Tractor Pull(ed over)

"My brother got his first DUI on a John Deere." - Katie, from Tennessee

I don't know what's more amusing: the fact that it was on a tractor or that it happened more than once.


Mother Nature's Revenge

I'm in Boston, riding the T on my way to Earthfest, a free concert. Several teenaged girls, each holding diet soda bottles, each disgustingly superficial, board the train and stand next to me. immediately, they complain about the heat. "It's hot." "It's so hot." "It's hot as balls." "You would know!" Overwhelming giggling ensues. Either she's promiscuous or really a man. Then they start whispering and pointing at other passengers. More laughing. "I can't believe I'm still totally sobes." "What?" "Sobes. Like sober." "Oh. Shit, yeah, I'm totally sobes, too." "That sucks." "Yeah. And it's hot." One of them drops her bottle and spills the liquid on other passengers' shoes. No one apologizes, but one girl calls her accident-prone friend a "dumb bitch" and they all giggle, oblivious to the menacing stares that they're receiving. The spill reeks of alcohol, so clearly they won't be sobe for long. "Why are they having this concert anyway?" "It's an Earthfest or something." "Oh God, does that mean there'll be environmental crap?" "It's probably Earth Day or some shit." (It's not.) "Whatever. You know I'm totally just going to leave this [bottle] on the ground when I'm done." Were she capable of irony, it might be amusing, but she had every intention of littering. Before getting off, they all agreed that this was, like, the absolute worst train ride they've been on in their life. That goes double for everyone who had to endure their presence.

After departing, I lost track of the girls (not that I tried to keep tabs), but during the festival, I sat adjacent to similar girls who were definitely not sobes. In between the Fray and James Blunt's sets, one girl started blowing chunks all over herself. With vomit in her hair and running down her legs, she had to be propped up by a friend and drifted in and out of consciousness. After some time, police officers came to escort her away, but not before she fell (into her own puke) when attempting to stand up on her own.

On my way out of the concert, I noticed another girl, equally hilariously, with barf on her shirt, being held by her friends. This gave me hope that somewhere in the sea of people, those not-so-sobe girls from the train were wading in their own puke. Hell, if they knew that everyone else was doing it, they'd probably do it intentionally.


The Doctor's Appointment

I had a doctor's appointment today. In the fall, I'll have my own health benefits and my own big person doctor. Until then, however, I'm twenty-two and still visiting a pediatrician. I'm only slightly embarrassed walking through the door, on which hangs an advertisement announcing infant ear-piercing. Lest you think that sounds irresponsible, the fine print clearly states that babies under two months will not be pierced. After checking in inside, I'm given a survey to fill out, which asks me if I drink alcohol and about my stages of puberty. When the nurse collects it, she says this quiz is meant for patients under twenty-one and apologizes that it isn't really age appropriate. I tell the nurse it's no big deal, I'm the one that's not age appropriate. Laughing, she sort of flirts with me. It doesn't go to my head, however, as I realize that she's just not used to having patients two years her junior. So I flirt back, even though she's wearing baby animal patterned scrubs... or perhaps because she's wearing baby animal patterned scrubs. I do my best to act mature, an especially difficult task for me, and I'm doing a good job until it comes time for shots. She notices me turn away and asks if I'm scared. No, I explain, I just don't like blood, so I'd rather not look. "That's okay," she tells me. "I'll look enough for the both of us."

After the appointment, I'm referred for a cholesterol test, "not that it looks like [I] need it." Given some papers, I ask what I'm supposed to do with it. "Oh, you take it to a facility and have the test done." "Now?" I ask. "Sure." I stare blankly, before finally asking, "What am I supposed to do with this again?" This time I'm given more specific instructions. "And where do I go? I'm sorry, I'm just starting to try to be a real person," I explain. The nurse smiles then gives me directions to a facility just down the road, telling me I "can't miss it." Clearly, she doesn't know my tendency to get lost; where there's a will, there's a way - a wrong way at that.

