Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rolling on the River

SO.  Mom got married.

She chose the Saturday after Thanksgiving as the big day, so B, the kids, and I trekked in the day BEFORE Thanksgiving (13 FUCKING HOURS THROUGH BUMPER TO BUMPER TRAFFIC WITH BOTH DOGS IN TOW) in order to spend three *splendid* days with the Tennessee family.  This is what you need to know about the trip:
1.  I get motion sick, so I cannot read in the car (unless it's something dirty enough to distract me-- like when I read 50 SHADES OF GRAY in its entirety during the drive home over Easter) which made the drive even longer.
2.  Blaker was irritable.  I was irritable.  The kids were noisy.  The dogs were confused.
3.  Sutton has a bladder the size of a walnut.
4.  At one point, long before we reached out destination, I broke out a bottle of wine and filled my empty Vitamin Water bottle with enough to wash down a handful of Xanax and sip for the rest of the journey.  (No, I wasn't driving.  Duh.)
5.  I hate even numbers.  Therefore, I could not end the list on 4.  Coincidentally, 4 is my LEAST FAVORITE NUMBER OF ALL TIME.  I don't know why.  It just is.

We reached Mom's condo in Chattanooga on Wednesday night.  On Thursday, we had Thanksgiving.  This is what you need to know about Thanksgiving:
1.  I was sober.  The alcohol didn't seem to be easing my stress, so I just gave up.  I don't know why.  I just did.
2.  My Mom had gone all Martha Stewart on Wednesday and prepared most of the things we were going to eat, then put them in the fridge so all we needed to do on Thursday was put everything in the oven.  In order to help her remember what she needed to do, she made a to do list.  It consisted (in its entirety) of the following:  Put turkey in oven.  The necessity of this list made me realize that perhaps Mom has more issues than I originally realized and that I should take note in order to discuss them with the GG.
3.  My future stepfather and two Korean stepsisters were there.  Actually, no, wait.  One of the girls didn't show up.  HOWEVER, my sister-in-law showed up with a large, black, dreadlocked woman whom I assumed (correctly? incorrectly?  who knows?) was a lesbian due to her intense masculinity and blatant adoration of pro football.  Therefore, we had a very culturally diverse Thanksgiving (redneck, Yankee, Asian, black, etc.)  This was a Tennessee first.

On Friday, my brother came over to the condo and we all drove up to my old house, which now sits abandoned in my hometown.  I had not been in the house since about six months after my Dad died because my Mom had moved out when a giant tree was propelled by an equally giant tornado into the house, thus rendering said house uninhabitable for a portion of time.  Once it was repaired, she chose not to move back, so although I had visited the farm several times since then, I had not been in the house because it was locked and my key no longer fit.  This is what you need to know about the visit to the house and subsequent activities on Friday:
1.  I located, and acquired into my possession, a letter that my Dad wrote to my Mom, brother, and I back in 2001 in case of his death.  It's funny and sad and very bittersweet.
2.  We scattered Dad's ashes in the Ocoee River after the farm trip (EPA, if this is somehow illegal, PLEASE SUCK IT AND DIE.  THERE'S NOT MUCH YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT NOW, MOTHERFUCKERS.)  Dad loved the mountains, and I had already scattered a handful of him there a year ago, after I sealed him in reusable Ziploc plasticware (no, I did not choose to reuse the container after I scattered those ashes, just in case you are coming to my house for dinner at some point and terrified that I might sent you home with leftovers in the "had a dead man in it" tub), then took his remains whitewater rafting down the upper and middle Ocoee.
3.  This was a sad day.

Saturday was the WEDDING.  Now, I had prepped Mom ahead of time that YES, I WOULD BE DRUNK.  I would behave myself (to the best of my ability) but there was no way in holy hell that I was going to be able to attend her wedding sober and not burst into some sort of emotionally unstable fit, thus potentially throwing either myself or others off the riverboat where the wedding was held, which was extremely dangerous considering the air temperature was in the fucking 30's (for the outdoor, after dark, on-a-moving-boat wedding).  Mom, being used to my general  unfiltered drunken debauchery, cheerfully acknowledged my intended drunkenness and went about her business.  (Cheerfully acknowledging yet not worrying about things like that is one of Mom's strong points.)  Here is what you need to know about the wedding:
1.  I remember NOTHING beyond the first three minutes of stepping aboard the boat, seeing my brother and hearing him and Shawna say, "Hey, we found the bar."  Additionally, I had been pregaming for a couple of hours before I even showed up AND I had an entire BOTTLE of vodka in my purse, just in case somebody got smart and decided to cut me off before I was ready.  When I got home that night, my entire purse bottle was empty, I know I had had at least three dirty martinis and several gin martinis from the bar (these came AFTER the dirty VODKA martinis once I reached the point where I was too drunk to remember to order the martinis with vodka instead of gin) in addition to quite a bit of wine.  Apparently, there was food involved at some point as I had been told we were having dinner after the wedding, and because I remember throwing up large amounts of unfamiliar food into Mom's guest bathtub, which my amazingly wonderful and understanding husband cleaned up because I was passed out in the floor.  (Hey, at least it was in the TUB.  Easy cleanup.  High five, Haley!)  Below is drunk me, with B.   His tie matches my dress, because we're THAT kind of couple.

2.  Apparently, during my drunkenness, I exchanged cell numbers with A LOT of people aboard the boat-- both known and unknown--and made LOTS of new friends.  I am only aware of this as I keep getting crazy texts from various people who are now in my phone contacts but whom (in my sober state) I don't actually know.  Or recognize.  Or remember dancing, drinking, conversing, or making out with.  Funny, I'm so anti-social when I'm sober, but give me a gallon of vodka and BAM-- bitches get friendly.

3.  I have been informed by several family members (Misty, I'm talking to you) that I did not do anything embarrassing at the wedding including (or, at the very least not EXCLUDING) exposing myself, protesting to said marriage during the ceremony, vomiting, or sobbing.  I feel that this speaks very highly of my extremely drunken abilities, and also erases a lot of doubt I had regarding my actions last time Blaker and I went to New York City. (Yet another night I cannot remember AND threw up in a bathtub. I may puke, but HEY, at least I'm jovial.)  Fortunately, these positive inebriated choices included choosing NOT to participate in a stage rendition of "Proud Mary" in which my (sober) mother and aunt sang and played tambourines (I shall post photos of this debacle, solely for my own entertainment) for the masses.  HIGH FUCKING FIVE, ME.

The next day, we drove home to Virginia.  This is what you need to know about Sunday:
1.  The drive once again took 13 hours.  I still got motion sick.  The kids were still noisy.  The dogs were still confused.
2.  I actually DID NOT have a hangover.  I suspect this is due to the vomiting and the PRAYERS TO JESUS TO PLEASE SAVE ME FROM MY DRUNKEN SELF.
3.  I was never in my life so glad to be home as I was that night when we finally got in.

I think that pretty much covers it.  Thank God it's over.  Below are more drunken photos for your perusal-- my plastered sis-in-law, plastered brother, and the bride and groom.  Oh, and me with my best friend, the martini glass.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Got 99 Problems

And one of them is that Jay-Z is stuck in my head.  But anyway.

Yesterday was another one of those WHAT THE FUCK days.  You may have noticed that I have those a lot.  As a matter of fact, if I wrote about all of them, my blog would contain more information than the Internet.  (That BLOWS YOUR DAMN MIND, DOESN'T IT?  Good.  It was supposed to.)  For example, here's a little story for you.

After I finished at the gym yesterday, I came home and showered, knowing that I needed to drive to the Greenbrier area and run a couple of errands.  After I dressed and dried my hair, I thought, "Oooh.  I'm wearing a badass skull shirt with studs on it.  I think I'm going to RUN WITH THAT MOTHERFUCKER AND GO ALL EDGY TODAY."  So I did.  When I put on my makeup, I outlined my eyes with a wet liner brush dipped in navy eyeshadow, to make them sort of smeary and kohl-ish, then loaded on lots of mascara.  With my jeans and badass skull t-shirt, I put on black boots.  By then, I had put far more effort than I EVER put into getting ready, so I was too bored to do my hair (I HATE getting ready to go places) and just twisted it up into a ballerina bun and dried my bangs with the round brush.  I LOOKED LIKE A ROCKSTAR CROSSED WITH A SEXY SERIAL KILLER.  I LOOKED AWESOME.

Twenty minutes later, I rolled into Greenbrier.  I hurried into the store I needed to grab something from (a store which cannot be named here because if B reads this the name of the store would totally give away his anniversary gift which he can't know about until Thursday) and darted down one of the aisles.  Once I found what I needed, I stood for a few minutes mulling over the selection and deciding exactly what I wanted to get.  Just then, a woman walked by, pushing a shopping cart with a little girl sitting in the toddler seat.  The kid was chubby and sticky and had what appeared to be cherry lollipop staining the front of her Disney Princess shirt.  She waved at me, but I, being me and disliking those little bastards that people refer to as "children," ignored her.  AND THEN SHE SLAYED ME.

This little bitty, brown-haired, three-ish year old PAIN IN THE ASS brought me down a notch.  How?

She looked up at her mother, giggled and said, "Mommy, that lady looks like Tinkerbell."

FUCKING TINKERBELL?  I DON'T THINK SO.  I'M WEARING SKULLS AND STUDS AND GOTH EYE MAKEUP, YOU LITTLE BITCH.  I'M HARDCORE AND IF I WANTED TO, I COULD KICK YOUR ASS TODDLER ASS.  SO CHECK YOURSELF, RUGRAT, BEFORE I WRECK YOURSELF.

(No.  I did not actually say those things.  I'm not THAT inconsiderate of dumbass things like how other people don't want their kids to hear swear words or be threatened by strangers.  But that is TOTALLY what I said in my head.)

