November 9, 2007

Hey! Guess what!

Uhm, nothing.

But that reminds me of when I was little, and my sister and I were supposed to be sleeping. Almost every night we’d play this game:

I’d say, “Guess what!”
She’d say, “What?”
And I’d say, “That’s what.”

And we’d laugh hysterically.

Sometimes instead of “that’s what,” I’d answer “Mrs. Freeman.” She was my kindergarten teacher. The first time I answered with that, it was hilarious. And the 50th time I did it, it was still hilarious.

Yeah, we were sort of easily entertained.

Need more evidence?

One of our favorite things to do was to push feet. We’d sit facing each other, with our legs in a V and push each other’s feet. Fun times.

Sometimes when we were bored, one of us would suggest, “Wanna push backs?” And we would sit back-to-back and try to move one another with our strength. It was much easier when you had the wall to use for leverage, because then you could lift yourself up and lean back as far as possible, folding your opponent under your weight.

That’s my sister, the sweet little child who used to torture me with her fingernails.

We were such docile children, my sister and I. Except when we fought. Since I am the older one, I usually was the one who got in trouble by our parents. And even though she was smaller than I was, my sister could kick my ass. She had short but thick fingernails and she would dig them into my skin SO DEEP. The tiny crevasses she created didn’t really bleed so much as ooze a pink substance. And man, they hurt!

But I do have one scar from our childhood, that my sister actually didn’t give me. We were pillow fighting one night in my bedroom. I don’t remember if I was trying to avoid a thwack of polyester fiberfill, or winding up to smack her, but my eyebrow made contact with the corner of my white dresser. Like my sister’s fingernail digs, the ouchie didn’t gush blood, just icky oozy goo. And I had a dent right at the collision site.

And ever since, I can’t grow eyebrows in that one spot.

October 12, 2007

Like a dog without a bone, like a house that’s not a home

Look what my sister found on YouTube. Thirty years ago, I spent my Friday nights watching these two clean-cut kids. And tonight when I played the video my sister sent, and the song started playing, I remembered all of the lyrics.*

*And yeah. I sang along. OK? Shuddup.

August 15, 2007

Tales of a Reformed Klepto

The other day I was remembering what life used to be like in my neighborhood, before the freeways were constructed. There were orchards everywhere, and I used to walk through them to get to school (up hill both ways, of course). Rows and rows of produce went on forever and if I wanted to I could have played Children of the CornTomatoes. I recall boys being boys and trying to hit us with the big red fruits (and just why are tomatoes fruits anyway?) And I smoked my first cigarette walking through that field one day after junior high. Ahh, memories.

I was reminiscing about Anna’s Deli that used to be at the corner of Pearl Avenue and Branham Lane, and how good the bread was. And then I remembered the grocery store in the same shopping center and the friendly pharmacy next door, appropriately named Pearl Avenue Pharmacy, and the liquor store where my mom bought several hundred dollars’ worth of losing lottery tickets. The grocery store was named Alpha Beta, and I went there with my mom on numerous occasions, when I was around kindergarten-age. On one trip, I suddenly channeled a future Winona Ryder and stole some things.

They were stupid things, so completely not worth stealing.

I stole the flat numbers that slid into the rail in front of the shelf, showing the price of whatever item sat above them. I don’t know why I wanted them. I’ve never been big into math, or numbers of any sort, but I slid them out of their place, and pocketed them. MINE!

When we got home, my thievery was discovered, and I got busted for stealing.

But I hadn’t stolen PRODUCTS, just…things. That was OK, right?

No. It was very not OK.

My mom marched me (mom’s always march you when you’re in trouble) back to Alpha Beta and as soon as we got inside the store, asked to speak to the store manager, Mr. Bird. Oooh! Mr. Bird! Like Big Bird? Neat!

Sadly when Mr. Bird appeared, he had neither feathers nor beak. My mom made me confess to my crime to this man and hand back the pilfered items. I don’t recall if I cried or not. But I did say I was sorry. And I remembered that Pinocchio’s nose grew when he lied, so I told the truth.

And then the funniest thing happened. Mr. Bird said he’d be right back. He had something for me. I’m sure I thought he’d return with handcuffs, a fingerprint kit, or a cop or something, but instead, he brought a box chock-full of shiny things. It was the lost and found box. And he said I could pick ANYTHING from it to take home with me, because I was a good little girl for telling the truth and returning the stolen items. Such a model citizen!

The stuff in that box was so much cooler than stupid little pieces of plastic with numbers on them. I quickly grabbed a “diamond” necklace and asked if it was OK if I took it. Mr. Bird nodded yes. My mom’s chin probably fell to the floor. This was most likely not what she had in mind as my punishment for committing a misdemeanor.

I still vividly remember the gaudy rhinestone and blue crystal necklace that I would wear to play dress up. And I was convinced the jewels were real and so happy to show them off and tell the story of how cool it is to steal stuff because then you get even better stuff when you bring back what you originally stole! Awesome!

