Fat Legs, Vicious Lovebirds, and Drowning Mermaids: 8 True Facts About My Youth

I am not making any of this up.


“When I grow up, I want to be a cheerleader,” a girl in my kindergarten said.

“Me, too!” I chimed.

“With those legs?” she asked.


When I was little, I’d put my legs together to form a “fin” and practice “swimming like a mermaid” across the pool. It wasn’t an efficient water traversing method.


My aunt & uncle left the electric fence around their sheep enclosure on when we were visiting. I climbed on it. I later asked why the fence “felt funny” and everyone panicked.

Full relaxation weekend.

This week has featured quite  a few setbacks:

  • My dog needed some gross hygiene stuff. (This has been addressed in a previous entry.)
  • My car broke. (It’s at the shop.)
  • My pipes froze. (We got a space heater for the unheated part of the basement.)
  • The Thai place down the street changed its menu. (There’s no solution to this problem! Worst ever!)

This weekend is designated Recovery Time.

I celebrated by going antiquing. Believe it or not, this was my husband’s suggestion.

photo 4

The upper right image has a circus punk. I wanted it very badly. My life partner was ambivalent. I might go back for it — even if it frightens guests (Perhaps especially if it frightens guests.)

photo 1

This is very alluring, no? Facebook thinks I should have bought it, but I’m not sure where I’d hang it.

photo 3

No Central Pennsylvania thrift/antique store is complete without Nazi paraphernalia, sadly. (Interesting to note: such items are banned in France & Germany).

The “Big Otto, Blood Sweating Hippo” poster was not for sale. Take my money!  

photo 2

While we were there, we ran into friends of ours. In case you were wondering, I’m a big hit with children because I’m about their emotional age.

This weekend’s on the right track. The horrible stinging sensation from the past five business days has begun to recede. There’s a plan to make tacos tomorrow, which will complete the cleansing process.

How I Blew off My High School Reunion for a 5K, and What I’ve Learned Since Gym Class

When I was a kid, I used fake asthma flare-ups to get out of gym class.

Yesterday, I ran my first 5K despite a legitimate asthma flare-up.


I never thought I’d be the sort of person who voluntarily decided to take on 3.1 miles (or, in the case of this course, 3.4) at a fast clip, but I’ve learned a few things about athletics since gym class.


“Teams” aren’t for everyone. 

Our middle school was arbitrarily split into the “blue team” and the “white team.” Your team never switched during your four-year stay. Your younger siblings inherited your team by default. At the end of the year, different academic and sport accomplishments that each person accrued counted toward their team’s total.

It was like Hogwarts, but shitty.

You’ve never seen given people so much of a fuck over something so arbitrary. People were proud of their teams. People got dead serious about Blue vs White field hockey, basketball, volleyball, etc in gym class. I was like “Can’t we all see how dumb this is?” And no. They could not.

And it’s not, necessarily, that the Blue/White system didn’t matter. It actually spurred a lot of hard academic and athletic work from a lot of middle schoolers. It’s just that group activities are not much of an incentive for many introverts.

My introversion didn’t make a lot of sense to me when I was younger. I didn’t want to fight over something I didn’t care about. I didn’t want to bond with people just because they were on my “team.” Which leads me to…


You can fly solo.

There are days I just want to listen to my headphones alone.

Guess what allows for that? Running. Lifting. Taking the dog on long walks.

I think that a lot of things would have been different if a sports coach and given me a no-skip CD player (remember those?) and said, “Go at your own pace. See how many you can do. Then, next week, see if you can do more.”


You don’t have to win.

Here’s a sporty tip: Sometimes sucking is okay.

I woke up Saturday morning (the day before the run) with a chest of painful mucus.

I almost cried.

“I won’t be able to breathe. I’m going to hold everyone back,” I thought sadly. “My friends that are running with me are going to be bummed that I’m going to completely kill their time.”

And now for a day-of surprise: when I had to walk, my friends walked with me. When my lungs let up, my friends ran with me. It wasn’t a good time at all (I’ve been able to run much farther, much faster), but it didn’t matter.