Following that little incident, I grabbed what I needed and headed to the checkout.  The dude who rang me up was about twenty-two with shaggy skater hair and and a bag of cheetos next to the cash register that he was likely using to meet the needs of ongoing munchies from smoking too much pot on his lunchbreak.  Still fuming, I pulled my wallet out of my handbag and noticed that, while my credit card was there, my driver's license was not.  I had forgotten it in Blaker's wallet where he kept it while we were at Busch Gardens in case I ran out of the vodka I smuggled in in my bra and needed to actually suck it up and purchase alcohol from the park.  FUCKBUCKETS.

Sure enough, when I gave him my credit card, he asked to see ID.  So, I did what any decent woman would do (no, not blow him behind the counter-- not this time anyway), I acted like I was going to cry. 

Now, you need to understand how monumental this was for me.  I would rather pierce my own nipples than cry in front of a stranger.  Or anybody, really.  But this time, I reasoned, it was okay:  1) because it was fake; and 2) because I had driven half an hour to get where I was and although Blaker is great and I'm really stoked we've been married so long I WASN'T FUCKING DRIVING THE HELL BACK THERE AGAIN TO GET HIS DAMN ANNIVERSARY GIFT.  I'm too selfish to be bothered with that shit.  Therefore, I let my eyes tear up and explained how, " my driver's license is in my husband's wallet and I forgot and I'm so sorry and I can't believe this happened and is there anyway you guys can use something else like perhaps my library card or my SweetFrog punch card to make sure that I am who I say I am?"  By then, between the fake tears and the near-hyperventilation from the run-on sentence the guy was nervous and stuttered out a "Yes, Ma'am" while he busted his ass to get me out of there as quickly as possible.  Score for me.

Once I was back to my car I realized that I needed to run to Virginia Beach while I was in that general direction.  "Why," you ask.  "Did you need to go to the really nice mall or the Trader Joe's?"  No.  No, I did not.  I NEEDED TO GO TO THE FUCKING BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA STORE.

Yes, that's right.  There is a FUCKING BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA STORE.

Who in the holy hell knew that even existed?  Not me.  Until my nerdy little boy decided to follow in his nerdy grandpa's footsteps and become a nerdy little scout.  And since his equally nerdy, but in a different sort of way, father is a slackass and forgot to take him to scouts on the last night to purchase his scout handbook, I had to look online to figure out where to order one.  And when I gave up, drank a bottle of wine, and called Barnes & Noble to ask, "Where in hell and damnation can I buy the goddamn Boy Scouts of America Tiger Scout Handbook, motherfuckers?" I was told that I had to go to the FUCKING BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA STORE.

SWEET JESUS.

Turns out, there was one in Virginia Beach, so that was where I headed next.  It was an interesting trip-- I have a sneaking suspicion that all the money those nerd scouts raise selling cookies or whatever the fuck they do DOES NOT go to further the pleasantness of their stores.  I found this one in a shady section of Virginia Beach in which all the store signs were in Spanish and there seemed to be a great deal of people milling around abandoned gas stations smoking things that looked very similar to the crackpipes I've seen on Law & Order reruns.  When I finally made it safely inside the store I saw that somehow I had managed to travel from one extreme to the other.  The guys outside had teardrops tattooed on their faces.  The guy INSIDE was wearing a full Boy Scout Uniform (with shorts) and greeted me with, "Hidey there, little miss!"  Awesome.  (LET ME REMIND YOU OF HOW I LOOKED EDGY.  NOT LIKE A "LITTLE MISS."  ASSHOLE.)  The whole store was nothing but nerd books and nerd clothes and ten zillion nerd badges to sew ON your nerd clothes.  SUTTON WOULD HAVE HAD A NERDGASM OVER IT ALL.  I, on the other hand, immediately developed a headache and a strong craving for tequila.  Since I had no tequila with me (though most likely could have easily found it within a 50-yard radius, along with cocaine and a handful of sexually transmitted diseases) I quickly found the Tiger Cub book I needed and tried not to weep (this time for real) while I considered what a tool my poor, sweet child was becoming. 

AND THIS WAS JUST TWO HOURS OUT OF MY DAY, PEOPLE.  TWO FUCKING HOURS.

And people wonder why it makes me tired to be me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A River of Trouble

Back in August, a few of you got the late-night emergency text message reading, "CODE RED!  STAT!  STAT!  My Mom got engaged!"

No, I was not drunk, nor high on hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Although I really wish I had been (both).

Turns out, Mom is getting married.

Soon. 

Thanksgiving Weekend.

The wedding is to be held on a riverboat, with dinner and dancing and champagne.  Let's stop here for a minute.  Now, anybody who has ever met my Mom's side of the family or heard my (totally true) tales of them immediately realized that this wedding was a bad idea as soon as they heard the word "riverboat."  It does NOT make sense to take a bunch of drunk rednecks and put them on the river.  ("But Haley," you say, "drunk rednecks on the river is your typical Saturday in Tennessee."  TRUE DAT.  However, there is a difference between a twenty-year old fishing boat spray-painted camo and loaded with cans of Natural Light puttering down the Hiwassee and a stuffy riverboat complete with linen napkins and champagne flutes docked in downtown Chattanooga.)  I have no idea how many of her own relatives Mom intends to invite, but I suspect that my family numbers will drop by approximately 33% after a chunk of them (most of whom cannot swim) individually tumble into the water while looking for a place to piss after filling their bladders with the moonshine they snuck onto the boat in mason jars in their coat pockets.

Please note that losing half my family to a fatal wedding drowning would not upset me in the least, and MIGHT even get me on Dateline (yet again, my second-in-line lifetime wish).

Anyway, once you move beyond the particulars of the wedding party deathtrap, you get my mother and her intended, Chip, who have apparently learned to ballroom dance for the occasion.  DOES THIS SOUND SAFE?  Not just no, but HELL NO.  My Mom can't walk across the room in a two-inch chunk heel with someone holding her hand for stabilization.  Yet she plans to FOXTROT ON A RIVERBOAT?  AWESOME. (For the record, I will indeed laugh at this if I am still sober enough to be conscious.  I know what you're thinking--I could be one of the drunken fall-off-the-boaters.  Sadly (for you, not for me) I am an extremely strong swimmer, even in icy November water, so PUT THAT IN YOUR FUCKING PIPE AND SMOKE IT, ASSHOLES.)  You can rest assured that I plan to have EMS on standby to haul her ass off to the hospital and get her hip replaced, as necessary, seeing as how we all know how graceful Mom can be.  (My daughter gets it from her Ya Ya.)

Let's not overlook the fact that this wedding will be blending Chip's Yankee-Family-From-Michigan and my Mom's Family of We-Ain't-Got-No-'Lectricity-In-Our-Trailer-Where-I-Married-My-Cousin.  What will these northerners THINK when they meet us?  I mean, seriously.  Honey Boo Boo's family has to have a translator closed-captioning for the masses so that normal people can understand what the hell they say.  Shouldn't that be a concern for us as we blend at this soiree?  I FUCKING THINK SO.  But does anybody ever listen to my GREAT IDEAS?  Not really.  Surprised, aren't you?

Aside from the logistics of it all, people keep asking me how I feel about the wedding.  Who CARES how I feel about the wedding?  What people SHOULD be asking is "HOW IN THE HOLY FUCK DID YOUR MOM FIND SOMEBODY TO PUT UP WITH HER?"  The obvious answer, of course, is because she's MY mom.  Everybody knows I'm awesome.  But Chip barely knows me so that can't be the answer.  What IS the answer?  I don't know.  What I DO know is that Zach and I are both eternally grateful to Mom for snagging herself a new future.  MOM WILL NEVER COME LIVE WITH EITHER OF US.  She's in Chip's hands now.

Hallelujah.  Praise Jesus.

And that, my friends, is reason enough for a drink.  Salut! 

All Your Prayers Have Been Answered

Alright, everybody. 

For years now, you guys have been telling me to write a book.  Well, high five for Haley, my tome of genius is under construction.  Please start saving up your money now to purchase multiple copies because I am not only certain that it will be published, but also positive that it will be ON THE FUCKING NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER LIST INDEFINITELY.  Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time.

In the meantime, I ran into a problem-- I miss blogging, but don't have the time or extra material to use in Starrtrippin', which is why I have not written much lately.  After careful consideration, I am granting what I pretty much KNOW would be your one wish if you were trapped on a desert island-- HALEY IS STARTING A REVOLUTIONARY NEW BLOG.

The new blog WHAT WOULD HALEY DO is an advice column for the world at large-- how to navigate through your days HALEY-STYLE.  (You're all like, "Fuck yeah!  That's the best idea EVER.  Let's go have a drink and celebrate!"  It's okay.  I encourage day drinking.  And recreational drug use.  Particularly if you are planning to take your kids duck pin bowling in Portsmouth.)

I encourage my readers to FUCKING PARTICIPATE in this new venture.  The blog address is:

http://whatwouldhaleydo.blogspot.com

and I will start giving my stellar advice as soon as you start emailing me shit to write about.  Please send it to:

whatwouldhaleydo@gmail.com

In the meantime, never fear, Starrtrippin isn't dead, it's just taking a back burner (um, not that it was ever really a front burner, but my theory is that if I wrote more often than I do, you would be overwhelmed with my awesomeness and COULDN'T FUCKING HANDLE IT).

So.  SEND ME YOUR PROBLEMS, YO.




Monday, August 20, 2012

Haleystarr, Incorporated

I'm having a very difficult time finding a large house flag for my front porch that says "Fuck Off."

One can easily find flags that say "Welcome."  One can easily find flags for various seasons and holidays.  There is an abundance of flags with happy little birds or puppies or snowflakes or grist mills (yeah, that's right-- I just said "grist mill."  If you don't know what that is, Google it and consider it your Lesson of the Day.  YOU'RE WELCOME).  But flags with swear words on them?  Not so easy to find.

