Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So Let's Join in Just One Last Chorus...

Such a motley crew are we!

Well, ever the queen of spontaneity, I ended up back in Pembroke, Virginia a few weekends ago for the Patrick Swayze Memorial service. Yet another 'Dirty Dancing' themed weekend. This one was more spir of the moment, however. Amie and I shifted things around and were able to drive ourselves to Kellerman's to meet our friends for a weekend of dancing, great food, trivia, a dedication, and laughs!

The drive there was beautiful. Up the mountain with the sun streaming through the barren trees. Leaves blowing around. The scents of Fall were thick in the air and just like the opening of the movie, we pulled up to the hotel.

Walking through the doors we were greeted by the familiar, and incredibly friendly, staffers. The feel of the Holidays covered the hotel everywhere we looked.

Mountain Lake has had plenty of crazy groups of people over the years but I'm sure ours is one of the best. The staff all enjoyed their turn at harassing us but it was only because they knew we could take it - and that we'd dish it right back that them. They appreciated our eccentricities! Like dance parties in the gazebo, and randomly jumping for pictures.

This weekend was dedicated to the Memory of Patrick Swayze.

A film crew from Lion's Gate were there to video every moment of the 'themed' weekend. If it weren't for my own laziness, I wouldn't have missed being interviewed for the next anniversary 'Dirty Dancing' dvd that will be release in 2010.

I got over it though, and I purposed to make it into every other shot! Ha! I know I'll be in for the Marengue lessons. Dancing with the woman instructor. Good thing I looked like total crap at that moment. Hoping for that close-up on my blotchy red face and my no make-up! WOO! Oh, on top of that, Amie and I had sat on the wet ground ten minutes earlier, so my but was wet. Well, let's clarify. I had two cd-sized circles on either cheek of my pants. That's so hot. Leave it to me.

So when you see me attempting to dance on the dvd - now you'll know why I randomly have a black sweater tied around my waste!

Awesome.

Another great trip to Kellerman's. There are so many other fantastic tales I could tell from my visits there but I will leave them for another day. Needless to say, we're going back next August. Absolutely.

Monday, November 30, 2009

That was the November we went to Kellerman's....


Story coming soon...

The Truth...

I have many fun things to report and update on my blog, but with the joy comes pain. What kind of reporter would I be if I constantly sugar coated everything just to ensure that my readers didn't feel uncomfortable or upset?

When my Mom was sick it seemed as though the world was involved. Friends, pastors, teachers, neighbors, doctors, nurses, family, relatives, missionaries, politicians, people I hadn't seen in decades and people whom I'd never even met before. It was a frenzy of involvement within the confines of the bubble of protection that we had to create.

After my Mom passed away the world grew quiet. People tiptoed around and occasionally checked in. A few faithful people remained rocks that I could cling to, but overall, life carried on. After a month or so, the world decided that the grieving process had run it's course. Did they not know that THAT was actually when it all began? It was after the Memorial and the cards. After the meals and the calls. After the swarm of family and friends backed away and carried on with their own lives that the reality of living without a Mother set in.

It will never be the same.

I will never have another birthday card signed by my Mother.

I will never have a Mom that I can ask questions that a daughter needs her Mother for.

I am blessed to have women who have stepped in to fill this void. Blessed to have women that I can call from the grocery store to ask how many ounces are in a cup! I am lucky that way. And I know it. I realize it and am incredibly blessed by it.

Everything now has a first. Some are more difficult than others. Still the fact remains that there are very few who actually know what it feels like. A pain and loss that I wish on no one. For the most part the 'firsts' have been doable, and so I survive. Valentine's Day. St. Patricks Day. Mother's Day. Her birthday... Each have come and gone and with a breath and a prayer, I have (somehow) made it through.

Thanksgiving was a whole new ball game. Not so easy. My Mom made Holidays fun. Those who knew her know that it's true. Well, that's gone now. Now we each are left to carry on in our own ways but in a form that's a little more hazy. My sister has her boyfriend and his family. My Dad is moving on with his new 'lady-friend'. And there is me. Caught in the middle of childhood and adulthood. Temporarily living at home so that the family could regroup - and I could help pay bills.

Forced to stay in one place in order for everyone else to move on.

My Mom and I spent Thanksgivings together. Always. My Sister and Father always made the bird and the stuffing. My Mom and I made every side dish, every pie, set the table, made fun table settings...we did everything together. There are so many memories with her that even the thought of Thanksgiving caused my eyes to well up and my heart to begin to panic.

I wanted to close my eyes and wake up on Black Friday. Completely pass over Thanksgiving all together.

I pulled on the few people that I knew I could - to let them know that it was hard - that I couldn't breathe. And so Thanksgiving came and went. Laura at her boyfriend's. Me at home with my Dad. I told him I didn't want to make any sides. It was too much for me. Not this year. I told him I wouldn't do it. He has no clue. He doesn't deal with emotional things. He yelled upstairs for me 3 times to come downstairs and prepare fill-in-the-blank, as he went out to the porch to smoke.

I hate smoke.

Each time, I took a deep breathe and prayed as I walked into the kitchen to cut veggies, make dip, make the mashed potatoes, make the deviled eggs, etc. I wanted nothing to do with it yet was thrown into the deep end.

I sat at the junk covered table, alone. My Dad saw me, and came in from the living room where he always eats lounged in his chair. He squeezed in beside me. I couldn't believe it. He grabbed my hand and said grace. He never does that. He prayed and thanked God for the blessings that we have, even though there was 'an empty spot at the table.' She is now celebrating Thanksgiving with the Lord, but we miss her. He choked up. I cried. Not super hungry after that, I'll tell you that much. And we ate. In silence.

I packed up the leftovers, cleaned up the kitchen, and I missed my Mom.
The traditions.
The fights.
The nagging.
The games.
The hugs...

Throughout the day I had friends checking in with me that reminded me of the love that I have. My life is changing. My world is changing. I am blessed to have a core group of women in my life that 'have my back' so to say. I felt loved and protected.

My birthday is coming up, and every day that passes I think of the fact that I will not open a card from my Mother. I will not have a mushy sentimental note of love, a reminder of someone being proud of me, to roll my eyes at and smile.

It sucks.

Christmas is coming and I can't even think about it. There will be no tree this year. No decorations. There will be no presents or Christmas pajamas. There will be no story read by Mom.

The truth is, we move on. I miss her more today than I did last week. I will never stop missing her. Holidays will get easier and a part of me is sad about that. So for now, I just want to remind you to cherish what you have. We all have our time to check out of this life. Value those around you. Tell them you love them, even if they drive you crazy. One person can have more of an affect on your life than you will ever know, until they are gone.

My Mom taught me that. I was blessed to have that relationship with her. I knew she loved me, through all my flaws. And she knew that I loved her and was afraid to face life without her but knew that I'd be alright. I'd survive.

I was with her till the end. And I know that someday I will see her again. Until that day, I will do the best I can with what I have left.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a Doucher

"This whole time I thought my Step-Brother was a total doucher, but you're not a doucher." -Step Brothers

Okay, if there is one thing that gets me every time, it's douchers who think their vehicle is God's gift to man. As such, they park either; A.) Taking up 2-4 parking spaces - in order to assure/maintain a safe distance from the next parked car. Or B.) They park in the spot that is the farthest possible spot from the building or event.

Well, you know what Mr. Important Car? You're absolutely right.

Here I am, happy and blessed with whatever I have. Even if I had a brand new car, I'd take good care of it but I would understand that the inevitable is not really stoppable. Someone will spill in it. Someone will push a cart into it. You'll hit a curb and scuff the tires. A kid will kick their dirty shoes on the back of the seat. It will rain, eventually. In the land of the North, odds are that it will snow. Salt will probably come in contact with it at some point. And you know what? When you die, you probably won't be too concerned about the scratch you got while you were in the grocery store.

I mean, those WERE my thoughts, till Mr. Important Car showed me the way. You know what? You're right. So, my sister and I parked right by Mr. I.C. and we walked the extra 100 yards to the store.



I like to think that when he *finally* got all the way back out to his car after shopping, he stood there and looked at the 2 cars parked together. I'm sure he smiled and realized that his point was made and that he was showing people the best options possible. He probably shed a tear as he thought of the health benefits we'd reap from walking a littler further than we had initially planned. What a trend setter.

I'm sure he was thrilled to say the least.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kanye Was Wrong

Today I am a heck of a lot more ugly than usual. Ah, well! At least I smell good. Took a shower with my lovely Bath and Body Works shower gel and Aveda shampoo. Sounds like the start to a beautiful day, right? Well, you'd *think*. After that though I scrubbed my face, applied some lotion, got dressed, and left.

It is now about an hour later. My hair is looking like an 80's school teacher (frizzy, randomly curled, and large), no make-up - and I officially look like a beat-up, homeless, teenage boy - and to top it all off I'm fairly convinced that I am wearing Mom Jeans today. Sweet. At least they aren't tapered. But I tell ya, my butt looks terrible. Hello high pockets!

