Sunday, April 27, 2008

Turning 25 Denver Style

A quarter of a century? Are you fucking kidding me? When did this happen? I feel like my age doesn't match my actions or my feelings. Sometimes when I'm at work, I literally feel like a six year old playing "office" like when I was actually six and I'd bust out my mom's old electric typewriter and bat glasses from Halloween, make a faux name plate out of construction paper that read "Ms. So-and-so" and play "secretary."
Remember when you were eight and 25 was so old? I thought I'd be prancing around in business suits as a business executive, married to Ken (screw Barbie, this is my fantasy) and a mother of two by the age of 25, but somewhere in there, the childhood fantasy faded into the reality that 25 is actually just the tiniest step up from childhood for most people. Your mom may not wipe your ass anymore, but you still need her to hold your hand from time to time — or in my case — every other day. Yeah, I know I'm awesome.
And, in celebration of my young age of 25, my ladies Kate and Lacey hopped on a plane with me to visit our friend Whitney in Denver.
We attempted to be all "naturey" by driving to Colorado Springs and visiting Seven Falls and Cave of the Winds the first full day we were there. Ha! We were MADE for the wilderness...
Seven Falls: Hiking up about 200 million stairs, asses burning, to find the trail was closed, deciding that our puny Kansas lungs had altitude poisoning, holding back the urge to freak out as we decended the giant staircase and chalking our wildlife count up to two - a couple of ducks and two scroungy ass looking deer we saw on the side of the road while driving out of the park. We were really hoping for a Yeti. However, the guy at the gate did have the most killer handlebar 'stache I've ever seen and the gift shop had an abundance of stupid shit to take pictures with - bonus.
Cave of the Winds: At least three unique and breathtaking photo opportunities ensued - Kate and I riding a giant bear sculpture, me sitting on a mechanical pony for children in the lobby that proudly displayed a giant barrel marked "Tequila" (now kiddies, remember, tequila makes you have sex with inappropriate people...) and the four of us once again running rampant in the gift shop. I was more amused by the fact that the stalactites were extremely phallic-like than the fact that I was in an underground cave explored by pioneers for centuries. During the tour we stopped at this piece of plexiglass protecting a huge pile of pennies, chains, paperclips and bobby pins and the tour guide told us that a couple of unmarried women ages 20 and 21 - apparently old maids in the 1800s - left their hairpins on that same ledge. A year later when they came back, the hairpins were still there, they had found husbands and were happy. We tossed our pennies over the glass and nothing fell off the ledge, so apparently, according to the legend, our 25-year-old, old maid asses will be married in a year - ick, please say that's not true...
That night we met some of Whitney's friends and explored downtown Denver nightlife hitting The Tavern and Theorie - the old Real World house that is now a martini bar. After meeting some douchebaggy men, which made me feel right at home, we got back to Whitney's apartment somehow, passed out and woke up to a heinous hangover. And, just as we arrived at Washington Park for a barbeque that afternoon, we were greeted by snow flurries, which turned into a full on cold ass snowstorm. As we sat hovering over the fire Whitney's boyfriend Gene had made in one of the park grills like a group of bums, Lacey declared that "we are not fucking doing this" and we packed it up and headed to a nearby restaurant. Whitney promptly puked up her hamburger in true delayed hangover fashion when we got back to her place spawning the quote of the trip, "I threw up my hamburger in a hamburger shape."
But, by the time dinner time rolled around, the hamburger barfing had subsided and we were all ready to go out and celebrate my 25 years of awesomeness on this planet. I donned my fabulous black and green tube dress (purchased at Britches - found only in Kansas and Missouri - try not to be jealous now L.A.) and a pair of new oh-my-god-I'm-going-to-break-my-ankle-or-my-feet-are-going-to-bleed-and-fall-off sky high heels. We went deaf while eating dinner at Lime downtown because of the ear piercing techno happy DJ, but I was happy to dance in our booth while stuffing my face with the best quesadillas and margaritas ever.
We got the special Lime birthday poster taped up next to our table on the wall attracting the attention of a group of men, who lined up to give me birthday kisses. They weren't half bad reassuring me that sometimes you get lucky enough to run into somebody of the opposite sex that you can actually stand hanging out with for a night - maybe it was just birthday luck. We took advantage of VIP and danced on tables before hitting up a few more places and walking the six blocks back to the parking garage where my baby toes fell off as I cried and peeled my feet out of my montrous heels.
Our second attempt at a barbeque in the park the next day was a success - almost too successful in fact since it was 90 degrees. The guys from the night before even showed up including the one the girls deemed "Birthday Boyfriend Bobby." How cute.
We reluctantly hopped on a plane that night and headed back to reality, but it was a birthday that couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks girls - I needed that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Model behavior

