Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Best Christmas Gift EVER

Ah, Christmas time...a time of merriment and wonder and the hopes that you'll get the perfect gift. I have great childhood memories of Christmas. My grandmother was wealthy and she spared no expense on all of us. Some years she gave cars, other years she gave furs. She was always extravagant - larger than life. Actually, the Christmases she had were way beyond the norm in my opinion. There's no way I could ever give the type of gifts she did. Ever.

I hope that my kidlets have enjoyed the Christmases they've had so far. They weren't extravagant but they usually always got something they had on their wish list. Since my divorce to their dad, Christmases have taken on a different dynamic. He gets them cool electronics and expensive stuff. I on the other hand, get them cheesy fun stuff. Since I remarried (to a cop) I don't have the mega bucks like their dad has. But I like to think that they like my gifts as much as they do all of the cool electronics.

To say that Mr. Wonderful is a great big, gruff, deep voiced kid is an understatement. He's my youngest kidlet's maturity equal. That's what I always like to say. They're equals. Anyhow, Mr. Man is always joking around with kidlet that Santa is going to bring her a big can of spinach for Christmas. She always laughs and argues with him that he's all wrong but one year Santa did just that.

At first she didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She didn't quite know what to make out of getting a can of cheap spinach. We don't even eat canned spinach at our house! Manchild was laughing so hard, she finally caught on that it was a joke and then the hamming it up began. I wonder if in the back of her mind, she was wondering if that can of spinach took away from the number of actual gifts she was going to get.

Here's something cute that she might like...actually, so might Manchild. I mean, who doesn't want/need a giant cupcake wrapper?
Another potential gift for my man might be this...he's gun crazy and he likes bacon so why not a bacon gun? That's pure genius!

This year, Manchild came up with the idea of giving everyone ear candles. I had never heard of such a thing. I imagined a person laying their head sideways on a tabletop with their ear facing up and another person standing over them with a burning taper candle dripping wax into the ear canal. OUCH! When the idea of an ear candle was described to me, I then imagined a small wad of wax about the size a hearing aid with a wick that would be lit, thus letting melted wax go down into the ear canal. Luckily, I saw what they actually looked like when we managed to find a store that sold ear candles and I still didn't get it. I finally got to see an ear candle live and in person and then I sort of got it. Guess I'm going to have to try it before I'll fully understand.
Looks plenty
strange to me but I'm up for it. It's going to look pretty funny at our house...20 people holding their heads sideways while they have long paper candel-y flaming thingies sticking out of their ears. Heck, we might as well sword swallow or something. That's equally as crazy.

I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. I'm sure kidlet and Mr. Man are going to have a loud discussion (actually, they are always loud) about who is going to jam a flaming candle in their ear first. I'll probably have to separate them when or if sword swallowing is mentioned.

Merry Christmas yall! May you all get cans of spinach, ear candles and swords for swallowing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blues, Bars, Fistfights

So kidlet #2 and I went out last night to listen to our favorite blues band - VooDoo Blue at a restaurant/bar. We've been to this place lots of times because it's family friendly AND because they'll let my little bluesy songbird stay there after 8 pm. It's a challenge having an 12 year old who loves blues music and wants to see it live when most of the time, the good live music happens in bars. She's not one of those annoying rug rats who runs around the establishment acting like a...little kid. She's 12 going on 35. She's so chill - she sits still and just absorbs the music. It doesn't hurt that she loves the guys in the band either.
Anyhoo, we were minding our bidness, jammin' to the music when we noticed a large scuffle going on behind us. I saw two guys down on the floor duking it out and two really large guys trying to pull them apart. My first instinct was to go and stand right by my kiddo. If there was going to be any (god forbid) bloodshed happening, I didn't want her to be affected. One of our friends where we were sitting (a big guy) immediately took off toward the fracas and  put   himself between the idiots fighting and  us girls. So in essence, we were both protecting kidlet. She sort of had a shocked, confused look on her face. Maybe that's because 12 year olds don't usually hang out at bars at night where idiots might freakishly get into fights!!!  I was shocked, too! How stupid! These were supposedly grown men and they were behaving like immature animals! Luckily the fight didn't last long and the guys were tossed out on their keesters. The whole time this was going down, the band kept right on playing. Didn't miss a lick.
Kidlet was confused as to why the guys kept playing and didn't stop. I told her that they probably kept on in the hopes of keeping the audience distracted while the bouncers took care of things. That, and because they are professionals. I don't think she really got it. That's ok. I'm sorry she had to even be around something as stupid as a fight.

