• Ramblings

    Things You Never Wanted To Know

    If I had a regular readership, this would be really tough, but since I don’t, and most of you (all three of you) haven’t gone back and read all of my random ramblings, it’ll be new to you. Commence with the bullet points of things you don’t know about me.

    1. I graduated from high school at the tender age of 16 after having started school at 4 and doing kindergarten and first grade in the same year. Also, went to Penn State (main campus) on an Air Force scholarship which I survived all of one semester before I lost my shit and needed to come home. I technically have an honorable discharge from the Air Force for my one semester of ROTC service.
    2. Growing up, I spent a TON of time at the bowling alley. Both of my parents were in leagues, my brother and I did the kids’ leagues for a while, and when I was older, I did a league with my mom. I had hot pink and white high top bowling shoes that looked like sneakers and a Snoopy ball and matching bag. I could also keep score for two teams by the time I was about 7.
    3. I’ve always had an over-active imagination which led to writing some really and truly messed up stories and some even more effed up dreams over the years and to this day. Like just last night.
    4. Adrenaline. Junkie. See also: four-wheeling, sneaking out, snowboarding, roller coasters, flying trapeze, pole dancing, skydiving.
    1. I’m slightly OCD and the fact that I couldn’t get this list to continue at 5 instead of 1 drives me nucking futs.
    2. I’ve lived in six states, and spent time in four countries on two continents.
    3. An ex-NBA player once told me that I was intimidating. At five foot three. Compared to his six feet something or another.
    4. While I’m not an overly picky eater, I’ll punch you in the face if you put asparagus, okra, or olives in my food.
    5. One of the many careers I thought that I wanted to have when I was growing up was architect/architectural engineer. Then I found out in eleventh grade physics that I only think in two dimensions. Build a bridge out of toothpicks project was an utter failure.
    6. I’m a pretty damn good shot with both rifles and handguns. Country girl life.

    And there you go. Ten random tidbits about me that you never wanted to know and will now be stuck in your head.

  • Ramblings

    Love and Kisses

    Tonight’s the night. We’ve planned a surprise birthday party for one of the crew. We’re about ten deep and thick as thieves. It happens when you’re mostly all neighbors and have been hanging out together for the last six or seven years.

    We’re all what you would call “good kids” which is probably why all of our parents trust us with any other member of the crew. Everybody’s mom is Mom, everybody’s dad is Dad, and the doors are always open at every house. You’d get a funny look if you asked before going into the fridge or you uttered something about leaving because it’s dinner time.

    Even though we’re all tight, we all have our favorite people in the crew. Mine happens to be a guy. Do I have a crush on him? Maybe. A little. Ok, yes, I do. But it’s natural, right? When you hang out with the same people, all the time, for extended periods of time, you tend to start finding yourself attracted to people you might not otherwise be attracted to, but I digress.

    As is the norm, I’m riding to the party with my crush, Andy, to surprise Bob, the birthday boy. Our conversation in the car flows naturally, like it always does, and we laugh about stories we tell each other – reminiscing about silly stuff that Bob has done, as well as ones about what other crew members have done. We pull up to Bob’s place, which his folks have so thoughtfully vacated for us (it’s that trust thing), and finish one last story before we head in to see everyone.

    We enter the house and get all of our greetings out of the way and wait for Bob as we were the last to arrive. We don’t wait long before Bob arrives and the laughter ensues. Gifts are exchanged, cake is eaten, and even though we’re underage, a beer or two is consumed. The jokes start flying and are sometimes harsh, but no one cries about them. Most of them are aimed at Bob since it’s his day. We all fall into a comfortable hum of conversations as the hours slip by. After a bit, I duck my head to stifle a yawn, and when I look up, Andy is staring right at me. I give him a little nod and we each start to say our goodbyes so we can head out.

    We step outside into a gorgeous summer evening. We’ve finally caught a night where it isn’t chilly, it isn’t crazy humid, and there’s a half moon giving off a bit of light. As we drive home, Andy asks me if I’m tired. I say I’m not, even though I am, wanting to pick up on any opportunity I can to spend a little more time with him. He asks if I wanna hang out a while and, yeah, of course I do.

    Andy drives us to the softball field where some of the crew plays and the rest of us watch. He parks the car and hops out. As I get out, I see that he’s headed towards the back of the car so I head that way as well. In those quick moments, Andy slides himself up onto the trunk of the car. I start to follow suit, but he instead directs me into a position where I can lean on the trunk but he’s behind me.

