Southern Snow

Snow in the South is a funny beast. We don’t get it often, so when we do it’s pure pandemonium. People lose all forms of common sense and logic. It’s quite a spectacle. This past Friday morning, almost all of the state of Alabama woke up to the making of a winter wonderland.

We knew there was a chance of snow, that usually means it gets unseasonably cold and then it rains. Occasionally, they forecast inches of snow and we get a light dusting. On the other hand, if they forecast a dusting, expect to be snowed in. We had 2 inches of snow on the ground before i had my morning coffee. I think snow makes coffee taste better. Oh, by the way, I’m one of those crazy people who love the cold and snow.

One of the strangest events that happens in southern snow storms, is what everyone buys at the store to prepare. One would think the grocery stores would be out of bottled water and non-perishables, but no, not in the South. For some reason unbeknownst to me, Southerners buy the stores out of milk and bread.

I know, I don’t get it either. Milk sandwiches are not something I want to partake in. But, at least they were prepared and made it to the store. I chose to call mother natures bluff and ended up scavenging the pantry Friday night like a college frat guy. I was trying to concoct something edible with Cheetos, dried pasta, Christmas tree cakes, and pineapple.

Another thing about Southern snow is driving. We might get snow worthy of a snow day every other year. People here just don’t know how to drive in it. I spent my early twenties in the Midwest, which taught me how to drive in it. So what that really means is, when it snows the state is closed. The roads become blocked with wrecked cars in the first few hours. So even if you can drive in it, you will inevitably get stuck out in it.

It snowed for over 10 hours at our house. The grand total of snow fall in our yard was over 8 inches. That is a huge rarity in our area.

My personal favorite Southern snow tradition, is the ridiculous things people do to be on the states favorite weather man’s page. My brother is one of these people. Example pictures are below, because I will sound crazy describing them.

I share genetics with this guy!

I’m sure all regions have crazy things they do when they get unusual weather for them. What are some of the weird things that your area does? What do you think these people are doing with no power and all of the states milk and bread?

 

You Serious Clark?

I hate watching the news. HATE it.

It’s not that I don’t want to be informed or aware, it just makes me mad or depressed. I’ll read about it all eventually. Since the perv purge started, I’m terrified I’ll see one of my childhood heroes or crushes implode my happy memories. If someone comes forward about Tom Hanks, I’m losing all faith in humanity.

But, I digress. I love reading weird and funny news. In today’s weird news, we find someone a little too full of Holiday joy.

Police in Sudbury, MA found themselves traveling behind a car transporting a Christmas Tree much larger than the car, and it wasn’t driven by the Griswold’s.

Picture from the Sudbury PD before pulling the car over

You serious Clark?

It may not be Clark, but I’m sure, whoever they are, their family has stories. And though the police handled the situation, I have questions…

How big is the house they plan on putting that monstrosity? That enormous tree is hanging a few feet off of the back of this car, who knows what the front view looks like. This is a Christmas Tree for Andre the Giant, not Susan down the street. I mean can you imagine how many strands of lights that sucker requires?

Where did they acquire it? I can only assume the forest, because surely no Christmas Tree farm employee would help someone tie Goliath on David’s back. OR was it from a farm and the employees just wanted to watch how it all played out? Both are legitimate possibilities I believe.

What do you think is living in it? Come on, a tree that massive has to have a few unwanted occupants. You can’t tell me you don’t think there is at least one concerning living creature in that tree.

How did this seem like the most logical and sound way of transportation? Do they not have one single friend that has a truck and/or trailer? Or thought maybe we should get a more realistic tree? Did they lose some sort of bet?

Could they even tell they were being pulled over? There is only a small portion of the back of the car that isn’t engulfed by the mammoth tree. There’s no way they can see out of any windows or mirrors. Loudspeaker? Smoke signals? And did the officers think they were hallucinating? I would have loved to be sitting on my front porch when that spectacle drove by!

Where is the tree now? I feel like I need closure. Did the police take the tree? Did they help them get it home? Did they get arrested for stealing the tree from a National Forest? All I have are questions.

I may or may not have sent the Sudbury Police Department a message asking for answers to the trees back story and current whereabouts.

Hope this gave you a good giggle for your Thursday! And remember to transport your trees responsibly!

