Is there any karma more just than parking lot karma?

Karma.

It’s a concept that we’re all a little familiar with.  Usually, it’s one of the first things people point out when things go wrong, or someone hurts them, or people they love..  “Karma.  They’ll get theirs…”  Or, they use it to cheer up friends who seem to be in a giant rut of bad luck, but haven’t done a thing to deserve it.

Other people simply think of it as just “Do unto others …”   The concept seems to be in a few different religions (granted, in varying forms and ways) and really, in ways that non religious people think.  I’ve had people who don’t subscribe to any religions tell me that they believe the universe has ways of balancing things like how people treat others, and so on. So it’s hardly a foreign idea to most people.

But, what actually IS karma?

kar·ma: (n)
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
from Sanskrit karman ‘action, effect, fate.’

So, in reality, it’s a lot deeper than how we all use it, and it’s tied into a few religions. (That, I know nearly nothing about, so I almost feel guilty even using it in the context of this blog…

But, for our discussion, let’s look at karma simply as the concept of people getting what they deserve.  Or, to sound a bit less sinister; the way they treat and act towards others, will eventually come back around to them.

I’ve never actually seen karma in action. Not once.   Usually, it’s been something I say, or friends have said to make each other feel better about a situation. Or, wishful thinking.  Or, (and perhaps this is the most common. Especially lately, and a few friends who read this will be RIGHT on board with me) something we say that may be the only thing that keeps us from trying to go and deal out a bit of well deserved revenge of our own. The more we repeat that karma will handle it, the less likely we are to stoop to their level (or…stooping be damned, we’ll at least keep our butts out of jail, right? )

Well, it finally happened.  After so many years of throwing the term around, and patiently waiting for some karmic revenge to magically happen in front of me — it did! It finally did! And it was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop giggling and talking about it for a good two days.  It made me so giddy, in fact, that I couldn’t even update Facebook about it.  It deserved a blog post.  A long, articulate, well written blog post that would make me giddy all over again.

Problem being of course, I’d have to stick my butt in a chair and actually type it out.  And, we all know how often THAT has happened lately, but I digress.  Better late than never, no?

So without further ado, let’s jump into the story.

I forget what day it was. Or really what time.  None of that matters. What’s important here is the place.  It’s a place I hate with all my being. I loathe going. I would rather do cartwheels over hot coals.  Be hung by my fingernails.  Be subjected to the movie Freddy Got  Fingered on repeat. With no movie snacks, at that.  But, Mom wanted to go. And being the good daughter I am, I kept my whining to a minimum.    Where did we go?

 

By Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. TheNewPhobia at English Wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Griffin5, Estoy Aquí at English Wikipedia. (Extracted from Wal-Mart’s 2009 Financial Report) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dun dun DUN….

 

Ok. So the “scary music” loses its impact when it’s typed out and not actually heard.  Ah well.

Anyway. Yeah. Wal-Mart.  I hate going. Neighborhood Market, I don’t mind. But the big Wal-Mart with the rabid shoppers and people who drive like maniacs? No thank you. Let’s schedule a root canal instead, please?

My biggest pet peeve in the world, actually, might stem from going to Wal-Mart.

First, for anyone who doesn’t know, my mom is in a wheelchair. She’s half paralyzed from a stroke that happened back in 2000.  She’s also a slightly bigger lady.  Teeny tiny back story, but you’ll need to know that, otherwise this won’t make any sense.

Handicapped parking sucks.  It’s gotten better lately, but especially at some older businesses around Owasso, it just downright sucks. Small spaces, minimal spaces, NO spaces, crappy ramps… I could go on. And on.  And I quite often do, on Facebook and Twitter.

But the worst things?  Those stinking van accessible spaces.

What?  Those? I know , I know. How could those wonderfully huge parking spaces be an issue at all?! Shouldn’t I be loving them, and the extra space to help my mom out of the car without dinging the door of another car?

Yeah. About that.

NO ONE apparently, knows how to park when they see those spaces.

Now, if there’s some weird law that I’m missing, (though I really don’t think there is) please, comment and let me know so I can quit ranting on like a jerk about this stuff.

These spaces, while being extra big, are extra big to allow for van unloading. Like, wheelchair lifts and whatnot.   Unfortunately for most handicapped people, this is not the purpose most people think they meet.

It seems like a good chunk of the population seems to think that these bigger spots are little gifts from God when they can’t find parking of their own.  And they, in turn, become the bane of my existence.

People ALWAYS park next to me when I park in those spaces.  And I almost always end up waiting for them to leave, because I physically can’t get my mother back into the car without damaging their car.   And, it never fails, that the drivers in question, get extremely hostile and immature when you call them on it.  (Another peeve: Those people who think the pretty yellow diagonal lines are a parking space JUST for them…I got told it wasn’t my f****** business once, if someone parked in the yellow lines.  Hm. They probably would have thought it was my business if I’d hit their car, I’m sure….)

 

So, I’m sure you can guess where this blog is going.   Lo and behold, when we arrive at Wal-Mart that day…. there is exactly ONE empty handicapped spot in the lot. Of course, it’s a Van Accessible one.   Naturally.   I’m already in a horrible mood, so I plot the perfect thing to do.  I’ll park so horribly that NO ONE will be able to park next to me.

I was perfectly within the lines of the parking space.  Nothing hanging out, and not overlapping the yellow lines.  Mom laughed at me a bit, but I got her out, and we went in to get her shopping done, certain that we wouldn’t get stuck.

Ha. Turns out I gave the human race more credit than I should have.

We come out of the store, and my jaw hit the asphalt. I couldn’t believe it.  There was this truck. This giant, gas guzzler looking truck, squeezed into a corner of my parking spot, and over the yellow lines.  I would be able to get mom in the car just fine… but I’d have to suck it in myself to get in, and there wasn’t a prayer I’d get the car out of the space without body damage.

Fabulous.

So we’re standing there, both openly staring, and I’m debating between heading inside and unleash hell on some poor checker and their intercom; or just calling the cops because I’m sick of dealing with people in this town and handicapped parking.  While we’re staring, this man who we’d passed on the way out stopped, and turned and watched us.

Turns out, this was his truck. Oh, the luck, right?

So this guy, who is probably in his late 40’s, early 50’s, saunters over.  He doesn’t say anything, but cocks his head to the side,  and seems to be assessing the situation.   Part of me wants to completely tear into this guy. At his age, (and needing handicapped parking himself) shouldn’t he know better??  But, partly because it’s probably not the nice thing to do; and partly because I suck at confrontation, I didn’t.   Instead, I looked from the cars to him, and calmly said that I wasn’t going to be able to get the car out without hitting his truck.

His reply?

“Well, if you’d learn how to park, then there’d be room enough for all of us..”

Now. If I were my sister, or my brother, I’d probably be typing this from a jail cell.  (Or, if mom’s speech wasn’t severely impaired…) There aren’t words for how angry that made me.And it’d be very unbecoming of me to say ANY of the things that were running through my head at the moment.

Ridiculous.  I grew up and was taught to share like everyone else. But a parking space? That I’m in BECAUSE I NEED THE SPACE? A space meant for ONE CAR? Since when do I have to share THAT?!

A little disappointed I didn’t have the guts to be SuperBitch, I pointed out that he was the one who had crammed his truck into a parking space that was meant for one car, and started loading my mom and the groceries into the car.  He climbed into the giant truck, and started it.

And sat.

He sat there until I loaded every grocery bag, my mom, and her wheelchair. (which was less than fun with Giant Truck right there.   He didn’t start to back out until I was in the car, and had been sitting for a while.  Obviously, he was angling to take over the entire spot after we left.  Which I think may have made mom angrier than it made me.  Again, it’s probably for the best that some words don’t come out clearly ….