I'll keep taking her to hear music because she absolutely loves it. I hope she won't have to witness any more fights - me either for that matter. At least I know that my friends will help me protect her from the mean old world and I know that she'll know what and how to avoid yay-hoos who can't mind their manners. Shame on those men! What a horrible thing to do in a civilized society. Thank gosh the band kept right on rocking. We'll see ya at the next show! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Earth Shoes

I'm not sure what got me thinking about things that were popular when I was young but this morning my mind was filled with stuff. For instance, I remember earth shoes. I didn't have any because I thought they were hideous. I still do. They were higher in the front than they were in the back and were supposed to correct your posture or something like that. I'd rather be a hump back than to wear these ugly things, don't you agree? Now days, they have Sketchers Shape Ups. Also popular in the 70s were ladies high heels that had clear plastic heels. They were set up so that you could put anything you wanted in the heel. Sort of show off your interests. I always remember seeing pictures of them with goldfish in the heel. Think about that poor fish! The thing would be sloshed to death in about 5 minutes if someone really did that. I never saw them live and in person but I did know a girl who had a pair and she put sand and tiny beach balls and freaky looking little baby dolls in the heel. Guys wore heels too, although they weren't called high heels. They were called stacked shoes. They usually came in hideous patchwork configurations. What's the deal? People back then didn't have any inkling that multi-colored patchwork shoes were ugly?!?!? So called desert shoes were popular, too. They had crepe soles and odd seams on the top. Mostly men wore these. I guess there was a large demand for silent stalker desert boots at the time.
The style gave way to a smoother topped boot which was a little better but not much. Hey ya know what? I think my uncle still has the silent ones. He doesn't stalk people though. I wonder where he finds them? I thought they went away a long time ago.

Ladies fashions had real panache. Go go boots were pretty popular. My mom has always been fashionable and she got me some go go boots when I was young. I thought they were the cat's meow. See the white pair with the flowers on them? Those are almost exactly like the ones I had. I was a super stylin' kid thanks to my beloved Mummy (thanks Mom!!!). 

Large collared shirts were a hot item. Some of the collars got so big, if the person wearing the shirt got to going very fast, they could almost fly. Check out the stacked shoes on the dude wearing the gay bib overalls. Oops, sorry - did I call them gay? I didn't mean it in a bad way. It's just, look at him! He looks like a 7 year old in a tall body. With overalls that are too short in the crotch. Ouch! Dig the big collars and the dude wearing a neck scarf.

Here's another classic look. Look at Uncle Rico (for all of you Napoleon Dynamite fans out there). He's sporting a large collared shirt and a jean vest. Oh yeah, and middle parted hair. So fashionable. I know that large collars show up these days, too but I don't see them paired with blue jean vests. Do they even make button up blue jean vests anymore?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention a little bit of pop culture. See this little guy on the left? As kids, my brothers and I would fight over who got to have the Frito Bandito pencil topper. He came in a variety of colors and in my memory, all kids who were cool had them. Unfortunately, he's not too P.C. anymore. Although my sis in law is Mexican and she's not offended by him.
A few times a year our parents would pack us into the car and drive up to Dallas where we would go shopping at Northpark Mall. It was a treat because us kids could venture out on our own and meet up with our parents later on. It seems like we always ended up at Kip's Big Boy restaurant. Kips had little paper booklets for kids that could be drawn in and had comics and stuff to keep little ones occupied. I'd study my Kip's book and my brothers and cousins would pore over the latest editions of Mad Magazine. The magazine included all kinds of gross humor and golden oldies like Spy vs Spy comics.
Ah, those were the days. There weren't laptops or MP3 players or video games to occupy your time. You had to rely on ingenuity to keep yourself occupied. The guys always had something to do like emptying all of the powder out of bullets into piles then dropping a match on it to watch it go "poof." Or shooting BB guns at me while yelling at me to run. Or shooting china berries out of their wrist rocket slingshots at me while I was running. Or pulling me on wooden pallets behind tractors and throwing up cow patties in my face. You know, good clean fun. for them 
I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory land for you over 40 folks. For you young-uns, I hope you aren't too jealous looking at all the cool stuff you missed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My oldest kidlet wrote this for her English class. I was so impressed.
She prefaces her poem by writing: Without You is a poem I wrote about my mom. Without her I would not be as strong willed and independent as I am today.