WHY IS THIS?  YOU KNOW THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD (LIKE ME) WHO DO NOT WANT TO WELCOME ANYONE TO THEIR HOME.  THEY WANT PEOPLE TO ROLL UP INTO THEIR DRIVEWAY, LOOK AT THE LARGE HOUSE FLAG, SEE THE "FUCK OFF" AND GO THE FUCK AWAY.   Oh, come on.  You know I'm right.  I figure if anybody is brave enough to ring my doorbell and UNLEASH THE KRAKEN (that's me) after seeing my "Fuck Off" flag, braving the obstacle course of flowerpots that leads to the door, and then continually knocking and ringing my doorbell (because anyone with any sense would know that I NEVER FUCKING ANSWER THE PHONE OR THE DOOR UNLESS IT APPEARS TO BE A DIRE EMERGENCY, AND EVEN THEN I'M LIKELY TO BE AT LEAST HALF NAKED AND ALL THE WAY DRUNK AND REALLY NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK IF YOU ARE HAVING AN EMERGENCY--{note to Meredith:  This does not apply to you or the time Madi got stuck in the high chair and Blaker and I didn't help you because we were "napping."  Just so you know}) then they are either the kind of person I want to hang out with or the kind of person I want to kill.  Therefore, if I answer the door with my .38 (this is a pistol for those of you who are stupid) in hand I should be fine either way.

All of this begs me to realize that there is a severe need for me in the world (like I didn't already know this).  Imagine what an amazing greeting card writer I would be (my line of "I fucking hate you" cards would probably be best sellers-- I mean, where ELSE are you going to get those?).  Imagine what a fabulous "Unwelcome" mat designer I would be ("DING DONG DIE, BITCHES").  Imagine what a tremendously talented house flag/street sign/GPS voice ("I said turn the fuck left, goddamnit!  Now take a motherfucking right on Main Street, cocksucker") I would be.  WE'RE TALKING REAL TALENT HERE, PEOPLE.
 
Aren't you glad you have me in your life?  (Yes.  Yes, you are.)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Polyamorous, My Ass

This morning I watched a new television program that I had DVR'd on Showtime called POLYAMOROUS:  MARRIED AND DATING.

That was some fucked up shit, yo.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that I am an opened minded girl.  I'm cool with pretty much anything anybody else wants to do or be as long as it does not cause harm to others and as long as it doesn't affect me personally.  I do not want to watch a transgendered woman have sex with an Asian midget on a  bench at the mall.  That said, I do not want to watch ANYONE have sex on a bench at the mall, so I do not consider these feelings to be particularly prejudiced.  I don't want to share my husband with ten sister-wives, but I don't care if someone else does (as long as we're not still talking about MY husband here-- let's make that clear-- you gotta find your own husband, bitches).

That said, I feel the same way about these crazy-ass polyamorous people.  Fine if they want to be that way, but there's no way in hell that I could.  Take, for instance, this one married couple, Anthony and Lindsey.  They're pretty young (mid to late twenties, maybe) and are married.  But for three years, they have also had a girlfriend named Vanessa.  They all three sleep in the same bed and have sex all together (who else thinks this is a win/win situation for Anthony?  Boys are dumb.) and in various couple combinations.  They are committed to one another and don't hook up with anybody else-- it's just the three of them.  Now, Vanessa has PROPOSED to Anthony and  Lindsey (as a couple) and they plan to have a commitment ceremony essentially "marrying" the three of them.  Awesome.

(Note:  I bet that makes for some CONFUSING SHIT when they fill out forms.  Most forms I have filled out only have one line for the spouse.  Hmmmm....which makes me wonder if in Utah, forms are different since so many of the polygamists live there.  I once knew a doctor who practiced in Utah for a year, but "Now he's just somebody that I used to know" (look at me, throwing some fucking Gotye lyrics into my blog--despite the sad truth being that I don't own any records and I doubt he changed his number, although I don't know that for sure--BAM, bitches, I'm practically the female Ryan Seacrest, not that that's a positive thing) so I can't call him up and ask.  Sorry.) 

Anyway, back to being polyamorous.

There was this OTHER group of people on the show who lived in San Diego (the first group lived somewhere else in CA-- gotta make you wonder about those crazy Californians) that was comprised of two married couples.  Michael and Kamala were married to one another and Jen and Tahl were married to one another.  But they all live together and trade spouses and such.  I have yet to figure out if Tahl and Michael also hook up, but I'm pretty sure everybody else does with everybody else.  WHAT THE FUCK?  (And does that actually make them Monogamous Swingers?  Because I really like the sound of that.)

Could you imagine?  I mean, I love Meredith and Dave to death, but it'll be a cold day in Hell when I invite them to live with us and be our lovers (sorry guys, I'm sure you find this deeply disappointing as I TOTALLY get the monogamous swingers vibe from you, because WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO BE MONOGAMOUS SWINGERS WITH ME AND B?  NOBODY, THAT'S WHO).  What if somebody gets knocked up?  How do you figure out who is the Dad?  And honestly-- BITCHES BE JEALOUS.  There's no fucking way that Jen, with her unfortunate nose and nervous hair-twirling tic doesn't feel at least A LITTLE jealous and intimidated by her husband fucking the beautiful (but ANNOYING AS ALL FUCK) Kamala.  No.  Fucking.  Way.

It all makes for some fascinating television, though.  I will say that.

I thought I had a wheelbarrow full of crazy.  Compared to those guys, I'm pretty normal.  Sure, I microwave my cold cereal before I eat it (I like it soggy), enjoy therapeutic vacuuming, and won't get in a public pool to save my (germ-free) life, but at least my quirks don't create a need for me to remember whether I'm supposed to bed down with my husband or my lover and his wife tonight.  (At least, not yet.)  I mean, one can't be polyamorous if one struggles just to be amorous in the first damn place.  (Instead of saying "I love you," I prefer to just say, "I hate everyone who isn't you."  It's really more accurate, in all honesty.)

As the old saying goes, I guess it does take all kinds to make the world go 'round.  And what a world it is turning out to be.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hope Floats

I've been kinda busy lately.  Not too busy to write, but far too busy to blog.  However, dire circumstances have created the need for Starrtrippin' to BUST IN AND SAVE THE FUCKING DAY, (which basically means my little sis needs a blog to cheer her up, so HERE IT FUCKING IS.)  In dedication to Ro, Sadie Bug, and Little Lily.

Have you ever noticed that JUST when you think everything is going smoothly and all is going to be okay, SHIT GOES ALL TO HELL?

It does.  At least as best I can tell.

This summer is the perfect example of my theory.  I had no plans for this summer.  My usual trip to Tennessee wasn't even on the agenda, because my Mom had visited in June and my best buddy, MT, was getting married in October (which obviously warranted a trip home) so the plan for the summer involved a whole lot of reading, pool time, and obsessive-compulsive cleaning (because that's who I AM, people).  The plan was a LOW KEY SUMMER. Trips to the beach.  Dinners on the deck.  Drinks by the pool.  A whole lot of nothing.

THEN, my dog died.  Then my Grandmother died.  Then I went to Tennessee.  Then most of my friends moved out of state and/or out of the country (stupid Navy doctors, pilots, and Army men).  Then my little cousin was told by her (fucking idiot) doctor that she might be diabetic (we're still waiting on the results, but my long-diabetic self is pretty sure her sweet little 3-year-old, non symptomatic self is fine).  Then my baby cousin (her little sister) was diagnosed with a tumor on her eyelid and told she needed surgery.  Then, during a well-child check, Sutt's vision was found to be 20/50 in his right eye, thus sending me on a wild goose chase with an optometrist who wants to date me (despite my insistence, and my records showing that, I'm married, happily, to the guarantor of the insurance policy). Holy fucking hell.  What a summer.

At this point, I can't help but think that it's very possible that we are all chess pieces on a big, giant cosmic board and that somebody is having a super fun time with us.  So to cheer myself (and Ro) up, I'm going to make a list.

A LIST OF AWESOME THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED THIS SUMMER THAT MIGHT CANCEL OUT THE REALLY AWFUL, BAD SHIT IF THAT WAS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE BUT SINCE IT ISN'T I'M JUST GOING TO PULL A "SPECIAL K" AND PRETEND THAT EVERYTHING IS SUPER WONDERFUL BECAUSE SHIT ALWAYS SEEMS TO WORK OUT FOR HER AND I THINK IT MIGHT BE DUE TO HER (ANNOYINGLY) POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND SEE IF LISTING THE GOOD SHIT MAKES THE BAD SHIT SEEM LESS BAD

1.  After much mourning and crying and keening for my sweet, lost Maddie May, we adopted DOG NUMBER TWO.  Dog Number Two is a rescue dog, and I SWEAR TO MY SWEET JESUS, OUR LORD, that Maddie lead me to her.  I woke up one morning in July (Maddie died June 7) after dreaming about Maddie being all happy and whatnot in Heaven with my Dad, turned on my phone, and the first thing that popped up was a photo on my Facebook feed of this dog that I KNEW BELONGED TO US.  It was a puppy.  It was scruffy.  It looked like somebody had taken about seven dogs, chopped them into pieces, then glued some of the parts all together to make a complete dog.  Her front half was white and sleek, her back half was apricot and frizzy, her ears were enormous, and her underbite was so noticeable that you really didn't see anything else. It was a female, at the Cleveland, TN, ARK and I KNEW WE WERE MEANT TO LOVE HER AND MAKE HER A MCPHAIL.  Sadly, she was 700 miles away, which was kind of an issue, albeit a small one as far as I was concerned because I WAS GETTING CELESTIAL GUIDANCE Y'ALL.  THIS DAMN DOG WAS MEANT TO BE MINE.  So I called my Mom on her lunchbreak and said, "Hey, Mom, wanna go check out a dog in Cleveland for me?"  Mom, being the awesome, spontaneous being that she is, said, "Sure," loaded up the Jeep and drove to Cleveland from Chattanooga to scope out this dog.  My requirements were steep-- she had to be friendly, she had to be absurdly spastic, and she had to be one of those dogs who (like some babies) was so ugly she was cute.  And that's how we got Lola, a ginormous adoption fee worth of DAMN CRAZY MUTT.  I love her.  She's fabulous.  Our beloved Maddie is gone, but she approves and is proud.  I can feel it.

