family

Hacia la glorieta


Llama, my neighbor’s dolly. I paid C.O.D. for it– Cookies On Drop-off. Best lease agreement ever.

If you’ve tried getting in touch with me over the past couple weeks via email, texts, Facebook messages, voice mail, game requests, or showing up and banging on my door, there’s a fair chance I’ve pushed your patience to the limit with my lengthy reply times.

Sorry about that. See the thing is: I was busy moving.

Back into my parents’ house.

I wasn’t working, things were tight, and it was downright painful watching one carefully saved dollar after another get sucked up into rent payments. I gave my landlord my notice and spent the next two weeks in manic “cleaning/ packing/ hauling/ unloading/ dragging upstairs/ taking the empty boxes back to my apartment/ repacking them” mode, day in and day out until by the end I was ready to set up a dumpster under my balcony and shovel everything into it just to be done.

When you’re limited to a set number of packable containers and the back of a Toyota Matrix, moving can be a bit of a slow process. But thanks to the help of the fam and my boyfriend (who brought along a rental truck for my furniture; aww baby you get me the nicest things!) I was able to get everything moved out, and moved in, in the span of about ten days.

Dad and Aaron spent an entire Saturday being AMAZING HUMAN BEINGS! But don’t tell ’em I said that or I’ll owe those chuckle heads forever.

Mom even helped with the post-packing clean-up.

Get out of the way, vacuum. You are impinging on mom’s nap space.

And wouldn’t you know this is the sight that greeted us as she and I drove the absolute last carload of stuff to the house:

“Sunshine, cedar shakes, and rainbows! Everything that’s wonderful is sure to come my way…”

I have to say I’m pretty happy about the whole thing. My folks and I get along well so that’s not an issue, and I can’t even finish the sentence “Don’t wait up” without them interrupting to remind me they don’t care and to have a nice time.

Right?!

I’ve moved my bedroom and half my books into my old bedroom in their upstairs, and my living room and the other half of my books into my brother’s old bedroom next door, while the upstairs bathroom now houses the 47,000 bottles of shampoos, lotions, creams, and solutions I’m currently working my way through. I get a spot in the garage, a dog to nap on my stuff, a yard to run around in, a patio to read on in the sun, a kitchen that fits more than one grown adult at a time, my parents’ company (I like ’em, what can I say?), a sizable living space in the basement for the ferrets, and a decided lack of drunk people passing out just inside the front door.

Patches!

While I certainly miss the feeling of autonomy that accompanied having my own place, and while I am more than just a little broken up about not having the ferrets thieving their way in and out of our shared personal space throughout the day any more, I have to say this move seems to have been a GREAT thing for me to do right now and I’m really happy about it.

There’s been plenty more keeping me busy now that I’m moved in and mostly unpacked, but that’s best left for another post as it’s already almost midnight and something about living here makes me ready for bed at awkwardly early hours. (Case in point: I paused to yawn at least five times while writing that sentence.) I’m even taking naps again. It’s like my body realizes my brain feels safe and is ready to get healthy. And I like that.

I like it all.

March Err


When did I get to be such a Lazy Lou about posting regular updates? *tsk tsk* Lest ye think all I’ve done the past couple months was befriend the sad and the sleepy, a March highlight reel…

These are my parents:

Zen and the Art of Taking Mom For A Ride On Dad’s Motorcycle

Aren’t they cute? I love them. I mean: I really, really love them. A lot. They’re a wonderful example of a happy marriage, they’ve been great about encouraging me in my interests and pursuits without pushing anything on me, they give terrific advice, and they both know their way around a birthday cake. And look at how happy my mom looks! I’m hoping we’re able to go on another road trip together some time this Summer.

The other week they invited Aaron and I over for chili cheese dogs. There is always time for a chili cheese dog.

Cue Drool Faucet

There is always time for any kind of dog, really.

That Patches sure likes her some Aaron.

Things there is always time for: Chili dogs, any kind of dogs, books, and ferrets. Or to save time: booksandferrets.

Wesley picking out a bedtime story.

It hasn’t been all high-fat lunches, weasel story-hours, and motorcycle rides, though. I did manage to find time to work (a little) every now and again.

“Hey Ruth! Look over here!” “What? Oh.” *smile* “Okay. Back to work.”

I’ve never owned steel-toe boots and a hard hat before. Had I known sooner how awesome I look in them I wouldn’t have waited ’til I was 30 to start wearing them. Ah the oversights of youth. I’m also really digging the quality and fit of these Carhartt pants, though it’s harder to find appropriate occasions to fit them into my social wardrobe than, say, the hard hat or the safety vest.

I’ve also been working- unofficially, for now- on making my way through all of Family Ties on Netflix. I’m a few episodes into Season 3 at the moment and am absolutely loving every minute of it. (Speaking of social wardrobes, I’d take Elyse Keaton’s in a heartbeat.) And just to prove I’m taking this job seriously:

“Nah. I don’t think anybody’ll notice ’em.”

See? I’m paying attention.

In conclusion: Yesterday I met a baby duck.

It was 3 days old and its wings were just little nubs of fluff! I was nearly overcome by cuteness!!

Happy trails.

Paraguay Blog #5: Fish Soup


January 16, Monday

Moringa Oleifera: Ooooh... Aaaah... (Click the pic to read about its uses.)

Yesterday was “Tour Itauguá” day, so that’s what we did. Neat little town. We hit up a place I’m sure is pretty popular with all us tourist-types since it had such a wide variety of Paraguayan art and souvenirs, but we were a bit put off by some of the prices so we didn’t buy anything. The guy wanted 300 mil Gs ($65) for an item I wanted to buy for my mom, but that seemed a little high. Christie took us to another place a little farther down the road so we could shop  from a friend of hers, a charming 71 year old woman you’d swear was 10 years younger, who was selling the exact same item for $28. Score!

And because she could clearly be trusted more than Señor Gringo-Tax at the first place, I decided to also buy a bag of miracle tea- she swears by it- from her for a measly $2.60. Because really: What price miracles? I’ll let you know how all of our various ailments are faring after we’ve had a chance to take it for a whirl.

We pressed on in our Itauguá jaunt, stopping for ice cream at a place I’d eat all my meals if I lived near there, before landing in a plaza outside a beautiful white cathedral. It was so nice to be able to sit and people-watch for a bit. Some of the people available to watch actually put on quite the show!

Cool. And also Ouch.

There was a group of about 10 or so young people out practicing flips and handstands and the like on a lawn across from us. You’ve never seen so many double jointed, upside down, spinning sideways in mid-air young people in your life outside of a circus. At which you were hallucinating. Perhaps on Moringa Oleifera. I’m sorry we’ll miss whatever they were practicing for; no doubt it will be awesome.

We got home, did… some stuff… probably… Man I was so tired most of the day I really don’t remember how the rest of the evening played out. Was last night the night I joined Camille by the cancha for a little while to watch the kids play volleyball, or was that the night before? All I know is I ended last night early with a Benadryl for my bites and my itchy eyes, and then a luxurious crawl into bed- –

– -interrupted by an update that the groundskeeper here, a 23 year old charmer who likes to “practice his English” with the interns here, had just brought me a bowl of homemade fish soup.

