Monday, December 6, 2010

Way Past the Edge of I Don't Care-dom

Today I hit an all time low and went to Target in my sweatpants...not just sweatpants, but the ones I've been sleeping in for the past two nights. Some people might not think that's such a huge deal, but to Miss Vain over here that puts on make-up to walk two blocks with the dog to buy a Coke at the convenient store, it's a big deal.

I woke up with a hangover, not from delicious wine, but from the ill-timed consumption of a GIANT white chocolate mocha. While I thought I would need this boost to write my portion of a final paper on a marketing research study last night, it turns out that I got stuck without the information from my other two group members. Therefore I spent the night planning my entire Christmas break in my head, complete with different scenarios of what could happen at each event, singing Cee-Lo's "Fuck You," and just generally scaling the walls and crawling across the ceiling like a giant fly...Bzzzz, bzzzz, BBBZZZZZZZZ! You know, doing everything except sleeping or anything productive.

So, I'm talking, rolling out of bed, in the sweatpants, glancing in the mirror and not caring that my hair is in crackhead mode and going to Target. Oh, and lets not forget that grad school has also made my face decide that it's a 13-year-old boy embarking on puberty. Throw every kind of botanical rich, prescription cream and cycline drug recommended by the finest of dermatologists at me and my face will still go, 'nope, totally pissed off because you're in business school.' There is no cure for stress induced acne, so I better just get used to being scary looking until the Spring of 2012.

Several bags of chocolate were purchased while in this sweatpants wearing, crackhead, face-like-a-field-of-mines state. Plus, the entire 20 minutes I spent flinging my short list of items into a handheld basket, while the shrieks of demon spawns rang in my ears, I thought a.) I'm thankful for birth control and b.) perhaps I'm also thankful that boys are scared of me, you know, to avoid that whole chance of the birth control not working thing.

Take for instance my latest encounter with a male right before my journey to Target this morning. I went to take Andy for a walk, popped out the side door of my building and ran straight into the man of my dreams wearing the exact same fuzzy grey sweatpants as me. His beautiful mixed breed spaniel, which he later called his giraffe because of her long legs and spots (Um, excuse me? Can you say anything more adorable?), had sniffed us out as we were walking down the stairs. "Somehow she always knows somebody's coming out that door," he said, as Andy and her did the dog meeting song and dance. Of course, Andy had to pee quite badly, so this time his song and dance also involved PISSING all over this guy's dog and probably his feet too. Goddammit. As if I didn't have enough trouble with this on my own, Andy.

However, the funny thing is, in my state of sweatpants wearing, crackhead hair, 13-year-old boy face, espresso hangover, it's the-end-of-the-semester-and-I-just-want-to-be-done-so-I-can-get-a-DAMN-break state of mind, I didn't even care. He mentioned something about the pee incident, semi-jokingly from what I could tell and I was all, 'yep, he has to pee really bad.' God, I'm so freaking witty and poetic.

Another funny thing is, the dude actually stuck around for 30 more seconds or so while we talked about his dog instead of immediately running away like his life depended on it like the rest of them. Perhaps he's just really polite...or he loved the way I sported the dumpy ass look in our matching sweatpants...

Anyway, I'm not sure where I'm going with this...I think I'm still hungover...but, basically I can't wait until the semester is over (next week!), so I can feel like a normal human being again...or at least normal according to me. Then I'll have the mindset to write about the cool stuff I've actually been doing. Two presentations and a test to go...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

F**k You.

This is what I'm saying mainly to grad school right now along with so many other things:

F**K grad school for sucking the life out of me...F**K group project members for being flaky retards...all of said flaky retards are men, by the way, so F**K men too. And, F**K myself for leaving my entire notebook full of school stuff at home...F**K FedEx for having shitty overnight shipping and not delivering my notebook on time...or anywhere near on time. F**K having a test tomorrow and not understanding a damn thing that I will be tested over...F**K not having my notes to study with because my notebook is off in goddamn oblivion first because of my F**KING self then because of F**KING FedEx...F**K having to see a certain greasy F**Ktard in class twice a week for another two weeks...F**K having four presentations in a week...F**K the hoodrats on public transportation...F**K your mom...F**K freezing cold weather that I have to walk in all damn day...F**K me for not going to school in Florida...F**K having to go to grad school in the first place...F**K grad school for having finals week when in reality it's finals month...F**K parking in Denver...F**K not being able to sleep because my body is trying to decide whether it should have a heart attack or not from the stress...F**K not having time to unpack my suitcase from Thanksgiving break...F**K having a 17 hour work day yesterday with no pay...F**K looking like a hot mess...F**K naysayers...F**K FedEx...F**K FedEx...F**K FEDEX! F**K graduate school...F**K it all!

I'm sure there are other things I need to yell F**K at, but that will do for now. To avoid a meltdown...kind of...I'm blogging instead — I can't study anyway without a F**KING notebook — and listening to a certain song on repeat — Cee Lo Green's "F**k You." You might say, Harna, why are you using the little ** instead of just typing the whole word out? Well, that's how iTunes displays it, so I thought it might be more fun.

I first heard a cover of this at the Sara Bareilles concert I went to about two weeks ago, which was amazing and I still haven't gotten to write about because of F**KING grad school. The song and the video instantly made me feel better. There's just something about yelling 'fuck you' with some soul that makes everything OK. Unlike iTunes, YouTube proudly displays that ever important vowel and her friend "c," something I can fully respect.

My favorite parts are:

"Ooo, I really hate yo ass right now." (grad school)

"Ain't that some shit." (grad school)

and of course...

"Fuck you!" (grad school)

Enjoy!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heave Ho

"I've been dating since I was 15. I'm exhausted. Where is he?!"
— Charlotte York, Sex and the City

Do I really feel this way? Absolutely. Do I let it control my life? Absolutely not.

I just wasn't put on this earth to marry a suitable man and shoot babies haphazardly (or planned, for that matter) from my loins.

When I was five, I played house, but strangely, there was never a pretend husband...just me and my baby...my freaky, little Cabbage Patch Kid.

At seven, I put on fake glasses, sat at the table and typed on an old electric typewriter as a "secretary." Do you know what my nameplate said? Ms. Jones, or something of that nature. Never Miss and certainly not Mrs. I was quite distinguished and very important.

By eight or nine, I had turned my parents house into a full fledged, operating hotel aptly named, "The Laraott." So, I might have ripped off the name from another popular chain after having the coolest dinner ever there one evening with my parents, aunt and uncle. Good 'ole Uncle Pete used to always come back from business trips with tiny soaps and mini shampoos to add to my collection and place in guest rooms, encouraging my then dreams of hotel mogul-ton.

See, now I've always been this way — a name in lights, make a difference, bust through walls, can-do, empowered, adventurous, career oriented, see where it takes me, I will succeed, dammit, even if I have to claw, scratch and shovel dog shit into metal cans along the way to do it, kind of a woman. And, here I am, hundreds of miles from home, in business school, making it happen. So, why the hell am I up at 2 in morning crying over some stupid, mediocre, not good enough for me guy?

This is total bullshit.

However, here's the answer: I'm EX-HAUST-ED...and I can't help it.

It's funny how the majority of business school students have this same voracious appetite for success. Whether it's an outward or internal power struggle to be the best, it exists. However, along with toughness, we're also taught the importance of human relations. Sometimes you want to rip your colleague's face off, but at the same time you have this overwhelming desire to be friends with them and see them succeed as well. My internal Type A personality was already delightfully clouded with the need to connect with people before any of these teachings came into play. I'm a crazed, competitive bitch with a soft spot. I'm tough, somewhat harsh and I expect a lot, but I care deeply for my people and they know it. And, from what we're being taught, this is the formula for a good leader.

I mean, what can I say? I want it all. I want success, but I also want that amazing connection with somebody.

Perhaps marriage is not at the top of my list, but it's on there. At this rate, though, could it become the seemingly not so difficult and secondary dream that slipped through my fingers?

I'll admit, the last couple years of my life have waxed and waned in preposterously huge waves, but there's one area of my life that has stayed on an even keel of absolutely and now becoming an embarrassingly gigantic pile of monkey shit...Oh dating, why are you such a dick? I hate you so, but at the very least, you're the one consistent thing in my life even if it is a consistent suck situation.

The amount of dating horror stories on this blog scares the living hell out of me. Well, first it makes me laugh, then the laugher turns into pity tears and I reach for the Ben and Jerry's, Shiraz and my credit card to buy clothing items online that make my ass look amazing. None of that is actually true, but I am starting to wonder what the hell is going on.

