Eight More to Go After Today

Awww I remember when I was writing my eighth blog for Lent. Now after I write this, there will be only eight more to write. The thing is I feel like I’ve run out of things to write. So, I thought I’d do a writing prompt from back in the day creative writing class. I’m going to do a random article search on wiki and base my writing on it today. Okay, so maybe it’s not entirely old school but the basics are the same… or close enough.

Barbados Lottery

There are millions of things I never thought would happen to me or anyone I know. My brother winning the Barbados Lottery was at the top of that list. Him dying shortly after he won was only slightly less expected, but perhaps it shouldn’t have been.

My brother moved to Barbados to work at a resort a friend of his was trying to get off the ground. Then once the resort was a successful destination for the wealthy tourists to stay, he decided to stay on because he loved the weather and people. He even met a local girl who worked at the resort as well, and somehow after she came into the picture, I knew he was never moving back to where we grew up. She was the one who called me to let me know he had been murdered.

The room was spinning and the entire world fell silent. My younger, free-spirited brother was dead? No, that couldn’t be correct. I was the only one left from my family now. There must have been some mix up. It took a while for me to regain my senses, but as soon as I did I booked a flight to Barbados. In a haze, I threw some random things into a bag, and my roommate drove me to the airport.

Finally, I landed in Barbados. His friend and girlfriend were the ones to pick me up. It had been years since I had seen my brother’s friend, and this was the first time ever meeting his girlfriend (although we talked on the phone regularly). We smiled at each other sympathetically and hugged. Then they guided me to the friend’s car in the parking lot.

On the drive to the resort, my brother’s girlfriend told me what happened. She and my brother were out on a date on their day off. (Yes, they were still working at the resort even after he won the lottery.) They were sitting outside at the restaurant talking about the future and planning a trip to visit me as a surprise for Christmas. Things went eerily quiet as a car sped around the corner; it slowed down just a bit as it passed the restaurant. Two shots were fired. The first hit my brother in the arm, and the next one was the fatal shot straight through the head. Then the car sped off, and someone was screaming. It took a minute for his girlfriend to realize it was her.

There were tears in both our eyes by the time she was finished telling the story. My brother’s friend added after I dropped my things at the resort, the local police wanted to speak with me. I nodded and dabbed my eyes. And I realized that my brother’s murder wasn’t random. It was a hit. Someone had wanted him dead.

Social Etiquette

So I was having coffee with a friend today, when the guy at the table next to us was joined by someone else. Without looking at her, I recognized the voice immediately. When I saw her face, it was confirmed this person was who I thought. The thing is I met her before she transitioned (as into a woman) and had not had any contact post-transition. Another aspect to this entire situation was that I had met him now her at church.

There I was talking with my friend, wondering what the social etiquette for this situation was. I barely knew him pre-transition, and he never told me personally he was making the transition. Since it’s me, there would have been no unawkward for me to be like, hey didn’t you used to be so and so’s brother. RIGHT! That’s another thing this person’s brother is a friend’s ex, and their relationship ended very poorly with mostly one side to blame. Seriously, why is there no guidebook for this???

Here’s the thing… Had she still been a he, I probably wouldn’t have said anything to him either unless he recognized me and there was no way to get out of speaking. Also, it would have very little to do with how things ended between his brother and my friend, but still that would have been in the back of my mind. However, fact of the matter is, she did transition, and I can’t tell if she recognized me. She looked at me a few times, but that could have been because of my voice carrying or the topics I was forcing upon my friend. Then again, she could have recognized me.

Is it rude to recognize a person you knew pre-transition after the transition when you had no in between interactions? I have no freaking idea. My trans friends are all people I met post transition. Now time for a confession, the only reason why I recognized her today was because she’s facebook friends with a couple of my friends, and one of them was confused about what was going on, because evidently she didn’t announce on facebook she was transitioning, she simply changed her display pic from one looking very stereotypical male to one much more stereotypically feminine.

I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong way to tell the people in your world your transitioning genders. I’m saying my friend was confused by the way in which this person decided to make said announcement. I realize there is no protocol for anything in life, but there should be. Ms. Manners or Dear Abby or … (crap I can’t think of any transition org except one that focuses of the children of trans persons) needs to write one. So, that way next time I venture out into the world, I’ll know what to do.

