Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adventures in In-laws and Cradlerobbing

It's more fun than chasing Ambien with a healthy swig of vodka, just to wake up the next morning (or afternoon) and laugh as you count the number of Kraft single cheese wrappers laying on the kitchen floor and figure out just how many $0.99 items you purchased on eBay - Holidays with the Hastings.
Last Christmas, I wrote about my immediate family's very politically correct cookie decorating party where we took the time to make sure each gingerbread man or woman was complete with the correct genitalia and I'm sure there will be more of that in the next couple of weeks.
Thanksgivings, however, will forever remind us of the two years in a row in Reno when my mom underestimated the time it would take to cook the turkey all the way through in the high altitude. As she frantically cranked up the temperature on the stove, the rest of us were well on our way to rip roaring drunk status - playing cards and cracking up as my cousin Josh repeatedly exclaimed, "I need more wodka!" and "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!" (we're not Scottish, by the way.) Needless to say it wasn't just the tryptophan in the still-pink-around-the-edges turkey we inhaled that allowed us the best sleep of our lives that night.
Like I said in the previous blog entry, this year was the first "normal" Thanksgiving, or as normal as the Hastings family can muster, since Josh's death. My cousin Jake and his wife Nicole, who were married in Cabo earlier this year, flew in from Arizona along with Nicole's parents, Gary and Susan from California on Wednesday, followed by Nicole's brother, Matt, from Mississippi on Thursday.
Thanksgiving was actually fairly tame compared to years past - only slight drunkeness, a rousing game of Phase 10 that we didn't finish (we never do anyway) and minimal drama. I did however teach Remi how to sing, "In the Ghetto..." Why is always better when a 2-year-old says it?
The real fun started Friday night when I played tour guide to the Power & Light District for the out of towners. Jake and crew enjoyed a day filled with barbeque and cocktails before I met up with them at 8 p.m. and tequila shots were being thrown down the hatch as I walked in the door.
After piling into two cars, we hung around the heat lamps outside Ragland Road since Remi isn't quite 21 yet and wasn't allowed to roam around in what is called the "Living Room" or the outdoor bar in the middle of P&L. We strayed from Miss Thang and Scott for a bit to explore this place that made me go, "Is this really Kansas City?" during my first visit.

Nicole and her mom commemorated the event with a Jager Bomb:



Then we attempted to take a family photo:



Me = "OMG, like, totally! Yea picture!" An expertly trained dancer and sorority girl I can sense a camera, gather a group, pose them, then fling myself into the frame with a smile (or some retarded face) in two seconds flat. Others, however, need some more training. While Matt knew he had blinked, my dad apparently thought gathering this cute little pose and all the yelling about "group picture" was some sort of new drinking ritual and decided to continue his conversation.

Lets try this again:



OK, there we go.

One strange thing I noticed when I walked into my parent's house on Thanksgiving was the caterpillar on Matt's upper lip. I suppose some can pull off just the 'stache without looking like a creepy molester, but not many. I've only met Matt one other time in my life, so not knowing him very well helped me refrain from laughing and asking sarcastically why he had chosen to sport the dirty sanchez.

Here we are pre-Irish Car Bomb:



I later found out growing a mustache is a tradition for Marines in their final stages of their fighter pilot training (or something along those lines) and he couldn't wait to shave. So, Matt, not a '70s porn star, just a soon-to-be Marine fighter pilot...and a good sport. It's all very Goose-in-Top-Gun-esque. I was relieved...
After our fill of P&L booze, we zipped through the Plaza to check out the lights, which were flipped on for the 79th time by American Idol David Cook the night before - woot, woot, then piled our asses into Steak 'n' Shake around 11:30 for steakburgers, cheese fries and chocolate shakes. Ah, yes, can't you just feel the arteries hardening and the cellulite forming?
We had to say goodbye in the parking lot since they were all catching planes early the next morning. I'm actually looking forward to the next visit with Jake and his in-laws. They're just drunk and dysfunctional enough to fit right in with this family and I love it.
With all the family gathered around at these things, I usually try to keep a low profile - I didn't go into detail about my drunken escapades to certain members of the family, I chose not to discuss my ritualistic animal sacrifices in front of the children and when asked about my love life, I did not reveal that I may or may not have been spending a significant amount of time with a 40-year-old man. Wait, did I just say that out loud?
I had been eyeing him in the bar he worked in for a few months over a year ago, but never talked to him because I'm a total pansy, then he disappeared. He reappeared behind another bar a few weeks ago, although I wasn't sure it was him until he recognized me, then introduced himself. Apparently I had unknowingly been caught in the eyeing act a year and a half ago. After a couple of martinis, I'm sure I had forgotten to be stealth about it. I found it to be fairly hilarious that a bartender recognized a bar go-er he had never met just because she happened to go into the bar every weekend and stare at him while pounding, er, sipping martinis. Mutual eyeing perhaps?
At the end of the night, after some coaxing from Kate, I grew some balls and left my number on my credit card receipt and much to my surprise he sent me a message the next day. I'm so used to men and their bullshit and me thinking, 'could you just care...about something? I don't care what it is, just CARE about SOMETHING...ANYTHING!' that I just assume they'll disappoint and I'll have to dismiss them. I was shocked by the smallest gesture, the slightest inkling of "care." I may have been declared a cynic more than a couple of times in my life, but there's a reason I became this way. Yet, I'm perpetually hopeful that one day, somebody won't completely suck and I'm really not going to give a shit how old he is when that happens. Bring on the cradlerobbing!
That's enough. I've already revealed too much because I usually don't talk about specific guys in detail for the aforementioned reason - they're pleasant and in my life for an unspecified (read: Short) amount of time then they a.)disappear because I lose interest for no apparent reason, b.) disappear because I lose interest for an extremely apparent reason such as douchebaggery overload and any of the other hundred million thousand choice red flags I've come to know and loathe - see Stage 5 Clinger, or c.) disappear because they just can't handle "all of 'disssssss!" *making "the sexy face" while rubbing hands down body*
Maybe this one will allow me to add a "d.)" to my fine science of disastrous dating.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wifey Whittah

My wife left me today, but I knew it was coming. She always does this - moves in for a few days, then packs up her car and moves on to "more important things" like her family and her job in Denver. Bullshit Whittah, bullshit.
Saturday marked the day Whitney rolled up to my apartment in a miniature, white school bus (a.k.a. she felt the need to rent a Yukon to drive from Denver to Kansas City for Thanksgiving while her car was in the shop) and we were reunited once again. Whittah's actions from the previous night will remain largely undisclosed. All I will say is that her room was left in disarray, she woke me up with a phone call at 10 a.m. Denver time while she was in the McDonald's drive-thru ordering "a sausage biscuit, a hashbrown, and a giant ice water," and sent me a text halfway through her journey that said, "I puked. I feel better." A trip to and/or from Kansas is never complete without a roadside barf apparently.
I, on the other hand was completely recovered from my previous night's activities, which was quite evident when I answered the door unshowered in a bra and a white, spa facial mask. Whittah was impressed.
Lacey's birthday was Wednesday, so Kate and I had made the hour trek north to St. Joseph for the night to go on a mini bar tour. I'm not sure what it is about St. Joe that is so harsh on the skin - could it be the funny names they give their bars such as The Shaft and the Hi-Ho? Perhaps it's the Playboys they leave in the "lounge areas" for entertainment or maybe it's the abundance of mouth breathing beautiful people that lurk in the shadows of these establishments? Ooor, Lacey's cheap wine might have made me pass out in all my clothes and make-up again. Damn.
The birthday festivities continued in Kansas City both Saturday and Sunday night resulting in me being quite pissed off at myself on Monday morning.
Big Gay Andrew, while in rare form, performed a one man spelling bee Saturday night after consuming massive amounts of vodka. The butchering of such choice words as "Kalamazoo" and "homosexual" was caught on tape, yet the only two he spelled correctly, "Whittah!" and "penis" (how appropriate) were missed by Whittah the videographer.
Sunday involved dinner with Kate's dad, who suggested we smoke pot instead of drinking since all of the stories Kate told him revealed a shaky relationship with alcohol, then it was off to Tower Tavern where, as the only women in the bar, we enjoyed a night filled with sexual harassment.
I had been in a half assed battle with a sore tonsil for a couple of days and by Monday the tonsil had officially won. I now have a cold. Fuck. I'm usually good at fending these things off with Zicam Oral Mist, a.k.a. miraculous shit in a teeny, tiny spray bottle, but lets remember I said "half-assed battle" and mentioned a three-day alcohol soaked birthday party. The Zicam only has limited powers...
Whittah occupied her time while I was slumped in a chair feeling like death at work by doing all things housewifey. She left this on my Facebook wall:

"I have walked your dog, done laundry, and cleaned up your room. We are officially betrothed."

My response:

"Does this mean you're the housewife and I'm the breadwinner? Because if so, we're in deep shit."

I managed a short happy hour that night, took cold meds with sleepy stuff in them and proceeded to sleep for 16 hours, waking only to leave a few raspy voicemails for the guys at work and to attempt to blow the 600 pounds of snot out of my head. I was feeling human again, yet still a little head-detached-from-the-body, by last night and today I'm still clutching my Zicam and Tylenol Cold, but feeling as though this thing is on it's way out if it can survive Thanksgiving with my family.
Tonight the fam will start pouring in by the masses from California, Arizona and eventually Mississippi, Missouri and just across town to shack up at my parents' house for a good ole' Crown Royal guzzling, card playing, turkey eating, fighting over who gets which end of the butter-shaped-like-a-turkey, Hastings Thanksgiving - and I'm so EXCITED! While most people dread the holidays, I tend to get all sappy and I-love-my-family-tastic around this time of year. The Thanksgiving routine used to be a given every year, but things went down the shitter after Thanksgiving 2005, which is referred to as the year the phrase "Happy Fucking Thanksgiving" was coined when we all gathered for Thanksgiving at my parents' in Reno to repeat the previous year's hilarity and this happened instead: My aunt tripped over a curb, broke her hip and had to stay in the hospital forever and my cousin Josh disappeared right before he was supposed to get on a plane to Reno, then we later found he had committed suicide by jumping off a building in New Zealand - yes, shitastic and completely, randomly tragic.
I think we all swore off Thanksgiving for a bit, but things have changed - wounds have healed, my parents have moved back, there are new additions to the family and I'm just glad things seem to be headed back toward normal.
While it was pretty entertaining to see two medium-high maintenance women co-habitate in a space made for just one for four and a half days (so many heated styling tools I tell you!), I must set my wifey free to make room for the time I get to spend with my family these next couple of days. If she comes back, it was meant to be...

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Daily Grind

I've become just like the rest of you: A pissy early morning and early evening commuter that cusses at the "retards" that don't know how to drive, that wears dress pants and heels daily, takes a one hour lunch break, plays with spreadsheets, is exhausted by 10 p.m. and can often be seen wielding an insulated cup full of caffeinated beverage - a.k.a. my worst nightmare.
I'm like, shit, this wasn't supposed to happen. Now, don't get me wrong, the job is going great - My stress level has been cut in half, the guys are fun to work with and the duties of the job are manageable, with somedays a little more office bitchy than others. Like today, I actually "fetched" coffee at Target. We call it supply shopping around here, which I'm glad to do. While there I learned there is a creepy secret coffee society that actually knows and can taste the difference between ground Colombian roast and whole bean Sumatra (names I gathered on the hundreds of different packages in the half aisle completely dedicated to coffee). Since I never drink the shit unless it's in the form of a Starbucks caramel Frappuccino where the two drops of coffee placed in the bottom of the cup are almost completely masked by the half gallon of milk and sugar blended in, I've never bothered to explore the cornucopia that is the coffee aisle. Coffee in any other form tastes like dirt and asshole, so it's beyond me why this secret coffee society exists. The caffeinated beverage in my insulated mug is usually green tea with honey, thank you.
I almost feel lost without the stress of my life as a journalist and find myself worrying that I'm forgetting something. I'm like, give me a deadline so I have something to be neurotic about and give myself heart palpitations and sleep apnea at age 25, please, please, please. But I'm just really trying to give myself time to get used to this new schedule and new life, take it down the six or seven notches for a bit before I dive headfirst into this freelance writing thing. One thing at a time - a new thing for me, which probably won't last, but a few more days.
And, right in the middle of trying to decompress and reorganize my life, a tragic and untimely death just had to occur.
My sister left me a hysterical message last Saturday night and as I listened to the message, the first thing that came to mind was, "Oh shit, our parents have died in a fiery car wreck." I immediately called her back and she said, "Craig Yeager is dead," followed by sobs. He was somebody I knew decently well, through my sister's longtime friendship with him and he even lived with our family for several months when they were in high school. There had been talk of some sort of a growing addiction involving prescription narcotics, but the cause is still unclear to me. The only thing I can say about it is, he was too damn young, it could have been prevented and it's just a terrible shame.
I stayed, teary-eyed, at the visitation with my dad for a little over an hour Wednesday night. The line of heartbroken, crying people spilled out of the front doors, snaked it's way through the chapel, past his open casket guarded by his fellow firefighters, his family and girlfriend and gathered in front of a table full of all things "Yeager" and a screen playing a slideshow of photos to his favorite songs. It was absolutely gut wrenching; reminiscent of when I lost one of my longtime friends right after high school graduation, which made it even more upsetting.
The shock of something like this makes you want to live your life in a different way - stop to listen, be more generous with your time, more open with your feelings, less self-centered, more proactive and more focused on people and souls rather than a life full of just "stuff" and "things."


