Wednesday, January 27, 2010
YES!!! We had an appointment with Mickey Mouse!!!! We headed to Downtown Disney this evening to prepare for our day in the park tomorrow and our last day in California!!
It has been a rough couple of days, but tomorrow we will be in Disneyland enjoying our reward for all our hard work. We plan on riding the teacups and even going through the "It's a Small World" ride. I plan to get my picture taken with Mickey and will not leave until my eyes are blurry and my feet swollen. I want to be there to see the parade and the fireworks display! I am so there right now (in my mind)!
I cannot wait to give y'all a blow by blow account of my trip, but today is not that day. I am exhausted and ready for some much needed rest and relaxation. I have had the best time here, but will be ready to come home and see my Sweet Joshua. You really don't realize what you have until you are 3000 miles away from it for six days straight.
More to come later my bloggy stalkers, so until next time........
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
You know what I really need right now? Do you know what would make me feel better and make me truly happy? Do you have any idea what I am pining for?
My Sweet Joshua.
I miss you honey bunny.
PS: I am having the time of my life though!! More to come.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Hey....there are A LOT of people who are Idol fans. Every Tuesday and Wednesday Sweet Joshua and I settle in and watch the show - so last week was no exception and we laughed our asses off with this guy and his very catchy song:
Who knew it would be a viral hit (well....Simon did). The guy just cracks me up!! But what is even better is this:
Now....I am completely loving this!! Who the hell knew Jimmy Fallon could do a SPOT ON imitation of Neil Young! I mean, come on! If you didn't know that was Jimmy Fallow you would really think it was good ole Neil. I love it!!
Three cheers for General Larry Platt, Jimmy Fallon and Pants on the Ground! Talking about sending a positive message (ha ha!!)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Okay, so I am a music snob (no big secret). Music is one of the MOST important things in my life. I cannot remember a time when music wasn't important to me or didn't play a very important role in my life. As I have said many times before as well, my father was instrumental in helping me develop my intense love for music. Even though we are followers of different trends in music, I learned to LOVE music from him. To give you a little more insight into the life of me, I have constructed a top ten list of my all-time favorite bands. These are in no particular order:
Les Claypoole: This is my man, Les. He is the bassist/lead singer for Primus, one of the most unique bands around. How would I describe their music? Well, it is considered "funk metal fusion" and it is like nothing else I have ever heard. Not to mention Les Claypoole is world known for being one of the best bass players in history. The things this man can do on a bass guitar will amaze you even if you are not a fan. I have seen him twice in concert and he does not cease to amaze or entertain. His music is fun and lively and his concerts are NEVER dull. He has never had a song or album even hit the charts, but if you have seen an episode of South Park, you have heard Primus. That is Les Claypoole doing the intro. His fans are known to chant "Primus sucks" at his concerts, and I am proud to have a license plate on the front of my car that says "Primus Sucks". It is a conversation piece, but kind of hard to explain sometimes. Here is a link to one of his most popular song: Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Yeah these guys are a little more well known. I have loved these guys from the moment I heard them in 1989. They started out as more of a funk band, but have ended up being a multi Grammy award winning band with tons and tons of hits. They never fail to impress me and I really think they get better and better with every album they put out. Their last double CD, Stadium Arcadium was in a constant rotation in my CD player for the better part of 2006. It is one of the only albums I own that does not have ONE bad song on it. Most of their die hard fans believe they sold out with their first music video, but I have never stopped loving them. I even have a purse made out of an old Rolling Stone magazine with Anthony Keidis on the cover. That purse always gets some type of comment. You can check them out here: Give it Away.
Johnny Cash: This was a complete no brainer to me. I really think this is a no brainer for anyone who is a lover a great music. Johnny Cash was an influence on so many different types of music, from country to rock to punk. I love all his music. To me, there is nothing more beautiful and satisfying than when it was just him and his guitar. If I had to name one favorite of mine (and it is really hard because there are so many) I would have to say his version of "One". The original was done by U2 (I don't particularly like U2 at all), and I never even took notice of it until Johnny Cash remade it. It is really phenomenal. Check it out here: One.
Gram Parsons: Now here is a guy that is definitely close to my heart right now. I am still on my "Gram Parsons" kick (I go on these kicks musically sometimes). As you may remember, this is the person I named Little Gram after. I was first introduced to the Flying Burrito Brothers (one of his bands) from my father's record collection. I remember pulling the record out and looking at him on the cover and thinking "What a strange name for a band". It was not until about a year ago that I really picked up his album and listened. I was instantly hooked! He is considered the "godfather" of modern alt-country. Even though you may have never heard of him, if you enjoy any type of country rock (different from Southern Rock), you have Gram Parsons to thank for it. If you like "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones, you have Gram Parsons to thank for it! He revolutionized the face of country music by being the first "hippie rock boy" to play the Grand Ole Opry. He was Emmylou Harris' mentor and through him her musical career was launched. His songwriting and music style is unmatched. Unfortunately he is more popular in death than he was in his short 27 year life. (And if you want to hear about an unbelievable after death story - check out Wikipedia to see what happened to his body after he died.) This is one of my favorites: Sin City.