Without You
Without you, who am I
Just a lonely soul wondering
Without you, I am not me
Who knows who I would be
Without you, I wouldn't be here
You take care of me, support me, and give me a shoulder to cry on
So I thank you,
Because without you I wouldn't be me.

I just about burst into tears when I read that. I didn't realize she had such deep thoughts! My sweet baby who is 18 now and about to graduate. She's turned into a beautiful young lady. I love my Kattie.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Ya know what's bad about gaining a little weight? Your undies don't fit right. They start to pull at odd angles, and they creep into places you don't want them to. It's pretty uncomfortable and you can't go for long without um, ahem, "adjusting" them to make them more comfortable. Let's face it folks, at least once in every one's life, the dreaded wedgie has occurred.

When I wear my undies, I want to look nice and smooth like this picture shows. The sad fact is that I'm not 22 any more. And there aren't too many smooth places on me anymore. Some people think that thong underwear are gross. They give them names like "butt floss" but I think they're great. There aren't any panty lines showing on the backside of my slacks. Nosirree. If I'm wearing my Wanks, they look even smoother although, there's a ridge around my upper mid section where extra "body" has been shifted.

I know you were all dying to know what my preference for underwear was. I bet you probably want to know my trade secrets for removing wedgies without bringing attention to yourself. It can be done, you just have to be sly about it. One of my favorite methods is the 'rearrange your skirt while yanking' trick. This involves grabbing the back of my skirt while hooking one of my fingers onto the offending piece of fabric, and giving it a brisk shake. It looks like I'm fluffing my skirt. I think.
Another trick is to remove the wedgie while standing up from a seated position. You've gotta be smooth to pull this one off. You can't grimace or lean to one side. Just pull and stand in one fluid motion. It works, trust me. Be careful doing wedgie work when walking down hallways in office buildings. Many buildings these days have security cameras everywhere. You might think you're alone but trust me, big brother is watching. Stealing your trade secrets on how to remove a wedgie. Probably posting on the web about how to do it. I'm just saying..........

So ladies and gents, I hope I have broken the social stigma pertaining to wedgies. Everyone has them, everyone yanks now and again. Unless you are going commando. Then you have to deal with zippers and things...getting in the zipper.
( For you "There's Something About Mary" fans, Beans and franks!!!). That's another story that I can't comment on . I'm not even going there. Good luck.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Lists

OK, so I'm sort of copying everyone else who writes a blog and I'm going to write about Christmas shopping among other things. I've noticed that the trend for a lot of people is to scurry around crazily, trying to figure out what to get everyone. I used to be one of many people who shopped all year long so I didn't have the crush in the 2 weeks preceding Christmas. I used to love shopping, too. Neither of those apply any more. I used to decorate my house to the nines but now all I have up is a tiny tree and some garland junk hanging around my front door.

I'm not sure why I haven't done more. It's not like me. I'm usually the type that overdoes everything. It's either black or white with me, no gray areas. So as usual I went from one extreme to the other. Part of the reason I haven't shopped more is because I have this overwhelming impulse to put every spare dollar I have into savings. After going through a divorce and spending a year  horribly broke, maybe I'm scarred. Maybe I'm psycho. Oh wait, I am psycho...can't blame it on that.

I'm going to share some decorations with you and maybe it'll inspire me to do more. Maybe it'll inspire you, too.

Are you feeling the spirit yet? All I see when I look at these pictures is the amount of work it's going to take to put all that stuff away. Although, if I managed to hang a VW from a tree, I might be inclined to leave it up all year long. As for shopping well, I guess I'll get off my lazy keester and get 'er done. Wish me luck because if I don't do well, you might get a pair of tube socks for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So Sophisticated

I'm such a sophisticated little filly. Wait, scratch that. I am not a filly. I'm a classy broad full of wisdom. See? Don't I look sophisticated? I did that with one of those web cam photo extras. It's goofy and scary at the same time. It somehow singles out your face and weaves it into a body and before you know it - presto changeo you're a wizard.