Fish soup.

It’s cream based, and the fish in it are described locally as being like vegetarian piranhas because they look just like piranhas but they feed on plants.

Fish. Soup.

I just about died laughing. I was so glad I’m sharing a room with Camille (15) and Caroline (13) on this trip because it was such a pleasure being able to share the laughter and ridiculousness of Fish. Soup. with two people I knew would find it as giggle-inducing as I did.

I haven’t tried the soup yet (I was already in bed when he brought it by just after 10 pm, and I had other leftovers to work through today), but I’m told this boy is quite the cook and that his soup is delicious. I guess when you have to make a pot every time there’s a new intern you get plenty of practice…

January 17, Tuesday

We hit the road for Asuncion this morning, with a pre-city stop off in Areguá. It didn’t result in any purchases- that had been the plan; it’s the home of a particular shop I’m trying to find- but it was a nice drive regardless with some great views of the lake and lots of colorful roadside stands to get me thinking on what I might want to take home to the fam.

Somehow I got video of Camille's birthday dance, but no photos. So instead, please enjoy this picture of my fried mandioca.

Back on track we stopped at a cambio house at Shopping del Sol, then went to TGIFridays for their lunch special. $6.50 got me a fried mandioca appetizer, a fettucine alfredo entree, one of their “dessert shooter” things, and a guarana. Bring it on, man. I’m ready! Christie told our server it’s Camille’s 15th birthday, so her lunch concluded with an ice cream and brownie dessert.

And a chicken dance. Of which I have video.

Christie apologized for suggesting American food since somehow we keep ending up chowing down on some pretty US-style dishes. My meals have been more conventionally American over the past week than they probably have been over the past 6 months! But prices like that can’t be beat when you’re trying to find a place to feed five people with different tastes, and it’s not the norm for them, so I hopped right on board! You know me: Always ready to make the big sacrifices. Heh. ;)

Next order of business: The Tour…

A Tour Of Ruth’s Childhood As Dictated By A Google Map Of Uncertain Accuracy

Doesn't that face just scream "Native American"? And "Bookclubasaurus"?

Back in the day my family attended a church in Asunción called Centro Familiar de Adoración, so I added that church to my map of must-sees for this here Paraguayan Adventure. There was a “Parade of Nations” event there one night back then, and all the kids were asked to wear a costume for it representing the native population of their home country, or of another country if there were too many of us showing up in traditional Paraguayan garb. That is how I came to be a representative of the native peoples of the US, in my blonde braids and my fringed dress, accented by an enormous American flag and a Guarani necklace we probably bought from a street vendor at the Expo in Loma Pyta.

We drove past CFA‘s new location first, but not intentionally. It just sorta popped up. We passed by it pretty quickly on our way to see the old location- the one my family went to- but the address I got online for that didn’t turn up anything that meant anything to anybody in the car, so we continued on our way.

The next stop on the TORCADBAGMOUA was the house my family lived in when we first moved to Asuncion in July 1990. It was a little tricky finding the right street- the area has gotten so built up- but we did eventually come to it. And sure enough, there was the house. I wouldn’t have recognized it if I hadn’t remembered the house number and seen it written there out front.

360 Aca Caraya, Asunción, PY

I hopped out and snapped a pic from across the street, then walked up to the front gate to see if I could get a pic of the front of the house through the bars. I clapped to see if the current residents were home; maybe I could step inside the gate, too? But there was no answer. I thought about ringing the bell when I heard a noise coming from the patio area outside the kitchen, followed by total silence. Maybe no one was home and something had simply fallen? No matter. I’ll get a pic from between the bars and be on my way. Caroline joined me outside at that point and rang the bell for me anyhow. Doesn’t hurt to try, right? Yeah… right…

The empleada poked her head out of her living quarters to the right of the car port, and put on her “shocked and appalled” face for the duration of her dealings with me.

“Is the lady of the house home?”
“No.”
“My family lived in this house when I was a little girl. Can I take a picture of the front of the house from here outside the gate?”
“No.”
“Not even just from right here? I don’t need to come in. I just want a picture of the front of the house. Just by the door.”
“No.”

Why didn’t I take it right away? I should’ve. I was about to! Before Super Commando Mega-Maid came out. Doggonit.

“Thanks anyway…”

Sometimes memories are clearer than reality. Are they better?

And then I snapped a kind of crooked, blurry one anyhow as I stepped away, because I’m a fat, greedy, war-mongering American and we do shockingly and appallingly evil things like take pictures of houses while standing on public property.

The whole thing made me feel all kinds of sad. For 18 years I’ve wanted to see that house again, to test my memory as much as for anything else. And there I was so close to a place I once felt so at home, so full of life, so wrapped up in adventure, and now it’s serviced by a woman who is afraid to let me take a picture of the outside of it from out on the street. I understand. It’s not her house, she has to answer to the lady of the house about the decisions she makes, and I’m just some stranger with a questionable accent.

It was still sad.

Next up we hit the road for our third house on a tiny street off Sacramento between España and my old school, Asunción Christian Academy. There are only two streets that fit that bill, but I didn’t remember which one. It turned out the first one we tried wasn’t it, and the second one has been incorporated into a gated community with a guard house. Oops. So much for seeing house number three!

212 Mandeyupecua, Loma Pyta, PY

Our final planned stop was my family’s second house, in Loma Pyta, and wouldn’t you know it was right where I thought it’d be and nobody came out and yelled at me when I took a picture of it? I didn’t even get an earful when Camille offered to take a picture of me standing in front of it! But all these near-misses on finding places I couldn’t quite map out, and the cool reception at the first house, kept my eagerness at bay, so I refrained from attempting to ask for anything more of the house’s current residents.

Oh but that street! It was just how I remembered it! Right down to the neighbors’ houses alongside and across the street! There was the “overgrown lot” next door, now pared back some, and the house across the way where the man who lived there watered his flowers every evening after dinner, and the despensa where my friend Liliana lived. It was even still the same shade of pre-Tigo blue.

My “known” map points reached, we set off for Shopping Mariano, a relatively new mall there in Loma Pyta a few kilometers past the Expo center. We wandered around in the air conditioning a bit, looked for sneakers for Camille, and picked up a knee brace for Christie.

The food court. *food court... food court...* Echo! *echo... echo...*

It was a lovely mall- albeit a bit deserted- but somehow it felt… awkward? Maybe I’m just used to pushy shop keepers, but the entire time not one store employee said anything more to me than “Gracias,” and that was only after I said it first– as I was leaving. And I lost count of the number I sent a quick “Hola” to on my way in, only to be met by a quickly averted gaze, followed up by looks of either annoyance, distaste, or distracting apathy. Clearly their paychecks are not commission based…

I couldn’t figure out if their responses were the norm or not since only twice were we in stores with other patrons, (Like I said: Deserted.) and those were department stores so I couldn’t make any direct comparisons. And if their responses to me were not the norm, if they really do talk to shoppers, why the cold shoulder no matter how warm or small my own smile? Is it simply a cultural difference and shop keepers at the malls here simply don’t talk to patrons as a general rule?

