Thursday, November 22, 2012

Some Turkey, Some Tears and Some Senses

Today has been one of my best Thanksgivings I can recall.  I slept in next to my incredible boyfriend who then got up and made me coffee with coconut creamer.

I scooped up the cat and marveled at her fluffiness and the velvety softness of her nose.

I eventually got around to making my assigned side dishes with my favorite tunes jamming through the house.  That is, after Erik ventured out to buy me a casserole dish.  A brownie pan is not suitable for a green bean casserole.  Or so he claims.  Whatever.

We get to my parents house where children and chaos ensue.  The nephews are chasing each other through the house, my sick little niece sounds like a two year old asthmatic smoker and the baby squeals like a cherubic stuck piglet every time I grab his leg rolls. 

Jazz Hands perfected!

Don't let those baby blues fool ya.  She's currently got the voice of an 80 year old lounge singer.

"Anonymous" with possibly the happiest baby in Utah.

 Dinner is aromatic and beyond delicious.  I forget to savor it and am full well before I want to be.

After dinner come games of air hockey, pool and crokinole.  Before I can be suckered into a frustrating game of crokinole that will most likely end with me flipping the board, scattering the pieces and frightening the children, I bundle up the kids and head out to the park.

She was not stoked to be in her brothers coat and stuck in a stroller that her incompetent Aunt allowed to fold in on her. 

Inevitably, one of the children have to be scolded after deliberately throwing a ball at his sisters face.  His apology dissolves into tears streaking down his little cheeks.  I pull him in for a hug and do my best not to crush the sweet tiny life out of him.

Because of Carrie's most recent post question,

You have to give up one of your senses.  Which one will it be and why?

I've been more aware of my senses today than the usual lackadaisical assumption that they're all still intact and fully functioning.  And now I'm being asked to hypothetically part with one of them?  How do you choose something like that?

To never bury my nose into the neck of my newest nephew and inhale his clean, perfect scent?
To never hear Erik's groggy, voice in the mornings after a night of me thrashing about and him apparently dreaming of Camelot say, "You were the most restless Ginger in all the realm last night".
To never be able to feel the warmth and strength of his hugs ever again?  Or the soft squishy rolls of fat baby legs?
To never see the love in his eyes mixed with mild amusement when he looks at me after I've done or said something particularly asinine.
Which leaves what?  Taste.  As tragic as it would be to give up being able to taste the salt on his neck or the tang of my favorite margarita, I can't fathom living my life missing the other parts of it that have come to mean so much to me.

And so, on this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful to have the healthy function of all of my senses.  Which also brings me to a side note.  Which shouldn't be a side note but I don't feel like it's my post to write.  Momo is a fellow blogger who I came to follow via Brett.  Brett just got back from visiting Momo a short while ago.  A trip that Momo had also invited me to meet up on.  Never having met me, or even talked to me other than online, she was willing to welcome me into her home.  That alone endeared me to her.

Last week, Momo had a stroke.  She's still in the hospital and that's where she's spent her Thanksgiving.  Even with all she's struggling with, she's been positive, upbeat, a fighter, and grateful.  Brett wrote a beautiful tribute to her here which made me equally glad to count him as a friend all over again.

So when you find a quiet moment during your Thanksgiving, please take a minute to say a prayer for Momo, send positive thoughts and be grateful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Before Christmas? Who Cares As Long As There's Pie!

Seriously?  It's already time for the next question?  I haven't even responded to the comments from the last post yet.  Let's just get on with it, shall we?

Carrie's amazing contest is still happening and it's not too late to join in, although I really hope you don't.  Because that means the odds stay in our favor.  The few of us who were smart enough to participate.  And this weeks question is:

How do you feel about the holidays this time of the year, particularly the ever-melding of ThanksChristgivmasing that is continually being 'pushed' more and more each year?

My opinion is, I don't care.  I know this isn't the popular answer and to that, I also don't care.  As a matter of fact, I kind of appreciate the reminder that Christmas is right around the corner.  And I'll tell you why.  I'm that idiot who thinks they have all the time in the world to get their Christmas shopping done.  And then, guess what?  I'm at the mall on Christmas Eve, shouldering my way through the crowds in a panic trying to recall if a Victoria's Secret gift card is an appropriate gift for my 7 year old niece or if I could get away with re-gifting a dildo that was only used once for an online review.  I wouldn't re-gift that to my niece, of course.  That would just be absurd. 

