Monday, March 28, 2011
I found myself staring at him as he drifted in and out of a partially medically induced sleep. Not of of pity but out of wonder at what the ravages of disease had done to him. I remembered walking hand in hand with him down the sidewalk of the neighborhood my father had grown up in. He was so very tall and rigid, his voice deep and gravelly. He'd look down at me and even as a child I'd appreciate the general good looks in his face, his shoulders which I had always noticed were broad for his thin frame, his thick lips encompassing the bottom half of his face in what was usually a grimace. He was always dressed impeccably and his closet was packed full with more clothing than I'd ever known any other man owning.
Even now on the bright spring day on the patio together I am an adult but look ragged and ill-dressed across from him in his neat khaki pants, button up shirt and baby blue cardigan sweater, one with the neat alligator on the breast. His loafered feet are crossed on the ground below him and he awakens when his seat swings slightly backwards.
He grins when he sees that I am still sitting across from him. He asks me if I have seen the movie with the lions and it takes me a while to realize which movie he's talking about. I gather the information I have in my brain about the movie he's talking about, Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas battling rogue lions in the African savanna.
We talk about it for a moment and about how much we both liked it and I see that he knows a lot more about animals then I had ever known. I remember the wood carvings of elephants, lions and gazelles he had made when I was a child. He had been a carpenter of sorts, retired at a young age.
He starts to drift in and out of sleep again and looks at me for a moment.
"What's your favorite color then? Erin?" He sounds so much the same but really isn't.
"Red." I whisper because I feel the emotion start to well up in my throat at his strange question.
"Mine too." At this he falls back asleep, head lolling on the shoulders I had so greatly admired.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
All of them decent and not pornographic in the least. Sorry.
There was one glaring theme to these webcam photos...I am obviously obsessed with having facial hair:
This facial hair photo was taken to compare myself with my internet twin, Adam P Knave:
And this photo just makes me happy:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Growing up my momma was the sweetest, nicest momma any kid could possibly hope for. She might have been unhappy and stressed at times, but she made the best of everyday for me and my siblings. One of the things she did that meant the world to us was telling us our birth stories on our birthdays. She would often gather us in her bed ('us' meaning whichever combination of children were there at the time, I have four younger siblings but there are some big age differences between us...I'm sure teenage me wasn't hanging out on momma's bed the morning of my baby sister's third birthday.) and then recount the story of the day we were born. Mine ends with my grandma missing a card game due to my evening arrival. The joke is that I waited till just after 10p.m. in order to keep her there past the game's start time of 9:30.
I follow the same tradition with my own children and Rose can now recount all of their stories excitedly and faithfully.
Jeremiah was born in the evening 32 years ago. His mum told me the story of his birth when I was pregnant with Elijah and I will tell it to you (in my own words) tonight:
Teresa was due any day with her fourth child when she slid out of bed one warm March morning. She had already delivered three large bouncing baby boys.
She felt energized that morning and set to work on the many tasks she had planned to finish before her impending delivery. She dusted, moved furniture around, played outside in the sun with her sons. She washed the car, prepared dinner and put her children to bed.
Soon after they were asleep she felt pains coming swiftly and surely. Her husband Dave had a neighbor watch the older children and they headed to the hospital. The short drive must have felt like ages to her in this stage of labor.
After a quick examination the nurses determined she would not labor for long. Jeremiah was born a short time after their arrival. He was around ten pounds, healthy as a horse (or a foal, if you will) and very calm.
His birth story is short and sweet. The love his parents have for him and his brothers is obvious to me and I'm sure his arrival was one of the happiest days of their lives. I imagine his mum holding him for the first time and being completely in love. I feel the same way every time I am near him.
Happy Birthday Jeremiah. Happy Birth Day Teresa.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Jeremiah is convinced that if I like an actor or musician it means that I want to sleep with that person. I don't ever think about all the different sexual things I would do to the famous people I like (I'm assuming automatically connecting sexual acts with members of the opposite sex is a common thing? What's wrong with you people?), I rather think about how awesome it would be to hang out with them.
Here are some of my famous 'friends'-
Dennis Quaid. I think Jeremiah is suspicious that I have a crush on him. But to set Jeremiah's fears to rest, having sex with Mr. Quaid is not on the list of things I would like to do with him. Playing ping pong is. Can you imagine how fun it would be to play ping pong with Dennis Quaid? He has such an awesome laugh and a enigmatic smile. I'm all about smiles. Oh AND Cranium. I bet Dennis Quaid would be an excellent Cranium partner!