Being an Asshole Can Save Your Life and Other Lessons Learned from Looney Tunes

As I was watching Looney Tunes lamenting the fact the bottled coffee I had earlier did nothing for me, I realized Bugs Bunny was an asshole. Think about it. He constantly is causing mayhem and has a terrible sense of direction. Seriously how many of his antics have started is because he should have taken a left at Albuquerque? Then as I thought about it some more, I recognized the life-saving quality of this cartoon bunny’s straight up dickishness. (That’s right I just made up a word.)

No matter the situation, there always seems to be someone who wants to see the rabbit dead. Not just a little or mostly dead, but all dead. Whether it be a bull, a hunter, a king or chefs, they all want him to die. And it isn’t because he’s an asshole. It’s usually because they think he’s food. We all know how the food chain works but seriously, a bipedal talking bunny is not on it… at least as far as I can remember. So yes, he takes it a step further, but the others started it. They practically asked him to be an asshole, and it saved Bugs Bunny’s life. Which got me thinking what about the other characters…

Road Runner may seem like a pompous dick. But seriously, if I could run though sides of mountains, I’d be a bit cocky myself. Who wouldn’t be? Also he can defy other laws of the natural world. Coyote doesn’t stand a freaking chance. After all the bird is magic. Thusly, sometimes having a confidence in your ability can save your life, even though it can be deadly to those who want to imitate you. Wyle E Coyote gets into the most trouble when he attempts to do what he just saw the bird do.

So really both Road Runner and Coyote have lessons to teach. 1) Have confidence in your abilities and 2) Don’t try to imitate others-just be yourself. How much less funny would the cartoons be if coyote followed these lessons and RR didn’t? Or less sociopathic… I can’t be the only one to have noticed the gleam in the bird’s eyes when the coyote blows himself up or falls to what in the real world would be his death.

Speaking of mental health disorders, Porky Pig needs to chill the hell out. He gets all tense over the stupidest shit. It makes me wonder what happened to the pig as a piglet that made him so needing to be in control over every little detail. It this need to control that constantly gets him tangled up in all sorts of situations no one should ever find themselves in. For example, getting your house overrun my street cats… Having to deal with anxiety myself, I get it. I really do, but I also had to learn to let things go. Something Porky Pig has yet to learn obviously. Then again, it’d be a lot less funny if he was you know what man? I’m cool. I don’t need to control everything to keep my anxiety at bay. (Sometimes I wish my life were as funny as Porky Pig’s… bonus lesson: your life may not be as funny if you go to therapy to work on your issues.)

Perhaps I’m reading too much into the cartoons. I doubt when the Looney Tunes were made, Mel Blancs (I think that’s the name I want) and company weren’t thinking about the life lessons being taught. They were probably thinking about how they could promote the racist and patriotic agenda. This is what happens when all I do for caffeine is bottled coffee.

Lessons Learned from Minding Twins Twice in A Week

I mentioned in a previous blog I watched my friends’ twins (as well as their 7 year old) the other night. Well, today I’m watching another friend’s set of twins. These ones are a few months older than the ones I watched the other day, and this time their identical. FYI I feel like if you’re not wanting to have twins statistically speaking you should be friends with me, as two of my friends had twins last year. Seriously, what are the chances of that? (Also what are the chances of having another friend get knocked up with twins?)

There are things I’ve learnt from my recent encounters with both sets of twins. First being I never want to have twins (or any children but really not multiples), and those people who say they do clearly have never spent time caring for twins. Whilst my friends who have the twins wouldn’t exchange them for anything blah blah blah, it is tough work. Even watching them for a few hours gives me a whole new respect for all parents of twins and those who take care of them.

Twins and I’m sure other multiples are a handful. Okay, I didn’t learn this recently. I assumed as much being friends with a set of twins growing up and it was always fun to hang out with them. But what I did learn from my experiences watching twins is that there is an evil genius in every set. And it’s not always the one you’d think. For instance today, one of the lads is much more mobile than the other, while the other one is content to just sit there for much of the time. I’m pretty sure in their twin talk that the sitter told the mover to do his bidding. Almost as if the sitter said, “Hey there’s a person whom we have no memory of, bring me a sample of the blue on her toes.” And the mover replied, “Yes sir.” Then he did his little soldier crawl over to my toes, scrapped some of the polish off (or at least tried) and went over to his brother. The mover was reward with lack of being kicked.