Years later, when I’d drive past Alpha Beta, I would think of Mr. Bird and wonder if he still worked there , and if the earrings that matched my necklace were still there (and if so, could I have them please?). And when my college boyfriend got a job as a bagger at Alpha Beta, I wondered if any of his coworkers knew Mr. Bird. And when Alpha Beta turned into a Lucky, I was a little sad to lose that part of my childhood memories. Today there are houses where that Alpha Beta once stood, and the Alpha Beta chain cum Lucky is now Albertson’s. Except they’re not. Albertson’s are now Lucky again.

Why didn’t they just stick with Alpha Beta in the first place? Where little kids got presents when they stole from the store? Hey, do you think Winona Ryder knew Mr. Bird too? That would explain a lot.

June 8, 2006

I can’t believe I almost missed it!

All day today I’ve had the feeling I was forgetting someone’s birthday. I checked my Palm. Nothing. My Outlook calendar at work. Nope. I wracked my brain. Still, nothing.

But thanks to my main source of important facts, I finally found out who was born on this day. Apparently my skill for knowing useless information has diminished some. I mean, this man was a huge part of my life back in the day. My parents tried to convince me that he didn’t like girls, that I stood no chance, but I didn’t believe them. I remained faithful, hoping that one day he’d choose to be with me. So what if he wore lipstick and nail polish? What guy didn’t back then? He was a musician after all. He was just very artistic, and what better way to express his creativity than through his flamboyant ruffled shirts and pasty foundation? I still remember the way he pressed just one key on his keyboard and got so many different sounds to emit from it. I never knew how he accomplished such a feat. He was a genius in my own mind.

Oh how I loved you, Sweetie. I’m so sorry I almost missed your special day. Happy Birthday, from Mrs. Rhodes.

April 9, 2006

Birthday princess

Today I went to a birthday party for a friend’s daughter. It was the big 0-1. Seeing all the decorations and party favors and kids having fun made me nostalgic for the days when my own birthdays were a huge deal. When I was a kid, parties always accompanied birthdays and all my bestest friends came over. There was much screaming, giggling, and goofiness. Not to mention cake, ice cream, and presents. Yes, growing up, my birthday was the best day ever.

I was born in August, which meant I could have my parties on my birthday without yucky school interfering. Until it was time for college. I became a college freshman, attending my first class on the day I turned 18. Not fair! (Pout.)

As you can see, I still live by the credo that my birthday is my day, but I have come to accept that I’m not a kid anymore and just because it’s my special day, doesn’t dismiss me from certain responsibilities. I still have to go to work, scoop the litter box, and pay bills, but I do try to celebrate my birthday in some special way when I can. Last year, it was on a Florida beach, soaking up rays and frolicking in warm waters with a friend and her family. And once I got home from my fabulous vacation, I celebrated again by taking a pole dancing class with some girlfriends. This year, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m thinking bocce ball or trapeze lessons.

Whatever I do, I sure would love a cake as magnificent as this one. (I’d like mine with tiramisu filling, please.)
happy birthday

February 17, 2006

sorry, earl

apparently mustaches are making a comeback. I hate mustaches. I see a guy with a mustache and I think he is a porn star, a midlife crisis victim corvette driver, smarmy, a used car salesman, a redneck, or a villain. no offense if you have a mustache and do not fall under one of these categories. this is just my opinion. I do know one very nice man with a mustache and he is none of the above.

why is someone with a beard described as bearded, but someone with a mustache is mustachioed. do you pronounce that like the past tense of pistachio? see, another thing that bugs about mustaches.

when I was little, I was afraid of mustaches. my parents had a friend named dennis. he was 6’4″ and had a mustache. a perfectly nice guy. but when he came over, I would run. I would hide. I would cry. I wouldn’t come out until he left.

in 6th grade, my teacher had to take a leave of absence, so we had a substitute. his first name was kermit, which we all found highly amusing. he also had a mustache. I was so afraid of him, I had bad dreams about him that made me not want to go to school anymore.

I hated woolywilly, that game with the hairless face and the the little magnetic ashes you manipulated around to put hair on willy’s face. a really mean trick to play on me would be to make him look like hitler or gabe kotter and then bring it to me and say “look what I made!”

I had a ken doll that came with adhesive facial hair. never, ever would you find my ken mustachioed. my sister may have slapped it on, but only in the event that he was driving barbie’s ‘vette.

my aunt had a boyfriend who was nearly entirely bald, except for, you guessed it, a mustache. he also had a space between his teeth. he wore a thick gold rope chain. and a shirt unbuttoned too low. and polyester wranglers. he bought my aunt some boobs. at family gatherings he would greet me by french-kissing my nose.

yes, I have issues with mustaches.

there are 2 people I can think of who looked good with a mustache. (notice the verb tense.) they are burt reynolds circa 1977, and tom selleck, circa 1980. you may recall that their characters both drove sports cars, not corvettes, but still. for bandit it was a 1977 pontiac firebird trans am, with a t-top. magnum’s transportation was a ferrari 308.

so internets, here is your task: find me a mustachioed man who is hot. clarificaton: who is hot today. or at least doesn’t scare me. in the comments, gimme a name or a link to a photo. let’s see if this man exists.

January 13, 2006


indian princess

happy birthday, daddy-o!
little flower

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