Monday, September 12, 2011

Autumn is for falling leaves...and lowered expectations.

It's that time of year again. Time for our yearly trek to the local biker rally. Nothing says hard-assed biker like a weekend at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Campground. Rebels we ain't. Thankfully we had various and sundry crazy folk to keep us entertained. We enjoy camping. Before we sold the camper, we spent many weekends "roughing it" with our expensive grill and ipod-compatible soundsystem. But camping at a biker rally? "That's a whole 'nuther dealio. First of all, we were sharing a camper with some friends. Their '89 Shaggin' Shack sleeps four people. This detail will become very important as the weekend progresses.
Weekend Address, Site 218. Once everyone is settled in and fed, it's time to go tour the facility and take stock of what is available for our unbridled amusement.
Probably NOT sanctioned by the Health Department
Probably working in her "Official Capacity" During a party a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to re-connect with a friend from high school. As she is currently on a man-hunt, she expressed an interest in attending the rally with us. Now, never being one to deny another living soul the opportunity to see with their very own eyes the train-wreck spectacular that is a biker rally, I encouraged her to attend. (This had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I anticipated giggling with glee at the horrific expressions sure to come to her in light of what she was sure to see. Pinkie swear.) For the sake of anonimity, I will call her "Shaqueva Jackson". In fact, I may now call her Shaqueva forever. Or at least until I forget that I gave her a new name. After getting her settled and introduced to everyone at our campsite, I led her around the immediate area just to begin the acclimation process. (It's important to exposse yourself slowly to these things, so as to avoid getting the bends, or questioning your belief system.
Showing off his "talents" to a slightly uncomfortable Shaqueva. Last year, I posted about all the field games that take place as some sort of Biker Olympics. Yes I made sure that I marched Miss Shaqueva right down there so that she could witness the weenie catch herownself. I am convinced that she is now in awe of the technical skill required to bite the end off a dangling Oscar Mayer while perched on the back seat of a motorcycle.
Generally accepted method for beer transport.
*I don't even have any words for this, much less an explanation.* I took several more pictures of the field games, but honestly none of them were very good. In my defense, I was distracted by the Side-boob standing next to me.
I probably should put one of those black bars across her eyes like the magazines do, but she should really buy a damned mirror so really I'm calling it even-steven. As the weekend progressed more friends showed up and as predicted, much merriment ensued. We got a gander at the crowd gathered for the stripper pole contest, but since she was a first-timer, we generously gave Shaqueva the prime spot for viewing, complete with accompanying Cute Boy to hang on to for balance.
Trust me, you DO NOT want to see what was swinging around that pole. Shaqueva may have to bleach her brain to remove the image from her nightmares.
Some of the paint jobs on the bikes entered into the bike show were completely awesome. And the stuff nightmares are made of. (Sorry for the crappy picture quality, the bikes were parked under a red and white striped tent which made everything look like it was being viewed through some sort of bad 70's video. Here's pics of our gang in separate boys vs. girls pictures. Please do me a favor and count the number of people in these pictures.
*Not pictured, myself and Shaqueva. I was BEHIND the camera, obviously and Shaqueva had run off with a man who said he was a cop, but later his buddies completely ratted him out. He's actually the Street Commisioner, and is only a cop on the weekends. Which I'm not even sure is legal. Plus it WAS the weekend and he was running around in a golf cart sporting a sign reading "Needs Laid". Which actually is starting to make sense to me which only means that I need to wrap this up because I'm getting confused. So. To Recap..there's me and Shaqueva (2), and the three lovely ladies in the picture above (+3), and the four studly men in the picture before that (+4). Grand total of person in our campsite? NINE. Remember me stating earlier that the camper sleeps four? Um, yeah. Now, two of the people pictured brought a tent with them. Neither one of which was me. Or Shaqueva. So, nine minus two still equals seven adults to fit in the space of four. Twas a dilemna. Thankfully, after a certain BAC is reached, no one is real particular as to where they may or may not sleep. All available floor space in the camper was full of sleeping, snoring, bathroom-door-blocking bodies. Even Miss Shaqueva Jackson, who had never camped before, bedded down on the floor of the camper without complaint. Pretty damned tough for a first-timer and she handled it like a pro. As an award for how puffed-up proud I am, I will not post the pictures of her sleeping on the floor. For your viewing pleasure, some random pics from the weekend. Because I'm tired. And I have an assload of laundry to do because everything we took with us smells like campfire smoke and water that large pigs bathed in. So just look at the damned pictures and I'll be back later to answer any questions you may have.
Leave your questions in the comments and I'll get back to them as soon as my therapist says I can deal with it, or the pills kick in.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A sneaky birthday celebration

Have ya'll ever seen this man? Better known as THE MAN on this blog.