Whatever the reason, it was unnerving.

But then why do I remember more conversations between my family and strangers? More greetings? More smiles? Surely the fact that I remember so many so clearly means they really happened, right? So where did they go?

Or maybe it’s me. Maybe a big, blonde, North American adult really is that much less welcome a presence than a round-cheeked, blonde, North American child of ten. I mean heck: I’d rather hang out with 10 year old me…

On our drive back home to Itauguá I decided to grab some video footage of Ruta 9 when we stopped at a traffic light and I realized CFA II, my family’s second church in Paraguay, was right there in my view finder!

Centro Familiar de Adoración II, Loma Pyta, PY

I snapped as many pics as I could before the light changed. What a sight to see! My dad helped build that church, joined at one point by a group of his construction buddies from our old church in Chicago. Even my sibs and I got to lend a hand once or twice in splitting tiles, tamping down rocks and dirt– you know: kid stuff.

When we left Paraguay to move back to the States I think the church still had a dirt floor throughout most of the building, the walls were all exposed brick, and there were no lights in the “bathrooms.” But now? Wow how it has grown! And hopefully not just in the areas of flooring, paint, and stucco. ;)

He is just a poor boy, though his story's seldom told...

So here I sit, blogging at the kitchen table of this amazing family, their amazing dog alternately pacing and resting his head in my lap, fans whirring all around me, children laughing in the dimly lit yard outside, a bowl of fish soup waiting for me in the fridge…

…and I don’t know what to think. I’ve forgotten how. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to think ahead, to plan for tomorrow. I’ve lived so long by myself, for myself, with no changes in sight, that even though I have this vague notion that I could really “rise up,” so to speak, with all this at my back, I find I haven’t the faintest idea how to do so.

Or what that would look like.

Or if I even want to.

Writing on the wall and flashing neon arrows welcome.

Honduras Blog #2: Alfred!!


Note: All links open in a new window. Also, I was ready to post this last night when the rain knocked out the internet, so the ending is from then. :)

Friday, 7/31/10
Friday was errand/housework day at Mimi’s as we prepped to head out, so I’ll skip the details. I mean– y’all know what going to the bank and taking out the trash are like, right? My mom’s brother Bill came by around 3 pm to pick up Mim’s dog and to carry our bags down to the minivan. Thank God, too, man. Those things were heavy!! Four large bags, each weighing in at 50 lbs.

Speaking at Mimi's church

That night we went over to the vacation Bible school at Mimi’s church, Christian Life of Chicagoland. The “theme”(?) was Kingdom of the Son, which my mom worked with back when we went to Brookfield Assembly. Er… back when it was Brookfield Assembly.

The kids at this VBS were having a contest to see who could bring in the most offerings for Miss Skip (aka Mimi ;)) and the girls won by less than a dollar. A narrow win, girls- congrats!! After Mimi talked briefly about where we were headed she asked me to come up and talk for a bit about what it’s like being a kid on the mission field. Somehow most of the stories ended up centering on bugs. Hmm… We ended the night there passing out popsicles to the kids before they headed home. Good times. ;)

Outside O'Hare

We got back to Mimi’s around 9:30 pm not quite tired enough to sleep, but knowing full well we had a looong day ahead of us since our first flight would be at 5:35 am on Saturday.

All three of us just sorta paced around the condo, nipped in and out of the news (all boring, all bad), and finally lay down around 11:30 pm, already in our clothes for the next day.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know there wasn’t much sleepin’ going on that night; a little less than an hour of it, in fact. We were up at 1:40 am, on the road by 2:15 am, and unloading our bags onto the curb at O’Hare at 2:55 am. GAAAHHHH!!

7/31/10, Saturday

Now now, little dude. You know how jumpy Red Bull makes you...

We’d checked our bags, made it through security, and settled ourselves in at our gate by 3:20 am. We were supposed to take off at 5:35 but something was wrong with the plane’s radio so we had to wait 45 minutes for it to be repaired. We knew we only had an hour between flights once we hit our first stop, Houston, so we assumed we’d be spending the night in Texas to await the next day’s flight in to Toncontin, HN.

The pilot made an announcement that they’d already notified all of our connecting flights of the delay, however, and that they’d wait for us. Sweet! But there was little doubt our checked luggage wouldn’t make it off the first plane and across the tarmac fast enough to join us as we continued on our way.

As soon as we landed in Houston, Mimy and I RAN a span of about 3 blocks to get to our next gate, huffing and puffing the whole way, loaded down with a rolling carry-on suitcase, and two 30+ lb, over-stuffed back-packs. As I rounded a corner a woman called out to stop me. GAH! All I can think is “Don’t slow me down, lady! Can’t you see I’m on a mission here?!” But I’m so glad she interrupted me, because what she was trying to tell me was my backpack had unzipped from all the bouncing about and my beloved walrus Alfred had fallen out and lay on the floor 10 feet behind me! AAAAACCKKKKK!!!

After my brief rescue mission diversion I was back on course. Mimi and I finished our run to the sound of our names being called over the intercom. Twice. But at long last- we made it. Hallelujah!

Explaining low pressure to Alfred

As soon as we found our seats I scrambled to call Aaron for one last “I can’t believe we can’t talk for a month!” goodbye, and to record a “please don’t leave me voicemail messages” cell phone. I haven’t been off the phone-grid for this long since I was still young enough to have to ask permission to make calls. :S

Mim and I discussed the changes we’d have to make to our schedule for the next few days since there was no way our checked luggage would make it to our new plane in time to travel with us. All of the medicine, etc., as well as all of our personal belongings (save for a few extra shirts and socks we’d stuffed into our carry-ons), were in those checked bags. A woman on a mission team (there were at least three teams on the plane with us) overheard us and said to open our window shade. She said a new baggage truck had just sped over and maybe our things would be on it.

My first real meal in 18 hours!!

We looked out just in time to see the truck open and to watch ALL FOUR of our bags get unloaded and transferred up into our plane. WAHOO!! We’re back on track!

Our 6 am O’Hare to Houston flight had earned us each a palatable chocolate chip(?) muffin, but as all we’d had for breakfast was a slice of toast at 2 am, by the time our second flight took off at 9:15 we were starving! Enter: The Three Cheese Omelet Pita. Sweet Mercy Jane that was a welcome and delicious meal! They also served us muffins, which we made a go at eating (dry… *pant pant pant*), and bananas, which we decided to save for later.

Yes. We saved bananas to bring with us to the banana capital of Central America.

Mimi's and my bed, somewhere under all the meds

There’s more, but it’s 10:19 pm (11:19 pm “our time” back in the states) and I only managed to sneak in an hour nap this afternoon after arriving. 2 hours of sleep in just under 48 hours simply isn’t gonna cut it, friends. Time for bed in our beautiful, recently cleared of PILES of medicine, bedroom. I’ll have to take a picture for you of the mattress… ;)

Honduras Blog #1: MKE to ORD


Alfred 'n' me-- packed for our trip to Honduras!