Or how about this one...
Look Ma...I'm riding a roller coaster and my forehead is 73 miles tall! I look like I have some facial disease! I mean, they picked a really pretty girl for the still photo and made me look like a man. Wait!!! I just noticed that those are man hands. I'm rather mannish! If you think this one is bad, look at this one...
I'm such a little angel. That's the closest I've ever come to being holy in my life. I take that back, I was pretty holy the night a guy put a gun to my head then shot it inches away from my face. I was praying like there was no tomorrow, so I guess you could say I was being holy but I wasn't dressed like it. I was being holy while drinking tall boys and smoking.
Look at me, I've got a little halo and everything. How sweet.
In actuality, knowing that you guys are going to see me looking some of my worst I'm starting to do this a little: I get the nervous sweats. Do you? I'm sure my face turns red, too. I'm careful about 99.9% of the time to make sure my hair is combed and I've got my warpaint carefully applied before I leave my house. I want to look nice for John Q. Public. I never know when a famous rock star might see me and be instantly infatuated with my look and want me to join their band on a 90 city tour across the United States. It could happen. I know lots of musicians. And I sang backup on some songs with friends who had a band. I was good! And look at what I was wearing! Who in their right mind could resist a chick that had a jacket like that one?

Well, you've just seen the tip of the iceberg with regards to my personalities. I'm like Sybil except that she's a lightweight - I've got way more sides to me than her. Keep on reading and I'm sure my other sides will shine through. That, or you'll see a show about me on PBS some day where white coated experts try to explain how one person's mind can be so complicated. It'll be a real gas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I aint yo mamma!

Every year around this time my hubster's brother calls me asking what he should get for my man. Why?????????? I can't even figure out what Mr. Wonderful would ever need. If he needs something, he goes out and gets it for himself. He was a bachelor for 48 years for crimeny's sake! I have to plead and grovel and threaten to withhold important pleasures from him (dinner you pervs!!!) just to get 2 or 3 ideas out of him. Why would I want to give away the few morsels he's doled out to me to his brother?!

These are grown men I'm talking about. They've been related forever. They probably know each other better than anyone else so it confounds me every year when I get the dreaded call. This is part of what aggravates me so much; the brother is a very well educated person. He's capable of operating multi-million dollar equipment with many lives at stake and yet he can't pay attention to his own brother to pick up clues. He has all year long to pay attention to conversations he has with his brother and yet when Christmas rolls around, he becomes a helpless, quivering, drooling, bug eyed baby. AND, I get to listen to him complain for 10 minutes about how he hates the holidays because he never knows what to get my man and what a pain it is to try and figure it out. Hell, he doesn't figure it out, I do!!! What's he go to bitch about??? Can you tell that this issue really bothers me?

The holidays are supposed to be fun and happy times and for me they are most of the time. It's just this one particular phone call that turns me into a crabby, mean old lady. I guess I could develop a backbone and tell my bro in law that he needs to man up and figure it out himself but I want to keep peace in the fam-damily so I suck it up and throw him a crumb or two. Then he calls me 75,000 times to update me on the status of his search. What the hell?!?!? I'm not his mama! I don't care if he looked at 50 stores! I don't care if he picked the greet item instead of the blue one! But that's another gripe so I'll save it for later. Suffice it to say that one of these years, I'm going to get fed up and tell him, "Boy, I aint yo mama!"

Friday, December 9, 2011

I've only got 4 followers

Awww, look at me. I've got the super cool 70s shag hair & hipster colored clothes going on but I don't know what's up with that smile. That's a cross between a smile and a "yeah, right, and monkeys fly out of my butt" sort of face. I think I was about 10 or 11 in this picture. Around that age I had an autograph book. Does anyone remember those? They were small books of blank pages and you had friends and family and the postman and whoever sign it.
The big trend in my glory days was to write your note in a circle. That way the person reading it would have to spin their book around and around. I was a master at spiral writing. You could almost tell how popular a person was by the numbers of autographs they had collected. My book was fairly full thankyouverymuch.