2.  We're taking strides towards the future.  Blaker found a job in Berlin.  We decided we didn't want that one.  But that doesn't mean that we aren't still headed overseas.  The search, slowly but surely, is on.

3.  When things got bad, I packed up our stuff and the kids and we went to Chapel Hill to see Ray.  It had been FOREVER since I had seen her, which sucks, but we both have families and jobs and stupid adult responsibilities now that frequently seem to waltz into the way of our time together.  It was great.  I learned about a new show comparable to SWAMP PEOPLE called AX MEN.  We drank lots of wine.  I met a fabulous new friend named Betsy, who allowed her leg to be a stripper pole so that Ray could perform her new moves for me.  I learned about gluten.  I ate eggplant.  All in all, it was a successful trip.  I miss my Ray.

Okay, so I'm running out of really awesome stuff to list, because, honestly, this summer has fucking sucked.  Other than rediscovering my love for a super dirty vodka martini and learning exactly what a Black Widow Spider looks like, nothing much positive has happened.  It rained a lot and our roof leaked.  Lola ate one of my favorite shoes.  Bellamy talks nonstop about ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY nothing.

But you know what?  Things will get better.  I honestly think that.  And so, I'm waiting.  Waiting for Fall and waiting for Better.  They're coming.  I'm sure of it.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bands, Brews, and Bullshit

Right now, I want to punch Google+ in the face.  WHAT HAVE YOU EVER DONE FOR ME, GOOGLE+?  NOT ONE FUCKING THING.  In the past week, I have gotten three emails from Google+, each taunting me that Google+ has someone I know and whom I may want to join my circle.  Two of these three were ex-boyfriends, and the third was the friend who dumped me back in March of '11.  Do I want to be friends with them?  HELL NO, GOOGLE+.  FUCK YOU.  I don't even remember most of the time that I HAVE Google+ and I think I only have it anyway because of my Droid (the phone, not the Star Wars character, for those of you who are confused-- and I KNOW some of you are).  And if the Universe has teamed with Google+ and set out to get me (which is exactly how I feel after those "friend" alerts) then YOU CAN SUCK IT TOO, UNIVERSE.

Okay.  Enough about that.

I'm actually in a rather good mood today, despite what you may believe after reading the above paragraph.  The weather kicks ass, two of my favorite people (D&M) are coming over for dinner before they jet off to a two-year stint in Okinawa (unfortunately, I haven't yet figured out what we're having for dinner or if we HAVE anything I can force B to grill-- I suspect as long as I have plenty of alcohol, and I do, we're all good), and the minions are attending VBS this week somewhere on the other side of Suffolk. (I don't know what church, nor do I know the name of the lady whom they are going with-- I literally just SEND THEM OFF WITH A TOTAL STRANGER I KNOW AS "GRANDMA."  I AM SO NOT KIDDING ABOUT THIS.)  The point is, I'm feeling pretty low-key, which is impressive for me.  I haven't even vacuumed since yesterday.  HIGH FIVE FOR ME.

Things have been kind of spotty here lately, with Maddie May moving to the Great Beyond and all of my friends moving to, well, all over the rest of the world.  There have definitely been some good times, though, and I thought I would use this opportunity to share one of them with you:  The Father's Day Trip To See Dave Matthews Band.

OUR STORY BEGINS

I bought B tickets to see DMB ON Father's Day, FOR Father's Day.  B has loved DMB since their early days in Charlottesville when he was an undergrad at UVA and used to go hear them play in dive bars.  A group of our friends were going to the concert as a last hoorah before they all leave (one of approximately 8 last hoorahs at this point) so we joined up with them.  There were ten of us, total, stuffing ourselves into two SUV's-- one driven by a husband who had to work early the next day (not mine) and one driven by our sweet, patient, 8 1/2 MONTHS FREAKING PREGNANT friend, EB.  Both were great designated drivers because neither could drink.  (Surprisingly enough, I, too, was sober this night as I had passed out in my bathroom floor after roughly sixty ounces of vodka and cranberry juice in a two-hour time period and on an empty stomach the night before.  I had awakened at one point to find four children (or, frankly, they could have been elves, midgets, leprechauns.....who the fuck knows-- not me, I had had WAY too much alcohol) surrounding me and overheard one say, "Is that rolled-up towel under her head supposed to be a pillow?" as they poked at me curiously.  Another one (the oldest, who is probably....12? maybe?......said, "She's fine.  That's what grown-ups look like when they have too much to drink."  GOOD TIMES, Y'ALL.)  I had not been asked to drive despite my sobriety because I CAN'T FUCKING DRIVE FOR SHIT.  But that's a total side note.

Anyway, you have the preface.  Here are some of the highlights of our evening:

1.  Watching in amazement as one of my girlfriends smuggled FOUR airplane bottles of vodka in UNDER HER BREASTS WHILE WEARING NO BRA.  That, bitches, is some talent.  Do you know how many bottles of vodka I could smuggle in under MY braless boobs?  NONE.  Sad, but true.

2.  Watching, yet again, in amazement as EB hiked her extremely pregnant self up a damn MOUNTAIN to get to our seats WITHOUT going into labor OR tripping and rolling down the hill, taking out a bevy of DMB tree-huggin' granola-eatin' pot-smokin' groupies along the way.  GIRLFRIEND HAS STAMINA.  When I was pregnant, I would NEVER have been that badass.  I would have demanded to be carried up the hill and then situated on my own, private, air-conditioned pedestal where nobody could INVADE MY FUCKING SPACE.

3.  Being able to sit on our blanket, take a deep breath, hold it in, and get abso-fucking-lutely stoned just from being in close proximity to so much good weed.  Good thing J brought those pretzels.

4.  A spirited argument with B, who was jammed in the third seat between two of my smokin' hot friends so that I could sit in the middle seat and NOT feel like I was going to get carsick (I don't think he minded that much), regarding how much more beer he could handle without puking.  Turns out, I had the cooler tucked beneath my legs in the car, so I was the MASTER OF THE BEER.  If anybody wanted it, they were going to have to come and get it.  And, seeing as how I was one of the few sober ones on this adventure (quick props to my one other sober friend, Tina, who was one of the hot chicks sitting by B) and all those other drunkards who had far surpassed their tolerable alcohol intake quantities, I had to use my judgement wisely.  And my judgement felt the need to inform everyone that WHEN B PUKED FROM DRINKING TOO MUCH I WAS WALKING TO EACH OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL HOUSES (we all live in the same neighborhood) TO WAKE THEIR DUMB ASSES UP AND MAKE THEM COME CLEAN UP THE PUKE BECAUSE I DON'T FUCKING DO PUKE, ESPECIALLY PUKE FROM MY HUSBAND WHO SHOULD HAVE LEARNED THAT LESSON A LONG DAMN TIME AGO.  I WOULD BEAT ON THEIR DOORS AND USE THEIR DOOR CODES (several of which I know) TO COME IN AND PEEL THEM FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR BEDS AND MAKE THEIR LIVES AS MISERABLE AS MINE WOULD BE AT THAT MOMENT.  And they KNEW I would, because that's how I roll.  Lucky for everybody, my B can hold his beer.  There was no puke.

5.  Getting LOTS of blackmail-worthy photos of my Peoples and realizing just how much I was going to miss this bond we all had.  (Then remembering that I'm an Introvert and I don't like anyone, thus negating said realization.)

It was the best Father's Day I've had since I lost my Dad, the first one I've had where I didn't spend the whole day wishing the best for B and secretly begrudging all those people my age who still had their Dad.  I think it means I'm moving forward a little bit at a time.  Maybe I WILL miss those friends after all.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Blood Is Thinner Than Water

Last week, B and I were a few houses down from our house visiting our friends, the Donahues, when I stepped out of their front door and suddenly saw my idiot first cousin (our Dads were brothers) riding a girly, sparkly pink bicycle through my neighborhood.

*Let's quickly review why this is MESSED THE FUCK UP.  1)  My cousin lives over 600 miles away in Cleveland, Tennessee, with the rest of his stupid, redneck relatives.  2)  None of that side of the family has known where I live, or if I was still alive for that matter, for approximately three and a half years, minimum.  Technically, it would be longer, only I saw them at my Dad's memorial service in January of 2009 (THIS is why I strongly believe memorial services should be "by invitation only."), otherwise I would not have seen any of them for a multitude of years, PRAISE JESUS.  3)  Sparkly pink girl's bicycle.  He's a 30 year old man.  What the fuck?

Did I have to do a double take?  Nope.  Because I'm used to weird-ass shit happening to me ALL THE DAMN TIME.  I am a WEIRD ASS SHIT MAGNET, as I have pointed out on several other occasions.  God made me this way for the sole purpose of keeping himself entertained I AM QUITE CERTAIN, henceforth I decided long ago to just take it all as it comes at me.  So I took it for what it was-- my 30-year-old male first cousin riding a young girl's bicycle through my neighborhood in tidewater Virginia.

Turns out, I wasn't seeing things, it IS a small world, and somefuckinghow his brother-in-law lives down the street where the cousin and his wife and kid (I currently cannot remember if their kid is a girl or a boy) were visiting.  AWESOME.

All of this led me to mull over my "family" for a bit and laugh a little at how it didn't even occur to me to say hello even though we grew up right next door to each other, share a set of Grandparents, and of whom I have a plethora of childhood memories.  This would be unusual for B, or most everyone else I know-- to let the youngest child of your Dad's only sibling ride right by you and not even acknowledge that you know him.  B still sends birthday cards to his fourth-cousin-by-marriage-twice-removed and such.  Not me.  Heart of marble over here, bitches.  There is that old saying, "Blood is thicker than water."  But I figured out a long damn time ago that whoever first said that was a blithering fool and clearly NOT my kind of people.  My own, personal Haley quote regarding family goes something like this, "DNA DOES NOT MAKE ME LIKE YOU IF YOU ARE A SHITTY EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING.  SO SUCK IT AND DIE, LOSER."  (Isn't that MUCH more colorful?)  I have a large family-- my Mom has six or seven brothers and sisters (I lose track, because I do not like most of them, either) and all of them (probably) have kids and their kids (probably) have kids and (seeing as how we're talking about Tennessee here) there's an excellent chance that THOSE kids may even have kids by this point.  Out of all this SUPER AWESOME "family," (my immediate wolfpack--husband and kids--aside), I claim approximately five people.  And two of those are dead.