My family and I said our final goodbyes to Grandpa this past weekend at his memorial service in Tucson.
It was at his house on the golf course in Sun City Vistoso, the ninth tee situated just behind the property. All five of of the aunts and uncles, their spouses and cousins plus old war buddies, neighbors and golf partners showed up to bid farewell.
We had been laying by the pool the day before and even earlier that day as if it was a vacation, but I started thinking about what I should say during the service, tried to write it down, then decided to wing most of it, slipped on a yellow dress, determined not to be in mourning and immediately began drinking wine.
Milling around, I met a few people, looked at the photo displays my uncle had put up around the house and tried not to cry when strangers talked to me. He died in fucking February. It was ridiculous.
Two of my aunts stopped me near the front door. "You look like a model," they said before we took a photo together. Another man came up to me a little later while I was looking at some more photos on the fireplace mantle. "You must be a granddaughter," he said. "You certainly look like a Fino."
My sister, Gina, and I flipped through a book of letters sent to Grandpa from different departments of Allstate when he retired as International President in the '70s. Page after page, the personal letters gushed over him and his enthusiasm and everybody's disappointment that he was leaving. The phrase "The John Fino Fan Club" was used more than once. I tried not to cry again. Gina just let it all come out.
The service started as I continued to guzzle wine from a plastic cup and wiped tears away from underneath my sunglasses. Every few minutes between gusts of wind, you could hear golf balls being hit off the ninth tee. My uncle welcomed everyone, my aunt read a poem and my other aunt got choked up reading the obituary. I let out an audible sob.
My 16-year-old cousin belted out a song, impressing everyone with her sound and another aunt told a story. Then, it was my turn.
I was horribly unprepared and a nervous public speaker, but I felt like I was the voice of the grandchildren, being the writer and one of the oldest. I stood up, completely missed the small step down from where I was sitting, rolled my ankle, stumbled and almost fell on my ass sloshing wine all over the front of me while the entire crowd gasped and my uncle captured the Kodak moment on film. Oh shit. Talk about a model. Of course, how many countless videos of models tripping on runways are there on the Internet?
Mortified, I knew I had to make fun of it so I blamed it on the wine and everybody laughed. "That's a Fino!" I heard someone say. Yes, a bunch of Italian alchys — that's us...
My speech probably sucked more than anything has sucked before, but I hardly remember it. I just know that people laughed and cried and nodded and I had gotten up there, fought my fears and gotten through it. That was more than good enough for me.
Afterwards, I wanted nothing more than to be alone, so I went back into Grandpa's room and looked through a few unclaimed things, choosing a few saki dishes from his stint in Japan to take with me.
A little later, my sister joined me, sitting on the bed in the room, the chatter of the guests dying down as she re-closed the door behind her. Grandpa had died in this bed gazing out the windows at the Catalina Mountains just like we were doing now, silently saying goodbye...
As embarassed as I was, the experience, especially my trip up, sparked the idea for my first column. You can read it here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Dentist Debacle