I find the address without a problem and enter the office. The waiting room has about a dozen people, none under the age of 75. I've now hit both extremities after coming from the pediatricians. I give the receptionist my forms, only to be told I was in the wrong building. Pointed to another building, I enter it but find no useful signs. Consequently, I spend nearly ten minutes searching through an abandoned building, randomly opening doors to empty rooms. After giving up the search, I'm on my way back to the car when I notice a sign on the entry door explaining that the office has moved, directing me to yet another building. I find the third building and hand the receptionist the paperwork. "Am I in the right place?" She checks it over. "Yes. Aren't you a little young for a cholesterol test?" "Yeah, and I was too old for the pediatrician that sent me here." She laughs. Hmm, maybe I am that charming with nurses. "And you've fasted for twelve hours?" "What?" "You're supposed to fast for at least twelve hours before you take the test. They didn't tell you that?" "No, they forgot to mention that, funny enough. Well, I guess I'll come back another time." Handing me back my forms, she adds, "They have you marked as a female, by the way." Looking at the papers, I see that, indeed, the female box is checked. I'll admit, I'm a bit insulted. Normally, this is the type of thing that wouldn't bother me, but the doctor filled out that form just moments after feeling my genitals.


Putting the "Era" in "Funeral"...

...Because using "Fun" would just be too cliched. And inappropriate, and you know how I like to shy away from that material.

We didn't drop my grandma, though we did come close. Perhaps we owe thanks to the phantom pallbearer. Just before the standard six of us prepared to lift the coffin, an elderly person appeared to assist, leaving us with an uneven seven bearers. My cousins mouthed, "Who is this?" but none of us knew, except perhaps the stranger emself. Later we learned ey was a former friend of my grandpa's and volunteered eir services to no one in particular at the last minute.

Many of my parents friends showed up at the funeral unannounced. Though it was an extremely nice gesture, I don't understand the notion of surprise funeral attendance. "Guess who showed up to your mother's funeral!" Granted, it's not as strange as the surprise pallbearer, but strange nevertheless. The only surprise that I would consider acceptable at a funeral is if the deceased were to jump out of the coffin and announce that it was all a joke. My grandma didn't do that, by the way, just in case that needed any clarification.

I do not like the priest that led the service. With stilted speech and a bland personality, he lacks all of the passion of Christ. He's the kind of priest you didn't have to worry about during the Catholic molestation scandal, because he lacks so much game that he couldn't even land an eight-year-old if he tried.

I wasn't raised Catholic; I've never taken Communion previously. At this funeral, I fully intended to abstain from the ceremony again, but being the first in the front row, I found myself peer pressured into receiving Communion. After walking up, the priest placed a wafer in my hand while hissing, "The body of Christ!" About to pop Jesus' bod in my mouth, I headed back toward my seat, only to be pushed in the opposite direction because apparently we're supposed to return to the pew a different way. Flustered, I still had the wafer in my palm as I turned to head in the correct direction when the priest grabbed me firmly by the wrist and said, "The Host goes in your mouth, son." This statement was no friendly reminder, but an angry cry where he might as well have screamed, "Heathen!" I quickly ate it. (In case you were wondering, Jesus tastes like cardboard and I do not plan on becoming a cannibal anytime soon.) Walking back in the correct direction, I whispered to my cousin, "I just fucked up in church." My usually foul-mouthed cousin gave me a surprised glare. Nervous, I sputtered, "I just said 'fuck' in church." Oops, that was twice.

At the reception afterward, I avoided the priest like the plague. Or perhaps a prepubescent boy. As I told my relatives that "the Father and I were not speaking," people told me that I was exaggerating the situation. Then my mom confirmed that when she went to get her wafer, he almost gave her one before taking it back and fishing back through the dish until he found a broken one to give her. Ouch! Since we were seated in the first row, he could probably tell we were not Catholic from our lacking of cross formations and memorized prayers. And you know what, I can kind of respect the maltreatment. To be a good priest, you should probably sincerely believe that all non-Catholics are going to hell. Otherwise, what's the point? Speaking of a point, I should probably wrap up this rambling with a nice conclusion. I can't figure out how to do that, though, so I'm going to ask for your forgiveness after playing the sympathy card and reminding you that my grandma died.

(Cheers to you, Rose.)


The A-Wakening

Today was my grandmother's wake. Although I'm twenty-two, I've never been to a wake previously. In the past couple of weeks, I've watched seasons three and four of Six Feet Under, which has given me a warped perception of death, and the death industry in particular. As it turns out, funeral homes are just like they're portrayed on television - and that scares me.

Repeatedly, I heard that my grandmother looked beautiful. For me, she just looked different. Where were her whiskers, anyway? She was pumped full of strange fluids to temporarily preserve her body long enough for us to peek and have conversations in her general presence.