The Cure: I know, I know....these guys look a little out of place on this list. This was a hard choice. They were probably one of my early favorites though. When their album, Disintegration, came out, my best friend at the time, Helen, and I memorized EVERY word on the tape (yeah, I said tape). I knew every pause in the songs, every breath. I had a HUGE poster of Robert Smith (the lead singer) on my bedroom door and my father would pass it, look at it and just shake his head. He thought Robert Smith was a girl (he did wear more make-up than I ever did). I still feel nostalgic when I hear their music. Joshua hates them of course. He thinks there is nothing musical about them whatsoever. I guess of all the influential bands on this list, these guys are the least influential. I guess they are just a "guilty pleasure" even though I don't feel guilty for loving them. When I think of good 80s music, these are the first guys that pop into my mind. I will take them over Michael Jackson, Madonna or other 80s icons any day. These are the guys that made it so easy for me to embrace grunge in the 1990s. Here is a good one from them: Pictures of You.
The Beatles: Yeah, I know.....BIG surprise. I bet you thought I would list them first. Remember, I did say this list was in no particular order, but I can say they are not my favorite, but definitely not my least favorite. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite band seeing my musical taste is so diverse. Just like this list, it is hard to find a "favorite" song by the Beatles. I said it was hard, not impossible! My all time favorite Beatles song just happens to be my all time favorite song. It is "Across the Universe". It is the most beautifully written song I have ever heard. You would think the Beatles couldn't be topped, but Rufus Wainwright redid this song and I wouldn't go so far to say it is better, but I have to say I love each version equally. I will not spout on about the Beatles, because it is probably nothing you haven't heard from me or anyone else before; but DO check out Rufus' version of "Across the Universe", it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Led Zeppelin: Okay, I struggled with this one. I have so many favorites that I had to put them in categories and then pick my favorite from that category. This category had Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Doors and the Who in it. I love them all. I really kinda love them all equally, but there is something about Led Zeppelin that really tips the scales in their favor. The only thing that disturbs me is that most of their songs were rip offs. They were notorious for stealing guitar rifts, and even lyrics from poorer lesser known artists. Even knowing that, I still love them. Everyone knows the obligatory favorite "Stairway to Heaven", but I have to say it is not a favorite of mine (one of the ones they ripped off by the way). If I had to pick a favorite it would be "Battle of the Evermore" or "No Quarter". Both are unique and quite awesome!!
Stevie Wonder: Who doesn't love Stevie? I have loved him from the first time I "laid" ears on him. I am really drawn to anything involving the piano, and he is a piano master! I have "Talking Book" and "The Definitive Collection" both on CD and love every single song on those CDs. I have "The Definitive Collection" playing all the time in my office and cannot get enough of it!! If I had to pick a favorite song, that would be hard, but I would have to say "Past Time Paradise". I thought I would vomit when that Collio rap dude redid the song as "Ganster's Paradise". How can they ruin such an amazing song? Oh, the humanity!
Maynard James Keenan: Like Les Claypoole, I put him as a single artist rather than with the band he is most known for - Tool. He has been involved with other bands that are equally as good as Tool; A Perfect Circle being one of them. What can I say about him? Well, if I were to name one voice that I find almost perfect, it would be his. When I first heard A Perfect Circle on the radio, I knew it was Maynard. He has a voice that is both beautiful and melodic, while at the same time being painful and unique. He can hit notes that no other artist can hit and make them sound wonderful and evil at the same time. Joshua and I are convinced that if any artist sold his soul to the devil for fame (besides Robert Johnson), it would be him. His music is weird and macabre, as well as his videos. My niece, Jilly, was TERRIFIED of his video for "Sober" when she was little, and even 15 years later - it is still spooky. I don't have a favorite song of his because they are all my favorites. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but to me he is the embodiment of pure lyrical talent.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Okay, you know that shit was funny! This one is great too (another TERRIBLE song and video in my opinion - but it makes the GREATEST literal video!!):
I figured that after having to hear a sad post about Artie and an angry post about douchebag Pat Robertson, I would give you some laughs with this video! If you get a chance be sure to check out more of them (the one for "Separate Ways" by Journey is HILARIOUS!!!!) They are great!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Amber: Do you know what is directly across the street form the convention center?
Sweet Joshua: Nope, no idea.
Amber: Disneyland! (turns computer towards him showing him google maps.)
Sarcastic Joshua: (eyes as big as saucers - then being WAY sarcastic) Well, too bad you are going to be too busy to go!
Amber: Well, honey, the convention is over at 1pm on Thursday and that gives us the whole day to enjoy ourselves.
Not So Sweet Joshua: If you go to Disneyland, babe, I am not going to be happy :insert pouty face here:
Amber: Are you serious? You are acting like an eight year old kid right now!
Pouty Joshua: Well, fine then. Just go! But if you DO go, I am going to plan a really awesome vacation to a place you REALLY want to go and then you are not going to be invited.
Amber: Don't be an ass, Joshua.
Ass Joshua: Nope, my mind is made up! Hope you have fun because when I go on my super cool vacation without you, I am going to have tons of fun and you will be stuck at home.
It's okay, though. He has come to terms with my impending fun and very happy for me. It took him a couple of days to come around to being Sweet Joshua again, but he has made a complete comeback and I couldn't be happier.