Crispin Glover. Ok. I know he's creepy. But if you look back throughout your childhood and teenage years, some of your best and most loyal friends were probably also a bit creepy. I saw Crispin on Chelsea Lately the other night and though it was an uncomfortable encounter, I saw definite potential in him as a bud. He's definitely a video gaming friend! Or! Even better! A karaoke video gaming friend. I think I nailed that one down perfectly.
Ben Folds. I know, I know. I talk about him a bit. He would definitely be the type of friend you'd go on bike rides with. When you took a break from the bike rides you could wax philosophic about your childhoods, your historical theories about Hitler or the existence of Giants in Ancient Gaul, he'd be thoughtful and make fun of you at the same time.
Marlon Brando. I know Brando died in July of 2004, I've just always felt that he would have been a friend of mine. Sure, he seemed tortured, self absorbed, kind of ego maniacal in nature...but I can see beyond all of that. He'd fly you to some beach, but you wouldn't be afraid he was trying to get in your pants...I have a feeling he'd screwed himself out of commission by the time I was born. He'd talk about his amazing life, the movies he's made, the people he has known and the tragedies he's experienced. He wouldn't listen to a word you would say in response, he would just go on and on and on. And I know I would love every second of it, how about you?
Falcor. You have to believe me on this one, right Jeremiah? I would not want to have sex with Falcor from The Neverending Story. I would, however, want him to fly me all over the world, perched high atop his glorious white and scaly back. FALCOOOORRRRRRRRRR!
Gabriel Byrne. I heard him tell a story about a huge scar he has on his right side on some late night talk show. He said he was in some dive bar on the coast in Ireland and got in a brawl with a bunch of sailors. Whoever was interviewing him said something like, 'I guess you lost the fight.' Gabriel Byrne looked at the interviewer completely seriously and said, 'You should have seen the other guys.' So that right there explains why he would be a good friend. He'll take a shiv for you in a bar fight and keep on going at it! Plus, he's Irish.
If you enjoyed this post and it's pop-culture-ness, check me and the other writers at SPROCKET INK. We're here to amuse. And not just because 80% of us are kind of weird looking.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Olivia's illness didn't go away and after a visit to the hospital we learned she had a double ear infection. For some reason it took four doses of antibiotics before she even resembled her usual blustery, happy self. Sucked.
I wasn't able to celebrate the warm days by hopping and skipping merrily because I crushed my ankle underneath a giant metal box I was helping Jeremiah carry. I don't think it's broken and I can walk on it, but I look like I have gout or fat foot/ankle syndrome. Look it up.
What was awesome was Sprocket Ink's first week!
Here are links to my posts, but check out everyone else cause there is some hilarious stuff going on over there!
Shocking Song Cover Smash!
The Gaddafi's: All in the Family
The Dork/Geek/Nerd Uprising
We also welcome some additions to our family. Meet Kermie (who was Hermie and I re-christened) and Freddy McGee:
Wow. That's excellent photography!
I also have these three bunnies left at Dork Designs:
Visit them in Our Kid's Shop to check out pricing!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
For a brief stint in 1997 I got into the habit of wearing my Dad's button-up dress shirts underneath my t-shirts. I had one that said 'Just Call Me Squirt', one that said 'Welcome to Reno!', a super soft charcoal grey Bob Dylan one with the cover of Infidels on the front and many more. Each tee had a corresponding dress shirt to go under it, collar open at my neck, tails hanging way down past the bottom of the t-shirt. Regardless of the constantly rotating t-shirt/dress shirt combos, I always wore the same jeans.
My walk home from the bus stop took me down a narrow path perilously fraught with trees, firewood and local pets' droppings, skirting behind the properties of all my neighbors. One fateful day the right side tail of one of the dress shirts, got caught on a nail crookedly poking free from a pile of wood. I shot around carelessly to rip the shirt from the nail and when I did the nail dug into my forearm and raked itself down about four inches towards my hand. A overflowing creek of bright blood formed and I let out a bit of a squeal.
