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.
 

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