Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things I've Never Done

I spent four years in Manhattan and have been back several times since graduation, yet many "firsts" happened during our trip this past weekend. In a game of "I never" I will now be able to drink if these events happen to come up.
I've never:

* Sat that close to the field during a football game.
Since graduation we've enjoyed posing as students and sitting in the rowdy student section, but now that the method of getting tickets along with the student IDs have changed it's nearly impossible. We settled for the north end zone, but found it surprisingly OK. The band was still nice and loud, we actually got to watch the students do the Wabash while doing it ourselves and we could hear the players shit talk when they were near the goal line. The scary thing was that we actually liked the fact that we could sit down for most of the game unlike in the student section where you must stand the whole time. I think we might be getting old.

* Had no desire to tailgate.
Drinking massive amounts of beer out of plastic cups while listening to great music and metal washers clink in a gravel parking lot crawling with shitfaced frat boys is a standard pre K-State football game activity, however, we drank ourselves so far into oblivion in Aggieville the night before that we had no desire to even look at a Miller Lite. Ew. We did still stroll through the lot, just sans cups.

* Visited the surface of the sun.
I'm pretty sure it was the hottest day ever recorded in Manhattan in September. We were all, why the hell is it 155 degrees at the end of September? We managed to escape heat stroke the first half of the game, but decided not to press our luck and left at halftime. We sported a sexy full body salt film and matted hair while shopping in Aggieville that afternoon and sunburns while drinking in Aggieville that night. Hot.

* Touched the hands of players.
We were totally K-State football player groupies at halftime by standing near the locker room with our hands out so they could slap them on their way in. Ron Prince also walked within inches of us. It was quite celebrity-esque.

* Visited "The Lou" during the day and while of age.
A certain Aggieville establishment known as The Lou is a little shithole hallway of a bar that we often used to visit just after noon when we were 19. It's so dark and smelly in there that when we emerged several hours and pitchers of beer later, we were blinded by the sun. It was quite strange to hang out in that place Saturday night without worrying the cops were going to bust through the door and walk out of the place into the dark of night without hissing and winching like a vampire.

Of course along with the I nevers, there were also the things we always do and sometimes do, which make a Manhattan trip. Have I mentioned I love that place?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where's OSHA?

I remember sitting at my desk at my first job out of college while a gaping hole in the ceiling and wall behind me dripped rainwater down the wall and into the carpet - the perfect breeding ground for black mold. Never mind the musty smell, how about the fact that it was so bad some days that my eyes would burn.
I'm not sure if it's just newspaper offices, but the trend of shithole work spaces has continued. Constant baited mousetraps were a must in my last office and I once walked into a cockroach infestation. I sat in my desk chair with my knees tucked up to my chest just completely beside myself. I almost had to go home, but was instead sent to down the street to the hardware store to purchase every sort of roach killing device they carried.
Now, in my current office, the biggest shithole of them all, an apparent squirrel has decided to make the ceiling and walls of the office it's new home. It's a little unnerving to hear scratching, chewing and furious scurrying noises from the hole ridden ceiling since I'm constantly worried that glorified rat will fall out the hole closest to me and bite off my nose thus giving me rabies. I swear to god if that thing comes crashing through the ceiling and onto my head, I'm quitting and presenting a lawsuit.
The day after one of the ad reps told me a wonderfully settling story about how a swarm of termites magically came out of the ceiling above her desk and descended upon her one day, crawling all over her desk and down her shirt, the photographer came out of his office and said we really needed to spray for bugs...because a motherfucking cockroach had just crawled across his keyboard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You know you want to be able to say this...

