Friday, September 28, 2007

Did I do that...again?

I got tagged by Chrissy. I'm supposed to tell you 8 random facts about myself. I'm supposed to post the rules. I supposed to pass it along to 8 others. I suppose I like to change things up a bit.

I did something stupid on Wednesday - hurt myself and ended up going to a doctor yesterday to make sure nothing was broken. Unfortunately, it's not the first time - and probably won't be the last - when I've ended up in pain due to...ME. So, I'm changing the meme to a list of stupid things I've done - to myself - which have resulted in pain. Lots of pain.

1. When I was little, my future neighbors started construction on the lot next to our home. I had just learned to ride my bike and wanted to impress the construction workers. (May I point out here that my injury was the result of me trying to impress guys, albeit construction workers. Note how stupid I get when a male is present.) Picture me, this little girl proudly riding her large, banana seat bike in figure eight's to capture the attention - and hearts - of the muscular, sweaty workers when BAM!! I hit an invisible rock and fell right on my face. Sure my hands hurt from how I'd landed but the bruising my ego took was unbearable. I ran into the house and didn't bike until the house construction was complete.

2. TheDeanInc and I were practicing our sweet biking skills one day. This consisted of jumping the curb, balancing for a second, then hopping off the curb. He was pretty good and I wanted to be like him. (Although I'm trying to impress a boy, this one doesn't count since it's my brother and that would just be gross!) After watching him successfully complete the trick, I attempted. Mine went something like this: Hop curb, grab handle bars as they fly out of hands, turn handle bars away from approaching mailbox, lean towards grass for soft landing, hop off curb suddenly, fly forward, land chin onto pavement, scream, head to emergency room, get stitches. Needless to say, TheDeanInc has sweet curb hopping skills but I have a cool scar!

3. In 7th grade I fell in love...with my Social Studies teacher. (Again ~ guys make me dumb!) He was tall, dark, and handsome. Of course, I was short, white, and illegal. This still didn't stop me from running home on the first day of class to tell Mama Mia about the new teacher. In an effort to accurately portray his height, I stood on my baby sister's booster chair. After reaching as high as I could to say, "He's this tall," my thoughts apparently were centered only on him instead of the law of gravity. I quickly was reminded as I fell and snapped my arm backwards. Too many hours later, I was home from the emergency room with a cast on my now broken arm. The next day of class, Mr. Dreamy asked what had happened. Again I turned stupid and said, "I fell off a booster chair." Um, a 7th grader still using a booster chair? I suppose that relationship was doomed before it started.

4. My freshman year of college I started hanging out with a guy from California. (Yet another guy who would see me turn stupid). He was so cool. I wanted to be so cool too. He rode a longboard to class. Suddenly I felt a huge need to longboard to class too. Never mind the fact that I'd never seen or been on a longboard before in my life. In an attempt to talk to him more, I asked if he would teach me how to longboard. In his uber coolness, as could only be indicated by his one word California response, he uttered, "Totally!" Lesson 1 was balancing on the board. Cool California Guy ran and jumped on the board and glided toward me. My attempt was a little less graceful. I walked toward the board, put one foot on, lifted my other foot and fell flat on my butt. Actually, flat on my wrist. Lesson 1, which was as far as I got, ended with me at the doctor's office getting a splint on my sprained wrist.

5. This one could count for two (unfortunately). Sophomore year of college, my apartment of 4 girls became best friends with an apartment of 4 guys. (Guys: here I go with that stupid thing again). They invited our apartment to go rope swinging. I wasn't too sure I wanted to go but went with the notion that I didn't have to jump if I didn't want to. I watched each of the guys jump and even two of my roommates. They made it look easy. You climb the tree, grab the rope, jump out away from the tree, swing like Tarzan, and land in the water before the rope returns to the shore. After much convincing, I decided to go. I grabbed the rope and jumped. Everything was in slow motion. Yet too fast to correct. I hadn't leaped out from the tree far enough to clear the bank. This would have been fine if I had grabbed the rope a mere 5 inches higher. Alas, my feet hit the ground and dragged before I landed in the water. Since the creek was full of melted snow from the mountain, my whole body tingled in the frigid water. I was numb long enough to walk back to the car without pain. Once home, I realized I couldn't walk. Another trip to the doctor informed me I had sprained both ankles. Tip for the day: Don't sprain both ankles at once. It's incredibly hard to get anywhere!