Why is it that so many people love their family BECAUSE they are family, but would never give them a second glance if they were not related?  Why are there so many ridiculous sayings about friends coming and going and family being forever?  Family isn't forever.  Families move.  They die.  They do really stupid things that make you spend inordinate amounts of time wondering if you could kill them and get away with it, knowing that you would feel no remorse but would actually spend the remainder of your life high-fiving yourself for ridding the world of such scourge?  I choose who I love carefully, and it has nothing to do with genetics.  Never has, never will.  It may be said that one can't choose one's family.  And I can't.  But I don't have to claim them, either.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Love Letter to a Friend

This morning, Blaker woke me up early to tell me that our dog, Maddie May, was gone.  She had recently had some health issues, but it was still very unexpected.  She started acting unwell last night, and Blaker checked on her throughout the night, then was with her this morning when she passed, curled up on her bed that was next to our own.

I adopted Maddie from a shelter in Charleston, SC, in November of 2002.  Maddie and her sister had been picked up as strays and taken to the animal shelter where her sister,  whom the shelter called "Cathy," had quickly been adopted.  Maddie, whom they called "Chatty" because she was such a vocal little pup, had spent a month at the first shelter, then was transferred to a second shelter where she was nearing a month as well.  This is where I found her.  I walked in, heard some crazy animal howling at the top of her lungs in the back, and went to her immediately.  She was dirty, matted, scruffy, and the most spastic damn dog I had ever encountered.  Of course, I immediately fell in love.

No shelter employee or veterinarian I ever found was able to tell me exactly what kind of mix of dogs my Maddie May likely was.  Guesses included poodle, maltese, wheaton terrier......who the hell knows.  Because of that and because she had been a stray, I started calling her Junkyard Maddie, or Junky.  She had other nicknames-- Tracker Jacker, because she loved to patrol the backyard; The Wampa, once Sutt became a Star Wars fan and we realized she looked like a wampa; Chastity Maddie, because she always wanted to be between Blaker and I, touching us both, in bed--but Junky was the original.

Maddie spent every second of her life being happy.  It didn't matter where she was or what we were doing, she was the happiest creature I have ever known.  Walks and rides in the car thrilled her to no end, and no one has ever been so enthusiastic about their family as Junky.  Sometimes when I was sad, I would step outside, then come right back in so that she would get excited and spin in circles and howl at me to welcome me back after my thirty-second absence.  She was incredibly smart, and she LOVED HER PEOPLES.  If one of us sat down, Maddie had to sit touching us.  She would sit and paw at you wanting you to pet her, and when she figured out that the pawing annoyed me, she would lick me instead (I'm a sucker for dog licks).

Spending eleven years with this amazing little dog taught me a lot of things:  sing loud, love your peoples, and just be happy and grateful to be alive, no matter what else is going on in your life.

As expected, I'm having a tough time being happy today.  I miss my girl so much.  Even though Maddie is definitely in Heaven (we always attributed Maddie as being very religious--long story), probably getting butt scratches from my Dad and howling along with a celestial choir, my heart is broken by her loss.  We now have this quiet hole in our family that a very energetic, noisy, joyful little dog used to fill.

I will always be grateful to have had the time with her that we did. 

Good girl, Maddie May.  Your mama loves you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What the What?

This Sunday, B graduates from William and Mary with his MBA.  Normally, I would not be impressed at all by this.  It's his 147th degree, 140 of them being graduate degrees.  I have about 127 of my own, all of which are now framed but stacked under the bed along with my discarded journals and the wall sconces that I can't coax into working any longer but can't seem to part with because I'm an amateur hoarder.  Graduations get old.  Caps and gowns get old.  Guest speakers get REALLY old.  B wasn't even going to walk until I threw a hissy fit and made him.  Why?  Because this degree has one difference.  It's his first post-marriage, post-kids degree.  It has been three years in the making-- three LONG, continual, year-round years of B being gone several nights a week, devoting weekends to homework and projects, basically STEALING MY FUCKING YOUTH AS I CARE FOR HIS DAMN OFFSPRING.  Basically what I'm saying is I'M GRADUATING.  I may not have taken Consulting or World Economics, but I scored an A in Teaching Both Kids To Fucking Read And Add.  Night after night I have assisted with homework, cooked dinner alone, applied itch cream, handled baths, administered Motrin, located the one missing shoe needed for gym class, packed lunches for the pickiest eaters on earth, gotten the minions to bed, killed a bottle of wine and I HAVE PREVAILED.  They are smart and they are thriving.  I AM GODDAMN MOTHER OF THE YEAR.  When Blaker walks across that stage, I will be hand-in-hand with him in spirit.

Which makes it ironic that B's graduation is to be held on Mother's Day.

Yes, for Mother's Day I'm going to The College of William and Mary's Business School Graduate Student Graduation (I totally just named that myself).  At 8am.  On a Sunday.  Did I mention it's on MOTHER'S DAY?  Just wondering.

I say this as if I am all worked up, but to be honest, I really can't complain.  After all this time (from both of us), work (from both of us), and tears (only mine and the kids'), we can finally move on from this chapter in our lives.  B has a new (paid for by his company!)degree that can open doors for us in the future.  We may move overseas.  We may pursue opportunities in other parts of the U.S.  We may sell the kids to the gypsies, lease our home out as a House of Ill Repute and become permanent vacationers in Cabo (hey, we could live a LONG damn time in Mexico off of what we already have saved in the kids' college funds).  None of us know what the future holds, and I'm just so psyched that B will be home most evenings that I don't even care that I'll be spending Mother's Day sitting in a folding chair on the lawn of Miller Hall at W&M applauding my husband (side note:  the blow is also softened by the GORGEOUS new dress I bought for the occasion and the navy satin ruffle stilettos I found to match.  Hey, it may be HIS day, but I still plan to look smokin' hot).

DEAR JESUS HOLY HELL.

Sorry about that.  I was blogging, and then my neighbor showed up and I started talking to her about how I ate five of the toffee bars that she made yesterday and nearly went into diabetic ketoacidosis and how awesome it would be to contractually marry her daughter to my son even though both are under the age of seven, because then we could be in-laws and it would be AWESOME, even though she's moving to Okinawa in a few months so she'll have to leave my preschool-age daughter-in-law with me for two years, and she was pointing out how yes, it would be fucking AWESOME AS ALL HELL FOR US but when the kids were going to Children of Alcoholics meetings as young adults and refusing to invite us over for Thanksgiving it wouldn't be NEARLY as awesome as the rest of the time.   And I was all "Yeah, you have a point.  Want to get together and drink wine tomorrow?" and she was all "Are those your Mother's Day presents wrapped and on the kitchen counter?" and I got distracted and then she left and I was like, "Hell, YEAH, there ARE presents there."  And then B said I should open one.

NOW.  Side note.  B has been "working on" this gift for me for some time.  He has talked about trying to figure out how to make it.  He has met with other people about the best way to go about it.  He has hidden in the garage and done "secret shit" a lot.  I haven't had a fucking clue, and honestly, I haven't thought much about it because I figured "secret shit" was just code for "avoiding my drunken, obnoxious wife" which is fine, because I totally avoid MYSELF about half the time.  But anyway.  So THIS GIFT I WAS TO OPEN WAS THAT GIFT.  The one he had been working on.  I was almost nervous because what if I didn't like it?  I'm terrible at faking liking things that I don't.  WHAT IF THIS GIFT THAT I WASN'T EVEN SURE I WANTED TO OPEN CAUSED THE WHOLE WEEKEND TO GO INTO FREAKIN' MARITAL LOCKDOWN, STAT STAT, BECAUSE I WAS MAD THAT I HAD A STUPID PRESENT AND HE WAS HURT BECAUSE I DIDN'T LIKE HIS STUPID PRESENT?

Okay,  Resume, please.

SO I opened the gift.  And I burst into tears.

Side Note #2.  Over the weekend of February 18th, we rented a giant beach house with a group of friends in the Outer Banks and basically spent three days with the kids locked in the basement and ourselves perpetually drunk (with the exception of one poor friend of mine who is currently gestating a young 'un and couldn't imbibe like the rest of us-- you have NO IDEA how sorry I feel for her for being stuck us our drunk asses for the whole weekend).  HOWEVER, on the 18th, which is my Dad AND my (paternal) Grandpa's birthday, both to whom I was extremely close and both of whom I have lost, I sobered up, got up early, and went for a very long run on the beach.  I never saw another soul.  I ran half the time with my eyes closed.  The sunlight was gorgeous, the sky was a fury of pinks and purples and blues and golds, and for just a little while, I could feel my Dad besides me, appreciating the peace.  Reveling in the beauty.  Before I left and headed back to the house, I picked up a little purple and white shell that was lying in the sand by itself.  It reminded me of my Daddy, because he knew purple was my favorite color and so he would always bring me purple things (ink pens, flowers, etc).  The shell was smooth and oval, slightly smaller than a quarter, and I tucked it into my pocket as a talisman, to touch and remember the feeling of seeing my Dad in the sunrise over the ocean.  When we returned home, I slipped it into my jewelry box and touched it from time to time, thinking of our weekend.  It made me happy.

Okay, Resume Again, please.

Blaker had taken my shell, my DAD shell, and polished it to a shine.  Then he had polyurethaned it to a slick, glossy finish.  Somehow, he had drilled a teeny, tiny little hole into the top and found a teeny, tiny sterling silver ring to put through the hole.  He had bought a dainty, sparkling sterling silver chain on which it could hang, carefully measuring the length against another necklace I love to make sure it was my "favorite" necklace length.  In the barest of terms, Blaker gave me the essence of my Dad in a necklace.

He can't give me my Dad back, but he can help me preserve the memory of Dad.  He can help me save and enjoy the things that matter.