Kicking leads me to the next thing I’ve learned. Biting, kicking and hair pulling are ways to show affection between twins. My nephew is just a couple weeks older than the identical twins and a few months older than the girl/boy twins. He does not show his affection with violence; not even to his big brother. He uses it to defend himself and get his brother in trouble. However, with both sets of twins, whilst such aggressions are used for communicating anger etc, they also do it for the hell of it apparently. Seriously, when I was watching the younger set of twins, the girl randomly hit her brother. Granted, she did have a cold and wasn’t in top form. But still.. she hit him for no reason. Here’s the weird thing, the brother just looked at her as though he were saying, I love you too sister. I get the fact that twins have been in each others’ spaces since their conception, but still you’d think with the freedom from the uterus they’d be enjoying the open space. Not so much.

Okay, there’s a twin who has been looking up at me since I started typing this. He’s been very content until now, but he is now making mouth sounds. And since he is the evil genius of this set, I feel that perhaps I should put this away and do his bidding.

Confessions of a Fussy Eater

I’d like to consider myself laid back in all areas of my life. I don’t care what I do with my friends as long as we’re together. I don’t care what we talk about as long as it’s not harmful to anyone listening. I don’t care what we have for dinner… Oh hell yes I do. There is a long ass list of things I am not particularly fond of and/or that make me sick.

For starters, I don’t eat red meat. (Oh so you’re a vegetarian.) No. I eat poultry and fish. (Not bacon?) I eat turkey bacon. (That’s not real bacon.) Um it’s actual meat shaped like bacon and smokey like bacon. (But it’s not pork.) But it is real. I mean I can hold it and eat it, and it doesn’t fuck up my stomach like “real” bacon does. (It fucks up your stomach?) Yes. [eye roll] When you don’t eat red meat for a while your body loses the ability to digest it.

In case you’re wondering, I ate a pork egg roll yesterday. I was so hungry, I didn’t stop to think about it. And lets face it, when you get all the veggies and spices mixed with the meat, it is pretty unidentifiable. After all it was a fast food egg roll and not a proper sit down joint. Regardless, last night and this morning I’ve been hoping I don’t toss my cookies or worse. But I can accept responsibility for my actions. When you don’t eat pork and other such foods, you have to be careful what you eat lest this happens.

(So you eat a lot of vegetables?) No. Some raw veg is fine, and even lightly steamed can be good. Roasted is good too. BUT for the love of all that is Holy, they still have to resemble their original textures (potatoes are the notable exception) and colors. There is nothing worse than pale green broccoli or mushy carrots. [gags at the thought] (What about salads and stuff?) Well, this one time I got sick shortly after eating salad made with iceberg lettuce, and since then it has been a struggle to consume salad. I don’t mind butter or romaine or red lettuces. But if it’s iceberg, so help me, it had better be drowned in dressing. Like you had better be asking me if I was some lettuce with my ranch. (Ew.) Don’t judge me. (Sorry.) You should be.

I used to like corn. But then I went to England… Those people try to sneak it in everything! Pizza. Tuna. Salad. Unlike lettuce, I didn’t get sick from eating it; I got sick of eating it. If it is served to me, I will it to be polite, but I take no pleasure in it. Not even corn on the cob anymore. I do like popcorn though. That shit is delicious anytime. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and for all those times between and after.

Then there are beans. (What about beans?) Black beans are my favorite, but they make me sick. (Really?) Yes. I’m lying to get attention. Of course, really. I’m developed this strange reaction to beans after I had surgery. (All beans?) All beans I’ve tried. I have yet to try hummus. Wait! I can do peanut butter. Aren’t peanuts beans or part of the fam? (I have no idea what you’re talking about.) Shut up. You do too. They’re not really a nut. (If you say so.) It has nothing to do with what I say. I’m quoting science.