Jokes on him, really. As bad as I am about seeing distances, I very realistically could have nailed his car anyway, but…sadly, I was a decent driver that day.

I’ll admit, I took my sweet time backing out, and only partially because I don’t see distances awesome. I wasn’t happy with this guy.   But… then it happened.

As I was backing out, I hear mom start to get excited, and she smacks my arm and tells me to look.  So I look up.   There, in our rearview mirror, is this little blue car.   Blue car was coming in from the other side, at a much less severe angle, and they wanted the spot too.  This gave me the giggles.

I knew the little blue car probably wouldn’t get the spot… but wouldn’t it be cool? Ohhh, wouldn’t that just show our new “friend?”  But no. Things rarely seem to work out that way.  But… it’d be cool.

So I back out even slower, keeping an eye on both cars as I finally leave the parking space. There was definite tension.  I feel like we could have used some popcorn that day..

Finally out of the spot, I glanced in the mirror as we drove off….

 

And…. ZOOM! The little blue car zipped in and got it! What?! YES!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life.  We both cheered, and hollered, and carried on.  I think I giggled the whole way home.    I did, immediately call my husband on speaker phone, and relay the whole incident, in between giggles. (For the record, he wasn’t as amused.)

I did feel a little bit bad.  I don’t think there was another spot anywhere. And he walked with a cane, so no doubt he needed a handicapped spot. (Though, history says he’ll just illegally park again, right?)

And I know it’s awful to wish misfortune on anyone. But I have no shame, it was so nice to see it fall back on someone else, instead of people yelling at me, or having to be super careful to avoid hitting cars that are parked where they shouldn’t be.

Now… to make this less of a bragging because someone else got gipped out of a spot post, does anyone know if the apps for reporting handicapped parking abuse actually work?  Does local law enforcement even really care about this type of thing? Is there a better way to report it?

Any suggestions or stories in the comments would be lovely. ❤

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What NOT to do when your husband is in California… furbaby edition.

This blog could alternatively be titled “How to Piss off a Musician,”  or, “Your Gateway to Marriage Counseling – In 4 Fuzzy Paw-printed Steps!”

Thankfully, no counseling was needed. But just barely.  Because the you-know-what-almost hit the fan.

Last summer, Matt went out-of-town with his band, The Secret Post.  They were gone for about a week.  Which, while it sucked on my end, because I’m somewhat more co-dependant than I’d care to admit, a week isn’t long enough to get into too much trouble. Even bill or money wise. Right?

Wrong.

One morning, I get to my mom’s house, and notice that there’s a laundry basket full of blankets against the wall.  I figure that one of my sister’s friends is doing their laundry here, so I roll my eyes a bit, but think nothing of it.  For the first 30 minutes I’m over, my mom is giving me this Look.

There’s no real way to explain it other than that. You probably know what the Look is.  It’s the look everyone flashes around when there’s a secret. Sonething is going on  – perhaps something big — and you missed it.  Too often, it’s something ridiculously obvious too. And yet, you still miss it.

Me, I’m blatantly oblivious. It took many Looks, mass amounts of giggling, and then some prompting to go investigate the seemingly harmless laundry basket.

Not blankets! Kitties! Can’t see it well, but there are 4 here!

 

Aaaahhhhh.

Now, I understand the giggling.

Austin had found these kittens at his house, so he’d scooped them up, and was letting the kids take care of them.   (Well, really just Treisha. Killian was at boy scout camp.  Boy, did he come home to a shock!)

So we had these fuzzballs. Who were freakishly loud… and ate every few hours.  We didn’t have kitten formula (later on that week, I got some. ) but we were mixing canned food with water, and dropper feeding it to them. Then there’s the potty business, but you don’t want to hear about that.

Their eyes were open, and they were little wigglers.  They didn’t move around much yet… that one took a few days.  The little black and white one , the biggest cat, got mobile first.   The others followed suit, and gradually started playing a bit.  They looked like drunken little cats, who weren’t used to their legs, but.  All things considered, not bad!

Except, the runt.

No, he isn’t a mouse. In fact, a mouse was probably bigger…

 

He didn’t eat as much, he didn’t move around as much… and he was SO much quieter than the others.   So of course, I got attached.

I started carrying him around, and making sure he was cared for (cuddled) properly.

What? He needed a place to sleep. Not like they had a bed or anything….

Eventually the black and white one, who we dubbed Houdini for his escape artist abilities. got a home.   Treisha and I , sick of calling the cats by color, decided to name them.  We were fairly confident that we could name them, and not get attached.

Mocha, who has since been renamed Marshmallow!

 

Macchiato.

And, we named my the runt Chai.

Yeah. So we got attached. What of it?!

 

Not long after that, my friend Alisha decided to adopt the above pictured girl cats, Mocha )now Marshmallow) and Macchiato.  Meaning, that the little runt was the only one left!

Naturally, my family kept asking me when I was gong to take him home.   Usually, while I was walking around with him. (Did you know you can cook meals, and use the bathroom without disturbing a sleeping kitten? It’s true!)

I scoffed at them, explaining that we already had two cats, and I wanted a bunny…. so there was NO WAY I could take this little one.

However, come Friday, I was going to be all alone for the weekend.   As was the little kitten over at my brother’s house.

It seemed obvious. I’d take little guy home with me, and then on Monday, I’d take him back.  All the while asking around to figure out who wanted a kitten.

Easy peasy . Except that my cats DIDN’T like him.

Things were going great, for a bit.  I’d given our two cats little mice as a peace offering… so I took a video of them playing with them…  and the little guy screamed through the whole thing.

So I get this phone call from Matt. A not-as-livid-as-I-expected phone call.   I explained what was going on, and he shook his head.   (Well. I imagine he did. There was a sigh, and a few unsavory words….. you get the idea.

He’d stay with me for the weekend. Anything else, would be discussed when he got home. (God, that phrase sucked as a kid coming from parents, and it sucks coming from a husband now. Sheesh.)

Meanwhile, my cousin came over, and we went to get take out.  Naturally, without a cat carrier, I had to carry the kitten with us.  Which sparked lots of conversation. Now, a good portion of the staff at Baja Jacks would ask every time we came in, if Matt had decided if we could keep the kitty. (Muahahaha.)

Our cats? Not impressed.

“Um. What IS THAT?” Ping Pong is confused.

“No. You take it back this instant, human. I already tolerate the black and white abomination…” Monster isn’t having any of it.

 

But all things considered, the cats got along pretty well.  For territorial, moody creatures, anyway.

 

Fast forward to the night that Matt got home from California. I’m excited. Chai is a ball of cute. Matt can’t hold out against it.  I’m SURE that it’ll go well.

Well.

It doesn’t.

Not only does the cat scream and cry all night…. but he promptly steps in the bowl of wet food, spilling it over onto the floor. (And, subsequently, caused my bleached jeans nightmare. Stupid Resolve carpet cleaner. ) Matt was ready to toss the cat out the window, I’m fairly certain. It was NOT a good night. Not in the least.

Eventually, Matt said we could test it for a month. There were some heavy conditions, and if it didn’t work – it didn’t work.  Nothing would convince him to keep it if it didn’t work.

So… a month came and went, and…. well….   I think this is an occasion where pictures speak louder and clearer than any words could.

 

Um. Yeah. He totally hates the cat.

 And I have to share a few more, because I’m going through old pictures… and this is just ridiculous.

LOOK AT THE TINY CAT.

 

Blog? What blog? This is kitty picture spam time.

 

Cute, tiny adorable, and fairly sweet and quiet.  What an adorable little — oh!

He likes all things mint/ menthol/beeswax. He’s a gum stealer.

 

Did we mention how well behaved he is?

He does ride very well in the car…

…oh…… this is why we call him Chai the Fierce…

Did we mention he has a body count?