And that, my friends, is more than I could ever have asked for in a mate.  Someone who can take the little things that are important to me, and recognize them for how much they matter.  Someone who can give me a present that turns my CRAZY ASS BLOG POST ON ITS HEAD.  Someone who reminds me to treasure this life that I have. 

I hope all of you are as lucky as I am.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

And We're Back

Part 2:

6.  Lab Notes~  How many of you think I would help build a meth lab in the neighbor's garage?  Okay, now everybody who raised their hand-- FUCK YOU.  I did, however, help build a brewery in the neighbor's garage.  (Let's be honest-- I didn't "help" do a damn thing.  I sat and drank vodka with my buddy M, while her husband, D, and Blaker brewed beer.  It should be finished fermenting in about another week.  After the vodka, we moved on to wine and delicious Mexican food.  BEST SATURDAY PLANS EVER.)  The point is, I WAS THERE.  I WAS PRESENT WHILE IT HAPPENED.  And it LOOKED like a meth lab (or, at least, what I imagine a meth lab to look like, which is probably nothing like what it REALLY looks like).  Sadly, M and D and their super cute kids and their faux meth lab are moving to Japan in a few months, and I am left (weeping) to pick up the pieces while B reminisces about his Beer-Brewing-Bromance with D.  I have a feeling the break-up will be hard as they appear to still be in the honeymoon phase.

(Side note:  All of you in Tennessee are reading this and saying, "What the hell ever.  I live in the meth capital of the fucking WORLD.  You can't impress me with your fake meth labs and your homegrown beer brewing."  This is true.  I will not argue with you.  But if you're going to be that way, please quit reading my blog, assholes.)

Where was I?  

7.  My Son Doesn't Need To Learn Jazz Hands~ Every year the kids' school has PTA meetings where a different grade performs a song and dance number post-meeting.  It's a hyped-up super trick to get people to the meetings, and the kids rehearse for weeks.  I THINK THIS IS BULLSHIT.  I don't want to go sit through a damn PTA meeting then watch my kids do sing some stupid song while wearing a stupid costume and doing a stupid dance, during which you can tell they are at the UTMOST HEIGHT OF MISERY EVER REACHED THUS FAR IN THEIR SHORT LITTLE LIVES.  That's ridiculous.  I suffer enough just raising the little hellions.  Bellamy participated her kindergarten year (I skipped it-- MOM OF THE FUCKING YEAR.  I made her Daddy go in my place.  Yes, I AM also Wife of the Fucking Year.) and has since declined to be a part of the performance every year since.  Sutt, being the precocious little man that he is,  caught on early and opted out before ever participating at all.  (That's my boy!)  I thought we were in the clear until Sutt came home on Monday declaring that his music teacher, Mr. Gibson, told him that even if he didn't perform at the PTA meeting, he still had to perform in front of the student body, so I had better get my ass in gear and make him a Junk Food Costume (how fucking stupid is THAT?) pronto. 

EXCUSE ME?  Costume making and parental participation?  I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO.

I was cooking dinner (spaghetti) when Sutt passed this tidbit along to me, so I said to him, sweetly, "You tell Mr. Gibson Mommy said to suck it."  Then I continued on with my meat-browning and garlic-chopping.

SO, last night (Wednesday) Sutt was sitting (once again) at dinner when he suddenly piped up and said, "I told Mr. Gibson that my Mommy said if he wanted her to make me a Junk Food costume he could suck it."

THAT'S.  MY.  BOY.  I love him.  High Five.

Although I don't particularly care for the number 7 any longer as it has negative connotations from my past (don't ask-- and for the record, I also do not like 4 or 8) I plan to stop here with my numbering to discuss how quickly time has flown these past months.  Last Fall I found out that all my friends were moving away this summer-- LITERALLY, ALL OF MY FRIENDS.  Now the time is nearly here for me to send them off.  This makes me feel sad because they are going to miss me so damn much.  SO DAMN MUCH (just go with it.)  But though my mind wanders, it is Minion Bedtime, so that is a blog for another time.

I'm going to have to write an epic Send Off Blog for them all.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Take A Damn Shower And Stop Acting Like A Lunatic

I decided to title my blog post with the last words I said before I started writing.  I was saying this to my eight-year-old daughter, who was dancing naked through the living room singing in a made-up language.

Further proof that I'm fucking MOM OF THE YEAR.

SO, a lot of shit has happened since my last blog went down.  I hardly have time to breathe anymore, much less blog, because my children and husband and dogs are needy and I'm working my ass off for Pearson.  Factor in all the extra time I have to spend creating pornography and sobering up, and well, there you have it.  Life is busy.  So busy, in fact, that I think I shall make a list.

MIND-BOGGLING CRAZY SHIT THAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THE LAST TIME I BLOGGED, ALTHOUGH LIKELY NOT IN ITS ENTIRETY BECAUSE I HAVE KILLED ENOUGH BRAIN CELLS PARENTING AND DRINKING THAT I NEVER REMEMBER MUCH OF ANYTHING IN ITS ENTIRETY, PARTICULARLY THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER, WHICH IS WHY I CARRY A BLANK BOOK OF LINED PAGES IN MY HANDBAG IN CASE I SHOULD EVER REMEMBER TO WRITE DOWN SOMETHING THAT I WANT TO REMEMBER

1.  Mormon Mix-up~  A couple of weeks ago, I learned a very valuable lesson.  Specifically, DON'T ACCOST MORMONS IN THE WAL-MART PARKING LOT TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE BOOK OF JAMES (FROM THE BIBLE, YOU FOOLS) UNLESS YOU ARE SURE THEY ARE MORMONS, AND NOT JUST A GROUP OF BOYS FROM A HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR DRESSED IN BLACK PANTS, WHITE SHIRTS, AND BLACK TIES, GOING TO EAT LUNCH IN THE WM MCDONALDS.  This lesson is pretty self-explanatory.  However, I would like to say, in my defense, that these boys were very nice (like Mormons), wore terrible pleated pants (like Mormons) and LOOKED LIKE FUCKING MORMONS.  In THEIR defense, they were NOT on bicycles and knew NOTHING about the Book of James.  These things were very UN-Mormonlike.  It was all very confusing for a while.  However, once they showed me the school bus they had arrived on (and threatened to call the police), I let them go about their business.......after I had already yelled at them and told them that God was going to deny their entry into Heaven for denying their Mormon faith.  Yeah.....let's not talk about that anymore.  Everybody makes mistakes, even me.  Sometimes.

2.  50 Shades of Shit~  Some of you may have heard of the phenomenon of the trilogy by E.L. James entitled THE FIFTY SHADES TRILOGY.  Numerous television appearances and magazine articles have appeared discussing how these novels, dubbed "mommy porn," have taken the world by storm.  Of course, being a mommy who is easily excited by the prospect of porn, I leaped at the chance to purchase said trilogy and check it out for myself.  So I did.  The first book was great-- super sexy rich 28-year-old dominating male meets silly, naive submissive woman, coaxes her into giving it up, ties her up, beats her a little, fucks her senseless.  GREAT BOOK.  The writing is total crap, the characters are not well-developed, and the woman in the book is so annoying that I kept hoping that he would accidentally kill her during his "kinky fuckery," thus turning the trilogy into an awesome S&M psychological thriller (note:  sadly, this never happened).  But, being a girl who likes a little violence, I appreciated the theme of the book.  AND THEN CAME BOOKS NUMBER 2 AND 3 AND ALL I  COULD THINK WAS "WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?"  The crazy, naughty sex became all love-making and shit, people started cuddling and making googly eyes at each other AND I CONSIDERED DRINKING A GALLON OF BLEACH TO END MY OWN SUFFERING AND YOUTUBING MY DEATH IN THE NAME OF IDIOTIC LITERARY CHOICES ACROSS TIME.  Seriously.  I mean, JESUS, PEOPLE.  You can't take an audience who is thrilled by the whips and chains and then give them mushy love shit.  YOU JUST CAN'T.  IT ISN'T FAIR.  IT MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE.  Enough said.

3.  Touring TN~  For the first time since 2006, I loaded up the family and headed to Tennessee for Easter.  Even B made the trip, which never happens.  Okay, maybe once every five years or so, but ALMOST never.  (We usually make him stay in Virginia because he's a damn Yankee whom may be accidentally slaughtered by some of my relatives for his non-southern dialect.)  From Thursday to Monday, me, one husband,  two kids, and two dogs frolicked with the  family.  I saw my Michael, got drunk with my brother, and ate some cupcakes.  That would pretty much sum up the whole trip EXCEPT for the Panty Story.  Let's fast forward a day or two AFTER the return home from Tennessee.  As I am an OCD neat freak, I had (of course) unpacked our suitcases the millisecond we arrived back at our house.  Despite this, the amount of laundry took me a day or two to get washed, dried, and separated, seeing as how I was scoring essays full-time while I performed my housewifery. (I like that word-- "houseWIFery."  I hope you are pronouncing it correctly in your head, as I do not care for the pronunciation "houseWIFEry.")  When I got around to folding Belly's laundry, I realized that there was a pair of unidentified underwear in her pile-- cute little navy and white checked cotton panties from Victoria's Secret.  VICTORIA'S SECRET?!  MY THIRD-GRADER HAS UNDERWEAR FROM VICTORIA'S SECRET?  Perplexed as to HOW THIS COULD FUCKING BE, I put said panties aside and made a mental note to ask Belly about them later.  (This is one of those instances where I COULD have written "Ask Belly about panties" in my blank-but-lined notebook.  However, I did not remember to do this.  Additionally, I did not remember to ask Belly about the panties.)  That night, as I was tucking Bells in, I noticed that with the oversized Dr. Seuss t-shirt she was wearing as a nightgown, she also had on the Questionable Underpants.  Finally remembering TO ASK WHERE THE FUCK THEY CAME FROM, I cross-examined my kid.  Her response?  "Mommy, they are Aunt Shawna's panties.  I borrowed them from her so that whenever I miss her a lot I can wear them."  WHAT THE WHAT?  (Note:  "WHAT THE WHAT" is the phrase that Aunt Shawna uses for "WHAT THE FUCK" seeing as how she's a preschool teacher at a church and can't go around saying "fuck" all the time.  I found the phrase completely appropriate to use in this situation.)  WHO SWIPES THEIR AUNT'S PANTIES TO WEAR WHEN THEY ARE FEELING HOMESICK FOR HER?  (My kid, apparently.)  Normal people borrow books or t-shirts or sawhorses (I don't know-- B just seems to always need the neighbor's sawhorses) NOT THEIR AUNT'S PANTIES.  But my little sociopath?  Well, I guess nobody has ever accused her of being normal.

