Saturday, January 28, 2012

I never did run into Brett Favre...

I used to work in a bar/restaurant called Roosters in Kiln, Mississippi. (pronounced "kill" and often spoken with "the" in front. Like "I live south of the Kiln", though that article isn't officially a part of the town's name.) Roosters was one of the only restaurants in the small town. The only other one I can think of was a bar called "The Broke Spoke" which was famous in two ways: for being the setting of many high schoolers stories if they owned fake IDs or knew the "right" people, and because The Broke Spoke was frequented by Brett Favre, NFL quarterback who owned a home off the bayou a farsee away.

I was a bus girl at Roosters and worked under four different waitresses that were all thin bottle blondes with skin like stale vinyl. They cursed and smoked in the hall between the restrooms and the cigarette vending machine. Roosters had a gravel parking lot and a corrugated metal roof, but was one of the nicest restaurants in the county. It had two rooms for customers: the main dining room with a grand piano on a stage in the middle and linens and candles on the tables, and the bar area, which had a black lounge singer named Georgette who a voice like velvet in surround sound. I like working the bar because Southerns like to get soused and when they get soused they have a hard time counting out an appropriate tip. Course I only got 10% of whatever the waitresses got, but I'd make out with a good hundred bucks on a Friday or Saturday night.

Though I never served booze as a minor nor was a drinker myself, I got being able to predict the kind of drinks people would order just by looking at 'em when they walked in. The men in jeans with bronze belt buckles would usually order whatever was on tap or a bottle of bud. The ones in business suits would loosen their ties and order "whiskey straight". Women rarely came into the bar area, but when they did, they usually ordered vodka or gin martinis. The just 21 girls usually wanted a mudslide or a naughty root beer or screwdriver, because they weren't used to the taste yet. Either that or a Sex-On-The-Beach just so they could snicker when they said the name. In the restaurant Champagne and red and white wine were served with the seafood menu.

It's been close to 15 years since my short time at Roosters, but sometimes I still find myself wondering what that stranger across the airport, who is all in black except for wisps of thin red hair poking out of her beret, would order at Roosters. Or that colleague who shows up with spit up on his lapel every morning. Or that woman down the street who has limbs like pulled taffy and a perpetual frown even before her father passed.

And I always wonder...
...if they'd be the one to order a Coke.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm a blog pick-pocket

I saw this post on my cousin's blog and liked it so much that I slipped the questions from her blog into my pocket. I'm like Dodger...or rather a Blodger. heh. heh. Yeah. Lame joke.


Anyway, it's a quiz about my 2011 year. Since I didn't really give you a list of my goals and plans for 2012, this seemed a good substitute.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Started a weight loss blog: www.theredbookexperiment.blogspot.com
March 2011


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I wanted to lose 21 lbs, but only lost 15. I still feel good about that though. Yes. I have goals this year. One is to finish my weight loss memoir.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. My best friend, my sister-in-law, and two of my friends.


4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. But a part of me died a little.


5. What countries did you visit?
None. But I went to Ogden twice. That's almost like a new country. I also visited Bear Lake.


6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More financial security. (This was my cousin's answer too.)

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The whole month of July. My whole life changed forever. My world seemed to tilt and hasn't quite been on the right axis since. This post is vague, but sort of explains how I was feeling at the time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Um...Allow me to answer this with a link to my newsletter.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Sometimes I'm just an idiot, ya know? I just do stupid things without thinking and inevitably someone gets hurt. I really thought I'd grown out of that, but obviously I didn't. I'm definitely going to work on trying to think before I act no matter what.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got sick after Christmas. I was bed-ridden for a whole week. It was awful. I wrote this post about it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Kindle. I didn't really buy it. My husband got it for me for my 30th birthday.  

12. Where did most of your money go?
Food, car payment, mortgage, bills...
A little went into shoes...

13. What did you get really excited about?
Going to Orlando and Disney World in Jan. 2012
Visiting Lisa in Orlando.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
"For the First Time" by The Script.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? [shrug] depends on the day.
thinner or fatter? thinner
richer or poorer? poorer


16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing, spending time with my kids, vacationing, relaxing during the summer instead of going to 3 teacher's conferences (although I learned so much from each one and used what I learned in the classroom, so maybe I don't wish that).
I would redo CUWP a hundred times over. =)

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying. And dealing with stress by overeating.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
At home, then at my mom's. I was starting to get sick, so I rested a lot that day.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Mad Men, Dexter, Downton Abbey, Psych, Leverage, and Bones. But I haven't really been addicted to anything. If Joss Whedon would put something out again, I'd be all over it like Buffy on vamps. 

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Half Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Ten-Year Nap

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Adele, Christina Perri, and "It's a Quarter After One" by Lady Antebellum 


22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Mostly I watch them on Netflix, because I don't have time or money to go to the movies. However, I really liked The Help. Now I wanna read the book. 

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
[sigh] I turned 30, and really struggled with it. See this post for reasons.


24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I wish Cole could get a better paying job. It's not that he dislikes his current job. It's just that his paycheck could be bigger. I think in this economy, everyone's paycheck could be bigger, though.   


25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Structure. Structured, fitted jackets, pencil skirts, tall heels, and red. I love RED. (but there's no shortage of silly either.)

But I'm also into the Mad Men styles too. I just got the cutest trench for Christmas. It's very PanAm.
I'm in the middle. I got the trench from Tulle.