At mom and dad’s house, packed and ready to hit the road. Mom and I are leaving in a few to pick up my aunt and uncle’s minivan to accommodate all the bags Mimi and I will be taking with us. Sounds like we’ll have 4 checked bags at the max 50 lb. weight limit, plus our carry-ons. For a flight out of O’Hare. At 5 am. Saturday’s gonna be a loooong day…

Mimi insisted Alfred come along for the ride, so he’s getting packed in along side two tubs of sidewalk chalk, three bags stuffed with donated medicine, and two sacks of children’s books. Hope he doesn’t make a mess. :S

I brought the ferrets over to my folks’ place this morning and let them explore the room they’re going to live in for the next month. Cringing a little at the thought of my poor parents and all the poop scooping that awaits them. It’s not so bad when they’re your own *kids,* but when they’re someone else’s weasely little weasels stinking up your guest room– whole new ball game.

2 of 4 bags of meds, books, etc. at Mimi's. The stuff on the table is waiting to be sorted and packed.

Today we’ll spend time organizing medicine and rearranging luggage for weight distribution. Mim’s got something in the crock pot, and Mimi, mom and I WILL (I promise!) stop at Starbucks at some point for a treat as well, so it won’t be all work. Not that it ever feels like work with Mimi and mom. Two of the greatest blessings in my life. Their hearts for each other, for God, for their families, are so evident in everything they do. I’m very excited to spend the next two days with them both.

Tonight- or is it tomorrow night?- I’ll be sharing with the Vacation Bible School at Mimi’s church about what it’s like being a missionary kid. I wish the memories I had to share were a bit more recent! Still, I think I remember enough weird/gross stuff to fill my allotted 3-5 minutes. ;)

After I publish this post my internet access is going to be fairly sporadic for the next few weeks. Mim has internet at her place, but it’s dial up and I can only hit it off her laptop, so that’ll change things a bit for me. And once we’re in Honduras I don’t know how, when, or where I’ll be able to get online. All that to say: If you email me and don’t hear back for a bit, don’t be surprised, but don’t take it personally either! And as for when I do finally get online, my time may be pretty limited so I still may not be able to respond. Sorry. :S

This limited web access will also affect my blog. First- I may not be able to update often, and when I do I may not be able to post pictures as it probably won’t be my own computer I’m using to get online. Second- if you’ve never left a comment here before then the WordPress comment filter won’t recognize your email address so your comment will not be posted until I’ve had a chance to log in and approve it. I really do love reading your comments, though, and seeing the conversations that ensue, so please keep ’em coming!

Oop– dad’s calling. Time to go!!

Tomato: A dream


“True love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT– mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich– where the mutton is lean and the tomato is ripe.” Miracle Max (William Goldman)

Always a bridesmaid…

I dreamed last night it had been arranged that three other women and I should marry four boorish young brothers from a wealthy family that was having trouble marrying off its sons. I found myself in a church I didn’t know, using a poorly lit room that had been converted into a dressing room for the four of us and our bridesmaids. All the girls were talking and laughing except me. I didn’t know what was happening and had no one to ask as I stood there alone with no bridesmaids.

I slipped my dress on over my head. Where the other girls were putting on traditional, white gowns with lace and delicate embroidery, mine was an ill-fitting smokey blue taffeta. As soon as the other girls were engrossed enough in their chatter to not notice my absence, I ducked out through a side door and into a dimly lit hallway. I was sneaking out because I had to find someone to whom I could tell the truth and seek help. The truth was: I didn’t know which of the four brothers I was engaged to and I didn’t want to go through with the wedding. I had to find someone to ask for the name and appearance of the brother I was to marry so I could at least walk up to the right one when my turn came.

I don’t know why I didn’t choose to just leave. Maybe I couldn’t?

As I walked the hallway in search of someone to talk to I remembered a home movie I had been shown of the oldest of the brothers. In it he was sitting in an easy chair in the living room of one of the family’s summer cabins. He wore a shabby, pale blue sweatshirt from the 80s bearing an old Pepsi logo on the middle of the chest. His blonde hair was greasy, thin, and spiked. His doughy face was mostly expressionless in its perch above his myriad chins and his stomach slipping out past the hem of his sweatshirt. The video ended when he got up to check on some activity happening behind the person with the camera. I hoped this wasn’t the brother for me.

Squirrely boys will be squirrely boys

I found a young man helping out back stage for the service. He seemed laid back and fairly unconcerned about the whole event. Thinking he was probably uninvolved enough not to rat me out, I confessed I didn’t know which brother to go to  when my turn came and asked if he could advise me. He was able to tell me I was engaged to the youngest of the four who it turned out was little more than a child. I asked what he looked like so I would know him when I saw him. He said he was “short, kinda squirrely,” and that he was being brought over with his small, black poodle on the family’s helicopter at that very moment.

My heart sank. My stomach dropped. My head maintained altitude. I thanked the young man and kept walking.

I never did find the boy.

I came upon a set of wide double doors that led into a room that was a cross between a concert stadium and a sanctuary. I wandered in the semi-darkness looking for the youngest brother while listening to the ceremonies of the first two girls. I expected the ceremonies to continue as I hadn’t reached my own unfortunate turn yet, but then, abruptly, it all ended. Two of the brothers had never shown up, so two of us didn’t get married. I was instantly relieved because I hadn’t wanted to marry this person, this boy, when I didn’t even know him, but humiliated I’d been left at the alter with thousands of people present to witness my abandonment by a child.

I went back into the dressing room to change and found that all of the girls were gone and the furniture had been changed back to suit the room’s original purpose. It was a choir classroom and a young woman with dark hair was directing a choir of school age boys in dark ties and white dress shirts. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone in the room. I said I just needed to find someone and promised to keep out of their way if they’d just let me through. All eyes were on me. I heard the students whispering, talking about what had just happened in the ceremony, snickering. I felt the teacher’s glare on the back of my head as I hurried by.

I passed through a door on the other side of the classroom and found myself in the back hallway of a small coffee shop. I made my way through it into the light of the coffee shop proper. To my right there was a girl reading at one of the tables, and straight ahead of me there was a man about my age working behind the counter. I walked up to the counter and explained my frustrating situation to the man; that it had been arranged that I should marry a young boy I didn’t know, that he’d never shown up, and that now I couldn’t even find the other girls I’d been with before the ceremony since they all left while I was away. He told me the same thing had happened to his boss,  a woman named Bonnie whom he spoke of with great affection. He said she owned the coffee shop and had been engaged to be married to one of these four brothers as well even though she had a good thirty years on even the eldest of them. He said she hadn’t even shown up herself.

Knowing that, it suddenly all seemed so silly now. So forgettable. Knowing I wasn’t alone, and that the situation could’ve been even more bizarre, did so much to soothe my worry as I gratefully accepted the fact that I hadn’t gotten stuck in something horrible and so could go back to normal life at my own pace.

I thanked the man and turned to leave when somehow I found myself talking to him on my cell phone. He was so pleasant, so friendly, such a change from these strangers I kept running into who didn’t know me, who made plans about my life on my behalf, and who then disappeared before I could get any satisfactory resolutions to my concerns. He felt like a friend.