Which leads us to…


Groups can rock.

Sometimes it’s better to go with a bunch of people.

Your friends can talk to you. They can shout encouragement.

They can make you laugh when all you want to do is hack phlegm into the grass and take a nap.

(This is a true story. I was super-sick.)

Even introverts need a support system every once in a while.


Athletics can be its own reward.

You know what’s kind of nice? That day-after delayed-onset muscular soreness. On the surface, this obviously sucks, but you know that you did something the previous day.

Also nice: a solid, well-earned night’s sleep.

Other bonuses:

  • Being winded less often.
  • Looking leaner. (Look how tiny my waist is in pic #2. I swear I didn’t ‘shop that.)
  • Being able to talk to people who are into athletic endeavors.

There’s also the knowledge that — barring a zombie apocalypse, a plague, an alien invasion, a resurgence of dinosaurs, etc — you’re likely to live longer.

(I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi. I’m aware of the possibilities.)


Athletics can be fun.

I had a great time.

Oh Snap: My Dog Almost Hanged Himself, And Other Stupid Things About Today

I’ve been having 24 hours of mayhem. To start with, my dog isn’t talking to me.


He’s full of rage because I took him to the dog wash this morning. (I had to; he smelled like butt.)

There’s a chain in there that attaches to your dog’s collar that holds the dog inside the wash. Well, Willie dove over the plastic divider and almost hanged himself.

“You stupid motherfucker!” I screamed. “My baby! Hang in there!”

So I completely soaked my entire outfit dragging the canine back up into the cleaning area. So he didn’t, you know, choke and die.

It was a super-cute outfit, y’all.

Now I’m just wearing jeans and a tank top. Because fuck it.


Do you need boxes? Because the Goodwill has boxes.

I nabbed a great deal of these this morning, but there are still plenty left, if you live in Central PA and are moving.


You know how in movies neighbors introduce themselves with Jell-O molds in hand?

Well, that pretty much happened to me this week.

Except my neighbors showed up with a Tupperware of blueberries. Lemont is full of hippies.

So we made pancakes, but they mostly fell apart because we kept trying to flip them too early. Finesse is a trait we lack.


See that super-handsome man lawn-mowing?

Looks idyllic, right?

Well, the lawnmower broke like three minutes later. We’d owned it about 24 hours.

The lawn now has a naughty-looking Brazilian-style strip down the side.

Hubs took it to Home Depot today, and the damn thing started on the first try. Humiliating!

Has anything gone RIGHT, you may ask? 


My media intake.


Movies // Pacific Rim

Awesome. Fun characters, giant monsters, mecha robots, fight scenes, and the Charlie Day/Ron Pearlman subplot! A sci-fi/action movie not to be missed, though, of course, many people did miss it. In favor of Grown-Ups 2. Which is a sign that the world is dying from the inside.

Books // The Romantic Movement
Alain de Botton is mostly a philosopher that bathes nightly in his own thought-juices. Some of his books are straight philosophy; others loosely follow a plot, with philosophical digressions. This is the latter. I feel like he really gets how the mind works.

Music // Halcyon
Goulding’s music appeals to trip-hop fans, dubstep fans, pop fans, and easy listening fans. What could she possibly be doing to appeal to so many groups? Well, she’s making awesome music. Beautiful, emotional, powerful music with electronic backgrounds.

TV // Naked And Afraid
Here’s a thing you should not do at work: Type “Naked And Afraid” into Google Image Search. Because that will give you uncensored lady-parts.

Anyway, this show is about two people (a man and a woman, typically) who are dumped in the nude in an inhospitable situation and forced to fend for themselves. Badly. While squabbling. And starving. And suffering sunburn. This show blurs boobs and genitalia, but not butts. If you — like me — think butts are adorable/funny, this show may be for you.

(anyone else remember the Buttfields from Tiny Toons?)

I’m totally going to leave you on the “butt” note. I started on butts and I will end on butts.