Warning: That is one sneaky boy in that picture right there.

Even though he knows I have control issues,
Even though he has heard me say time and time again that I don't like surprises,
Even though he has only met my oldest friends once or twice in the last eight years,
Even though there were probably a thousand things he would rather be doing,


It all started a couple of weeks ago while discussing birthday plans. I had spent so much money just trying to get the teenaged Divas in school that I just didn't see any way to make big plans. Schedules were crazy, funds were low, and quite frankly I wasn't too concerned. Yes, I was getting another year older, but it wasn't one of the "biggies". It wasn't one of those numbers that ends with a "zero". There was no milestone attached to this anniversary of the day that I shot out of my mother's lady parts.

So we decided (he coerced me and I followed along like a well-behaved sheep) that we would have dinner on the way to a shopping location out of town, do some browsing and maybe a small amount of purchasing, then return home.

One of the towns on our way to our shopping destination is my old hometown. The birthplace of me. A veritable Smallville, US of A. And it was decided that dinner would be eaten there. Then we would proceed to shopping.

Did I mention that The Man was taking me to a Bass Pro Shop?

I joked on facebook and to friends that I was definitely getting some new rubber hip-waders for my birthday. Hopefully in pink camo, because nothing says sexy like a woman in a rubber half-suit.

*dead sexy*

(I did not get these for mah birthday. I am not sad about that.)

What I did get was a surprise party. My very first. The Man had contacted my friends and family and arranged everything. Food? Check. Cake? Check. Friends? Check. Booze? Double-check.

I had dinner with family and friends and drinks with friends that have only drank once or twice legally with me ever. We will not discuss drinks consumed while we were all of tender ages.

Long story short, (HA! fat chance of that) there was much merriment. I heard stories of niece's soccer games, cousin's motorcycles, sister's concert trips, friends dating woes.

I ran in circles around tables while being chased by by small children, ate fried chicken with people I love and laughed so hard that I probably ruptured that bladder repair that I had in '97.

Several hours and a goodly amount of bourbon (thank you Maker's Mark for your contribution to my party-ness) we all hugged and hugged and hugged and said good-bye. Now at this point my buzz was about a 7 on a scale of ten. Which means that I was dangerously close to being that silly-ass drunk girl that hangs all over everybody and can't speak in complete sentences. It was a good time to go home, is all I'm saying.

Have you ever tried to sit still, all drunk and shit on the back of a motorcycle and maintain? It's a lifeskill I have recently acquired. It does help tremendously to have a big strong man to hold on to. So I did. For an hour. It was like the Olympic trials of drunk backseat motorcycling. And I won. Even though at one point I was singing silly songs to the night sky and grinning way too much for the number of bugs flying down the highway at me. Style points deducted - me.At the end of the night, it was a wonderful surprise that has left me smiling through the pounding hangover the next day.

Since that night I have drastically changed. I love surprise parties.

Thank you again and again and again to everyone that attended. I love ya'll more'n strippers love body glitter.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day Two. Which makes up for Day One. Almost.

Do you remember that scene in the Indiana Jones movie (No, I don't remember which one and I'm too lazy to look it up)with the little Asian kid that Indy "sorta" adopted, before Angelina Jolie could get her hands on him? Remember the scene where he looks off into the distance and says dreamily, "Fortune and Glory"? That's exactly how I feel when someone mentions Memphis, Tennessee. I get all swoony (is TOO a word) and heart-mushy (also a legitimate word).

Day Two of vacation, which as I mentioned earlier, began with buying a new helmet for The Man and and cursing Jackson, Tennessee. There would be better, more powerful curses for them, but more on that later. Once the helmet was purchased we could not get out of that den of thieves fast enough. And the first road sign that looked interesting enough to stick in my addled brain.

Off we go!

Now when I say that Memphis makes me swoony (still a word, yo.) I mean it wrapped itself around my cold, black heart and gave it a little hug. From the lady that let us sneak into the "Members Only" parking garage so that the roving band of thieves that was surely chasing us couldn't take all my precious jewels and fine lingerie, to the homeless guy with no legs that I gave a dollar to and watched him hand it back to The Man and wish him a Happy Fathers Day. It was sweaty hot, laid-back cool, and beautiful. I may have sprained my shutter finger taking pictures of every single thing that passed in front of my sunburned nose. We spent the majority of our time there on Beale Street. Everyone should.