We hadn’t been talking long when the man asked if I’d come over the next morning before work for some gum.

“Gum?” I laughed.

“Yeah, you know. Just– come on over before work and hang out. It’ll be fun. I’m afraid all I’ve got on me is gum so it’s all I can offer.” I could hear him smiling.

“…the lamb was sure to go.”

While still talking to him on my cell phone I wandered back down the hall I’d first entered at the shop and saw a door that was open just a crack. Through that gap I saw I had reached the shop’s office, and there inside was the guy I was talking to seated at the desk, talking to me and grinning. I opened the door and said it was just too hard to meet before work but would he like to hang out now? He said he would and suggested he could show me around the building. On our little tour we came upon a mysteriously cavernous storage room, like a warehouse designed by Mark Danielewski. My new friend called me over to see a red toy piano he’d found and excitedly began dinging out songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Several keys were missing, however, so none of the songs sounded quite right and we ended up not staying very long.

Before I knew it we were back at the outside door of the shop and I was saying I needed to head home. I realized I held in my hands a white piece of paper and a yellow CD I’d picked up in the warehouse. I handed them back to the man saying I didn’t even realize I’d taken them when he offered to walk me to my car. Thrilled to have finally found a friend in a dream I said yes. We walked outside into a bright summer day where I discovered we were near a harbor full of sailboats. The surrounding park was dotted with children on bicycles, sun bathers, and ice cream stands. It was idyllic. I never wanted to leave.

When life gives you tomatoes…

As we walked my new friend offered me a few pre-cut bites of tomato so sweet and ripe his fingers were dripping with juice and seeds. It wasn’t something I’d normally eat as a snack, but I was so happy for the company and the beautiful day I accepted a few pieces and popped the first one into my mouth. It was sweet, and melted on my tongue like soft chocolate. We kept walking, laughing, trying to talk between bites.

As we neared a line of trees separating the park from the rows of cars that were our ultimate destination, I found I couldn’t talk around the tomato at all now. As I’d chewed it had begun to swell, mutton-like, in my mouth with each bit, and had lost its pleasant flavor to the point where it tasted like nothing at all. I turned my back to my friend so I could spit my current piece out into the grass. He didn’t mind; he just laughed.

He asked if we could meet again and I was suddenly overcome with sadness because I knew we couldn’t. I wracked my brain for ways to make it work, half aware I was dreaming and so this was impossible, half confident this was reality and there was no good reason I couldn’t return. I smiled, said I’d try. “But you shouldn’t wait for me,” I explained, feeling like a heel for not being honest with him by admitting I’d never be here again.

He thanked me for our nice afternoon and asked if he could give me a kiss goodbye; I nearly cried. “Of course,” I said. He gave me a a quick kiss, smiled, and turned to walk back through the park to the coffee shop. I kissed the back of his shoulder as he took his first step away, turned towards my car, and forced myself awake.

“All things on earth point home in old October”


Wesley and Brodie

Wesley and Brodie

Ferrets. I haz them.

Since my last post I’ve taken on two new roommates, Wesley and Brodie. They’re both pretty quiet, disarmingly funny, and don’t eat much, though they do take an odd pleasure in pooping in inaccessible corners, so there is something left to be desired.

That’s right, folks: I finally got ferrets! And aren’t they cute?! They belonged to my friends Nikki and Jessie who weren’t able to keep them when they moved so now they’re living with me. Er– the ferrets are living with me, that is, not the girls. Wesley is the white and silver one in the front, the smaller of the two, and Brodie is the sable one in the back.

I’ve tried taking some *action shots* of them but Wesley’s usually rummaging around behind something, and I can only ever seem to catch Brodie when he’s running off to the next exciting thing on his agenda so his pictures are just a lot of tail shots. And naturally when they’re doing flips over each other in the middle of the room my camera is nowhere to be found. I don’t mind not getting any good pictures so long as I can soak up all the cuteness in person, but how unfair of me to hoard it all for myself!

Pumpkin Hunting

Beautiful Autumn

Beautiful Autumn

I went pumpkin hunting with the family at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago yesterday. There were no pumpkins left in the field to be had by the time we got there, but there were more apples left on the trees than a body could pick in a week, and the smell of cider donuts was everywhere, so if you’re headed there yourself there’s still lots to do. In the end all we bought was a caramel apple pie and OMG: delish. Their pies are amazing, and if you’ve never had one you need to plan a trip out that way this weekend. No Halloween party (the chatting kind, not the drunken kind) could not be improved by the addition of one of these pies. Mmmmm….

Unfortunately Bekah and Andrew were busy with Andrew’s family yesterday so they weren’t able to make it, but David and RAM were there, along with Mimi who was up from Chicago for a couple of days, so it was still a two car afternoon.

The weather was exactly how you’d wish you could truthfully describe a beautiful Fall day. Sweet, high clouds, clear sunshine, a light breeze. In fact it was so warm we walked outside for the better part of an hour with no coats on  and wishing we’d left our sweaters at home.

During our walk  past the apple orchard and the cornfields to the pumpkin patch we passed a small, stone out-building. It bore with some difficulty a collapsed wooden roof and a stone bathtub of sorts inside. The roofer in me couldn’t help but take a few leak pictures for my dad. You know how we do:

DSC04802 DSC04803 DSC04804 DSC04806 DSC04807

My parents took more group pictures but neither of them has posted any of them anywhere yet so I’m still waiting to see how they turned out. I will definitely post a few here as they come in, though. Such a beautiful day, such beautiful, smiling faces. I took some video during our walk. The wind underscoring the whole thing is a bit grating, but watching it makes me happy. :)

Theatre

Not doing a durn thing with it right now and I have to say I’m glad of it. Busier with life stuff than most Falls. Not seeing many shows either, but I’m not totally removed from the circle. I get out there every now and again.

Writing

I’m compiling some pieces. My fic. My non-fic. I’ve read it all so many times I can’t stand the sight of most of it anymore and fear there’s nothing salvageable. I do need to save something of it though, and have had some very helpful feedback from my two “readers.” But it’s decision time: Do I pursue fiction or non-fiction? Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. I have to pick one or the other and run with it. Not forever. Just for now. For soon. For the time being. For this current project. Fiction or non-fiction? Where am I stronger? Ugh. I’m bored with myself just thinking about it.

Ugh.

Half Price Books

How much do I love that place? Oh God. So much. I dare you to prove to me your Half Price Books is better than mine. You will fail. Mine is the awesomest.

Within the past month I have purchased from them:

The entire series of Escaflowne on VHS (8 tapes) for $3
A&E’s Pride and Prejudice on VHS (6 tapes) for $2
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince for $1
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love for $1
Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia (paperback anthology) for $2
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for $6
Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz for $1
McLaren and Campolo’s Adventures in Missing the Point for $2
George R. R. Martin’s Dreamsongs Volumes I and II for $2 each
More CDs than I can remember, none clocking in higher than $3 and most coming in at $1

The day they have seasons of Maude available for purchase is the day I make public my desire to speak my wedding vows from the confines of their Drama/ Poetry/ Writing/ Pop Culture aisle. Stand near kiddie lit, ladies: That’s where I’ll be aiming the bouquet.

squeee

Awww…

Ooh! Ferret interruption: *Squeeee!* They’re so cute when they’re sleeping! Right now they’re curled up yin-yang style on a pillow case on the top shelf in their cage with their teeny little necks intertwined so their faces are side by side. So cute!!