Craig Yeager

Funeral services for Craig Martin Yeager, 30, Kansas City, Mo., will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Mustard Seed Christian Fellowship in Lawrence.
Mr. Yeager died Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, at his home from accidental causes. He was born July 25, 1978, in Point Pleasant, W.Va. He graduated from Olathe South High School and Johnson County Community College.
Mr. Yeager was a firefighter/paramedic for the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Department. He also taught emergency medical classes at Johnson County Community College.
He loved sports of all kinds, particularly KU basketball. He played league soccer when he was a youngster. He enjoyed spending time with friends and was proud to be a firefighter.
Survivors include his parents, Vicki and C.W. Kimball, Olathe, and Charles Martin Yeager, Mason, W.Va..; a twin sister, Erin Smith and husband Aaron, Olathe; his aunt, Pam Gillham and husband, Cliff, who helped raise Craig and his twin sister when they were infants; a cousin, Kamryn, of Virginia; three half brothers, Jeff Kimball, of Kansas, Chad Kimball, Texas, and Heath Yeager, of West Virginia; and two half sisters, Haley Yeager, West Virginia, and Lauren Kimball, Olathe. Other surviving aunts and uncles include Sally and Ralph Ross, West Virginia, Carl and Susan Kimball, Colorado, Don and Carolle Weissinger, Missouri; Dan and Cathy Fogle, Oklahoma; Richard and Claudia Bowe, Oklahoma, and many other cousins including Katie and Doug Bowe, Danny and Brian Fogle, Kristin Ferretti, Amy Cremeans and Shawn Ross.
He is also survived by his grandmother, Pat Burton, grandfather, Charles Yeager, Mason, W.Va; and his girlfriend, Janine Patsch, of the home. He also leaves behind his English bulldog, Dakota.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Lewis D. Burton, paternal grandmother, Lavera Yeager, and half sister, Jaselyn Kimball.
The family will greet friends from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family suggests memorials to Fallen Firefighters Fund Inc., the Burnett Burn Center at the Kansas University Medical Center, or Kansas Safe School Resource Center, sent in care of the mortuary.


Life never slows down, no matter how much we concentrate on trying to make it so. We just have to enjoy it when the events are good, deal with it when they're bad and be grateful we have been privileged to experience it all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ow My Ass!...Doesn't really hurt that bad...