In other news, I have been avoiding sick people like the plague, so if I have ignored you or stayed clear of any of you it is because I am desperately trying not to get any of this sickness that has been going around. I plan on being a hermit for the next four to five days, maybe just emerging from my house to get the mail before scampering back in to avoid the germs.
I will hopefully post again before I leave. Until then, my bloggy stalkers......
PS: Have y'all noticed that I figured out how to embed YouTube videos in my blog? Don't worry, I am not going to inundate y'all with a video every post, but be on the lookout for them more often. I can be a YouTube junkie when I have the time!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I was getting ready for work just now, and I turned on the Today Show. I was immediately assaulted with the dreadful image of Pat Robertson. Maybe you are not familiar.......Pat Robertson is Christian televangelist and the host of the 700 Club. He is a insensitive, judgmental dunce. I could tell you why, but I would rather SHOW you why:
Are you freaking kidding me? So you are telling me that the devastating earthquake in Haiti was a judgment from God because the entire nation had a pact with the devil to save them from the French? Is this real or am I watching a really bad 1970s B grade horror movie? I would have been more surprised at this statement if I didn't already know that Pat Robertson believed:
- The terrorists attacks on September 11th were because America was being punished for it's "loose moral character",
- Hurricane Katrina was a judgment sent from God because of legalized abortion, and
- Areil Sharon's stroke (he was Israel's Prime Minister until a stroke in 2006) was because God was mad at him for selling "God's" land to the Palestinians.
Planes carrying teams from China, France and Spain flew into the Port-au-Prince airport with searchers and tons of food, medicine and other supplies — with far more promised soon from around the globe.
Search and rescue squads from Iceland and Fairfax County, Virginia, had arrived the day before and some groups — from Cuba's government and Doctors Without Borders — used staff already in the country to offer aid immediately after the magnitude-7 quake struck on Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary ofsaid that "tens of thousands, we fear, are dead" and said United States and the world must do everything possible to help surmount its "cycle of hope and despair."
The U.S. was sending troops and ships along with aid to Haiti, and other nations were joining the effort to help the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, where the international Red Cross estimated 3 million people — a third of the population — may need emergency relief.
That is just the beginning of the article, but the support the ENTIRE world has thrown behind this veritable tragedy is really what being a good, caring nations are about. It's not about sitting on a throne on television and preaching about how everyone is going to hell because we are all people of "low moral fiber" and "harbingers of the Antichrist" (he said that about Methodists and Protestants) - it is about helping people when they need you. It is about caring about someone you have never met before because they are human and they need your help. It is during tragedies like this that the true nature of humans is shown.
As for Pat Robertson (and Jerry Falwell - they are the same in my eyes), they are the reason I am so cynical about organized religion. I am not a church attendee nor will I ever be. I don't believe I have to go to a designated building on a certain day and sing a special set of songs to love and be loved by God. God said your body is your temple, and you should worship at your temple - and I do. Even if it is just praying while I am sitting in traffic, it is more of a sincere gesture than some people who believe they can go to church once, twice or three times a week and then be hateful bastards the rest of the time.
This might not be true of all people, so don't think I am lumping all of you in with this old, over sized blow hard, Pat Robertson. I am just saying that I personally have not had good experiences with organized religion and this is just the icing on the cake for me.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Now, before you skip this post because you "hate" Howard Stern, let me start by saying this, I am not trying to recruit you - so don't freak out. With that being said, unless you have listened to him to make the decision you hate him, you may not be aware of what the show is really about. I have been a listener for 15 years now, and yes....he does cater to my very sick sense of humor and fascination with the macabre and unusual, but what I most like about it - it is HONEST radio. Whether or not you agree with him and his cohorts, you can not say he doesn't speak with some type of feeling. I think that is what I like the most about him. I know when I turn on that radio, I am not only going to be entertained, but I am going to hear someone with an HONEST take about what is going on in the world. I am going to hear (good and bad) how he feels and what he really thinks about politics, music, movies, world affairs and current issues. I don't always agree with his views, but that is the point. It's about being able to think for yourself.
But that is not all of it. Because they have to fill six hours of radio, much of what is discussed (I'd say 90%) are things about the mundane. Whether it is Artie discussing his breakup with his girlfriend, Howard discussing the perils of getting a new cat, Robin discussing her upcoming trip to South America (for charity work), or Gary talking about being embarrassed by his horrible pitch at the Mets game.....you become EMOTIONALLY invested in the lives of these people. Not just the core group, but the producers, interns, and even regular callers and fans. You may never have the opportunity to actual talk TO them, but when you get together with other fans, you talk ABOUT them like you know them. And contrary to popular belief, the show is not all about sexuality and fart jokes (well, they do have A LOT of fart humor). I am not asking you to like him or even to listen to him, I am asking you not to judge him or me for liking him.
With that said, I am in anguish because of one of my favorite comedians, Artie is dying before the fans very eyes. On the show today, Howard directed people to check out this You Tube video.
Artie, much like his idol John Belushi, suffers from chronic depression and a very bad drug and alcohol problem. He literally has been imploding on the air, and it has been heartbreaking. It has seemed for the past two years we have been listening to someone kill himself with drugs and alcohol. About a week and a half ago, Artie tried to commit suicide.