I've analyzed myself on numerous occasions thinking, maybe it's just me. But, after a year and a half of reflection in singletonville, with brief bouts of dating mishaps, I realized that some of it is me, but a lot of it is the fact that I attract some of the most bizarre situations combined with the most selfish little bastards on the planet.

I came into this newest relationship playing fair. My skeletons and issues had faded to nearly nothing after the length of time I had spent alone. My life was fresh, I was ready and he seemed worth my time for once. Then, of course, after an uncharacteristically short period of having my guard up, I laid everything out on the table as requested and I was criticized about things I didn't even know I possessed. All his skeletons and insecurities that he's struggling internally to overcome became my fault. It's like he just wanted to cut me down a notch for fun or to make himself feel better about his pathetic little self before he went along on his not so merry way.

Apparently a sophomoric sense of humor is overrated in that man's world, as if it wasn't blantantely apparent that it existed from day one. However, the fact that I was rejected because of my personality doesn't make me want to "change my ways," put on an apron, get knocked up, stand around barefoot in the kitchen and say bland, demure things like, "Oh honey, you're such a silly goose!" It makes me want to sing a shrilly, loud chorus of "Fuck, shit, dickbag, whore face, butthole, Barbara Streisand!" from the rooftop while firebombing everything in sight. If you hate the way I am, how about I kick it up a notch? It's a damn shame you don't like awesome, buddy.

I overlook things about people almost to the point where it's toxic, because I know the person I want to be is somebody who accepts others for who they are. Red flags blaze and I say, lets give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'm stupid, but I'm simply practicing what I preach.

I stopped trying to be a perfect person a long time ago. I am who I am, no bullshit, no apologies and I love who I am, but I've failed to find any male that appreciates, admires or even acknowledges that fact. Perhaps it's an undesirable trait in a woman, but I could care less. I'm never letting go of it.

So, I was happy before he came along and I will continue to be happy and perhaps even happier now that he's gone and I've had the time to analyze all the things physically and mentally I hated about him, but had the integrity, compassion, balls and sense of humor to accept. All positive character traits he will NEVER possess. The rest of this semester should be interesting since I'll have the delight of seeing him twice a week for the remaining four weeks.

Well, another one bites the dust, kids. Surprise, surprise. Now, who dares to be the next victim to enter my torture chamber of love? Like I said before, this dungeon master is exhausted, so I think it's time for another and hopefully short hiatus from all the whipping and bamboo shoots under the fingernails.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Outside My Window

Oh holy shit! It's a blog!

Most of the time I find myself swirling around in this new life full of statistics, spreadsheets, group projects, leadership methods, new faces, unfamiliar smells, public transportation, bums, lattes and only a memory of a simple, seemingly peaceful life, hence the reason Chaotic Stability has been neglected...kind of ironic since I've been living the epitome of it.

Most of the time as I'm tromping my ass to the light rail everyday, I look up at the skyline, smile and think, I'm really doing this. However, every once in a while, I stop and stand still while it all flies around me and I think, what the hell did I do? The stress of being a full time graduate business student along with juggling a social life and wooing all the men folk affords me little time to grieve my former life, but the three seconds every couple of weeks that I do have time to think about it, I wonder if I'll ever get used to this place and this life. Nothing is the same as it used to be.

People constantly ask me, "After you graduate, do you think you'll stay in Colorado?" And, after three months of complete aimless wandering, searching for and somewhat succeeding in finding a couple of footholds, I honestly still don't know. I'm not sure what it's going to take to convince me, but I'm pretty sure it's time....so onward, I go.

I live above a yoga studio — yes, of course I do, this is Denver — and the constant smell of incense billows out of the curtained doors which apparently helps the people inside stand on their hands with their legs wrapped around their head much better than non-incense infused air. Of course, it's not the incense that makes me choke when I walk by...it's all the dudes prancing around in their spandex yoga pants with their bulges blazing. What? It's not like you can't not look...

And, speaking of surprises, I love walking past every small niche in a building and being scared shitless by a sleeping mound of human. I should learn to brace myself for this by now, since the majority of the trash filled nooks and crannies, especially on my walk home from school, are inevitably occupado with much more than pizza boxes and empty, brown paper bag sheathed vodka bottles. Much to my dismay, Andy gets all excited and tries to snuggle up inside their sleeping bags with them when we walk by. I'm like, no, dammit, that's not where you're supposed to look for your new daddy! I feel so neglectful...and confused as to why this city is so overrun with bums.

It's all part of urban living I guess and according to my apartment complex, where I live is "urban living at it's finest," which is code for, sleep with your windows open if you dare...or if you don't actually like to sleep. Forget the noise of cars, trucks and buses barreling down the one way street that the building sits on, I like the fact that nobody can just honk their horn when necessary, but feel the need to get out of their seat and place their ass on their steering wheel so the horn sounds for a good 30 seconds even at 3 a.m. I also like when they add commentary such as, "Where's your fucking turn signal douchebag?!" Another favorite was when bums decided to fight over corners and/or dumpsters right outside the window in the wee hours of the morning, which went something like, "Get the fuck out of here!" Over and over again.

However, the grand finale came when at 4 a.m., I heard a car alarm followed by a woman's voice screaming, "Hey, hey you running away, I saw you!" This is when I found myself extra grateful for a spot in a secured parking garage. Then, as 5 a.m. rolled around, the construction workers currently transforming a defunct gourmet grilled cheese restaurant into a pizza place next door to the yoga place, decided that hack sawing was a good idea. I'm glad I'm afforded the luxury of sleeping in.

The window has been closed ever since...except when Cheech and Chong decide to flood the hallway with some skunky, skanky herb they purchased and smoked to help cure their "aching backs."

*sigh* Remember when I worked at a doggie day care, collected unemployment and lived in a glorified old foggie apartment complex in the Kansas 'burbs? I'm not complaining, it's just insane how simple and long ago it all seems now...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome To The Mile High City

The Mile High City did in fact welcome me with open arms. First, the mountains suddenly sprang up on the horizon then, as I ventured further into the city, a medicinal marijuana dispensary waved it's leafy hand at me, prominently displaying it's contact number which was somewhere along lines of 1-800-WEED.

Too bad I don't smoke. Yeah, I know, I'm so boring, right? Well, I do drink enough to blacken a rhinoceros' liver, so that ought to make up for it.

Anyway, after moving in, which went quite smoothly, (hire movers, I tell you!) unpacking, which went a little less smoothly since I have SO MUCH CRAP and saying goodbye to the parents (*sniff*), I've spent most of my time wandering around aimlessly, getting lost, being welcomed by interesting characters, then finding my way again.

My first night out in Denver, last Friday, my friend and roomie Whittah and Danielle went to Comedy Works to see yet another of Chelsea Handler's comedians, Josh Wolf. We sipped red wine and tried to make sure it didn't spray out of our noses at some parts.





Then we hung around the lobby for the pleasure of meeting this ornery little shit. I say that in an endearing way, btw:




One large difference between meeting Josh Wolf and meeting Chris Franjola a few months ago is that whoever took our picture this time actually knew how to operate a camera.


Saturday night, the same trio was hit on by hoards of incredibly drunk dumbshits at a nearby and loved bar. It's the same in all cities, is it not?

Sunday I spent the day on the lake at Cherry Creek State Park, however it didn't quite get interesting until I tried to find my way home. After missing about six exits on I-25, I saw a familiar name — Colfax — the longest and seediest drag through Denver. I instantly knew I was in trouble as I pulled up to the light and saw some hobo crackhead dancing around with two fingers pressed to his lips, which I can only assume is the international sign for, "got a cigarette?" This combined with air kisses got closer and closer to my car window, then he whipped out a disgustingly filthy squeegee and began to swipe it across my windshield. Andy starts barking ferociously while I yelled "GO AWAY!" from my sealed tight car. I thought about honking, but I figured it would only encourage more jittery dancing...and perhaps nudity. Finally the light changed and I escaped.

A few blocks later, as I rolled past the capitol building, another panhandler proudly displayed his sign that read, "Girlfriend kidnapped by ninjas. Need $$ for karate lessons." Like Chris Rock said, that guy isn't really homeless because real homeless people are too hungry to be funny.

Check out these interesting and welcoming characters:






This is my Tuesday night kickball team celebrating not only hat day, but a victory.

I am amazed by many things that are allowed to happen in Denver: Bed, Bath and Beyond here is like a department store and necessity store combined, complete with two stories of fine china, make-up and a floor to ceiling aisle of travel toiletries, some of which I've never seen in such tiny proportions; an entire aisle dedicated to wine in Target, yes, TARGET! and each Tuesday this fall, kegs will be tapped at 5:30 p.m. in Denver's City Park to allow young adults like myself to play kickball, otherwise known as slosh ball because a cup of beer must be in one hand at all times — fielding, running the bases, pitching etc...

