Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Speak Into My Good Ear

Sometimes, an eavesdropping opportunity comes along that you couldn't have designed better if you'd tried. When I went to catch my bus today, it was drizzling, so I ducked into the bus stop shelter. Just outside, on a bench, was an arguing couple. Not so shockingly, they had some serious issues. But miracle of miracles, they weren't shy about expressing their opinions. What I overheard was this . . .

Woman:  "I'm in school, I got my own shit. I'm doin' just fine. I take care of myself, I pay my own motherfucking bills!"

Man:  "But I still want you."

Woman:  "Why?!"

Man:  "Cuz I LOVE you!"

Woman:  "At least you ain't gotta deal with my mama no more. All that fussin'."

Man:  "Can't you just listen to me?  Just listen.  I seen you out on Nicollet with a nigga who looked like he wanted to find another nigga to pay you!  You puttin' it all out there, and you 53 years old!"

Woman:  "An you LOUD!  You ain't think everybody just heard that?!"

Cut to me, trying so hard to look disinterested and itching for a notebook so badly that my hands were shaking. Because yes, you ARE loud, and everybody DID hear that, and now even more people can enjoy it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dear Diary: Love Hurts

What a day! Not sure if the grounding was related to the piano. Also not sure why I was allowed to see a movie when I was grounded. Pretty sure Evan getting maimed had nothing to do with me.

Again, don't think the two are related. Evidently my relationship with Evan changed drastically the day after the head injury. And now a tooth! This boy seems to be falling apart.

We're together now, just in case you forgot. Perhaps I needed to remind myself that I was taken ...

... because five days later I'm cheating on him like crazy. What a slut!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This spring, I had the great misfortune to see a mother duck lead her ten chicks across a parking lot and into a picturesque little pond not far from my apartment.

I say misfortune because, as I watched their tiny, fuzzy bodies plunk one by one into the water, I knew I would have to closely monitor this family all summer long. They had adopted me, and they didn't even realize it.

So every week I would pause briefly on a bench after work and watch them paddle around, cheep-cheeping and sticking their little butts in the air as they dove and splashed. And I would conduct a head count, just to make sure there were still ten, none of them having been nabbed by a predator or squashed by a passing car.

When I mentioned this compulsion to keep tabs on the ducks to one of my coworkers, he demanded to know why these animals were so irresistible. But you can't really explain that level of cuteness. So he posed a Sophie's choice question purely out of deviousness.  "Okay then, would you rather lose one of the ducklings, or have a baby fox starve to death?"

After some horrified thought, I finally had to admit, "Well, I guess ten is kind of an embarrassment of riches."

I felt a bit guilty about that answer. Until a few nights later when, driving home from this same coworker's house, I almost hit a fox that darted across the road. But I didn't. I spared him. So I believe I earned the right to keep my fine-feathered family intact.

They're so grown up now that I can't tell which are my original ducklings and which are just your run-of-the-mill Mallards. But sometimes I wonder if they recognize me, ever watchful. #11.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dear Diary: Checkers

Item one: I referred to markers as "neat" and went ga-ga over high-tops. Nerd alert!
Item two: Where the hell did we find a Chinese restaurant in 1985 South Dakota?

Item three: I referred to movies as "movie films" for no discernible reason.
Item four: Jesus, Dad! Give me a break. I've only been playing checkers for two days!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Monster II

So I guess I'll keep him around . . . but away from the lentils.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unintentionally Bootylicious

So this random dude walked by and complimented my ass while I waited at the bus stop yesterday.

"How you doin', you fine, booty (untelligible) thang?"

I'm not quite sure what the specifics were, but it was definitely something booty-related. As I've mentioned before, I'll never understand why my attractiveness demographic is:
A. Middle-aged
B. African-American
C. Typically crazy passersby/panhandlers

But that's the trend. And I'll take it where I can get it, I guess.

When I finally turned around and realized he was talking to me, I immediately started laughing.

"I'm fine," replied.

"Yeah, that's right, you sexy young woman."

And then, as I stepped on the bus, he shouted, "You just made my day!"

Ditto, sir.  Ditto.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two-Bit Problem

I feel the need to share this, because I'm pretty sure very few people have actually seen what I saw last week on the bus. Toward the end of my ride, a 47-year-old man got on. How do I know his age? Why, because he announced it, of course.

He stood in the aisle, not taking a seat (something that drives me absolutely crazy, when seats are readily available) and instead simply brushing his close-cropped head of hair over and over and over and over. I tend to be unconcerned with people attending to their personal hygiene in transit. Typically, I'm just glad they're attending to it at all. Except for the lady who applied her deodorant en route and then sprayed her perfume, which then drifted directly into my face.

But I digress.

What amazed me about this man was that, when he turned his head, I noticed that he had a quarter in his ear.

Let me just repeat that, to make sure it's clear. In the dude's ear, where you would normally see a hearing aid, let's say, was instead a 25 cent piece, jammed flat across his ear-hole and wedged between the outer edges of said ear.

I didn't know what to make of this, and I still don't. Was it an ingenious way to store his change for the bus? Is it an anti-American statement if you cover George Washington with wax? Or does it simply keep the voices at bay? I was mystified. But kind of intrigued. Because I wasn't sure that just anyone could even pull off such a feat.

For the record, I can. In case you're wondering. Naturally, I had to give it a shot in honor of my new spare change hero. But again, I'm not sure how special this makes me, because I haven't yet inspired anyone else to try it.

Perhaps you'll experiment and let me know?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Monster

As some of you may know, about 10 years ago I spent some time teaching English in Japan. It was without a doubt the weirdest, most hilarious year of my life.

Naturally, I tried to be as creative as possible with my lessons in order to engage the kids. Below is an example that I just unearthed. As I recall, I had each kid draw a monster and then pass the paper to the student behind them, who wrote details about the picture. This is one of my favorites:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Horoscope

You will attempt to read a book tonight, but the words will refuse to come into focus. Then you will reach up and remove the blindfold you forgot to untie after your latest game of Erotic Marco Polo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jacque Jose Pepkeer

The assignment may have been to write a tall tale, and it may have been around third grade. Whatever my age, I think it's pretty clear that I was on crack at the time.

I'm not sure what I like more: that a spiteful international terrorist murdered a sweet little librarian, or that her ex-NFL player son vengefully hunted down the killer on the back of a white tiger. Take your pick. It's all comedy gold.