Just because two people that live together happen to make their dentist appointments for the same time on the same day out of convenience doesn't mean they're married nor does it mean they'll be able to stand each other six months later when it's time to visit the dentist again.
I got a call earlier this week reminding me of my dentist appointment today. Fuck. Six months before in October, I finally decided to take advantage of my lovely dental insurance and get my ass to the dentist. And, being the obliging girlfriend that I was, I knew he was overdue for a visit, so I made him an appointment too. After the October checkup, we made appointments in the same manner for six months in the future without batting an eye.
However, now, six months later, I'm no longer a lovely obliging girlfriend, but a pissy, disgruntled ex-girlfriend and I don't want to chill in the waiting room with him flipping through Highlights magazines nor do I want him sitting in the next exam chair with his perfect, cavity free teeth. Who the hell has never had a cavity at almost 29? It's just more proof that he is in fact a demon spawn and not human...
After my reminder call, I immediately e-mailed him, asking him to please change his appointment since it was me who found the dentist and made the damn appointment around my weird journalist scedule in the first place. He agreed, making sure to throw in a few unnecessarily mean comments about me into the reply and I thought it was all over — No more association by dentist, but that was just the beginning of the dentist debacle.
As soon as I walked into the office, the receptionist informed me that my husband had called to reschedule his appointment.
Oh. My. Fucking. God!
I wasn't aware that having the same address and making dentist appointments together six months ago automatically meant rings and vows and death (or dentist appointment) do us part...
Then, after my exam, the hygienist asked if I wanted to make another appointment...with my husband.
Seriously, if I hear the word "husband" again, I'm going to be inconsolable. Not just because of the fact that the word "husband" is scary enough on it's own right now, but because they are using it in reference to the last man on earth I want to become my husband except for maybe Ike Turner. I told her not to worry about him and quickly changed the subject.
Dr. Dentist was my hero for never uttering the word husband or even referring to "that-man-that-came-with-me-to-my-appointment-last-time," however he did manage to slice into another one of my soft spots.
My teeth — clean and cavity free. My gums — impecable. My breath — like the motherfucking mountain breeze. But, did he mention any of that? Of course not. He was completely fixated on my bite — the most horrific sight ever.
You would have thought I had a hairlip and a deformed face instead of a small "Madonna" gap between my two front teeth and a bit of an overbite. I was like, dude, I would have gone to an orthodontist if I wanted somebody to more or less say, "Damn bitch, you ugly." Just tell me my teeth are fine and let me go like all normal dentists. Spare me the criticism since I blame my parents for not forcing me to continue my orthodotics. The surgery I needed was not going to fly with my 8-year-old self 17 years ago, so now here I am almost 25 and in need of braces (again) and surgery. This is a maybe, if I can find the funds and the strength to sport braces in my mid-20s. HOT.
Anyway, they throw an orthodontics referral form at me then send me to the receptionist to scedule an appointment where she informs me that most insurance companies don't cover adult orthodontics. Great so now I have bad teeth and I'm old balls.
She then promptly asks, "Would you like to schedule your next appointment with your husband?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yet another reason to hate KU...

So, a few days ago I got something strange in the mail from the University of Kansas. Now, I didn't go to this school and I might sort of despise it a little, so I was highly amused when I read this:

"Notice of Delinquent Parking Citation"

Followed by a chart with my vehicle's information, date and time of an apparent traffic violation on the campus etc...I was puzzled. Then I read on:

"An Information Booth attendant recently reported that a vehicle identified to you "ran" the booth without stopping. A special permit is required to drive and park in the central core of the campus during the hours that it is restricted...

What the hell?!

Then, it came to me. I WAS actually on the campus recently covering something for work. I was driving around aimlessly trying to figure out where the hell I was going, when I sort of found the correct way to go. I saw the little booth sitting there, but there was no sign posted saying I needed to stop, nor did I see anybody inside of it, nor was there any other way I could go. I went through it and heard a "hey!" then saw a man pop out of the booth in my rearview mirror. Um, oops, I guess, but what the hell was I supposed to do at that point? Put it in reverse and run into the person behind me? Plus, what the hell kind of campus restricts people from driving through it's central core at certain times? How inviting to your patrons and future students...How about you come over to my car little booth man and TELL ME WHERE THE HELL TO GO, since you know, I purposely ran your booth...or I could just be from out of town. Once welcoming.
Then, this letter saying if I do it again, I owe them $50, comes in the mail. Well, ya know what? FUCK YOU KU and your bullshit little booth men!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dirty and Saucy

