Monday, June 30, 2008 

Land of Fruit and Nuts

I don't really have the energy or the giveadamn in me to give you a really well written description of the Sixty Dollar Meatloaf, the Fifty Dollar Hamburgers, or even the Golden Gate Near Death Experience, but I'll give you the basics. If you're from San Francisco and are easily offended, you might not want to read this post. I'm totally about to talk shit about your town.

I'm sick of this fucking city and I want to go home. It's the land of disappointment. Disappointment and fifty dollar hamburgers. We have been unable to find a decent meal since getting here, and even when we try to keep it simple by getting burgers for lunch, we end up getting a bill of fifty bucks.

Left My Wallet in San Francisco

Seriously. We paid nearly $50 for burgers and fries at a place called Knuckles. It just looked like your typical bar/restaurant casual dining type place. It was nothing impressive-- just a bar that served bar food. Everything is just too damn high here. Why? There's nothing special about any of it. In Chicago, we had some high priced meals, but they were delicious. Everything I've put in my mouth since getting here has been substandard, with the exception of some kickass sweet and sour chicken in Chinatown which wasn't expensive at all compared to the rest of it, by the way.

Nobody eats vegetables here, and that's where the Sixty Dollar Meatloaf came in. For the sake of my colon and my unborn child's health, we were looking for a restaurant where we could get some vegetables, and the hotel manager recommended this place called Rex's. He assured us it was a laid back place where we could go in our t-shirts and blue jeans, but as soon as we walked in, I realized I was completely under dressed in my Southern Miss shirt. We thought we were going to a bar. There was indeed a bar, but it was a fancy schmancy bar. And those vegetables that were supposed to be on the menu? Well they had three options-- grilled asparagus and two other things I'd never heard of before. And GET THIS-- they didn't come with any of the entrees-- you had to pay an extra $6.99 for a side. Can you believe that shit? What kind of restaurant charges you seven bucks for a side? I mean give me a fucking break already!

We ordered a spinach salad, split it, and each ordered meatloaf with mashed potatoes. The meatloaf was okay if you don't like your food to have any taste, and the potatoes came out of a box. They also don't know how to do iced tea here. I'm pretty sure I was drinking water with brown food coloring in it. Anyway, the bill for that meal, if you want to call it that, was over sixty dollars. The only decent part of it was the salad.

Golden Gate Near Death Experience


They nearly killed us on the tour bus across the Golden Gate Bridge. Thinking we could see more if we sat on the open top of the double decker bus, that's what we did. We sat in the very back seat, which happened to be a few inches higher than the other seats. First of all, we couldn't hear anything that the tour guide was saying into his microphone, so we didn't get the warning to "duck" the first time we went under some low branches. That sucked a little. There were more than a few of those low branches along the ride, not to mention really low hanging cables for the cable cars. Really low cables with six hundred volts running through them, by the way.


The only reason I wanted to go on the tour was because it was the only one that would actually cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Sounds fun, right?? Well, they tell you that it's going to be windy on the bridge, but they don't tell you that it feels like it's about 30 degrees, or that the bus sways back and forth so wildly that you're too busy hanging on for dear life to take it all in, much less take pictures. I did get a few that turned out okay considering that I couldn't tell what I was taking pictures of when I did it. Halfway across the bridge, Tim dubbed it the Golden Gate Near Death Experience, much to the joy of all the passengers around us, most of whom were German.

Everyone's German, by the way, or at least most of the tourists are. They've got Germans like cockroaches around here. German tourists everywhere, hocking out their German words and spitting on everyone.

Tour de Ghetto

We took another tour on the same bus a day later because we got some kind of package where you get a tour of downtown and a tour of the bridge area. The downtown tour was a hop on/hop off deal where you could supposedly get off at points of interest and just get back on when another bus came around. We happened to be on the tour during a time when the cops were closing streets to accommodate the gay pride parade, so the driver had to take detour after detour. We ended up being driven through the ghetto. This time we had a different tour guide, sat in a different spot, and could actually hear what was being said. The poor guide didn't even know what to say when we got re-routed through the 'hood. She just started talking about how at least we were getting to see some San Francisco culture. Right. And you can imagine how many people wanted to get off the bus. Nobody got off on the whole route; everyone just took the bus straight back to the starting point and gave up.

So the Golden Gate NDE was Wednesday, the Sixty Dollar Meatloaf was Thursday, and the Fifty Dollar Hamburgers must've been Friday or Saturday. Since then, we've done pretty much nothing. Sunday was Gay Pride Day. Hu-fuckin-ray for that.

After a week here, I now understand why so many people jump from the Golden Gate Bridge every year. If I had to live here, I think jumping would come to mind at least once a week. The people here are a bunch of nut jobs and the whole experience of San Francisco is vastly, vastly overrated. Nothing is as impressive as you would imagine, and everything is too damn expensive. I've wanted to get on a plane for Memphis since about Friday.

Thank God we're finally leaving tomorrow morning-- HOPEFULLY. It all depends on how many other people are trying to get on the flight. Standby tickets are a bitch, but hey, free is free. If we can just get to Dallas, we might rent a car and drive to Memphis. I just want to get the hell out of California.