One day my friend Shaunna posed an interesting question: "Why would you ever stop doing something you love so much?" Referring to dancing. I gave my usual excuses: Lack of opportunity, lack of money, lack of time.
The life, which gradually filled my closet with t-shirts bearing such kick ass sayings as, "Dancing isn't just a sport, it's an attitude," which I wore with pride, allowed me to become way too comfortable and spend far too many hours of the day in spandex and forced me to be under Nazi rule for more than three years of my life, began when I was about 13. Now, the actual dancing began long before that, but I didn't start living "the life" until the early teens.
High school is when I was introduced to the infamous Blonde Bomber, also known as my high school drill team coach as well as the "Nazi" and "the life" kicked into high gear. The fact that this woman used every scare tactic just short of strapping alcohol monitoring bracelets to us and having drug sniffing dogs follow us around, made us an incredible team, but mostly because we were all pretty sure she was somehow above the law and misbehaving team members would actually be shackled upside down to the brick wall of a secret dungeon never to be seen again. I suppose it's the only way to get a mob of bitchy, hormonal teenage girls to do anything besides be a gigantic pain in the ass.
Sometimes, to this day, I wake up late and my heart stops for a second until I realize that if I'm a few minutes late to work, my employer will not publicly humiliate me by making the rest of my co-workers run laps around the parking lot while I watch them as punishment. Yes, that woman had and probably still has the compassion and the vengeance of a dictator.
However the upside is that it's that same "mediocrity is unacceptable" attitude that was drilled into our minds and bodies during that time that now never allows me to half ass anything...an upside, except when it runs my life and causes me to kick my own ass.
Doing nothing except dancing was quickly, but not completely replaced with going to the gym, drinking beer, being a sorority girl and playing with boys once I hit college, with only a few opportunities through the university's dance program and sorority events to dance. Then it completely disappeared when I became an "adult" (the meaning of which has not yet been defined), until I stumbled upon an adult jazz class last year. Now we're back to the not half assing anything again because I took the class as if I had never taken a hiatus from the sport - kicking to my face, leaping to the height of skyscrapers, forcing my now less flexible legs into the splits....and while I was complimented by the instructor and other students, I couldn't walk for three days afterwards. My body said "fuck you old woman, you're not 17 anymore" then sent shooting pains through my neck, legs, abs, arms, ass everytime I attempted to do anything remotely human such as breathe...or just exist. I considered investing in a wheelchair by the second day, but held onto the fact that I knew shit would buff itself out eventually.
However, my horrendous work schedule made sure that was the first and only class I attended. I couldn't afford to pay 450 million dollars in tuition to show up late and kick my own ass with a bunch of annoying 16-year-olds, which are apparently that studio's definition of adults.
Since high kicking in my kitchen and pirouetting in my socks across my parent's hardwood floor wasn't cutting it anymore, I recently decided to look for another option.
A few weeks ago I discovered a studio in Westport called City in Motion that not only offers adult jazz class, but a burlesque workshop session. Factor in the time and money excuses, both of which I have more of now, and I decided to check it out last night. Besides the fact that my once graceful body used to practically lift itself off the ground and I now have the urge to release a loud "UUUUUHHH!" everytime I flung myself somewhat gimpily into the air, and the slight fear that I would be robbed at gunpoint by a group of 13-year-old thug ganstas while walking to the front door of the studio, this class is exactly what I'm looking for. The cost is reasonable, I'm definitely not the oldest one in class and while I was pretty sure I could feel my legs starting to separate from my pelvis last night and would wake up today wanting to do nothing but lay in a vat of IcyHot, I'm surprisingly just fine. There's a little tightness here and there, but no shooting pains in my ass. Score! I suppose warming up for 45 minutes probably helped. I'm officially dancing again - only once a week, but you have to start somewhere.
I'd like to try the burlesque class, but I'm a little scared since the class description specifically says "women only" and "all comfort levels welcome," which makes me wonder: Will there be live lesbian sex scenes and bare boobies flopping about?
Eh, what's life anyway if you don't take a risk once in a while right?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ooo Baby, Bay-bay