I wanted to share this video with you. I don't know why. Maybe because I love the song (Johnny Cash) and maybe because it is a wonderful 'Tribute" to one of my favorite comedians who I really don't think will be with us very much longer. I can remember EVERY scene in this video. I was listening when he broke down in the studio and confessed to being a heroin addict; when he got into a physical altercation with his assistant, Teddy; when he fell off the cot while sleeping on the air and didn't even wake up when he hit the floor; when he got so drunk at the Las Vegas show that he had to be toted off stage; when he and his girlfriend at the time, Dana, won the "Newly Wed" game. It is just sad to see him disintegrating.
Maybe I want y'all to see what I think is a wonderful talent before he's gone. Again, he might not be your cup of tea, but that doesn't make him any less funny and talented.
Thanks for reading this post.
PS: 143 is Stern show code for "I love you".
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sweet Joshua and I were shopping last night in the Wal-Mart in Oakbrook. That in itself alone is an interesting thing, because after about 9pm on Sunday, the freaks come out to shop at Wal-Mart. Great place to go people watching if you are interested. Anyway, I suddenly had the urge to pee, so I headed to the front of the store.
Now, the restrooms in the Wal-Mart are DISGUSTING!! Maybe they just hadn't been cleaned that day, but they were atrocious. Even if I am in a clean public restroom, I have to either use the toilet seat covers or I have to coat the seat with toilet paper. So you can imagine my joy upon walking into the stall and finding a full toilet seat cover dispenser on the wall over the toilet. I grabbed THREE covers (that is how gross this bathroom was) and strategically placed them on the seat. I turned and went to sit down and right before I hit the seat I heard WOOOOSH and the toilet flushed. I sat down to find that the damn toilet seat covers I had so strategically placed on the seat had been flushed as well, leaving me sitting exactly where I so painstakingly tried to prevent - directly on the damn toilet seat - GROSS!!!!!! I was PISSED (again, no pun intended)!!! I felt so gross and there was nothing I could do about it!
I was traumatized leaving the bathroom, but when I told Joshua about it he laughed so hard he was crying!! I then started thinking about it and it gave me the giggles as well.
Just a note for all you germaphobes, be careful when dealing with those automatic flushers. They will suck the cover right off your ass!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Tomorrow I am going to get back on track! Not to say I won't interject the occasional story here and there!
I am happy to say that I have successfully blogged every day for the past 15 days!! Let's see if I can keep it up!!
Oh, and just in case y'all don't know.....I am going to California at the end of this month. I get to go to Anaheim for the biggest craft trade show in the country. I get to meet all my favorite artists and designers and get to see new product before it hits the shelves of the local craft stores. I get to buy for the store I work for (Charleston Scrapbooking) and I could not be more excited!! Not to mention that the Convention Center is DIRECTLY across the street from.....DISNEYLAND!!!! We can see the park from our hotel. All I can say is HELL YEAH!!
I am going to be dragging this old laptop to Anaheim with me and hopefully will have the energy to post something every day (either here or on my scrapbooking blog)!
Until them bloggers!!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Sweet Joshua moved out of his mother and father's house when he was 16. He moved in with his best friend (and future brother-in-law), Jason (Jason married my sister, Arlinda - AWWWW). From the time they moved in with each other, they were partiers. When I met Joshua, he was living with Jason and it was a party EVERY night of the week. People don't believe that when I tell them. They really think I am exaggerating, but it is the hands down God's honest truth. Seven days a week, y'all...day in and day out. We were three months into our relationship before we spend one evening alone together. For the first few months, I felt I was dating both Joshua and Jason.
When Joshua proposed a year later, he was in a transitional stage. He hadn't lived at home since he was 16, but he moved back in with his parents until we could set something up together (SHHHH....don't tell anyone we lived together for a year before we were married). During this time, he turned 21. Yup, the BIG year for most people. We had a little party at his parents' house for Joshua and his twin brother, Jason, that was a cake and ice cream type party. After the "festivities" Joshua was chaffing at the bit to get out and do some real "partying".
The Crystal Icehouse is a local bar patronized by lots of Summerville natives and that is where we were headed. The bar, albeit nice, has got to be in the dumbest spot EVER!! It is UPSTAIRS and to get to it you have to climb a set of steep slim IRON stairs (you get where I am going here - right?). Well, we get in, meet up with some friends and begin the night. At the time, when you were celebrating your 21st birthday, The Crystal Icehouse would provide free one liquor mixed drinks to the birthday boy or girl. Joshua starts putting away the drinks. Pretty soon, his friends start buying him "Minderasers" and boy.....do they erase your mind!! The events that transpired over the next few hours were completely lost on Joshua because he was totally wasted.
First we had to leave the bar. Now, even in his younger years, Joshua was not a small guy. At 21, he was 6'2" and probably ever bit of 225 pounds. I, on the other hand, was 5'4" and about 115 pounds (yeah, yeah.... so I've put on a few). I had to get this buffalo of a guy DOWNSTAIRS without breaking both of our necks. He was so wasted he could hardly walk. We got down the stairs (it took us awhile) and I got him to the tank (the Volvo).