Playing sand volleyball in a 40 degree rainstorm is surprisingly fun. Really? Who the hell plays sand volleyball in April in Kansas? Dumbshits, that's who. But, I'm proud to be a dumbshit I guess, and one that actually isn't as bad at volleyball as I thought.
We lost our first game yesterday, but it wasn't a scary slaughter or anything and the people on my team are fabulous. All the guys are IT computer nerds - Love it! And, the two other girls — one I know from high school and the other one is a P.E. teacher. Plus, they all drink. Hell yes. New pals make me happy. But, of course I always love hanging out with my old friend Jeff from high school, the one that organized the whole volleyball team thing. He's a keeper for sure — just an overall nice, fun, intelligent person, which is sadly hard to find.
When I got home, the sand was just caked to every inch of my body because of all the rain and I looked extra sexy. I even had to throw my dirty ass shoes in the washing machine. Yes, shoes, because remember it was literally 40 degrees. In Kansas, where it's not perpetually warm, we skip the whole hot-California-girls-with-barefeet-and-bikinis thing while playing sand volleyball and stick with the practical sweats and tennis shoes approach.
While it was more than a good time, that volleyball is an asshole and my wrists are killing me. I whined and whined about them all day as I walked around with them throbbing. When I went over to Gina's house today to babysit my Snooky Toots Magee — a.k.a. my niece Remi — I whined some more about them to her, which showed me that nurses that deal with seriously hurt and ill people won't show any sympathy when it comes to "volleyball wrist:"

Me: "Ow, goddamn, my wrists really hurt. I'm thinking about icing them when I get home. Shit, they are so sore."

Gina: "Aww, I think you have Ginitis."

Me: "Oh, does that mean pain in your wrists?" (thinking that it was some sort of official medical term.)

Gina: "No, it means you're being a pussy."

Me: "Oh...Shut up."

What made it even better was that my first salsa dancing experience was tonight. The aching wrists didn't really bother me like I thought they were going to, but the fact that I SUCK ASS at salsa sorta did. Dammit, I thought this would be in the bag! Well, not exactly, but I thought I would be better than this. I went with Becca and Alyse and we met some people Becca knows through old work people up at the casino where they have a short lesson first, then free dancing. I was working the lesson, but then it actually came time to dance and the dance floor turned into this massive clusterfuck of flying and wrapping arms and flicking legs and sassy hips and blaring mariachi music. Then the real fun happened when one of the guys we were with, Baboucarr, took me out there to dance and proceeded to fling me ferociously around the dance floor. He's been taking lessons for awhile and is basically amazing at salsa, but I didn't even know which way was up after that. I'm sure I could have learned a few things from him and some of the other experienced dancers there, but by the end of the night, I had definitely had roughly six cherry vodka and Sprites — whoops. Drunk ass. Next week I will cut it in half. I just needed a little liquid courage to go out there and look like a tard.
One of the girls we were with, Leah, who also happens to be amazing (where the hell was I when this whole, non-hispanic-people-learning-to-salsa-dance craze began?) said she's been doing it about two years and it took her at least a year to get pretty decent at it. Well, I suppose there's still hope for my salsa dancing impaired ass. The girls and I are determined to get good — especially me, since I absolutely can't stand not being good at something that involves dancing.

Also, on a side note, I got a fairly good review at work earlier this week (finally!), they are going to let me start writing a column (finally!)...and I'm moving to a new office ASAP (wtf?!). I'm sort of annoyed with the last thing since I like the boys I work with now, but I thrive on change and the new office is insanely closer to home and the actual town I cover. Ah, practicality — love it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

C'mon, just be a bitch...