6. My junior year of college included yet another trip to the emergency room. One afternoon, a group of us were bored in the apartment. Bored = trouble. We were discussing fights we'd been in at school growing up. I mentioned I'd always been too scared to fight back any bullies who pestered me. In an attempt to teach me better defense skills, my roommate ordered me to get in a fighting stance. She was going to walk me through a proper fight. We crouched ready to pounce. We stared at each other and started laughing. Then I lunged. She lunged back. We collided. We fell. My leg popped. A trip to the hospital, a dose of medicine (that made me hit on every male nurse around), a cast, and some crutches, my broken leg adventure had begun. Needless to say, I'm still not very good at fighting.

7. One day in college I was late for class. I jumped on my bike and raced down the street. I heard a clickityclickityclickity noise in rhythm to my speed. I slowed down: click ety click ety click ety. I slowed more: cl i ck et y cl i ck et y cl i ck et y. Obviously something was catching and, with each cycle of the wheel, making a clicking noise. I looked down at the gears. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary; my shoelaces were tied and my pants were pegged so as not to catch on the gear teeth. I pedaled once. Clickety. Where was it coming from?! I looked up JUST IN TIME to see the parked car 'jump' out in front of my bike. My bike stopped as I continued forward. I landed on my face looking the opposite direction. I never found the source of that clicking noise either. (Okay, so that one didn't involve a guy and I didn't need to go to the hospital. It still hurt okay!)
8. Wednesday, September 26, 2007: I was meeting some friends at 6:30 and knew I'd probably have some spare time. Already in my car, I raced back into the house to grab a book for my wait. As I ran in, I noticed Julia Gulia at the computer with a perplexed expression. Trying to determine if she was okay, I momentarily forgot my hand was still on the door and slammed it shut. My first response was laughter, as in, "Did I seriously just do that?!" The immediate swelling indicated I actually had. I did meet up with my friends later only I wasn't carrying a book. My new accessory was an icepack for my hand. The doctor put me at ease by saying it is only a deep tissue bruise. He also suggested I elevate my hand to decrease the swelling. This means I walk around like I have a question, want to give you a High 5, or play one handed pattycake.

So there you have it. Eight stupid events in my life that have resulted in pain. I'm either really clumsy or a masochist. Neither one sounds too appealing. Oh well. High 5!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Little Boy Blue lost a tooth last week. He placed the tooth under his pillow and awoke to a crisp dollar bill in it's place. This surprised me since the most I ever got was a quarter. I suppose inflation really has kicked in or the Tooth Fairy Operation moved overseas.

I asked Little Boy Blue if he still had any baby teeth left. He couldn't remember - either one or none at all. Since earning a dollar for simply putting a tooth under a pillow is a decent side job, I asked if the tooth fairy pays out for other disposable body parts: strands of hair, belly button lint, ear wax, fingernail clippings, and the like. Convinced there was no fairy - other than the Black Market Kidney Fairy - we continued brainstorming. We tossed out the idea of putting corn kernels under the pillow: too yellow. We don't need lectures on how to brush better. Small pebbles wouldn't work either. Of course, we did discuss the option to knock out all permanent teeth. That would bring a profit of $28 ($6.50 if you're this guy). Drawback, though, is that you'd have no teeth.

Then the plan came:

Me: LBB, do any of your classmates still have baby teeth?
LBB: Yes.
Me: Why don't you offer to do all the dirty work. You get the tooth, clean it, and put it under your pillow. All this for a small cut of the profits. I'm thinking 60/40.
LBB: Awesome!

I've either just taught him the basics of business strategy or warped him for life. Oh how I love being the older sister!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Need the Spin Doctors

Let me start off with a few basic facts.

* I didn't have a car during college so my bicycle became my primary mode of transportation.
* While I lived in Utah, I liked to bike a mountain trail near my apartment.
* I still like to bike here in Georgia although the mountains are, ...well, hills.