One of my friends has a nice blog and she's got all kinds of cool buttons and categories and such. I'm doing pretty dang good just to figure our how to list some of the blogs I follow. Techno-geek I am not. I noticed my friend has a spot where I think there's the capability of picking up her "button" to place it on my blog. That way it'll look all pretty and people will want to check her site out after looking at mine (all 4 of you) but I can't get that to work for me. I'm obviously doing something wrong.

All I can say is if there are any of you out there who read my tripe but aren't listed in my followers, please add your name. I feel like a total loser for only having 4 people admitting to reading my stuff. I know blogging isn't for the sole purpose of gaining followers. I just want to know if I have more than 4 people that read me. And if you sign up now, we'll double your offer - just pay postage and handling. Sign up now - the sale ends tomorrow.

My blog is another story. It pains me to look at my followers bar and see that 4 whole people admit to reading my stories. I follow quite a few blogs and some of those people have 400+ followers! Now, I know that I'm not the most talented writer in the world, but I think some of my tales are amusing. They're all true and if you look at the stupidity in most of them you're bound to have a chuckle or two.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A restful nights sleep

Each night I climb into my super comfy bed with super soft flannel sheets and rest my head on my super comfy lumpy pillow and wait for peaceful slumber to happen. I'm the kind of girl where once my head hits the pillow I'm out. I'm lucky that way I guess. Most nights I get an hour or so of sleep - to the point where I'm involved in a really good dream when my first interruption occurs. My kidlet always pops her head in my room to let me know she made it home safe and sound but that's OK. I don't want to be dreaming all night about her meeting some horrible fate.

As I'm drifting off to sleep again, I usually have to play tug of war for blankets and I have to wrestle some space away from my cats. They're bed hogs. I've already mentioned Schwayze, the cat that likes to sleep on my head but there's also Pork Chop. Porkie can pick out a spot and nothing short of dynamite can move her. It doesn't matter if she's in the kick zone (the spot by my feet), or the booty thrust zone, she's welded to one spot.

A little later Mr. Wonderful finally decides it's bed time so he arrives and plops on the bed which feels like it's going to toss me out and across the room. Then once he's asleep his snoring starts. When he really gets to snoring, he can be heard outside! If someone were to stand outside our room - outside of the entire house, they will be able to hear him buzzing away. He broke his nose when he was a kid and never got it fixed so supposedly that makes it even worse. Add in the fact that he's got a incredibly deep boomy voice and well, you get my drift. The other nocturnal pleasure I get to enjoywith him  is when we're facing one another. If he's not snoring he's breathing through his mouth, sending plumes of sleep breath into my face.

Once nice habit we both share is sleeping with a fan going. I'm not talking about a ceiling fan lazily turning, I'm talking about an 18" oscillating fan turned on to high. And we don't have just one. We each have a fan on our sides of the bed. And we position them really close to our heads so that there's a wind vortex that could scalp Sasquatch. The sound of two fans blasting away helps drown out any sounds in the house that could wake us up. Besides, we have teenagers and cats for that.

I usually wake up on my own around 3 am for some reason. I get up and have a glass of water and maybe a smoke. I usually go outside in the back yard and look at stars or feed the fish or water plants. I don't stay up too long - 30 minutes or less but it's still an interruption. Around 5:30 my eyes open and I'm up and running. I'm one of those nuts who bounds out of bed, ready to get going. I'd like to be able to sleep later but if I did, I would have wasted 1/2 the day so I guess it's ok.

Well, that's my sleep story and I'm sticking to it. I wish all of you peaceful slumber. If you're in my neighborhood around 3 am, stop in and hang out with me in the back yard. I'll be up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Potty Faux Pas

There's a trick I like to pull on my kidlets whenever we're in a public bathroom. I'll be in one stall and a kid-o-mine will be in the stall next to me and I like to reach under the wall and grab their ankles. I've done this to them for years.

One weekend, big kidlet and I went with relatives the the Arboretum so I could take some portraits. As usual, kidlet and I wound up in the bathroom at the same time. As I was sitting there minding my business, I looked under the stall wall and saw a bright red pair of tennies. I thought to myself 'oh goodie, I'm going to yank her ankle.' I did the ankle yank and her foot moved but she didn't say anything.

As I exited my stall I noticed that my girl was waiting for me by the sinks! And she was wearing green tennies, not her red ones. Oh holy crapezoid! I just ankle yanked a stranger! Poor girl, she was probably terrified to come out of her stall! She finally did and I apologised profusely and we all had a good chuckle over it.