Today I wondered, where is the sisterly/friend love? My sister and friends are fabulous, don't get me wrong, but they could be doing more to ensure my future happiness...such as doing my man shopping for me.
I was on assignment today and the school district communications coordinator chick was talking about how her sister had gotten married last weekend. After a few details, she revealed that she had actually introduced her sister to her future husband two years ago. Apparently she spotted a young male teacher at one of the elementary schools, immediately thought of her sister and had the balls to milk information out of the school secretary, who later got back to her and said, 'he'd be happy to meet her!' Two years later, they were married.
Um, excuse me? Just like that? If it's so easy then why haven't I received a little help from my friends? I mean, I'm not looking to get hitched tomorrow, but it would be nice to meet somebody in the fairly near future that could potentially and eventually become the hubs.
So, I ask you lovely, thoughtful, helpful friends and family of mine, wouldn't you just love to be able to say you had a hand in my future marital bliss? Wouldn't you just love to say you saved me from spinsterhood? You know you do.
OK, you now have permission and are encouraged to man shop for me. It could quite possibly be more enjoyable than shoe shopping, so hop to it y'all, hop to it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mayhem in Manhattan

I'm exhausted and it's the kind of exhaustion that not even a three hour mid evening nap can cure. The kind of exhaustion where my liver literally staggered out of my body, got on its knees and begged me to not even look at alcohol for at least five days. This kind of state is the direct result of none other than a weekend visit to Manhattan, Kansas where I spent the four most glorious years of my life at Kansas State University.
While it delights me to have the opportunity to visit, I always come back in this state and I believe these are the reasons why: a.) I refuse to acknowledge that I'm getting older and I just can't party and drink like I did during my college years even though I attempt to every time (oh, freshman year, when I could take shots of Viaka right out of the I DON'T miss you.) b.) That mini road trip of a car ride takes a lot out of you even though all you're doing is sitting on your ass barely moving and singing (at least this time) loudly along with Tenacious D with Whitney. c.) Since we know that each trip to this place pretty much falls under the sacred category, we try to shove all things Manhattan into two days, in which we are rarely successful, but almost kill ourselves trying. This brings me to one of the quotes of the trip - "Hey, remember we were going to do that? But then we got drunk and forgot..."
Needless to say, a full recap of the weekend is impossible and I'm not even sure a full recap of just the highlights is possible, but I'm going to try.
First of all, it wasn't a football game that brought us back this time, but the wedding of a sorority sister Andrea a.k.a. Yado. Whitney also flew in from Denver, so I knew it was just going to be ridiculous. We can't get together without the craziest occurrences known to man happening. I picked her up from the airport and like I said before sang loudly to Tenacious D all the way through the Flint Hills until we got to her mom and step dad's house (she's from Manhattan).
Of course the first thing we wanted to know was what Jan and Bob had done with the damn, decrepit life size demon doll they keep in the basement. Not only were we scared shitless of that creepy thing when we all stayed at their house last fall especially when it mysteriously disappeared, but then they went as far as to hang the doll from the basement door frame by a bungee cord with a note attached that said 'stay out of my domain!' so when we came home that night and opened the door, we all pretty much peed ourselves half with fright half with laughter.
And, of course there she was greeting us at the bottom of the basement stairs with a sign that said 'Welcome to the dungeon.' I knew they couldn't resist. And neither could we because she ended up in various places throughout the weekend including Lacey's bed.
Friday night was like a college days reunion that involved us spiking our plastic beer cups, a rolled ankle, busted ear drums from the worst female singer ever and a frolic with some big band groupies. Apparently our trip fell on the same weekend as "Aggie Fest" - some sort of local band festival that started after we graduated.
Saturday couldn't have gone better with a speedy Catholic wedding ceremony (I didn't even know that was possible!) and time to kill in between the ceremony and reception, we spent way too much money buying more K-State paraphernalia and visiting this fabulous new store called Envy. This store alone may be reason to move back...
Then we relived our college Wednesday nights with cosmos at Porter's - yes, in fact we do believe we are Carrie Bradshaw and crew at times.
The reception? All I can say is OPEN BAR...and awesome food. Oh, and Whitney, Lacey, me and one other sorority sister were the only, I mean ONLY single people at the entire reception. There's nothing like slow dancing with chicks and other women's husbands and boyfriends.
After an undisclosed yet surely excessive amount of free alcohol and visiting with old friends, Aggieville called us again - so much so that I now have a story involving the stairwell of the Holiday Inn and Whitney and I ended up in a cab at 4:30 in the morning.
The weekend was tied up in a nice little drunken bow Sunday afternoon when a severely hungover Whitney had me stop at a McDonald's on the way to the airport so she could throw up before boarding the plane. And, since the toilet lid wouldn't stay open, I got the privilege of participating in a vomit assist. As I stood there, holding up the toilet seat making sure to look straight ahead while cheering on Whitney's "accomplishment" I started cracking up; laughing to the point of tears. Other people our age have mortgages and children and here we are coming off a two day bender praising puke in a fast food restaurant bathroom. Will we ever grow up? God, I hope not.
And, the best part? We're doing it all again next weekend. Sorority alumni tailgate, football game, Aggieville...Our poor, poor livers...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pukin' Rally