Fury Road

To get to and from work everyday I have to travel on the Birmingham equivalent to the 405 in Los Angeles. It’s basically Mad Max Fury Road. Some days, I beat the road. Reading the lanes, finding breaks in traffic, and getting home before my bladder bursts. Other days, such as today, the road beats me.

I try to be optimistic about my travels home, if I haven’t heard of any incidents by the time I’m walking to my car. I get in my car, and get some music going to pump myself up for Fury Road. So far so good. I’m casually driving the speed limit towards the interstate, no one is driving like a moron, we might actually do this!

It takes a total of 2 miles and 5 minutes for all of that to go to hell in a hand basket.

Now I’m surrounded by idiot drivers, I’m excited if I go above 15 mph, and I’m pretty sure I just saw a toddler flip off an old lady. And so this fresh hell begins.

It only gets worse. At this point, I’m 30 minutes into my drive and have witnessed two wrecks, 5 birds being flipped, about 8 people texting, 4 cars bail out, and a car full of teenagers cutting people off with centimeters to spare. I also have to pee.

Here’s the thing, I’m a happy person, I like doing nice things for people, I want everyone to get along and be happy. I’m a peaceful person. BUT, for whatever reason, traffic makes me hate people indiscriminately. Why can’t people just follow the rules of the road and drive like a semi-sane individual?

Annnnnnnnddd now the mouth breathing teenagers almost take off the entire front end of my car.

I still have to pee.

I’ve made it over half way. I can do this. I’m not going to cry, or be on the news….I repeat to myself chanting.

I was actually sitting in park at one point. IN PARK. On the interstate. With a full bladder and needing a snack and a hug. The guy next to me was devouring a glorious burger. Bastard.

After about 10 minutes, we start crawling again. Then we stop. Then we crawl. Then we stop. Luckily, Stella had already been picked up from school and wasn’t hearing any of mommy’s traffic words.

I’m still at least 5 miles from an exit that will get me home. Still have to pee. Still trying not to cry. Oh and did I mention a rock cracked my windshield, and I ran over something loud and suspicious from the car in front of me?

I honestly don’t know if the tears I was holding back were from traffic or the feeling of my bladder trying to rupture.

I’ve finally made it to my exit 73 minutes later. I see the bright beautiful lights of the Jack’s. I can save my bladder from self destruction. I park and start to run inside, without unbuckling my seat belt. There were witnesses…

They also watched me run across the parking lot. I don’t run, ever, so I’m sure it was a sight to see. Especially the part where I tripped over the curb and almost face planted the door.

I walked back to my car and decided to go through the drive-thru for a milkshake. I deserved it for not having a psychotic break or a news worthy road rage moment. Fury Road bested me, but I just restocked my purse with snacks and Xanax, today I’ll be ready!

 

 

 

 

The Snackside Down

The wonderfully retro world of Stranger Things. I highly doubt the genius minds at Netflix can make me happier with any other show. It quickly became a fan favorite. Season 2 dropped last month, and let’s face it, we all binge watched it before the weekend was over.

Now we’re stuck waiting a year to see what other shenanigans the kids in Hawkins will get in to.

However, in the meantime, I found this little jewel to ease the pain of waiting. Sesame Street also knows how wonderful Stranger Things is. There is a parody on Sesame Street of Stranger Things. AND IT’S FANTASTIC!!!!

It even has Barb!!

The Sesame Street version, “Sharing Things” is about Cookie Monster becoming a Cookiegorgon and needing more snacks after he ate everything in the Snackside Down.

There’s also a literal 11 and 8.

Thank you Sesame Street for making a pretty Mondayish Tuesday, a little brighter!

 

Follow the Leader

As your kids grow and learn, you start seeing their individual personality traits. The parts of themselves that is so uniquely them. You sit back and start imagining all of the wonderful things they can accomplish with those traits, and what careers they would best be suited for. I’ve joked about Stella becoming some type of cutthroat executive or leader of a small unknowing country. My most recent future career match for Stella, was leader of a small cult.

Gasp! What? You want your kid to be a cult leader?

No. I’m jut saying she has some qualities and traits that make her a good candidate for any followers looking for a leader. Let me tell you why.

My mother and I recently took Stella and my nieces to ride the Polar Express. While we were waiting, Stella decided to perform a musical ensemble, that no one wanted to participate in besides her. No one. All of the girls participated within 5 minutes.

Several minutes later, two kids from another group joined the girls platform performance. These kids were following her around like she had the secret of life. They didn’t even know her name.