Which I quickly quashed at the sight of a very white man's buttocks further down the path. I was hidden by the pile of wood that had just so egregiously injured me, but I very much doubt the owner of the quivering buttocks ahead of me would have noticed me anyways. He was very much involved with shaking, quaking and comically grunting.
Despite the bleeding and the pain in my arm, I tried to get a better view of what the hell this guy was doing and more importantly who he was. Unfortunately he was just out of view and I was afraid to bring attention to myself. I could see there were light colored jeans around his ankles and that his hair was dirty blonde and short, but nothing more. I slowly backed up and back down the path just carelessly enough to bump into my baby brother who had just jumped off of the younger kids' bus. Without paying heed to my injury or my existence at all he took off down the path.
I ran after him, excited that he would find the owner of the quivering white mass and I wouldn't have to be embarrassed at finding out who it was on my own. Carefully passing the pile of wood that injured me beforehand, I realized that my brother was already well past where the man had been standing before. I inched forward warily and tentatively looked around the area I had seen the comic happening.
Nothing, no man, no grunting, no naked butt. Nothing except for a $20 bill laid out very carefully on log, one or two feet off the path. Like a offering, a bribe, a gift, a payment? The bill was obviously not for me and although I have always been against all theft in all forms, I snatched it up, shoved it in my pocket and ran home.
After withstanding my mother's complaints at my torn shirt, my bleeding arm and the possibility of an emergency room visit, I looked back at the strange experience on the path and couldn't figure out if it was a serendipitous or villainous occasion. I still can't.
I do know that the $20 bill bought two plates of Grilled Stickies Ala Mode, one pack of Camel Wides, two Super Sodas and $5 worth of gas.
Monday, March 14, 2011
- It's supposed to be in the 50's and 60's. Which is progress. Please give me a few days of Spring before the super moon comes and screws the crap out of our planet.
- Jerrod and Jules from the famed Studio Thirty Plus have asked me to be part of the crew at their new site Sprocket Ink. It's jam-packed snarkiness with bits of The News, Politics, Entertainment, Celebrities and other awesomeness. See the rest of the crew and check out my posts every Tuesday and Friday!
- The other day Elly suggested I get an ukulele so I can make a fool of myself by attempting to play it in my v-logs (especially since Elly plays so wonderfully). Everyone thinks I'm joking but yesterday I ordered a tambourine and I'm totally going to make v-logs with said tambourine. I'm hoping for a collaboration with Elly in the future...she can't hide, I know her web address.
- Trista ordered a chubby bunny and some other things for her future niece/nephew and is doing a giveaway on her blog with a t-shirt from my shop fairly soon. The only downside is shipping to The Great White North...why are we different countries? Can't we just be one country so shipping is not ridiculous?
- This boy has been ear infection free for six months:
(this t-shirt is available for sale here)
So I guess that still sucks for her. Sorry Liv!
Yay for Awesome Weeks!
Friday, March 11, 2011
This time I don't look all that great AND the voice track doesn't match with the video AND the whole thing goes on way too long at the end...almost to embarrassing proportions.
But alas, I've gotten to the point where I could really care less.
Some twitter friends mentioned in this v-log: @adampknave @mightyhunter @ninjamomblog and @tristachio
Also some of my stuffed bunny friends make cameos in this video and you can find them for sale here: Dork Designs: Kids Shop
Sunday, March 6, 2011
This post is based on this week's writing prompt at Studio 30+: 'Childhood Dreams', which I mainly disregarded out of ignorance and turned into 'Childhood Memories'.
Nights at my familial home were generally very still ones, the quiet broken now and again by the sound of my Daddy getting a drink from the refrigerator or going to the basement for a smoke while he was reading, playing chess and listening to music. I would spend time in bed, staring at the textured cream ceiling above me, imagining him in his work clothes; button up shirt, khaki pants, dress loafers now replaced with moccasin slippers. He'd be sitting with books all around him, his little portable chess board propped up in his lap or on the table in front of him, chess books with the symbols that always confused me opened to various pages and marked with random strips of paper.
His legs would be crossed and he would be leaning over a book or the chess board far enough so that one sharp elbow could be propped on one thin knobby knee. Two fingers would lie pointing up next to his nose, his chin resting on his thumb, his fat lips puckered, deep in thought. Periodically he would break his sitting position and run his fingers through his dark, thinning hair.