Turning thirty-five changed my system. But luckily, I can still eat sweets. Cakes. Pies. Candy. Chocolate. It’s all so delicious. Really, if I chose to forget what I learned about nutrition, I could happily eat sweet things all the time. I like most of it except anything involving cherries. I don’t like cherries or cherry flavored anything, save for Swedish fish… the red ones. The multicolored ones are actually Swedish fish even though the package says they are.

Call This Whatever You Want

The house is quiet this morning… now. My parents and aunt went out to the Pompeii exhibit. But before that they were loud. I powered through it and remained mostly asleep. So fear not dear readers, I got at least sixish hours of sleep. Yeah… I’m going to need a nap later.

Hmmm I’m so engaging today. There are people who tell you to just write no matter what comes out. Well, nothing is coming out so screw those people. Not really, it’s actually some damn fine advice and usually works in some settings. Side note: Did you know the Branch Davidians were a sect of Seventh Day Adventist? (at least at the beginning)

Completely spaced out there for a minute thinking about what happened in Waco… in 1992… not when Dr Pepper was invented. That’s right according to Trivial Pursuit Dr Pepper was invented in Waco. It is a sad story all around; again the siege not the pop. Right lets just start a new paragraph about something else fully unrelated.

I’m biting my tongue or the typing equivalent about how the left conveniently blocks Waco 1992 out of the collective conscious whilst pointing fingers at the right for atrocities. Must. Bite. Harder. Must push out the imaginary conversation I’m having with my friends who are politically slanted to the left nut jobs, but to be fair I have theses conversations with those I know who are right-winged wackos. They’re all wrong. There I said it and can now move onto something less controversial.

The kitty is sleeping by the window. If I were sitting next to her, I’d start messing with her. Because, what else are you supposed to do with a kitty who’s sleeping? Also, she’s kind of a dick so don’t feel bad for her. I suppose if I was ripped away from my mother after a couple of months and then had my children taken away from me and then I was forced to have my tubes tied, I might have been a dick as well.

Right getting food and coffee needs to happen.

Attempt Number Three for Today’s Blog

You know when you go to the local “beach” to have a bon fire with your nephew but it’s too wet and windy out to get a good blaze going? Yeah it was one of those days. So whoever next comes across the fire pit we used, you’re welcome for the four slightly charred logs. Therefore, instead of playing with fire, we played on the slide like the common folk.

It was raining like it does in Northwest. But I knew he needed to run and the other adults needed a break from him. I took one for the team making myself cold and damp… I hate being in wet clothes. That’s why I wear flip flops in the rain, so my socks don’t get wet. There’s nothing worse that soggy socks I’m almost positive except for maybe wet hair whipping the nape of your neck. Ugh just thinking about it gives me the gibblies.

My aunt is in town this weekend. So, there was a big family dinner involving food we never eat unless she buys and makes. Then after dinner she whipped out Easter “baskets” for my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, the nephews and me. That’s right nothing celebrates the resurrection of Jesus like a Darth Vader Pez dispenser. Still, I was struck by my aunt’s “hantiness” in the moment. (That’s right I’m making up words. FYI the definition of hantiness is sharing a qualities to that or similar to a hanty. If you don’t know what a hanty is think stereotypical spoiling aunt and there ya go.)

Not only did my aunt buy me a Pez dispenser, which is absolutely priceless in my heart, but she also got me sunglasses, nail polish, a candle and entire bag of mini-Snickers.And that’s pretty much along the lines of what she got everybody. She is really quite generous. She doesn’t come to town that often, but when she does come she hanties the hell out me and everyone else. It really raises the bar of what I ought to become. Because hopefully, one day, I won’t live in Seattle, and whilst I’ll miss my nephews, I’ll be glad to bless the hell out of them when I do come to town.

Even as I type this blog I still smell of smoke. That’s what happens when you try to set a fire in the rain. It smokes… a lot. And my lungs still feel a bit congested and scratchy. In some ways I know this is what I get for passing my love of fire onto the next generation. But at the same time, I was glad the nephew was excited for a fire yet not too disappointed when I couldn’t get a good one going. I do believe it was the first time we went to the “beach” and he didn’t play in the water. So, there’s that.