Taking all that into consideration, I thought I'd try - and breeze through - a spin class at the gym. I've biked for years. How hard could a stationary bike set to music really be?

The first indication I was in for a ride (get it? a ride) was when the instructor asked who had never been to a spin class before. I was the only one who raised my hand. He smiled and said, "You're screwed."

Oh. Thanks.

Then the room transformed from an area full of stationary bikes into some disco dance club. The instructor, who was wearing spandex shorts, a psychedelic shirt, and a torturing device otherwise known as a watch, clipped his shoes onto the pedal, turned the lights low and the music up. If I were the type to go clubbing, I suspect it wouldn't be much different. Legs and arms started moving to the beat, lights flashed, the room heated up, and everyone was either sweating or breathing heavy.

Psycho Biker, the name I affectionately gave the instructor, told us to start on an easy gear comparable to level ground. Throughout each song, he would look at his torture device and every 20 seconds or so we would go up one or two gears. The different verses were upward slopes and the chorus was downhill. I'm not sure what imaginary hill we biked but it sure was steep. My grandpa used to tell me he walked uphill both ways to get to school. Well Gramps, I'm positive I just biked uphill both ways. ...except I wasn't barefoot and it certainly wasn't snowing.

We finally were allowed to coast for a minute. Psycho Biker told us that the next song, although the last, was going to be our hardest. We would climb one hill, plateau, then continue on a second incline until the end of the song. The beat started and suddenly the monotone voice of Britney Spears filled the room. For once I was glad to hear her new song. I realize that's strange, but biking uphill in gear #21 is no time to "Oops, and do it again!"

Thinking back, I should have realized what I was getting into. The names of some sports really are what the name suggests: Basketball - Ball and Basket; Football European style - Ball, Foot, and Europeans; Racketball - Ball and, guessed it, Racket. This class was no different and the name fit perfectly. Spinning, my friends, is exactly what your head will do after class is over!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chocoholic Anonymous

I will be attending my 10-year high school reunion next month. This means I have started a “weight maintenance” program. I don’t like the D-word. You know, the one that starts with D and ends with IET. Yes, that’s a bad word and I don’t say bad words. Never mind the fact that the weight I want to maintain is currently 5 pounds less than what I weigh, I am not on a Di…well, that word. Anyway, as part of this weigh maintenance program, I took the opportunity to have a free consultation with one of the personal trainers at the gym. I started with my goals.

Me: I want to focus on toning my arms and of course, I wouldn’t mind losing 5 pounds. I also want to learn how to incorporate free weights into my work routine.
Trainer: Okay. Let’s get your weight info and measurements.

* Sucking in while you stand on a scale doesn’t help you weigh less. Ahem...

Trainer: Tell me about your diet. What liquids do you drink?
Me: Water! I don’t drink alcohol or soda - I love water.
Trainer: That’s really good. What about meals?
Me: I try to eat five small meals a day. I snack on fruits and vegetables. I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t eat meat very often – maybe 2 or 3 times a week.
Trainer: Okay. What about fish?
Me: Only when I go out for sushi. I don’t cook fish.
Trainer: eat rather healthy, drink lots of water and have worked out consistently for over four years…I don't get it, what’s your weakness?
Me: Chocolate! I love chocolate chips straight from the bag. Man...I binge on chocolate.
Trainer: Define binge. Is this like a candy bar every night or a handful of chocolate chips here and there?
Me: Um, more like “A” bag of chocolate chips.
Trainer: The Whole Bag?! In one sitting?!
Chocoholic: Yes.
Trainer: Okay. You need to stop that!
Chocoholic: Trust me…I’ve been trying for years.

Thus the weight maintenance program begins. All I have to say about the reunion is one thing: there had better be chocolate!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thanks For the Memories

Several years ago, Julia-Gulia purchased a cell phone and the "We own your firstborn and the next two years of your life" contract that came with it. She endured horrible customer service, inconsistent coverage, roaming charges, and incorrect billing receipts. The month her contract expired, she called to cancel and had a rather humorous conversation with the Operator.