Maybe I watched too much "Growing Pains" as a child. Apparently Maggie Seaver was some sort of hidden role model to me. One that would surface just as my 30s crept up.



I need help! From the looks of it, I'm only a few shoulder pads away from becoming Angela Bower!


I am looking forward to 5:30. I already have planned out what I'm going to change in to. My jeans that are in the dryer right now and my nice new (big) dark green sweater. Ahhhh! Comfort.

Remember Hurricane Katrina? Wow. Dumb question. Did I think you were living under a rock or something? Anyway, did you all get to see the Red Cross telethon program? If not, it was great. Especially when Kanye West (seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pVTrnxCZaQ) made the decision NOT to read the teleprompter and instead to speak straight from his heart. I was lucky enough to catch this live on tv. One of many Kanye moments to come in the years ahead.

West made the claim, "George Bush doesn't care about black people".

It's been just over four years since Katrina devastated so many cities in the south. Four years and so much still needing to be rebuilt... Which reminds me, I really want to get to New Orleans in 2010. But, the point I'm actually trying to make is; Do you think it's possible that George Bush really DOESN'T care about black people?

That's terrible.

So, I went to the source.

The Magic 8 Ball.

Heidi: "Magic 8 Ball. Does George Bush care about black people?"
Magic 8 Ball: "Definitely"

Man, Kanye West was wrong.

Thank you Magic 8 Ball.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shoes and Taco Bell

I have an addiction. Or two. Or ten.

Yeah, I'm thinking that I have an addictive personality. Things very easy can hook me. When I'm hooked, I'm hooked. It's like a drug. When I catch a good show on DVD, I can watch the whole season in a week or less. One after the other. Then I get disappointed because I'm unable to view the current season because it's ON television and I don't have cable, therefore I'm forced to wait like a person suffering withdrawals from crack. I rock back in forth in the corner of my room repeating lines that I've memorized as I wait for the DVD masters to transform the show from the magic box into a silver disc which I then can insert into my television and view!!!! *gasps for air!*

*sigh* I'm currently waiting for this season of Dexter to come out.

I purchased my dream shoes today. Most of you know my addiction to shoes. Some of you will recall my month long blogging/challenge of wearing a different pair of shoes every single day for one month straight. Shoes. I love them. I love them and buy them. I love them, buy them and charish them. I love them, buy them, charish them, yet usually wear the same pair of skater shoes 7 days a week. I am incredibly odd like that. Suffice to say - here's what I bought:



They are so hot! I love them. Now I need to wear them.

After my victorious purchase of my zebra shoes, I went to Taco Bell. After eating there and being massively happy, I realized that I eat at Taco Bell more than anywhere else these days. Including at home. If Taco Bell Addicts Annonymous exists, they're soon to have another member...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Boundries

I realized last week that I do far too much. I've always loved to fill my schedule. I find great joy in always "being there" for people - always being one that others can rely on. And therefore, I'm always the first to volunteer for things. The first to show up and the last to leave. But why?

Stay after to help clean? Of course!

Babysit my kids? Absolutely!

Transcribe this cd? Sure!

Help with Sunday School? Why not!?

Pick up so-and-so.
Make a meal.
Mail this out.
Drop this off.
Check on this.
Deal with that.
Spend time with this person...

It's overwhelming to say the least! Not always, but after this past weekend, I said ENOUGH! I actually cancelled out on one of my joys (leading Youth Group) just to find a chunk of time to relax between church and transcribing.

I drove to Racine. I went to Best Buy and trolled around. From there I wandered over to Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble. My love. I lost that love for awhile. But when I walked through those doors the smell of Starbucks and books flooded my senses and I felt peace. The world made sense again. I miss that. I miss losing myself in bookstores.

There has to be boundries in life. It's so hard for me to set them though. I'm the sort of person that actually physically feels pain when others are disappointed or miss out on something. Even if it in no way relates to me! It breaks my heart. It's weird.

It's incredible the amount of, well...GUILT!, that can be laid on people who are "single", to do things in life. The stereotype of "If you're single you have less responsibilities and more time to up and do whatever you want." is harmful. While, yes, that *can* be the case. It is not ALWAYS the case. And it's wrong to place guilt on a grouping of people as a whole, just because of a seemingly general rule.

I've had to handle more, as a single woman, in this past year than most of my married friends. And you know what, I don't get any of the benifits that people have by being joined to someone! Half the time I don't even have anyone to bounce things off of, let alone advise me, or truly understand what I'm carrying.

People seem to always look at the other and think it's better. If you're single you think married life will solve all of your problems. If you're married, you tell the single people in your life to enjoy their single years. Guess what? I'm a realist. Again, maybe why I'm not married! I know that it IS work. I have no rose coloured glasses telling me that it will be paradise. But you know what? I'm open to marraige. It's not like it's been completely up to me to stay this way! And those who are married have made the choices that they have. Why is there judgement either way? I really don't get it.

If you have 3 kids and cannot handle it - it's not my fault because I have more time on my hands. You made the choice to keep having children! You could have stopped. They are a blessing that so many people would treasure!

I guess my personal favorite is when married people tell me how great I am with children and babies. And maybe I should marry a man that has kids already (since clearly I'm old). Wow. Really? Thanks. I can't possibly tell you how depressing that is to me. I mean, I love kids, don't you think I'd want my OWN!? But, whatever!

Still creeping up on 30.
Still feeling like I'm 21.
Still getting commentary that makes me feel like I'm not doing enough and have failed at life because I'm single and old.

It's not as depressing as it sounds. But it definitely has it's moments. I think it affects me more when other single people tell me of things they are told or are said to/about them. Really, people?

I was with a single woman (a few years my elder) I knew her very well and knew that she had heartbreaking news years earlier that she may never be able to bare children. I was with her when a married woman (younger than her) remarked "Thank God YOU don't have any kids!" I could have punched this chick in the face. She still has no clue how hurtful her words were to this person.

Then my classic one years ago. A friend of mine got married and never wanted kids. In fact, she hated them. No lie. Then she started popping them out like a Pez dispenser and when our paths crossed she went on and on about how ironic it is that she hated kids and now she has them and loves them and wants loads more - and isn't it funny that you (being ME) have always been a 'kid' person and yet I don't have any? Isn't God awesome like that? ...uh....no you did NOT just say that to me. Did you?

CHANGING GEARS

In other news, back to Virginia I go. 11 days till I am there. Back at Kellerman's for a Patrick Swayze Memorial. This time I'm hoping to get in a lot more dancing, and hoping to prevent my best friend from getting drunk again. Waking up to a person puking for 45 minutes straight is not my idea of fun. At. All. Frankly getting drunk is not my idea of fun. I have way too much fun WITH all of my senses, so why dull any of them!?

Snail mail. I have failed. I owe so many people letters that it's not even funny. Allison, yours is in the mail today! I promise.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eyebrows and BLTs

Straight from work last night I drove myself to the snobby Hair Salon that is on my way home. Don't get me wrong, they're great people. In fact I have gotten my hair done several times there. I buy my hair products and my OPI nail polish from them. I guess I just still feel a bit out of place, knowing that the very moment that I walk through the door I am surrounded by people who are pretty darn vain. All of them are beautiful. All of them have perfect skin. All of them have the money to afford what keeps them looking that way. Whereas for me, it's a treat.

They are sweet though. I just can't hide my Payless Shoes and Old Navy purse in the sea of Coach bags and Manolo Blahniks.

Whatever, I don't have time or energy to feed into insecurity. So I walked my hairy-browed face up to the counter and was brought back to the "spa" area. What the crap? It's just as cool as what you see on tv. Everythings so white! I laid down and had my eyebrows waxed for the first time. I've always used NADS and done it myself so this was a treat. A treat because I'm too lazy to maintain at the moment, let's be honest!

Yeah, I'm hot. I know it. I can't help it. I went to a small diner in town straight after. It's the place where I go to write. It's the place that I walk in and all the waitresses know that I don't want coffee at the moment, I want Pepsi. As I walked back to my favorite booth all eyes were on me. Was it because of the puffy red raised skin around my brows that had just been waxed? Heck no! Of course not. I'm just THAT hot. It's difficult being me. It's hard being really really ridiculously good looking.

I smiled and settled my weary bones onto the hard wooden bench. I pulled out my notepad and began to pen some entertaining quips for my book. The fries weren't great. But the BLT was to die for.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hey Body, Thanks For the Reminder!

I haven't been written nearly as much as I should. Not just on here, mind you, I'm speaking generally. This has been a year of rediscovery for me. One in which I actually haven't given myself a moment to sit and actually figure things out. I have however gotten fat. Soooo, that's awesome.