Once the singing was complete, I hear, “Hey guys follow me”.

No explanation of why, or where to, just the simple request to her followers. She didn’t even have to ask again, and had everyone lined up following her, plus a few other kids that appeared out of nowhere. I have to repeat myself more than twice just to get her to put socks on.

This kid has half of the Polar Express passengers on her time at this point. People who have never met her, have literally zero information from her, and no destination, are just merrily doing her bidding.

She had me deleting apps to make more room on my phone so I could video her singing. Yeah she got to me too. I think I’m mostly baffled at her ability to just yank away your desire to ask questions. I need reasons, explanations, but apparently if she just smiles and gives that shoulder shrug she tells my subconscious it’s a good idea.

This tiny person has the ability to boss you around and make you say thank you. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. She could have said “Forget Santa and the Polar Express, let’s go to Wal-Mart” and every single one of us would have gone.

She shouts out orders, but it’s so cute and sweet and she gives that innocent grin, then suddenly it’s the only thing you want to do. You don’t know where you’re going, or why, or what you’ll do when you get there, but dammit you must.

She’s hilarious, and I’m sure she will only get funnier. I hope she decides to use her powers for good instead of being Jim Jones Jr. Until then, if she offers you Kool-Aid, avoid eye contact and run as fast as you can.

Jerry Garcia’s Elf

It’s almost that stressful terrifying time again! We are a few short days away from Thanksgiving, which means it’s almost time for that damn elf that can’t just sit on a shelf. I’ve been a parent for 2 and a half years. I’ve bought two different elves. I’ll probably finish the North Poles Three’s Company cast this year, because I highly doubt I will remember where I put the last one.

Once I get said replacement elf #3, I’ll have to come up with something clever to have him do every night. Every. Single. Night. We have evil cats, so most of the cute little Pintrest ideas are a no go at our house. The cats leave me having to be original and creative instead of lazy, stress free, and copying. I’m not sure I have many believable excuses left as to why “Jerry” didn’t move (Sassy named our elf Jerry).

Last year I used:

  • Elf flu
  • Broken leg
  • He really liked the view
  • We forgot to leave a light on for him
  • I’m pretty sure you touched him, his magic is recharging.

The smarter and older your kids get, you can’t just give them the excuse and expect them to accept it. You better have back story.

Jerry also tends to do the same activities more than once on occasion. She notices that too. Again, back story.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I never dreamed one little elf would be so much work. This is what happens when people with big ideas take it a few steps too far. I have a full-time job, an awful commute, a house to take care of, a human to keep alive, Jerry’s plans for the night just don’t fall on my radar.

What’s even better is now she’s at the gossip and compare age, and she doesn’t even know it. She’ll go to school and talk to her friends about what their elves did, and then come home and tell Jerry about it, like that’s going to make him step up his game. This is where I’m smarter than her.

I told you she named our Elf Jerry, she wanted to name him Dead. Dead as in The Grateful Dead, not just dead. Luckily, we compromised at Jerry Garcia. We love our music in this house. Little did she know, this gave me an out. When she tries pep talking Jerry in to some ridiculously elaborate ordeal, I remind her that Jerry likes things very chill and peaceful, and those outlandish things just aren’t in his wheelhouse but we love him anyway.

I’m sure in a few years, she’ll be drawing up name change paperwork. Until then, I can continue to slide through Elf season by the skin of my teeth, thanks to Jerry Garcia.

 

 

Friendship As We Age

As we grow older, many aspects of our lives change. We start to dress a little different, sleep patterns vary, and joints to start to make weird noises. One thing that I recently realized that also changes, is the types of friends you have compared to your age. Of course, certain friends, you have no matter what stage of life you’re in. But, if you really sit back and think about it, you can see a trail of friends that you only associated with, because of your phase in life at that time.

Your first friends are just about having someone to play with that you don’t hate. Pre-school kids aren’t very picky and decently tolerant. Sassy’s “best friend” changes daily, based on mood. Her friends are probably based on who follows her orders with the most enthusiasm and skill. I only have a couple of people I have remained friends with after this stage. We just don’t have standards as toddlers. Otherwise, I would have never hung out with the weird kid that glued a crayon inside his mouth. Yes, that really happened in my kindergarten class.