I'll admit to being taken aback by the informal conversations that occurred around me. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was interesting to me how people, myself included, are capable of switching back and forth between mourning and pleasantries. Throughout the event, I was commonly greeted with, "Congratulations!" While this salutation is, of course, in reference to my recent graduate status, it took me several times before I accepted the greeting without wincing after initially expecting expressions of condolences.

Apparently, I'm to be a pallbearer at the funeral tomorrow. Granted, she's a tiny woman, but I'm worried as it looks to be a heavy casket. To make matters worse, my fellow bearers are my cousins, and collectively, we comprise the youngest people in attendance. We are so going to drop this coffin.


King Kong

If I could describe King Kong in just three words, they would be these: three hours long. I tried watching it on an airplane and had to fast forward through a lot of it just to reach the end before deplaning. Someone needs to pick up the pace by about an hour, Peter Jackson, Mr. Lord of the (bo)Rings. (You can tell I'm worked up when I make a stupid little joke like that and still think I'm absolutely clever.) It's King Kong, we don't need long, wistful, artistic shots interrupting the oversized monkey action. It's well over an hour before we even see Kong; Jack Black is simply not large enough to hold my interest in the meantime.

On the plus side, this movie supports my dislike of chivalry. As soon as everyone escapes from the death trap of an island with just one casualty, they should cut their losses and run. Instead, they realize the blonde woman is missing and turn around to save her - and you can guess what happens next. Chivalry might not be dead, but those who enact it are. All for some silly woman who proves she is perfectly capable of repeatedly narrowly escaping death on her own, thankyouverymuch. I agree with Naomi Watts, though: the gorilla is more attractive than Adrien Brody.

Additionally, this movie provides conclusive evidence as to why dinosaurs went extinct: apes. Giant fucking apes.

My rating: 2/5 Very Large Bananas.


Yard Sale

My town of residence held its city-wide yard sale, so of course I had to go peek through people’s crap and find some deals. Unfortunately, this type of event brings out all sorts of freaks. I realize it seems convenient to exclude myself from the freak category, especially when I have my share of freak moments, but while I’m weird, the weirdest people are those who don’t even realize they’re weird. While digging through a bin, one individual next to me loudly exclaimed, “Good Lord Almighty – Forest Gump on video cassette!” Is ey serious? I only wish I had gotten to it first! At the same station, there were several boxes of burned CDs for sale. While pirating music is one thing, attempting to make a profit from it is another. Sorting through these CDs, a clueless patron sincerely announced to the seller, “You have the best CD collection in America!” Move over, Sam Goody: Yard Sale Yani has the market cornered.

Just when I thought I could escape without further incident, a spacey individual approached me, setting eir hand on my arm. “What did you find today? Oh, it looks like you found two treasures.” I was about to correct that I only had one treasure, a board game, and that I had brought the other thing, a study guide for my teaching certification test, from home, but I was afraid that saying so might make it seem like I was interested in a conversation. Instead ey repeated, while stroking my arm, “Two nice treasures, what a good day for you.” Uncomfortable, I said nothing and briskly walked away to hide. I swear, a few more awkward encounters like these, and I just might start shopping at real people stores again.


Truer Words Have Not Been Spoken

“Incest is a Win-Fest!” – Ted


Perhaps Not My CBest

My CBest scores have arrived via email. On the reading section, I received a perfect score. In math, I earned a 90%, which is not too shabby for someone who hasn’t taken a math course since high school. Just when I’m starting to feel confident in my “general proficiency,” I notice my writing score: 41/80. As a point of clarification, a 41 is the minimum passing score. Had I done even one point worse, I would have been made to take the test again. Apparently, the state of California has deemed my writing skills just barely sufficient, which is quite a humbling experience for someone considering a career in writing. Good thing I decided to pursue teaching!

I’ve heard that a lot of strong writers have similar problems when taking this test. Since they’re grading at a ninth grade level, when the graders don’t see topic and concluding sentences in the right places, they dock you points immediately. If only I had known I needed to dumb it down to teach. For one essay topic that prompted we write about a favorite food and the feelings you have when you eat it, I reconstructed a creative non-fiction piece on fluffernutter sandwiches. My college professor must have been misguided to give it an A.