I gave up on maintaining my eyebrows many moons ago. When one makes a choice such as this, they often do not think about the fact that the odds of someone snapping close up pictures of their face are pretty high. Yeah, well, I spent the weekend at a lock-in with a bunch of kids from the Youth Group that I help lead. It was a blast. However, now there are dozens of pictures of me and my fat mug with giant eyebrows (that look like centipedes) on my face. Sweet! Thank God I'm secure and just don't care. But now I'm considering for the first time ever getting my eyebrows done at a professional. If I come out with ridiculously tiny, heinous, eyebrows - I'll be pissed. More pissed than Kanye West when Taylor Swift beat Beyonce out for best video.

Dodgeball is a so fun. I'm not gonna lie. I love it. I played so many freaking physically active games this weekend that every muscle inside of my body aches. "13 Going on 30" could've been such a different movie had it explained how the crap you deal with growing up!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life on the Lamb

To say that the year 2009 has bit the big one for me would be an understatement. A very large understatement. It has been one thing after another. And, although I'm not complaining or saying that my life is difficult compared to anyone else's, I will say that I'm just tired.

In other news, Patrick Swayze's book that he wrote with his wife is really great. I'm getting to know a whole different side of the guy I had a crush on for 20 years.

So, it's been a month or so since I last posted. Give or take some time, I guess, I didn't really look to see. I guess blogging in that time would have been a fun thing for you guys to read. In short, I got cyber-bullied, harrassed, accused of threats, visited by a detective and banned from a certain local jewelry store here in town. If I go there, I will be arrested. Good times. Although, I "have done absolutely nothing wrong" - as the Detective stated.

Life is so amazingly fun, you don't even know. Well, Lily Cate knows, but the rest of you probably don't! Let's just say that our Grewenow Girls Reunion this year will be filled with awesome tales of life in our lovely city!

Also, my car's exhaust bit the big one - $150+ to get that fixed.
Then my phone kicked it - another $150 to replace that bad boy. With a pink girly one with flowers on it and an entire keyboard because I'm now a texter.
And ALL of that in the month I SHOULD have been finding a place and moving out.

October. My favorite month of the year and I haven't even gotten to properly enjoy it yet. Where are my haunted houses, scary movies, hot apple ciders, pumpkin farms, hay rides, etc...? There's still time!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dirty Dancing

"That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's."

I came, I saw, I carried a watermelon!

On Thursday I picked up our rental car, picked up Amie and by 11pm we were on our way to Pembroke, Virginia. We were on our way to a Dirty Dancing themed weekend at the legendary Mountain Lake Resort - otherwise known as Kellerman's. After 4 hours of the worst rain EVER in Indiana, a car-sick navigator, loads of music, breakfast at THEE Bob Evan's ACTUAL farm, and a whopping 15hrs in the car...we pulled up to Kellerman's. The sun was shining bright in the sky... it was just as if we where in the opening scene of the movie.

Virginia is beautiful. Kellerman's is fantastic. The employees there, wonderful. It proved to be an amazing weekend.

We stayed in a lodge room with a fireplace.

Instead of napping after arriving we went on a search of the grounds. We showered and explored. I will post pictures, but blogger is not letting me at the moment.

DAY ONE: After exploring, we went to eat up in the dining room. THEE dining room. The dining room that Baby first peered through the door to see Johnny talking to Max and the staff. Amie and I sat in the spot where we later found out that the Houseman's ate at in a scene of the movie. Four course meals were served at lunch and dinner. I got the ribeye, well-done, it was delish.

MORE LATER....

Okay, I'm back. And since my break from writing this....Patrick Swayze has passed away! Are you kidding me? I'm so glad that I made the trip to Virginia before his death. It'll be surreal to be there next year, knowing that he's no longer alive.

My weekend at Kellerman's was full of stories from the staff, amazing food, HOURS AND HOURS of dancing, the movie, trivia - which we WON, and so much more. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was actually very much like the movie. Not that I found a hot dance instructor and go busy or anything. Ha! You know me better than that anyway! Although, the dance instructor was REALLY REALLY hot! Ironic. But it was just as the movie set it out to be - a vacation retreat. It was as if you were actually living in the 60s....in the times when families took vacations together and you met friends that you'd only really see once a year. That's what happened!

Amie and I met a great couple there who we're keeping in touch with and planning to meet up with next year for the weekend.

All in all, it was an awesome vacation. On the way back, with a completely hungover Amie in the passenger seat, we went an hour out of our way in Indiana so that I could surprise Amie with the birthplace of James Dean. She's a huge fan. We took loads of pictures and eventually found his gravesite. Which ironically isn't even marked that well. We had to walk most of the graveyard before we found it...just as the sun was setting.

With all honesty I can say that "I've had the time of my life", AND "I carried a watermelon."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Breast Implants

Living without tv has it's advantages. I don't miss it, but when I have it I couldn't see ever living without it. Weird. I hope I can have cable wherever I live next, because I really do like television, and as a result of never watching it I am rather far away from actual news worthy events.

Today I read up on the image that has been flashing on my computer's homepage all weekend. I figured that since it was fighting ever so hard to get my attention, I'd just bite the bullet and read it.

What I read was disgusting. I'm sure you've all heard about the model that was murdered by her reality-star ex husband - whom they've now found dead, as he hung himself in a motel. Right? This is an incredibly horrific story. What kind of sicko *was* this guy? He cut off her fingers and ripped out her teeth so that the body would be harder and more difficult to identify. He stuffed her into a suitcase (horribly mutilated) and threw her into a dumpster. His plan was foiled because they did identify her pretty swiftly. Because she was destroyed beyond recognition, they identified her by the serial number on her breast implants.

My response (in my head): 'I'm so glad that I can't be identified by my breast implants.'

That thought made me laugh. It makes absolutely no sense and I have no clue where it came from!
There must be something wrong with me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

8 1/2 Days Till I Carry a Watermelon



Next Friday I will be here. Pembroke, Virginia. With my childhood best friend, Amie.

In preparation for this event I have purchased two shirts for the weekend. One being pink, with a watermelon, saying; "I carried a watermelon?". And the other being white and stating; "Go back to your playpen, Baby."

I am in the process of renting a car in the next few days. Well, not renting it per say, just reserving it for rental next Thursday. Ah, next Thursday night we hit the open road for our "best friend adventure". We need it. I need it. It's going to be great.

I work with some total duechers. Not gonna lie. Whether it's married truck drivers that are hitting on me, or the one person in the world that seems to have a particular "Heidi-shaped" chip on his shoulder and has it out for me. A vacation from work will be great. Even if it is just 2 or 3 days off!

I have 4 more months to enjoy my twenties. I should really party it up. Like, um....wait. I have no ideas. Maybe I'll live on McDonald's 49 cent cones for a whole week. Or I could only make right-hand turns for a whole day. Man, that would suck with all the road construction in my life... Well, what about not drinking soda for a week? No. That would kill me. Hmm...there has to be some way for me to enjoy the remaining days of my 20s.

I should seriously consider bringing watermelons, shouldn't I?...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chocolate Covered Bacon

I love my life. It's hilarious. It's as if it is all just a skit written for Saturday Night Live. And you know what? I don't care! I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

Yesterday my good friend Tina turned 30. I took her out to 'Henry and Wanda's' at midnight to have a last-drink-of-your-20's/first-drink-of-your-30s celebration. 'Henry and Wanda's' is a martini bar in Racine. It's a great little joint that makes you feel classy just to be in it. My martini kicked major butt. I've never been let down there.

Enter Ally. Ally was one of the local barfolk. She was trashed and I'm a sucker for talking to people. No really, I swear, I'm a magnet for people to open up to me. Random people tell me their life stories while standing in line at Walgreens! It's fantastic. Well, poor Ally just got dumped and was taken by the beauty of me and my friend Tina.

In fact, Ally proceeded to tell me that my hair (which was flat ironed and partly up with bobby-pins) was beautiful and I was doing it all wrong. She then took my hair down and proceeded to 'fix' it. 5 minutes later, I was sitting in a classy bar in downtown Racine, looking as if I'd just stepped out of an 80s 'Bangles' video. Yes, friends, Ally ratted my hair.

I was stuck with it for the night because every time I adjusted it, good ol' Ally, would run across the room to 'FIX' my mistake.

After that, I went home and got a good, solid, 3.5 hours of sleep before heading off to work. Then, straight from work I headed back up to Racine to have a birthday dinner with a group of Tina's friends at a restaurant called 'Salute'.

Unimpressed.

The waitress hated me. I'm convinced she was plotting ways to kill me. I sat next to my friend Kelly, who also was hated. It was awesome. She took everyone's orders, went to the table behind us and asked if they wanted dessert, then came back and took our order. She never ONCE talked to me before the end of the meal! Another friend that was with us had to ask for our drinks for us! All-in-all, not a fan. The food was, eh. Boring. The owners were nice and brought us free birthday shots. Bonus!

Ha! AND, my friend that I never get to see anymore, told me 'Your life depresses me.' HA! How do you respond? I said, 'I haven't seen you in months! I haven't said anything about my life. How can it depress you? It doesn't depress me. I think it's funny!'