I just might love this place.

I've gone from suburbia, which is not so bad, to full blown urban living. I can see the capitol building dome from my living room and bedroom windows and the skyscrapers welcome Andy and I on our daily walks through the neighborhood:







However, public transportation and me might have gotten off to a bad start. Parking prices are INSANE so driving to class or even downtown very often is out of the question for me, so I knew I had to get acquainted with this extremely foreign thing called public transportation. It's quite good in Denver as opposed to Kansas City, so I found my six block walk to the nearest light rail station pretty convenient as well as finding the right train, gliding south through downtown Denver and getting off at the correct stop at the Auraria campus.

I was feeling downright victorious as I went to the student union, found most of my books, went back to the station, hopped back onto the correct train and started my glide north through the city to my station near home. I am somewhat sheltered suburban Kansas girl turned bona fide savvy city chick, maneuvering through the streets of downtown Denver with ease.

However, that's when things went a bit sour. No, I didn't get mugged (yet) and a meteor did not fall out of the sky and crash into the train. A few stops from home, I began to hear a fat girl's ear piercing cackle over and over again. She appeared to find her fellow trashy fat girl friend who was sitting across from her quite hilarious...Hilarious enough for me to want to throw something nice and heavy at her face.

As we pulled up to my stop, non-cackling fat girl sprang from her seat and lumbered toward the exit. Then I heard a loud splashing sound and a husky, "SHIT!" escape her mouth as she rolled her fat ass off the train. I thought she had dropped her Big Gulp of Fanta Orange on the entrance/exit stairs, but then I heard her making some distinct sounds outside on the station platform and I realized what had really happened. Yep, she definitely projectile spewed all over the inside of the light rail car right in front of me.

Motherfucker.

Here is a brilliant artist rendition of the scene for clarification and your enjoyment:








People getting on the train used the opposite staircase to avoid the drippy disaster forcing me to wait to get off. When I finally made it off and just past the fat girl's puking rally, I felt a rain drop on my cheek. Then the sky opened up and I had to walk six blocks home in a drenching rain in slippery sandals that nearly flung themselves off my feet, threatening to break my ankles at each step. Perhaps I should have checked the weather before I left the apartment.

I would like to say, once again, that this sort of shit only seems to happen to me, which is probably why I can continue to write. OF COURSE, the first time I ride the light rail a girl nearly pukes on my shoes and then I have to walk home in a monsoon. How else would it go? It's so ridiculous that you have to laugh. Now, if I would have been PMSing during this fiasco, there might have been tears and a murderous rampage to follow, but thankfully I'm fully in my right mind at the moment. Fully laughable, if you will.

Other than escaping unwanted window cleanings and puddles of puke on my mode of transportation, I've been attending orientations and meet and greets for school, which starts on Monday (*Harna has slight heart attack at the mention of this*). I've meet some great people, exchanged some phone numbers and I'm ready to become a student again...preferably with a few new friends.

Perhaps in the next episode of "Harna Does Denver" you'll hear about how I tripped over my own feet while walking into a classroom on the first day of school and fell on my face or something equally as awesome and I'll post a pic of the amazing view from my rooftop deck. City and the mountains? I'm sold.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Click Your Heels

One of the things I remember most about Reno, Nevada was it's distinct smell — desert brush mixed with pine and white fir wafting down from the Sierras along with the slight stench of pollution from seedy tourism. That last part disappeared as you wound up Mount Rose towards gorgeous Lake Tahoe as I did every day for my internship at The North Lake Tahoe Bonanza newspaper that summer.

They say your sense of smell is the most sensitive of the senses, often helping to conjure up even the most distant of memories or experiences with people. I lived in a completely different world there — new smells, new experiences, new attitudes, new surroundings. It's the only other place I've lived. However all of this came with the safety net of living with my parents who lived in the area at the time. And, after two short months, I was back at school in the middle of my familiar Kansas.

There are no safety nets this time except for the fact that I will now be living with one of my best friends instead of alone. Moving to Denver will change my life completely and I'm ready to take it all in despite small fears that "homesick" will develop into a disease rather than just a tiny, intermittent virus.

The bad thing about Kansas City is that it's smell is not distinct like that of Reno. It smells like barbeque and roasted coffee beans from the Folgers plant, which means that walking past a coffee shop or a meat smoker while on this adventure to the west could cause me to shed some spontaneous tears...well, I hope not.

Maybe Kansas City isn't the most glamorous of places — there are no mountains to speak of to ski on, no beaches to flaunt our shit on, it does in fact go to "sleep" around 2 or 3 a.m. and seeing cows next to office buildings isn't uncommon. Our claim to fame is apparently "The Wizard of Oz" based on the fact that everybody who finds out I'm from Kansas says, "Ha! Do you know Dorothy? Where's Toto?" and I have to refrain from verbally abusing them and shoving my foot up their horrifically non-witty ass. I did, however, meet Jerry Maren, the lollipop kid from the movie, but that's another story...Despite it's so-called shortcomings, according to the rest of the country, not me, I love that place.

I spent the last couple of weeks before I left soaking in the comforts and distinctions of my city, my home. The food, the trolley rides, the theme parks, the nightlife, baseball games and of course, the people. My going away party, thrown by none other than my best friend Kate, was filled with all the people I love and the distinctions of Kansas City.

Shortly into the party, Kate brought out a huge pink box full of all things Kansas City that people had picked out to give to me — a bottle of Most Wanted vodka made in Atchison, Kansas from my friend Erin with a note telling me to find a Slurpee and a swing if I ever got homesick — a nod to a childhood memory we had together; T-shirts from my favorite bars; french fry seasoning and barbeque sauce from the the best BBQ joint in the world, Oklahoma Joe's, which is attached to a gas station and on Anthony Bourdain's 13 Places to Eat Before You Die; Christopher Elbow chocolates and a Boulevard Brewery glass; the passing on of the infamous "HO" cup; treats and a collar for Andy from Land 'O Paws, locally brewed beer and a "City of Fountains" martini glass.

Of course, there were nods to Denver too — a few reusable shopping bags because I'm pretty sure you get stoned to death in the street if you don't use those in Denver. And, my new roomie Whittah surprised me by first showing up to the party, then giving me a Denver care package full of granola, extra sunscreen and University of Colorado Denver supplies.
















I was overwhelmingly touched by the party and the people that showed up. It was quite the send off celebration.

To top it off, I decided that it was a good idea to go on our annual and physically exhausting float trip the weekend before I left without having my apartment packed up. Yes, of course it was a good idea, because it's the greatest float trip ever created, a.k.a. Riverdiddle. Our theme this year was the golf classic, which of course prompted us to have Sam play Tiger Woods while we played his many cocktail waitress hos. I spent the day with play money shoved in my swimsuit and a name tag that read "Tiger's #1 Hizzo" stuck to my ass. Highlights included winning the Wal-Mart Bingo contest and receiving a blue pitcher with our team name on it — Kate's Car 'o Bitches, an armadillo sighting, a braiding contest, flip cup championships and flying whip cream shots. It doesn't get much better than that.




I came home to yet another send off from my family. This is when I really had to fight off the waterworks, escaping to the bathroom at least twice to compose myself. My niece, Remi, walked into my parent's house and immediately wanted to show me the card she gave me, which read: "If you knew how much I missed you...You'd be back by now."
Then, she had two versions of her name, one with and one without help on one side and this little drawing on the other side:




NOT Ike from Southpark, by the way.

"That's you," she said, pointing to the one on the left "and that's Andy," she said, pointing to the one on the right. This kid is killing me. I might just miss her most of all.

My aunt, whose health is fading more and more making me worry about moving so far away, gave me a card with the distinct ruby slippers on the front and the wish that I would click my heels and come home often. If only it were that easy...

While I found myself nostalgic of home last night, saying my last goodbyes to my friends, recalling memories of all the places I drove by on the way back to my parent's house and shedding a few tears, I sit in this hotel room in exotic Goodland, Kansas and feel more excitement than fear. I'm a two hour drive away from a new life, and while I'll miss my home and my people, it's about damn time.