The house is so sad and bare now. I've been going over there from time to time to pack things up and move them out gradually when fuckhead is at work. I figure if I'm paying rent there, I might as well take my sweet time and get my money's worth since I'm not living there (thank god).
I walked into the now stark white bathroom (except for the dinginess from the dirty ass sink, floor, walls — everything. Weird since he couldn't stand me because I was too "messy.") since I owned all the the cute stuff in there (and the entire house) and saw that the shower curtain is now hanging from the shower rod by two sad little plastic zip ties on each side. And I'm talking the nasty, used-to-be-clearish-but-now-covered-in-mold shower curtain liner that a.) I left for him because I felt bad that he didn't have a shower curtain (I really need to stop doing that by the way.) and b.) because it was disgusting enough that I didn't want it anymore. I'm like, shower curtain rings are a buck dude. Go get some.
It's now officially a skanky bachelor pad complete with shitty towels on the floor as rugs and a freezer stocked with chimichangas — mmmm, yummy...(blaaaah *vomit*) However, minus the lifesize cardboard cutout of Pamela Anderson circa the Baywatch years in the living room.
His reasoning for having me move out when the lease was up in May instead of him (before I got smart and hightailed it out of there early) was because he had more stuff in the house than I did and he didn't want to move it all. All I heard was, "blah, blah, blah, I'm an asshole doucherocket." Sure, he had the couches and the big bed - yada, yada - but this now empty house is proof that he was mistaken/confirming the asshole doucherocket accusation above. Your voice and footsteps literally fucking echo in the house now. There are certain things that make a house a home and I apparently own all of them.
I wonder what happened to the anal retentive wonder that I broke up with. Perhaps he's depressed about this whole thing. I'm not sure how you could avoid it in that depression hole he now resides in. Of course he's never shown any remorse before, so maybe he's just lazy...
Anyway, Mom and I were over there Sunday afternoon since I figured out he was out of town for the weekend. But, of course, while we're there picking up some more stuff, he pulls up to the house. Grrreeeeaaaaat. My Mom was like, "Shit! What do I do?" And I was like, "Just leave, I'll hang out and pack up a bit more." So, she takes the last thing out to her car and what do I hear? Civil words exchanged with the enemy. I'm like, dude, Mom, I thought you were on my side? I'm not sure what was said, but it was short and pleasant. Um, excuse me? Could you not do that and pretend like he doesn't exist please? I'm not asking anyone to be hateful towards him or plaster photographic posters with the word "abuser" across them all over the neighborhood, but could you at least let him know that what he did to me was not cool? C'mon, just a be a little bit of a bitch.
I remember when my friend Lacey's dorm roommate freshman year of college was a total bitch and decided to move out of the room and in with another friend of hers without telling Lacey or discussing it with her first and she was so pissed. Her parents came up to school to help her move her stuff around so another roommate could move into her room and whenever they came across something that belonged to "Evil Emily," they "helped" her move it by tossing it out into the hallway...There was no, "Oh hi Emily, how are things?" It was, "Fuck off biotch and get your stuff out."
Hilarious, yet I'm still not asking people to act that way. I just think people should be held accountable for their actions. I know he didn't punch me in the face or anything, but maybe a more clear cut form of abuse or perhaps some glaring proof in the form of a black eye, broken limb or my fucking death, would make people around me take this situation a little more seriously. I thought perhaps people just don't know the situation and that's why I'm debating sending out some sort of small mass e-mail when this whole thing is over explaining some of things that happened and why I can no longer have this man in my life in any way, shape or form. But, then, again there's always people that I introduced to him that just don't give a shit and will continue to be friends with him thus reinforcing his behavior, so I'm not sure if I should even waste my time. However, it might make me feel better regardless. I'm still debating.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Think happy thoughts...or at least furiously occupy your time

Just for the record, I don’t necessarily need a funny e-mail to cheer me up. I’ve also learned to self-soothe. I’d be pretty screwed if I didn’t figure out a way to occupy my time on my own to get over a miserably failed relationship and the fact that I’m almost 25-years-old and living with my parents. Oh, have I mentioned that before?
I’ve packed not only my schedule, but my mind as well and have done a few things that I’ve been putting off for one reason or another:

• New cell phone – Getting cell phone service in the shed in the middle of nowhere Kansas also known as my office has been out of the question for months and didn’t quite put that lack of service and the fact that my phone’s antennae broke off together. Funny how cell phones work better with that little knobby thing sticking out of the top of them (or since it’s been years since I’ve purchased a new cell phone, I learned at the Sprint Store that most are now internal – who knew?). Apparently if you drop your phone and the antennae goes *fing!* and flies off into the bushes by your front door, you should probably, like, go look for it or something. Or, I guess I could always just keep up with the times like a normal 20-something and get a new phone every couple of days, the new one having greater features than the previous one. If the previous one had Web access, the newer one would have Web access and serve you breakfast in bed. Then what? Would you insist that your next phone have all of the above capabilities and wipe your ass for you? I just don’t get it and nor can I bring myself to buy a new phone until important shit starts falling off of it. Perhaps I will become ridiculous like the rest of my generation one day, but until then, just expect me to carry my minimal Red Samsung (Wow, red! That’s about as fancy as I get – everybody together now – Oooo, Aaaahh) until it literally falls apart and don’t make fun of me when I can’t work your Blackberry.