I think I'm done with big city vacations. We've done Austin, Chicago, and San Francisco. That's enough. I now have no desire to see New York or anywhere else for that matter. Gatlinburg is looking pretty damn good at this point.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 

San Francisco, Part 1

The Alcatraz trip was pretty bitchin', and then yesterday we walked to Chinatown, which was cool. We saw tons of cheap imported Chinese plastic shit for sale, so it was kinda like being in the world's biggest Wal Mart. We also ate at a Chinese restaurant, where I had the best sweet and sour chicken I've ever tasted. Tim had kung pow chicken, and it was too hot for him. He ordered it even though the waiter tried to warn him. "It hot. It very hot. You still want?"


Sacred Ground

On the outskirts of Chinatown, we spotted City Lights Bookstore, which is sacred ground to me. I spent more than one semester of my post adolescent idealistic years sitting in poetry classes trying to imagine the place. So we spent some time there, and I bought a book or two in the poetry room. I rediscovered a lot of stuff that I read in college that you don't find in most bookstores, and made a resolution to start reading poetry again. It calms me down and relaxes me.




So lunch in Chinatown and going to City Lights were both fun experiences. City Lights ranked up there with Alcatraz. Altogether, those three things took about 8 hours. So let's talk about how we've spent the other 104 hours.

Wildlife at the Wharf

We've been down to Fisherman's Wharf a few times. That's the touristy area. It's basically a money pit where there are all sorts of little shops trying to sell you cheap souvenirs. You can find everything from a shop specializing in socks-- just socks-- to "Magnet Heaven," which has, you guessed it, magnets. There are also shady salesmen trying to sell you tickets for boat rides around Alcatraz. When they come up to you, the first thing they do is ask you where you're from. Then as you're walking away, they scream, "Hey, Mississippi! Hey, Mississippi, come back!" Geez.

One cool thing about the wharf is the sea lions.


Tons of these sea lions showed up after the 1989 earthquake, for no apparent reason. They say that the merchants who use the piers there tried everything to run them off, but were unsuccessful. During the summer, most of them leave, but a handful stay year round. So there weren't that many there when we went, but there were probably 50 or 60 of them lying around on the docks like a bunch of loud, lazy, stinky, fat asses. This webcam is on them all the time. Kinda cool.


We also met a one-legged pigeon near Fisherman's Wharf. He hangs out in a courtyard behind the In & Out Burger where he eats french fries thrown to him by compassionate humans who can't help but feed him when they see his nub foot. Tim and I have seen him each time we've been in the area, and I took to calling him Nubby. I wondered how he lost that foot, then I noticed how many mean ass kids like to chase the pigeons and stomp at them.


Even the Pimps are Nice

Getting back up from the wharf was difficult the first time. We finally figured out the bus system enough to get back and forth. When we were coming back from the Alcatraz trip, we had some trouble. It was after dark, the bus we used to get down there wasn't running, and we had to walk a long distance to find another one. Then we weren't sure where to get off. We were just hoping not to run into any shady characters when-- whattaya know-- the pimpenest pimp in all of California climbs aboard, exchanges some elaborate handshake with the driver, then sits across from us and continues a cell phone conversation in which he is informed that his buddy got shot that day. When Tim and I started getting closer to where we wanted to get off, I guess we looked lost. The guy put his phone call on hold to help us. He was really nice. Maybe the nicest pimp in the USA. Pimptacular. In fact, next time I see a black guy in an all-suede suite with a shiny yellow tie, slicked back hair, gold-rimmed sunglasses (at night), and a mouth full of gold teeth, I'll ask him for directions.

This post is getting really lengthy, and I know most of you don't have the attention span to stick with me. Hell, I probably lost 3/4 of you somewhere between "Sacred Ground" and "Even the Pimps are Nice," so I'm gonna break this up into two parts. Tomorrow I will tell you about the Golden Gate Near Death Experience, the Tour de Ghetto, the Sixty Dollar Meatloaf and the Fifty Dollar Hamburger, Gay Pride Weekend, Damn Yankees on the Tour Bus, and much, much more. There's even a gay wedding involved, so come back.

Friday, June 27, 2008 

San Francisco Update

Today is Day 3 1/2 in San Francisco, and I have lots of things to blog about when we get home next Tuesday. For now, here are a couple of Alcatraz pics to wet your appetite. It's gonna take me a day or two to get the other pics uploaded.




Monday, June 23, 2008 

What I get for being impatient

So this morning at 7:30 I woke up needing to pee, and asked Tim if he'd set any alarms. We're supposed to drive up to my mom's tonight so we can catch our plane in Memphis tomorrow morning. He said he hadn't set an alarm, so I set one, and we ended up finally crawling out of bed at 10:00. Lots of good the alarm did.

So two hours later, Tim sets off to run some last minute errands: to the bank, to Wal Mart, and to fill up the gas tank in the car. All total, these errands should have taken less than one hour. Far less. Wal Mart is one mile up the road, the bank is less than a mile past that, and there are fifty gas stations in between the two. Allowing for dealing with slow people, it should've been a 45 minute trip.

I did what I could do while he was gone. Printed the AAA cards, rechecked the flight info, recounted my underwear and socks in the suitcase, double checked that the toothbrushes were packed, put the cats out, got all the dishes washed, etc.

The biggest task was to get the dogs loaded up and dropped off at the vet. This is a two person job, but after Tim had been gone for an hour and a half I started thinking I should just get it done myself so we wouldn't have to deal with it once he got back. That way, I reasoned, we could leave at a semi-reasonable time, like maybe 2:00, which was our original goal.