 

 

But seriously. Don’t mess with Ozzy the penguin. He’ll get you.

 

“I long long walks, and hand drawn bubble baths..”

The kid’s a colossal mess.  He has a security penguin, and he refuses to use a dirty litterbox. He also ate a hairtie once… and we’ll just say it didn’t go well.

He’s also a bully that beats up on the poor little black and white cat more than I care to admit. He’s also a pig, and eats everyone’s food.

 

But, he’s literally like a child. We don’t think he realizes he’s a cat.  And even though we’re turning into crazy cat ladies , we couldn’t imagine NOT having the little fuzzball around. 🙂

And now I’ve written WAY  more than  I thought I’d ever write about a fuzzy cat, so I’m off to go nap. (We’re snowed in today. I’ve baked scones, drank coffee, blogged — now what will I do?!)

Naptime, folks. Stay safe if you’re out in it….

 

Bond. James Bond….. Junior.

No.

Not really.  Please don’t click X on the window just yet…

(For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, this YouTube link will fix that.  I LOVED it, cheese and all.)

But, sadly, (or.. happily – depends on how you look at it!)  that’s not what I’m talking about today.

Lately , much to my despair, we’ve been watching the classic Bond movies.  (Quick note!  Small Skyfall spoilers within. You’ve been warned…..) 

Image

It’s funny, neither Matt nor I had ever been into James Bond – to any extent, unless we’re counting that aforementioned children’s series. (And… most wouldn’t.)

I don’t remember exactly why, but we started to watch the new Bond movies with Daniel Craig, and loved them. Absolutely loved them. But there wasn’t any interest in checking out the past Bond movies.  I actually remember having the conversation with Matt, and he flat out stated he wasn’t interested in any of the older ones. Wasn’t his style, wasn’t his thing . good or not – he had no interest.

Boy, must he be eating some crow right about now…

I wish I could remember the thing that set it off.  But something happened, (To be honest? It could have been something as simple as a good Blu-Ray sale.   Don’t laugh – I’m not kidding here…) and Matt picked up an older Bond movie.  I think it was a 3 pack.  I don’t remember the other two – but Golden Eye was one of them.

Something had happened that had made Matt slightly interested in the classic Bond films again.  I was still very much in the Camp Don’t Make Me Watch These Please!   But, being the good sport that I am, I agreed to watch one of them. The idea was to check them out, and if we liked/could tolerate them, to maybe pickup the rest of them.

Goody.

I wasn’t thrilled. There are a LOT OF BOND MOVIES. I will admit I liked the newer ones, but wasn’t sure I could deal with all the cheesiness of the old ones. And the suave ladies’ man Bond didn’t really appeal to me.

But, I suffered through. And, as luck would have it, Matt liked it.

That was close to a year ago, I think. Maybe more.  I’m not sure. Anyway… he watched the other two one day when he was home sick.  So, it was decided that we’d get all of them. Wasn’t a huge priority… but it was happening.

Jump back to pretty much present time, and I’m at work, sitting with Mom.  My phone rings, and it’s an overexcited Matt.   He’s been watching this box set on Amazon.  Not only does it have every single Bond blu-ray, but it also has an open slot for Skyfall!

Fantastic news, but the price?  Not so fantastic. I won’t share it… but 23 blu rays? You can imagine it, I’m sure.

That’s the bad news.  The good news?  It was some gold box-esque deal on Amazon.  And my husband, is obsessed with those deals.  I’m not even kidding.  You know how you’d expect housewives to be all sale-savvy, and all up on couponing and such?  Well, he’s the housewive of media sales.   I woke up at 5 or 6 in the morning this weekend, and Matt is sitting in bed tapping away on his iPhone.

Confused, I (very groggily) asked what he was doing.   The answer?  Just checking the sales.

He very religiously checks Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and I don’t even know what else weekly for sales and deals.

Needless to say, the Bond set caught his eye.

… sort of.

Instead of snatching it up for the cheaper price, he pointed out to me that there was a flaw in the packaging.

Which, to my perfectionist husband, it just wasn’t acceptable.

What he DID find though, was special, exclusive editions of the movies.    Yay! All is not lost, right?

Ha. Oh, wrong. WRONG.

They aren’t all at the same store. Not even close.  Target had some… Best Buy had some… and Wal-Mart had the others.

….

Fabulous.

So, Matt, who works a half-day on Fridays, calls me up, and lets me know what he’s doing. He’ll talk for a bit while he’s shopping, then let me go when he leaves.   We do this little dance for a few stores.  My mom’s phone is ringing off the hook, and she’s completely perplexed.   I explain things the best I can in between phone calls, and she thinks it’s the funniest thing ever.  Each time he calls back ,she laughs a little more.

Finally, several phone calls later, he’s found all of them. (Yay… uhm, Not….?)

I fought tooth and nail to not watch these movies. I had no interest. I didn’t want to in the least.

His plan, was to watch them all, consecutively.

Night, after night, of the infamous 007.

Oh. Geez. Let me try and contain my excitement before I go on….

Now, in the midst of all this, he got interested in the original books, by Ian Fleming.  Which took me by surprise, as he’s not a fiction book reader.   By Christmas, he had the majority of the Fleming books. He’s read a few of them already, but not all of them.  He seems to be enjoying them , though he does point out they aren’t the easiest to read. Lots of older, proper English terms.  It’s interesting, a lot of them have made their way into his vocabulary now.  (Guys, I’m rubbing off on him — we’ll make him a reader yet!)  He also indulged the side of him that loves non-fiction. Documentary…. after….documentary. Some of them I watched with him, and some of them I took a pass on.  Very interesting though, some of the things you learn. I will say that.

We talked, and made a small compromise. We’d watch them in ‘sections’. Each different James Bond.  That way I didn’t get burnt out , and we could still watch other things.  Okay, fair enough.

First, was the Connery run.  I didn’t understand why, but Matt was very adamant on watching these before watching Skyfall. And sometimes with him, it’s easier and more productive to not ask questions. So, I didn’t.

We watched Dr. No, and though I wouldn’t get super excited over watching it, I enjoyed it more than I expected.   From Russia With Love, was even better. I still wasn’t keen on watching them , a few times I protested enough to earn a brief reprieve from the movies, before getting back into them.   Goldfinger I really liked… Thunderball was okay, I could have done without that one and not have cared, I think.  You Only Live Twice, was the first one I think I found myself getting into and really enjoying.  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was great.  I LOVED that Bond teamed up with a ‘bad’ guy. Fantastic.   Diamonds Are Forever,  I think, has been my favorite.  Willard Whyte KILLED me. Loved him. (Did you know he was Jimmy Dean? Yup. THE Jimmy Dean.)  And the two …very odd henchmen esque guys? Cracked me up.

So… by now, I’ve got my tail in between my legs a bit.  Still pretty adamant that they, though good, aren’t my favorite movies. They were okay, and I could admit that. Moneypenney, is adorable. I love, love, LOVE her.  Her at Bond’s wedding, about broke my heart…   But I was more than ready to watch Skyfall.

Now, I’d be the one eating some crow…

We watched Skyfall, and I found myself picking up little things. References to the earlier movies.   Which makes sense, considering it was the anniversary.    When Bond and M end up needing a getaway car, I squealed a bit when I saw that it was the original Aston Martin. (And yes, I cringed at the end…)  I giggled happily to hear (and recognize!) the original Bond theme during the scene in the car.  No tweaks, no updated instrumentation – a great homage.

But… I’m very ashamed of myself to admit what I’m about to admit.

Myself, still holding onto the last shreds of “I”m NOT a Bond fan”-dom, completely lost it.   The last scene of the movie comes up, where Bond and his as-yet-unnamed female friend enter the new office.