Later, I noticed the girl telling the story to her family, some of which had just asked me to snap their picture. So she and I told the story of what happened and we all laughed at my idiocy.

The bathroom ankle yank is a good trick to pull - people don't usually expect it (with the exception of my girls). But to save yourself some embarrassment, make sure that it's someone you know next to you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twisted Goldilocks

Here's a story that my youngest kidlet wrote. It's pure genius.

Goldilocks and Three Pigs

Once upon a time there were three pigs and one girl named Goldilocks. Anyway, the three pigs decided to go and pick some berries to go with their cereal. A couple of minutes later Goldilocks thought she was walking into her house but when she looked up she found the house very different looking. There were three bowls. One small one, a medium sized one and last but not least, an extremely big bowl.

Goldilocks looked around then sat down at the table. She ate the small bowl and said "eew, there are boogers in this one." Then she walked to the medium sized bowl and she yelled "this one has no milk" at the top of her lungs. So she went to the biggest one of all ate it and said "yummy, yummy, yummy, very good."

She got up and looked around a little bit more. One room had jukeboxes in it. She picked one up and turned it on and said "too quiet." So she picked up the medium sized one and turned that one on and said "weird songs." Then she went to the biggest one ever, turned it on and said "just right."

In the last room she found a big TV, turned it on and fell asleep. About an hour later the three pigs walked in and found Goldilocks asleep with the TV on. Then the baby pig said "lets eat her up, Mommy." So they cooked her right up and ate her.

The End (cue the applause)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

PeeWee's Scam

One of the places Mr. Man and I frequent is located in a quaint little town just down the road from our domicile. The last couple of times I've been there I noticed a dude with a guitar sitting outside in the town square strumming. The first time I noticed him playing, I thought he was really drunk because the notes he was playing were all kinds of messed up. His "singing" sounded like the ramblings of a really drunk guy. I shrugged it off and went about my way.

The next time I saw him in the same spot doing the same thing I decided to walk a little slower and check him out. That's when I noticed his walker parked beside the bench where he sat. I also noticed that he wasn't strumming the guitar with his fingers. He was sort of banging them with his fist. And his singing wasn't drunk rambling, it was a guttural attempt at speech. You see, this dude had cerebral palsy.

The third time I saw him, we were both in a bar listening to music. He was at the bar and was attempting to dole out money to the waitress but wasn't having much luck. I stopped and offered to help him and he accepted (I think). I invited him to join me and my friends at a table and he accepted. Introductions were made and I think that he was pleased to have new friends to sit with. Because of his physical limitations, he had to drink his beer through a straw in an over sized glass. Maybe he had already had a few - maybe he hadn't, all I know is that he seemed to be struggling so I helped him out. His movements were so spastic it nearly broke my heart.

During the course of the evening, everyone at the table helped him and even included him in our rounds of beer. The conversation was one sided for the most part because he couldn't enunciate words but we managed. At one point I realized that he was able to do more than I had previously thought and I called him on it. He gave a sly grin. I started kidding him that he was a scam artist and that I bet he was faking the whole disability thing so he could pick up cute girls like me and get free beer. He was roaring with laughter and the twinkle in his eyes couldn't be ignored. I think the other people at our table were horrified that I was talking to him that way but they couldn't hear our entire "conversation" so they didn't know that the jig was up.

I used to work in a hospital physical therapy department so I'm used to people in all stages of disability. I also have a personal connection to cerebral palsy because my cousin has it so it doesn't make me uncomfortable. I know that people with this malady are usually very sharp in the mind. It's their poor bodies that don't function like they want them to. They jerk their limbs, drool, have trouble controlling their heads, have trouble speaking and so on and so on and so on. It's a shame that they intimidate some "regular" people because they have the same hopes and dreams and likes and dislikes just like all of us.

Pee Wee managed to stumble all the way through the town square to the bar to hear good music. He enjoyed a beer and some good jokes - or at least he didn't complain about mine. Hey, I had a captive audience (wink wink, nudge nudge).  My 12 year old happened to be with me when this all took place and later she asked me why I asked him to sit with us. I asked her if she'd rather go to hear good music with friends or all alone. She agreed that sharing good times with friends makes the good time even better. She asked me if I was nervous because he couldn't talk. I told her that I wasn't because there are more ways than one to communicate. She asked me if I was glad Pee Wee came to sit with us and I told her that I really, really was. I like to think that I've added another new friend to my list.