So I grabbed the bigger of the two dog crates, loaded it into the back of the truck, backed the truck out onto the yard, near where the black ness monsters were lazing in the shade, and started the long, arduous task of loading their punk asses into the crate.

Bear didn't want to go in at first, and I had to coax him up to the tailgate. He finally put his front paws onto the tailgate, and I lifted the back half of his massive dog bod and crammed him into the crate. Next was Daisy, which wasn't as hard to deal with once Bear was in.

Unloading them at the vet was a different story. It was very difficult to get one dog out at a time, but that's what I had to do. When I opened the door, Daisy's head was closest to me, so I slipped the leash around her neck and tried to pull just Daisy out. Bear, with all his 81 pounds of dog might, insisted that he was coming out too. I was pulling Daisy out with my right arm, and holding Bear back with my left arm, and I don't really know what happened exactly, but I was suddenly floored by the sharpest pain I've ever felt. It shot through my lower abdomen and took my breath away.

Thankfully, a vet tech was walking up right then, so she grabbed Bear just as I lost the will to fight him anymore. Thinking it was just those ligament pains I'm always hearing about, I thought it would go away. We took Daisy inside, which wasn't hard, and I returned for Bear. I got him out, but when we got inside the vet's office, he started freaking out. I basically had to wrestle him all the way back to the kennel. He didn't stop pulling against me until he saw Daisy. I was so glad to get rid of them when I did. The whole process of loading and unloading them only took about half an hour, but it was difficult.

As I was walking out of the vet's office, I realized that the pain was worse. Every step I took felt like someone punching me in the lower part of my stomach. It was hard getting into and out of the truck. Once I got home, sitting down for a while didn't help one bit, and I started getting worried. What if I jacked up my baby or his living space? Ligament pain isn't supposed to be a constant thing.

I called the doc, told them what happened, and they told me to come in and get checked. That process took more than two hours, and when I finally got home I had a prescription for pain medicine, which Tim is gone to have filled right now.

So to save half an hour, I blew at least 3. And I screwed my body up nicely enough that I will probably be able to feel it for most of our vacation. The doctor examined me and said everything looks okay-- they heard the heartbeat-- and that I had just pulled too many of the ligaments too hard at one time and they were stretched too far. He said it would hurt to walk for a while.

And you know, that's just fine, because it's not like I was planning on going on vacation or anything. Yeah. I'm sure this trip will involve zero walking, right? I'm moving like an old lady right now, because every movement of my legs is painful.

This sucks.

Tim's back with my dope. I'm off to see Alcatraz. Maybe they can let me take a load off in one of the cells if I get tired.

Sunday, June 22, 2008 

My son, the tapeworm

I'm not sure I'm pregnant. Perhaps I just have a giant tapeworm. Let me tell you why.

I'm FREAKING HUNGRY! ALWAYS! Without exception, I am always hungry! It's ridiculous.

This morning, Tim stood at the foot of the bed and wiggled my foot with his hand-- I love that, for some reason-- and said, "Bayyyybeeeee. Would you make me some breffist while I get ready for work?" He doesn't allllways have to ask for breakfast (or breffist) because sometimes I wake up earlier than him and am just in the mood. And sometimes he doesn't get breakfast at all, because I sleep through breffist making time. As a teacher, I have the right to sleep to ungodly hours during the months of June and July, right? Damn right. This morning I was perfectly content to sleep, but I got up anyway because I knew we were out of cereal, so his other options were limited, and I can't send my man off to a twelve hour shift on an empty stomach.

Anyway, digressions aside, once I got up and started the coffee maker (which is going to burn my house down any day now, by the way) I realized that I was starving, so I was glad I'd gotten up to cook for the man. Usually I am not hungry for the first hour of the day. Don't ask me why; I just don't get hungry until I've been up a while. Even if I am kind of hungry, I don't like to eat until I've been showered and what not. It's just one of my weirdnesses.

So I fried some bacon, scrambled some eggs, and sliced a tomato-- a tomato that came from Florida and hopefully will not kill Tim. It's not gonna kill me because I still haven't gotten brave enough to eat tomatoes. I scarfed down my two fried eggs-- over easy with runny yolk-- with a dab of strawberry preserves and three slices of bacon while Tim made a bacon/egg/cheese/tomato sandwich out of his scrambled eggs. I washed it down with two cups of half-caff Community dark roast. Yum.

I was satisfied, and came to my campout spot in the living room to play on the internet (which is what I do 10 hours a day now) while Tim finished getting ready for work. He left about 30 minutes later. An hour after that, I was hungry again.

For a while, I fought the urge to eat something else. I held it at bay for another hour or so by drinking a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper, but it won out, and I ate two slices of leftover pizza.

Fast forward another hour. I'm hungry again. Really hungry. Hungry enough that my stomach was growling, so it's not like it was just a mental thing. So I fought it off a while longer, then got up and ate two handfuls of grapes. No deal. The hunger persisted.

Throwing grapes at the fury in my stomach was like throwing rocks at King Kong, so I decided to break out the big guns. I went to the pantry and got a can of tamales, a can of corn, and a can of green beans. I ate almost all the tamales with a slice of melted cheese, plus two giant servings of the beans and corn.

I was satisfied.