It was about midnight when I pulled up at his parents house. The light in the living room was on and I thought "Shit....his Mama is still up - she is gonna freak!" I got out and opened his door. He was half asleep and almost completely jello, but I managed to get him out of the passenger side door and I propped him up leaning on the back of his father's car. I turned around to get his stuff out of the car and I heard SHHHHHHH (the sound of sliding). I turned around just in time to see him slide sideways off his father's car and fall onto the chain link fence which propelled him face down on the gravel driveway. SHIT!! His Mama by then was standing on the porch going "What is going on?" "Hey!! What is the matter with him?" I am thinking "Damn! I got to get him up". About that time, Ryan (his oldest brother) pulls into the driveway and gets out of the car. I yell at him "Help me get him back in my car!" By then his Mama is SCREAMING "Oh my God, Phillip............Joshua's on DRUGS!" and "Phillip, something is wrong with Joshua....".
So Ryan helps get him into the car and we take off. We pull back into Summerville about the time Joshua projectile vomits all over the dashboard!! In the vents, on the radio, EVERYWHERE!! He curls up in a ball and starts making these horrible heaving sounds and all I can think is "My God, he is gonna die of alcohol poisoning!" He slides into the floorboard of the car and his head is resting on the passenger seat. He completely passes out while I am freaking about what to do with him. I decide to take him to his foreman's house.
I arrive at Mark's around 1:30 am and run up to the door. I pound on the door and Mark and his roommate answer sleepily. I say "Sorry to come so late, but Joshua is passed out in my car and I don't know where to take him. His mother was freaking out, can he stay here?" Mark said "Of course" and I asked him to help me get him out of the car.
So Mark and his roommate get Joshua out of the car and by now he is completely passed out and just dead weight. They can't lift him, so Mark grabbed him by the shoulders and his roommate hoisted him up by his waistband and they toted him horizontally into the house. He was so heavy, they made it to the foyer and dropped him. I told them if it was okay, they could just leave him there in the foyer. They trudged off to bed and I took him off his shirt and removed his socks and shoes. I took off his watch and necklace and put his wallet in his shoe. I covered him with a blanket and left him in Mark's foyer.
I got back in my car and headed home, but not before I stopped at the Car Wash on Trolley and steam cleaned my car and tried to deodorize as best as I could. He had vomited INTO the air vents, and I never really got all of it out. (It was TERRIBLE that first winter when I turned on the heat in my car......it was like he had just thrown up in the car again).
I crawled into my bed around 3am ruing the fact I had to be up for school the following morning at 7am. At 7am on the nose, my home phone rings. I picked it up and hear very very faintly (whispering) "Babe.....I woke up and I can't find my wallet; and all my jewelry is gone and half of my clothes are gone.....I don't where I am....and I think I got robbed....". He sounded like he was gonna cry. I told him "Honey, you are at Mark's. You were drunk and I brought you there last night." He then sounded relieved. "Will you come and get me, honey?" he pitifully asked. "Yeah, I guess I can beg out of class today. You owe me big time buddy!"
I went to pick him up and he looked HORRIBLE!! He had barely six hours sleep and looked like the walking dead.
It was a LONG time before he drank like that again and he has never had a Minderaser since.
This story is a staple in both families. His brother and I still laugh at him sliding off the back of his dad's car and laying face down in the driveway. I remember him telling me as he laid in the driveway "Babe....I am fine right here. I am comfortable - just let me sleep."
I guess I should have listened to him. If I had, I could have saved myself many many days of retched vomit smell wafting from my vents. Of course, one year later the vomit smell would be replaced by the smell of rotted pork chops. Man, that car was bad luck. Maybe it was a good thing it got stolen by crackheads.
Friday, January 8, 2010
He definitely gives my sister, Dawn, a run for her money. It is also compounded by the fact that Devan and her other son, John-John, are only 15 months apart and they work together to drive her nuts. But as far as pratfalls go - Devan is the clear winner.
Devan is going to be six in March and every year we hope will be the year he will calm down. He has definitely calmed down a little over the years, but it has made him no less precocious. A lot of things I have "witnessed" have been done so over the phone while having a long distance conversation with Dawn (they live in Florida). Being long distance makes no difference, it is almost as if I am right there when stuff happens.
Most of the conversation are 50% talking and 50% listening to Dawn say "Devan!! Stop doing that!" "Devan! What the hell are you doing?" "Devan! Oh my God! What have you done?" One conversation went like this:
Dawn: Devan! That is IT!! I am on the phone and I am not going to police you! Get in your bedroom right now!
Amber: What is going on?
Dawn: He is climbing in the stove trying to get bacon and the pan is hot.
[Devan (in background)]: But I don't wanna go to my bedroom!
Dawn: I SAID GO!!
****few minutes later****
Dawn: What are you doing out here? Didn't I tell you to go to your room?
[Devan (in background)]: But Mom.....
Dawn: I don't want to hear it. Go back to your room!
[Devan (in backgound)]: Here Mommy.........
Dawn: What do you.....what is....what the hell is that Devan?
Dawn: Oh my God, Amber....he is handing me crap!! He has a turd in his hand!
Amber: (laughing hysterically)
Dawn: What do I do?
Amber: I don't know....get a tissue or something.
That was a real conversation......no shit (no pun intended). He is always getting into some kind of trouble. One time, my sister was in the kitchen and heard him yelling for her. She walked into the living room - no Devan. She went to his bedroom - no Devan. She can hear him like he is in the room, but she doesn't SEE him. She looks all over and cannot find him. She walks into the hall and notices the floor grate has been removed. She walks over and peeks into the air duct and she can just see the whites of his eyes. He took the grate apart (after being told a hundred times not to touch it) and he has slid into the air condition duct work and is stuck under the house! Oh, Dev.