Movers Were A Good Choice

Kansas is pretty much the surface of the sun...perhaps hotter, right now. I've smelled like a 12-year-old boy on the brink of puberty that hasn't had "The Big D" talk with his dad yet for about a month now along with looking like a greasy asshole. I'm quite tired of the perma sheen and salt film all over my body. However, I'll take some shininess as opposed to keeling over dead and taking my parents with me any day...which is what would have happened if we hadn't hired a couple of guys to schlep the massive amount of shit I own shoved into boxes down the stairs today. I'm a delicate flower that cannot be bothered with such grueling work. *burp* *fart* *snot rocket*

This was me a couple of hours ago:





Now it's all empty, echo-y and depressing...but all in a truck that I didn't have to load, so who gives a shit. See, this moving stuff makes me all bitchy.

Anyway, so yes, it's actually happening — I'm moving to Denver. My parents and I will spend the day barreling down I-70 in a U-Haul to Denver. Well, actually Goodland, Kansas, then Denver the next day. Oh, and check out the little friend that will be joining us on the trip:





Out of all the U-Hauls, of course there would be a giant, nasty bitch spider on mine. The only way this could be more ironically fucked up is if there was a U-Haul sized centipede plastered on the side of the truck.

I do have way more thoughts, deeper thoughts if that's possible about this moving thing and lots of stories to tell, but I'm so deliriously exhausted from not moving boxes that I must pass out...more later, of course.

But, before I go, please heed this post as a warning. Just to be safe, You might want to consider not only avoiding I-70 for the next couple of days, but also the entire state of Kansas because I will behind the wheel of this thing...just me, my Mom, my Dad, Andy the JRT and giant fuck spider.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Le Hunt De Denver II

The second day of apartment hunting in Denver brought out the more mature version of the temper tantrum throwing toddler in me — a.k.a. psycho bitch magee.

You know when an apartment is advertised as a "spacious, garden level" apartment? Well, that really means tiny, concrete dungeon unfit for human inhabitants. After walking into about 12 of those, I began to wonder if anybody ever moves out of an apartment that is not in a creepy basement and why basements are even allowed to be rented as living spaces for anything other than mold, spiders and albino trolls. I also had the overwhelming urge to tell all of them to shove their "garden levels" straight up their asses.

I had to make three appointments at one apartment complex because the dumbshit property manager scheduled me on the wrong day, then showed up at the wrong property. As somebody that made several appointments for interviews and photo shoots everyday as a newspaper reporter and never once fucked it up, I don't understand how hard it is to get one apartment showing appointment correct. She said she felt "really bad" about it and she had four properties she was in charge of all by herself. Well, cry me a fucking river. DO YOUR JOB! It's amazing to me how many dumbasses have decent jobs that they suck at, while people that are not pieces of shit rot in unemployment. I never actually saw that apartment because of that woman and my fear that I would breathe fire and set her head ablaze if I actually met her incompetent ass in person.

I was at the end of my rope when we walked into a high rise complex near downtown. The leasing agent was a blonde with a bit of a 'tude that I would not choose to be friends with if we met in another situation. I think I might have scared her when she asked if there was anything I didn't want in an apartment and I blurted "NO BASEMENTS!" And, when she asked where I had been looking for places, I once again blurted, "All over this DAMN town!" Her eyes widened and she said "Oooo-K" then turned her attention towards her paperwork to take note of my psychotic outburst.

We then wandered upstairs where she showed me an amazing rooftop deck...and the most expensive college dorm room I've even seen. At night, I'd drift off to sleep in my Barbie-sized bed with the inside of the stove as my pillow. Actually, I take that back because I'm pretty sure my head wouldn't fit in that stove. I don't know about you, but I really have a problem sleeping in a kitchenette.

After my eventful and craptastic second day, I sat in the hotel room and pouted all pissy until I fell asleep. When I woke up from my little nap, I was content to sign with the complex I looked at the first day in the Stapleton area East of the city. It's not exactly where I wanted to be, but it was my best option.

Then, I drank a few beers and played dress up with some of my Denver friends in celebration:





Now that I've been home for a week and a half, the stress and anxiety has set in with full force. On the Fourth of July, I was at our annual party and one of the guys came up to me and asked, "Seriously, what's wrong?! You've had a pouty face all night." It was then I realized that I pretty much want to claw my skin off. I constantly feel that at any moment I'm going to burst into hysterical sobbing and projectile vomit at the same time. It's horrible and I really, REALLY want and need some Xanex. Since getting my hands on some would either require a doctor's visit complete with lecturing on getting counseling, which I don't need, or providing a drug dealer with sexual favors, I've turned to my old friend, beer. Can't a girl get some mental peace without the calories?

I wanted and needed a drastic change to get my life back on track and I just might accidently kill myself in the process. Leaving your family and friends and everything you've ever known to pursue a double master's degree in a city where people don't even wave in appreciation when you let them cut in front of you in traffic all by yourself is really fucking scary and overwhelming no matter how old you are. And, as I start to pack up everything I own into lots of square boxes, I'll be holding it together with just a few raggety, frayed strings. The excitement of it all is still in there somewhere, but the overpowering, rocking-in-the-fetal-position mental state I'm in is sort of taking over all other emotions.

Now, if you'll excuse me, after writing that I kind of feel faint...and naturally, I need another beer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Le Hunt De Denver

I’m on a plane to Denver on a kamikaze mission to find a place to live. Failure is not an option…I will win at this shitty little game. I’m so annoying while apartment hunting that I even annoy myself. There were many tears shed the last time I did this and perhaps one psychotic episode, which involved me throwing myself on the ground and kicking and screaming like a toddler. If you don't believe me, just check out my archives from spring 2008. I can’t say that something similar won’t happen this time, but maybe I’m a little more prepared with my daily maps and schedules.

I’ve talked to more strangers than I would have ever cared to through craigslist including one dude named Chuck, who answered the phone after several rings with garbled, strained and slightly pissy speech:

“Can I help you?”

I could tell Chuck was probably an enormous fat man with eight chins that I had interrupted while he was in the middle of devouring a pastrami sandwich.

“Is this Chuck?” I asked timidly.

*Garble BAH! Garble Garble* The phone cuts out, then nothing.

I didn’t call back.

The apartment of my dreams might have gotten away from me with that phone call, but probably not if Chuck’s in charge.

By the way, the flight attendant looks like Pricilla Presley.

Also, the dude that checks your ID and boarding pass before you go through security looked like fat LL Cool J and he verbally molested me under his breath. He was all, “(quiet mutter) look at you and your sexy ass self.” Wha?

Then, security shut down and we had to stand around for all eternity, which prompted some creepy asswipe to ask me if he could cut in front of me in the security line because he “had been standing there for 20 minutes and was going to miss it if he didn’t.” As if I hadn’t been standing there just as long and as if they would just let planes take off when most of the passengers were stuck in stand still security. Dumbshit. I told him to fuck off ask one of the security people about his little problem, not me. Why is it that people magically transform into retards as soon as they set foot in an airport?

I’m thinking about purchasing a taser when I get there just in case I have to go buck wild crazy ninja on someone’s scary craigslist rapist ass. I’m also not afraid to punch a leasing consultant in the mouth if they try to get all pushy. Other than that I’m cool, calm and collected…or the exact opposite of that.


****


OK, day one is done. No punching or tasering necessary. I did find a place I liked, a little further east of the city than I would have like, but nice and put down a small, refundable deposit to hold it until I look at the rest of these joints. One lady didn’t show up to the appointment, but the apartment was like a jankety ass prison from the outside and it made me all shivery just looking at it’s nastiness, so perhaps it’s good she was a flaky biotch. Then, one of the other places that I was pretty excited about called and said they rented all of their apartments….god dammit!

Eh, take the good with the bad. I have four, possibly five to look at tomorrow, then it’s time to sign my life away…and accept the fact that I will be utilizing public transportation…a LOT.

Now, I’m off to dinner with friends….while my Mom stays in the hotel room swilling vodka that she asked my friend Whitney to pick up for her on her way to pick me up from the hotel. I think I might have stressed her out a little today…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Buggin'

Monday evening...

The scene: Me, sitting on my living room floor, lovingly cleaning a year's or more worth of dust off all of my picture frames, updating the pictures, wrapping them in bubble wrap, then placing them in a box. The packing has begun...

Out of the corner of my eye, I see something stir across the rug a few feet in front of me. I look up and do a double take before I realize that it's a motherfucking CENTIPEDE squiggling it's nasty, ho ass across the floor at roughly the speed of light.

"WHA?...WHAA....AAAAAAHHHH! Where'sashoewhere'sashoewhere'sashoe...Where is a GOD-damn SHOE!"

Find flip flop, place on foot and stomp the ever living shit out of the bastard which, by the way, is apparently made of steel because it wouldn't DIE!