4.  And While We're On The Subject of Belly, Underpants, And Unusual Choices~  On Sunday, B and I were rushing to get the family situated so that he and I could dump the minions off with the in-laws and go have GROWN UP DAY at Busch Gardens.  Per the usual, I was ready to go and my crazy-ass family was running late.  (Okay, WE were ready to go and my crazy-ass HUSBAND was running late, if I'm going to be completely honest.  And you know, I feel that my readers and I have reached that point now where we can truly bear our souls to one another, and BE honest about things like my distaste for Asians and how my husband does everything at a snail's pace.)  Anyway, I was cleaning up the kitchen and Sutt was sitting on the sofa reading when Belly came bopping into the living room, wearing jeans, a purple sequined shirt (if it isn't sparkly, it isn't worth wearing) and her iPod.  She walked over to Sutt, plopped down into his lap and starting wiggling her butt around and waving her hands in the air and shouted, "Look, Mommy!  I'm giving Sutt a lap dance!"  Yes.  That's right.  A LAP DANCE.  (Those of you who I have not kicked off my FB have already heard this story.  Lucky, lucky you.)  The bright side?  Sutt seemed unenthusiastic about said lap dance.  THANK YOU, GOD.

5.  I am not writing a #5 right now because I am grading essays between writing, and I just realized that a) I'm getting ready to time out of my secure essay webpage if I don't get my ass back to it; and b) I have written enough to keep most of you entertained for at least a little longer, hopefully at least until cocktail hour when I can down a few Oxycontin and Jack and Cokes and write about MORE OF MY ADVENTURES.

YES.  THERE'S MORE.  LIKE THE STORY OF HOW WE BUILT A METH LAB IN MY NEIGHBOR'S GARAGE LAST WEEKEND.

Wait for it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This Life On Loan

I have been thinking a lot about people, in general. Where we come from, what makes us who we are, how we change as time goes on. My theory has always been that we are on some kind of universal loan, like a library of souls. Each body God creates gets a specifically chosen soul from the big Soul Room, where he tucks it right into the new body and sends it on down to some unsuspecting uterus. We all have a due date. Sometimes we may be returned early or late, but we all have to go back at some point. That's how the Universe rolls.

Maybe my theory only exists because I like library analogies. Or maybe I'm right.

Whatever the case, we got here somehow so we might as well make the best of it. It is with this in mind (and the assistance of a new medication specifically created to fight OCD) that I have been trying to do just that-- make the best of it, I mean. Which is why I felt the need to create a short list of RANDOM SHIT THAT MAKES ME HAPPY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT IS GOING TO LOCK IN MY STATUS AS BEING HELL-BOUND SOMEDAY, UPSET MY MOTHER, OR INCREASE THE CHANCES THAT MY CHILDREN WILL SOMEDAY NEED THERAPY MORE THAN THEY NEED A COLLEGE EDUCATION. Here we go.

1. Religious Freedom~ I gave up swearing for Lent. Why? Because you are supposed to give up something you enjoy (I think), and we all know that I'm sure as hell not going to give up drinking or cooking meth in the garage (I'm KIDDING, geez). For two whole days I did not swear. Okay, maybe I swore a little accidentally, which would then lead to me swearing again out of anger because I realized I had swore the first time, which really only aggravated the situation, but the point is I basically gave up swearing on purpose. It was complicated. It took effort. And then I realized, hey, wait a second. I'M NOT FUCKING CATHOLIC. And I don't even know if non-Catholics give up shit for Lent because I'M NOT EVEN A NON-CATHOLIC. I'm more like a non-anything. So if I'm a non-anything, WHY IN THE EVER-LOVING HELL DID I GIVE UP SWEARING? Jesus still loves me if I swear-- they tell you that in church. So, frankly, there's NO FUCKING POINT IN QUITTING. So I quit quitting swearing. (And I decided that Catholics are ridiculous, but that is kind of a side note.)

2. Celebrating Our History~ Black History month is dumb. Now, I'm not saying that I'm anti-black people. I love DP. I love Betty. I love Jenelle and Ejita. I do not love black people that I do not know, nor do I love some that I DO know. However, I do not love white people I do not know, nor many that I DO know, either, so it's pretty much all the same in my head. However, I think Black History month is ridiculous. Do we have White History Month? No. Hispanic History month? No. Native American History Month (which I would truthfully call Indian History Month anyway, because I am not politically correct, plus, if we're going to have a history month in America, shouldn't it REALLY be Native American/Indian History Month anyway, since they were here first? Yes. Yes, it should.)? No. Black History month is racist, because it singles out black people, which is sort of the definition of racist. However, this year Black History month did bring me some entertainment in the form of the following conversation:

Sutton: (large sigh, very frustrated) "Mommy, I have a problem at school."
Me: (likely drunk) "Oh, yeah? Are you still forgetting to zip your jeans after bathroom break? One day when your Yoda falls out during center time you're going to be really embarrassed."
Sutton: "Maybe. But that's not my problem. I need a new brown crayon."
Me: (still drunk, barely listening) "Crayons. Check. Mommy will get you new crayons."
Sutton: (urgently) "No, I don't need new CRAYONS. I need a NEW BROWN CRAYON."
Me: "Brown? Who only uses up all their brown? You don't even LIKE brown."
Sutton: "No, but we've had to color so many Martin Luther Kings this month that ALL MY BROWN IS GONE."

I had to laugh. A lot.

Sutton still doesn't understand why Black people call themselves black when they are really brown. I don't blame him. So not only is Black History month racist, it's also incorrectly named.

3. Drunken Drama~ I always sneak alcohol into the theater whenever I have to take my kids to a movie. It's really a necessity-- with the exception of the original KUNG FU PANDA and DESPICABLE ME, I despise kid movies. I do not appreciate the animation or insipid humor, nor do I appreciate a story with a sweet moral. Therefore, the only way I can sit through an hour and a half of kid-friendly theatrical antics is with a good buzz. Which means I was HORRIFIED last Friday to find that I had FORGOTTEN MY VODKA WHEN WE WENT TO SEE THE LORAX. We had just bought tickets to an afternoon matinee and gotten ourselves seated when I realized that my airplane bottles of vodka were not safely tucked into my handbag as they were intended, but rather still on the kitchen counter at home. I began madly digging through my bag, looking for something, ANYTHING-- a stray hydrocodone, a mini bottle of rum that had been rolling around in the bottom for a while, a razor blade with which to slit my wrists and end my suffering--but there was NOTHING. I had water, but that was it. THAT WAS IT. So I sat. Through the previews, through THE LORAX, through it all. I'm pretty sure I dozed off at one point. I know I wept a bit, in agony. It was painful. But eventually I made it through, made it home, made it cocktail hour. Longest hour and thirty-three minutes of my life. On the ride home I asked the kids, "Did you enjoy the movie." Bellamy's response: "Yeah, it was really good. I can't believe you didn't have any vodka with you though. You always have vodka. Maybe you should have borrowed some from somebody else." My kids think bringing liquor to the theater is the norm. Awesome. I'm teaching them right.

I could probably add to this list forever. There are loads of things in this world that make me happy, though most of them do revolve around my husband, my kids, and my wine rack. The point is, take this little life on loan and find what makes you happy. Squeeze a little joy out of your day. Go out and make the best of it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hasta La Vista, Baby

Approximately five minutes ago, I deactivated my Facebook account.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, because my life was, frankly, much simpler before Facebook (and email and cell phones and children and adult responsibilities) came along. At this point, I mostly used it to advertise the blog and to keep in relative touch with friends. However, I realized tonight that I don't actually care if anybody reads my fucking blog, and I don't actually care if I keep in touch with any of my "friends"-- and this was AFTER I had deleted 400 of them. Cynical? Perhaps. But I've got more important shit going on.

Like celebrating the one-year anniversary of being friend dumped by the Carpenter (drinks on me on 3/11!), or sucking up the layers of goddamn dog hair left in my house from having Earl-the-hundred-pound-hound visit for a week. Or not being able to have lunch with a dear friend I haven't seen in two years because it would be too rough on another friend.

It's been one of those weeks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sometimes I Realize How Awesome I Am

I think it's pretty obvious to everyone that my kids are totally fucked up. And it's my fault.

I mean, of COURSE it's MY fault. Blaker gets some of the blame since he parents pretty much exactly the same way I do, but since he goes off to work approximately 172 hours a week and I'm the main caregiver in the family, I feel that I should get the main kudos for their crazy. And they are, in fact, crazy as all hell. If you read my blog, you should be well aware of that by now.

Take, for instance, my daughter.

Bellamy is a very special child. That is my very nice way of saying that she's fucked up beyond imagination, which is pretty impressive since she's all of eight-and-a-half. The problem started when B and I accidentally procreated in the first damn place-- I'm a damn genius, he's smarter than I am (albeit much less creative)-- OF COURSE WE WERE GOING TO CREATE A CREATIVE GENIUS WHO USES HER POWERS FOR EVIL. OF COURSE WE WERE. THERE WAS NO OTHER GODDAMN OPTION. And that's exactly what Bellamy is: an evil genius.