They live in the country in Florida and he and his brother are definitely being raised like country boys. Dawn regales me with a tale of walking out on the front porch and seeing Dev out in the front yard, nothing but a t-shirt and his underwear, peeing on her truck tire. I mean......are you serious! He was three or so at the time - a redneck in the making!
He is the first boy born after a long run of girls in my family and he has definitely blazed the trail for all the other boys in this family. I may joke about him - but man, do I love that boy.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
We lived in the Jedburg when he was a kitten, and I tell you, the country was not conducive for raising a kitten. I had a few cats that did not make it between neighbors' dogs and people speeding down our dirt road. But, he survived the country, so when we moved to the suburbs, I thought he was in the clear.
In our first little house, the "laundry room" (which was really just a laundry closet) was directly across the hall from my bedroom and right next to our only bathroom. Sweet Joshua had a habit of getting up in the morning and checking the dryer for clean clothes and then leaving the dryer door ajar. One morning I got up for work and turned on the shower. The dryer door was already open, so I threw my clothes on in (you know, to get the wrinkles out). I turned the dryer on "fluff" and hopped in the shower. I took a long hot shower, and upon getting out of the shower I heard a WOOMP, WOOMP, WOOMP. I thought to myself "Who put a damn shoe in the dryer?"
I opened the door and out popped by my Boober Sue! He was panting and just dropped like a wet rag in my arms. I thought "Oh my God!! I just cooked my cat!!" I immediately called the vet and took him in. They looked him over and declared him perfectly healthy. They said I was very lucky the dryer was on "Fluff" because any heat could have really hurt him or killed him.
From that point on, it has been a law punishable by death in my house to leave the dryer door open and I also ALWAYS look before I throw something in!!
I can say that he smelled good (like a dryer sheet) when he got out of the dryer........and he didn't have any wrinkles.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
We moved out of the house in February of 2002 and our first tenants moved in. They were not complete strangers to us. We didn't KNOW KNOW them, they were one of those "friends of a friend" type thing. We were dumb and inexperienced, so we did not ask for references or do credit checks. We just let them moved in.
For the first two months, it was fine. They came to the house and paid the rent. Then it became increasingly harder and harder to get in touch with them. When I finally got a hold of them, it was excuse after excuse. I started going back and forth about eviction, blah blah blah. This went on for about three months. Talk about a pain in the butt!!
One nice afternoon I got a call from Joshua. He was up at his parents and said "Um...babe, I was just sitting here at the house and just saw our rental house on the news....." WHAT??!?! I asked him what he was talking about. He just said, "I saw it on the news, but the sound was off and by the time I found the remote, they had moved on". So I called the TV station, told them I owned the house and gave them the address. They told me there had been a shooting there.
A SHOOTING? Are you freaking kidding me?? We went over to the house and it was blocked off with tape. I called the police (they just happened to NOT call the owners of the house at the time of the shooting) and they told me our tenant had been shot in the kitchen in a "home invasion" and was in the hospital recuperating. Upon standing in the front yard talking to the police, my old neighbors started coming out and telling me the stories. The stories of drug dealing and possibly drug producing. Apparently my first home had become drug central in the neighborhood and the two kids (yeah....I said KIDS) who shot my tenant had done so during a drug deal gone bad.
First thing the next morning, I went to the court house and started the eviction process. I had him served in the hospital. If I could have attached the eviction notice to a "Get Well" balloon with F**K YOU written on the back - I would have.
Of course he got an attorney. Yes, an attorney (bottom feeders) and he sued ME! Sued me for not providing him with a safe environment to live in. Yup, they can do that. I was served the day before Thanksgiving. Something to really be thankful about!
The case was eventually dismissed against us. It took a year and a half, but it didn't even make it to court. During his deposition, he hung himself (not literally) by admitting to knowing the guys who shot him and having not only sold drugs to them, but to smoking drugs with them prior to the shooting.
If that wasn't bad enough, they had done a total of $7000.00 of damage to my rental. The carpets had to be replaced, the windows, and walls had to be fixed. It was just a horrible experience. And don't tell me if was a fluke, because the tenants I had next were a nightmare as well, and my current tenant is a total pain in my ass.
Before you think of getting into the rental game.....remember this story. If it could happen to me, it could happen to you.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
One attorney is particular really got my goat. He was in law school and working for an law firm in Charleston as an abstractor. He was a real piece of work and I decided early on that I did not like him. My friend, Duane, kinda felt the same way, but he tolerated him better. After the dude passed the bar, he became even worse. His cockiness abounded and I disliked him even more. He started to wear on others pretty quickly too. One conversation with Duane convinced everyone his transformation into an asshole was complete. He and Duane were having a conversation about "chicks", and Duane said something about a chick he thought was cute. The jerk says "Naw, she isn't good enough for me, I mean....I have JD at the end of my name." Duane says "JD? What the hell does that stand for?" He says "Juris Doctorate, dude.....I AM AN ATTORNEY.....my standards are a lot higher now" Duane related this conversation to me and I told him he more likely had "JO" at the end of his name because that stands for "Jerk Off". From that point on, we referred to the dude as JD.