I like Thanksgiving and I like Christmas.  Both of them represent a time of year to reflect on what we're thankful for, what we're blessed with and to appreciate the people and creatures in our lives that we adore and love.  This is what I think about when I hear Jingle Bells being played through the speakers at the mall.  I don't think about the commercialism of Christmas or the obligations or the money that I'm required to spend.  I DO think about the people in my life who will appreciate the small (very small) tokens of love I'll send them to show that they've been in my thoughts and that I care about them.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Spending it with my family who I love like nothing else in the world and who drive me crazy like nothing else in the world.  For me, Thanksgiving and Christmas are both a time to celebrate the things we hold most dear.  Family, friends, loves, our beliefs.  In my opinion the sooner we start up the band to remind us of what's important to us, the better.  How can that be a bad thing?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Some Dreams Were Always Meant to Die

This contest is seriously forcing me to post way beyond my usual slackerly comfort level.  However, about an hour ago Erik went out to measure the snow and it was at 8.5 inches and hasn't let up.  He wanted to head up to Alta to go snowboarding.  Alta is a ski resort that only allows skiers.  Which means, we lug our snowboards up the mountain ourselves and ride down.  Only to turn around and hike back up the mother huggin mountain.  I've done this with him once.  Okay, fine, twice.  And it's EXHAUSTING!  Not only am I decked out in my snowboarding boots and full on gear, I'm carrying my freaking heavy snowboard, UP A MOUNTAIN, where there is NO AIR TO BREATHE.

So I politely declined today's invitation stating I had a post to write.  For Carrie's ongoing contest for an amazingly generous prize which I'm not going to tell you because I already have once and it's too good to repeat for you lazy lazies. 

This time she had Ken from Ken-inatractor guest post for the next question.

Have you ever been on a trip or vacation that while things appeared to be going badly, something happened that changed your mind, from worst trip ever to, meh....this wasn't so bad?

And my answer is yes.  Yes I have.  End post.


Even though it wasn't an open-ended question, I have a feeling simply answering yes wouldn't count as an entry.  So let me elaborate.

I grew up in Canada.  Where there is no Disneyworld or Land.  When my parents informed the family we would be moving to Florida, they bribed us into submission by saying we would all be able to go to Disneyworld. 

For the next year before the move, I fell asleep dreaming of our new home in exotic Florida where we would be living in a hut on the beach, sleeping in hammocks strung up between two palm trees and being serenaded to sleep by the melodic cacophony of toucans and parrots. 

Tampa shanked that dream to death nearly the moment we arrived.  There were palm trees at least.  And I still had the promise of Disneyworld. 

The day finally arrived where we all piled into the family van.  All 6 of us.  Oh wait, Gram was with us.  All 7 of us.  In a van.  In Florida.  With no air conditioning.  While we drove for over an hour to Orlando.

It sucked.

But we made it.  Dad got us parked and we all stumbled our way to the shuttle that would take us to the tram that would take us to the gate where we waited in line to pay a month of my Dad's salary to get us all in to the happiest place on earth.

One by one we push through the turn-stile.  We walk through.  I look down Main St. and with heart pounding I gaze at Cinderella's castle for the first time in my life, convinced I just may die from excitement.  With eyes fixed on the glorious, majestic spires, I start to make my way down Main St. in a dazed, dream-like state. 

And then I hear it.

The wet splatter of vomit hitting cobblestone.

I whip around just in time to witness my youngest sister, doubled over, retching up another round of her breakfast.

We all shuffle back through the turn-stile, to the gate, back on the tram, that took us to the shuttle that dumped us off at the parking lot where we all piled into the stifling van for the dejected hour ride back home. 

There's no "meh, that wasn't so bad".  Because it was.  This is the end of the story.  But the prompt reminded me of this family adventure just in time for Thanksgiving dinner at the parentals.  Where my youngest sister will be.

I think I'll take her a barf bag with mickey ears.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Closest Thing to a Political Post You'll Ever See From Me

I met a friend for lunch yesterday.  By lunch I mean we had bloody mary's.  And by we I mean me.  He doesn't drink.  So I had one for him too.  Didn't want him to feel left out. 

Oddly enough, I ran into E1 there.  Remember him?  It went a little something like this:

I got up to get my second bloody mary.  In typical fashion, I was staring at my feet on my way back to our booth.  I happened to look up and noticed, sitting in the booth right next to ours, was E1.

E1: "Hi Dawn."

Me: Wide eyed deer in headlights panic stricken response of "Hi". 

I don't like to come across as overly verbose.  It tends to overwhelm people. 

I stare at him for a second.

I turn and stare at his date for an equal second. 

I turn my entire body in a stiff robotic way and continue on to my booth where I sit down and mentally chastise myself for not coming up with something witty, intelligent or at the very least, socially acceptable to say.

I felt like the bottom of my stomach had dropped out.  A few minutes later they both got up and left the bar.  Without saying goodbye!  Some people have absolutely no sense of couth.

Anyhow E1, congrats on your downgrade.  She's one hell of a 5.

How weird.  Insulting someone who will never read this post doesn't really make me feel any better.  *shrug*

Moving on.  This post isn't about my pathetic insecurities.  It's about others pathetic insecurities.