At this point, I sit up a little straighter. Something seems…. odd.

The camera seems to focus on a coat rack, as Bond is asking for the girls name. A coat rack, of all things?! How absurd.

Only not. It should be absurd. I know I should be a little put off they’re focusing on random furniture.  But I’m not.  I’m too busy shrieking at the TV, and angering my husband.

It’s the old office. From the classic Bond movies. I’m thinking, in the back of my head, that I shouldn’t be excited about this.  But I am.  I’m bouncing up and down, shrieking and squeaking at both the TV, and at Matt – but he’s doing his best to ignore me.

And poor thing, it only got worse when the female coworker (who by now, I’m practically jumping out of my seat- because I know who it is) finally gives us her name. And of course, it’s Moneypenney. Of COURSE. Who else would practically murder James? And though at first I was unhappy, because I thought it was implied they slept together in Shanghai, but Matt believes they didn’t.  Surely he’s right, and they wouldn’t have changed such a crucial aspect of their relationship?  Ah well, I digress!

Anyway. She takes her seat, and motions Bond toward M’s door. And -oh-my-god-it’s-the-same-door-did-they-use-the-same-damn-set!? .

Not to mention, Moneypenney is in a blue dress, JUST like in Dr. No, when we first see her.

I caught myself the next day, when I was excitedly telling the story to my nephew. He’d just seen Skyfall, but he hadn’t seen the classic Bond movies.  I pointed out references, and even showed him YouTube scenes from both Dr. No, and Skyfall, geeking out over the offices.  I can’t remember if it was when we were discussing the car, or when I was WAY too excited over the offices… I think it was during the playback of the YouTube video, when I grudgingly accepted the fact that I’d become a Bond fan.

I don’t know when it happened! It certainly wasn’t of my own accord…

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I must go watch some YouTube video of a phenomenal rendition of Goldfinger from the Oscars. Holy cow, does that woman have a set of pipes!

Meaning, I’m being forced to blog .

 

(Really. I’m chained to the computer… someone please send help….)

You only THINK this is an exaggerated caricature....

You only THINK this is an exaggerated caricature….

 

As most of you know, my husband is a musician.  And by musician, I mean it in every sense of the word, excluding ‘classical.’

He writes and records his own music, for starters.  He’s successfully turned our home into the recording studio equivalent to the Batcave, (barring the Divorcizer– ask him about that one,) and he also plays bass in a fairly successful regional act, The Secret Post. (Fun fact. This was initially an ‘on the side’ project for him — but he’s practically as invested as the singer/founder of the group…..)

I’m not just being a braggy wife when I say they’ve been successful – they actually have garnered some international attention as of late.  They’ve gotten radio play and lots of love from Greece fans, and were contacted by not one, but two record labels.  (They announced today that they signed with the German label AF Music. Surreal, much?)

For some time now, Matt’s been hinting that he’d like to read a blog about ‘being a band wife.’  My reaction? Nope, nada, not happening.   I like to keep my bitching on that front to a not so public medium.    However, he’s kept at it, and a recent out-of-town gig – and the stories of shenanigans, and his fair share of female adoration – set off talks of a blog again.

So, here I am.  Writing the blog that’s bound to get me ostracized. 😉  If I disappear, look for the guys in eyeliner, make them ‘fess up, okay? (Huh. Look at that, I actually started a blog back in 2010 about this exact subject.  It has a paragraph talking about Excedrin, and a picture of a giant drum set in the middle of the living room… Eeks. Not a very positive tone at ALL, I’d say…)

Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure where to start. The term even annoys me.   Band wife.  There’s such a stigma attached to it. It’s practically dripping with stereotypes.

Think about it.  When you hear the term band wife, what pops to mind?

A few things do for me… and I’ve had my fair share of time as both fan girl, musician’s wife, and now a ‘band wife.’ So, here’s what pops in my head when I hear the term.

  •  A ‘bitch’ type persona, who thinks she has all the rights in the world, because she’s dating a pseudo-rock star.
  • A harping woman who loathes her husband’s career, constantly berating him.
  • That woman at the concerts shooting daggers from her eyes at any of the female fans.

Or worse….

  • That woman who thinks she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about the band, clubs, payment, sound, and whatever else, just because she attends shows. 

Not exactly complementary images, right?

It gets better.  In this case, Google isn’t our friend.   I’ve seen ‘Band Wife Commandments,’ that for the sake of both our sanities, I won’t link to here. They anger me BEYOND reason.   Here’s a gem, that I found on a bass forum. (However reading through the post, bless them, there are a few people that I could kiss their feet.  It’s not all horrid! Woo-hoo.  But the farther I read, more idiots, and the OP who thinks his wife’s issues come from being ‘on the rag’.  Oh, geez… )

Additionally, doing a Google search, you find a LOT of blogs ran by “Band Wives.”    It’s not surprising,  really.

Realistically, there are only so many times you can talk to friends and family about some of the issues that come from being a band wife.  At first thought, it may not seem like much.   But trust me, there are some things that only people who have close relationships with serious musicians would understand.

For example..

  •  The stressed over the $2000 musical purchase your husband just made.
  • The fact that no less than 6 women hit on your husband at the last show.
  • Three of them, if you’re lucky, are diehard fans, and will likely  be at every single show the band plays, from now until eternity.
  • Facebook.  FACEBOOK.  I needn’t say more.
  • Roadtrips to pick up a $3000 synth. Who gets to ride in the front seat on the 6 hour drive home…
  • The makeup/outfits.  This is ridiculously hard to explain to some older family members. Or, just family who thinks it’s feminine. I kinda just want to say, “Here. Come to a show with me. All these girls obviously don’t mind it…”
  • Recording sessions. No WiFi/cell phones during sessions, because they interfere with the signal. Cats that must want to be featured on the CD’s.  Cats that get very angry when you try to hush them up. Cat’s that pee on you, to express their displeasure…

I could go on, but you get the idea. Or, at the very least, you’re starting to.  (My fellow friends/family of musicians are sitting there nodding. You know what I mean. You’ve been there.  Can I get an amen or anything? )

So many times, I’ve been telling a story to someone, and it had to do with the music aspect of our life, and mid conversation,  I could see the gears start to turn.   Even when the stories are toned down, I still get the “I-love-you-but-I-think-you-guys-are-crazy-why-do-you-put-up-with-this” vibe.

Yeah.

We really are crazy, there’s not a better way to describe it at all.

And if I’m being completely honest, a good amount of this ‘band wife’ concept, really sucks.   The most obvious being, the girls. Especially since on occasion, his uniform of choice involves makeup, and electrical taped nipples.

 

It really doesn’t matter whether the shows are local, or out of state, he gets hit on by someone, every show.   Or, he has girls down in front dancing for him. (Yes, yes. This is probably karma kicking me in the you-know-what for my dancing at concerts. I’ve accepted this, and am over it.) 

It’s really not so bad.  I’m not worried about him cheating, in the least.  Especially since I hear about all of it later.   But it is a bit daunting to hear about all the pretty, artsy, goth women who are throwing themselves (not a complete exaggeration, but I don’t want to get too detailed.) at the man you’re married to.  Especially when you’re sitting at home, plain, boring, and realizing you haven’t worn makeup in a week. Maybe more.

The worst part of all this?   It may not make sense, but the absolute worst part, is that they aren’t national/known worldwide .

Why?

Well, if they were, then it’d be a bigger scope of people hitting on him. As things stand now, a good portion of the girls who hit on him, I’ve either seen before, or will see again.  Some of them are in bands that travel the same circuits.  A few, we even know somewhat personally.  Which, is why I haven’t divulged any of the pickup lines, or personal details here.  (I’m not THAT mean.) 