With that title, you probably expect to read a story that rivals my 21st birthday, which involved me walk-puking all over Aggieville, but actually what's to follow is yet another adventure in babysitting.
Remi always gets a little pissy when mom and dad leave for the night. I mean, I guess they're pretty cool, so I can understand why. However, I can always get her to stop crying fairly quickly by handling it like any child-less aunt would - I bribe her with cookies - and it works like a charm every time.
Except this time she carried on like somebody was trying to kill her. She didn't want a cookie, she didn't want a Popsicle and she didn't want me to push her around in her little cart, but she did want to cling to my leg for dear life all while still screaming her head off, stopping briefly from time to time to repeat, 'mama, mama, mama,' then continue the screaming and crying at a higher octave with more force. That child has some lungs and I no longer have ear drums.
Something was obviously wrong and I suspected she didn't feel good since she had thrown up that morning, but Gina said she had been completely fine since then. So, I decided to try to just put her to bed and end the sirens. She cried and carried on while I put on her pajamas, but cooperated, which told me that this was probably a good idea. The "putting on the jammies" signals bedtime, which also means bottle time, which also means more screaming with brief pausing to repeat, 'baba, baba, baba,' then continue with a wailing chorus of 'uppy.' This means I'm supposed to pick her up while I fumble around with the 55 pieces it takes to put together one of her fancy bottles, which, by the way, is impossible for the inexperienced, multitasking non-mommy and caused her to fly into the biggest fit of the night thus far.
I'm like, she has never acted like this before. What the hell is going on?
By the time we got settled in the rocking chair downstairs with the sacred bottle, she chilled out and eventually fell asleep. This time she actually wanted to curl up and sleep on me rather than the dog bed. I felt pretty privileged.
She woke up when I moved her to her bed, so I laid on the floor next to her and she stayed quiet for a good 10 minutes. Then, suddenly, she sits up in bed, looks at me, looks back down at her pillow and vomit begins to spew out of her mouth. OH SHIT.
All over the pillow, all over the bed - I pick her up at arm's length certain there will be a round two and try to make it to the bathroom, but it ends up in the middle of the floor instead. I continue running to the bathroom with this baby stretched out in front of me just in case of a round three, but nothing else comes out and she's just standing there on the bathroom floor, in vomit soaked pajamas, wide-eyed and hysterical. It's the strangest thing to see a 20-month-old throw up because they have no idea what's going on or what to do during or after it happens.
Then the motherly instincts that I sometimes wonder if I actually possess kick in as I immediately wrap her a towel, pick her up and head back upstairs, while she wraps her arms and legs around me like a spider monkey, both of us now covered in rancid baby barf. Poor baby, she just didn't feel good.
Scott got called away from the bar to help deal with the puking rally and while I waited, Remi hung out with me on the couch in her diaper. And she literally hung, lifeless, poor little thing.
The next day Gina called to apologize for her child's spontaneous transformation into Reagan from the Exorcist, but I didn't care. It wasn't like it was some random kid - it was my little niece Remi. I feel like she's my own child and I'd do anything to protect her from feeling sad or scared or sick even if it means wallowing around in puke.
God, I hate to see what's it's going to be like when she starts dating. I'll probably be arrested repeatedly for kicking little 15-year-old boys in the balls for dumping her or even looking at her wrong.
I'm like, hmmm, maybe I can have these little shits everybody else in the world calls children...but only if they're like Remi...preferably with a little less barf.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Face Rapage