Awkward. Hmm.
Not the most exciting thing to hear! But, in the end, I had a blast and ran like hell out the door to escape the crazy witch lady who wanted to murder me with her magical powers.

TODAY: I'm on my way to the State Fair, baby! CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Construct This...

I am currently living in a room. My old bedroom. Yes, I'm 29 and living in the room that my Mother and her sisters wallpapered and painted when I was 6 or 7 years old. The wallpaper is now half ripped down; thank me, for my sullen teenage years of systematically ripping strips of it off in rebelion. The glow-in-the-dark stars are still, for the most part, in place. Random scribbles that only I can recognize are on the ceiling, done in pencil. The mint green paint directly over the closet door is shot to heck from when I found real darts and Laura and I used to throw them into that board.

Half of my life is in one cousin's basement. Half in another. And yet, I still have a tremendous amount of crap in my life. I want more than anything to sort it. But I have no room for that. And so, I live in a room. A room where I am entirely surrounded by my junk. In heaping piles. Underneath and behind those piles is my Mother's craft room.

My time of living in this room is drawing to an end. I feel it. I'm nervous. Excited. Ready. And scared, like a child. What's next in my life? I have no idea. My time-line of living at home and helping out is almost up. If I stay much longer after that, my life will be an endless repetitive cycle of what it is now; funny stories and no sleep! More importantly, no progression. I really have no clue what is next. I have options, but nothing that captures my heart. I have ideas, but none that I feel are right...or that I can afford.

Hey, did I mention that the construction workers were cutting the lines into the freshly dried cement at 2:45 IN THE MORNING? I feel asleep around 2, then woke up at 2:48 to the road crews and their saw blades sheering through the flipping road. Honestly, people! What the heck?

Long story short, I'm drinking AMP energy drink at 9am.
This week couldn't be any more awesome than it has already been!

Ooo, I did see PUSH last night. Rental. Dakota Fanning was great in it, but I love her. No in-depth critique - because I was pretty tired and just wanted my brain lulled and numbed in the wee hours of the morning. But, I liked it. It's different. I appreciated that about it. It was the first roll that I've seen Dakota transitioning into "older" parts. Although, her maturity in the movie "Hound Dog" was fantastic.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tinseltown Movie Meal

This past Saturday I attended the 10:45am showing of "Funny People", starring Adam Sandler. It was a welcome break in my weekend - a movie for only five-bucks, on my own. I originally planned to go it alone but ended up asking a few friends, none of whom could make it. Fine by me! Ha!

I bought my ticket, got my "Movie Meal" (kids sized popcorn, small soda and a sour straw), found my seat, and settled in as the previews began to roll...



To start with, I walked into this movie with very little knowledge about it. It wasn't until halfway through that I realized that wow, this could be a really long flick. Two-and-a-half hours long, to be exact. When I stepped out of the darkened theatre and into the ridiculously bright sunshine, I knew I'd skipped the noon-hour completely.

Overall, I was satisfied with the movie. I didn't walk in with high hopes (mostly because I didn't know much about it) so there was no way, really, for me to be disappointed. I was, however, troubled by the disjointed sequence of the storyline. It was almost as if the movie itself suffered a small seizure and completely changed course halfway through.

'Funny People' is the story of George (Adam Sandler), a very wealthy and famous comedian. George finds out that he has a blood disease that is more than likely going to kill him in a short amount of time. Having heard this news he embarks on a journey of returning to stand-up comedy. The jokes are at some points incredibly dark and very reflective of the emotional roller coaster that he is on.

Along the way, he stumbles upon Ira (Seth Rogan). Ira is an endearing character who you fall in love with immediately. Ira lives with 2 roommates who are breaking through as actors and comedians in their own right. Meanwhile, Ira is struggling to find his place in the world of comedy, but it's just not working for him.

Enter George. George, faced with his death, takes Ira under his wing. George hires Ira to basically be his friend and to write jokes for him. From this, a true friendship evolves as Ira teaches George the value of real life, family and friends - and George mentors Ira in the art of bringing laughter into people's lives.



Adam and Seth have an amazing chemistry in this movie. Their characters are believable, easy to relate to, and real. The entire first have of the movie is an extremely witty banter between the two, with clips of stand-up gigs that range from awkward, to dark, to just plain funny. It is not just your typical cheesy attempt at getting a laugh. The jokes and situations are so real that you understand what is going on at such a deeper level then just the surfacey easy-to-win laughter. Maybe it's because I have faced cancers several times with friends and family members, but I can definitely say that the intro to 'Funny People' is raw, real, and funny.

Then the second half appears on the scene and slaps you in the face. What the? Where did you come from? It's as if the writer went on vacation and had someone else finish the story, without even telling them about the origins. All of the sudden there is a shift that occurs. No longer are we watching the chemistry of George and Ira, but now George is thrown into an incredibly desperate attempt at winning back the love of his life. Scene after long annoying scene of a very pathetic George living vicariously through this other man who has married and had children with his ex.

I understood it all, I guess, but it still didn't mesh with the sheer awesomeness of the first portion. Plus, I was pulled out of the movie several times at that point. I like movies to keep me. I found the time focused on his ex-love to be too lengthy and drawn-out unnecessarily.

Somewhere in there we see Ira emerge, with lessons learned. George learns the importance of family and not being so cynical about everything. And in the end we're back to comedy and real life.

All in all, I found this movie to be a pretty good flick. Would I say that you HAVE to see it on the big screen? No. But, if you have a few hours and want to escape your day - and have a few good laughs, then go see it. If not, rent it.

Remember, it's a movie about comedians, so sexual jokes and references are a given. Odds are that this one will end up in my DVD collection at some point. Not a 'Billy Madison' of Adam Sandler's, but definitely no 'Little Nicky' either!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Funny People

Indie-flicks have massive appeal to me. They always have. I was telling some friends about one the other day, and the entire time, my friend thought I was talking about loving movies from India. Yeah. You know me and my Bollywood obsession!

'Funny People' comes out today, and I know very little about it. I actually listened to my morning radio station on my drive to work, they completely ripped on it for not being funny. Uh, yeah, it doesn't seem like "funny" is what they were going for. At any rate, their description (and utter mockery) of the movie made me want to see it.

So, my weekend is packed, but I'm cramming that puppy in tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow night, Milwaukee.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hold That Thought

In December of 2007, or maybe 2006, I began writing a book. As with anything, life got a little hectic. With computers crashing, moving houses, moving houses again, and other various hurdles, my manuscript was put on hold. And there it has sat ever since.



My mind is an odd thing. Maybe it's normal. More than likely, it's not. Often times I narrate things in my head. Whether it's life, conversations, commentary, random thoughts, or random songs; my mind runs through them in entirety.

Today, the opening for a book about my life breezed through my mind. If I don't write it down, it surely will be forgotten. But Folks, for the time being, I'm back in action! Halt on the other book...



...I'm on a different course now!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Challenge Me

We all face various challenges in our life. Sometimes they're long drawn out seasons of hardship, sometimes they are relational, sometimes financial...the list is endless. Truth is, I like challenges. Not that I'm saying that I enjoy hard times or anything. After all, sometimes a challenging person can become your best friend! That's how my good friend Olivia and I grew so close.

I was up until after 3 o'clock this morning (when I totally just fell asleep!) talking to someone that I barely even know. I was trying to encourage this person to make the wise choices that I know that they want to make. At some point, the conversation turned, and in the end I felt completely attacked for my beliefs. Not my belief in God or anything - just my standards, or reasons for why I've lived my life the way that I have. Why I believe the things that I do...

It's weird. I had the things to say to this person, and I meant them. But there is something about pulling out an old box and dusting it off. Sometimes it's not as clear when you open it up, why the heck you put the items in there that you did. At the time it made perfect sense, but now does it?

I'm challenged today. Challenged to ask myself some deep questions and to then do some soul-searching for the answers.

I'm also craving salad like nobody's business.

Four more hours till I meet the girls and head to IL to see RENT. I don't remember who's doing it, but I just freakin' love that musical. Even if it's horrible, I'll have fun!

Well, I'm off to run some errands and hopefully hit up Lake Michigan for some sunshine and music before dinner and a show.

♪♫♪ Take me for what I am. Who I was meant to be. And if you give a damn, take me baby, or leave me. ♪♫♪

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sweet Home, Chicago....or....Kenosha...

After a month of traveling, house-sitting in "the hood", and just plain seeing bits of America, I have returned "home". I put that in quotations because I've discovered that 'home' is such a relative term. It's something we use to label the places where we reside, isn't it? I mean, even when I lived in the wonderful "Shagbark Apartments", I still called it home. However, now I'm not so sure that I have a home to speak of. Therefore, the quotation marks appear.

The months of me living in my parents house are coming to an end, and not nearly as quickly as I'd like. My sister threw a complete freak-out when she was 29 and we shared a one bedroom apartment. The fear of 30 caused her to NOT want to become a 30 year old who shared a bedroom, with twin beds, with her baby sister. So, before her 30th birthday we moved in to a 2 bedroom apt. and she tossed out her twin bed and purchased a queen.