At any rate, I realize that I owe my blog readers an apology for apparently being so illegible. I’ll soon switch over to a LiveJournal account to better suit my incoherent, unpunctuated style.


No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk

In my last post, I accidentally found myself crying over spilt milk. Continuing with that theme, today, while slicing himself a piece of cheddar, Michael Michael farted.

That's right, he cut the cheese.

Tomorrow, I expect to see a literalization of a mountain being made out of a molehill.


Fulfilling an Expression

Yesterday, when I joined some friends for a Last Breakfast at a bagel shop, things turned extremely emotional as it came time for us to part ways. After a couple of minutes of bawling, undoubtedly confusing the other costumers, we decided we were too much of a spectacle and that we should step out on to the street. In my haste to gather my sandwich and bottle of chocolate milk, I spilled my beverage, and attempted to equally as quickly wipe up my mess. Because of the commotion, however, several patrons stared at me, causing additional embarrassment. You see, in that moment, I was the person crying over spilt milk.


Shown the Door

Amelia's family threw quite the happening party after graduation. Her relatives were very generous in hosting an event at their house and providing delicious food for many of our friends and friends' families. I was very grateful for their hospitality and had every intention of being extremely respectful, I swear.

It was dusk, that funny, cloudy stage between light and dark. A very tardy Joan called my cell phone and said she was at the door. Eager to greet her, while still on the phone, I sprinted from a corner of the yard to the open sliding glass backdoor. The problem, however, was that the screen door was not open and - blame it on my speed, my vision impaired by dusk, my excitement to see Joan, or even my stupidity - I ran smack into the screen door at pretty much full force. Immediately, I bounced off the material and was sent flying backwards, landing on my back.

Shocked, embarrassed, and laughing, I lay on the ground trying to regain my composure. Instantaneously, Amelia's older relatives, strangers to me, swarmed around me to see that I was okay. I had trouble balancing my laughter and apologizing while trying to alleviate the concern of these senior citizens. In the distance, I spotted my friends, many of whom witnessed the entire scene, positively cracking up. Sometimes I wish I could be on the other side of things and just enjoy these types of incidents. Though I had only had one glass of wine, I'm sure everyone thought I was a drunken idiot and not merely the perpetual idiot that I am.

Apparently, like a true klutz, I managed to tear the screen at the top, meaning my goal of leaving without any permanent damage went unfulfilled. Also, I momentarily forget I had been mid-sentence on the phone with Joan when the collision occurred. Though she heard some kind of commotion, when I stopped responding, she hung up on me. To make all of this more embarrassing and irrelevant, evidently, I had misheard Joan: she wasn't at the door, she was just leaving the door, and didn't arrive for another twenty minutes.

Happy graduation!


With Nothing Under My Robe

I graduated today.

Since the graduation ceremony was so hot, I decided to remove my pants during the commencement event. After slipping off my loafers, I discreetly unbuttoned my pants under my gown and slowly shimmied them down my legs and off of my feet, kicking them beneath my seat. Even the two fellow graduates pressed against me because of the tight seating arrangement didn't notice what I had done until later. A while later, I noticed my parents whispering. One of them mouthed, "Where are your pants?" Pssh, I'm not ashamed. When the time came, I shook the president's hand and accepted my diploma - sans pants. If you ask me, it's the only way to graduate.


A Mexican Gift

During the past few days, I've been in Mexico to celebrate senior week. I'm not going to lie it, it was a painful experience. My feet were torn up by jagged rocks and I'm still not walking without wincing yet. While in the ocean, I accidentally stepped on a large crab and it retaliated by pinching and destroying my baby toe. At least I wasn't relegated to a Mexican hospital and put on an IV like Laurie. Yeah, that's right, Mexico did a number on us. A number two, to be specific: very few of us escaped without a major case of diarrhea. Currently, I can't be motivated to eat anything, but that doesn't seem to lessen the endless supply of wet shit spewing from my butt incessantly. (I realize that sentence might have been too colorful for some of you, but y'all need some more color in your life - specifically brown.)

Anyway, I'm still thankful for the Mexico experience. Many of my friends are traveling abroad after graduation, an activity I can't partake in because I have to stay in stupid America and teach English to people who already know the language. So instead of going to London, Germany, or Japan, I'm going to consider my short trip across the border as a quality journey. Diarrhea counts as cultural immersion, right?