lastmandystanding

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Blogger. Aspiring writer. Smartass. But you'll probably still want to be my friend.

Archive for the category “Random and Quirky”

My last birthday in my 30’s

Well, this is it. My 39th birthday. My journey to 40 begins. 

Do you ever stop and look at your life, or look at yourself in the mirror and think to yourself: “this is SO not where/who I thought I’d be when I was this age.”? 

Me, too. 

I also remember thinking people who were this age were SO. Super. Old. I mean…ancient. But the older I get, the younger people older than me seem. Read it again. You’ll get it. 

Hanging around my teenage daughter and her friends, I swear I’m the cool mom. I actually GET what they’re saying. I get the stupid crap boys do. They haven’t changed. Mean girls are still mean girls — only meaner with more ways to be mean. I remember this age, this time in life, like it was yesterday. Because it WAS yesterday, right?? No. No, it wasn’t. It was 25 years ago. That’s when I was where my oldest daughter is now. How can I feel so young, yet so damn old? 

But let’s get honest for a moment. The truth is, I’m not at all who or where I want to be. And I have no one to blame but myself. I control me. Period. Of course, there have been things that have happened that I never could’ve foreseen – not in a million years. Maybe calling attention to their existence is a cop-out on my part. But the reality is, if I’m not happy with me and certain things in my life, I have only myself to blame. 

[What did she say?!] Yep. Accountability. 

I wake up and give my “ok” every day. My “all I got to give.” Not my best. I know that. And more importantly, I know why. I know what things weigh so heavily on my heart, soul, body, mind, spirit, that make me feel this way. And I have cowered to these reasons for far too long. 

Is this going to sound cliché? Yes. It is. But my last year in my 30’s is going to be one hell of a year for me. A year of transformation. A year of letting go. A year of speaking up, speaking out. A year of forgiveness. A year of enlightenment. A year of awakening. I will slowly start to recognize that woman staring back at me in the mirror. And I will love her. 

Yes. I will love her. 

#FortyByForty  

   

Tales of insom-nom-nom-nia

I saw a funny thing about this insom-nom-nom-nia phenomenon today (when you just eat whenever you can’t sleep), and forwarded it to my sister for a good laugh. In texting back and forth with her, I had apparently never told her this story. And judging by her “Lmfaoooooo…X 2” reply, I thought others might get a kick out of it, too.

About 6 years ago, my now ex-husband and I had just separated, sold our house, and were in the midst of divorce proceedings. I had moved into an apartment, and sleep was not on the agenda. Not at all. I’ve always been a horrible sleeper, but with everything going on, it was getting ridiculous and i could barely function. That, and I was too busy smelling the ganja that came wafting down from the upstairs apartment and wishing I could be that young, stupid & carefree.

Anyway… my doctor put me on Ambien to help me sleep. I never took it when my girls were with me because I was afraid I wouldn’t wake if they needed me, because I mean this.shit.worked.

Stress usually gives me a very unsettled stomach and nothing — I mean NOTHING sounds good to eat. You may recall the “Peanuts & Coke” story with my mom. If you’re not familiar, it’s worth a read. I figured I could at least drop a few pounds since the rest of my life was going down the crapper. My very own silver lining.

So imagine my disgust when I actually GAINED a couple pounds. I couldn’t figure it out. I hardly ate, fidgeted like crazy, was sleeping well at least a few nights a week. I thought for sure I would’ve lost a pound or two.

I started finding orange residue in my bed — on my pillowcase, down in the sheets, etc. I never eat in bed and usually don’t let my kids do it, either, but I figured they must’ve gotten in there with food at some point.

When I started finding the kitchen cabinets open in the morning, food on the counter, crumbs everywhere, I thought I was losing it. I know I didn’t eat that crap and I couldn’t blame it on the kids, because #1. They couldn’t reach the stuff, and #2. They weren’t with me when it would happen. I couldn’t figure out what was happening, but I’m not ashamed to tell you that I seriously thought the potheads from upstairs were sneaking into my apartment and eating my shit while I slept because they ran out of food because they smoked too much pot and had insane munchies and didn’t buy food because all they bought was POT!!! Yes, I know that was a huge run-on sentence, and a bit on the paranoid side, but it could happen. It was a house turned into a duplex. And I may or may not have pushed a big table in front of the door where they could’ve gained access and used the back door from that point on.

