry.  Not just crying, but weeping openly.  Had my father realized at the time that this whole scenario was a precursor to all of my future troublemaking, he would have given me to the gypsies (as he would threaten to do many, many times during my life) or killed me and hidden the body with Jimmy Hoffa (was he even missing in 1971?). 
   That was it!  I cracked!  I sang like a bird!  He marched me across the street to Josephine's.  Made me fess up to what I'd done.  Told Josephine that she could rest assured that I would be earning money to go out and buy her a piece of jewelry to replace the ring of eternal beauty.
   Work I did.  Earned enough to buy her a wooden bead and leather choker for $2.50 (hey-it was a long time was probably in style then).  Looking back, it was ugly.  Josephine got hosed.
   Lesson learned #1:  Tears are more powerful than words.
   Lesson learned #2:  Deny, deny, deny may work for men, but it doesnt' for seven year-old little girls when
                                  the receiving party starts to cry.
   Lesson learned #3:  It doesn't pay to be a thief (unless you are my second husband).
   Lesson learned #4:  Don't take your rings off when you wash your hands.
   Lesson learned #5:  Keep your eye on Mary and Jesus when you're in the company of a protestant, public
                                  school girl whose mother isn't really into jewelry or you'll end up with a stupid wooden
                                  bead and leather choker that is butt ugly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yay, California!!!

Seriously...if those who are threatened by same sex marriage loved someone who is denied the basic right to marry the person he/she loves, the issue would take on a whole new dimension. If it were your child, would you begrudge them the same chance at happiness to which you have been privy?  If you were forbidden to marry the person whom you are with right now, how would you feel?  Even if you don't love someone who is in a same sex relationship, can you articulate in any way, shape or form why it is such an inconvenience to you?  Perhaps it's a. fear of the unknown.  Or a self esteem issue.  Whatever it may be, allow yourself to love someone who's different from you...try it on for size.  And if that fails, try pulling the plank out of your own eye and MYOB!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Romance Schmomance

   Anybody who knows me will report that my biggest pet peeve is "romance."  I hate romance.  Don't believe it exists.  It's a waste of time.  Romance, as such, is a non-issue (yes, I'll admit that there's all sorts of other love).  People simply misinterpret lust as romantic love.
   Today, I sent in a submission for a "romance" writing contest.  The goal is to submit a 100-word maximum "romance" which relates to the photo below.  Take a gander and let me know what you think!  I love this kind of excercise to sharpen writing skills!  It makes me feel like a college freshman again...about to have my submission read aloud and ripped apart in front of all my peers...
   Despite the recent and scandalous revelation about Barbara’s herpetophilic tendencies (the couples therapist said it was nothing to be alarmed about), Mitch was supportive of her need to change careers mid-life. What he didn’t anticipate was that the fetish would manifest itself so publicly after just two appletinis, innocently imbibed during the “Meet-n-Greet” portion of their first attendance at the North American Paleontological Convention. Lesson learned: if your woman says she loves tight swimming trunks, wear a pair…don’t take her to the Speedo show during Fashion Week. It becomes socially problematic and you end up looking like a cuckold.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cranky Christian

Going to church doesn't make you a good person any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.  -unknown

Being born and raised a Methodist is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.  It is a religion that encourages independent thinking, doesn't claim to be the one and only keeper of the "truth" and welcomes all...especially the sinners (and let's face it...we're all sinners in one way or other-some of us just don't admit it).  Granted, over the course of my life, my church's views have become increasingly liberal , which thrills me to no end and keeps me coming back.  I know that no matter what I do or think, I am always loved and welcome.  God/Allah/Buddha (choose the name of your higher power) loves me NO MATTER WHAT.