• I’m booked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — I’ve agreed to play on a sand volleyball team on Wednesday nights. Now, I’m not gonna lie — I’ll probably be the MVP — or the exact opposite. I’m a midget and I was definitely rejected from my eighth grade volleyball team, which means I haven’t even touched a volleyball since I was roughly 13-years-old. It’s quite possible that I might be the worst volleyball player ever, but I think it’s mostly just about the beer anyway, so the drunk asses probably won’t notice if I whiff like a retard 12 hundred times…
I’m keeping up with my kickboxing class at the gym on Tuesday nights also, which is the best workout besides dance I’ve ever had. And, I like the look people give me when I say I take a kickboxing class like I’m some kind of sparring, fierce, cage fighter that’s ready to roundhouse kick them to death. I’m like hello, it’s at 24-Hour Fitness – it’s a fucking aerobics class…But, I can still kick your ass.
Now, here’s the greatest activity of them all — salsa dancing on Thursday nights. I figure my dance background (and vodka) should make this feasible for me. Plus I’m only going for one reason anyway — to meet my future latin lover husband.

• Apartments make my brain hurt — Apartment hunting has literally brought me to tears and goddammit I just want to cry about it in peace, which is why I think I’ll try to take a stab at continuing the hunt on my own. My mom has sort of been my hunting buddy and while I appreciate the moral support, she’s constantly telling me to “just calm down.” I’m like, Mom, fuuuuuuuuck. I live in your house again. Aren’t you in the least bit concerned about that? I’m like a big bucket of hyperventilation about this whole, I’m almost 25, live with my parents and can’t find a place to live thing — and lets remember where I get this neuroticism.

• Friends…especially the male species — I’ve reconnected with more old friends and met more new people in the past couple of weeks than I have in the past two years. It’s ridiculous how you can become so engrossed in one person’s life that you completely forget about all that other stuff that made you happy before. I can now be friends and hang out with people of the opposite sex without somebody breathing down my neck, accusing me of sleeping with them or wanting to sleep with them. Insecurity is so not hot.

• Downsizing…or a least organisizing — Why is it that one person can accumulate so much shit? I throw away giant trash bags of useless crap every time I move, yet it magically reappears again. And, I have more clothes than anybody on earth besides maybe Paris Hilton, yet I never have anything to wear. It’s time to organize my life a bit.

• Who needs a vaca? — The plane tickets are already purchased for my birthday weekend in Denver with my ladies Kate and Lacey to visit our friend Whitney. A nice drunken, adventurous vacation with my favorite girls is the least I can do for myself after all this bullshit.

That's all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll have more to add later.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Perfect Timing