O: Thank you for calling phone monopoly. May I have your phone number please.
O: Thank you. And your social security number.
JG: 867-53-09
O: And your mother's maiden name?
JG: Miss
O: Thank you. How may I help you today?
JG: Well, actually I need to cancel my contract.
O: I can help you with that. One moment please.
I'm sure there was significant conversation here from Operator's Supervisor trying to convince Julia-Gulia to stay but she was having none of it. Finally, after a rather long chat, Julia-Gulia was freed from the cell phone chain. Almost.
O: Anything else I can help you with today?
JG: No. That's it. Thankyou.
O: (script mode) Thank you for calling today. It's been a pleasure and as always, thanks for choosing Phone... Monopoly... er... well, thanks for choosing it two years ago anyway. Um...

I guess there isn't a script for saying Good-bye

Monday, September 17, 2007

...And in the Morning, I'm Making Waffles!

If you ever find yourself lost in Georgia, I guarantee any bit of directions will include the phrase, "...the Waffle House." There are nine within 15 minutes from my home; five on my way to Atlanta. One intersection has two caddy corner from each other. I once asked someone, "Why 2 at the same light?" The response was uttered so quickly as to question my intelligence, "So that truckers don't have to get off their highway route. Duh!" Until then, I didn't realize truckers were incapable of making left hand turns. ...learn something new everyday.

I lived here about a year before I finally ventured inside. I ordered. I ate. I wondered why all the hype. It was just like any other pancake establishment. When I voiced this opinion, I quickly realized just how wrong I was. Waffle House is tradition. Waffle House is the South. Waffle House just is.

If a foreigner came to the states and really wanted a taste of American culture, I'd take them to McDonald's. The meal would be average and certainly wouldn't provide any type of culinary delicacy but McDonald's is as American as Ford. Waffle House is the McDonald's of the South. Eating there won't be the best meal you've ever eaten - trust me - but you walk away with a little piece of southern culture that weighs about 5 pounds and cushions your seat for years to come.

Until you get a chance to enjoy your grits covered, smothered, chunked, and diced, here are some facts to wet your appetite.
  • If you lay all of the Bryan bacon end-to-end that Waffle House serves in a year, it will stretch from Atlanta to Los Angeles seven times! (That's more than 21,000 miles of bacon)
  • Waffle House serves more than 3.2 million pounds of grits each year. That is enough to fill 86 semi-trucks!
  • Waffle House customers consume two percent of the total eggs produced in the United States for food service use. That is more than 185,000,000 eggs every year, 500,000 eggs everyday, 20,833 eggs every hour, 347 eggs every minute and five eggs every second.
  • If you could stack all of the sausage patties served in one day, it would reach the TOP of the Empire State Building! (Did you want grits with that?)
  • Waffle House serves more than 381 tons of country ham every year. That translates to more weight than a fully-loaded Boeing 747 at takeoff.
  • If you lined up all the bowls of Bert's Chili® Waffle House serves in a year, it would stretch the length of Florida's coastline on both the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts!
  • Since 1955, the Waffle House System has served:
    • 495,264,367 Waffles
    • 1,173,838,328 Hash brown Orders
    • 370,545,935 Sausage Patties
    • 786,449,152 Bacon Strips
    • 1,527,602,960 Eggs.
Wait. How many eggs? They need to change the name to Egg House!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The (wo)Man In Black

Okay, this is the last post from my Nashville adventure. I know. I know. It's about time! Let's begin.

Downtown Nashville is home to the infamous bar "Tootsies". Legend says that Johnny Cash, before he made it big, would come here for a beer each year ~ hey, that rhymes. Someone should make that into a country song. Something like... "There's a tear in my beer cause I'm crying for you, dear..." It's already been done? Oh, never mind then. Anyway, like I was saying, legend continues that each year on his birthday, Johnny Cash would wander over to Tootsies and get a beer. I have yet to verify this and all calls made to Mr. Cash have not been returned. What?! He died? wonder he never answered. Okay, quit interrupting and let me finish. Anyway, I wanted my picture taken outside the bar just to prove I'd walked the block Johnny Cash had. Since I was walking straight, I "walked the line". Get it? Ahhhahaha.