I would toss and turn in my bed, pick a book from my headboard bookcase, read, open the window, close the window, pull out a notebook, put it back, pull it out again. My room was the on the top floor of our home, the whole attic to myself, partially because of my insomnia, partially because I was the oldest of five children. Listless and frustrated I would sometimes get out of bed and sit at my vanity. I would look in the mirror and brush my thick dark locks over and over again until they were glossy and smooth and my scalp slightly ached from pulling and pulling.
Back in my bed I would listen to my family on the floors of our home below.
Depending on the ages of my siblings the night's stillness might be broken by a baby’s cries, or a toddler’s laughter. Sometimes newborn brothers or sisters would waken and I would hear Momma rising from her bed to comfort and nurse the new members of the family. I would spend time in bed, staring at the textured cream ceiling above me and imagine my Momma in her white nightgown, little rosebuds littering the flannel-like material, the neckline stretched and slightly torn from the strains of pulling her breasts in and out of it. She would be back in her bed, baby cradled in her arms, nursing loudly in the night. Sighing, leaning her head back against the knobby oak headboard, in and out of sleep herself. She would sometimes sing:
"Rock me to sleep in an old rocking chair and make me a child again,
sing me an old-time lullaby, one with a sweet refrain...
just lay your head on my shoulder, the angels with keep us from harm,
rock me to sleep in an old rocking chair, safe in my Momma's arms"
"This little girl/boy of mine, this little girl/boy of mine,
a tiny turned up nose, two cheeks just like a rose,
this little girl/boy of mine, this little girl/boy of mine,
You'll never know, just what your coming has meant,
I'll tell you something though, it must be heaven sent..."
There was silence again as my mother and sibling slumbered, holding each other tight.
I would finally fall asleep listening to the sounds of my family and our house. In the morning, ironically, I was always the first to wake and would descend from my attic abode tip toeing through the rooms. I would sometimes take a moment to look at my peaceful family, devoid of personality and speech, sleeping soundly.
I would often be jealous of them, how easily they lay in repose, how serene they seemed. Other times I would be proud of my secret knowledge: the Keeper of the Night, the Knower of What Happens in the Still.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.
- Diane Arbus
They met in an empty parking lot, embracing for many moments atop the black tar lot surface, their combined shadows cast across the space like one hunching spectre. She had gotten lost traveling to the city where she had ironically lived for four years while attending college. He had given up on her until he received a panicked call from a strange cell number.
“Oh thank god!” It was her and she was whispering frantically. “I am at some bar on the Strip, I have no idea where I am. I forgot my cell at home and had to try a dozen numbers before I got you.” Her voice is almost childlike, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed for sure… he thinks to himself, what else might be the same?
He’s slightly pissed off and drops his face into his free hand, runs it through his hair, takes a deep breath. After listening to her blather on for a few moments and then talking to one pissed off bartender, he pin points her location.
"Drive to the gas station on the next corner on the left side from you, it’s beside a Dunkin Donuts. Park there and wait, it will take me a little while to get there.” He takes on a stern tone, forgetting that he is the single man; she’s the mother of three. Three kids that aren’t his, what is he doing?
She’s crying, “I’m so sorry! I had no idea how to get to you.”
Her tears assuage any impatience he was feeling, it’s replaced with an inexplicable need to touch her face. He remembers flashes of feeling her skin, soft and pale, reddening under his fingers. He’s embarrassed for a minute. They were young kids then, it’s sad he remembers it so well. Now his pride and years of her silence have masked any affection he had for her. So why is he meeting her? He ponders this on the drive, still thinking about touching her when he pulls into the gas station.
She’s standing outside of her minivan as he arrives. When he first met her ten years prior she was sitting on the hood of a friend’s baby blue Honda. Tonight it’s a giant soccer mom minivan, how cliché. A tight beanie is pulled down over her wavy thick hair, hair he had once loved to touch. Her head is down, a tattered paperbook in one hand, a cigarette in the other. He watches her blow bubbles with her gum for a minute, smoke leaking slowly like gas from the orbs, licking the gum off of her fat lips, his second favorite thing about her face.
“Erin.” He has spoken more quietly than he had thought; the nearby traffic has drowned at his first attempt at getting her attention. He just stands there, the two versions of her in his minds eye crossing in a frustrating blur and meeting in front of him.