Fast forward another hour. That brings us to now. Guess what? I'm hungry. Fuck it--I'm going to Sonic!

This kid better be sucking up all these calories, or I'm going to be fat for the rest of my life. Real fat.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 

Sannnnn Franciscooooo

Okay I'm trying to pump myself up for next week's trip. Here goes. A list of things I want to do in San Francisco:

1. See Alcatraz. (We're taking a super creepy tour of the whole place AT NIGHT. Thursday night, in fact.)

2. Go to City Lights bookstore.

3. Go to Fisherman's Wharf. Eat sourdough bread there, maybe some seafood. Maybe take a sailboat ride for $25. See the sea lions. Avoid pickpockets and scam artists.

4. Find cool shops and buy cool stuff in them.

5. Ride the trolley cable car things.

6. Go to Chinatown.

7. Avoid mimes and gay pride festivals.

8. Golden. Gate. Bridge. Who knows-- I might even feel up to walking across it. It's only 2 miles. Less, really. (1.7 I think.) But considering the fact that I got a cramp in my ass walking across the yard the other day, I might need to stick to the public transportation.

There's more to do, I know. I had a longer list, but it's been a while since I've thought about it. Plus it's late. And I have baby brain.

Friday, June 20, 2008 

The in-grown toenail digging Asian woman, and the pros and cons of free airline tickets

I am tired, people. I have had a long day of doing nothing.

First, I slept until 11:00. Even that was somewhat stressful, since I had nightmares all night long. I dreamt that Tim and I had a huge fight and split up. Then, after leaving the house with my packed bags, I was kidnapped and put on some sort of train. After bailing off the moving train, I had a miscarriage. Then I ate some pancakes. Sweet dreams, huh?

Once I woke up I cleaned up a little, but not much. By cleaned up a little, I mean I threw in a load of laundry and started a load of dishes. I will fold the laundry and maybe put the dishes up at some point tonight. While they were cleaning, I went across town in search of pancakes. My mouth has been watering for pancakes for about three weeks now, and last night's pancake dream put me over the edge. So I ate a late breakfast at IHOP.

Then I went in search a floor mat to put in front of my kitchen sink, but I couldn't find one that didn't cost $40. I'm not paying $40 for that.

So I looked at baby stuff at Target for a while, but couldn't find anything I wanted to buy. I thought finding out that it was a boy would send me into ultra intense shopping mode, but I still don't know what to buy. I would love to find one cool thing that was designed exclusively for a boy. (Alas, I have already stocked up on blue onesies.)

Then I decided to go get my hair cut, but couldn't find any place that didn't have a long wait. I had no appointment, you see.

So I decided to get a pedicure. I have only had one in my life, and that was the day before my wedding. I didn't particularly care for the feeling of having the actual pedicuring done, but I loved the way my feet looked and felt once it was done. Since I'm going to be walking around San Francisco next week, possibly in sandals, I thought I should do it again. I went to the same nail shop where I had a manicure done back some months ago.

When I opened the door, I realized that the non-English speaking Vietnamese people who had been running the place were gone. It has been taken over by uppity white people. No can do! I turned around and walked out. Only non-English speaking Asians touch these feet. I need to feel distanced from the person who scrapes off my toe jam.

So I drove until I found a run-down looking nail shop, and went inside. Asians. SCORE. And their price was $10 cheaper than the uppity white people. The girl did speak English, but she was super nice, and she said that her favorite thing to do is to dig out in-grown toenails. She went on and on about how much she enjoyed it.

Anyway, my feet look fantastic and feel great, and I'm not afraid to wear sandals or flip-flops now.

We leave for Nesbit Monday morning. We're flying out of Memphis Tuesday morning. My grandfather retired from American Airlines many years ago, but we still get his retiree benefits, one of which is free tickets. The thing is that they're standby tickets, so it's important to fly out of airports that have a lot of flights. That way if you get bumped from one, you can get on another, hopefully. There weren't as many flights leaving from Jackson, MS as there were in Memphis. I guess this proves that we are so repulsed by the thought of going into New Orleans that we will literally drive 4 hours longer to avoid it. We're still probably going to get stuck in Dallas, but that's just part of flying standby. I've spent many hours sitting in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport waiting for a flight. It hasn't killed me yet, but it did come close one time, thanks to my wise old gramma's decision to take two small children from Sacramento to Memphis via DFW on standby tickets WITH NO CASH FOR FOOD. We were there for over 24 hours without eating. Crazy woman.

I'm stuffing my purse with Nabs this time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 

Here it is...

Finally I'm here with the critical info, and now I haven't got nearly as much to say about it as I imagined I would. Tragic.

I'll just stick with the facts.

Everything looked good on the ultrasound, and the baby was waving and kicking while the technician looked at all the different parts. I couldn't feel any of it, but I could see the little legs going back and forth. We saw the kidneys, the heart, the brain, the heart again, the legs, the arms, the feet, etc. etc. etc. Finally, the technician asked if we wanted to know the sex, and when I said yes, she moved the wand a little bit, punched something in on the keyboard, and suddenly the screen was covered with the unmistakable sight of a tiny, floating...


I said, "Oh my God, it's a boy! Isn't it?" She said, "Yes, it's a boy!" There was no mistaking it. Check it out--



The picture on the screen and the picture they printed out for me is a little better than what it looks like once it's been scanned.