Which.. on a side note. Ladies, just because someone is attractive – do you really want to take them home randomly from a club? It’s kinda a freebie with Matt, since he doesn’t wear his ring when he performs (Another point non-musicians may not understand…).  But quite honestly? I’ve never seen the appeal of taking someone home you’ve JUST MET.  They could be a psychopath. STD city. Impotent. You never know…

I’m getting off subject.   Back to the topic at hand, and away from the girl-y aspect of it…

Another downside, (Boy, I’m just FULL of those…) is that life .. pretty much revolves around the musicians schedule. Budget too.

I’m sure things get a little more hairy when kids are involved, but we aren’t at that point yet.  But things like band practice, show schedules, new instruments, strings, picks, maintenance, practice space fee, shows/sound checks, out-of-town shows (and the money needed to go to them), and countless other things, really can put a strain on things.

As much as it sucks, some of these things take priority over things that I’d rather put closer to the top of the priority list. Family events? Dinner with friends? Movie night?  All subject to practice/show schedules.

Budget wise, we’ve put off a Valentine’s Day to help with band expenses once… we’ve rearranged budgets countless times to accommodate new purchases and practice space fees. It’s surprisingly not as bad as you’d think.   The worst of it, honestly has been Matt’s personal purchases outside of the band..

WAIT.

No. I lied. There was that emergency bass and bass amp we had to buy.

God, that was a nightmare.  Especially since we’d had a good amount of purchases he’d made, and I wasn’t happy with it. Long story short, we’d talked about things, and it had been agreed that no major purchases would happen until after X date.

Naturally, Murphy’s Law occurred, and he had  to make a major purchase.  Trust that I was anything but happy… but after a few long conversations (and admittedly, a bit of a guilt trip on my part,) I agreed it was necessary.

There’s more negatives,  being alone at a concert while the husband’s off playing rock star, or entertaining yourself while the band’s out-of-town… but I’ve already typed 1500+ words about negatives. Enough is enough.

On a much happier note – knowing that someone you love has something in their life that they’re passionate about? That really can’t be beat, as sappy as it sounds.

As long as I’ve known Matt, he’s been involved in music – in some shape or form.  I’ve camped out on a pallet outside the studio door for late night writing/recording sessions. I’ve heard stuff he’s written, and things he’s produced for other bands.

But seeing him actually perform – and honestly, be quite good at it?  It’s insane. It’s hard to explain, but you can’t top seeing someone doing what they love, and having that radiate from them.  Unbeatable.

Free concerts are always a plus, too.  (What? You knew it was coming…) 

The people are great.  It’s an odd crowd, and not all of them are people I would have met of my own accord … but they’re a great group of people. Who thankfully, don’t mind having me around.

Another lopsided plus , is all the female attention. (What? Yup. I don’t claim to make sense.)   It’s a bit of an ego boost to see people ogling the person you’re going to take home. I can admit that.

OH, and the makeup.  Being a former drama kid, Matt’s no stranger to makeup – but I’d never been able to get him to wear any eyeliner or anything like that.   Until, he started playing with The Secret Post.

Now, well, the boy’s purchases rival mine. ($20 lipstick? Sephora, shame shame!)  But, as cliché as it is, I LOVE the eyeliner look on guys. The lipstick, I’m on the fence about. But eyeliner, yes please. 🙂

I’m really trying to rack my brain here.. I have a very antsy musician in the other room, sneaking peeks at me, waiting to read what I have written – I don’t want to disappoint!

It’s such an odd position to be in. I know a lot of wives can’t go  – or just don’t want – to attend shows, whether it be because of kids, or personal reasons… but I really enjoy going.  You learn a lot, whether you want to or not.  I’m somewhat proud to say I have a decent handle on how sound checks go, the load out process, and a good amount of gear terminology. I could very roughly explain booking/contracts, bits of the recording process, and I’m fairly certain I could point out when certain band members make mistakes.  Though, I’m still learning all The Secret Post songs. ( Don’t tell anyone, but I used to not care for the band. Matt liked them from the get-go though, and thankfully, before he joined, the songs started to grow on me.  Lord, life would be hell if I didn’t like the band….) 

It’ll be interesting to see if I can keep my mostly positive opinion, if things ever take off for the guys.  It’s exciting, and a touch terrifying, that they’ve been signed to the German label.   Realistically, nothing huge may ever happen.  But, it could mean touring more. Which, obviously not my favorite. I better pick up a hobby. 🙂   Touring more, means more fans. Meaning, more girls.  Also meaning, more recording. (Uh oh…)

ACK! It’s a vicious cycle – I can’t get away!!

All in all, it’s not bad.  I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. It sure makes things interesting.

But, to be candid, I am NOT looking forward to the next recording session.

I FINALLY got decorations up on the walls in my kitchen/living room area, thanks to my friend, Alisha. She graciously helped me do that, and a few other things the last time Matt was out-of-town, doing the rock star thing.   Unfortunately, they rattle .  So they all get to come down the next time he records.

Which, I’m sure you’ll all hear about, be it on Facebook, or here.  I’ll be grumping around about it, I’m sure.

Until he cuts off my internet for the recording session. that is. 😉

 

This Post Brought To You By The Letter M…

13 Days of Grinchmas! (An intro, with special appearance by Java the bunny.)

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Oh, look. It’s a Christmas post.  Quick – nobody panic!

Highly unusual for me, since being married.  We do the usual gift swap with family, holiday dinners and whatnot – but that’s usually the extent of our Christmas festivities.

Reason being?

Matt is a Grinch.  ‘Nuff said.

Don’t laugh! I’m serious!   Also, don’t worry about being offended in my husband’s honor, the moniker is self appointed.  He’s not big on holidays, social gatherings, or really any situation where it’s an obligation to buy someone you might not care for at all, a present.

During the months of November and December, he can usually be seen wandering the house, while mumbling the phrase “Consumerism and Lies!” . (After Christmas, he snaps out of it, and starts lamenting that he’s soon going to be a year older. I can’t win, guys!)

Very, very anti holiday. Anti tradition. (Well, anti traditional traditions – if that makes sense.)

So, you can imagine my surprise one day, when I get a text from Matt, mentioning this new tradition he wanted to start.  My eyes about popped out of my head.

Not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, I very quickly agreed that it was a good idea, and asked him what he had in mind.

He explained that his idea was to do a “12 Days of Christmas.” It would consist of buying 12 small gifts to exchange, with the final present being on Christmas Day.

I loved the idea. I’m a sap.  I love girly movies, and silly romantic ideas, and … well, maybe the best way to put it is : if its corny, I’m in.   After a few minutes of glee, however, I snap back to reality.

My husband, is the hardest person in the world to shop for.  I don’t buy clothes for him, he’s super picky.  I can’t buy media (blu rays, games, cds) because he researches the different versions/editions of each, then buys them.  Comics is a no go, he has a box at our local comic book shop. And any we order online, he’s amazingly, overly picky. They have to be packaged a certain way, in a certain condition… (Think Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.  Literally, in fact. I actually think Matt has some comics in a safety deposit box. Music equipment is also out of the question – even if I knew what to buy, it’d be impossible with ten days to budget it out.

So…. I’m in panic mode.

Not to worry though, my panic didn’t last for long.   He quickly nixed any ideas of me buying presents for him.  He wanted to buy ME presents. Going even further, he told me this was an idea he’d bounced around since we’d been together, but our budget had never really allowed for it.

Wait.

A present a day, for 12 days straight?

Yes please, sign me up, hallelujah and amen! Who wouldn’t enjoy that?!  I mean, I’m an oddball, so I did feel a touch guilty at the thought of taking so many gifts, and not having an equal amount in turn.. but he was so excited, I couldn’t say no.  And to be honest, I really didn’t want to say no. 🙂

So, days go on, and two nights before this would start, Matt decided to be cruel.