26. What kept you sane?
Netflix, Prozac, and prayer. Not necessarily in that order.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. 
 Life is only going to get more stressful, and I have to learn to handle it better. In the past, I handled stress with snacking and sugary foods. I think I've tackled that bad habit, but replaced it with other bad habits. Now that I'm aware of my problems, I think I can find healthier outlets for stress.

I also learned that it's ok for me to spend time on me. I should not feel guilty about working out or taking a girls only vacation. I need a timeout from my life once in awhile in order to stay sane. Plus it makes me appreciate my husband and children more when I get back. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

I flew to Orlando but landed on Memory Lane


Lisa and I in front of Epcot
Napoleon Birthday cake for Lisa's birthday. YUM! 
"Screw the fork! It's my birthday! I'm chowing down."
Dr. Who? (Lisa in "England")


So, I'm in Orlando right now and staying with a friend I haven't seen almost 13 years. She and I were friends in high school when we both lived in Mississippi back in the late nighties. She and I reconnected over facebook a few years ago and have been pretty close for the better half of a year. So I came to visit her.

I flew to Orlando.
and ended up on Memory Lane.

I think the weirdest thing about this trip is that I'm remembering things that I haven't thought about in a decade. Things like...

  • "A likely story..." and "negatory" and "how do you reeeeally feel?"
  • Sensory details so poignant, I might as well be in a time machine. 
  • The way the D. family's arguments could take on any debate team and make their heads oscillate like a salad spinner. (PS. Remember the law of inertia: Don't open the salad spinner when the object is in motion. This can be taken metaphorically and literally. Your choice.)
  • The D. family children treat "Game Night" like the opportunity to intellectually wrestle for a chance to be King of the Mental Mountain for a few weeks until the next "Game Night". And how strangely victors and losers are equally smug when it's all over. 
  • And the movie references! "Do you realize the street value of this mountain? It's pure snow!" and "Heeed! Pants! Now!" and "It's possible. Pig. Conceivable. You vomitous mass." 
  • Remembering the songs we listened to and either loved or hated. Loved: "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot; Hated: "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Soundgarden. 
  • I heart Orlando!
  • Remembering how intimidated I used to be of my friend's dad. (Not so much anymore. I could hold my own as long as we weren't playing Trivial Pursuit, which they tried to talk me into. I put my pedicured foot down on that one.)
Don't tell our husbands, but we met someone. So what if he lives under a bridge and quizzes us on our favorite color and the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? 
We each got a pearl straight from an oyster in "Japan" and got them set into a necklace.
0
We both got size 7 pearls. I learned how to count down (3-2-1) in Japanese, then promptly forgot it. 


Then we created new memories:
  • Bingeing on foods of the world...Disney World
  • Peeing a little on The Tower of Terror
  • Learning how to play Golf without a course 
  • Watching karaoke at Rising Star on Universal's City Walk, daring each other to sing, and when they didn't call our names, we were equal parts disappointed and relieved. 
  • Getting a massage by Dawson from Dawson's Creek. (As close to literally as a person can get without being literal.)
  • Heel swapping
  • Pillow talk with my new/old BFF. 
  • The best dang mango salsa since the invention of Cafe Rio. 
  • If you combined PMSing Siren, a Tazmanian Devil having a seizure, and a Banshee having a meltdown together, you'd witness a fraction of the tantrum my friend's toddler had at church. Seriously, a dingo ate possessed her baby. 
  • Seeing the top of the dolphin tank in the Nemo exhibit. SO COOL. 
I am pretty much having the best time ever. And I still have 2 more days to go! 

Eat your heart out, bobbies! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Karma slapped me with paralysis.

So when I was sick the week after Christmas and bed-ridden to the point that my muscles atrophied like the murder victims from that TV series Bones, I wondered if I'd ever be able to walk normally again instead of stumbling about like my 26-year-old arthritic co-worker (true story. Love you, Ash.)

And around the time that I could be awake longer than an hour at a time and could do more than walk to the toilet and back, I tested my ability to do basic things by first doing the dishes. Why? I don't know. The very act of washing dishes makes a mom again. Once I'm free and clear for scrubbing pots and pans, my kids also believe it's time to demand breakfast, lunch, or dinner or a snack or a drink or "Where's my stuffed dog?" or "Put my Batman costume on me NOW!" and NASA calls me on the red rotary phone to ask for a cup of Joe and their lucky nude-y pen because that's how important I become to the household...nay, America! when the cloud of my damn fever lifts.

For a while I'm happy to be doing anything other than leaving butt imprints on my side of the bed, but the happiness soon transitions to remembering. I remember how many balls I've got juggling in the air.

Lesson plans.
Grading.
Writing.
Bathing.
Reading.
Dishes.
Housework.
Dog-caring-for.
Tanning.
Blogging.
Writing.
Planning.
Preparing to travel to Orlando.
Playing with kids.
Babysitting.
Meetings.
Census surveying.
Couponing.
Budgeting.
Writing.
Homework with Layne.
Wrestling with Gavin.
Movies with Cole.
Dieting.
Cardio work out.
Ab exercises.
Weight lifting.
Writing.
Facebooking.
Netflixing. I did plenty of that when I was sick.

The point is I work myself into a crazy corpse-ish coma. My body just shuts down in protest as if it's the only way I can settle down a little. That's my theory.

My students think I got that sick because I gave them homework over the break. Karma's a bitch, huh. And I bet she does dishes too.

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