Why is that when you think you're going to have a nice chill, yet entertaining evening with a few friends, it unexpectedly turns into a freak show?
The Ting Tings played a free show in the Power & Light District last night and the kinship I developed with the one song of theirs that plays on the radio via drunkenly screaming along to it at the Dark Horse a few weekends ago - "Shut up and let me go, HEY!" - made it mandatory that I attend, so I set something up with Kate and Ashley.
After a few beers and apps at Flying Saucer, we perched on the balcony and watched lead singer Katie White flail and screech around the stage in her plaid dress and little red boots from a bird's eye view. Not surprisingly, all their songs have that weird electronic sound. It was entertaining, but short. I guess that's what you get for free.
Since I declared that I wanted a "girly bitch drink" during the concert, we headed to the area's newest bar, Shark Bar, and got a Mai Tai. Immediately I spot a couple of guys I used to run around with in junior high who Ashley also knows and we spent a couple of hours on the deck hanging out and catching up.
Just as Kate and I said goodbye to Ashley who went to another bar with one of the guys and his girlfriend, started heading downstairs to jump into Sam's waiting car and be the responsible adults we pretend to be from time to time, I run into my sister's friend Jenna and one of her friends in line. The convincing was minimal to get me to stay...and the freak show began.
Back inside Shark Bar, we order Coronas from a snotty, obnoxious shirtless bartender with goggles on his head and Jenna later figures out she ditched him on date from God, those Match boys are crawling all over the place. In the next couple of hours, a dumpy, khaki wearing old man that Jenna was strangely attracted to pushed me out of the way repeatedly by my face, a trio of fat men from Ohio trap me in a conversation while I'm looking for Jenna, a guy who is clearly on cocaine rolls around and sweats while talking on his cell phone on the bench next to me on the deck, a blue sweater man flings me around the dance floor while his friend chases a disgusted Jenna around trying to hump her incessantly, humper later flops down on the bench next to me and drunkenly jabbers at my face prompting me to ask him repeatedly if he's on crack and Jenna gets pissed because I reveal to a guy she was talking to that she used to babysit me. All is well when I say that I'm 21 and she's 26.
Then it gets even better. We stroll over to Rock Bar as if we haven't had enough to drink already on a Thursday night and Jenna's friend runs into somebody she knows right outside the door who also happens to be one of the mimosa guzzling Vinino bartenders from the Around the World Beer Tour. We've acknowledged each other several times since our drunken first meeting, but have never really had a conversation until we get into Rock Bar where he gropes me while I stand at the bar and disguises it as a massage, reveals that he wants to rip off my clothes and literally swallows my head like a goddamn boa constrictor eating a defenseless baby mouse. I wiggle away before too much harm is done and while I'm not keen on being molested by a 37-year-old smoker bartender, like, ever I'm not mad at the guy nor am I interested. Something about him makes me think he's not really serious and does this type of thing on a regular basis to a variety of people. He might actually be fun to hang out with...from a distance...or with his hands tied behind his back.
As we walked out to the sidewalk to head to the car, at 3 a.m. I might add, we ran straight into a team of about 20 Canadian linemen (the kind that climb electric poles for a living) wearing matching shirts and wielding a video camera. We're given an unexpected mass escort to the corner of 13th and Walnut, ironically right in front of the Flying Saucer where this seemingly normal night began, where one of the guy's spontaneous decision to pick me up is caught on tape along with Jenna's loud advice to me to quit talking to the "cute one" in such a manner. "You might confuse him. He's very pretty," she said.
As we said goodbye, pretty lineman follows in mimosa drinking bartender's footsteps and tries to eat my face without warning. What the hell is going on? When did it become socially acceptable to launch a unprovoked tonsil attack on a perfect stranger in the middle of the street on a Thursday night in Kansas City? I mean, Vegas or Mardi Gras? OK. Frat party? Sure. Kansas City on a Saturday night? I can see it, but don't people have jobs to get to on Friday morning? Or possess any sort of manners at all?
And, by the way, what the hell am I doing in a drunken stupor in the streets of KC on a Thursday night...excuse the wee hours of a Friday morning? Like Dad always says, "the only people out at that hour are cops and mouth breathers" and face rapists apparently. I should probably listen to least when I have to work the next day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Roy the Cheese Boy