A person who has been very dear to me but who will remain unnamed recently proclaimed that he/she was a good Christian...because he/she goes to church all the time and because he/she reads the Bible.  This, followed by a diatribe about how he/she has been faking his/her "love" for me for the last 15 years and that I was a terrible person because I'm a procrastinator and a horrible housekeeper and that I love my pets too much and that I'm a terrible mother, blah-blah-blah (vomit) made me reflect upon what makes a person a good Christian...or just a plain old good person.   I've been active in my church for most of my life, but I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not always a good person.  On the other hand, some of the most loving, generous, non-judgemental and forgiving people I have ever known have very rarely or never attended church.  There's two kinds of sin according to the book of "Leah's World as She Sees It":  sins of the body and sins of the heart.  I'm way more worried about what's in my heart than I am about whether I'm smoking, drinking, fornicating (not that I such luck), etc.  Aren't those things better than lying, betrayal, cheating and stealing?  Yes, I've been guilty of all these things during my life, too...but I spend most of my reflective time focusing on how I can improve on my sins of the heart.  That doesn't leave much time for all my other sins.  And when I am confronted by those who think they're superior to me because they have hidden all their faults and look really good on the outside, I get cranky...really cranky...and there ain't many people happy when Leah's cranky.

I couldn't care less if when I die (or even while I'm alive), people fault me for my sins of the body, because in the long run, I know that God, Allah, Buddah (and all the other names we have for God that I can't think of right now) loves me and everyone regardless of our religion (wow-there's a topic I can't wait to write about), regardless of our habits, regardless of our sexual orientation, regardless of how we keep our house or how much we love our pets (ooooooh...I am so bitter about that one) regardless of any of our they of the body or the heart (although I have a really hard time trying to swallow the thought that God loved Hitler and my first husband).  I want people to remember me for being a loud, sometimes cranky and loving lunatic!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

There Is a Charm About the Forbidden That Makes it Unspeakably Desirable - Mark Twain

Amy and I made plans to be freshman dorm roommates in Austin Hall on the University of Utah (the U) campus in the fall of 1981. Our plan was to live in one of the units which they call "suites"...suites were basically  little apartments which consisted of one common room, one kitchen and three bedrooms which housed two girls per room.

My parents believe that when you start college you should “go away” to college and although I lived in the same city as the U (none of my out-of-state choices would take me), I was thrilled at the opportunity to live life on a longer leash than the one I’d been raised on.

When further investigation into Austin Hall revealed that it was a dorm where boys were allowed on the floors where the girls were housed , my parents strictly forbade this, halted my plans and made arrangements for me to live in Bailiff Hall…on a floor where boys were FORBIDDEN to enter.  Apartment living was out of the question...that was for floozies and tramps! And…coupled with the fact that Austin Hall was open to all ages (including seniors), they realized that there were going to be kids living there who were old enough to buy booze and that was not going to fly!!!  One of the other selling points was that Bailiff Hall was only for freshmen and sophomores...the under 21 crowd...and that sounded much more appropriate. 

Bailiff Hall was a zig-zag shaped building with seven or eight zigs. Each zig had three floors. Each zag had three floors. The entire building was a boys’ dorm except the one floor I got assigned floor of one of the zigs. Go figure.  That should have been a big red flag to my parents, but the brochures said “no boys allowed” and they believed it. I did, too, because I had been raised in the bubble known as Murray, Utah…a place where cotton candy was abundant and everything was as it appeared.  Bad things didn't happen in Murray.  It was a great place to grow up!   Anyways, back to Bailiff Hall…it was just for incoming freshmen and sophomores, so there was no chance that any booze would make its way in because none of us would be old enough to buy it. This sounded like the perfect solution to my folks…the people that wanted to protect their already “highly-spirited” daughter from the evils of the world.

Amy met her future husband our first year and she adjusted exceedingly well to campus life. I, on the other hand, being a resident of Bailiff Hall, lived a quiet, mundane day-to-day life of study and inner contemplation. NOT!!! It was a life of utter decadence and severe frivolity! Boys prohibited from the floor? HA! There were boys on the floor constantly! Booze flowed freely! The guys on the floor below me had a vending machine that dispensed beer! Imagine our delight when we would push the “mystery” button and get an imported beer! Imagine our disdain when that same button would produce generic beer! Anybody remember generic beer? Simple white can with plain black writing? Yes, it looked a lot like Dharma Initiative beer (Google-image it if you’re unfamiliar). Boys spent the night. Girls stayed out all night. And to make things worse, I joined a sorority. Let your mind wander where it may...I’ll deny everything.