Here I am, months from 30, living in my old bedroom at home. No Mom. No space to even unpack. Half of my life is in one cousin's basement. Half in another cousin's basement. I don't know what I have. I don't know what I own. I don't know where anything is, and my room is a freaking mound of mess that I cannot even begin to deal with because there is nowhere to put it anyway. After over a decade of living outside my parents home, family forced me back (situationally, for a season)and now I'm knocking on the door of my 30s and sickly reminded, daily, that I have nothing to show for it.

When I was little, I was facinated by the smells of people and of their houses. You realize at a young age that different homes have different scents to them. Were you to smell that fragrance elsewhere, you'd immediately be reminded of so-and-so person's home. But for some reason, you're immune to the scent of your own home.

My best friend's house smelled like cat pee. My other best friend's house smelled of a certain sweetness, later recognized as pot, and cigarrettes. I remember talking about the smell of homes. I always wondered what mine smelled like. At the time, the cat-pee-house friend told me that my house always smelled good. It smelled like a combination of cigarette smoke and popcorn. For years that bothered me, even after my Mom quit smoking and my Dad had to smoke outside. I've always been conscious of the way I smell, and the way my home smells, to people.

When I lived with Laura (my sister) in the apartments, we always were told that our house smelled amazing. Everyone that came over commented on how warm and welcoming our apt. was. Lived in and comfortable. And it smelled of baking scents...cinnimon, cookies etc. I loved that. I loved that our friend Annie wished our apartment smell could be contained and sold as an air freshener.

As I started my wash the other night, I had an epiphone. The cold and warm waters crashed over my clothes. I poured detergent over them and I hesitated. I could smell my parents house. My Mom and her touch are gone. It smells like an old man's house. Not mothballs or anything, just old man. Dirty. Musty. Stale smoke from his endless smoking on the porch. The windows are open, the Summer heat warms the house and draws out the old scents that have for years bed masked by my Mother's touch. It's not home for me, I can tell it in my nose...

In closing, don't worry - you'll get your update on my crazy month of July. I know you're all dying to hear about it! ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Keep Your Words to Yourself, I've Got Plenty of My Own

It’s interesting that as children we were taught that the world is ours to own; all we needed to do was make a choice to become (or do) whatever we wanted, and it would be ours. If we wanted to be a firefighter, we would be. If we desired to become the President of the United States of America, more power to us! In my case I wanted to be a choreographer. Fat chance. Now I’m almost thirty and get sweaty and winded carrying the stupid laundry basket from the basement up to the second floor. My actual heart and soul plan was to get married, have 8 children, and just be a Mom. My dream job, seriously. Lies. I was fed lies.

I can’t escape the knowledge, however, that if I really set my mind to change my life, I could. I’m not saying for the better, but I could do it. I could up and move in a second. Leave my job. Forget about family and friends. Pack up and move away and start over. Write. Paint. Draw. Find a guy. Get married. Buy a nice little fixer-upper that’s completely telling of the type of people we are, full of odds and ends (useless things) which have been converted, contorted and restored into beautiful masterpieces – or at least eclectic wall hangings.

Crap. No one prepared me for THIS life, the one I ACTUALLY have. In and of itself, I like it. I live it. It’s fine. But whenever that magnifying glass of circumstances highlights the bare bones reality of it for a little too long (or SOMEONE steps in from the periphery and asks what the heck am I doing with my life) …I feel like Tommy Boy and I want to scream: “Forget it, I quit, I can't do this anymore, man. My head's about to explode. My whole life sucks. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know where I'm going. My dad just died. We just killed Bambi. I'm out here getting my @$$ kicked and every time I drive down the road I wanna jerk the wheel INTO A BRIDGE ABUTMENT.”

Only in my case, my Mom just died.
Oh, and my Uncle.

I’ve also become incredibly irresponsible lately. Or perhaps, lazy, is a better term for it. Lazy as in, I don’t care about certain things, I don’t care about answering you. I don’t particularly care to R.S.V.P. to anything at the moment because odds are that I am not going to write it down anyway, so what’s the point?

I was chatting with the lovely “Literary Lily Cate” in her beautiful cottage in the woods last night, when she brought up a lovely point. We’re old…or….almost. We’ll both turn 30 soon. It doesn’t FEEL old, yet life around us reminds us of the true fact that time continues to move forward. Most people my age are watching their children do the things that it seems like we were doing yesterday… And how is it that we have passed that season of life where everyone is falling in love, getting engaged, getting married and having babies. Somehow we’ve fast-forwarded to the time where the news is very regularly about someone getting hurt, getting sick, and/or dying. Really?

For a moment yesterday I imaged myself living the life that I would have pictured for myself as a child. I saw 3 scenarios:

1.) A choreographer and an actress. Living in Hollywood and running my own studio that was vibrantly coloured and filtered in the warm glow of the setting sun…

2.) An improv actress living in New York City. Of course a regular, perhaps a writer, on Saturday Nite Live…

3.) A Mother. This one overlapped them all. I wasn’t a girl that planned many specifics…but by now I’d have been married and have at least 3 kids, pregnant with number 4.

My life is what it is. I made choices because I felt that they were right. In reality, if I hadn’t have made the decisions that I did, the odds are very highly that any of those 3 options would be my life today. But when faced with turning points and major life decisions, I made them, and here I sit. Not regretfully, mind you. In some cases I actually know the downfall my life would have had, had I have dove in head first, without a thought or concern. I’ve been spared from a lot.

Even so, it’s others my age or younger that make it difficult. A friend of mine ALWAYS hated even the IDEA of children. I cannot say that I ever saw her hold or even talk to a child. She was quite like “The Witches” who could smell a child across the room, and the odor was repugnant. Her focus was corporate life, and that is all she wanted. Even into her first year of marriage she felt the same. That was years ago. Now, with a few kids under her belt, she is an at-home Mother. Her comment to me, in passing; “Isn’t it funny how you’ve loved and wanted children your whole life – and I NEVER did? And now I have kids and am learning to love it? Isn’t God funny?”

Funny? Not the word I’d use in that scenario, Sunshine, but thanks. Also, if you’re walking barefoot, there are some tacks over there that you can go ahead and step on. Thanks.

I’m not complaining. Just being cynical. I’ve always learned to laugh at my life, because if I don’t…well, then I’ll probably lose my mind! You’d find me working at a thrift store, manically sorting all the clothes by color. Or, lining up everything on the shelf JUST right and pacing around, fretting, as germy people stroll in and then begin moving my perfectly place items around, or turning them just slightly enough that I want to rip my hair out, or punt a kitten. DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT THEY ALL HAVE THERE PLACE ON THAT SHELF??

Man, I’d be an awesome case study on OCD if I ever went loony. Not that I’m planning on it. I’ve got better things to do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Colorado or Bust!


I have arrived.

I am in love with Colorado.
I could definitely live here.
I've spent the day in downtown, falling in love.
The 16th street mall is fabulous. Everything you need is so close - granted, we are staying in a hotel that is located central to the downtown area, but still. I love it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

S.O.S.

Six months away from turning 30 and I am going to a Jonas Brothers concert tonight. Sad thing is, I'm not bringing one of my kids. I don't even have kids. The closest thing I have is my teenage cat, who will be 17 next month. Even she wouldn't be caught dead at a concert with hundreds of 'tweens', pining after boys that are too old to entertain them, yet too young and Disney to hit Rolling Stones. Oh. Wait. They've done that, haven't they? Crap.

So, tonight I hitch a ride on the happy train and head for Milwaukee to see pre-teens with stars in their eyes; daydreaming of marrying one of the brothers...and maybe their best friend will marry another...and they'll live next door to each other and have kids at the same time. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Double crap. That was me!

I was going to marry Jordan Knight.
Amie was going to marry Jonathan Knight.

I suppose the world does go around in one big fat circle. These fans weren't even BORN yet when I was acting the same way that they are - annoyingly, optimistic... dreaming of actually MEETING and SEEING a boy band. Sick.

I'm such a loser.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 'Eyes' Have It

Dude. I like my new banner. I blurred everything (pretty much) but my eyes. Its kind-of hauntingly, freakishly, cool. At least, that's my opinion, anyway.

I was just thinking about the late River Pheonix. I thought he was such a hottie when I was in Elementary School. He was definitely a big celebrity. It was as if he and "The Corey's" ruled it all. For the record, I was a Feldmen lover. All that to say; why did I never realize, until tonight, that River Pheonix's name - which is ALWAYS said like that...FULL - was "River"? Really? What the heck? River??

Just my thought for the night.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Coppers - Part 2 of 4

The saga continues...

The 1st time that I was ever pulled over was by the DQ on 75th street in Kenosha. I was probably 17 at the time and completely scared. So scared in fact, that I pulled over by the median, a.k.a. the left hand side of the road. The PoPo, probably convinced that I was out of it, got on the loud speaker and broadcasted to the nations an order for me to slowly move my car to the right-hand-side of the street. All of this was because I did not yet have a license plate on my. I had mailed in for it, displayed the papers (which he checked)and I was on my way.