He told me that he’d changed his mind, and had ANOTHER present for me, and I’d get it tomorrow, because it wasn’t something he could wrap. So, getting it on Christmas as a regular present wasn’t an option.

13 Days of Christmas, it was!

Which, confused me to no end. Literally, what can you not wrap?! It might not look pretty, but… pretty much anything can be wrapped.

After a series of  (probably very annoying) questions, I had a set of clues.  I’m addicted to puzzles, so I loved it.   They didn’t do me much good, but trying to guess the mystery present was a blast. 🙂

Here are the clues I was able to wrestle out of Matt. Let’s see if you can figure out what I failed to.

  • It cannot be wrapped.
  • It’s fine if it were delivered to our home, and had to wait on us.
  • It won’t fit in a bread box. (We don’t have a bread box.)
  • It’s white and green.

Any idea? Because I had none. NONE.

Well, no. That’s a lie.  I did have a teeny, tiny, idea.

Matt and I have talked about getting a bunny.  He’s always been adamantly against the idea. No. Bunnies.  Sometimes, he’d even remind me when I didn’t bring it up. No. Bunnies. They chew on things. No. Bunnies.  Well, lately, he’s warmed to the idea, and we’ve talked about it as a possibility.

So of course, my mind jumps immediately to the idea of a bunny. You could argue that you can’t wrap a living thing, right?

No matter, because he’s shooting down every guess, saying that he won’t tell me, even if I guess it.   Figures. 

The next day, I wake up, go to work, and go about my day as normal.  I’m not obsessing too much, until I let my family in on the secret. Now we’re ALL trying to guess. (And failing. Ridiculous guesses.)   Having fun, but getting nowhere with the ridiculous guesses, I start bugging my husband for another clue.

He texts me, says ok, then sends me this: “It rhymes with 0111001001100001011010100110000101101000”

Naturally, being the good natured wife that I am, I send back a fairly rude, one worded text.  I’ll let you imagine what it was.

Then, I hit Google. No way is this man going to outsmart me.

In a matter of minutes, I found a binary translator, and had my clue.

“It rhymes with rajah.”

….

Uhm, allright?

That’s….. a completely random word.

My mom, niece, and nephew start to bounce words around with me.  We didn’t get very far.  We came up with Baklava, and Java, and a million nonsensical words, but those aren’t important.

Such an odd word. Not much really even rhymes with it. Hmm. Wonder why he chose it… surely it was going to be an easy guess, right???

That sends me into a tizzy.  Java is coffee.  That’s very likely! Especially for me!  But hmm. You can wrap coffee, can’t you?

Then it hits me.  White and Green.  Those are Starbucks colors. I hate Starbucks with a fiery passion. (my apologies if you’re a fan, I’m very much not.)

That thought sends me into another rant, that ends in a squeak.

….

What if — now stay with me here — what if, it’s a white bunny, with a green collar, named Java?!

It totally works.  It wouldn’t go in the microwave — duh, it’s an animal. It rhymes with Rajah, and it’s white and green!  It… might do okay unattended? In a cage? Hm. Maybe not.

But, it was the best theory I had.

Java the Bunny. <3<3

I really tried to talk myself out of the Java theory. I didn’t want to be disappointed. But then my sister jumped on board the Java train, and made me promise to let her come play with Java.

It really, was a lost cause.

So, I race home, and meet our friend Alisha, who was going to dinner with us, and hanging out.  We chat a little bit about the present, and other things while we wait.

About ten minutes later, Matt shows – late, because he’d had to go buy his guitar tech’s house.

I’m excited. I want to know what this present is already. Bunny or not, I can’t stand not knowing!  I’m sure you can relate.  I don’t do suspense well. I like being surprised, but I also like snooping.

Before giving me anything, he comes in, and shows me a translator on his phone.   On the screen, it says. “Rajah – Tattoo.”

Oh.

Apparently, rajah translates to tattoo.

How in the world, was I supposed to know that it translated further?!  I mean, sure it’s not a common word… but I immediately thought of Rajah the tiger from Aladdin , not a word in another language! (Damn you, Disney!)

Okay. So Java the Bunny is SO far off the table now, it’s not even funny.  I can’t make a rabbit rhyme with tattoo.  My brain is shot.  What in the world, could it be?!

Before I have the chance to guess,  a box is plopped down in front of me.

A BIG box.

A white and green box, no less.

I laughed. I couldn’t help it.  It was so obvious, I wanted to kick myself for not guessing!

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Mori-Nu silken tofu.  12 boxes of it!

Stop.

Stop laughing! Or grimacing. Really, this is a good gift!

I’ve been after Matt for quite some time to either pick some up from Whole Foods, or order some off of Amazon. (This actually came straight off of my wish list..)

I have several recipes that call for silken tofu. Sour cream, ranch dressing, mayo, cheesecake, key lime pie, alfredo sauce, dijon pasta sauce …. SO MUCH that I want to try.  But the stuff is so pricey, we hadn’t gotten the chance to buy it yet!

And now? Now I have 8 boxes left! 🙂  We made yogurt, tikka masala, and a chocolate peanut butter pie, and put some in miso soup.

The tikka masala was odd. Matt liked it, I didn’t.  Gonna find a different recipe to try next time.  The pie, I loved. My niece and nephew loved it, but my mom and brother were iffy on it. The miso rocked, and the yogurt was great, but more sweet than I’m used to.

All in all, that was one of my favorite presents I got out of this deal. 🙂  I immediately wanted to jump into the other presents, but unfortunately, was told that I had to wait.  Not my favorite idea, especially since there were 12 very prettily wrapped presents under our tree, all from “The Grinch.”  It was no fun to go to bed without opening one more.

But, I did.  And, you’ll have to wait to hear the next bit of the story, as well. As much as I’d love to keep writing, we don’t want to get all novel-esque here.  I tend to get carried away when I write, and lord knows how long a blog post about 13 presents would be.  It’d probably be time to shop for this year’s Christmas presents by the time I finished. And, I’m not sure all of our budgets can handle that one just yet… 😉

The Demon that Stalked Guthrie!

This is a little past overdue – I’ve been meaning to blog about it… I just haven’t had the time.

Now, most of you who read this blog, know me personally.  Which, chances are, you’ve seen that Matt is playing in a band called The Secret Post. They aren’t my type of music, as a rule, but the songs are really growing on me.  They’re definitely talented, whether the music is quite my taste or not.

However, they tend to put on some theatrics when they perform. Primarily, in the way they dress. I could explain it, and it would certainly be a fun exercise in descriptive terms…. but in some cases, it’s just easier to show. And trust me, if I show you, it’ll make telling the rest of the story so much more fun. 🙂

First off, here is a picture of my husband normally.

See? Perfectly normal, no? We’ll call this the Clark Kent picture. Mild mannered, accountant/draftsman.

Now, here is a picture from The Secret Post’s most recent photo shoot:

Seeing the difference? Okay, now keep that in mind while I tell you this story…

Okay.  Last month, the band had a show in Guthrie, and I was lucky enough to get to go with.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect – it was a small town, and to top things off – they were playing the after party for a zombie walk.

Kinda cool… but then again, it had potential to be a colossal train wreck. But, I assumed it’d just make for a fun time people watching.  I remember joking with Matt that with all the zombies walking (lurching?) around, that the band might stick out for looking too normal, for once.

Famous last words. I really should have kept my mouth shut.

Saturday morning, we got up, hit the coffee shop, and headed for Guthrie.  Since no one knew what the facilities would be like, or if the band would have any place to get ready…. Matt had gotten dressed before we left town.  I guess since it was a zombie themed show, the band ditched the semi polished suits look in favor of a more punk look. Which, is more than fine by me. No complaints here! 🙂

You know… maybe I just hang out with odd people, but this doesn’t seem  that strange to me..