Amy and her future husband did wonderfully in school and never had to have a “good stern talking-to” from their parents (like people who were placed on academic probation their first quarter) and they appropriately married after they graduated.  They both got great jobs, started a family and are highly respected to this very day.  I'm not saying that I experienced one of those "talking-tos"...AND I'm not saying that I didn't. 
In contrasst, I made every poor choice in the book. “Boy Crazy” had always been my middle name, but to be denied the chance to fellowship with my brethren made this moniker sound genteel. The attempt to keep me protected from whatever it was that my parents were trying to protect me from backfired.  I had more fun that year than any other year of my life! I met Mindy, who is my dearest friend and will be for life. I have stories that I will laugh about until I die! My boyfriends were a blast!  My non-boyfriends were a blast!  We danced on tables!  We played football in the dark on the quad!  We played constant pranks!  The boys kidnapped my favorite stuffed animal from my dorm room and held it hostage...they sent me polaroids of him tied up and blindfolded and didn't release him until we paid the "ransom" which consisted of Playboys and beer (that was embarassing...buying Playboys at the coner 7-11)  We published a weekly newspaper which regaled all of the week's antics.  We took pictures of Jake (aka Jake-o-Lantern) through his bedroom window as he masturbated.  We raided the cafeteria!  We drove to the hot springs at 4:00 in the morning!  We played video games!  We "borrowed" my friend's car to drive to Naugles for tacos at all hours of the night!  We made fake ID's and went to the bars!  (Imagine 24 of us all going in at one time and we all had Rhode Island driver's licenses...they never even questioned it.)  It was sheer mayhem!

The next two years I lived in my sorority house. Mom and Dad thought that would be a better place because now I would be living in a building with just girls...and it was a great place for me to meet other girls who were involved in their studies. Wow…that’s a whole other story. I won’t even go there, but I bet you can imagine the frivolity that ensued during those two years!  And just to let you in on a little secret...panty raids really do happen and girls are not the culprits.

Then came my glorious senior year.  My parents were still opposed to apartments, but by this time, they had lost all control.  I moved into an apartment…without my parents’ permission (even though they were paying all of my tuition and a generous portion of my living expenses). They were certain that I would never make it through college…and...I don’t know…maybe it was the fact that I was almost burned out on partying by then…or maybe I had matured…or maybe it was just the fact that I now lived in an environment where I wasn’t forbidden from exploration of the world outside of Murray, Utah…but that was the year I settled down. I loved school by that time and I was doing really well. Never mind that I had to go a fifth year to make up for that first quarter (GPA 1.85…academic probation)…and to make up for the incompletes and the three times I had to take Math 101 (no I didn’t fail the first two times…I just didn’t do so swell) so that I could get my GPA up. I buckled down and became reasonably settled and yet still reasonably fun! And yes, I did graduate…and my parents were both astounded and proud...despite the fact that Mindy and I drank champagne in a limousine on the way to our 9:00 AM commencement and then I fell asleep during the keynote speaker's presentation) and despite the fact that the first job I applied for was to be a flight attendant.

Still… the awkward age of 47, I feel like I haven’t made my mark on the world. The need to express my inner adolescent still exists and the closer my son gets to college age (Heaven help me if he’s anything like me!), the more I look forward to focusing on my wild and crazy side again! I can play a mean game of Scrabble, I love to read and I’m thinking about taking up yoga…….do I know how to have a good time, or what?