A week or so later, I was moving my car out of the driveway so my Mom could get hers out, I drove around the block and was pulled over AGAIN for the license plate thing. This one took far less time, however, because Shanon Bergendahl was working the dispatch when the call came in.

Amie (you may remember her from Part 1) and I were kicking the rock wall by St. Joe’s, unknowingly being watched the entire time by police in a parked car. They came out in full glory to accused us of intentionally damaging the whole wall (which was bologne - we were probably 10 at the time and didn't do ANY damage to the already deteriorating wall). Luckily my dad was bartending directly across the street and saw the whole thing. Can you imagine the terror of your 6-foot-8 Father storming across the street towards you...as you're standing there being repremanded by police?? He talked to the cops and worked out a deal for us to pay for the repairs the wall, which his buddy did for free.

In 2000, I was sitting on the rocks by the lake right by Eikelman Park. I was writing in my journal, when suddenly a squad car races through the park behind me. He flies through the playground area, passes the benches, and pulls up only a few feet away from me. The guy then gets out of his car and starts asking me how I am…if I’m upset…blah blah blah. Did he think I was suicidal? I DON’T KNOW! I definitely didn’t look the part! I was really sarcastic to him too, like, “hi, I’m trying to write here buddy.” Weird. He sat with me on the rocks for a good 10 minutes before riding away on his silver steed of justice.

A few years ago, at my parent’s house for my mom’s birthday, Laura and I were sitting on the bench in the front yard (facing busy 75th street). We watched as a car ran a completely red light RIGHT IN FRONT of a cop car that did NOTHING. So of coarse we did what anyone would do. We yeled “Get em”. Eventually, the police took off after the car. A minute later another squad car drove past, so we yelled “get em”! A minute after THAT, yet ANOTHER car passed (which I didn’t realize was actually the same one) so I yelled “get em”. The officer immediately turned his lights on, did a u-turn and pulled up in the front yard. Of my PARENT'S house. Did I mention that my Mom was sitting on the neighbors porch rolling her eyes at me, the magnet for police, the WHOLE time? The cop proceeded to calls me over to the car. Basically, I suppose he taught me a lesson, which I was forced to repeat back to him (which I did - extremely sarcastically) “um, I guess I shouldn’t yell ‘get em’?” Funny. Mostly because it happened right in front of my parents and the neighbors! And also because was he seriously going to write me a ticket? What would it say? “She yelled get’em?”

When we were kids, me, Bekah and Naomi Omdahl were throwing pennies at cars that were driving past. I rocked at this game. Best timing in the world. That wasn't enough for me though, I had to show off....I dead-on hit a motorcycle as it passed. He pulled over half a block down. We ran like bandits and hid. About 10 minutes passed and an officer came knocking on Louise Omdahl's door. Thank God she wasn't home! The motorcycle man had called them, I got lectured and think I had to apologize to the guy. I’m sure I cried that time. We were all soo scared.

Enough for today. Stay tuned for Part 3....someday...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Immature

In 172 days, I will be 30 years old. THIRTY! Could someone please explain to me why some things STILL make me laugh like a 12 year old girl?

For example:



I cannot stop myself from saying, "That's what she said!" when it's appropriate...or not. Even when I don't physically say it out loud...I'm thinking it. And I'm laughing. Completely immature.



It's tough.

I work at a Trucking Company were weekly we haul loads of paper, wound like this:



Typical newsprint-type of an idea. Anyway, do you know what they call them - what the ACTUAL term is?

"Butt-roll".

It's "butt-roll".

I have to look at Proof Of Deliveries, almost daily, that say "BUTT ROLLS" on them.

These are the things that keep me immature.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wha'cha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

I'm going old-school. A few years back, I posted a four-part-series on my xanga page - dedicated to the hard working men and women of Police Departments, especially the Kenosha P.D. Some will have read or heard these tales before...others are in for a treat. A peek into just what it's like to be me. My Mom urged me (back in the day) not to share my stories, as people may think less of me. I've found, however, that some people find some of these recounts rather hilarious. So, without further adu...

Part 1 of 4

My childhood best friend, Amie, and I were sledding in Lincoln Park. As I was stood at the bottom of the hill I looked up to see Amie, walking halfway up the hill in her pink snowsuit. Her classmate, Michael Kilbourn, walked down to meet her. As he did, for no apparent reason, he picked up his snowboard and slammed it into her face. Breaking her glasses, chipping her tooth, and causing blood to go everywhere. In a fit of absolute rage I took off up the hill and tackled the kid and began punching him in the face. I turned and instructed Amie to start walking home, as I then took off running to her house, where I told her dad everything that had happened. He bolted out the front door, with me at his heals, and we found Amie walking up the block…followed shortly behind by an officer in his squad car who had seen the whole thing. The WHOLE thing. Including me. And was on my side about it! He said that I gave the kid what he deserved and that he’d leave that part out of the report. That was the was the day that began it all - the first time I had to sit in the back of a police car. Locked in the back seat, giving a report.

Naomi Omdahl and I (back in the days when wearing big puffy Starter jackets made you "cool" - in the early 90's?) went to SEARS to get our pictures taken. We set our appointment and then stopped by the bathroom to "freshen up". AFTER all of that, we were told that we need an adult with us to get pictures taken. We had no other choice but to leave. On our way out we were stopped by an off duty undercover Pleasant Prairie police officer at the entrance of the store. We were scared half-to-death, as he explained to us that they KNEW we were stealing jeans and they had a witness to prove it. Mind you, I have never stolen anything from a store before. In the end, they (Sears) basically broke a million laws (seriously) and more or less strip-searched us in front of the whole store before letting us leave. And no, they never called our parents. My Dad did, however, drive over there to "have a talk" with them after we returned home!

Amie saw a drug deal in Lincoln Park(a more high-end one then if it were just teenagers or something) when we were in Elementary School. The man that she saw and had described to the police, started stalking her/us after he came across us playing in the park - shortly after the whole ordeal. He ended up chasing us back to Amie’s house. (After my valient self-sacrificing move to save her!) Her dad called the cops and we (again) had to give a description of the guy.

After that drug dealer chased us, there were several times we had to call the cops to have them patrol the area because we’d see him around. On one occasion Amie and I were home alone and we noticed that he was in the alley behind her house. Pacing… and watching. We were home alone and completely scared, so we called Amie’s grandma. Why call 911? I mean, it makes total sense to call your Grandma who lives across town. She instructed us to hide. (Hey, we obviously were not brain surgeons – what the heck was her grandma going to do?) We hid behind the couch. Her grandma called the police who came and searched in and around the house - only to find that one of the basement windows had been smashed in and there was a knife by it. I think it was just a small kitchen knife or something…but still, it was freaky. Again, we were questioned endlessly by the officers trying to get info on the guy.

I witnessed a car radio getting stolen from Chuck Jackson’s car one night. I called the police and they came to my parent’s house and I had to give descriptions of the boys who did it. Later that week, at school, I found out who did it. I never told anyone who it was. I wouldn't tell the police because I knew they were in a gang - not the police, the boys who stole the radio. Ha! My Dad was furious with me. Funny thing, I ran in to one of the guys at Kwik Trip this afternoon.

(NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT...OR GUILTY, IN THIS CASE!) After leaving Teens one night, Myrtle, Harry and I dropped Rick Jones off and were on our way home. Myrtle (who was maybe 14 at the time) convinced Harry to let her drive…in the rain. Yeah, we crashed in a ditch. Myrtle and I tried to walk to the Jones' to get Rick's older brother Joey to tow us out. We got lost. Knocked on some lady’s door trying to get directions to Lance Jr. High. She was crazy. She peeped the 5-0 because we looked “suspicious”, the cop’s pull up, lights blazin' and threw us in the back seat and drove us to the scene where there were several other squads waiting. They then tossed Harry in back with us because they thought that he was drunk driving…so, they tore his car apart. That was a fun one. Don’t try lying to your parents when you get home...the grapevine travels fast. "Judy" and my mom knew the whole thing before Myrtle or I walked in the door. But maybe they didn’t know Myrtle was driving…so please keep that on the DL.

That's all that you get for now, folks. Stay tuned for part 2....whenever I decide to search the archives to update and post it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tomorrow. You're Only A Day Away...

July 1st will be the 5 month anniversary of the day that my Mom went to be with the Lord. Weird. Most of the time it seems unreal. The rest of the time it seems to be getting increasingly harder to come to terms with the fact that THIS is life now. Life, minus Mom.

For two weeks I am house/dog-sitting in the ghetto of Kenosha. I'm not sure why, but I enjoy saying I'm staying in the ghetto. It sounds dramatic. Not that I'm saying it's funny or anything - after all, I am living just a few blocks from the spot that my good friend Marveard Role was shot and killed when we were 15. Just shy of High School. It's surreal in a way.

