Friday, June 19, 2009

Spin Cycle: That One Time...

When I was 17 or 18 years old, my mother asked me to drive my two younger sisters to our grandparents' house in Milwaukee, WI. Mind you, we'd made the 5-7 hour trip hundreds of times as a family, and I think that by that point I may have already made the trip once myself. Mom would be joining us on vacation one week later. No problem, right? Yeah, right!

Almost immediately, the situation Did Not Bode Well. As we drove out of Minneapolis on 94, the heavens opened in a rainstorm of epic proportions. Sheets of rain blinded drivers, and traffic all but stopped for an hour. Somewhere in that hour, our windshield wipers must have gotten tired, because they decided to take a siesta for the rest of the trip. I will never forget the chaos of my sister Lisa, crying and clutching our barking black lab mix ,Brutus, in the back seat or Natalie's long hair streaming with rain as she hung her head out the window, guiding me as I inched the car forward. We would've quit then if we'd been able to turn around, but we couldn't and when the rain stopped we thought our troubles were over and continued on, looking forward to seeing our Nana and Grandpa.

It didn't take long to determine that something was definitely wrong with my car...I called it my Chevy 'Ebrity (the "C-E-L" had fallen off sometime in the distant past). The lights, the radio (and of course the windshield wipers) worked intermittently, if at all. In Eau Claire, we stopped at a gas station to call my dad for advice. He said that it was probably the alternator, and that since we were already at the halfway mark we should continue on to Milwaukee. He gave me two instructions:

1) Whatever you do, don't turn the car off because it probably won't start again, and
2) Do not run more than one electrical thing at once. Since the sun was going down, that pretty much meant nothing but the headlights, and we were mad that we couldn't listen to the radio.

The whole "leave the car on" also concerned us because we had to fill the gas tank. I made the girls take the dog away from the car to stand on the grass just off of the gas station's property. Oh, the copious tears and pleading! They were sure that I was going to explode, and I wasn't too sure that they were wrong. Drama Queen that I am, I bravely told them that I was the big sister, and if anyone was getting blown up, it would be me because I was in charge. Needless to say, no-one blew up and ,despite our disappointment, we managed to press on.

All went fairly well until we discovered that our exit (you know, the only one we'd ever taken, the one that our mother WROTE DOWN FOR US) was closed due to construction. This was before cell phones, I suck at reading maps, and my alternate map-readers were 11 and 14 respectively ( and Brutus wasn't much help, either.) We got horribly, terribly, awfully lost. Driving around in circles until we're almost out of gas and all of the gas-stations are closed and we're on the Wrong Side of Town and we're too scared to ask the pimp and the hookers on the street-corners for directions lost! Driving the wrong way on a one way lost! Oh my God we're going to die and it's all my fault lost.

Just when we were about to give up and write our last will and testaments on the backs of gum wrappers, I saw a police cruiser pulled over on the freeway. The police officer was writing out his paperwork for the night with his interior lights on, and I can't imagine what he thought when I parked in front of him and came flying at his window tear-streaked and babbling. I gave him my Nana and Grandpa's address and he began to calmly give me directions. My face must have blanked, because he paused, smiled and said, "You know what? Why don't I lead you there?" I nodded like an idiot bobble head and that good, good man drove us right to Downer Ave, where we belonged. It was past midnight, but my Grandpa was sitting out on the front steps waiting for us. He hugged us hard and I think my sisters may have actually kissed the driveway. Our car had made it just barely there, dying as I pulled in, never to run again.

I remember that my sisters and I crowded into one bed that night and prayed for that good cop before succumbing to the cool sheets and soft pillows. To us, we had survived an adventure filled with drama and danger and emerged if not victorious, blissfully intact.

I have no idea why this is one of my favorite memories. Maybe because I can see my sisters stamped so clearly in my mind's eye, or because it comforts me to remember that kind police officer and how safe I felt in my grandfather's arms and under my Nana's clean, bright sheets. Good times, good times...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love Thursday: One Love

Take away love and our earth is a tomb. ~Robert Browning

Love me and the world is mine. ~David Reed

Come live in my heart and pay no rent. ~Samuel Lover

Get a playlist!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Pity Party

Tried to write haiku
But words wouldn't get in line
Can't write what's in my heart
Have neither patience nor the time

Want to give up
Want to curl up
Want to turn my head away
Cannot shake dissatisfaction
that is standing in my way

Something not quite right here
I do not know what ails me
Try to listen to my inner self
but that bitch too often fails me

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RTT: Pet-Fresh Pokemon Wear Pampers

I used some "pet-fresh" powder on my carpet and now the dirt-holder-capsule-thingy on my vacuum looks a lot like a huge sand-art bottle.