I've got one straggler from really a straggler...more like a fighter. Roy has hung on for dear life despite the awesome-ness that is dating me these days. Even after declaring (in his own words) that I'm "hard to get to know" and "a difficult woman" he still keeps calling and asking me out...hmmm, what's with this guy? ; )
I make myself sound so charming, but really, most of it is just a mixture of humor and a defense mechanism I've developed through my years of dating. Another thing is, I'm still trying to figure out the intensity of feelings for him, which is going up and down and taking longer than it ever has before. This slow crawl of relationship progress seems to be working for now, but at least I know that even if it doesn't go any further, I want to be friends with him. He's interesting, genuine and I enjoy being around him, which is more than I can say for most of the men I've dated.
Anyway, he's a brand manager for Borden Cheese and the king of trying different activities. I'm like, lets go get a drink, and he's all, lets go fly a kite or have a pool party at the Intercontinental Hotel. So, when he said he had lab samples that he had to test out from work and he wanted to have me over tonight to make mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches, not only was I not surprised, but my 3-year-old taste in cuisine went, hell yes!
Another couple he knows from school came over to help evaluate and compare the melting appeal of Borden vs. Velveeta vs. Kraft along with color, taste, texture...quite educational. I felt like I was on a market research panel and the best part was the packages actually said "lab sample" on them.
Another plus about Roy the cheese boy? His friends are pleasant too and he played a good host by entertaining us with stories about him puking at work after trying a lab sample with fish oil in it, his uncanny ability to burn grilled cheese after grilled cheese then cussing loudly after each mishap and dropping a hamburger on the floor, standing back to stare at it in disbelief for a couple of seconds, then rinsing it off in the sink.
Hats off to cheese boy. That was probably the most interesting date I've ever had. So, the straggler appeals to the "difficult woman" through a shared love of cheese. Stranger things have happened, but not many.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stage Five Clinger