We shopped. We ate. We tapped our feet along with the street performers playing on every corner. We chatted with store clerks and tourists and waitresses. We tried on Elvis sunglasses and hung out in B.B. King's Bar. In short, we had ourselves a ball. One shop in particular stands out because it's where I purchased what surely will become a family heirloom.

My very own voodoo doll! Complete with instructions! (Jackson, Tennessee - you have been put on notice.) Sidenote: I never have to worry about The Man using it on me becuase he will not read instructions for anything. Ever. Which means that I may be in trouble anyway, because he is liable to just go throwing that thing around wily-nily and may likely throw an inadvertant curse on my ass. I think I'll hide it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator just to be safe.

After some damn fine barbeque, and many dollars spent on buying me foolish trinkets, we decided (read: I decided) to walk around and get some pictures. As we walked down a side street, me snapping pictures as fast as my Nikon could handle, we passed a gentleman sitting in a window sill shaking his head at us as if we were the most pitiful thing his eyes had ever seen. "You meeessed tha most emmpotant ones" he drawled.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Sonny James.

Mr. Sonny, as I now think of him, introduced himself as the "unofficial" historian of Beale Street. He launched into a diatribe covering architecture, music, city ordinances, outlaws, and the fact that every mention of Beale Street in any reference book EVAH was wrong. All this, while launching a bag of peanut M&M's into his gold laden mouth. He smacked his lips and proclaimed "The Oh-Fishul Peoples of this town would have you believing that Beale Street began as a Cull-choo-ral Center, but Nossir. They's wrong. Beale Street wus started by hoddlums an' swindlers."

For ten minutes we sat and talked...or rather he talked, and I tried to get my brain to record verbatim every word out of his mouth.

"See that building over there? The one with the large green braces holdin' it up? Now the townsfolk would have you believin' that they done went and put that up fo' your safety. Lies! All Lies! There ain't nothing worng with that there building. It's all a scam."

(It's lies! All lies!!)

"Did ya'll see that bar with the Diving Goats? Ya'll be careful if'n you go in there. Them goats was raised on al-kee-haul, and they's mean as can be, so don't you go stand near'em with a drank, or they'll attack."

From Mr. Sonny, we learned where we could pawn our watches for the best prices, which bars watered down there beer, and where we could get a hooker if we so desired. (No, Mother. We did not so desire.)

(Big ass beer pic)

Eventually, Mr. Sonny leaned back against the window, took a deep breath that announced that the informative part of the lesson was finished, and finished off those M&M's.

"Now if'n you folks found this info'mation at all helpful, any donation that you would like to pass my way would be much obliged. This is how I pay mah bills. The city don't condone it none, but they can't stop me from talking, now can they?"

Best five dollars I've ever spent. Thank you Mr. Sonny. You're all right in my book.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ready, Set...Go Away

I have a bad habit. Actually I have several which my mother can list in alphabetical order for you, but there's one that I would like to talk about. I am currently the Queen of Unrealistic Expectations. I will build something up in my head to be so wonderfully fabulous, that not even Willy Wonka or the Great Wizard of Oz or Her Royal Oprahness could fulfill my plans.

This year I put forth an assload of effort into NOT being that person. Everytime my brain would get all "IMMA GONNA PET AN ALLIGATOR!" or "I CAN SPEND FOUR HOURS SHOPPING AND GET GIFTS FOR SEVENTY TWO PEOPLE!", I would make myself go sit quietly in the corner at work and stare at spreadsheets.

And you know what? It worked. Apparently it isn't very hard to trick my brain. No one that knows me would be very surprised to hear this information.

So...We packed up some clean underwear and got the hell outta town. As I've mentioned before, The Man works night shift, so we left on a Friday at the crack of noon. Because falling asleep while driving me around on a Harley can lead to uncomfortable roadrash. Our first stop? Kentucky. Yes, we made it one whole state away.

My favorite picture of Kentucky.

There's a place in Kentucky called Land Between the Lakes. The scenery is beautiful, the road is idyllic, and there is an Elk and Bison reserve. Now since The Man is a hunter/gatherer/Ted Nugent fan, this was ideal. I could sit back and take beautiful pictures that National Geographic would swoon over, and he could stand at a fence and imagine shooting things. Wins for everyone.

Bison are kind of stand-offish.