So I came into the RMC one day and Duane asked me "Where can I get a rainbow licence plate holder?" Confused (Duane is VERY heterosexual), I said "Geez, Duane, I didn't know you went that way...." He says, "No, do you want in on our next prank?" (Us abstractors are notorious for our pranks.) I didn't even ask what it was at first, I just said "I'm in." He said "Okay, this is the deal. We need a rainbow license plate holder. We are going to put it on JD's car." I was like "HELL YEAH!! I am on it!!" Duane said "Well, YOU will have to buy it because neither me nor Wayne would be caught DEAD buying one, so you are drafted."
That night I went home and started to do some research. I found a great website (overtherainbow.com - in case you are interested) that is chock full of license plate holders, gay pride ribbon magnets and bumper stickers with men butts on them. I purchased a brightly colored license plate holder and a "Support Diversity" ribbon magnet. I was so excited to see they came to the house quickly, so our prank could get underway.
I brought in the license plate holder and it promptly went on JD's car. He drove around for two days with the damn thing on his car before he noticed it!! He came storming into the RMC the next day and demanded to know who did it. We acted dumb and said we didn't know what he was talking about. He, to this day, is convinced his neighbor did it.
When he decided to leave the North Charleston law firm and start his own firm last year, we gave him a going away present. As he pulled out of the parking lot, affixed to the back of his car was the brightly rainbow colored "Support Diversity" ribbon. If one person that day thought he was gay, then I can sleep better at night.
Monday, January 4, 2010
I was quite excited one shopping trip to find the Pig had pork chops on sale, and I had a little extra money to purchase them. Upon returning to the apartment, I unloaded the car and took my groceries in. I did not have plans to make the pork chops that evening, but rather that weekend, so I really did not notice anything being amiss.
The next few days were the HOTTEST we had had that summer. It was July and it was brutal. Because I didn't have a job, I didn't really find the need over the next three days to leave the apartment, so my tank sat in the driveway patiently. Friday approached, and my cat, Shelby, had a vet appointment. I put her in the car, and backed out of the driveway.
Driving down Crestview Avenue the smell hit me. "My God, Shelby......did you fart?" She just looked up at my from the floorboard of the car. I knew she was not a good car rider, so I thought she had assaulted me in the only way she would (she was a sweet sweet mild cat). Then smell got worse. "Holy cow!! Did you SHIT in the car, Shelby?" By the time I hit Trolley, I had to pull over and roll down all the windows. I got on the road and could hardly take it. I thought I would throw up. I was convinced she had crapped in the car.
I made it to her vet's and she went in for her appointment. I left all the windows down to "air" out the car. Upon returning to the car, it was as if the smell had GAINED strength. I mean, this smell could peel paint, y'all. I didn't know what to do, so I went to my Mother's house.
I arrived at her house and took Shelby inside. I had my littlest sister, Erin, come out side and asked her to smell the car (I guess just to see if I was crazy or not - I had searched the thing looking for cat crap and found nothing, so I had to convince myself that I was not just smelling things). She stuck her head in the car and about puked. "What is that SMELL??" "I don't know!!! I thought it was Shelby, but she couldn't have done this!!" I said. We started looking all over the car and that is when I spotted it.....
In the rear window of my car, under the various cow stuffed animals I kept up there (I had this thing about cows at one time), was a Piggly Wiggly bag. I picked up the bag and peeked inside. Inside the bag were my precious pork chops and a bag of mini marshmallows. The car had gotten so hot that it had melted the marshmallows and it now looked like I had purchased a bag of milk. The pork chops were gray and BOY DID THEY STINK!!!! We threw the bag in the neighbor's garbage can (I wouldn't even put them in my parent's can they were so tainted), and had to figure out how to deodorize the car. I must have emptied an entire bottle of perfume in the car.
It was as if the rotted pork chop molecules had permeated every fiber or the fabric of my car. The smell was over powerful, but over the next couple of weeks, the smell started to dissipate (YES!! I said WEEKS......)
This story never gets old in my family. My sister, Dawn, gave me a squeaky pork chop dog toy for me to hang from my rear view mirror and the story has garnered me A LOT of ribbing.
I was just really upset about missing out on eating those chops.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Dawn had a little pyromania in her as a youth. No, she was not burning down houses or lighting forests on fire. But she DID start young.
(PS: This is one of my favorite stories.)
Dawn and Arlinda are only 18 months apart. As little kids, Dawn was a little hell raiser, while Arlinda was very mild. My mother had quite the little mixture with those two when they were young. She says Arlinda was a hard head, but always well mannered and easy going. Dawn, on the other hand, was the one she had to keep her eye on. She was the one that was the most likely to get into something (like put a fork in an electrical outlet), or try to get Arlinda to do it.
One afternoon when Dawn was about four and Arlinda was about two and a half, my mother was having a phone conversation with my Grandmother. Here comes Arlinda padding into the kitchen. She starts tugging on my mother's shirt. "Arlinda, I am on the phone." my mother says. "But Mommy...." Arlinda pleads. "I said I am on the phone". More persistent now Arlinda says "But Mommy....." Exasperated my mother says "What is it Arlinda?" And she says sweetly "Mommy, the turtains is on fire......"