Wesley keeps getting up, running down into the bedding in the bottom of the cage to scratch, and then running back up to lay forcibly down on top of Brodie, who responds by yawning. At most. Don’t you just love it? If I didn’t fear rolling over on the poor guys in my sleep, or waking up in the morning to corner poop, I’d totally hang a hammock for them in my bedroom.

Happy Fall Everyone!

“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
Thomas Wolfe

A Coke Classic Girl in a Pepsi One World


The Difference Between Movies and Movola

Wow! vs. How?

Wow! vs. How?

Somehow I allowed Monster to sneak to the top of my Blockbuster queue last week. Whoops. Just not in a lesbian serial killer kinda mood these days, y’know?

I’m amazed at how unlike herself Theron was in it. It’s not just the weight or the hair or any of that. It’s not just “play ugly” or “play disabled” and “you’re guaranteed to win an Oscar” in this case I don’t think. It’s the way she carried herself, the way she spoke, the look in her eyes. She was just so totally other in this. The Oscar was deserved.

And I couldn’t finish it.

That’s right– turned it off. Excellent work but I turned it off. Got to the point where she gets into the second car with the fella wearing glasses and a combover and before anything went anywhere I hit “stop” and called it a night. I exchanged it for The Secret Life of Bees. *sigh* Straight downhill, ain’a hey? But it was that, Twilight, or Step Brothers, and my hopes for either of the other two being any better as promising additions to my evening were fairly low.

As it stands, however, I haven’t been able to bring myself to pop TSLoB into the dvd player and am instead plowing through Season 7 ofMurder, She Wrote. I *heart* me some Angela Lansbury. If anybody knows how to put me in touch with her for lunch someplace that serves outdoors and offers fresh squeezed juice, I’m all ears.

All the World’s A Big Flat Space Full of Loud-mouthed Narcissists

D. Daniels, C. Peterson, S. Fudali, R. Arnell

D. Daniels, C. Peterson, S. Fudali, R. Arnell

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” closed this past weekend at Waukesha Civic Theatre. A heck of a lot of great houses on this one. Just one loud, appreciative, gloriously supportive group of folks after another. That’s the kind of thing that makes any show better than it is, and boy did we get a lot out of mileage out of that fact. Good times, good times. :)

Good pictures, too. You can always count on a farce for show pics that are, at the very least, interesting.

I have to say the best part of being in this show was meeting Chelsey Peterson and Donna Daniels. Just genuinely good, quality people you can’t help but be grateful to know. The kind of people that make you say “They’re in my life?! SWEET!” I sincerely hope to work with both of them again as soon as possible. Amazing people.

They’ve both got shows coming up. First there’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with the Lakeland Players (Chelsey) and “Social Security” at Sunset Playhouse (Donna; also featuring Susan Loveridge and Bonnie Krah). Anybody want to join me to take in either show?? Gonna be a lot of fun! :D

P.O. Box Send-Ruth-Stuff

"Hungry Bird"

"Hungry Bird"

Came home to a thin, square package waiting for me in the front lobby this afternoon. My copy of Clem Snide‘s “Hungry Bird” on vinyl. Wahoo! And actually– there were two copies in the box, along with four cds: 2 singles and 2 groovy, smoothie, relaxy albums. How cool is that?

Package #2: A box on my doorstep from ThinkGeek.com. That can only mean good things. In this case? A good fun thing: An orange Tetris ice cube tray. Thank you to James, who bought me the tray for my birthday, for providing fun ice cubes for beverages at parties he will not be able to attend. Bwahahahaha!

Cool Ranch Doritos

Oh man could I go for some right now.

Well That Was Weird…

At 2:30 pm today the power went out in the entire neighborhood. So there we all are just working away at our desks when *fwoop!*– off go the lights, off go the computers, off go the phones.

It was great!

Well- except for the people who were right in the middle of complicated tasks when everything shut down so they ended up losing their last hour or so’s work. It was pretty fly for the rest of us, though. We sat in the semi-darkness talking until the lights came back on around 3:30, and then continued to twiddle our thumbs until 4:00 when IT had a chance to get everything up and running again.

It was still great!

So we’re back to doing our thing when one of the girls at a desk near me goes over to sit down by our team leader, AK’s, desk. With a muffled voice and almost child-like word choices she told AK she didn’t feel so good. Suddenly she slumps over in the chair and stops speaking. Not a word, not a movement- nothing. She’s only like 6 feet away so I run over to where she’s sitting so she doesn’t fall to the floor and homegirl is GONE. Her face is gray, her lips are blue, her eyes are open, but boy there is just NOBODY home.

So I’m kneeling there on the floor pushing her hair back, brushing her cheeks, holding her hands– trying to wake her up, you know? And this goes on for like a minute and still there’s just NOTHING from this girl. The woman at the desk on the other side of me comes over and we each put one hand under the girl’s armpits and knees and pick her up and lay her down on the floor and man there is still just NOTHING happening behind those eyes. Weirdest. Thing. Ever.

After a minute of laying on the floor she starts talking and asking what happened, while AK tells 911 how to get to our office. Turns out she donated during the blood drive a few hours before, drank her juice, ate her cookies… but apparently she must’ve donated ALL of her blood, a situation I don’t imagine agrees with most people, her included. Whoops!

Eventually she came around and was a lot better, and her folks were on their way to drive her home so she didn’t have to get behind the wheel after such an iffy afternoon. But man– what a way to start a week! Poor girl. :S

Burr Eat Toes

Patches napping on Alfred

Patches napping on Alfred

At my folks’ place doing laundry and watching some TV. Nothing I care to see, really, but it’s a nice change of pace from night after night of “Murder, She Wrote” and watching cable shows online. Still- I don’t think I’ll be making a habit out of watching “Dancing With The Stars.” Couldn’t bring myself to care a lick; just not my kind of entertainment. And how long has this show been running? Wow.

Dad’s homemade burritos were another nice switch after the usual pb&j/ reheated spaghetti/ Lean Cuisine buffet of my own kitchen.

And the warm, friendly dog that is currently napping between my ankles? Oh just– icing on the cake! Love it!

Things to Mention


So much to update you on, dawgs. Where to begin?!

Thing to Mention #1: Ferret Stuff

Me with my friends Jessie and Nicky's ferret Brodie

Me with my friends Jessie and Nicky’s ferret Brodie

Had a ferret dream last night. In it I lived in an apartment someplace out east. A two story brick number. One of those 6 unit type deals. I believe I lived on the ground floor because somehow my ferret- a big, white male with patches of gray in his fur- escaped through a low, open window. I ran outside after him, absolutely panicked that I’d never find him again because that’s usually what happens when these guys get loose outside- you never find them. But boy bigger carnivores sure do…

As I rounded a corner of my building one of the groundskeepers (who looked strikingly like my real life next door neighbor) saw me and said he’d help me find my lost ferret. We ran across the yard together toward another apartment building, at which time the groundskeeper saw the ferret run behind a bush. The guy scrambled on his belly through dirt and leaves to reach my freaked out little animal, emerging triumphantly from the brush with this adorable, panting, frightened weasel in his grip. I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I was. In fact I’m *still* grateful and neither the animal nor the guy are even real!