So, we make it to Guthrie, with Matt in his punk gear, and all his makeup done, minus the lipstick . (Which, was a new addition anyway.) And true to form, I have to pee.

Rather than wait, and roll the dice on the portapotties that are likely in use for this Zombie run, we drive through Guthrie in search of a Wal-Mart.

It’s a small town, so finding one didn’t take long.  Surprisingly, we didn’t see any zombies.  To be honest, I’m a little disappointed. But, I digress.

We run into Wal-Mart, and…

Nope. Wait.   That’s a lie.

We didn’t quite make it into the store, and we’re already getting some leery looks from people. That should have been the tipoff, right there.

I giggled a bit, and made some off-hand joke. I don’t even remember what it was at the moment. I figured that was the end of it . A few funny looks, but… it’s a Wal-Mart. Certainly weirder things have been seen here, right?

Getting further into the store,  we can’t find the bathroom.

Well, we did find it, but of course it’s being cleaned.

Perfect.

Off we go, walking through the store, dodging glares (and, not at all subtle ones,) and hoping that there’s a bathroom back by the electronics/lay away area.

The entire way back, we get  more than our fair share of attention. Seriously? This is cracking me up at this point.  Older people, younger people, girls, guys – it doesn’t matter. It’s like we’re aliens that crash landed in the town. I don’t get it. Matt really wasn’t THAT strangely dressed…. thank the Lord he’d left the lipstick off…. otherwise… well, it probably wouldn’t have been pretty.

As we rounded a corner, a little kid caught sight of Matt, and his eyes got huge, and he hid behind someone he was with.

Great. We’ve gone from getting weird looks, to scaring little kids!

Before the kids parents can either go off on us, or tell the kid scary stories about Matt, he waved at the kid, and got a grin out of him. Whew. Safe!

Finally, we find that there is NO bathroom in the back, so it’s back to the front.

By now, I’ve tuned out the glares, though I’m pretty sure I Facebooked about the little kid Matt scared. On the way back to the front of the store, Matt got a call from one of the guys in the band, and they talked shop for a bit.

The lady was still cleaning the restroom, so I stood around for a bit, waiting.

Now, off to the side of the bathroom, there was a group of … gentlemen — believe me when I say I’m using the word EXTREMELY LOOSELY– standing around talking.

I only caught a few bits of the conversation, but one of the guys was very loudly telling his friends that it “was  amazing what you can wear in public nowadays and not get your a** kicked for it.. ”

Thankfully, I’m not confrontational at all. Otherwise, I might have died. These were three bigger, muscled, “manly” types, all decked out in camouflage. I’m not a fan of the word redneck… I know some people happily identify as rednecks, with no negative connotation….   However. That being said – you know when people make fun of Oklahomans? Or use the word “redneck” in a derogatory sense?

Yup. That was these guys.  They looked like they’d stepped out of a movie that lived to make fun of people from Oklahoma. You couldn’t write a better token character.

I’m standing there, mouth probably hanging wide open, in utter disbelief.  Chalk it up to naivety, or whatever, but I still am having a hard time believing these guys. I would NEVER have the gall to talk so openly and loudly about someone like that! I’d at least pretend that I didn’t want them to hear…  I literally looked around the store, to see if there was anyone else they could have been talking about.

Of course, there wasn’t.

I couldn’t get in and out of that bathroom fast enough. I was half worried they’d decide to lynch him while I was gone!

Which, apparently they were talking and openly staring at him the whole time I was in there.  It’s nice to know that we’re still in high school, isn’t it?

By now, Matt’s off the phone, and I filled him in on his admirers on the way out to the car.  Again, updating Facebook about the wonderful welcome that the citizens of Guthrie were giving us.

Next stop, McDonald’s.

Because Tina is starving, and we didn’t have enough time to go to a real restaurant. And, unhealthy as it is, I can eat chicken nuggets and fries in the car pretty quick.

So we order, and pull around to the first window.

The girl does an IMMEDIATE double take, and is wide-eyed. Doesn’t say anything though, and takes our money, and gives us a receipt, no big deal.

I think by now, we were both laughing. This was getting ridiculous. Do they not have any goth or punk kids at this high school?!  It doesn’t help matters that I’m still ranting about the idiots at Wal-Mart, and seriously considering calling all my friends, and all my sisters cosplay friends, to go party at the Guthrie Wal-Mart.

We pulled up to the second window, and waited.

This kid opens the window… he’s high school age, maybe just out of high school. I couldn’t tell.

Poor thing. He was so flustered. He kept asking what we’d ordered… forgot our drink. Matt reminded him – very nicely , in fact – but it didn’t help.  He was stammering, and throwing a ‘yes sir’ in almost every other word.

I leaned over, and tried to be super smiley and nice – but he looked so flustered and uncomfortable – it wasn’t helping.  I thought he was going to throw the water bottle at us, just to get us to leave!

I about lost it. I was so tickled. This NEVER happens. I hung out with people who dressed like Hot Topic poster kids in high school, and one Billy Idol wanna be. We hardly ever got a second look from people.  And this entire town, it seemed, was flipping out over some eye makeup and nail polish!

What made it even better – was that the town had the zombie walk going on. People had to know about it – they were trying to set a Guinness World Record, I think. It’s not like the event wasn’t publicized….. so, if they were expecting zombies…. why is the punk thing so strange?

I don’t know. It blows my mind.  It makes me want to dress all sorts of crazy and venture out, just to see how people react.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. It was freezing outside, AND in the building where the band played.  The bands (The Secret Post and Kill The Reflection) did great, the sound system wasn’t super amazing though.  And the venue was an old church, or grocery store though.

Admittedly, it was pretty amusing to watch the guys get ready, and apply makeup and nail polish. 🙂

I can’t begin to express how strange it is to stand and watch your husband apply bright purple lipstick. I just can’t. There are no words, at all for it. Surreal is a good place to start. Might I add that he did a damn good job, with a mirror and really awful lighting. I’m …. well, I’m jealous. 

He wouldn’t take my advice of putting some concealer or powder on his lips to make the purple truer. Next time….

I’m still not quite used to the punk look.

They have a show coming up on November the 17th… and I’ve heard some  bits and pieces about the wardrobe choices for that show….

It’s… going to be interesting.

I’ll definitely have to take pictures and post them here for you guys.:)

In the meantime, does anyone want to go to Guthrie and scare some poor townspeople? 😉

We’ve only been in 2012 a few days… but I feel like I already have a head start. (long post.)

First, I hope everyone had a safe, and happy New Year.

I had a long, and very seriously toned blog typed out … but I’m deleting it, and starting from scratch.

While I do think that what I have to say should be taken a little seriously, in no way do I think it absolutely has to be. 

Which… will make much more sense to you by the time we reach the end of the blog. I promise you.

I’ll be honest.. my NYE didn’t start out very exciting. Matt and I stayed at home, and planned on watching movies all night.

We ended up getting a call from a friend of mine, who wanted to drop a late Christmas present off, so we started playing Disney Universe instead. (Think Lego games. Easy, kid friendly games – that still give me problems.)

While all that was going on, I received a message from my cousins wife. I checked it, thinking it was strange that I’d hear from her. I haven’t talked to my cousin much lately, and have barely talked to her.

Not because of any negative reasons, mind you, we just don’t get around to talking much.  So, the random message was unusual.

So, on instinct, instead of letting it wait until later, I checked it.

Turns out, my aunt had been admitted to the hospital. And wasn’t going to be coming home.

I won’t bore you with the health details — at this point, they aren’t important. And as terrible as it sounds, they aren’t the main point to this blog. (It’s here, bear with me… it may just take some time to get there.I have a lot to say on the subject..)