Duh, all that to say that I grabbed a journal to bring with me. A really fantastic leather bound, red one, that I used to write in, daily. I picked it up last night and began flipping through the last few entries.... life was so different. At one point I make note of the fact that my Mom wants to see it when I'm halfway through it, because we both are writers but NEVER complete journals! Well...she didn't live long enough to see me get to the middle. It's sort of haunting. Haunting in a way that makes me wonder if I should keep writing - actually finish this one? Or should I close it up and leave it site unfinished?

I miss my Mom.

In other news, I am leaving for Colorado in 11 days! Road trip with my cousin, Lance! We have SO much that we are packing in to our week long trip. Only a few "real" days actually IN Denver, but we are completely looking forward to the WHOLE experience. It should be fun.

In about a half-hour, I will start work on my Zuppa for the night. Freakin' yum.

SOUPS ON!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things I've Learned from Living with my Dad...

I am counting down the days until I am able to move out of my childhood home. Somehow, "home" is not home without my Mom there. I love my Dad, don't get me wrong, but my Mom knew that I wouldn't be able to stay there for long, nor would she want me to! That is why, shortly before she died, she asked me to please move home for 6 months to a year. And that is why I may turn 30 and be living at home. Are you kidding me?

In the meantime, these are things that I've learned from living at home with my Dad...after over a decade of freedom.

  • Empty cans go on the kitchen counter. Clearly opening the backhall door to drop it in the recycling bag is a ridiculous request.
  • Dirty kitchen towels go on the pencil sharpener in the kitchen. Again, opening the backhall door to drop it in the laundry is proposterous!
  • Never re-use the same glass. It makes the most sense to use at least 8 different glasses a day.
  • Never rinse your dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
  • Naps are taken between the hours of 5pm and 10pm.
  • After folding your laundry, it's best to keep it on couches and chairs in the living room. For weeks if need be.
  • If you are hungry, it's best to wait until someone else in the house is hungry, because then you will not have to get the food out and prepared, or put it away when you're finished.
  • You can never have too many coffee cans, pencils, pens.....
  • Shaving your hair outside is perfectly normal. Not white trash in the least.
  • If you say your back hurts, you won't have to drag the garbage down the street and around the corner - thanks to the fact that you can't leave it in front of your own house because the road will be torn up till Christmas!
  • Ignoring your alarm clock isn't annoying to others at ALL!
  • Slamming doors, at any hour of the day, is completely normal. Others should learn to deal with it, even if they are trying to sleep.
  • It's easier to yell something upstairs (at any hour of the day/night) than actually walking up them, regardless of who may be trying to sleep.
  • Encouraging your cat to walk in front of you and spontaniously laydown - and therefore rewarding her for it - is cute. Especially when she THEN does it to people who are carrying in groceries or something, because surely they'd much rather stop and pet, or look at, a stupid cat, than get to their destination and set down their heavy load.
  • It is easier to call someone at work, to see if they took the clothes out of the dryer, than it is to walk down the stairs and check it for yourself.
  • A can of green beans is a meal.
  • Cheetos are a meal
  • Adding rice, pasta, carrots or peas to a meal is foolish and therefore should not be eaten.
  • Easter baskets can be used to hats, while watching television.
  • If you see two people tying to carry 11 12-packs of soda across the torn up road (so that they get it done in one trip - in the middle of the pouring rain) it's best to laugh at them instead of assisting them, because there is no use in all 3 of you getting wet!
  • Cat treat containers are perfect for sorting nails, bolts and screws into.

....and endlessly more.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

I've Found My Inspiration!

In one month and four days I will be half a year away from turning 30. Yes, 30. Not that I'm threatened by the changing of the first digit of my age - I mean, it's happened what twelve times already? I think the hardest thing about it will be not having my Mom there to celebrate it with me. Anyway, point being, I'm starving for a challenge at the moment. Starving, and poor. Those are the criteria that I'm working with here. And so began my brain...

I have been putting together an incredibly random list of "Things to do Before Turning 30". Had I started this project years ago it would have been incredibly adventurous, but given the fact that I cannot plan a trip to Africa (or something equally as large) in the next 6 months, my list may be a little tame. My list may contain several things that I've actually done before. Who knows? We'll see. I'm just inspired to make it, and blog about the fun of it!

We will have to just wait and see what will happen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long time no write...

And here I sit.
Lost for words with all to say.

.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“WAG #10: The Professional”

As we go through our days, we’re surrounded by people doing everyday jobs: the guy that reads the gas meter, cashiers, bank tellers, security guards, doctors, circus clowns… This week, your assignment is to observe someone doing a job (their profession should be one you don’t know that much about). Describe him/her and also what they’re doing, why they’re doing it (as best you can tell), and how. Feel free to use your imagination, but don’t forget the concrete observation! Special thanks to Lulu for this week’s topic idea!

Two weeks ago I walked out of here having paid a dollar extra for a soda that I didn't get. However, as luck would have it I didn't realize this until I was already back at work. When I called and asked for the manager, the same girl that waited on me answered the phone. Barely speaking or understanding English I tried to explain to her that I bought one soda and she charged me for two. Eventually she instructed me that the Manager was gone, but if I brought my receipt with me next time they would refund my money. Right. Well, we'll see about that.

Weeks passed, and so did my memory of where the heck I stuffed that lousy receipt. Life seems to be laughing at me again, this time a dollar (plus tax) richer. At this point though, I just want my sub.

I open the door to find a new cast of characters to my familiar setting in life. Two teenage girls wearing polo tops and khaki pants, donning crinkly disposable plastic gloves, ready to take my order. From behind the counter Girl # 1 stares at me. Clearly she's pissed that she's working here in the first place. Maybe she had a bad morning. Perhaps her Mom gave her a hard time about having to babysit her child while she went off to work. My mind wanders down that rabbit trail as reality snaps me back to the present. Back to the face of this irritated young woman who quite obviously wants me to order, yet hasn't even said hello or informed me that she is ready.

Timidly I just go for it, I place my order. With great ease she stacks my toppings on the freshly baked bread that she's retrieved from the oven behind her. In great rhythm she moves. Without thought she turns, reaches, grabs, pivots around within the 3 foot by 10 foot space that contains her for most of her day. She is comfortable with this box that surrounds her, yet as she wraps yet another sandwich, she dreams of breaking out of this small town and all these annoying customers that are holding her back.

Before my sandwich reaches completion, she says some of her first words. I anticipate hearing the voice that resides within this young girl.

"SHIT!" she says. Followed closely by some mumbles to Girl #2 as she storms off behind the scene. In an instant she is gone.

The door opens to more customers, hungry for food and preparing to place their orders. I make my way over to the boy running the cash register. His English is barely discernible as he reads me the amount that I am due to pay. Girl #2 wraps my sandwich and places it in the bag for me.

As I hand the boy my twenty dollar bill, a flash of color breezes past his back as Girl #1 returns to her station. She must have forgotten to answer the voicemail message on her cell phone. Life is all better now, though. Taking her post she stares into the face of the next hungry patron, challenging her to say her order without having to ask this of her. The customer gives in and the routine begins again. I toss my coins into my purse, shove my bills into the right back pocket of my Buckle jeans, I wrap the bag around my arm and swing it around as I chuckle to myself and rush back into the noonday light. There are few things that pass the time when you're met with a mob of customers and your are in a bad mood. But sometimes, just sometimes, you find joy in breaking the simple rules.

No one else noticed....but I did.
Same gloves. She never changed her gloves.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Really?

So evidently I did something to piss Sleep off. You see, Sleep and I have had this kinda "thing" going for years. We never felt the need to "define" our relationship, as boundaries tend to close you in. Besides, we had a good thing going so why rock the boat. I can't put an exact date on it but sometime at the end of 2008 I apparently messed up. I don't know if he thinks I cheated on him by staying out later or spending more time with my family....but he's still upset about it.

I miss you, Sleep.
Please come back to me.
I need you!

Every time I lay my head down on my pillow, I wait for Sleep... Each time disappointed by someONE or someTHING else invading my time. Yesterday's nap went something like this.

Heidi: *lays down in the comfy bed, just about to nod off...drool starting....dreams beginning.*
Cell Phone: *vibrates*
Heidi: "Son of a..." (grabs phone)
Cell Phone: (8472935735 - unfamiliar number, left text) "I love u sweetie pie hunny bunch now im going to have a beer.
Heidi: (texts back) "Who is this?"
surely that will work and they'll leave me to sleep.... 5 minutes later as I'm dozing off...
Cell Phone: *vibrates*
Heidi: "What the heck! Are you kidding me?"
Cell Phone: (text) "Please stop doing this. I dont want to ruin anything."
Heidi: now irritated that the 30 min nap window is closing... (texts back) "I think u have the wrong number."
Cell Phone: (text) "The wrong number sorry"

I think Sleep thinks I have secret lovers.

It's Raining, it's Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring...