Much to my shock and horror, the number of babies in my life is starting to multiply and thankfully none of them will be made up of my DNA or rely on my full time care giving anytime soon. But, the baby-tastic-ness that was this weekend jammed this harsh reality down my throat: We are 25, 26, 27, 28 years old, we're getting married, we're having babies (not necessarily in that order and that's OK) and sometimes even on PURPOSE, we're by far "old enough" and "qualified" to do such things, that's the natural flow of life and we better just get used to it. Oh holy shit...
Saturday evening was spent with my No. 1 baby, Miss Remi. I always feel like I'm "Oooing and Ahhing" over her constantly because I truly believe she's an advanced and highly intelligent child. She's just such a charismatic little shit. I saw this personality start to develop long before she could communicate with words and now just a few months shy of 2-years-old, it's larger than life.
Everytime I go over to my sister and brother-in-law's house, she's doing something that makes me go, 'wait, you're not supposed to know how to to do that yet,' such as have the motor skills to hold a crayon and color in a coloring book.
First I was shown a device relating to one of her most recent triumphs - her faux flushing, musical, talking potty chair. Yes, apparently they do such things now, which is sort of terrifying, although not quite as terrifying as the toilets that spray your ass with water as an alternative to wiping. Gross.
She then lead me to her plastic picnic table in the living room where she proceeded to literally and repeatedly slap six or seven little Jayhawk stickers on her chest and proclaim "all gone!" while flinging the blank sticker sheet into the air all before I could snatch them away from her impressionable eyes and burn them. I did however teach her to point at the sticker and say, "fake bird."
Then the coloring commenced while we chatted about the finer things in life such as what color each crayon was and the difference between Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster in the books. I'm anxious to watch as our conversations evolve from crayons and Sesame Street charaters to school, hopes and dreams and world politics. At the rate she's going, we'll have all that covered by the time she's 6, and I just have to hope that I and the world grow just as fast as she does.
And with a new activity comes a new adorable behavior such as feeding Lucie Liu the black Lab crayons, which she gladly gobbles up since colored wax and paper covered in grubby toddler fingerprints never tasted so good or made the backyard so colorful.

Kate and I dragged our asses out of bed at the crack of noon Sunday to attend the baby shower of Sarah, one of our sorority sisters and somebody I've known since before kindergarten. It's surreal when your childhood friend decides to take on such adult responsibility like marriage and children especially when you've seen them at every stage of their life, from second grade cake walks at the Blackbob School fair, gymnastics and cheerleading, to heading off to college and yanking her drunk ass off the top bunk in a sleeping dorm during a frat party our freshman year.
This shower was surprisingly painless. Unlike some where you're required to play games with smashed up candy bars and diapers when you'd rather be doing more productive things with your life like scrubbing toilets or walking over hot coals, this one was eat food, open presents, eat cake, leave - my kind of baby shower - and Sarah just tore through the gifts too, making it go even more quickly. While everyone else showered her with cards and gifts of "sweet little girl" and "Heaven sent," Kate and I carefully chose a card that showed the same picture of a baby screaming over and over again with different "moods" printed above each picture and a bag that had the words, "Who needs sleep?" under a photo of a wide eyed baby because we're THOSE friends. You know, the asshole kind that are like, 'bundle of joy my ass. Have fun the with the pooping, barfing, screaming machine.' Plus, we had the cutest baby gift - a little K-State cheerleader outfit. We totally win.



The last time we saw Sarah was right after we found out she was preggers on 4th of July (in which we replied, wait, you meant to do that?) and she told us tales of vomiting in an Applebee's parking lot and using baked potatoes and milk as weapons against her husband, Jeff. Oh hormones, just when we thought we were through the worst of you once puberty ended, we decide to get pregnant and find you make us resort to violence with food.
This time she told us how she had to use her purse as a barf bag in a Mexican restaurant because she couldn't make it to the bathroom, then how Jeff went to throw it away in the men's bathroom only to have to go back, fish the purse back out of the trash and retrieve her cell phone. Sarah also made a trip back to the trashed purse as they were leaving to find her keys. Pregnancy just sounds fucking awesome, doesn't it?
Only slight weight gain seems to be the trend with the pregnant women around me rather than blimping out like a beached whale, yet knowing this only slightly eases my irrational fear that while pregnant, my ass will grow to epic proportions. I'll be normal everywhere else with a little basketball belly then *WAH-BAM* montrous ass the size and shape of Mount Rushmore that takes up the entire width of an aisle in the grocery store. Oh god, please no...