It wasn’t until one morning when I woke up with the orange residue everywhere again — my fingers, my hair, my face — everywhere. Coupled with the realization that I had a mouthful of shit (not literally shit, just shit, as in, why am I waking up with food in my mouth?!?), all the cheesey pieces of the puzzle started coming together. And there was no denying the bag of Cheetos in my hands. But seriously, wtf? What was even happening? I had NO recollection of eating any of this, of getting out of bed, walking to my kitchen cabinets, retreating back to my bed, ready to apparently make love to the Cheetos. (Was it good for YOU, Chester? Because all I got was a big ass and orange stains everywhere.)

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor a few days later and he informed me that yes — sleep WALKING, sleep DRIVING and sleep EATING were indeed possible, albeit rare side effects of Ambien. If it’s rare and unusual, I’m your girl. Uhh…yeah. Thanks, but no thanks there, doc. I’ll take insomnia for 200, Alex. I’ve got enough problems without adding “I consume my weight in Cheetos while I sleep.”

Needless to say, I stopped taking Ambien. They should change their slogan to “Ambien – you won’t give a shit about sleep anymore, because you’ll have bigger problems, fatty.”

This concludes today’s episode of “Tales of insom-nom-nom-nia.” Thank you and goodnight.

Umm…there’s no prize or anything

SAMSUNG

Let me just start this off with a healthy dose of honesty – I am FULL of awesome ideas. But every once in a while, I pull one out of the ol’ bad idea box and run with it. Those are the ones that usually seem like great ideas at the time, and only reveal their crappiness at a later date.

To better understand this particular story, I should give a little bit of a background here. My sister and I are like two peas in a pod. And our dad was the third pea. The three of us were so much alike in our personalities, our sense of humor, the way we would tease each other. So when his last birthday came around – our first without him – we felt we needed to do something together…something special.

I took the day off work, and we started out eating breakfast at a local diner – one that my family has eaten at for years, kind of a family favorite. At breakfast, we talked a little bit about what we thought we should do for the rest of the day. The goal was to just honor our dad on his birthday and try not to start crying.

We thought we’d get some balloons, write messages to dad on them, and release them down by the river. Simple enough, right? WRONG. There was a national shortage of helium (seriously), so finding helium-filled balloons proved to be not such an easy task. On our third trip to a store trying to find helium, we found some pre-filled mylar foil balloons – one that said “happy birthday” and the other was just a smiley face. Alright, fine. That’s just going to have to do.

As we were looking around the store, we stumbled across this package of yellow rubber ducks. One big one, and two smaller ones. GENIUS!! The big one is dad, and the two smaller ones are US! Omigosh, it’s PERFECT! So we got the two balloons, the package of rubber ducks, a black sharpie, party hats and a 2-pack of Butterfinger candy bars – dad’s favorite – and we headed on down to the river.

To help you paint a mental picture, we drove separately down to the river and parked right along the edge and I got into my sister’s car. Lucky us, we pulled up next to some old dude in a truck who didn’t really try to hide the “WTF?” expression on his face as we took turns with the sharpie, writing the messages on our balloons, going back and forth from tears to laughter. We had the windows rolled partially down, and his were completely down, so he really had a front seat to our little freak show.

I decided to have a little fun with things, so I took the rubber ducks out and started drawing on them. I drew broken hearts on the chests of the two little ones (obviously), and wrote my and my sister’s names on the bottom. Then, I drew my dad’s trademark necklace, his two tattoos, an earring, and hair on the big duck. The resemblance was uncanny.

Then – in a stroke of genius – I had the best idea ever. (Me to my sister: “hey – let’s put ‘if found, please call [my phone #]’ on the ducks and the balloons to see how far they go!”) Ok. Fine. Maybe I’ve seen one too many “Message in a Bottle” type movies. Whatever. My thought at the time was that, say…if it traveled an hour away, NEXT year for dad’s birthday, we would do the same thing from wherever that location was, and so on an so forth. Y’know, kinda like a “grief around the world” type thing.