After this was taken we headed of to the Elk Reserve to partake more of nature's beasts. Antlers are a priority for The Man. As we enter the Elk Area (Arena? Habitat? Hood?), we aew greeted by a large gate and a sign saying there is a charge for driving though the Elk Reserve. Fine, whatever. Just bring on the large mammals. As we approach the gate we see a second sign. "No motorcycles."
So, I guess Kentucky is kind of an asshole, what with the profiling and whatnot. But it was still purdy.

So while I told The Man over and over that the brochure said nothing about cars being required, we loaded back up and got the hell out of Kentucky. We decided to make our way to Somewheresville, Tennessee and get a room. It really didn't matter where, we just wanted to get out of Kentucky and closer to something fun. A few more hours of riding brought us to Jackson, Tennessee. It seemed like a good place to stop for the night, get a good dinner and prepare a game plan for the next day. We stopped at a well known chain motel, parked near the front door and went inside to hand over some money in exchange for a key to a hopefully clean room that didn't smell like a retirement village.

Now, everyone has done this. You walk in and are greeted by someone dressed as though they are impersonating an airline stewardess. You list your requirents for a room (single, king bed, smoking, first floor) and hand over the money. In return you get a plastic key card which will not work until the fourth time you try it, and a lecture on what additional charges you *may* incur. Total time for the process is what? Four minutes? Five, tops? We did all this, and returned to move the bike and take our bags inside. That's when we noticed it. Some asshat had stolen his helmet! Now lest you not be familiar with the motorcycle laws in the great state of Tennessee, let me inform you. Approved helmets are required for all motorcycle drivers and passengers.

After searching several times and taking to the airline stewardess, I mean front desk co-assistant manager Tammilou (who was entirely unhelpful), we resigned ourselves to walking to dinner and trying to figure out what to do over a couple of plates of barbeque. (I think much better when there's food present, don't you?)

Long story short, we called the police and got a weird sort of almost permission for The Man to ride to the Harley shop the next morning helmetless.

New helmet purchased with vacation monies. Thanks to Bumpus Harley in Jackson for commiserating and making me giggle while you called the thieves Motherfuckers.

I'm gonna leave off here, becuase this post has gone on way too long. Chalk up Day One of vacation to the thieves and assholes. Tomorrow will be better, I promise.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A lesson on how to vacation like me.

Warning: Contains spicy language. Side effects may include indigestion and complete loss of respect for the writer.

Once again it's time for our annual vacation, just me and the Man, and many, many miles on a Harley. Now if you've been silly enough, dedicated enough or just plained bored enough to read some of my previous posts, you will see that we've done this before. We are not try this at home.

Let me begin by talking about packing for a trip of this magnitude. Cramming enough clothes to last two people for ten days onto the back of a motorcycle is no easy task. Concessions must be made. Rain gear, sunscreen, comfortable panties...some things are just non-negotiable. Everything else is fair game. That cute summer top you bought to go with the sparkly sandals? Not gonna happen. Just go ahead now and resign yourself to comfy jeans and tank tops. Or do what I do. Take some crappy t-shirts that you don't care about and then when they are all dirty, throw them away
and buy new ones.

Everything you needs must be packed on THIS amount of space.

It will make you think twice before your order anything smothered in barbeque sauce.

Since I am assuming that most of you have never traveled extensively by motorcycle, I am going to educate you on some of the finer tips and techniques of this mode of travel. This is my public service to you. And I'm hoping my probation officer counts this as part of my community service. (It's a joke, MOM. Geesh.)

First of all, there's the biker wave. This differs greatly from the normal wave, the neighbor wave, and the pageant queen wave. Let me illustrate.

Drop hand casually, no finger movement, small head nod if you're feeling particularly friendly. Must be done while ignoring the insane person on the passenger seat that's waving like she just saw Bozo the Clown.

Road hazards are especially dangerous when traveling on two wheels. This particular trip we encountered gators, snakes and landslides. (Not to mention some of the worst roads I have ever traveled. Tax dollars for road maintenance, people!)

Lest you be confused and think that we drove through a swamp, let me 'splain.

This is a gator.

This is a road gator.

Do not confuse the two. Neither is fun to run over, but only one of the above will come flying through the air towards your head. Unless you have flying alligators alligators where you live, in which case I will not be coming to visit anytime soon.

Now we all know what snakes look like. I'm not going to google a picture of one just to post here for your illustration. If you really want to see one, go google it your damn self. But. But. This is a tar snake. It can make for slippery, weaving, jolting driving. It will also cause the Man to shout at you to "Sit Still!" when all you were really doing was spinning around 180 degrees to take a picture of a camel's butt. (True story.) These are tar snakes.