I’ve been sort of shrouded in this gloomy cloud lately that’s been extraordinarily hard to shake, but sometimes the simplest things make you realize that one day that bastard of a gray rain cloud will eventually disappear.
Ah, my sorority days…I’m reminded of them almost daily. Most of my now close girlfriends I met at some point during my tenure, so it’s not unusual to have a steady stream of “remember that one time’s” rolling in – such as – remember that one time when I was blow drying my hair in the hallway in my bra and the old handyman came up the stairs just in time to witness me diving frantically back into my room, leaving the hairdryer still running on the carpet. Or, when we sorta kinda “accidentally” left the back door open a crack and the Delta Chis happened to run through the upstairs of our house donning only stocking caps in strategic places…or on their heads…and the fun haters of our house shit their pants…or when we had weekly naked pillow fights…Oh…wait…
Needless to say, those four years were a wild ride and I would guess the majority of those fun times were sorority related in some way. But, like everything in life, the sorority world had its bad times too. And, I would probably contribute most of those bad times to the absolute mega-ultron fun hater of the universe – our head sorority advisor, Jan (name changed of course - I’m pretty sure that crazy bitch would hunt me down!).
So, we may have done a few things that weren’t exactly ladylike – whoever said you had to be sorority-esk to be in a sorority? But Jan insisted we all adopt the lifestyles of nuns in order to live in “her” convent, so we were reprimanded more than a handful of times. It got so bad that I’m fairly sure she either began making up stories on her own or brainstorming with her own personal fun hating army of members because we started being called into development (a.k.a. the oops, you-fucked-up-and-now-you’re-in-trouble meeting with the house head honchos) for things we’d never even tried to attempt. My favorite? Apparently at some point, members of the house heard us doing drugs and taking shots in our room, which lead us to ask the burning question – What does taking a shot actually sound like?
While most of the ladies who did not have a tree trunk sized sticks permanently shoved up their asses, knew Jan was an unreasonable asshat, the group of us had a particularly personal vendetta with her.
We made it out alive and I wouldn’t have had the experience any other way, but a slow smile spread across my face as I read an e-mail I got from the alumni relations chair today announcing her retirement. Oh, dear god, those poor girls are finally off the hook! I thought as I read on. Apparently some of the girls or the advisory board or somebody was putting a scrapbook together for her and they were asking any alumnae to send photos or a note to Jan to include in the scrapbook. Thinking of the saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all,” I clicked off of the e-mail and went on with my work. But, a few hours later when I checked my e-mail again, my partner in crime, Kate, had sent me and another fellow troublemaker, Lacey, a reply to the retirement e-mail that went a little something like this:

" do I word it just right?

Dear Jan,

You’re a snatch. I hate your face.

(Insert sorority nickname) Love and Mine,

After I changed my wet pants, started breathing again and explained my hysterics to my bewildered co-workers, I read on:

"Mwah-ha-ha!! I think we should send some pictures :) Do you think we could re-create the ass picture from the door of Room 11 and send it for her scrapbook?"

Oh. My. God. Who could forget the infamous ass picture? The three of us had taken this lovely photographic piece of art the summer after our freshman year of college when Kate and I road tripped it from Kansas City to Lacey’s tiny central Kansas hometown of Solomon – population 1,500. The entire town could fit in my high school and there were still three other high schools of equal size in my hometown, so we knew we’d have to get creative. Our first two and a half minutes were spent touring the town, then we got down to business – drinking. Her parents were out of town and being 19 and out of school for the summer, alcohol was a little hard to come by, so I did what any normal asshole teenager does – I stole some out of my parents’ liquor cabinet before I left. Now, I use the term “liquor cabinet” loosely because my parents’ consisted of a crusty bottle of grenadine most likely purchased before I was born and a sizeable bottle of fancy schmancy rum my dad took a nip of almost every night. Taking the rum was out of the question, so I tossed a few tiny bottles of unidentified liquor from the bottom shelf into my bag. All I knew was that they were brought back from one of my dad’s trips to Germany within the last decade…I think.
Our little adventurous selves lined the mysterious bottles up on the kitchen counter of Lacey’s parents’ house for a taste test and found ourselves coughing and exclaiming, “wow, this one kind of makes me want to curl up in a ball and die,” “This one just cleared my sinuses” and “this one only gives you the mild urge to vomit when you mix it with Coke.”
I’m not sure if it was the foul choice in alcohol or sheer boredom, but before we knew it, a ghetto ass R & B radio station was blaring and we were dancing around the house, posing with inanimate objects and taking pictures of each other – the kitchen chairs, a sawhorse in the under construction living room and her mom’s ceramic goose. Perhaps the Germans lace their teeny liquor bottles with crack…
At one point we decided it would be hilarious to squish our half bare asses together, hold the camera out and snap a pic.
And, we were right. That picture caused quite a stir in the convent. We posted it proudly on the outside of our door along with other choice wall-o-shame type photos. Apparently people bitched and moaned about it to Jan, who in turn tried to make us take it down and we refused until one day we came home to find a sad little hole on our door where our asses used to be. Somebody (or some fun hating snatch) in that house was an ass photo stealer and to this day I still don’t know what the hell the big deal was, I mean, they were just a few asses, everybody has one…God, we were totally the ink that tainted the fraternity (haha, there’s a hint).
I promptly sent a reply back to Kate that said, "Jesus Christ, I just pissed my pants after reading that! Thanks for making me laugh today." It was just what I needed to lift the seemingly perpetual gray rain cloud hanging over my head even for just a few hours. It’s funny how those things seem to have perfect timing. I mean, there’s nothing like memories of the advisor from hell, name calling and asses to cheer you up. Who says a couple of sorority bitches aren’t good for something?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Anniversary best forgotten