So… On two balloons and one of the ducks (the biggest), I wrote my phone number and “If found, please call”. We released the balloons, and after a very slow start, they were up, up, and away. The ducks, on the other hand, were little bastards. We took turns tossing ours into the water, and watched them float about 20 feet, and then they just kinda hugged and kissed the shoreline for a good ten minutes. We finally left with the notion that the river current would carry them further downstream.

I need to add something here so that you have a better idea of where this is going. I live in the Midwest, and one thing about us Midwesterners is that we LOVE us some festivals. Parades, food, carnival rides and craft shows all centered around some sort of theme – a flower, a gourd, a bird, etc. Some of these festivals kick off with some “treasure hunt” type shenanigans, which involves reading clues and hunting all over the city for this special object. Once found, the finder is given instructions to “call this number” to verify the authenticity of the object. The super sleuth who finds it is awarded with some very nice prizes – a cruise, goods and services from local businesses, etc. It’s a pretty big deal around here. And it just so happens that my dad’s birthday was one week after one of these festivals.

Fast-forward to a few days after my dad’s birthday. My phone rings. It’s a local number, but not one I’m familiar with. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Hello?”
Caller: (with TONS of enthusiasm) “Hi, yeah, I’m calling this number because I found this duck!”
Me: (thinking OMG, yay, it worked!) “yeah, where did you find it?”
Caller: (still enthusiastic) “It was floating in the river down by (MyTown) bridge, so I picked it up and called the number!”
Me: (well that SUCKS. That’s freaking EXACTLY where I put the little bastard in the water) <– and that’s actually exactly what I said to her.
….. LONG PAUSE …..
Me: “Uhhmmm…yeah…there’s no prize or anything, I’m sorry. We just—It was— We just wanted to see how far it would go.”
Caller: “Oh. Ok.” <– and it wasn’t cheerful, like “Oh. Ok. No biggie, thanks anyway” It was more like “Oh. Ok. EFF YOU AND YOUR STUPID SCIENCE PROJECT.”
POP! went her bubble. She probably would’ve punched me and spit in my eye if we were face to face.
…… END OF CONVERSATION …

At this point, I was half pissed, and half amused. I was pissed that the stupid rubber duck traveled a whopping ZERO FEET in three days, but super amused that this chick found the duck, bee-lined her ass to a phone and called the rubber ducky prize hotline, only to be met with “Uhhhmm…yeah, there’s no prize or anything.” What a dick move on my part, right?

So I told my sister about it. We laughed and agreed that dad was most certainly getting a kick out of all of this. End of story. –WRONG.

A few more days pass, and again, local phone number unknown to me, is calling my phone. I answer.

Me: “Hello?”
Caller: (with TONS of enthusiasm) “Hi, yeah, I’m calling because I found this duck and it said to call this number!”
Me: (thinking to myself – you have GOT to be shitting me) “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. There’s actually not a prize or anything. It was something we did for my dad’s birthd—just never mind. I’m sorry. But, since you called, can I ask where you found it?”
Caller: “It was floating in the river down by (MyTown) bridge.”
Me: “Of course it was. Thanks for calling.”
She hung up on me.

Again – half pissed, half amused. PISSED because this meant that the first caller, probably in a fit of rage over not winning anything on the rubber ducky prize hotline, just launched that sucker right back into the river, probably cussing me the whole time….which set Caller #2 up for HER letdown. AMUSED because – well… for the very same reason.

I figured that this last chick – since she hung up on me – would just throw the duck in the garbage. Then again, I thought the first woman would have done the same thing. I was wrong on both counts.

So another several days pass. By this time, it’s been about two weeks since my dad’s birthday, and over a week since I heard from the last would-be rubber duck millionaire. So imagine my surprise when I received a call from a MAN that went a little something like this:

Me: “Hello?”
Caller: (again with the enthusiasm right outta the gate) “Hey there, I found this duck floatin’ in the river and it had this phone number on it!”
Me: (Sigh with head-shaking)“Can I ask where you found it?”
Caller: “I found it in (MyTown) down at the (MyTown) bridge.”
Me: “Yeah…it’s been there for two weeks. It was just something we did to see how far it would go, but apparently it’s broken. I’m sorry…there’s not a prize or anything.”
Caller: “oh…” – Mr. Happy Pants has left the building and has been replaced with Mr. Pissy Pants.
Me: “Would you mind doing me a favor and just throw the thing in the garbage for me. Don’t throw it back in the river.”
Caller: “yeah.” —dial tone.