Friday, July 16, 2010

What I Did For Love

     There is usually some sort of weird thought that gets stuck in my head every day that eventually materializes into a "theme" for the next 24 hours, I obsess over it ad nauseum and think I need to share it with everyone that I can manipulate into listening...thus the need to start this blog.  My friends have always told me that I overthink everything.  That's probably true, so I'm hoping that this will be a good, healthy outlet for me and I'll be able to ease up on people who have the bad luck to come into the sanctuary of my personal space when I feel the need to verbally ejaculate (that one's for you, Steve).  I'd like to think that I think the same kind of thoughts that everybody else does...the only difference is that I like to admit out loud exactly what I'm thinking...hopefully I can say the things that most people are too afraid to confess and everybody can be entertained.  For example, one day at lunch I told a story about a "boy" friend I had a few years back and somebody thought that it would be a good idea for me to start a blog...I usually have some unusual story with some unusual slant to it.  In fact, I have a ton of stories about odd experiences I've had in my life.  Even my dad has always told me that I should write a book about my life because I've experienced so many things.  So, sit back and relax and I'll tell the story I told at can decide if you've ever done anything like this before, but been too embarassed to admit out loud what your real motivation was.  I guess the reason I feel so compelled to be so uncensored about my real thoughts is because I feel a need to purge my soul.  So, here goes...
        A few years back, I was half-heartedly in the market for a new car...the car I had right then was paid for but I had started having a lot of repair bills.  There was this fellow...let's call him Earnest...he knew a little bit about cars and we had talked a little bit about what I was looking for.  We spent a lot of time together, but I could never tell if we were dating or just "hanging out."  One day he called, told me that he'd stopped by a car wholesaler and had found a car that he thought would be perfect for me.  We went to look at the car.  It was an awesome deal and I figured that I couldn't NOT buy it because he'd gone to all this trouble, I wanted him to like me and he was way cute...too cute for me.  Somehow...I honestly can't remember how...I ended up talking myself into buying the car thinking that at the very least, maybe I'd get lucky.  Well, I never got lucky.  Earnest never got lucky.  In fact, I never did figure out what was going on between us.  Now he's married and I am...not  (thank God...but that's a subject for a later, longer, more bitter and jaded post).  Bottom line is this...LIFE LESSON LEARNED...don't do things to please men or make them feel like they are a hero, 'cuz in the end, it just ain't enough to get 'em to put out and you get stuck with a payment every month.
    P.S.  Yes, I still have the car.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Something in the Way He Moved Me...

Paul McCartney came to SLC last night for the first time!  It was EPIC!!!  Yes, I was self-conscious about going out in public, but I forced myself to be open to some fun and boy, oh boy, did it pay off.  I'm sure the skinny little blonde bitch next to me didn't appreciate me shakin' my bootay, but I didn't care.  I felt like a kid again!  It's probably the most fun I've had in 25 years...and it made me realize how badly I've forgotten how to have fun....all because I'm so worried about what I look like.  Paul was amazing!  The people were amazing!  There were people from all walks of life, all sizes, all colors, all ages...and it was glorious!  Paul played for almost 3 hours, but the best moments were the moments when the band would go quiet in the middle of a song and the entire crowd carried on singing.  Wow!  20,000 people singing in unison a'capella!  What a rush!  I was so moved by the many people being brough together with music!  There is absolutely nothing else in the world that can unite people like music.  It is truly the universal language.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fat or dead? recently posted one of their reader's "secrets" (check out the's amazing and they update it every Sunday).  The individual claimed that they would rather die than be fat...something to that effect. recently had a story about fat people being charged more for airline flights.  The readers' comments/blogs in response were mean, nasty and self-righteous (all directed at fat people).  Being a BMI-challenged person myself, I certainly understand the personal torment that being overweight holds.  However, I can think of worse things.  Is being fat really so repulsive to some people that they would rather die or alienate everyone around them?  Personally, I find it repulsive that someone would be so shallow as to think that way, but even if I was that way, I wouldn't choose death over life.  We all know that people's general judgment of fat people is that they're lazy and dumb.  I'm here to tell you that I have more get-up-and-go and intelligence in my little finger than that kind of person has in their entire being.  Each morning, I have to face my flaws and enter the world, knowing that my flaws are on display for everyone to see.  If I were a bigot or a thief or a prideful ignoramus or was cheating on my spouse...whatever my sin of choice may be...I could hide it and probably be tempted to feel entitled to present myself as superior, too...and show the world how wonderful I am, only showing my true side while hiding behind a blog or a "secret".  These people may look perfect on the inside, but what do they look like on the inside? 
       In my life, I have learned that being overweight has bonus "life lessons" attached to it.  Although it can be humiliating and a source of great personal trauma, it also teaches me to focus on what's really important.  What are my priorities?  What kind of person do I want to be?  How do I want to be remembered?  How do I want other people to feel when they interact with me?  Were I able to hide my shortcomings/flaws so readily, I don't think I'd be the same person.  I wouldn't be worrying about if I make people happy or if I'll be going to Heaven or if I've been kind to the people around me...or what is the meaning of life?  I'd be more concerned with what I look like and all of life's important lessons would go on the back burner.
     Anyways, I am left with one those of you who would rather die than be fat...fuck you.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prepare Me a Place at the Prison