Here are some more--



Everything looked fine. He weighs 12 ounces. Now we can start shopping and zero in on some boy names.


The Verdict

I now officially know what I'm having. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until this afternoon. I have professional development today, and I'm on my lunchbreak, so I don't have time to upload the pictures and tell you the whole story. It wouldn't be any fun for me if I just gave you the verdict.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008 

What the hell is wrong with people?

Is it smart to take tiny little babies out in public when they're tiny?

I don't know if I'm noticing this more because I'm pregnant, or what, but it seems like everywhere I turn there's someone with a teeny tiny baby. I was in the mall yesterday, and I saw a young woman walking around with a baby that couldn't have been more than two or three weeks old. My cousin's crazy ass wife (super crazy, y'all) has a baby who is about 5 weeks old right now, and she's been taking her out in public since she was less than a week old. It may not be a coincidence that the kid has had an upper respiratory infection and already had to go to the hospital for that.

Tonight I was reading on an internet forum that I've been frequenting. It's made up of women who are due in October. There's a thread there right now where they are discussing what to dress their (as yet unborn) babies up as for Halloween. These bitches are due in October, okay? So these babies they're already planning to dress up and parade around town will only be a few days to a few weeks old when they do this, yet no one seems to be thinking twice about it. They're too busy buying shit on Ebay.

Seems stupid. Is it just me?

Monday, June 16, 2008 

Ten fingers, ten toes, and a penis, please.

The big doctor's appointment is Wednesday. I'm getting nervous. What if they see something wrong? What if they can't see the junk and we can't find out if it's a boy or a girl? What if they see something wrong? What if something's wrong?

Sometimes I can feel it kicking. If my bladder's full, it's like suddenly having to pee rreeeeeeeeally bad, then suddenly not having to pee two seconds later. If my bladder's not full, it sometimes feels like gas. Isn't that sweet? My baby mimics disgusting bodily functions.

I just hope he/she has a heart and kidneys and a brain and a liver and lungs, and they all work. Ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a penis, or at least a vag. And maybe a few other things I can't think of. Like bones and veins. And a soul.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 

Jubilee Damn

It stormed the entire way to Jackson Friday night, but we forged onward anyway. We lucked up and it stopped raining just as we got to town. We also found a parking space really easily, and it was only a block from the front gate of the festival. We didn't even have to walk through the hood, and I was wrong about the 666 Mafia show being that night-- it was the following night, so the gangsters weren't there.

I did get molested at the front gate. A guy searched Tim, and I asked if we had to pay extra for that. That's when he told me I'd be searched by a woman inside the gate. As we walked up, a little redhead came towards me and said something that I thought was "I have to search your underarms." I stopped walking and held my arms up. She grabbed my boobs and then pinched her way around the underwire of my bra. So I guess she had said, "I have to search your underwire." Oh. Well then. She could've kissed me first. Tim couldn't believe how thorougly I was felt up, and he said when he saw that chick's hands go for my tits he thought I was going to throw a fit.

I may have to make a new rule about going to events that require me to be molested at the front gate.

Once inside, we saw the North Mississippi Allstars were on stage, so we made our way there. It wasn't bad; there wasn't a huge crowd, and none of the drunks were being really stupid. Then someone started smoking cloves. I used to smoke a pack and a half a day of Marlboro Lights, so I'm not overly sensitive to secondhand smoke, but the smell of cloves has always been like a noose around my throat. The same goes for pipe tobacco, but it's worse with cloves. After a few minutes of not being able to breathe, I moved away from the crowd and got something to eat.

Later, we went to another stage where ZZ Top was playing. that crowd was infinitely worse than the North MS Allstars crowd. There were lots of rednecks, as you'd expect, but we somehow ended up being surrounded by a bunch of extremely drunk, chain smoking 22 year olds. The drunk little bitch in front of me nearly put my eyeball out with her cigarette half a dozen times. I didn't stay in that crowd long at all because I couldn't breathe. Tim and I agreed to meet in front of the Governor's mansion when it was over, and I spent the next hour sitting on the sidewalk next to the BancorpSouth. Tim didn't even make it through the whole concert for some reason, and we headed back to Hattiesburg less than two hours after we had arrived. And it only cost us $60 and a little bit of dignity at the front gate.

Good times.

Friday, June 13, 2008 

This show sucks


Don't make fun of my 15 year old Wal Mart "entertainment center." I think it was first used in Tim's dorm room.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 

Babies are expensive... when parents are stupid.

The last couple of days have been uneventful. I haven't even heard a peep out of the birds, which seems strange. Could they have flown the nest already?? I wonder how long they were in there before they got loud enough for us to hear them.

Yesterday I pulled some weeds out of the flower beds, cleaned up a little, and made a kickass homemade pizza.


It was deeeeelicous.

Today it rained and I took a two hour nap. Before that, I bought one of those detachable shower head things with the hose. I've been wanting one so cleaning the tub would be easier, and I finally bought one because I figure it'll be necessary for bathing a young'un.

We should find out next Wednesday whether it's a boy or a girl, so I can start working on the nursery then. The main things I need are a crib and a rocker, so I went to the other end of town today to see if I could find a cheap rocker/recliner. A regular rocker probably won't do much rockin' on our thick ass carpet, and I think one of those cushy recliners will be more comfortable anyway. I stopped in three different places. The cheapest price I saw was $250.