I have to believe he actually did throw it away, because I never heard from anyone else.

This whole thing had me so perturbed. I mean REALLY – can’t a girl just try out an awesome idea without it backfiring in her face by getting three total strangers pissed off at her? Can people not be so greedy? They call up all nice-y nice sweetie pie, and then one “I’m sorry, but there’s no prize or anything” and they turn into a-holes. I mean, these people were seriously…pissed…off. I’m sorry, but did someone sneak some writing onto the duck that said “If found please call this number TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE???” I think not. I didn’t promise anything. I just said “If found, please call”. I mean, it’s not like it was a briefcase or a bag of money floating. It was A RUBBER DUCK FLOATING IN WATER. That’s pretty much their sole purpose. And while I’m on that subject, can someone find me a damn rubber duck that might actually FLOAT? Is THAT too much to ask? Well, technically, I guess “floating” wasn’t really the issue. He actually really excelled at that particular area. But how about one that might actually flow with a current or something? I mean it was very early fall, so I know boats were still traveling through. You’d think some wake action might move the damn thing along. Nope. Not my duck. Mine was a stubborn little $h!t that apparently came with an anchor.

You had ONE JOB, rubber duck. ONE JOB.

But then I just couldn’t stop thinking of how awesome it would’ve been to actually SEE all of this. And the more I told about these people calling me thinking they’d won something and me shooting them down when I tried to explain what I thought was a great idea, the more I realized it really just needed to be told on a broader spectrum…because it’s just absolutely typical of things that only happen to me.

I think we can all take away a valuable lesson from all of this. Well, maybe two lessons. #1 – I’m putting my sister’s phone number on things from now on. #2 – Nicholas Sparks and Sting are both full of CRAP and they can just knock it off with their “Message in a Bottle” crappery that puts such stupid ideas and CRAP in the heads of sentimental fools like me. And again I say CRAP.

But all in all, I got exactly what I wanted – something that brought honor to my dad, and did so in a way that he would have LOVED. With each phone call when I was having to explain myself, hearing the “whammy” sounder in my head as I let these greedy bastards down, feeling dumber and dumber about my idea, I could hear his cackling laughter. I have no doubt that he orchestrated the whole thing. I don’t know what we’ll do for his next birthday, but I’m not sure anything else could have quite the “bite me in the ass” backfire effect that this did. But if it does…I’m sure you’ll hear about it.

Could you help me with this thing here? Yes, you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP37RQ7pmW0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I absolutely LOVE the Golden Girls. My twin cousins and I would spend every Saturday night with our Grandma, and we would all watch it together. Watching old episodes brings me almost as much comfort as my grandma’s hugs used to, or a comfy sweatshirt, or wearing my favorite faded black velvet pants with paint stains. They’re just plain comfortable.

If this linked correctly, it’s a clip from an episode where the ever-so-over-dramatic Blanche decides to write the world’s greatest novel. She comes dramatically out onto the “lenai” and professes to have writer’s block – something she claims to be the worst feeling in the world. I love Sophia’s banter about 10 days without a bowel movement being worse than that, but this clip leaves out the best part. Right after where this cuts off, Dorothy asks Blanche: “Well how much have you written?”
Blanche: “That’s just IT, I haven’t written A THING!”
Dorothy: “That’s not writer’s block, Blanche…otherwise WE ALL HAVE IT.”

I can’t explain it…but that episode just kills me. The sarcasm of Dorothy. The drama of Blanche. The outspoken Sophia. Rose just being…Rose. The truth in all of it. I love it.

In a roundabout way, I guess I’m trying to say that I have writer’s block, but not exactly like Blanche. I’ve got lots to write about, to talk about, to cry about, to smile about, to laugh about, to be mad and hurt about, to joke about, etc. –but I can’t just sit and do it. I want to. I need to. And I love to…but I just…(ahh…i hate saying it)….can’t.