When I was sure it was smashed into tiny pieces, I just left the shoe there and decided I should probably wait to pick it up...at least until I stopped shitting myself and my heart lowered itself out of my throat and back into my chest. How in the hell did a centipede get into a second floor apartment? Then, light bulb — the boxes I just brought in from my car have been sitting in my parents' basement for god knows how long. Fucking grooooooooss. Now I'm afraid to touch the other boxes. At least the exterminators are scheduled to come on Wednesday anyway.

I continued my packing, but then every few minutes I'd think about that million legged fuckface and a cold shiver would go down my spine. Uuuugh. I really, REALLY hate bugs.

I've gotten pretty brave since I've been living by myself — I've mercilessly slaughtered a wasp in the shower of my old apartment with a broom/Doc Marten combination; I've flung a book (while screaming) at a spider and I've gotten pretty good at busting out my cork wedges to dramatically smash any silverfish that dares to slither it's bitch ass down the wall — all by myself. Go me.

But, there are just some things I can't do. While I handled the centipede situation as well as could be expected (my friend Kate would have turned herself inside out if placed in a similar situation.), I never want to do that again. EVER. AND, when it's time to clean out my storage unit in the garage, I'm out. Nope. Not doing it...Oh Daaaad...

Yeah, so there's like six things in there, but I opened it up the other day to get some windshield wiper fluid and the spiders were out of control and the force of the shivers and hebby jebby feelings bouncing around in my body....no, just NO. I'm calling my Dad and since he's such a nice dad, he will come over, pull everything out, shake it off and make sure nothing is going to crawl on me and eat my face.

Now, I bet you're all, 'you're moving to Denver and daddy isn't going to be there to save you. What will you do then?'

Ah, yes, well, I've been single for a year now...and that's long enough, which is why the first order of business once I get settled in Denver is to conduct interviews for a boyfriend.

Here are my stats:

I have soft skin, good hygiene and I make a really good lasagne.
(along with many other shining and remarkable qualities)

Here is what I expect from him:

He must kill bugs and not be a douche.
(along with some other minor things that I will secretly screen for during the interview process)

It's a fool proof plan.

Fuck you, centipedes. I totally win.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning

There's a lot of purging going on over here, as in, throwing or giving away everything I own before I move to Denver.

OK, more like organizing, letting go and getting shit done. This whole two month deadline thing is scarily motivating. The best treasures I've uncovered are the ones in my photo/scrapbook box in my parent's basement. Most of the stuff is from college with a few things from the first year after graduation. I just kept finding myself bursting into laughter or reading intently as I went along. Here are some of my favorite gems:

- A picture of me blearily shitfaced on my 21st birthday with my arm around a fat, bald grinning cop in Aggieville.

- About 600 pictures from a trip to Cancun I took with three other girls our junior year many of which include guys. LOTS of guys. We nicknamed most of them by the part of the country they came from, i.e. "The Maine Boys." That was one of the best trips I have ever taken.

- My bleach blonde, tan, ripped self that was obsessed with wearing very tiny clothing and almost always holding a can of Natty Light. Of course, I could do that when I was 19 or 20 because my metabolism hadn't yet taken a shit on me forcing me to work so hard to stay in shape and I didn't look like an old lady trying to re-live the glory days. But, most of all, because I was a different person then. It's amazing what a few years and a few life changing events will do to, or rather, for your psyche. I didn't start feeling "old" until 2010...especially when I was at a bar right before my 27th birthday and some 60-year-old dude looked me up and down and said, "damn, you look good for 26." Um, what? I wasn't aware that comment was applicable when you were still in your 20s. BAH!

The subsequent purging of said tiny clothes I was wearing in the pictures happened earlier tonight too. Over and over again, I held up a scrap of fabric from the bottom drawer, had a fond flashback of me wearing it to a party freshman year when a guy I liked from one of my classes came up and talked to me or something along those lines...then remembered that I hadn't worn it since, came to the conclusion that I might have a problem, then tossed it in a goodwill pile. I'll let somebody smaller and younger make some memories with it now.

- Oh the sorority-tasticness. Black and gold kites and pansies out the ass. Apparently I kept every single motherfucking thing I ever received that was sorority related. You should see my collection of t-shirts, which are now cut up and laid out on my living room floor while I attempt to fashion them into a jankety ass, sewn together mess of a blanket. I can't remember when I've had more fun. Balls.

- A tiny tube of toothpaste my friend Whitney and I stole from the hotel room of some British soccer players we met in Reno one summer.

- A couple of journals — one full of extremely embarrassing rants that I promptly ripped up and literally put through the shredder and one that was full of poems, some of which were actually good. I kept that one.

- Cards from various occasions. The ones from graduation made me cry.

However, what I enjoyed most were the hoards and hoards of love letters. I had forgotten how much I made the boys swoon in my day. Riiiiiiiight. Anyway, a few were cards from the guy I lived with a few years ago in which the relationship ended in a fiery, explode-y, painful car crash of douchebaggery. The sentiments back then were quite the opposite though.

Most of them were actual love letters from the Marine I dated on and off from the time I was 19 to 21. I remember writing letters back and forth like we were old souls with him on the East coast and me in the middle of nowhere Kansas. Some of the words were just sickening and made me want to projectile vomit on the wall and smack myself in the face, but a lot of it was pretty damn adorable. He'd draw hilarious pictures in the margins and send me little gifts along with the letters. I remember being disgustingly head over heels for this guy, as he was for me, but it was one of those innocent, juvenile kind of loves. The kind where you run off and elope at 19, then wake up a few years later, pregnant, staring at the cracked ceiling of your double wide (or in this case, base housing) and say, "What the fuck happened to my life?" Divorce comes next along with the mourning of your wasted youth. I'm just glad I was smart enough to stay in school rather than become a military wife. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's definitely not the life for me.

We eventually drifted apart like the fate of most extreme long distance relationships, I found out he slept with somebody else, then I said, bye dude. But, I have nothing, but good memories of the whole thing. He's married now and I hope he's happy...whatever he's doing.

I'm keeping most of those letters...Remi and my kids will get a kick out of them. They'll be all, 'how cute, is that how guys treated women back then? Serenaded them with love letters?' Then I'll recall all of the times guys ever so romantically asked me out via text message among so many other douchey moves and I'll respond, 'nope, he was a rare breed.' That is unless my future husband takes a damn hint. Of course he's probably not going to be so amused by those letters...

Towards the end of my dig, I found a Valentine's Day card from the boyfriend I had senior year. I've lost touch with him, but he was a decent, nice human being, so I can't make fun of him too much. But, I have to share. We had maybe been dating two or three weeks at the time, so the awkwardness of V-Day obligations was painfully obvious. First of all, he mentioned that he bought the card on Valentine's Day about three seconds before he came over...yada, yada....then the last couple of lines read:

"If you like me as much as I like you, well then I'm a pretty lucky fella. Happy Valentine's Day, bub."

I flung myself backwards in hysterical laughter. No, "Bub" was not a nickname he had for me. This was just "bub" as in "You got that right, bub." Or "hey bub, get out of my way." Really? I wonder if he gave me a good night handshake or pat on the back at the end of that night. I don't recall.

I think the funniest part was I could actually see and hear him saying this as I read it. It was so typically him, which is probably why we didn't work out. Well, if he ever reads this: I hope you're happy, bub.


Well, I've only made a small dent in the purging process so far, I'm afraid. Why, oh why do I have so much crap? Priceless, hilarious, awesome crap?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Teleporter Dreams

I dropped my Statement of Intent for the University of Colorado Denver in the mail today, which means...it's official — I'm moving to Denver.

While I've been all "SQUEEEEEE!" since the acceptance letter arrived, it didn't really become completely real until now. And, when I say real, I mean I hadn't really thought about the amount of SUCK involved in moving. It blows to move a few blocks down the street let alone 600 miles away. In fact, I think the last time I moved, I swore not to move again until teleporters were invented, but here I am moving again and do you see any mofoing teleporters around? Nope, not a one. I really need to learn to keep promises to myself.

So, in order to minimize the suckage, I started to do a little research on moving companies. I don't mind a couple of burley dudes manhandling my goods if it means I get to avoid bribing my friends, bulldozing over small children and elderly ladies with walkers by allowing myself to drive a giant truck across the state and becoming the cranky, sweaty bitch that decides it's a good idea to lift several heavy objects in the blistering heat of mid summer.