If you're out and about and you encounter someone who is way, way different than you - someone who has disabilities that make you uncomfortable just remember that inside that broken body there is a person. And even if that person can't communicate in a way that you can clearly understand, you can still enjoy something together and have yourselves a good chuckle. I'm so glad I introduced myself to Pee Wee. I think he's glad he met me, too. He could have run away from me but he chose to stay. Maybe it's because I told him that he was faking it to get hot chicks and that he was full of shit. I didn't pity him. I treated him just like I would treat any of my "normal" friends.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Went Parachuting

Even though I'm a big chicken, I like to think that I'm adventurous. I like to do
quasi-dangerous things. When I was younger and didn't have offspring I used to do lots more crazy stuff but the kidlets sort of took the steam out of my sails. One fine day way back when, my gal pal Miss Thang and I decided that we wanted to go parachuting.  We found a place that could make that dream come true so off we went. My hubster got wind of our plans and decided that he needed to go as well - even though he has a fear of heights. Hello? We were going to ride in a stripped out plane up to the altitude of 10,000 feet, hang from the strut then let go, falling at 120 miles per hour towards hard packed earth. But he was insistent so we let him go.

We met some really nice guys who explained the whole shebang and they had us sign 2,000 release forms absolving them from anything they ever did for the rest of their lives. Next up was getting fitted with the jump suit and parachute harness. Let me tell ya, if you don't know the person helping you get your harness on you will after it's all said and done. I was trussed, tied, patted and manhandled all in the name of safety.  I felt sort of dorky in the getup but then again, I didn't want to be bare skinned in case I managed to hit a bird or bug or Boeing 747 on my way down. Next on the list of things to do was that I learned how to maneuver out and off of the airplane. As you can see, that plane was pretty dang small! Coupled with the fact that my jump master was firmly attached to me (we did a tandem jump), it was rather comical to see us crawling around.
The strut is what I was supposed to hold on to before we let go. Can you see the iron grip I have on the thing? And we're not even off of the ground!

This is how I was supposed to gracefully
position my body once I let go. In reality, my jump master had to bang my hands to make me let go of the strut. In my lessons, he told me that he'd tap on the backs of my hands to let me know that it was time to jump. But it didn't work out quite that
way. I'm sure the dude tapped on my hands. I'm sure he pounded on my hands. I'm sure he screamed at me to let the hell go but I wasn't aware of it. He practically had to rip my arms off before I let go. And then, before I was ready we sailed off into the wild blue yonder.

I mentioned that we jumped from an altitude of 10,000 feet. When I glanced out of the door before my jump master forced  prompted me to exit the plane, I think this is how it looked down below. I'm pretty sure my vision didn't fail me because I also recall seeing something like this:
Everything on the ground looked so teeny! I had never had, nor have I had since, hiney cringes as huge as I did on that jump. I imagine that my screaming could be heard clear around the globe. Hell, people on Mars could probably hear me. OK, that's not true. I was actually so scared when we jumped that I couldn't get a sound out. I think it might have felt better if I could have screamed but my breath was literally taken away.

I also got a spectacular skin treatment when I jumped. I think they call it the 120 mile per hour facial. The person in this cool picture isn't me but I'm positive I looked just like this. The free fall lasted almost a minute and the rest of the ride down was really cool and peaceful. The only bad part was when the parachute opened. The harness that was around my legs almost severed them. I guess that happens when you're going over 100 mph and you suddenly stop. I had bruises like a badge of honor for over a week afterwords but they were worth it.
I was so excited and hyped after my jump, I don't think I came down for a week. Parachuting was the most exhilarating thing I've ever far. Because I also want to ride in the space shuttle and walk on the moon and base jump into that huge cave that's somewhere in South America and those activities might surpass the parachuting adventure but for now, I'm happy. I firmly believe that life is incredibly short, and you shouldn't let your fears get in the way of what you want to do. What would be worse than living a "safe" life that was dull and boring? Go ahead, let go of the strut and free fall. The rush is unbelievable.