“ERIN.” This time she looks up, casts the book on top of the minivan’s hood and starts towards him. Her cheeks are flushed, her face lit up with excitement. She was always so infectious, regardless of his mood. He finds himself smiling at her but can’t move towards her. As all pretense of nonchalant emotions drops, she folds herself into his half outstretched, half unrelenting arms.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! It’s an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests..and is never shaken.
She has a feeling that she may be lost, navigating aimlessly down and up city block after city block. A neighborhood of the city she spent her college years in, a neighborhood she has completely forgotten. After an hour or more of meandering around the streets, looking for some familiar sign, the angst and anxiousness of the evening’s impending meeting plus the embarrassment at being hopelessly lost has begun to well up in her chest. She feels nauseous and overwhelmed, slipping her beanie on and off of her head, not caring that her thick hair is now in serious disarray.
She parks, cursing herself for the millionth time of the night for forgetting her cell at home. She finds a not so scary bar and now near tears tries to convince the greasy haired, scowling biker chick bartender to let her use the payphone, which is oddly stationed behind the bar.
“I don’t have a cell and I’m lost! Can I please use the phone?” She is generally used to getting what she wants, so the interlude with the bartender is perplexing her to excess. The whining, bratty routine doesn’t work on the greasy barkeep but does work on the only patron of the bar, a greatly intoxicated young man with spiky hair and a rumpled cream suit, tie lying in a knotted ball on the bar in front of him.
“Hey schweetheart, I hear ya. You can use my cell…” His head is bobbing up and down while he offers up his phone to her, dropping it on the stool next to him with a clatter. He folds his arms on his chest as his head slumps down into his chest.
Phone in hand, she is relieved but only for a second as she realizes she doesn’t know his number by heart. Sadness sweeps over her body and the nausea comes back. She had to practically beg him to meet her and he had originally outright told her no. After a week of getting over the fact he never wanted to see her again, he called and had set up this meeting. Tonight’s date, the first time they would see each other after 7 years. Although she knows he’s harboring ill feelings towards her from the last decade, she can’t help but be excited to see him.
Spurred on by this excitement, the number forms in her mind's eye and she gets him on the phone. After a pretty tense exchange and an equally cross conversation with the bartender, he tells her where to meet him.
She drives to the gas station where he told her to park and wait for him. She lights a cigarette and stuffs two giant pieces of cherry burst bubblegum into her mouth, feeling guilty about both. Cigarettes were for a quick late night smoke after a horrible day with a colicky baby, she did not consider herself a day-time smoker. She reached into her minivan and pulled out a paperback she hadn’t touched in a year. She pages through, barely looking at the words, thinking back upon the last time she saw him.
She was eating lunch with a friend a hot summer day one week after the end of her first year of college. They were laughing, hamming it up and planning a night reconnecting with high school friends in their hometown. Over her friend's shoulder she saw him at a table across the restaurant, in deep conversation with a man, presumably his father.
“Mindi, holy freaking hell! Jeremiah is sitting over there.” She swore a few more times to add to the seriousness of the situation.
“Are you sure it’s him!? I thought he was in California or Kentucky or something like that.” It’s obvious she doubts my sanity, especially in regard to this particular boy.
“Yes I’m sure it’s him! What the hell!? Should I go and say hi?” The tips of her fat fingers immediately go into her mouth. Gnawing, she sighs deeply as if realizing a terrible fate. “Forget it, there’s no way he’s going to talk to me.”
Later they walk past his table while leaving. She has a burst of bravery and looks right into his face. He’s momentarily startled but does not greet her or return the wary smile. He puts his head down and continues his conversation in gruff tones, low and obviously not for her to hear.
She’s thinking of this moment in time when she hears her name.
“Erin.” His voice cracks slightly.
She knows it’s him and that he’s finally standing in the same space as her but she can’t bring herself to respond. Cruelly she pretends she can’t hear him. A few moments pass and the grinding in her stomach finally stops and melts away. He might leave if she doesn’t acknowledge him.
“ERIN.” No cracking voice this time, perfect, loud and clear. She tosses the book aside and nearly skips to him. A smile matching her painfully large one starts to grow across his face like an unruly, uneven vine. He’s still on guard as she forces herself into his arms but relents soon after the initial contact. He presses his face into her neck, then leans in further against her ear and sighs.
Not a perfect ending, she thinks to herself as he holds her tighter, but better than groping each other in my parent’s basement.