With the last day of the election coming up, my friend and I inevitably started discussing politics and what people stand for, believe in, and believe what is worth fighting for.

My friend is gay.   

I believe in the usual run-of-the-mill Christian beliefs.  I don't understand being gay.  And although someone called me a "fat dyke" from the window of a passing car the other day, I can't really say I've been persecuted for who I am.  Ever.

My friend has not only been persecuted for it, he's been assaulted.  As in, attacked outside of a club in downtown Salt Lake and beaten over the head with chunks of asphalt. 

As he was showing me the pictures of his bloody scalp and stitches, I couldn't keep my eyes from welling up and chills ran up and down my body creating goose bumps all over my arms. 

I don't understand being gay.  I don't know if people are born gay or if it's a lifestyle choice they make.  Either way, it's who they are, and for them to be attacked out of blind, ignorant hate, is unfathomable.  This sort of hate scares the mother hugging crap out of me.  This is the sort of illogical, unthinking hate that would have someone burning me to death simply because I have red hair.  Oh.  Wait.  That's been done.  Luckily our civilization has advanced well beyond those barbaric days.  Thank God.

I don't understand being gay but I understand that he is my friend and I love him dearly and will defend his right to love who he chooses.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Genius Plan Born of a Fully Functioning Noodle, and a Rave!

In an effort to diminish my boredom while waiting for "those begging little peasants" (Erik's words, not mine) to finally make it to our door to collect their free sugar, I've decided to finally get around to answering question #4 in Carries amazing contest, the great get-away-give-away.  If you haven't already checked it out, don't bother.  It's totally lame and the prize isn't even anything that cool.  Trust me on this.

Right.  So.  Question #4.

This is a tough one for me.  I'm one of those lucky individuals who usually find myself at the center of envy because of my natural fluidity and grace in all things.

Except for that one time I nearly fell off the mountainside mountain biking.  Or got my snowboard caught under a root and gave myself a wicked ice rash.  Across my face.  Or the time I peed myself at my boyfriends family wedding.

I've really had to do a lot of soul searching to come up with something.  Anything, really.  And then I remembered.

The year was 1993.  I was a junior in high school near Tampa, FL.  My best friend Mandy had flown in from Ontario, Canada to stay with me for awhile.  I took her to the local hangout to play pool.

We met a couple of boys.  One of these boys was named Grady.

Grady had a pierced tongue.

Although, thinking back now, I probably only liked him because his name made me think of gravy.  I was awfully thin back then and probably hungry a lot.

Grady and friend invited Mandy and I to go with them the next night to a rave in Ybor City.

Ybor City.  Looks totes legit, right?

I had never been to a rave before but had heard about them and they sounded like the sort of thing depraved, deviant sort of individuals attended.  And really?  Allow two virtual strangers with questionable piercings and questionable motives drive us to Ybor for a night of dancing and debauchery?

Naturally, we were in.

I've read that teenagers aren't working with a fully functioning noggin.  Pretty sure that's a myth.

We made plans for them to pick us up at the end of the street at the agreed upon time the next night.  The agreed upon time being 2:00am.  The family would be asleep allowing us to slip from my second floor bedroom, out the front door and into the night unnoticed with plenty of time to be back, snug in bed before everyone awoke for church.

Dad didn't cooperate with out plan.  He had another one of his migraines and was still awake downstairs watching t.v.

We were determined and resourceful. 

Plan B!  The bathroom window on the second floor was just big enough for us to squeeze through.  It lined up with the balcony that was a few feet down.  It was decided that I would go feet first.  I squeezed and shimmied through that window like a baby oozing it's way through the birth canal. 

I'd decided once I made it out the window, I'd use the side of the house to push myself off, land on the balcony and take the balcony steps down from there.

The reality was, I made it out the window and gravity took over.  I hung from the window ledge by my fingertips for .02 seconds before sliding down the side of the house and landing in a broken, forlorn heap on the balcony.  At which point I proceeded to laugh so hard that I peed my pants.  

I really need to look into buying a new bladder.

We made it to the rave and it experience.  One I never repeated again. 

This may have been when my intense aversion to crowds began.

She looks like the girl who was in the bathroom promising to catch her friend if she got dizzy after snorting...something.  I didn't stick around to ask.  The epitome of a considerate, thoughtful friend though.

Grady and friend dropped us at the end of my street with 30 minutes to spare before everyone was to wake for church.  Mandy and I booked it to the backyard to climb in the first floor bathroom window.  Even with our poorly formed brains, we knew there was no physical possibility of us scaling back up the side of the house to the 2nd floor window.

I climbed in feet first again and stepped down onto the toilet seat.

Only there was no seat.  Dad forgot to put the seat down. 

I left a soggy one-footed trail all the way upstairs and didn't care that the evidence led straight to my bedroom door. 

Stupid Grady with his stupid tongue piercing and his stupid rave.