I love ferret dreams. :)

Thing to Mention #2: Work Stuff

In the parking lot at work today I saw a vehicle I’ve seen around town before and have *actively* made fun of. Not the actual vehicle itself, of course, just the ridiculous bumper stickers on it which, in truth, probably aren’t really ridiculous enough to merit my ribbing. But then I guess we all know by now I’m kind of a jerk like that.

I won’t quote the stickers because who knows who’ll read this, but as a point of reference they were the type women put on their cars when they feel like they have something to prove in terms of their “toughness.” I have no idea who actually drives the vehicle, how they act, what they look like, but– man some bumper stickers just imply an awful lot on your behalf and it ain’t always what you intend… And to be fair and even things out, I’ve been flipped off for my Israel one, so I’m not really knockin’ anybody for anything I haven’t done myself.

Other work stuff? Um… Well I’m on my fourth week there and haven’t screwed anything up too majorly yet, so that’s pretty cool. I’m learning a lot and am fortunate enough to actually like everyone I work with so far. Given more time I’m sure things won’t remain so rosy because there’s people ‘n’ data involved and both can be unwieldy, but so far so good. PTL.

One of the nicest things thus far is that my immediate supervisor NEVER makes me feel like the questions I’m asking are stupid, or like there’s something wrong with me for not already knowing by heart how to do some thing or another. I like that. I need that. I feel bad asking questions after I’ve been taught how to do something, no matter what that something is. I feel like I’m just bothering people, or like I’m not worth the time it took to teach me the task in the first place if I can’t remember how to do it now that I’m on my own. That’s all ridiculous of course, but that’s sure how it feels in the moment. Thank God for AK, though. Man…

Thing to Mention #3: Family Stuff

Dad measuring the cake before adding more chocolate shavings

Dad measuring the cake before adding more chocolate shavings

My birthday was last Thursday. Welcome, Late 20s. Good times.

Spent Saturday with my family, my Mimi, and my brother’s girlfriend RAM. Dad and Bekah challenged my mom to a bake-off so there were two birthday cakes this weekend. Now that’s my kinda throw-down.

Mom made an enormous ice cream mud pie with a fudge brownie crust and chocolate mocha frosting, and Dad and Bekah made a three layer (7.5″ tall) atomic cake with pudding, bananas, strawberries, and chocolate shavings in between the layers of vanilla, chocolate, and banana cakes. Both cakes were so gorgeous and delicious it wasn’t until we were all lazing about digesting an hour later that I realized we hadn’t done the whole lighting-candles-and-singing-Happy-Birthday thing. Whoops.

I got some lovely (and oh so welcome!) gift cards for Speedway and Kohl’s from Mim and the ‘rents, pretty girly smelly stuff from Bath and Body from my sis, and a bag of Starbucks coffee and a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans from the bro and his gf. Naturally out of all these beautiful gifts I focused the longest on the birthday card RAM made me which featured a sable ferret on the front. *sigh* I’m getting weird about it- I know. I just kept thinking how I could use the card as a bookmark in one of my other birthday presents: “Ferrets for Dummies.”

The only person missing from the fun was Bek’s bf Andrew, though I’m sure there was still PLENTY of cake left by the time he arrived… We’re lookin’ out for ya’ dude. No worries.

Thing to Mention #4: Theatre Stuff

Mark Neufang and me getting saucy...

Mark Neufang and me getting saucy in “Don’t Dress for Dinner”

Don’t Dress for Dinner” had an awesome opening weekend. Every audience was loud and appreciative and let me tell ya’: That Felt Good. Friday night’s show was a good 10 minutes longer than usual for all the added laugh time. Sweet! Even Sunday’s 2 pm matinee was pretty noisy, and that one was an outright shocker. The Sunday afternoon crowd at any community theatre tends to be filled mostly with kindly local folks just north of 70. And those folks can enjoy the crap out of the show and still hardly utter a peep the entire time. Not this crowd though. As loud as many much younger Saturday night audiences I’ve played to. A delightful surprise. :)

If you’re thinking of coming out to see it, there’s a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Saturday, March 28th at 2 pm. I think the suggested donation is $10 bucks, but who’s not broke these days? C’mon down, drop $5 bucks, have a few laughs. It’s a good time.

I auditioned for another show Saturday the 7th, but the honest truth of it is I’m just too tired to keep going for now so I’ll leave that for another entry. I can only talk so much theatre at 11:43 pm on a work night. :S

But before I go: Sauce Velouté

Adventures in Auditioning


I auditioned for a show at a local community theatre tonight and I have to say it feels like things went fairly well. There were two characters I was interested in, and while I only got to read for the one of them once, I got to read three or four times for the other character and got to stick around ’til the end. So… that’s a good sign, right?

Jobless as I am… sigh… I figured since I had the time I’d attempt to do my hair for the audition. (If you know me, you know spending time doing my hair is a little out of the ordinary for me.) I’m not *all* thumbs with hair styling, but I am *fairly* thumby about it. But tonight? Tonight it worked and I am so danged proud because if it hadn’t I’d’ve gone wearing my hair in a bun.

Like I always do.

Every day of my life.

Since I was 16.

And because I am super proud, here’s a pic of the finished product. Ta-da!! :D And when I arrived at the theatre I was so glad I’d bothered because Jenny and Nicole both looked HOT and I would’ve felt like such a disrespectful cad if I’d shown up in my usual, semi-casual audition clothes. :S

My fingers are crossed pretty tightly on this one. With everything going on everywhere else in my life it has become even more helpful to have something to go to in the evenings. To be a part of something where somebody needs me and where I can contribute something real, check tasks off a list, see a project to completion.

There’s just so much going on these days that can’t be “completed.” So much that can’t be checked off so we can move on to the next thing. To be able to be a part of a process where you can see something through from beginning to end– it’s a beautiful thing. A therapeutic thing. A thing I need.

I hope it happens…

There were a few familiar faces there this evening, which was nice. Several people I haven’t seen face-to-face in months, though sometimes I forget that’s the case since I see most of them online on a fairly regular basis.

One o’ the ol’ familiars was a woman I did a show with at that same theatre last… May? June? It was great catching up with her. She’s got so much going on in her family right now- a major illness and a teenager with a newly acquired license; yipes!- and apparently there’s more to come. That seems to be the story of a lot of people’s lives these days; intensely difficult situations blindsiding families and we all just sit back and go “Well. That happened. Goodbye everything… So what’s for dinner?”

Talking with her I wasn’t able to really talk with anyone else before the auditions started, which actually really bugged me. Sometimes I forget just how much my social life is entrenched in the theatre until I miss an opportunity to reconnect at an event like this, and the absence of those connections hits me like a ton of bricks after the fact. I mean- Jenny K. was there and we’ve been friends for 7 years. Did we exchange more than two sentences? Nicole G. was there. Did we exchange more than one? I didn’t even get to read with either of them!