In middle school, your friends like the same people you do, are involved in the same activities, share the same classes. Your mortal enemy is anyone that has a crush on the same person as you. You can’t drive, still have to ask permission, and cooties are just now becoming a thing of the past. Middle school is where you start figuring out what it really means to be and have a friend.

As a teenager, you want your friends to be as excited to get out and see the world as you are. You want friends that are always wanting to go out and do something, meet new people, have an adventure. You also look for friends with similar curfews as you. Friends as a teenager are all about whoever you can have the most fun with, and not much else. It is highly unlikely you will remain friends with the guy who bought everyone beer, or the girl that lets you use her fake I.D., but you never know.

Once you enter your early twenties, it’s time to find your bar friends. You want the friends that you can go out and have a great time with. The friends that are “fun” drunk. Life, at this point, is all about being legal to drink and going to all of the places that involves. It’s also important to have at least one friend that is the nurturer. The one that takes of all the drunks and treats your hangover. This may be your most valuable friend at this stage in life. In my group of friends, I was the hangover fairy. I would leave bottled water, crackers, and B12 for everyone. This is also where you befriend some of your most questionable acquaintances like…

  • The guy who let random people tattoo him.
  • The girl who cried. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
  • The guy that only spoke in Greek when he drinks.
  • The guy that thought it was funny to pop out his fake teeth when you weren’t looking.
  • The guy that made a party trick out of his scrotum.

Your mid to late twenties, you start looking for friends that want to “go out” a similar amount to you. The new has worn off of being legal and getting older and  having a full-time job doesn’t mix as well with hangover as it used to. This stage is do or die for several friendships that survived the bar phase. Some friendships were born simply out of love for the same tequila, take that away and there’s not much else to talk about. This is the time you also start learning excuses as to why you can’t go out, that doesn’t involve the truth. The true excuse is being too comfortable to change out of your pajamas at 8 pm. Plus it’s not the day I wash my hair, rain check?

Sometime between our barfly days and our “somewhat” mature responsible adult days, something happens. We start to figure out who we really are. What we like as individuals, not as someone trying to fit in a group. You start to care less about fitting in, and more about loving yourself. That is the moment where lifelong friendships transform into being solid as a rock, and the convenient ones flicker out.

In your 30’s, and a parent, you want other parent friends. Parents have less than no time to go out. I’m canceling plans I haven’t even made yet, because I already know I’m going to be too tired. This is also the time in life when you’re starting to understand that there is a sudden realization of aging in your 30’s. All of these weird things like joint pain, fatigue, and adult responsibility. If anyone can honestly tell me they can still go out and drink all night like they did in their 20’s, they are either a dirty liar or Keith Richards. My friends now, are the people who I can have a fun dinner with, or enjoy hanging out at their house, because I don’t want to deal with the general public. I want tired, yet fun and entertaining friends now.

I’m not sure what sort of friends I’ll be looking for in my late 30’s or beyond, but I’m pretty certain the last level of friendship will be the best. What do I think the last level is? Matching old lady track suits and fanny-packs, and it’s going to be fantastic.

Fictional Friday

This weeks fictional Friday is the comparison of my best friend Andrea, to Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother.

When I started watching the show, I was instantly drawn to Lily’s character. She made me feel like I knew her, could be friends with her, and then I figured out why. Lily reminds me of Andrea. Even Lily’s relationship with Marshall is eerily similar to Andrea and her husband Mikey. I don’t know of many relationships stronger than theirs.

Lily is one of those characters that has a lot of layers. She’s down to Earth, and sweet, but she will cut you with the shiv she probably has in her purse. She is the planner and organizer of the group. Andrea will start planning her daughters next birthday while the other one is happening.  They both have the answers to things, I don’t even know how. If I don’t know the answer to something I’m either calling Andrea or my mom.

Lily tells it like it is. Lily isn’t afraid to hit you with a truth bomb. Andrea will outright slap you with them. They know the truth is in your best interest, and that’s good enough. They also meddle. Not in a bad way, but out of love. If I’m making decisions that Andrea knows are ridiculous, she’ll let me have it for a minute, and then she will show me the light. I think it’s pretty important to have at least one friend in your life that won’t sit around and let you do dumb shit.

When Lily gets mad, it’s best to run for cover. Same can be said for Andrea. They have no problem letting you know how they feel, which is a great quality, considering some people hold it in and then it explodes.

They both love food, but I don’t think I could be friends with someone who didn’t. When Andrea and I get a girls day, there is always cupcakes. ALWAYS.