Suffice it to say, right now, they are just making her comfortable. And my cousin asked his wife to let me know, so I could let the family know.

Which, is mind blowing just to stop and think about. Absolutely new territory from me.

I’ve always been on the receiving end of the bad news.

When my Mom had her stroke, I was the last one to find out – I was visiting OU with my friend Rachel and her family. I came home, and everyone broke the news to me. My older brother and sister-in-law ended up taking most of the responsibilities/parental roles, to a point. We basically lived at their house for a while, Dad would work, sleep for a few hours, go back to the hospital, then rinse and repeat.  I was only a freshman in high school, and Tiffany was 4 years younger than that. We were as sheltered as we could have possibly have been.

Don’t get me wrong, it affected us deeply, and I sincerely doubt we’ll ever forget that time in our lives. I know for me, I often think about how things would be if it had never happened… but that’s a whole different blog post.  What we didn’t have to do, was paperwork. Legal things. Financial things. Paying hospital bills. We were just kids with a sick parent, who couldn’t talk to use anymore.

When Dad got sick, I was at RSU.  He went into the hospital a few weeks before the semester ended, with what they thought was triple pneumonia. Not good, certainly, especially at his age, but not fatal. I made the decision then and there to not come back to RSU the next year. I was going to stay at home, and help out at home. Between his being sick, and Mom still in a wheelchair, they needed it.

I have a very vivid memory of being at the radio station I volunteered at, and knowing my Dad had made it home from the hospital. I had a slot where I could play a “DJ’s choice” song. Which, meant I could play any song that was radio appropriate in studio, as long as I packaged it. (Simply put, if it was odd or random, or didn’t flow right in the line up, we had to talk before & after it, explain/segue our way into it.) 

I played a song by The Hollies called Long Cool Woman. It was one of my dad’s favorite songs. I packed it perfectly. I played a MWK song before hand, (who, conveniently play a cover of that song live,) came on air, made the connection between the two bands, talked about my dad coming home from the hospital, and played the song.

One of the few perfect moments I had in my short college radio career.

That week, when the semester ended, I came home, and knew something was wrong.

Thats when I found out that he didn’t have pneumonia, after all.

They had found lung cancer.

It was stage 4 already. They were going to try chemo, but there wasn’t much they could do.

I cried. Cried more than I care to admit.  I was a 20 year old college student, and ended up in my dad’s lap, bawling.  Not my most dignified moment, but I didn’t care.

Another moment that sticks out, was when my sister and I were talking in the other room –  I can’t even explain how her voice sounded at the time. It was terrible – but she asked, “Why?  Haven’t we been through enough with Mom already?”

It was painful to hear. I didn’t have an answer.

Again, we were both scared kids in an unfair situation. Granted, we were 6  years older, we had a few more responsibilities, but still were kids, for all intents and purposes.

I remember running away from the family gathering after the funeral. My cousin, Tiffany, me, and a small group of friends escaped to a local coffee shop. I had red eyes from crying, but we were goofy, had drinks, took pictures, and relaxed a bit before going home. It was nice.

After Dad died, Gail, his caretaker, started taking care of my mom.  We loved her like a second mom. She was amazing. Very much so a member of the family.

One day, after Matt and I got married, I went over to visit Mom and Gail.

Tiffany was home from work, and Austin and Tracy, my brother and sister-in-law, were over.

Gail had died during her sleep.

We were upset. Mom especially. I think at this point. I was a little incredulous. How much can one family take?

I took over the job of taking care of Mom. And Tiffany was in Tech, but soon found a graphic design job.

Now, for all intents and purposes, we’re adults. 

Scary thought… I don’t feel like an adult 99% of the time.

I feel like I grew up fast, yes. And I sometimes think of all that I’ve gone through, and wonder how I came out of any of it unscathed.

But, I do not feel like a “grown-up”.

I often forget that my husband is two years younger than I am.  It seems as though everyone I know who is an “adult” has it together more than I do. They seem to have gotten the invite to the meeting I missed, got the initiation, the guidebook, the works. And I’m sitting here like, “Well. Okay. I feel like I’m still a teen, but, okay!

And now, I have to take on the very grown up role, of telling my mom that her best friend in the entire world, was dying.

I was completely lost.

I didn’t know how to go about it.

So, I did what came natural.  I thought back on all the instances I received bad news. And I mix and matched.

To be honest, I channeled a lot of my sister in law. I dressed up nice, had makeup on, tried to “look” put together.

I knelt down, took my Mom’s hand, and told her.

I also went in the other room before hand, to make sure my sister was okay. We hugged, I tried to make sure everything was okay.

Silly thought. I couldn’t make anything okay, and we all knew it. But I had to try.

So, we leave, and head to the hospital.

We get to my aunts room, and my cousin meets us outside.

He tells us whats been going on, that she’s in and out with her coherent moments, and however she reacts – that’s fine, and to go with it.

As he’s explaining all of his, we stupidly asked if he was ok. I mean, we’ve all been there. You know that you hear that question a million times. And no, you aren’t okay.

He answered yes anyway, and we laughed a bit.  I pointed out that we knew he was okay because he had to be.  He agreed, and said something about joining the club.

Which, made something dawn on me. We were all standing in the hall. His spiel about his mom reminded me of the way I talk to people about my mom. We all looked at each other, and it just seemed like there was this shared acknowledgement of what was going on.

It was like someone had flipped a switch. We were the grown ups.

We’d grown up together (except the spouses. but I digress.). My cousin and his mom were there for Dad’s chemotherapy, the heart attacks that made us stop chemo, and then the waiting. We were kids together, and now we were the grown ups together.

And… are you ready for this…?  This is the entire point of all these words I’ve typed out for you to read…

We were all faking it. 

And I’d bet you, that the majority of the adult population is faking it as well.

When we got home from the hospital, I had been thinking about this all day.  I asked Matt if he felt like a ” grown up.”

He didn’t hesitate, his answer was a resounding no. 

It’s comforting, in a way.

To realize that everyone around you, no matter how together they seem to be, is probably faking their way through.

It’s also a little disappointing.  When I was little, I was SO ready to feel like an adult. I just knew that one day I’d be so sure of things. Responsible. The list goes on….

But! After thinking for a while…. since there doesn’t seem to be a set way for adults to be… if everyone is faking it…

Why on earth,  do I need to be what everyone expects an adult to be?

I don’t plan on growing up.

And by deciding that, and making my realization this week, i actually do feel more like an adult.  Make sense out of THAT one… 

But seriously. I don’t plan on “growing up” in that sense of the word.

I think I’m going to cherish the bit of naivety I have left.

I’m going to continue to enjoy the little things. I won’t feel ashamed that it doesn’t take much to amuse me.

I’m unashamed of liking pretty dresses, crowns, or anything that sparkles or shines.

I think I’m going to plan out a mid-life crisis- Walt Disney World style.

I think thats what keeps me sane, honestly.  I LOVE the fact that we can go over to our friends Paul and Heather’s house… and while I love talking with them, and having our “grown up” time… I can just as easily spend hours talking to their little girl Sofia, and playing with toys, and be perfectly happy.  And I can’t help but look at some other “adults” that I know.. and see that they aren’t happy.

I mean, they might be happy overall, but they just don’t look like it. Or they are stressed all the time. Or taking everything super seriously.

I don’t want to be that person.  I really don’t. I love the people I have in my life like that…. but I have been through so much already, I don’t want to look back when I’m 50 or 60, and wonder why I didn’t have more fun.

And , along with a few unofficial resolutions that I’ve made this year, I think I’m making that my main goal this year.

I’m going to find a balance between what I perceive as a responsible adult, and a carefree child.

And I’m going to get comfortable, and run with it.