Immediately after the shower, we headed to Shaunna and Andrew's house to hang out with this guy:



Peyton
And, in case you're wondering, he is indeed posing for the camera, so I can only be given slight credit for my kick ass photography skills.
I remember when Shaunna told Kate she was pregnant and Kate was like, 'Um, wait, you're, like, happy this has happened?' Now, we've watched him grow to almost a year old, Shaunna and Andrew are gettting married in April (Kate, the maid of honor and I, a bridesmaid) and it just doesn't seem like the big fiasco it once did at all. In fact, it all seems strangely...normal. Imagine that, giving birth, raising children and getting married, all perfectly acceptable events in the lives of humans seeming normal. I just never thought this day would come. Of course, these are the lives of others we're talking about here. I'm still "oh no fucking way" about the whole thing when it involves me.
We sat on the floor while Peyton entertained us with his constant single-toothed grin and the fastest and most amazing Army crawl I've ever seen. The kid slithers across the floor like a snake and can get from one side of the room to the other in 2 seconds flat - something I'm sure mom and dad are thrilled about - but made me crack up every time. He's a perfect example of how we can learn from babies and rather than giving in and buying all the expensive toys and clothes advertised all over the place, we should be enjoying the simple things in life. In Peyton's world, a high chair doubles as a jungle gym, the coffee table is a tunnel to crawl through and nothing makes a tastier teething ring than a tube of chapstick.



Hooray for mom's toothbrush!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Now That is Patriotic

The first black president was elected Tuesday night and do you know what Kate, Sam, Baron, Andrew and I will say when somebody asks us where we were the night this historic event took place? In my living room sucking down red and blue Jell-o shots. Yes, leave it up to the alcy to make election coverage into a drinking game. Everytime Barack Obama won a state, a *ding* would sound on CNN, we'd cheer and take a Jell-o shot...or everybody would cheer and then I would take a Jell-o shot...
Andy enjoyed the company...and the Jell-o shots. I think he was just ecstatic to see another human being besides me since my apartment is not usually the meeting place before nights out nor do any boys love me right now and want to come over. Plus, like I said before, living alone has been a positive experience for me after the trainwreck that was living with somebody and my attempt at a "domesticated lifestyle." Fuck that.
Anyway, the little bastard got so excited that he pissed all over Baron and attempted to piss on Sam, except Sam jumped out of the line of fire just in time. Then Andy proceeded to wallow around all over everybody and steal their plates of food off the table.
My dog is an asshole. However, my friends are good sports.

In other animal news, my neighbor lost his cat Tuesday night and the only reason I know this since I've never spoken to him in my life until today is because I went to walk Andy Wednesday morning and his front door was wide open, a can of cat food was sitting in the doorway and he was in there sleeping on the couch. The sight was on my top 10 list of the most pitiful things I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure he even stayed home from work on Wednesday since his car never left the garage. Signs with a picture of an orange cat were posted by Wednesday night in the mail room and on his door and I saw him wandering around the complex when I got home from work today. Then, he caught me as I was getting out of my car and chatted with me about keeping an eye out for his orange calico kitty.
"I knew I loved him, but I didn't know how much I loved him until now," he told me.
God, just rip my heart out and stomp on it please. Asshole or not, I would literally curl up in a ball and die if Andy ran away and I couldn't find him for more than a few hours. In otherwords, the kitty search party is on.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Is Vaca a Career Option?