Yup, turn your back for a minute and a four year old will torch something, if that four year old is Dawn. She had set the living room curtains on fire while my mother was on the phone. Thank goodness it did not burn the house down. It just taught my mother that her sweet innocent looking four year old was capable of doing a torch job.
Years later, a teenage Dawn was in Wal-Mart when some dude walks up to her (he was either crazy or hitting on her - I am not sure which) and says "I just purchased this shirt and it says it is flame retardant. I don't believe them. Will you light me on fire?" and hands her a lighter. God, if he knew who he was asking to do that!!!
She didn't do it, but I imagine it was tempting.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
With that said, he has a little bit of a temper problem at times. As he has gotten older, he has been able to keep his anger in check and his fuse seems to have gotten a little longer; but man, as a teen and a young adult....he was a ticking time bomb!! He gets it honestly. He is truly his mother's son, and it is no doubt he is truly Jason and Ryan's brother. They all have had some problems in the past with anger management. I have a handful of experiences that prove this, but one example sticks out in my mind (it did happened 14+ years ago - so give him a break):
Joshua and I were riding in my tank (the Volvo) down Bacon's Bridge Road one late late night (probably around 2am). If you are familiar, the speed limit coming out of town is only 35 mph before it bumps up to 45 mph. I was tooling along when a car full of teenagers FLIES up on my bumper and starts almost playing "chicken" with my car. They would get really close and then back off and get really really close and them back off again. Finally, they passed me, but when they went to get in front of me they damn near took my front bumper off!! Well.........that was it! The volcano went off and Joshua just yelled "Get on their ass!! Keep up with them" while he is yelling out the window and flipping them the bird. At one point I was doing almost 60mph down Bacon's Bridge Road trying to keep up with them. We got to the end of the road where you can turn onto Dorchester Road and we both got caught at the light. I never understood why they just didn't run the light, but they didn't. Well, Joshua GETS OUT OF THE CAR....
He walks up behind the car and is screaming at the dudes to get out of the car. I was actually laughing because these kids didn't even turn around to look at him. It was like they had turned to stone or something! Before they were being obnoxious; when they passed me they were acting like animals, but now they were like zombies. When Joshua got closer to the car, they all started locking their doors, but still wouldn't look back at him. He then proceeds to "Incredible Hulk style" beat on the trunk of their car with his fists. I could just imagine him out there screaming "Hulk Smash...." He is beating on the trunk of their car screaming at them to get out. He left huge dents in the trunk and he just kept on screaming and beating the car. He is making such a huge scene that people at the gas station come out and watch. I am blowing the horn and screaming at him to get back in the car. The light turns green and they are GONE!!
Later on, I told him how stupid that was and he agreed. We still look back on it and laugh at the prospect. I cannot imagine what we would have thought if we would have seen that sight ourselves. It is definitely a story I have regaled about him over the years. Not that I am proud of him or anything, but it shows that a) he has could a LONG way from 20 years old and b) he was and still is not someone to be f**ked with.
Oh, Sweet Joshua, how do I love thee.....let me count the ways.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Sweet Joshua is very understanding about my shopping. I am the one who does the bills in the house, so he realizes that I am responsible enough not to spend outside my budget. When I shop, I do not hide things from him. I bring all the bags in and generally will share with him my "take" for the day. But, it has not always been like that. Case in point:
Not long after Sweet Joshua and I got married, my sister came into town for a visit. We all went out for a day of shopping and I really blew it out of the water. I had an ENTIRE trunk full of stuff! We arrived back at my mother's house and I decided to give my house a call and leave a message on the answering machine for Joshua (this was pre cell phones y'all). My mother had this HORRIBLE phone that had a speakerphone button right next to the receiver. I called, left the message and hung up the phone. I then started in with the rederict "Man....I can't believe I bought all this stuff!! Joshua is going to kill me!" "How are you going to get all of it in the house if he is home?" Dawn asks. "Well, I will leave most of it in the trunk and just bring a few bags in to start. Then tomorrow I will go out little by little and bring the bags in a disperse all the stuff throughout the house. He will never notice" I say. "Do you think he would really have a problem?" Dawn asks. "Well, I am not sure. I DID buy a ton of stuff today - better safe than sorry"....blah,blah,blah. And then I hear a loud BEEEEEEEEEEEP. We stop and look at each other and my attention is directed back to my Mother's shitty phone. I notice that when I went to hang up the phone after leaving the message on my home answering machine, I hit the speakerphone button.....SO THE PHONE DIDN'T HANG UP!!! As a matter of fact, it recorded my entire conversation on how I was going to deceive Joshua!!
Well, guys, you have never seen anyone move faster than me!! I was in the car and speeding back to my house! It is not that he would have been mad I spend all that money, he would be pissed that I was trying to hide it from him. I pulled up in the driveway and beat feet in the house. When I got in there, he was in the kitchen washing his hands in the sink. He smiled at me and asked me how my day was. PHEWWW I thought, he didn't check the machine! I thought I was in the clear until he says "So.......where are all your bags.....shall I get them out of the trunk of your car??"
Let's just say that when I make purchases, he is fully aware.
***NOTE*** This story is just another example t of me suffering from Diarrhea of the Mouth.