She is one of my favorite people to drive/ride with. She has no tolerance for slow drivers. We have things to do and places to go, get out-of-the-way.

Lily is loyal, kind, strong, and hilarious. There are so many reasons why Andrea is real life Lily and I just love it. I wouldn’t change a thing about Andrea’s personality, it’s kept us best friends since we were 17, we’re now in our thirties.

Monica Geller and Lily Aldrin best friends forever.

 

Front Porch Embarrassment

There are a few different religions I’m aware of that use the door to door approach to share their gospel. Yesterday, I had a very awkwardly funny encounter with two of these people. I’m sure they’re telling this story later too.

As I got home from work, I immediately changed into the ugliest and comfiest outfit I could arrange. See, once a month, my uterus and endometriosis render me slightly more capable than useless. All I wanted to do when I got home was get comfortable and feel better. I grabbed the first pair of shorts I found, which had a few holes in them, a t-shirt about three sizes too big, and had my hair in some crazy bird nest of a style on top of my head. I also had on my knee high sloth socks. I’m painting quite a flattering picture of myself.

I was finally comfortable on my heating pad, and I dozed off for maybe 20 minutes. I must have really needed that power too because I was basically unconscious when the doorbell rang. Startled and dazed, I get up not even thinking about my appearance, and go answer the door.

I open the door to find two young men standing on my front porch, who are immediately blinded by the pure paleness of my liquid paper white legs. One let out a small chuckle, we’re going to say it was because my socks were awesome, but it’s probably because he had never seen legs so white before. Their gaze quickly went from my pasty pale legs, to the big blob of drool that had accumulated on my face during my nap. I noticed them staring, i wiped my face instinctively and felt the blob of drool, which I’m going to refer to as the mark of a good nap.

Apparently, my appearance made me appear to be sick, because they asked me if I was a victim of the flu. As if I hadn’t made the best impression and scarred them for life already, without even thinking I responded with, “No, I don’t get along with my uterus.”

It was somewhat entertaining to watch all of the color drain right out of their faces. Bless their hearts, they didn’t know what to say, and I knew I was just going to keep traumatizing them if we kept lingering in my doorway. This was also the same moment I realized I wasn’t wearing a bra…

By now, all three of us wanted to exit the situation. I’m fairly certain we were all praying that the good Lord would just come back right then and make it stop! I kept trying to hide more and more of myself behind my front door, and they kept backing away. We stared at each other awkwardly for about 15 seconds before they said they would pray I felt better soon and took off to their car.

I don’t think they even visited any other houses in our neighborhood. They were probably worried about retinal damage from staring directly at my legs. But it wasn’t all in vain, all three of us talked to God more in that 5 minutes on my front porch, than we probably had all day. Begging him to get us out of that situation.

It’s a dangerous game knocking on strangers doors. I could be the train wreck opening it!

 

 

 

 

Awkward Uber

I, like a lot of people, use Uber when I travel. It’s easy, convenient, and I don’t have to find parking. They are also the most reliable designated drivers. A large majority of the drivers want to make the experience great for the passengers so they can get higher ratings, they have snacks, whatever music you want, great conversation. If you use Uber a lot like I do, then you’ve had at least one awkward Uber.

Over the weekend, Kent and I went to Chattanooga to celebrate my birthday. While we were there, we got an Uber to drop us off at the Tivoli.

That moment when you get into this trusted strangers car, and…crickets. Nothing but the sweet sound of silence and awkwardness. Which in turn makes you feel weird for talking. I’m even aware of how loud I’m breathing. That. Much. Silence. This is just a hoot for someone with anxiety, where the worst case scenarios are our specialty.

My mind instantly starts wondering if he hates us based on sight, or if we annoyed him by making him drive to a certain location. I’ll chew on those thoughts, until the awkwardness passes the 5 minute silence mark. Apparently, around 5 minutes of silence in an Uber is the time it takes me to escalate to “he’s going to murder us”. At this point, it’s obvious to me we are in the bone collectors car and Denzel Washington is our only hope.

Let me also add, there was the lovely smell of trash can farts that he kept replenishing us with every few minutes.

Needless to say, we made it to our destination without having any of our bones collected. Even when we got out of the car though, silence.

I have enough social awkwardness all on my own, I don’t need Silent Bob’s help.

So, what is your awkward Uber or Lyft story?