One of the people I got to read with tonight who makes me hope even more that this works out is a girl who tried out for the younger sister of one of the main characters. Gem of a girl. She just closed a show there and I can only imagine she was great asset to it.

I just reread what I’ve written here so far and it’s all so vague that I’m bored reading it and I’m the one who wrote the darn thing. *sigh* I just don’t like putting certain details into blog entries until I know how things are going to go, you know? Maybe I’ll come back and insert names and links after I know if I made it to callbacks, or, if I make it, I’ll wait until after they’re over.

26 years old and I’m still afraid of jinxing things? Ah phooey on that.

And now to even things out, a picture of my favorite stage makeup ever. When I originally tried it out I knotted buttonhole thread and stuck it into my eyebrow blood and told people in the caf I’d gotten my eyebrow pierced and that the piercing had ripped out when I took my sweater off too fast. Granted it all looked a little different then than it does here, but… close enough, yeah?

Vague and pointless entry: Over.

Dunlap Syndrome


I just checked my WordPress blog stats and it looks like someone found my blog by searching for “high cost of asphalt shingles.”

Boy now there’s something I never thought would bring me a reader…

Something I don’t like about all this blogging business is that when I update an existing post, the updated data does not transfer to my Facebook notes page where I’m importing all these entries. Some drag, eh?

Bag Ladies

Hanging with my mom today. Between me getting rid of a bunch of old things I never wear or use anymore that I had left here at her house, and she and Bekah doing the same, we took SEVENTEEN BAGS of STUFF to Goodwill today. SEVENTEEN. To be fair they were grocery bags and some of them were taken up mostly with shoes and old purses and other bulky items, but still- that’s a lot of STUFF!

Top*gasp!*lessness

I’ve been stumbling upon a lot of articles, blogs, pictures, protest rags, etc. lately of people fighting the system for not allowing women to go topless in public. I’m increasingly of the opinion that *nobody* ought to be going topless in public, thankyouverymuch. Especially around here in Wisconsin. Again and again and again it’s just some hairy bellied, middle aged man with tobacco stained teeth and a wicked case Dunlap Syndrom. Put a shirt on, dude. Cover that up. You nasty. (Though in the case of those linked guys, I have to hand it to them for, well, “embracing the gut.” Hard to argue with “beer pong belly”…)

Even worse, though, are the guys in good physical shape who run around shirtless. I guess if you’re out jogging for legitimate exercise I’m not going to fault you for trying to keep cool and maybe working on your tan. But there is little in the realm of posturing that is as obnoxious as being around a shirtless guy who can’t stop strutting and preening while trying to catch a good long look at himself in every reflective surface he passes. Fine! Yes we see you! Yes you’re a god among men! Now put some bloody clothes on and stop dancing around in everybody’s way!

The last thing we need is to have another gender with the option of exercising an utter lack of discretion (read: grossing Ruth out). Ugh. Forget about rights and fairness and equality, man. The sky high gross-out/obnoxious factor should be reason enough to just cancel all possibilities in this direction entirely! :P

HOWEVER!!: Should my dreams not come true of finally getting shirts onto Hair Belly and Ken Doll, at the very least we ought to make sure this sort of thing isn’t happening. Rights schmights, eh coppers? Poor woman. I’d’ve been frustrated out of my ever loving mind if something like that happened to me.

Energetic, highly capable self-starter blah with an eye for detail and a blah blah blah to join your blah blah team!

I’m getting a lot of feedback via Monster.com on my resume I recently posted there. This is all well and good, I suppose, except that it’s almost exclusively from places that need to beef up their staff of 23-28 year old cheery eyed phone sales staff, or places that are clearly choosing the WRONG keywords from my resume in their automated searches. I mean– you guys know me. Do *you* think I’d be suitable as a top level financial advisor? An engineering tech?

“Feelin’ HOT HOT HOT! That’s all I know so far…”


Let’s start with the awesome news: I PAID OFF A BIG CHUNK OF MY CREDIT CARD TODAY!!

Technically I’m paying off that big chunk tomorrow, but I made the deposit today which will enable me to pay off that big chunk tomorrow. *meh* Tomayto-Tomahto.

Stayed home sick today. Better than yesterday, but still just… :P My mom came by around noon to keep me company. She brought chicken noodle soup, which we shared before playing two games of UpWords. She beat me both times. Who beats their kid? Their sick kid? Twice?!

I went on Craig’s List while she was here to look for ferret cages and found an awesome one for only $20 bucks! Some family’s moving and they had this old cage they hadn’t used in years so they priced it to sell since they just have zero use for it anymore.

It’s 3’w x 2.5’h x 1.5’d, really sturdy, has two latched openings on the front, and three shelf levels.

It’s like a ferret mansion.

I am stoked.

My future ferret(s), wherever (s)he is, is no doubt also stoked.

My mom came with me to pick up the cage and when we got to this family’s house they had a shitsu named Oreo- who looked just like my mom’s dog Patches- and when we walked up the driveway she came right up to me and when I knelt down by her she started nuzzling me and trying to climb up in my lap! So cute! And the cage was great. So woo. $20 well spent.

After we got back to the house mom ‘n’ I had spagetti-o’s (you know how we do) and then she took off back to the adventure that is Home.

I’m watching Disc 2 of Season Two of “The Office.” How does this show not get old for me?

“Once you’ve danced naked at a hash bonfire with the spirits of the dead, all parties seem pretty much the same.” Ahh Creed. And for a great how-to guide to making your own pruno, check out this page at Black Table.

I’m so uncomfortable watching these scenes where Pam and Karen are all friendly with each other. Karen’s nice and funny, but her selling point is that, well, she’s not like Pam.

I am.

I just don’t answer phones. And God help me: I don’t ever want to answer phones again.

It’s not the phone answering that bothers me. Surprised? (Shame on you. You should’ve seen this coming.) It’s the fact that, well it’s just a drag– all these little reminders of how much cooler these things are which just so happen to be my opposites.

I’m happy being Pam. *does cartwheels to prove happiness*And I have lots of friends who are also Pams, and know lots of people who really like Pams, so I’m not sitting here all forlorn and mopey. It just– man, after a while it just… Hm.

The thing is: You don’t have to be slammed to feel bad. Sometimes just hearing everything you’re not be constantly and loudly praised for the things that make them opposite is enough.

Stupid Maxim. And television. And hot, scantily clad Olympians

Poor crying Pam. If I get a boy ferret maybe I’ll name him Dwight.

While I was on Craig’s List earlier I checked out the Missed Connections page. Those silly radio guys. Oh so silly! anyway- the top one for Men Seeking Women in Milwaukee was this one:

Subject: You: pregnant, hot, and needing me – m4w – 30

Body: I like your round belly. Makes me want to slap yo baby. Let daddy have a little slappy lappy. Watch out baby. You do the baby rub a dub dance, I chase you, and slap a lap a. MmmMMmmMMmm.

Oh my Lord. I am never getting pregnant in this town.