Why does every furniture store try to sell recliners in pairs? All three places had "two for one" sales. One place didn't even have the price of a single chair listed-- the prices listed were for two. I asked the sales woman if one chair's price would be half of the price listed, and she said yes. So how is that a two-for-one sale?? You get two chairs for the price of...uh...two chairs. But you only pay one price. Which is for two chairs. Whatever.

The first place I stopped was a cutesy boutique type place. Those mothersuckers wanted $600 for the same damn thing that was $350 four miles down the road. How do those places stay in business? I mean, someone must be paying $600 for $350 chairs, right?? Maybe I need to open a cutesy boutique place in a rich neighborhood where people have so much money they prefer to pay double price for things, just for the hell of it.

Crib prices were equally ridiculous in this place. Who has $800 for a wooden box for the kid to sleep in? C'mon. I think I'm getting the $120 crib at Wal Mart, but maybe not if it was made in China, which it probably was. I've done some research on mattresses, so I'm just now looking for one of those. It's probably more important than the box it sets in.

There are a few big things to do and a lot of little things to do before the end of summer. In August I'll be back at work, and I won't have the time or energy to deal with moving furniture around or putting crap together or whatever else may need to be done. I'll be glad to find out what it is next week.

Five days to go. Until then, I'm gonna sit on the couch and watch tv.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 

Feathered Invaders

There's a nest of birds in our chimney, sorta. The original fireplace was filled with this furnace thing you see in the picture (below), but there is a space between the outer wall of the furnace and the brick wall of the original fireplace. (We realized this during Hurricane Katrina when water came in through the chimney and built up in the cavity then flooded the living room.) Anyway, the birds' nest is in the space between the furnace and the fireplace, and they chirp all day long.

When we first noticed the sound of flapping wings, we thought there was a bird trapped in the furnace itself. I called both cats into the living room, shut all the doors to the bedrooms and other rooms, and opened the furnace door, expecting a trapped bird to fly out. I eased the door open, and when it creaked both cats took off running like a couple of damn chickens. Not seeing anything in the furnace, I leaned over carefully to look deeper inside. Tim said, "What if it's a bat!?" The thought of being smacked in the face by a disease carrying bat sent chills up my spine and I slammed the furnace door. Thank goodness I have a big, strong man around to handle the creepy things, right??

Later, I checked again. No birds. Then the chirping started and we realized it was a whole nest, and that it's between the furnace and the original wall of the fireplace. At first, I didn't think it would be a big deal. Birds' nest in the chimney. So what. It happens. Tim was sure it was going to be a pain, but you could barely hear them, and I thought it was kinda sweet.

Then they grew, and got louder.

Over the last two days I have spent lots of time sitting right here on the couch in the living room. I'm about 10 feet from the furnace. I go literally days at a time without even setting foot in this room during the school year, but I'm sorta camped out here right now, so I get to hear every sound our guests make. All day long it was chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp! The babies will chirp, then the mother will arrive, flap around in there for a while while the chirping intensifies. Then she leaves again, presumably to find more food, and the babies get quiet for a minute. Then they start again, and here she comes...the cycle continues.

Yesterday Pookie strolled into the room, jumped up onto the couch, and plopped down next to me. He didn't give a thought to the fact that there were birds chirping 8 feet from him, and he chilled out there for a while. Then all of a sudden he jumps up, crouches down, and stalks his way over to the furnace, where he spent the next 6 hours pacing back and forth and clawing at the wall, trying to figure out how to get to the birds.

I got some cute video of it, but I can't get it to upload. Here's a pic of Pookie on guard duty. He's permanently camped out in front of the fireplace now. The birds' nest is located on the right side of the furnace, right behind Pookie.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008 

Hot Weather, Guns and Religion, and Pick up Trucks

Every year, I get great enjoyment out of watching the entire country freak out over the heat during this time of year. It's as if the beginning of summer catches everyone off guard every single year. "It's June, it's hot, WHO SAW THAT COMING!?" The best part is watching shows like Good Morning America, where they're standing in New York bitching about the heat. SHUT UP! You're at the top of the country! Yes, I know it does get hot up there in the summer, but they're the LAST ones to get it. They should be the last ones to bitch about it.

Ever been to Texas? THAT is heat. It wasn't even humid-- it just felt like the sun was four feet from the top of your head. It's preferable to being in a really humid place where you can't breathe, but still the only time in my life I've wondered if the sun would set my hair on fire. So shut up, New York. You ain't got it that bad.

I heard on the news this morning that Mississippians spend a higher percentage of their income on fuel than most other states because there's zero public transportation and they drive such long distances between work and home-- or work and everywhere. I'm sure the same is true in other rural areas. I'm glad I only live 9 miles from work. When I lived in Yazoo Shitty, I was driving 42 miles each way to work, and knew a lot of people who had even farther to go. It was about 15 miles from my cabin to the nearest grocery store. Oh, and this is compounded by the fact that almost everyone drives a truck, and trucks don't exactly get great fuel economy. The man always has a way to keep the working guy on his butt. Sure, there are probably more things people can do, like not driving those trucks to work, but I don't want to live in a world where Mississippians are known for their tiny cars. As NObama recently pointed out, we have so little to cling to. Don't take our trucks.