    In the sweetest gesture of my young life, Andy maneuvers both himself and me so that he can hold me as we look at the moon and the stars. We talk for a while, and without warning, he turns me around and kisses me. It’s my first kiss and it’s sweet and warm and it’s from the guy I’ve been crushing on (and in puppy love with) for the longest time. When he breaks the kiss, he simply looks at me, watches me, to see if I’m ok with what has just transpired. While I’m on cloud 9 on the inside, I just smile. He smiles. And then we both end up falling into a fit of giggles.

    First kiss. First love.

  • Ramblings

    Mr. Baaaaaartender

    Hey, look! Made it to day 2. Two in a row! Two in a row!

    Today’s prompt is “your earliest memory” and that’s actually a bit difficult since as a child, can you really differentiate what’s earlier than something else? Or can you differentiate those memories as an adult?

    Fortunately, as an adult with one live adult parent and one who has passed, I can openly speak about these memories and you can go somewhere else with your judgement. There are two things that stick out for me as my earliest memories.

    In case you didn’t know, I’m a child of the early ’70s. Obviously not the free love period of time, but shit was loose back then, or so I’ve heard. I have had stories told to me about the time I ate a Black Beauty that had fallen down into the couch when I was around 3, but I don’t remember that. There was a time that I packed up my couple of stuffed animals in a grocery bag and told my mom I was running away (all the way to my grandmother’s house about 30 yards away – 90 feet, not 30 people’s yards) and as I walked out the door I looked at her and told her to be good. There was that time at Easter when one of my dad’s friends got me a chocolate Easter bunny that was as big as me – there’s photo proof of that one. But the two things that I have memories of would get my parents tossed in jail these days and me and my brother in foster care. Mind you, it was the early ’70s and my brother and I both turned out fine and again, go judge your mama.

    Memory 1: Do you know what hash is? I’m not talking about the stuff with potatoes and meat in it. I’m talking about concentrated marijuana. The good shit (back then). I can distinctly remember the hash smoking process. Materials include one glass, one piece of cardboard, and one pin. The pin goes through the cardboard and the hash goes on the end of the pin. Fire that sucker up and put the glass over it and let the smoke collect in the glass and then suck it out. Yep, that’s what I remember. I can actually see it in my mind right now, but not because I’ve ever done it. I’m no angel, but smoking has come a long way since then.

    Memory 2: This one goes along with the video. Back in the day, we had a beermeister. Keggerator. Whatever you want to call it. A keg in our house. Probably not a full keg, probably more like a quarter. But that bad boy was tapped and had a handle just like many bars. When dad had friends over, I was the runner. Of course I was taking a little off the top for myself until I worked out the perfect angle to pour those beers with a perfect head. Yeah, it’s really no wonder that I feel quite at home behind a bar. I’ve been slanging dranks since I was under 5.

    Yup, those are my earliest memories. I had a raucous childhood that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I mean, country living was country living. We ran around naked in the rain and under the drainage spout. I ran through the yard and took a corner too fast and slid in some dog shit, lol. We barbequed. We lived. We laughed. We loved. And I came out on the other side this badass motherfucker that I am. Win.

    See you tomorrow.

  • Ramblings

    Happy April!

    Yes, another month. No, I haven’t updated my blog in forever. Yes, I’m gonna try to blog every day this month. No, I won’t beat myself up if I don’t get all the days. It’s like a tennis match in here!

    A couple of us are going to run through this challenge where we have a prompt for each day. Let’s put that in here too:

    There. Now you can see what to expect out of me for the next 30 days, assuming I can get through all the days.

    Look, I don’t know that there are five problems with social media. There might be way more. Way, way more. Like 45 more. But I digress. Let’s start with motherfucking filters. Have I used them on Instagram? Yes, of course. Mainly because I’m a terrible photographer and I wanna get you to see the yoga pose I’m struggling so hard to get into. But some of us are way too into it. I might not even recognize some people in person because of these things!

    Next up on things that grind my gears, dammit, social media is a necessary evil for work. Not just for folks in my profession, but in many others as well. We use it to connect, to find jobs, to find employees. We’ve become so dependent upon it that I do wonder what happened if the big three (FB, IG, LI) were to suddenly disappear. Would we even survive? *that’s sarcasm*

    Social media has also created a crew of keyboard warriors. You know, that group of people that have huge balls of steel when they hide behind their computers. They may be contributing to parts of our current downfall, but, hey, what do I know, right?

    Along those same lines, the misinformation that gets spread across social media makes me shake my head. Like a wet dog. I’m not sure why we tend to believe things that we see on the internet without actually researching them, but here we are.