Now let me explain what I mean when I say "Evil Genius." Bellamy is smart as a whip. She's also slack as all hell. She's one of the sweetest little people I've ever met, but she's also one of the most manipulative. She looks like an angel, and she can make you believe anything when she smiles and lets her eyes tear up a little. I would not want to compete against her on "Survivor," because she would lie to me about an alliance, while forming an alliance with my enemies, while making an alliance only with herself, then win some immunities, flirt with some boy so he would forage for all her meals, which she would then stockpile before voting his ass off and taking over the island. She would most likely then have Jeff Probst killed and take his job, all while smiling and looking super cute and fashionable. She's dangerous like that. B and I have learned to watch her carefully, because you NEVER know what the hell is going on in that little brain of hers. YOU NEVER FUCKING KNOW SO WATCH YOUR GODDAMN BACK.

This is what I like most about her. Crazy+manipulative+unstable=AWESOME (and entertaining)

A story:

Last Sunday morning, we were your typical Normal Rockwell family. B and I were sitting on the sofa drinking coffee, wearing our pajamas, talking about how Sundays suck ass and how happy we'd be if we could just give the kids away to the fucking gypsies and move to Fiji, where he would open a surf shop and I could finally devote myself full-time to my plans for world domination. The dogs were lazing around in our laps. Sutt was pretending that Storm Troopers were invading Hogwart's Castle and Harry Potter was "shooting spells to kill them." (I love how that kid can mix shit up, yo.) Bellamy was playing with her Barbies. Seems innocent enough, no?

A few minutes later, Sutt became very angry. Apparently, one of Bellamy's Barbies had stormed Hogwart's, killed Harry Potter, and taken out the Storm Troopers, all in one fell swoop.

Let's talk about this Barbie.

Barbie was wearing a blue and purple cheerleading uniform-- skirt and shell top. Instead of sneakers, however, she had on thigh high black boots (taken from Witch Barbie-- whom, when I asked Bellamy where SHE was, I was told had been "thrown away, after I took off her super cool boots"). In one Barbie hand, was a tiny plastic hairdryer. In the other Barbie hand, was a tiny pink plastic cup. Hmmmmm.

The following dialogue is as close to verbatim as I can remember, which is pretty damn close, because, as I have already told you, I am a fucking genius and I have a near perfect memory.

Blaker: "Belly, why is Barbie at Hogwart's with a hairdryer and a pink cup?"

Bellamy: "She's taking over."

Blaker: "With a hairdryer and a pink cup?"

Bellamy: (exasperated) "DADDY, that's not a HAIRDRYER. It's a GUN. And the cup is a BEER. She's MOMMY BARBIE."

Slutty outfit. Thigh high boots. Gun. Beer. Kicking ass.

Let's mull this shit over, bitches.

Mommy Barbie rules. I love my kid.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nostalgic, But Then Just Offensive

I haven't blogged in a while because I've been busy doing other writing. However, apparently a complaint was lodged by an irritated blog reader (hello, Jenelle) regarding my blatant neglect of Starrtrippin', so I decided to take the time today to blog. Lucky you.

January is upon us and, thankfully, almost over. Today is actually the ten year anniversary of my Grandfather's death. In honor of Papaw, I plan to eat a turkey club with no mayonnaise and the fat peeled off the bacon, write only in pencil, squeeze people so hard I potentially crack their ribs, and refer to my brother consistently and only as "Pedro." These are things my Grandfather did. (To this day, we still do not know if he actually knew Zach's name was really Zach, or if he really did think it was Pedro. Regarding Papaw, one is not more likely than the other.)

Papaw was the ultimate supporter of tough love. I can remember being about eight years old one July in Tennessee and him making me shovel gravel all day at his equipment rental store-- from a pile onto the parking lot, spreading it around. It was approximately one hundred and two degrees outside. I think I only puked a half dozen times, and blacked out once or twice. He would make me stop occasionally for water, took me to lunch (where I had to eat a turkey club that matched his own), and paid me handsomely at the end of the day. He believed in an honest days' work for an honest days' pay.

Fairly often, I wonder what he would have thought of my children and of the things they have missed by never having met him. Bellamy would have thought he was crazy as all hell (he was). Sutt would have thought he was awesome (he was).

I just realized I haven't sworn even once today, and it's almost 9am. Holy fuck.

This blog is kind of sappy. Fuck you, January. Let's turn this bitch around.

*restart*

You may have suspected from prior posts, that my neighbors are a mixed bag of crazy. We have the kid whose security blanket is his mama's old bra across the street, and whose sister is mentally handicapped and likes to tackle hug me on a regular basis (hence, knocking me on my ass each time as she is bigger than I am). We have the sketchy family (renting, thankfully) up the street that consists of a black mother, Thai grandma (who wears no underpants and likes to sit on park benches in her skirt with her legs spread open), four small VERY dark black children, and a hippie-looking blonde-headed, fair skinned father whom the children refer to as "White Daddy." (Rumor has it that Thai grandma, who speaks next to no English, drove black mama so crazy that she shipped her ass back to Thailand. Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny this.) There is also a family who lives right next door to us that WE HAVE NEVER MET EXCEPT FOR THE ONE TIME THE MAN OF THE HOUSE KNOCKED ON MY DOOR AND COMMANDED ME (yes, actually commanded, not asked nicely) TO PICK UP HIS NEWSPAPER EVERY DAY HE WAS OUT OF TOWN AND PUT IT IN THE BACK OF HIS PICKUP TRUCK. We have lived here four years, as have they. That is the only contact we have ever had with them. THAT'S JUST WEIRD.

This group, while being a bunch of damn psychos, are mostly harmless, except potentially "White Daddy" who we have been told by black mama "don't like no white people" and has threatened to kick the ass of several (white) children in the neighborhood who argued with his (?) kids over stupid kid shit that all kids fight about. Whatever. I'm from rural Tennessee. Anybody who has ever been to a football game in Polk County would know there are much scarier things in the world than White Daddy. But anyway. As it turns out, we have a new crazy neighbor. Well, not NEW. She's been here. And she was probably always crazy. We just didn't KNOW it until recently.

We know it now.

It seems that, while fighting boredom during her husband's deployment last year, the woman a couple of houses down, whom we shall refer to as LaShonga (not because that is her name, because I don't actually remember her name, but because LaShonga is a name that just fits her like a glove) decided to start her own business. Okay. Fine. You go, Girl. I support small business owners. Is she selling Avon or Pampered Chef or having sex toy parties? (No, fools, because those are white people things and clearly LaShonga is black because I named her LaShonga. And don't give me any shit about being racist because you all know that LaShonga IS a black girl OR a redneck white girl name, and since we have very few rednecks in these here parts, there is only one real option in this equation. And if you are still crying racist then FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.)

I digress.

So, LaShonga decided to open her own business. In her exact words, to me, "Get a piece of that pie," whatever the fuck that means. LaShonga's business venture? Medical transport.

What. the. fuck?

LaShonga starts buying up vehicles for her medical transport business. Her family already owned a new sedan (hers), an older two-door (her teenage daughter's), and a big-ass shiny black SUV pimped out with a bumpin' sound system and prominent rims (his). They have a two car garage, that will actually fit one car because their shit is all on the other side (I'm not judging-- we can't even fit ONE car in our garage because of all of our shit, plus the plane) which means two cars stay parked in the driveway. Fine. The first business vehicle that was added was a full-size, decrepit Maroon van. It appeared to be on its last legs mechanically, and aesthetically, well, let's just say between the faded paint, body dings, and filmy windows it had seen better days (probably around 1984 when somebody conceived their love child in the back of it). LaShonga had her some decals made up for the windows of cartoonish angels and the words "Guardian Angels Medical Transport."

Hmmmm. Business took off to a slow start. I know this because even several houses down, I could hear the van every time she fired it up to take it out and pick up somebody in need. And business continued (she seems to take old people to Kohl's a lot in that bitch, as I have seen it with my very own eyes on several occasions). A few months later, a somewhat-less-antiquated white minivan was added to the pool. Sweet. Now we have a white minivan parked on the street with angel decals on it, because it won't fit in the driveway (not that the maroon van does either, as the tail-end hangs out in the road forcing passersby to swerve around it and two-way traffic, should it occur, to stop). The two vans were ugly and mildly annoying to many of the neighbors, but I don't think anybody really thought that much about it.

Then LaShonga bought a bus.

It's a short bus, but it's a bus nonetheless. It's white and old and EXTREMELY ghetto. You can clearly see where there used to be LOTS of other names/decals on it, but now only their remains cling to the flaking paint and rusted body. It sits a little crooked (tire pressure? suspension issues?) and it's UGLY AS ALL HELL. Which means that LaShonga, besides not having much room left in her driveway due to the ever-increasing automotive pool, chose to park it down the street. Right across from my neighbor's (Bra Kid's family) house.

This has not gone well.

I really like Bra Kid's family, and do not blame them for being pissed. Every time they look out their front door, they see a dilapidated short bus right in front of their house. That would annoy me as well. (Most things do.) Additionally, it's my understanding that the following statements are true:

1. LaShonga is the only driver/operator of Guardian Angels, so having three modes of transportation just for the business is a bit ridiculous.
2. Our HOA does not allow ghetto-ass vehicles to be parked on the street or even in the driveway.
3. The police have been called on several occasions by Bra Kid's Dad, who was finally told that there was nothing they could do. This was only after BK'sD called LaShonga on the phone and nicely asked her to move the handi-bus from in front of his house. This turned out to be a huge disaster, during which he was referred to several times as "The Man," the terms "oppression" and "sista" were used a lot (sometimes in conjunction, as in"oppressing a sista") and democracy for African-Americans was questioned (by LaShonga). I think Obama might have been mentioned once or twice as well. Damn, what I wouldn't give to have listened in directly on that conversation.

For now, the short bus has been moved down the street closer to LaShonga's house, in a madcap rearrangement of near dead, decaled-up automobiles. But any day now, I expect to look out my window, and see a broken down Greyhound that was hoisted from the mass transit cemetery dotted with cartoon angels and parked on my street. Surely MC Hammer has a repossessed tour bus she could buy on the cheap, at the very least. But while I wait to see how this drama unfolds, I can only hope that LaShonga's piece of the pie might eventually lead to even bigger and better things. Like a new house, much, much further from mine.