As the twangs of Jon Bon Jovi's guitar filled my ears, my eyes began to shake off the morning routine and come in to focus. Caught in the thrill of the mundane; the habit of shuffling to my semi-rusty GEO, climbing in with a sigh, straightening my pants legs (because I always seem to get that annoying crease directly under my thigh which if not tended to early on, will surely result in pins and needles 10 minutes down the road) I set off on my day. Often times I end up at work with not much recollection of the journey I took in getting there. Today, however, is different.

..."I drive all night..just to get back home. I'm a cowboy. On a steel horse I ride. I'm wanted, dead or alive..." Yes Bon Jovi. You are. As the haze of early morning lifts, my hand reaches for the knob on my factory installed AM/FM Radio. For once my head cries for the silence. With a 'click', I'm returned to my reality. I focus on the red light and close my eyes for a moment - drinking in the richness of life around me.

I hear the steady pounding of the rain upon the roof of my car. Without hesitation a smile spreads across my face. This sound...it's soo...comforting...

My mind opens to a scene of bright green nylon canvas above me. The sound of thunder rumbling in the distance that causes squeals of fear mixed with excitement. Two girls, roughing it in their parent's backyard - but to us it was the thrill of the adventure. The belief that we were pioneers with only our wits to keep us alive. Well, that coupled with the fact that my Mom always left the back door unlocked for us...giving us access to "food and supplies" in the kitchen!

Rainy nights were the best nights for camping outside. The steady beating of the drops of rain, rocking you to sleep... The thick damp moisture of the morning air on your face... Usually followed by the discovery that the tent had in fact leaked, and your sleeping bag and pillow were now soaked. None of that seemed to matter much, though, in the atmosphere of childhood adventure..

Green Light. Go. I'm driving again, lulling myself back into the usual practice of a Thursday morning. Again, revived by the sound of my windshield wipers as they heartily go about redirecting the water from my windshield. Steady is the rhythm....

In the back seat of my Mother's old two-toned blue car I sat, buckled in my seatbelt, smiling. I knew that whenever it rained as we were going for a ride, my Mom would sing. My thick white tights bunched up as I kicked my feet around...waiting. Unable to keep still. Car rides were my favorite and my little body was unable to contain my delight - anything below my waist kicked and squirmed with pure joy. The fixed low tocking of the wiper motor created the metronome to our song...

"Windshield wipers wipe the windshield
wipe the water from the pane
this way that way
this way that way
this way that way
in the rain."

When exactly is it that we grow up? When do we lose the uncontaminated ecstasy that comes with taking the time to drink in the little things?

And so...before I opened up the door to the shop, where I'd punch in and continue my day, I hesitated. Letting the rain drop down on my hair - not caring how it would look, I took a sip of the day that was all around me...and laughed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Happening

Rumor has it that there are two types of people in this world: Becker's and those who wish they were Becker's. I think that's true enough. However, we must beware that there are imposter's! There are actually people who pose as Becker's, but are not. For example; that perverted Mayor of Racine, WI. Not a real Becker. 'Nuff said.

I'm often told that the stories I tell about my life (and/or family) are fantastic. Not that I'm a great story teller by any means, it is just that I HAVE stories to tell. Then again, to me they aren't "stories" - they are memories. To others, they are things you see in movies, I guess.

So today I bring you the story of:


"The Happening" took place prior to my birth. Pictured above are my grandparent's on my Mom's side. My Grandpa always wanted enough children to form his own baseball team. He succeeded by having 10 children. My Grandmother also had 4 other pregnancies: Two miscarriages and two that died after birth. One of which I was named after. At any rate, these are the patriarchs of one of the most creative families that I have ever known.

As with basically anything in our family, "the Happening" was a spur-of-the-moment event. In case you're wondering, spur-of-the-moment is the best way to go. It can't fail. My Uncle Eric (the 3rd born) was home from UW Whitewater. Uncle Eric is one of the most creative people I know. He's an artist with amazing abilities stemming from sketches, to painting, to pottery. At this point in his life he was living life and "experiencing" all he could of it. He returned to his parent's house on a mission to find a way to get others to experience art.

Usually these events would lead to the family (including the older ones that were now married with children) all climbing into their cars and heading out to Pet's Park. Not this night. Quickly, phone calls went out with the basic instructions and a dinner party was in the works. Whomever was available that night was told to wear a toga and to come on over for dinner.

My Grandmother was working at the local Deli and Liquor store which was run by her sister's husband at the time - she had no clue what was in the works back at home. Yet, in true Becker style when she arrived home she jumped right in. No questions asked. In this family, if somethings going on...it's going on! So why ask questions? Things never seem weird to us.

My Aunt Gigi (the youngest of the daughters) was thrilled to help her older brother set up for the festivities. Streamers were plastered haphazardly around the house. The point was to drink in the feeling of stepping outside of the box - outside of the rules and boundaries we tend to close our lives into. To be free. Just to "be"!

The round table from the kitchen, a deeply colored and very heavy wooden table, was flipped upside down and propped up on milk crates. Everything about the house would give a child the feeling of being a part of something special; something no one else would get to do in their house! Pillows were placed on the floor as seats and the guests began to arrive.

Only in this family would you receive a call that instructed you to don a toga and come on over - and you wouldn't bat an eye. You'd toga it up and get on the road! The giant in the background is my Dad, holding my Brother. My Mom is donning a blonde wig and a floral toga which is all the rage this season. ;) F.Y.I. I still own that sheet! Saved it from the trash about 70 times.

The meal was probably spaghetti. Seeing as dinner was hosted by a college man, I'm sure it wasn't anything fancy. None of that mattered though.

Dessert was a giant Rice Krispie treat which was formed not in a pan, but in the large shallow copper bowl that my Grandmother stored in the cupboard above the refrigerator.

That night, the family gathered together dressed in sheets; laughing, talking, sharing life, and passing around one giant Rice Krispie treat. With each pass one would take a bite out and pass it along. Bong style.

Living life "outside of the box".

"The Happening."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Normalcy

The scent of garlic fills the air of my bedroom, coupled with the remnants of my perfume sprays from early this morning. My day began as yet another mad rush into work and routine. I barely had a moment to stop and breath in the air of change and drink in the bit of sunshine I saw, before I crawled into the cave where resides my desk.

Today's highlight was that early in the day, let's just say 10ish, the septic company came to clean out the "wash bay" in the trailer shop. For those of you who are as naive as I was, it smells like the thickest stench of rotting eggs that you could imagine. Worse than when they pump the poop tank.

So there I was; once again examining the steps that led my life to where it has gotten. Wondering if choices I made were all that great. I could be a pastor's wife in Tennessee. I could be married and living in England, or St. Louis. I could be an actress. I could be on SNL, maybe. Yet there I sit, day in and day out, in a cave. Like a prisoner, I have no window. Like a lab rat, I have no fresh air. I am a woman sitting in a man's world.

I know that I am right where I am supposed to be, I don't doubt that one bit. However, there are the rare moments in life that I look at this smudged, imperfect, overweight, too tall, fat faced life and think, hmmm. That's not how I pictured things happening. Months away from turning 30 and this is not what I thought I'd be; where I thought I'd be, or what I thought it would look like. Married, a house, 3 or 4 kids (at least) by now. Being Suzie Homemaker 24 hrs a day. That was my dream all along. How come I'm living with my Dad and Sister, working at a Trucking Company and single. What does all of this mean?

The smudges, the choices made, the heartbreaks of giving up lifelong dreams, the sacrifice of any sense of normalcy and girliness that comes with climbing up walls; using grease ladened screwdrivers to change light bulbs in exit signs while sweet talking the fire inspectors hoping that you can pass with flying colors...all of these things add a bit of color to my painting. Yet when I look at it from here, it looks like a blob of mashed potatoes that someone threw on the concrete. Messy, used and useless. It is only when I take that rare moment to Windex the glazed over windows to my soul - only when I drop it all for the second of reflection, that I see. When you are caught up in the daily mess of life; appointments, needs, short-comings, the ever looming knowledge that regardless of how hard you try you are inevitably letting someone down, the stubbed toes and the chipped nail polish - there's purpose in it. Only when you set down your desires, opinions and pre-conceived notions do you really begin to take it all in.

Life is like a painting. A great big, messy, painting. The smears, cracks, faults and folly's all add up. They all serve as a stroke of genius in the grand scheme of things. Even though my life may seem completely opposite of what I wanted.... Even if I am never allowed the awesome joining of lives with a man in this life... Even if I never fully realize, in physical reality, the actual feeling of birthing a new life into this world... As long as I am faithful with what I have been givien, I'm golden. Like Pony Boy.

And returning now to planet earth, I wonder if my Dad will ever clean the splashes on the stove from the split pea soup he made last week. Will Laura's cough keep me up all night tonight, again? Will I ever get more than 4 hrs sleep in one night? Are those 2 oatmeal and m&m cookies still hidden where I put them this afternoon?...