    Right, so I don’t wanna be a negative Nelly this whole time, so I’m gonna end this on a positive note. Also, because I am rambling like a moron and it’s been so long since I’ve written anything that my form is crap. The one thing I love about social media is that it helps me to stay connected with all of the folks I’ve met throughout the years and across the miles. I love to see what friends are up to and watch their families grow. It’s great for planning reunions so that we can see each other in person again and make fun of each other like we just saw each other yesterday.

    The video says 1 thing, I gave you five. I’m calling this a win. And I’m promising that by the end of the month, I’ll give you a coherent blog post that is less stream of consciousness and more actual thought out stuff. Promise. Kisses! See you tomorrow.

  • Ramblings

    Friends and Family

    Ask, and you shall receive, Maria. 🙂

    First, this choreography! I need to go back to the 70s where I could keep up with the dancing. Step, together, step, tap, baby. I got that all. Day. LONG! My CM choreographers know this.

    Second, if you aren’t thinking of the Pirates from the 70s when you hear this, well, I guess you just aren’t a Pirates fan, now are you?

    Now, on to the meat of things: family.

    Some folks might only have, one definition of family, that being those who fall under the category of people related by blood. Nope, nope, nope, nope nope. If you’re a Facebook user, you might be familiar with friends lists. In my world, they’re more like family lists. Let’s take a look at that, shall we? Not literally because you don’t need screenshots of my Facebook. 😛

    Alrighty then, let’s start at the beginning. Steph and Jess had the most pimped out wedding ceremony you have never seen back on 8.1.70. They are my everything. Taught me all the good stuff about respect and being a good person. All the sirs and ma’ams to be had. But also pinochle, barbeque sauce, and banana pudding. And food takes us down the yard to Gram and Pops. Man. Totally my second mom and dad but with cookies and ice cream. Gram made the good good. Peach junk and mac and cheese. I can kinda replicate them because I spent so much time watching her make them, but any time I asked for a recipe, it was “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. Pops got me my car knowledge as he “worked” in a garage and so I learned to change oil and tires which leads me to the first family that wasn’t blood. Let us not forget the little brother whom I clobbered with the ketchup bottle and the daughter who came much later down the road.

    The VMH crew. Van Meter Heights, a name we entirely made up in our backwoods, rural one mile stretch of road. It was the kind of area where everyone knew everyone’s business, so there was no sneaking of anything! At least not for me, lol. I had mom and dads and brothers and sisters all up and down the road. They taught me friendship and fights and how to make up from them. These people were more than likely the beginnings of the unemployed comedian I am today.

    My next sets of families came from work. The Don Pablo’s family, the Kanagroo’s family, the Houlihan’s family, and the Club Med family. Working in hospitality changes you! Everyone should have to do it at least once. These folks taught me about relationships and what they were and what they weren’t. They taught me what it was to have someone’s back and to know when someone had mine. I learned fantasy football with them, nearly got kicked out of baseball stadiums with them, went to back-to-back-to-back movies with them, did parking lot donuts in the snow with them, checked out WWF (back when it was still WWF) Raw with them, and took over Carlos ‘n Charlies with them on a weekly basis. Of course there were not so great times, but we got through them together and we’re all stronger for it. This isn’t to say that I have no family from non-hospitality jobs because I do. I’m looking at you Rebecca, Pedro, Justin, Holly, and Chris. OMG don’t be mad if I didn’t mention you. I can’t list every single person, Pramod. And Shiva.

    A quick shout out to my pole and circus family! Y’all taught me to be my damn self and go ahead and be that self on stage. A couple sentences isn’t really enough, but I can’t be here all night!

    And now, now I am growing a real estate family. It’s been fun! I am constantly out shaking hands and kissing babies. Mayor McCheese-ing like there’s no tomorrow. People who are teaching me how to get this job done; taking me under their collective wing and providing me with guidance and encouragement. I can already almost build a castle with business cards! (I’m not, but I COULD.)

    Of course, I couldn’t end this without speaking of my not blood but close as you can be family. The hubster and his (now my) family. They’ve never been anything less than spectacular to me. Hubby puts up with more of my crapola than anyone in the world probably could without kicking me out. He has taught me, with no offense to one or two other people, what true love is, in giving and receiving.

    So there you have it. Sometimes hard to follow but sometimes stream of consciousness is how I write. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it as you get to know me. 😀 Come back tomorrow or the next day for some more confusion. It’ll be fun, I promise, fam!