I'm not a rich woman, but I'm thinking, yeah, this will probably be more expensive than doing it myself, but not too much more expensive and totally worth the bullshit involved in the self-moving-rent-a-UHaul fiasco. However, I began to get calls back this morning with approximate estimates — one even had a guaranteed price — and I about shit myself. To load, drive and unload my tiny, shoebox bachelorette pad that mostly contains furniture that is about a step and a half above plywood and milk crates, will cost between 2,000 and 3,000 motherfucking dollars. Holy shit and jesus christ in a rowboat, do these bastards think I am made of money? Talk about taking advantage of the mega ultron amount of ball suckage involved in moving.

So, it looks like me, my mother and/or father and Andy the Jack Russell Terrier will be packing up my entire life in a rickety ass UHaul truck and barreling our asses down the highway like the fucking Beverly Hillbillies trying to avoid murdering the tumbleweeds and escaped cattle that cross our path. God help us...and anybody else who happens to be on Interstate-70 in Kansas or Colorado in mid to late July. It should be a grand 'ole time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Squirrely

I stood in the aisle, shifting my weight from one foot to the other while weighing my chip options and wondering when my Mom would show up. Mmmm, chips, one of my obsessions...along with anything made entirely of sugar or things that will inevitably make my already somewhat high cholesterol go up and clog the shit out of my already predisposed-to-heart-disease arteries. Damn you crappy family history!

I made a smarter selection and strolled to the end of the aisle to blankly stare at the massive variety of cashews that I had no intention of purchasing. Yeah, kinda sleepy today. A huge, eye water inducing yawn escaped just as I heard the *whirrrr* of one of those motorized shopping carts quickly approaching. While I expected to see an enormous, wheezing woman that allowed her FUPA to man the handle bars, when my eyes came back into focus, I saw a normal sized man instead.

A waterfall of greasy gray hair cascaded from a baseball hat perched on his head and his weathered eyes peered out from behind a long, bushy beard. The distinct smell of a man that has smoked two packs a day since he was 12 seeped out of his pores and into my nostrils as he abruptly stopped in front of the wall of trail mix.

"What would you recommend for a baby squirrel?" He asked, seemingly to nobody as I walked past his cart.

It took me a second to both realize he was directing his odd question at me and to process what he was asking. I stopped in my tracks just as he added:

"It's in my shirt right now," he said, gesturing. "It's the only way he'll keep calm."

I gawked as a small mound on top of his right shoulder rippled the plaid pattern on his shirt. Perhaps the baby squirrel in question is less than calm because it's in the middle of a Super Target...and because it has rabies.

Side note: Are you fucking kidding me?

"It's in your shirt right now?! That's...funny..." I said as politely as possible.

Just as I was about to make a run for it, I saw that his hat said, 'Vietnam Veteran' and I instantly softened...My experiences as a journalist and in my personal life have provided me with a certain respect for veterans...apparently one that convinces me to continue ridiculous, squirrel-in-the-shirt-in-the-middle-of-Target conversations.

There's a fine line between eccentric and batshit crazy, but a difference nonetheless. Proceed with caution.

He explained that they like walnuts and dried fruit, but not the hard nuts and definitely none of them there peanuts. I suggested a blend of nuts and dried blueberries, which he quickly vetoed and began to tell me an elaborate story about his dogs' encounter with a raccoon. Just as he explained that the raccoon climbed on his head to get away from the dogs, then onto his china hutch and has been there ever since, as in living there...for five years...seriously, living on his INDOOR china cabinet for FIVE YEARS...out of the corner of my eye, I saw my Mom recognize me in the aisle, see that I was talking to a scraggly old man driving a scooter and quickly scamper away into another aisle as if she had no idea who I was.

There was more talk of sunflower seeds before I said, "Good luck with your critters" and quietly ran the fuck away excused myself to the next aisle.

I found Mom, thanked her for the awesome save, then wondered how many other people have been lucky enough to encounter a mountain man and his pet squirrel while hunting for a lower cholesterol substitute for Doritos.

Five Years





Here is a picture of my friends and me molesting a giant bronze statue of a wildcat this past weekend on the campus of our Alma Mater, Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas.

Why? Because apparently you're supposed to rub his nose for good luck. We went back to see Kate's little sister graduate and saw a variety of graduates in their caps and gowns mobbing it all weekend for pictures.

This is a tradition that has developed in the five years since we all graduated from K-State, but because we're such loyal, die hard alums, there was no way we were missing out.

In fact, we looked around on our five year anniversary and noticed so many things that have changed since our days at K-State — old, shithole party houses knocked down to make way for multilevel apartment complexes, new bars, new businesses (HyVee? Olive Garden? Bed, Bath and Beyond? Holy shit, dude, in OUR day we survived without all of that!)...Manhattan is growing from a tiny, charming college town in the middle of the Kansas prairie to an actual city where you can get everything you need without driving to the nearest booming Kansas metropolis. We remembered how we had to drive an hour to the Best Buy in Topeka when we were in school in an attempt to fix our ailing computers — pain in the ASS — and something that students no longer have to worry about.

With the exception of the "rubbing the nose for luck" tradition, we sort of turned our noses up at the new stuff. We all loved our time in tiny, charming Manhattan. Sometimes we had to get pretty creative to find everything we needed, but that was part of the experience. I always get all sappy and clutch my chest, all overcome with nostalgia when I talk about K-State — then and now. Every trip back since we graduated has been memorable, but I think it's safe to say that this last one was one of the best.

My letter of intent for grad school at CU Denver remains unsigned, but I'm pretty sure it will be on it's way next week. While my brain is completely preoccupied right now with this pending adventure at a different school in a new city, I'll always bleed purple.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Only In The Movies...Or So I Thought

I write this while sitting atop a small iceberg I've created with a plastic bag, a towel and a thankfully overzealous ice maker. One might ask, "Harna, why are you icing your ass?"

Because I'm a walking movie cliche, that's why.

First, let me update you on my job.

I beat myself up in my daily life all on my own, but now I have this job where nearly every move I make is caught on camera by a live Web cam and that footage could be made into an old timey, silent, slapstick comedy routine set to player piano music. Just call me the fourth Stooge.

Working part time as a "camp counselor" at a doggie day care has actually been fairly enjoyable. I'm working, as in earning a paycheck no matter how tiny it is, and believe me, you work hard for that paycheck there. I love dogs, I'm always busy and my co-workers and boss are fabulous people for the most part. However, I'm still not quite used to looking like a battered woman.

My hands and arms are covered in scratches and bruises in various stages of healing as well as my legs, stomach, hips and back. The dogs play and wrestle with each other then inevitable slam into my legs...they jump up on me in an excited frenzy and dig their nails and teeth in because they think we're playing and of course, there are no breed restrictions on this behavior. There's a Great Dane, whose probably six feet tall on his hind legs, that likes to "sneak attack" me when my back is turned. All of a sudden, a paw the size of Montana slams into the side of my head and eagle talons nails are dragged from the nape of my neck all the way down my back.

Then of course there are the injuries that occur when equipment is involved like pinching your fingers in the gates, having a dog jump up and slam your head into the fence, getting your ass kicked by the shop vac and bashing your hands against all surfaces while trying to wrestle a fat Lab into the bathtub.

Dogs are also violent, molestery perverts, so you must also protect any private parts. One of their favorite things to do is come charging at you from across the yard like a fucking bull, then spear you right in the 'gine with their snouts with such force that you stumble backwards and sometimes fall on your ass. Right in the babymaker. Well, not exactly. It's more like right in the pubic bone, which for ladies, is nearly equivalent to getting kicked in the balls for guys. So, here I am laying on the ground, holding my crotch in pain on camera while dogs jump all over me and slobber on my face. It sounds like a poorly made bestiality porn.

There's this giant English Mastiff that comes to camp a lot. Saying giant and Mastiff in the same sentence is quite redundant, by the way, since most of them are the size of tigers or baby hippopotamuses and this guy is no exception. He's really sweet, but one day after having a bath he decided to get my attention by chomping down on my right ass cheek. So, not only was my butt violated by the Jaws of the dog world, but it was also wet and slobbery...and, once again, it was all caught on camera, including me squealing and running around in circles while holding my ass.

Then, just a few days later, the sneak attack Great Dane whose head is level with my triceps and has taken advantage of that fact many times by giving me a doggie cow bite (fucking OW!), decided I wasn't paying enough attention to him. As I was taking a drink of my caffeinated beverage, he tiptoed over, headbutted me in the side then nonchalantly bit my left tit. *HONK* I, of course, react by nearly dropping my drink to cup my poor, assaulted boobie on camera and exclaim to my co-worker, "Oh my god, he just bit my boob!" Talk about sensual boob honks...apparently I need to invest in some reinforced steel bras.