Again I digress.

I found a nice lady to take my picture.

* Click

"Do you want another one just in case?"
Yes, please.

I must have heard wrong.

Apparently she said, "Do you want another three just in case?"

Thanks Ma'am.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Beg to Differ

Mama Mia and P2 ~ you tried. You taught me to be safe, look both ways, never talk to strangers, and to call home if I ever needed to. A few times, my date with a Ted Bundy for instance, have indicated I need to listen to you more. In addition, seeing how my name rhymes with a particular biblical term meaning hoochie mama, you’d think I know the disadvantages associated with standing alone on a street corner in a city in which I’m a visitor. Incidentally, that is precisely where this story occurred.

After spending the majority of my first afternoon in Nashville shopping, I backtracked to a few photo spots. I was waiting at a corner for the light to change when a bum approached me and asked how I was. Wanting to be polite, I responded I was well and asked, what turned out to be, a twenty minute question.

“How are you doing?”
I’m sure am hungry.
Don’t take the bait. “I know! I haven’t eaten for hours and until I meet my sister later, I’m just going to have to deal with my stomach growling.”
I am thirsty too.
Don’t fall for this. “Me too! I’ve run out of water and can’t find a drinking fountain anywhere! It’s just so hot out.”
Um, I know. And when it’s hot, people get mean. I just got cussed out by some guy right in front of his young daughter.
He isn’t asking for money…this is different. “Sorry to hear that.”
Yea, all I did was ask for something to eat and he started yelling at me, like I’m a bum or something. When I ask people for money it’s because I’m hungry and I want some soup. I don’t do drugs anymore and drinking only makes you want more alcohol…
Hmm…you are wearing a hat indicating the time is 4:20. Back to the 'I don't do drugs'…what were you saying?
…I don’t even live here. I’m from Oregon.
Oregon?! “What brings you across the country? You a musician?”
No. I’m just a fool in love. I followed a woman out here and she broke my heart. Now I’m trying to get back home.
He actually sounds credible. Love makes people do stupid things. So I’m told anyway. “Home to Oregon?”
Uh huh. Except I’m stuck here. I got on the bus the other day but couldn’t afford a ticket. I got kicked off and thrown in jail. Then when I got released, I was told to quit begging for money. But I’ve got no money to get home so I’m stuck here.
We have walked two blocks now. Can I blog this without a picture? No one will believe this. I need his picture. Make up something. Think! “Sounds like a catch 22.”
I know! And then all I want is a meal and some water and I get cussed out. It’s just because I’ve got this backpack on and haven’t been able to shower every day.
Hence me not standing too close. “Sir, I have a favor to ask you. I’ve been inspired by your story and want a way to remember you. Would you mind taking a picture with me?”
Alright! I’m getting a picture! “Have you ever had someone want to take their picture with you?”
No. You are definitely a first.
“Well thank you for being willing. …now if we can just find someone... ‘Ma’am? Will you please take our picture?’”
Yes! Proof for the blog! “Thanks sir.”
You’re welcome. What’s your name?
“Charlotte.” …and here’s my blog address. “What’s your name?”
Charlie Brown.
What? You don’t believe me?
No. “I’m just smiling because that’s a nickname I went by when I was little. See how much we have in common. Both hungry, thirsty, and similar names.”
Un huh. You sure you don’t have a couple bucks?
Nope. “Here, you can have the rest of my water though.” …well, now I have to find some more water!
God Bless.
"Same to you."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Are You From Tennessee...

...because you're the only Ten I see!

Julia-Gulia and I visited Nashville during the three day Labor Day weekend. Her intent was to visit a friend from college while mine was to tour the city and hopefully spot Elvis. I managed to do both.

Saturday, after lunch and some shopping, I decided to meander around downtown. It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway: Nashville is a fun place! This is me talking - the girl that hated country music so much while growing up that even listening seemed to cause cancer of the ear. But since I wanted a weekend away and my sister was already going, I thought I'd take a chance on the city.