We all know what snakes look like. But these are tar snakes. They WILL cause you to get yelled at.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

All the News that is news

Ya'll, I've been busy writing. I've been writing everywhere but here. Plus, the internet is time-sucking my life away and I need a twelve-step program. In an active effort to change it up, I have resorted to paper and pencil and scribbled notes crammed in the bottom of my purse. I have outlined and plotted and charted my way through a storyline. And then in a fit of impatience, I went back and read everything that I had so far. And you know what? It's crap. Complete and utter overworked and stale crapola. But, it was practice and got me back in the habit of writing a small bit every day. It taught me to be a little more aware of my surroundings and the everyday language that I encounter.

Maybe I should try writing something less lofty. Lower my standards. Write what I know.

Today's work events and an earlier Facebook thread prompted me to discover my next Great American Novel:

Dear Customer
Or How Not To Act In A Retail Enviroment

Chapter One: Please Bathe

Chapter Two: I don't need business or love advice from a guy selling purses out of a van.

Chapter Three: Yes, I look like that girl you used to know, but she didn't like you either.

Chapter Four: Toothpaste and it's common uses.

What? It's a work in progress. Or I need more sleep. It's really hard to say at this point...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talking to myself

So there's a thread going around the blogger world concerning what you would say to your 16 year old self. Figuring I would rise to the occasion, I've decided to write a letter to the 16 year old me. If nothing else, it will be an exercise in LESSONS LEARNED. And if I drag a few skeletons out of the closet and expose them for the assholes that they are, then all the better.

Dear Teenage Me,

Yes, this is weird. You probably have never received a letter from yourself before, but try and pay attention. I know you may find it shocking that you even have any brain cells left at the ancient age of *cough* forty-six *cough* but there are at least a hundred or so still functioning to impart some wisdom on your skinny ass.

Listen up, kiddo. I've managed to keep your body alive for another 30 years and even managed to beat some sense into that hormone-addled brain of yours. It wasn't easy, but the main thing I need to tell you is that you will be ok. I promise.

Now that the big news is out of the way, here's a few pointers to make your life a little easier to navigate the next few years.

I know that high school sucks, but it pretty much sucks for everybody, so you're in good commpany. The only people that believe that high school doesn't suck are those three or four people that never grow beyond it. There will be good days and bad ones, but that's pretty much the rule of the rest of your life. It ain't all cruising in cars and hot dates. But again, you will be ok.

Embrace your inner dorkiness. I know it's hard to be different in high school, but one day soon, your originality will be something you are proud of. Plus you will never have to drive yourself bat-shit crazy again trying to find the exact same kind of tennis shoes that everybody else is wearing.

Keep your copy of the Thoureau book that your English teacher made you read. Otherwise you will have to spend some serious Ramen-noodle starving college student money for another one. (Which you will love and still have today, btw)

Stop perming your hair. Seriously. If Eddie Murphy can't pull off a Jeri-Curl look, neither can a white girl from the Bible belt of the Midwest. You will not achieve a tousled, carefree, "I just came from the beach" look for many years. Stop it.

Look down. See those legs? They are fabulous. See those abs? Get a good look now and ingrain it in your memory. Look behind you. That is an ass to die for. Trust me. Take care of those, instead of taking them for granted. Good genes will only carry you so far. The rest takes hard work.

Let's talk about your family. Ease up on your mom. She's in a bad position and you're not making it any easier. And about your dad? You need to learn when to keep your mouth shut. And when not to. Alcoholism affects more of your friends than you know and hiding behind lies and denying anything is wrong is denying you of support that you might have found. It will take years, but you can make peace with all of this.

Speak up more. You have things to say and haven't yet found the courage to say them. I promise that if you let your voice be heard, good thing will happen.

Stand by your friends. Hug 'em, love up on 'em, tell them that they are the greatest. Because thirty years later, they are still there and wonderful and irreplaceable.

Now, let's talk about college. You new-found freedom is not a license to lose your damned mind. Have fun, try new things, experience life, but for God's sake stop running around acting like you only have a week to live. Do not drink Cold Duck in the shower every morning before class. Do not blow a week's worth of grocery money on lingerie. Don't sign up for classes that begin at 8:00 in the morning. You are not a morning person, and never will be. And go ahead and have that fling with the guy named Jack. He will teach you how to truly enjoy sex. And when you see him? Tell him I said thank you.

P.S. Call your Grandma, she misses you.