OK, so back to the iceberg under my ass and things that happen to me that are only supposed to happen in movies...

One example of such an occurrence outside of my job happened on Christmas Eve a few years ago when I was sick with some mutant strain of strep throat. I was horribly sick and the crankiest bitch ever because of it, so I decided to get some medicine at Walgreens when the heel on one of my boots snapped and I was forced to hobble through the store on one stiletto and one tard shoe with every single lymph node in my body the size of grapefruits. Feel free to read that whole adventure here.

Now, today I once again amazed myself with my uncanny ability to re-create movie magic in my own home. I had just gotten back from the gym and quickly jumped in the shower, but forgot to grab my face wash off the sink, which I do a lot. In fact, I can rarely leave the house without having to go back because I forgot something. It's really damn annoying.

So, I hop out of the shower as fast as I can, onto the rug and leap over the rest of the linoleum to the carpet to grab my stuff. However, on the way back to the shower, I forgot the ever important leap over the linoleum part and felt my wet feet start to slide under the rug. Then I'm all, ohshitohshitohshitohshit *rapid double backwards windmill arms,* and like a fucking cartoon character, my feet fly out from under me, I soar about four feet airborne then land flat on my ass...and thankfully my elbows, which prevented me from hitting my head.

So here I am, dripping wet, laying on my back on the bathroom floor thinking, 'oh my god, my mother is going to find me laying here sometime tomorrow afternoon, buck naked and shivering with a broken ass and unshaved legs because I can't move! The only reason she would find me that quickly is because we have plans tomorrow. Who knows how long it would be if we didn't!' The "half-eaten by wild dogs" Bridget Jones' Diary moment started to take on a whole new meaning. Then of course, I snapped out of it, said 'fuck' really loud a few times, shook it off and got back to my shower.

I'm not sure my tailbone is ever going to be the same. While I should be more worried about being able to go to work and you know, like, walk and stuff, with this injury, I'm more concerned with getting through the pedicure and driving to Manhattan (Kansas) I have planned tomorrow since both of those require extended periods of sitting on my ass. I think I may need one of those inflatable hemorrhoid donut things. Does anyone have one I can borrow?

Eh, fuck it. I'm just going to make a wise investment and buy one. With my graceful life skills, I have a feeling I will get my money's worth.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What A Day, Faye

Suddenly, my life seems more complete:






It's Chelsea bitches! Before going to her show on Friday night, I stood in a long line at a local bookstore and froze my ass off, since Kansas has apparently told spring to fuck off, to have my book signed by Miss Handler. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures with her...not enough time and too many damn people I guess. However, I did give her a bottle of "Most Wanted" vodka, which is made in Kansas with a card that said:

Chelsea,
Get shitfaced on some Kansas vodka courtesy of your biggest fan in KC.
Cheers fuckface,
(name)
(blog address)

Pretty tricky. I set it on the table and said I had a little something' somethin' for her, she looked up and said, "thanks, girl!" Then the douchey security guard snatched it up. I'm all, "That's not for you, you little turd! That's Chelsea's, goddammit!" He wasn't amused...at least he wouldn't have been if I would have said that out loud.

While in line I of course made a little friend because everywhere I go, there they are: The chicks who wear lots of make up and feel the need to tell me inappropriate things about their personal life in great detail. Apparently you can take the girl out of journalism, but you can't take the journalism out of the girl. However, apparently I don't even have to try anymore. I've surely developed some sort of tell-me-everything-even-if-I-don't-care aura.

So, when we realized one of the comedians on Chelsea Lately, Chris Franjola, was outside hanging out after the signing, we switched cameras so we could each get a pic with him. I was first, and I walked up, handed him the book and said, "uhhh, I'm a writer too," like fucking Butthead off Beavis and Butthead. I'm awesome. DEERRRRRRRR. DER. DER.

Of course, that's not the best part of this encounter. The lovely photography done by Miss Shares-A-Lot was absolutely outstanding.










Here's Chris Franjola....and my eyes.






What the hell?! Me...and Chris Franjola's mouth.




Seriously lady? What the fuck is this?


I'm not sure how difficult it is to make sure both of the heads are fully in the GIANT viewing window, then click the button. Did she suddenly turn into her 90-year-old grandmother? You know, not the senile one, but the one who is notorious for only taking pictures of people's boobs?

Anyway, later that night, Kate and I headed to Starlight Theater, an outdoor theater...did I mention it was freezing? I was sitting there shivering in a winter coat on May 7th. Total bullshit.

Franjola was good, but Chelsea nearly made me piss my pants. Here's a few of the things I remember most:

Chelsea on the anal bleaching trend:

"I'll never bleach my asshole. I might stick a Crest Whitestrip on it, but I'm never doing anal bleaching."

"People are like, 'oh, you talk about drinking.' And, I'm like, 'yeah, I do because it fucking fun! Get involved!'"

She also told a story about how she tricked her boyfriend into thinking he had shit the bed by smearing a piece of chocolate cake in the bed while he was in the bathroom. The story itself was fucking crazy, but her delivery of these stories was just priceless. The motions, the noises, the comments...the fact that she still cracks up thinking about the story and has to hold her crotch on stage to keep from peeing her pants...I believe at one point in the story she said, "A fucking giraffe had to have come by for this to happen," referring to the monstrous smear of "shit" in the bed. Kate and I were sitting there crying and snorting uncontrollably.

Seriously though, once you shit the bed, there's no coming back.

While I've only heard of one story about an adult actually shitting the bed, this story made me think of the epidemic known as pissing the bed that hit my generation in college. I can't even count how many piss the bed stories I've heard, which usually involve a collegiate woman going to bed with a so-called grown man...grown shitcanned wasted man...then waking up in a large pool of said man's urine while the dumbshit dude snores away unaware that they had just given their shacker an extremely unwanted golden shower.

Really? Who the fuck pees the bed past the age of eight? This has never happened to me — the pisser nor the pissee — however I did wake up once to find that my drunk boyfriend at the time had gotten out of bed to piss on the wall in the hallway. At least it wasn't in my closet, like the problem one of my other friends had with her boyfriend.

The combination of the shit and piss the bed stories and Chelsea's special words she uses for shit (shadoobie) and vagina (coslopus) also makes me think of this woman who sends e-mails to The Bloggess on a fairly regular basis and The Bloggess takes the liberty of posting them on her blog. The shit The Bloggess says often makes me laugh so hard that I cry and pee a little, but these e-mails are so completely fucked up that it make me go, "I'll have what she's having," as in the copious amounts of drugs this woman must take to produce these masterpieces. The e-mails are almost always riddled with the phrases "jesus christ in a rowboat!" and "Shit the bed, Fred!" Which I find irresistibly charming. Perhaps even more so than shadoobie and coslopus.

I feel that when we are sprinkled with such lovely words and phrases, we should adopt them as our own, then use them freely and often because jesus christ in a rowboat, how often do you come across a phrase that is so perfect to use at the opportune moment during such an epidemic. You wake up next to a giraffe-sized schmear of shadoobie and screech, "well, shit the bed, Fred!" Seriously though, you just shit the bed, Fred. Get the hell out of my house.

Also a crowning moment on Friday? I found out that I got into the Master of Marketing and Master of Business Administration program at the University of Colorado-Denver. I opened the e-mail, let out a bloodcurdling scream, then started crying, then called my Mom, who tried to be happy for me, but is actually sad that I'm officially moving in a few short months — moving away from the place I've called home since I was 16-months-old. It's going to be a huge adjustment and I have a shitload of planning to do...and also a little waiting since I still need to hear back from a school in Chicago before I make my final decision. I'm pretty much pissing and shitting my pants on all accounts...though still not doing either in the bed.

Wow...What a day, Faye. What a day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where I Come From

"I recall being locally famous for calling it butt floss," Dad said, smirking as my parents, Aunt and I reminisced about the story I told at my Uncle Pete's funeral, in which he nicknamed my tiny thong underwear, slingshots.

I laughed out loud at my dad's comment because it triggered an infamous memory I hadn't thought of in a long time. It was a matter of minutes on an ordinary day that captured a perfect snapshot of my family at its finest. And, for once, I wasn't the one causing the scene, but simply observing, unaware that it would be permanently etched in my brain as an example of where I come from.

The summer before I went off to college, my friend Ashley and I adoringly referred to ourselves as "attached at the ass" and for some reason also had an unnatural obsession with tight white pants. The kind of white pants that have long been purged from my wardrobe when I realized that my ass, like most people's, is too large and in charge now to be sheathed in such taut and unforgiving garments and not look like I belong on "What Not To Wear" or in the Navy. Come to think of it, my ass was actually larger in high school than it is now because I was dancing and conditioning it into a mound of pure muscle for 8 hours everyday. I liked to call it my powerhouse for ups. White men can't jump, but tiny white women with big butts certainly can.