Nashville is a place with something for everyone. Say you aren't really interested in cowboy hats or guitars - teen movies with predictable plot lines, lame acting, and big celebrity names are more your style. May I suggest you venture downstairs to this venue.

Or, if you are like me and no one knows about your mad break-dancing skillz, don't worry about dragging out the cardboard mat. These guys bring their own. Too bad I was wearing a cute little skirt or I would have shown this guy how to improve his flip stand. ...that's, um, the technical term for that move.

Of course, there also was this red-headed boy walking around downtown promoting Wendy's Burgers. I don't know if he's your thing but it is an option. He was very pleasant to talk to at least.

And The King - you will see the king. I thought he was only in Vegas. Actually I thought he was dead but no, he's in Nashville. In fact, I not only had him read my fortune but I shared a delicious ice cream shake with him.

AHHH! There's two of him...oh wait, that's just Julia-Gulia and her sidekick. be continued...

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Pops that Rocks

Yesterday marked another birthday for my pops. Happy Birthday P2!
Although he's known life without me, I've never known life without him and for this, I'm grateful. He is the type of man that teaches by example and when necessary, uses words.

A fond memory I have is watching Star Trek with him. I know, I know, we were dorks. What makes me even sillier is that anytime my dad called from work and I happened to answer, I would give the phone to Mama Mia and say, "It's Captain Picard - for you." Oh yes, I am that dork.

Growing up, people would tell me I looked like P2.


...I did have similar eyebrows before I discovered tweezers. Is that what they were referring to?
Hmm...maybe we are related. P2! Are those your fingers making bunny ears? Seriously, some people! I would never do that. *ahem.

P2, the past 28 years of my life have been great with you as my dad. Here's to at least 28 more birthdays to come! Love ya!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Just Too Dirty

I've documented before that I live at home with my parents, 2 sisters, and Little Boy Blue. I don't mind since the monthly rent is affordable at the steep rate of free, a good old fashioned meal is easy to come by, and for the fact that I actually enjoy being with my family. Living at home also brings something else:


For the most part, this hasn't been a huge issue. I take care of my room and the bathroom, I do my own laundry, and I try to clean up after I use the kitchen. I use the rinse-and-let-the-dishwasher-take-care-of-the-rest approach. If I make a sandwich, there will be a knife with a little peanut butter residue and a plate with a few crumbs in the dishwasher. At the end of the day, the dishwasher is turned on and I unload it in the morning. It's pretty routine. I've been doing it since I moved home.

Mama Mia has differing views. Not only was my childhood filled with phrases such as, "Shut the fridge, you are letting all the cold out!"and "I trust's your friends that bother me," but she always ended the evening meal by saying, "Okay [fill in the blank with one of us lucky children], it's your turn for dishes. Remember, "hot, soapy water." In fact, much like a seashell, when I put a cocoa mug up to my ear, I can hear faint instructions on how to properly wash dinnerware. Each night we would fill the sink up with - you guessed it - "hot, soapy water" to thoroughly clean the dishes in addition to running them through the dishwasher.

That's washing dishes twice!

So this weekend I was gone. I didn't unload the clean dishes or load any semi-rinsed utensils. Tuesday morning I opened the dishwasher. It was full but the sure tell sign of cleanliness indicated by little water puddles on the tops of glasses was missing. I pulled a sample of 10 different knives, forks, and spoons. All looked clean. I ran my finger across a plate. No dried food there either. I looked at the glasses. While they seemed clean, I was confused by the lack of puddles. Not wanting to fall short of my duty, I unloaded. At about 4:45, Mama Mia called me at the office.

Did you unload?
Yeah, why? They were clean weren't they?
No. I didn't run the dishwasher because there was room for breakfast bowls. (the ever practical Mama I love.)
But they all looked clean.
That's because I washed the dishes.
Mom...this is why it's a good thing I don't completely clean the dishes. It's an indication for me if I need to unload or not.
No. I don't like it when you do the dishes. You leave too much food and our dishwasher isn't that powerful.
So you are saying I shouldn't do dishes anymore. Okay. If that's how you feel...

Now I just have to figure out if there is something I can do when I clean the bathroom that bugs her...