I can name like fifty Pokemon off the top of my head.

I have had three baskets of white socks sitting on the side table in my living room for at least three weeks. I still don't want to match them.

We've been buying Huggies diapers instead of Pampers the past few months because they've been on sale, but I like Pampers better and I think that we use more of the Huggies because they get lumpy 5 minutes in and so I'm always sure Walker's wet...and then he often is a teeny bit wet and so I change him and so I wish there was some sort of mathematical formula that I could use to justify buying Pampers determine whether or not we're actually saving money. Someone that didn't major in Theater should work on that.

The yearly ant invasion is well underway, and I am losing the battle and the war, as usual. I found them crawling all over my hoyas yesterday and completely freaked out. Kinda makes you wish you'd been there, hunh?

I'm going to fix my lawnmower today. I don't actually know how, but I found a good article on eHow and know roughly where the lawnmower parts are at Menard's. How hard could it be?

I love you guys, but I'm going to go eat some orange sherbet now. I'd say it's because it's so hot here in MN, but it's really not...I just like sherbet. Scroll down and click the purple button on your left to visit Keely at The Unmom. She probably doesn't have any sherbet, but you'll like it there, anyways.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Backyard Spring 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

RTT: Gay Men and Gilmore Girls


My birthday was last Friday, and my gift to myself was giving up cigarettes and caffeine for good. Why the hell couldn't I have picked up some flowers and chocolate and called it a day?! I didn't even get me a card. Cheapskate.

I am so, so grateful to the mastermind that decided to give out stories on cd in the kid's meals at Wendy's. Sometime last year they gave out Magic Treehouse cd's, right now it's Wordgirl. We don't go often, but if they swapped cd's for toys that I throw out almost immediately, I would...go. Oftener.

I stayed up until 2am watching stuff on YouTube. Anyone else remember this?

Also, I'd never seen Adam Lambert, but looked him up as well after hearing about him on the radio:

OMFG, people! God isn't punishing gay men, he's punishing ME by making them off limits! Talent is HOT.

So pretty out today here in MN-hovering right around 70 degrees. I'm having plant issues which reminds me, bunnies aren't cute! I have a gardening book that advises, "make sure that your neighbor isn't feeding the creatures while you're trying to get rid of them" and that bitch she is! She actually said, "I stopped your cat! He was trying to catch the bunnies!" Um, good?! I don't wanna hear that we've taken their habitat, they're so cute, blahblahblah! We conquered. It's our land now, that's how it works! We win. I actually pulled back into my driveway and got out of my van to chase one of the little bastards out of my yard last week, screaming like a demented Lady McGregor. Crazy.

Oh! Also, our van was hit by a drunk! Pedestrian! I had slowed to turn into our driveway and came to a full stop when he started to stumble backwards. He was fine, though I could've blown a 2.0 after breathing near him as I helped him to his feet! It reminded me of the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory tells everyone, "I got hit by a deer!" "You hit a deer?!" "No, I got hit BY a deer!" Bella Figlia and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of this: "I got hit by a drunk guy..."

Here's my cheesecake recipe:

Preset your oven to 325 degrees. Crush an entire package of Sandies Shortbread cookies (I like to use the pecan kind, and have a package of pecan/chocolate chip Sandies sitting in my cupboard awaiting cheesecakeification.) Mix the crumbs with one stick of melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of spring form pan.

Using hand mixer, beat 2 8oz packages of (room-temperature) cream cheese to remove lumps. Then add: 3 eggs, one cup sugar, 16 oz sour cream and a dash of vanilla. Pour into spring form pan over shortbread cookie crust.

Bake for 45 minutes (middle will look underdone, that's what you want), then pull and cool on counter for 30 minutes before covering with saran wrap and chilling in fridge for at least 4 hours. Try to share! :p

That's all I've got, peoples! Click the RTT button above to visit our girl Keely and have a great random Tuesday!