I’ve stated in my few blogs since my father’s death, that I fear if I start writing, I may not be able to stop. So I don’t know if that is what’s keeping me from it, or something else.

Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of something…you don’t know what it is, good or bad, big or small…but you feel it…and you don’t know whether to jump and shout and leap tall buildings in a single bound, or go sit in the corner in your faded black velvet paint-stained pants and just sit quietly until someone comes and picks you up and says “hey, snap out of it”??

Yeah. Me too. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of all that.

I need your help, reader(s). (If there are any of you left.) Since I can’t get the words from my brain to the keyboard very well (or often), help me out. Whether you know me or not, new reader or followed since blog #1 – what would YOU like me to write about? I’m serious… Please comment and I will pick something from the comments to write about. If you know me, it should be easy for you. If you’re a complete stranger, better yet. Read some of my other stuff and ask questions. I need something to get my creative juices flowing again. (My REAL creative juices…not the pretend ones I keep boldly “pinning” like it’s my job.)

Help a sister out. I know I can write. Just help me through my version of writer’s block. I promise it’ll be honest and entertaining if nothing else.

Readers’ Choice.  Let’s do this.

Oh, and if my sister-in-law happens to read this, I’m still waiting on the Xanax casserole that was promised last Christmas. I’m starting to think that was just a bunch of talk.

Random and Quirky at its finest

Since I’m new to this “writing for other people to read” thing, I think I need to slowly ease you, sweet little reader, into the mind of ME. You know, get more acquainted.

It’s like dating. Showing tiny little glimpses of quirkiness before unleashing the bat $hit craziness.

I thought I’d do a little randomness tonight…some facts about me. I fully realize that the majority of these will either make me look:
A. Legitimately Insane
B. Judgmental
C. Like an a$$hole
D. All of the above

I have a hunch this might become a regular feature. Maybe even a no-holds-barred periodic Q&A. You send me your questions, and once I get enough, I’ll post honest answers. Yes…I think I like that.

Here they are: lastmandyrandoms. Take #1.

1. I have an honest to God fear of midgets/little people/dwarfs, etc. I don’t know exactly why, but it’s very legit and very much real. My 3rd grade teacher was a midget, and was mean as hell. Maybe that’s it. I honestly don’t know. Two ironic twists here:

• My favorite movie of all time is Wizard of Oz, and…
• I’m 3 inches shorter now than I was 15 years ago. I’m shrinking. Dead serious. How’s THAT for karma?

2. I like the smell of skunk. I don’t want to bottle it and dab it behind my ears, but I don’t find it the least bit offensive, and in fact, might even take a big sniff in when I pass one on the road.

3. I separate M&Ms by color before eating them, and I have to eat the odd ones first. (ie. 3 red ones, 4 greens, 6 yellows = I have to eat one red to make it even)

4. When I was 16, I once pretended that the car I was driving (a 1989 Ford Escort) was a stick shift, because I wanted to look super cool driving past the swarm of dudes congregated in the parking lot I was driving past. And this was the best I could come up with. I’m a moron.

5. Never been kissed under the mistletoe. Or in the rain.

6. It is physiologically impossible for a burp to come from my body. Can’t do it.

7. I don’t dance in public. I CAN dance, I just choose not to…just too self conscious.

8. I think drinking RedBull is the closest I will ever come to knowing what Satan’s piss might taste like. It’s disgusting. I can just smell it and have that smell stuck in my nose for 3 days. Pure evil.

9. I like to put a dab of peanut butter in my spaghetti. But only at home. The face you’re making right now is the main reason for that.

10. I smell everything. EVERYTHING. When I give my kids a kiss on the forehead, cheek, etc., I always smell them as I kiss them. It’s just natural for me. What ISN’T natural, is smelling a co-worker’s wrist to smell her new perfume, and absentmindedly kissing her wrist.

That oughtta do it for now.

Big weekend plans in the works (for a change). Should be interesting. Perhaps some new material? Hmm… we’ll see.

Post Navigation