I managed to get out of bed before noon today, thanks to Tim. He's working an extra shift at some other pharmacy, and had to get up at 6:30. The sound of his voice begging me to get up and fix his lunch was hard on my sleepy ears this morning, but I'm glad I got up. Just think of all the tv shows I can watch work I can get done around the house.

Saturday, June 07, 2008 

Shoo fly!

The real reason I came to Nesbit was because there was a cookout/birthday celebration for my uncle today. I don't know how old he is, but he's the oldest of the 9 siblings in my mom's family, and he was recently diagnosed with cancer. But then the doctors decided to take it back and say it wasn't cancer, so now we don't know what he has. Can you imagine? "You have cancer. Oh no, wait, it's not cancer. But maybe it is. But it's not. Probably." If you're healthy when they tell you that, you'll no doubt develop high blood pressure and have a freaking stroke trying to deal with the stress.

Anyway, I was looking forward to the cookout for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it would give me the best excuse ever to eat a hot dog, and because I've had a hankerin' for charcoal grilled food for a while. Our old grill finally rusted to nothing, and someone gave us another one that we haven't tried yet. Tim won't fire it up for me because "charcoal is a pain in the ass." He's been shopping for gas grills for a while now, and after more than a year of shopping, may have found one he can commit to. That's nice, but it's the charcoal I crave.

Another reason I was looking forward to the cookout was because it would mean a gathering of all my redneck family members. I'm talking about the real rednecks. Yes, there is an entire set of teeth in the group........unlesssss by "the group" you mean Uncle W. or Aunt T. Or Aunt L. Or Uncle R. Or that skank Cousin C's brought to the last few gatherings. They're all good people, though. Well, maybe except for the skank. I'm not sure about her.

Some unwanted guests crashed the party. There were about forty million flies. It started out with about two hundred, but the longer the food was out, the more flies showed up. And Aunt T. was patrolling the food area with a fly swatter, whacking them left and right, as if she was actually going to finally kill the last one and we'd be fly-free for the rest of the day. She'd squish one next to the potato salad, then scoop it up on the fly swatter and sling it somewhere, then make her way to the deviled eggs. UCK! Someone please tell me how having fly guts everywhere is more sanitary than just having flies everywhere. Hell, I can swat a fly away from my plate if need be. But I'd rather not sit down to eat knowing that virtually every square inch of the table has come into contact with the gutty end of Aunt T's fly swatter at some point. That really took away my appetite. I hate fly swatters. Have you ever walked into someone's house and seen a fly swatter lying on the dining room table? That's the worst. There is one place for a fly swatter, if you ask me, and that is at the fly swatter store.

Nobody in our family really drinks and we don't have alcohol at family gatherings, so everyone is pretty well behaved for a bunch of rednecks. We even pray before we eat, and we're nice to each other. Well, Aunt T did tell Little Cousin L that she looked like a street whore when she showed up to a similar event last year wearing way too much eye makeup for a 14 year old. But brutal, tactless honesty is part of Aunt T's charm. I was mortified the first time I brought a guy to a family gathering when I was 18 or 19 years old, and Aunt T spotted us in the doorway and shouted, "Look what Ann brung, y'all!" but these days I absolutely love watching her do the same thing to the younger cousins. The same younger cousins who think nobody knows the score when four or five of them slink off to the end of the yard and slip around the side of the house. Uh-huh. Been there, smoked that.

The hot dog wasn't everything I'd hoped for, and I ran out of energy and developed a killer headache shortly after everyone finished eating. I suffered silently for 45 minutes or so, not wanting to make my mom leave early. But as soon as a few people started to leave, I told her I wanted to go home, and everyone agreed that I should probably get back to the house and get some rest. We were outta there ten minutes later. That's one cool thing about being pregnant-- your whining isn't perceived as whining. And you don't have to carry the heavy stuff back to the car!

I'm going back home at some point tomorrow.



I had to link to this blog post by Andraste because I so wholeheartedly agree with it.

The kids is spoilt.

Read it.

Friday, June 06, 2008 


The most ridiculous dog on the planet:



He's so small it's..well..ridiculous. These photos don't do his tiny stature justice, but he wouldn't stop moving long enough for me to get one that did.

Here he is, attacking a flower:


You may have noticed the new pic that adorns the top right corner of the blog. Whoever my mother bought the chickens from threw in a handful of these weird, pompadour-sporting chicks. I named them Elvis. All of them. Can you think of a better name??


Can you spot Elvis?


Thursday, June 05, 2008 

Back to the Basement

Tonight I arrived in the great town of Nesbit, MS just after 10:00. I had to make more stops than normal during my trip up from Hattiesburg, what with there being a 6-inch-long baby jumping up and down on my bladder like it's one of those bouncy air tent things. I also stopped to get food in Grenada-- or maybe it was Winona. Yeah, it was Winona. I wanted to make it to Grenada, but felt a bathroom break coming on and couldn't make it the extra 20 miles, so I went to the McDonald's in Winona. Since I hadn't had anything to eat, I thought I would have one of their delicious "southern chicken sandwiches." I had one the day I went to the hospital, and they are pretty good. It's a direct rip-off of the Chic-Fil-A sandwich. The menu said that the meal was $5.49, but the girl told me my total was $6.69. I asked her why it was $1.20 higher, and she said they had charged me extra because I requested lettuce on my sandwich. Extra. For lettuce? I told her nevermind, and just left. Maybe they could get by with charging a quarter for lettuce if they must, but they must've been charging a dollar for it. That's some fuctup repugnant bullsh*t right there!