I may be a pedophile.  Last night I attended (albeit hesitantly) a sneak preview of "Eclipse" with a group of friends.  When I left the movie, I experienced an unfamiliar sense of breathlessness.  When I awoke this morning I still felt breathless and then I realized that I am truly and deeply in love with Jacob (although Edward was looking kind of hot in this movie, too...not quite as weird-looking as he usually is) which is quite problematic, considering I have a 12-year old son and I am intimate with menopause.  You see, I've never been "into" the "Twilight" series.  In fact, when I tried to read the first book, I quit half-way through.  Every time I heard Bella wax on about how her entire world revolved around Edward, I wanted to vomit (I love that word).  Little did this young Bella know that falling in love would have dire consequences.  Didn't she realize that love and romance are Satan's gateway to disappointment and bitterness?  Somebody needed to save her and bring her to the realization that romantic love doesn't really exist...only lust is real.  Needless to say, I never picked the book up again.  Then I went to see the first movie.  It was OK.  Saw the second movie.  It was OK, too.  I was glad I saw them so that I could be "in-the-know" with my friends...who like me, are "comfortably-aged" and have experienced some of life's let-downs.  The only difference between them and me is that they are all crazy in love with everything "Twilight."  Until last night, they kind of embarassed me.  Last night, I watched "Eclipse" and remembered (though I tried to fight the feeling) what it felt like to be young and in love...all because of Jacob (and maybe Edward a little bit).  What a fox!  Oops..I mean wolf.  I am ashamed...and at the same time, I am sad.  By the time I wake up tomorrow, I will have reverted to my old beliefs and this breathlessness that I feel will be just a memory.  Once again, I will experience the clarity of my convictions and my "love" for Jacob will return to lust.  Please Lord, let him be over 18...I feel so dirty!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So Disappointed!

So.  This is the anniversary of Adolph Hitler's birthday...and the anniversary of the Columbine shootings.  But most importantly it was to be the day of cop-killer Curtis Allgier's wedding to his beloved female friend (name undisclosed by the media and a woman whom he has never met) while incarcerated at the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Center (or the Salt Lake County Jail for those of us not living in "let's-all-be-nicey-nice-and-not-make-the-evil-dregs-of-society-feel-unloved-or alienated-or-hurt-their-feelings" land).  But alas, the nuptials have been cancelled. The betrothed couple was to be married with only a sheet of glass separating them as they exchanged their vows.  They were not to be allowed to kiss, nor to consummate the union.  Sweet mother of God...why does anyone even entertain this guy's antics?  He is a piece of human excrement who holds himself out as a white supremicist, yet he goes so far as to disguise his visage with so many nonsensical and poorly executed tattoos that he now appears to be a black man.  Ahhhh, the sweet irony of his stupidity!