Now that you have a visual of me in these ultra flattering pants, Ashley and I descended the stairs at my house that night after getting ready for an evening out and my Dad greeted us at the bottom. After the usual, where-are-you-going-who's-going-to-be-there parent questions routine, my Dad looked at me, cocked his head and asked me matter-of-factly, "Are you wearing any underwear?"

Even though it wasn't the first time I'd been asked this question while wearing saran wrap as pants that particular pair of pants, in my newly 18-year-old state of mind, I was mildly horrified to be asked this question by my father.

I looked at him with a snotty sneer and answered with an exasperated, "yes!" (Like, oh my god, like, totally duh, Dad! God. *intense eye roll*)

"Oooooooohh!" He said, as if he'd suddenly come to a brilliant revelation. "It must be butt floss!"

Then, as he said the words, he put his arms out in front of him and began to shake his hips back and forth in what can only be described as "the butt floss dance."

My mouth dropped open in astonishment as Ashley busted into hysterical laughter, but before we could fully engross ourselves in the glory of Dad's dance performance, we heard a commotion at the front door.

*SLAM SLAM* "Shit!" "GOD-DAMMIT!"

Dad was still butt flossin' it as we turned our attention to the front entryway and saw my sister unsuccessfully trying to get out of the front door while on crutches. She had sprained her ankle pretty badly a few days earlier in some sort of mysterious weekend mishap, which I now know meant that she was probably shitcanned and fell off a curb while walking down the sidewalk. She turned her head and smirked at us when she saw that we had noticed her struggle and continued to beat the door into submission with her right crutch.

As the door swung open, and my sister continued her epic, gimpy journey to the front porch, we heard the incessant and distinct chirping of locusts outside in the trees. The hot, humid Kansas summer brings these little annoyingly loud assholes out in droves every year. Of course, the locusts' chirping was drowned out on this particular night by some crazy woman's belligerent yelling, followed by her laughter.

"Shut up!" "SHAT AP!" "HAHA!"

This crazy woman was none other than my very own mother, leisurely sitting on the front porch, commanding thousands of little bugs perched in the trees to shut up, then laughing at herself.

While my Dad made up names for my underwear and wiggled his butt, my sister cussed and bashed the shit out of the front door and my Mom screamed at insects as if they would actually listen, all nearly simultaneously, all I could do was stare and start accepting the fact that I was a part of this hot mess.

All of these events unfolded in front of me in a matter of three seconds and while signature family moments have happened before and since this incident, such as when my Dad caught his underwear on fire, there are two crucial details in this story that the others lack — it involves every member of my immediate family and , more importantly, there was an outside witness. That last detail allowed many an introduction to begin something like this: "This is my friend, Harna, and let me tell you about her family..."

So, if you ever find yourself thinking, 'what the hell is wrong with this woman?' Please just refer to this story. It's pretty much impossible to fight genealogy, but with a family like mine, who would want to anyway? This is where I come from and it's better than fiction.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not a Girl, Not Yet An Old Broad

I turned 27 yesterday.

And, while I've never felt "old," this year marks the first time I really realized that time is, in fact, marching on. Maybe it's because I encounter people in social situations that are younger than me when I never did in the past. Or, maybe it's because I have a good 10 to 12 years on most of my co-workers. Or it could be because I blinked and everybody around me is married and having babies.

However, whoever said, "it's all downhill after 25" apparently lived a very different life than mine. I know the difference a year can make at any age. My 26th birthday was the birthday from hell. I had just lost my job a week earlier and I had just gotten back from quite possibly the worst trip to New Orleans ever because of a selfish man that made me feel like crap about myself. I remember quite clearly wailing, "Please don't! It's my birthday!" after he screamed at me for asking him to treat me with human decency then stormed out the door of my apartment. What a horrible experience.

We live, we learn, we forgive, but don't forget and we move on. Time is amazing that way.

My 27th birthday, however, will not be remembered for the fresh wounds of unemployment or callous ex-men, but a few great friends, a couple of perfect evenings and perhaps an abundance of genitalia inspired gifts. Quite the opposite of downhill compared to last year. And, after the past couple of days, I think I still have quite the fun ride ahead of me.

Saturday

The four of us sat around the table at Extra Virgin, a restaurant in the Crossroads District of downtown Kansas City, with our glasses of wine while our zippy little waiter took our picture. Soon our table was overflowing with Mediterranean tapas complete with hearts of palm and cress salad, chickpea fries and duck neck stuffed with veal and pork. Yes, duck neck. Not to be confused with duck nuts, which is what two of the four mothers who were told this story though we ate that night.




However, a pair of nuts did make an appearance at dinner. When Lacey slid her gift box across the table and said, "Be careful. It's arranged a certain way." I thought nothing of it, until I opened my birthday present, that is:










It's like one of those illusion pictures where you see an old woman or a young woman depending on how you look at it...except it's either two bracelets and a locket or a sad, misshapen penis.

Three hours and three bottles of wine later we continued our tour through Westport, ran into some more people, laughed hysterically, played "Fuck The Pain Away" on the jukebox and congratulated myself for waking up in my bed the next morning sans make-up, dress and heels. This is quite the accomplishment for a birthday girl...or just a plain old drunk ass.

Sunday

Once I had fought the feeling that an ice pick was drilling through my left eyebrow caused by the 27th birthday drunk fest, enough to function, we had a little family celebration at Mom and Dad's. Remi helped me with the candles:




Tuesday

I requested off work on my real birthday mainly so I could sleep in until noon. Sleeping in is seriously my most coveted luxury.
Then, I soon found myself at my Aunt's house helping my Mom put together a bench...kind of random, however not as random as my mother's gift to me.

I opened a few cards and a nicely wrapped gift from my Aunt, which was a Coach wristlet. I usually just stare and maybe occasionally pet Coach products since I am far too practical to buy them for myself. The fact that the price attached to one of these bags could feed 100 emaciated orphans for six years makes me feel faint, but my Aunt and I have bonded over her Coach collection for many years. Uncle Pete used to buy her one nearly every year for Christmas and that will make me smile every time I carry my Coach bag...if I can ever be courageous enough to take it out of the safety of it's box.

Then I turned to see my Mom's gift next to me on the couch...in a Target bag. Inside the bag was a can of hornet spray and a gift wrapped electric toothbrush. Apparently I have a pest problem and halitosis. She has been talking about getting me a can of hornet spray for quite some time because she read somewhere that it's better than Mace since it burns eyes and can shoot across a room at murderers and rapists. It's purpose is twofold, however, since there is a bumble bee the size of a 757 that likes to hover outside my door, threatening to eat my face. While I'm content to scream like an idiot, duck and sprint down the stairs to get away from it every time we meet, my Mom really wants me to attempt to kill it with said hornet spray...probably because it tries to eat her face every time she comes over. So, intruders of all kinds, beware. The toothbrush was my idea and it's fabulous, thank you very much.

No, but really, my parents are getting me a nice desk to replace my rickety, falling apart one just in time for grad school. I just haven't picked it out yet. Did you really think they just got me hornet spray and a toothbrush for my birthday? Please, I live in Kansas, not...yeah, I'm not even going to say it.

That night, a few of us headed out for Coronas and Taco Tuesday and Kate literally gave me a bag-o-fun that included cupcakes, cotton candy (appropriately from Candy Andy) and cash to my favorite boutique in KC, Donna's Dress Shop. There was also a curious collection of crocheted objects. Let's see if you can identify them:








This is what Shannon Gerard calls the "Four Play Finger Puppet Set" complete with two innies and two outies. A fun approach to sex education. Yes, Kate gave me a little box of crocheted naughty bits — as stated on the box: a tongue, an anus, a penis and a vagina. I almost peed myself in the middle of the restaurant. She posted these on my Facebook wall a while back with a tag that said, "I know what you're getting for your birthday!" And, stupid me thought she was kidding. I'm not exactly sure what my friends are trying to tell me, but it makes me laugh nonetheless.




I sat and pondered for a minute how I could proudly display my handcrafted no-no's in my apartment when my friend Sadie gave me the brilliant idea to stick magnets on the back of them and use them on the refrigerator. YES! So, if you come over to my house and there's a picture of you on my fridge held up by a crocheted asshole, think nothing of it. I still love you.

So, I hope your next birthday is just like my 27th — better than last year's and most importantly, full of happiness and genitalia.
 

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