There is no need for flowers or cards on this anniversary because I never thought so many shitastic things could fall on a single day. Lets see April 1 marks the month I turn 25 (not so scary, yet still another year older...and really? This is not where I saw myself at 25), one week since I've been living at my parents' house ("My name is Lara, I'm 24 and yes, I live with my parents." - my new pick up line, by the way) and...the grand would have also been the ex and I's two year anniversary.
It hadn't even crossed my mind. I was just going on my merry way, picking up my life one piece at a time and then he has to send me an e-mail about the goddamn anniversary. Apparently his phone alarm went off and reminded him, then he took it upon himself to let me know while adding, "It's kind of sad when you think about it." Oh, how observant of you. I wasn't aware that soul-less beings could feel sadness.
Needless to say my productivity turned to shit after reading that e-mail. Why does everything have to happen on Tuesdays? My grandpa died, I spontaneously moved out of my house and I'm reminded of a best forgotten anniversary all on Tuesdays. Bad news Tuesdays are really bad for my newspaper deadlines...
Anyway, I moved out last week and while my plan was to just leave my stuff where it lay in that house until the first weekend of May (I mean I am paying rent there afterall), my family suddenly sprang into action. I may have mentioned my fear that all of my stuff would be broken or laying in the front lawn when I went back to the house, which could have triggered my family's suspicion that the ex was teetering on edge of fucking psycho. Or maybe it was all the other previous incidents I mentioned, but my dad was saying, "he's unstable, you need to get your stuff out of there." And, what was weird was I continued to defend him. My mom said, "I don't want you over there by yourself. What if he pushes you down the basement stairs." And, I kept hearing myself say, "it's fine. I don't think he'd do that."
Then, I thought about it and came to the conclusion that the next step, without a doubt, would have been him punching me in the face, slamming me against a wall or pushing me down those steps. I'd never really thought about the progression of his anger and what it could have become.
Armed with a tape dispenser and a gigantic roll of bubble wrap, my dad and my sister went on a get-lara's-shit-packed-up-and-out-of-this-house crusade. My mom and I casually packed boxes, knowing there was no way all of this stuff was making it out of this house today, while my dad and sister acted as though a hurricane was about to blow in and there was only precious little time to get the valuables packed in the car and driven out of town. Every couple of minutes my sister would walk through the living room and out the front door, leaning back and straining under the weight of a giant cardboard box while saying matter-of-factly, "we really should get everything out, lets just get it done..." I figured, since I was going to have to pay April rent ($425 - cheap and never to be attainable again because of that bastard. No, I'm not bitter...) I might as well use it as storage until I absolutely had to get the stuff out. Why let him win when it's more fun and bitchy to leave all of my shit and boxes in his way?
The walls were bare and the place echoed when you talked by the time we were done. While we didn't get everything packed up, it was blatantly evident who made that place look like a home. Now, it just looked cold and hideously uninviting. I'm glad I don't live there anymore.
Needless to say I got a phone call that night when he came home from work to an unexpectant empty house, but all he could say was, "are you going to patch up the holes you made in the walls from the nails?" I'm pretty sure my dad's head almost exploded when I told him. His forehead turned bright red and his faced screwed up into this annoyed scowl as he said, "Um, I don't think so."
Oh, and I'm pretty sure my first dog died on April 1 too - just another little something to add to Shit Fest, which is the name of the holiday I'm requesting for April 1. The government is going to love this proposal.

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