Rejection's a bitch my friends - in your career and in your love life. No matter how fab you think you are and no matter how awesome your mom says you are in every way possible, not everybody is going to think so. It's an important and inevitable lesson in humility and the way you handle it speaks to your character.
And unfortunately attracts the kind of men with flawed character...bitterly flawed character.
This guy seemed perfectly normal, a little intense maybe, but normal, so I decided to meet up with him for drinks. He was attractive - not a double chin in sight - but I immediately found myself putting up my fuck-you-you-don't-know-anything-about-me dukes as he jumped from incorrect conclusion to incorrect conclusion about everything in my life from the few words I could get in edgewise. He was condescending, insulting almost, but then when he realized his douche was showing, he would almost immediately recover and say something nice about me. He kept talking about all the things he could "teach me" in various subjects, assuming I knew nothing, or that I might find him more endearing if he would allow me to figure out what he could "teach me" on my own. I was annoyed about 75 percent of the night and almost called it a night at least twice, but that other 25 percent kept me around for some reason. It was almost like a competition - like I felt it was my duty to knock his superiority complex down a couple of notches. Why do I even try? Once a douche rocket, always a douche rocket.
Anyway, for some reason I ended up back at his apartment. Maybe I wanted to meet his dog or maybe I just really loved the way he tried to eat my face in his car, I don't know, but I decided to humor him and stop in for a second. He immediately glommed onto me, hugging me, trying to whisper things into my ears and trying to impress me with his total dominance over his dog - and he wasn't just laying it on, I genuinely think he fell in love with me in five hours. Then, I left after about an hour feeling sorry for his dog that I'm pretty sure is his only friend - and she didn't even really want to be there.
The next day he calls and I finally call him back later that night where he proceeded to tell me about 37 times that he was certain I wasn't going to call him back and he didn't know why, and that this conversation "would be better in person." Uh huh. His defense mechanism for not having any friends and rotting at home every weekend is to lie about it and say all his friends are married or moved away, then make fun of my weekend partying. So, I said, you're just jealous, why don't you meet me and my friends out on Friday night? Why oh why did I do this?
Friday came and he knew I was hanging out with my family for the evening - I would call him later. First of all, he made this huge deal out of going out - I'm like, we're going to drink a bar...with some's gonna be OK. He's like wah, will you come pick me up because I don't drive when I'm drinking? No dude, I don't even know you, plus I don't drive either. I'm just trying to get you to be fun, you can meet me.
I got home around 10 p.m., started to get ready to head over to Kate and Sam's then I get this hysterical text message from him that said something along the lines of 'oh my god, you're not going to call me, are you?...blah, blah, blah..." I'm all, are you shitting me? Can anybody be more impatient and insecure? After telling him to calm the fuck down and that I had now changed my mind about him going out with us, he sends me a four page text message about how he has insecurities about past relationships and some more trying-to-explain-my-behavior-but-just-sounding-more-and-more-like-a-clingy-lunatic bullshit. Then, Kate laughed as I shook my legs and yelled, "get off of me!" Stage Five Clinger! When you condense all of the picky little things I look for in a guy, it basically comes down to a decent human being that I can have fun with. I'm not here to nurture you through your past relationship insecurities, mainly because I've known you for 48 motherfucking hours.
So, I left it at that. The red flags that popped up in the two days I knew him were more than enough for me to cut it off quickly: The ex-fiancee that left him and broke his heart yet he's still heavily involved in her life, the anal-ness, the fact that he told me that some girls think he's "needy," but he just thinks he's a "hopeless romantic"...Oh, and the fact that he's completely fucked in the head. Oh GOD!
That was the last straw for I gave it a chance, but after my encounter with this gem, I decided two months was more than enough. The next day, I hit delete...and I don't think I'll be back.
Well, here I am, minding my own business, the thought of the whole ordeal hadn't even crossed my mind in several days and I get this e-mail from - it's a "no thanks" message from Mr. Stage Five. One of those little options they give you if you get an e-mail from an undesirable person and you don't want to talk to them, but nobody actually uses it. Yet, we exchanged several e-mails, met in person, I'm not even online anymore and neither one us had tried to contact the other in any way for several days. Uh, yeah, there's that superiority complex rearing it's ugly head even AFTER I dumped him. He couldn't stand the fact that I didn't like him and just had to "pretend" in his little warped mind that he was the one who did the dumping...I can picture it now, "I'll show her (creepy, evil laugh)!"
I was just so fucking annoyed to have my day interrupted with this juvenile bullshit. I'm like, you're 27 fucking years old. Grow up asswipe. So, I send him a text message since I can't respond by e-mail through the site anymore and just ask him why he felt that was necessary. Oh shit, did that ever open Pandora's Box. I could almost see his face fuming and head exploding via text! My favorites were "lose my number," "What a fucking bitch you turned out to be" and "I hope you die." Ok, so maybe he didn't send the last one, but he might as well have. I kept defending myself politely and he kept firing back these horrendous, bitch infused, "pretending" text messages like it was his job. It must be so exhausting carrying around that much unjustified anger. Apparently not wanting to date an insane person makes you an asshole. What a DICK. I immediately deleted his number.
I guess my earring fell out in his car and he mentioned, in the middle of his shitstorm of psychotic text messages, that he sent it. Sent it where? I'm not sure, but I assume he looked up the newspaper's address and sent it there.

I can see the envelope now:

To: Lara 'the bitch' Hastings

Contents: Your fucking earring

Then my friend Andrew said, "He probably peed on it Lara. I would have peed on it."
Oh well, as long as it's not sprinkled with Anthrax I think I'm in pretty good shape - except for the voodoo doll that I'm pretty sure will be included with the piss covered earring. The voodoo doll with pins right through the chest and the vag.
Why is that the most nasty, bitter little bastard to ever walk the face of the planet just had to attach himself to my leg? Perhaps I need to switch perfumes...or hire a large bodyguard for screening purposes.

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