You may recall that the entire point of coming up here tonight instead of tomorrow night was because my dad was planning to go fishing in the morning, and I wanted to join him. Well, he's not going. It's supposed to be windy, so he agreed to chair some kind of b.s. safety meeting at his work. I don't know when he decided this, but nobody told me until I was up here. It was Tim's day off today. I could've stayed home with him. Instead I ventured out into the world-- a treacherous world filled with sassy teenagers trying to overcharge me for lettuce.

Not much changes up here. My mom has the most ridiculous dog on the face of the planet, as usual. The previous most-ridiculous-dog-on-the-planet was mauled to death by the neighbors' giant four legged beasts of death. Something told me to bring my camera with me, but I left it on the dining room table. I will have to somehow get a picture of the most ridiculous dog on the planet, so that you can behold the ridiculousness. It looks like a hamster. I'm just waiting to trip over the little plastic ball that it rolls around the house in.

There are also a bunch of baby chickens. Fifty of them, to be exact. Mom's most recent attempts to hatch chicks in the incubator haven't been successful, and the co-op near here doesn't carry many chickens these days, so she mail orders them now. They are huddled together under a light bulb in a big wire cage in the basement where this blog was first hatched. They're so cute. That's something I miss from childhood-- baby chickens. So furry. So sweet. So good with dumplins.

Just kidding. Sorta.

Being up here has me feeling all nostalgic. I'm sure it'll wear off when my mom gets pissed at me for not washing the dishes, or for leaving my socks in the floor, or when she starts giving me advice and every sentence begins with the words, "You need to..." That's always my cue to start packing.

Did I tell you I'm attempting to grow tomato plants? They're getting big. I'll post some pics when I get back home.



This afternoon I'm driving to Hernando to spend the weekend with my folks. The original plan was to go tomorrow afternoon, but my dad wants to go fishing early in the morning and I decided to go with him.

Tim's about to have a hissy fit. Who's gonna take care of him while I'm gone? I used to make these trips a lot more frequently, and he never cared. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or concerned.

Monday, June 02, 2008 

Cleaning my house, covering my ass, and taunting the unborn.

When school ended, I noticed that our house was dirty. Not cluttered dishes, piled up laundry, cluttered countertops dirty, but really dirty. Dust on the walls, dust on the ceiling fans, floors haven't been mopped in three weeks, when's the last time I picked up a bottle of glass cleaner dirty. Every day since the first day I noticed it, I've gotten angrier and angrier at the dirt. (Those of you who know me in real life or have been reading here a while know that the only thing in life that motivates me is anger.)

I've made a few feeble attempts to get a major cleaning underway, but each attempt ended when my energy petered out sometime shortly after lunch. Today I felt better though, and I declared that I would clean all day no matter what, and that is exactly what I did.

Well, I did take one hour-long break. Someone from the school called, and I heard the words every teacher dreads to hear over the phone during the summer months. "Hi, I'm sorry to bother you, but we've got a parent up here..."

My chest tightened. My jaw clenched. A parent up there who what? What? Wants to know how her kid failed even though she didn't do any work? Hasn't darkened the doorway or lit up a phone line at the school until this moment, but now demands that every grade her child earned last year be laid out in front of her?

"...who says her child turned in her English book, but we've got her on the list for a fine. We just wanted to check with you and make sure she owes it because the parent is pretty adamant that it was turned in."

(Like the parent would know. She may have sent it out the door with the kid, but could never know whether it made it to my hands.)

Anyway, my first instinct was to tell her that if the kid was on the list, the book was not turned in. I had a very systematic way of handling book returns this year because I knew someone who didn't turn one in would claim they did. But that's not what I did. Instead, I checked around here for my book list even though I knew it was at work in my closet, then I drove up there and dug it out.

It turned out that the kid had turned in the book, and I had documented it when she did it. She somehow still ended up on the fine list. When I looked at the sheet, I could see exactly how I made the mistake, but who cares, right? I was just glad not to have to argue about it, and that I could go back home without being called a fat white cracker.

In other news, I think I felt the baby move a few times today. The first time was when I drank a giant glass of orange juice and laid down and poked my stomach, saying, "Bring it, chicken! Kick me! C'mon!" I felt one little thud. Then later, after I'd been on the lawn mower for a couple of hours, I felt it again. This time it was in almost the same place as before, but it was two bigger thuds, one right after the other. I really don't think it's gas because it's in the very front of my stomach, a few inches under my belly button. And I haven't had any black bean stoup in almost a week.

While I laid there today taunting the baby and begging him/her to kick me, I couldn't help but think of how stupid I would feel when I think about it four months from now, when the kid is kicking my ass from the inside 24/7.

Sunday, June 01, 2008 

Worst. Commercial. Ever.


I'm on empty

I got nothin' as far as blogging material right now, so I'm just gonna point you towards some stories, some of which are funny, some of which are cheesetastic.

Here's one.

I was a teacher in a tutoring center and at the end of every session, we would ask the students quiz questions for extra tokens. I asked, "What are the three primary colors?". One of my students said, " I know- black, white, and Mexican!!" I laughed so hard, I gave him 2 tokens.Chrystal Hunt, North Port, FL

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