What am I doing?
It's the question I've asked myself several times throughout this past week of vacation. As in, what am I doing drinking myself into a blackout oblivion?
I was so productive all week - cleaning, laundry, organizing - and then my friend Kendall won a happy hour in a drawing at McFadden's Thursday night and productivity and drinking got in a fight...drinking won.
To top it off, she knew the VIP coordinator at Mosaic ("Mah" stick nose in air and act like you're better than everybody else) Lounge and we got bottle service for FREE. Four mixers and a bottle of P.I.N.K. Vodka, a.k.a. Satan's elixir, were delivered to the table and all hell broke loose. Apparently this shit is infused with caffeine and guarana and then I was also mixing it with Monster because I was about a vat of regular vodka and a couple of beers in from happy hour and didn't realize what I was actually doing. I'm a pretty energetic person as it is - add "energy" drinks and I resemble a goddamn back flipping, hoop jumping terrier.
After my fill of poison, we dove into Rock Bar where I ran into my childhood friend Colin, who I knew was a bartender there, but hadn't run into yet. I haven't seen him for a couple of years and while he used to be a Marine, he now has the largest and pointiest blond mohawk I have ever seen.
A few more beers and I vaguely remember pouring down the stairs at P & L to have Baron drive Smash and me home, but then I ran into the 37-year-old mimosa guzzling bartender from the bar tour and my crazy night out that was supposed to be a chill night out, along with his some of his co-workers.
Apparently I made the executive decision to stay longer because all three of us ended up at 37's table inside Tengo Sed. Conversation? Don't recall. I just remember thinking, 'god, everything's all squiggly,' which didn't stop me from drinking more vodka.
The next thing I knew, I was collapsing on my futon. I woke up in my living the next morning in all my clothes, walked into my bedroom and screamed because Smash was in my bed and I had no recollection of her staying at my apartment, then I crawled in bed with her without bothering to change out of my clothes and fell back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later to roll around and moan about "the worst hangover ever" and crawl to the bathroom to do the morning after puke - that's the worst.
What the HELL am I doing? PINK vodka is a dick...and I'm a dumbass.

*****

Friday, the day of "the worst hangover ever" was Halloween and I started to feel human again just in time to transform myself into old school Gwen Stefani and start drinking again. Seriously, I may need an intervention.
I got a trial run of the Gwen costume last Friday for a friend's costume party, so putting it all together again for the real thing was fairly painless. My first mission was to try to catch Gina and Remi "the bumble bee" trick-or-treating since my drunkard ass decided to be hungover that morning and missed the family Halloween "oh my god she's so adorable" costume viewing. I pulled up in my car and they didn't even recognize Auntie Harn in my blond wig in the dark. Check out Miss Thang and her hot aunt:



Cutest. Child. EVER.
She knocked on a couple of doors with her tiny fist and squeaked out "trick-or-treat!" and I pretty much almost died.
Then I went inside and caught a glimpse of her daddy Scott and "Uncle" Joe:



Hottest. Costumes. EVER.

Then it was off to the annual Terror Party, which never seems to go without a hitch whether it be a car puker, an asshole boyfriend or a booze shortage, the fun is always mixed with a touch of bullshit. This year, my third year to attend, seemed promising. It was moved from Union Station to the Midland Theater, the tickets were a little bit cheaper, the party was longer, free booze promised until 11 p.m....and it was pretty amazing when we first walked in...until they promptly ran out of "free" booze at 9:30 and several free bars were reduced to three cash bars to serve 3,000 people. We decided to leave before the mob of "not quite drunk enough" costumed 20-somethings rioted. There will be hate mail sent and I believe we'll be taking a hiatus next year.
But both P & L and Westport were hoppin' so we had nothing to complain about. The most popular costumes were Sarah Palin, the Joker, Michael Phelps and the assorted ho bags dressed as "sexy" whatevers. When will this trend end? There was a time my senior year in college when I won $250 in a sexiest costume contest as Little Red Riding Whore, but those days have passed. I'm just waiting for others to follow suite because I'm sick of seeing chicks' butt cheeks. Let's try a little creativity next year ladies. I didn't see any other Gwens and while there were a few other Amy Winehouses, Kate's was by far the best.



I think these two were my favorite. An innocent childhood icon and a priest with a boner. A boy scout was also seen lurking around.



37 also came out of the shadows at Vinino that night...and that's all I'm going to say.

*******

Aaaand third time's a charm I guess because I decided it was a good idea to answer 37's text Saturday night with "Come here!" As in, come to the Brooksider! What am I DOING? He's a 37-year-old waiter that smokes like a chimney yet I'm strangely attracted...but I'm not...but I am...I try desperately to take Bridget Jones' advice:

"...will find nice sensible boyfriend and stop forming romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workoholics, sexaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits, or perverts."
...or a certain 37-year-old waiter that smokes like chimney and embodies all of these things.
 

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