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September 5, 2008

I was...

Natalie and I were up at the Youth Agriculture barn for the County FFA show. I teased up a steer’s tail and mounded it around; spraying the sticky “hairspray” to make the requisite tail ball for a buddy’s animal until I moved onto the next one. I took a break and went to find a place to smoke that wouldn’t bother the animals nor get me into trouble with the Ag teachers.

Even though I was a year into college I still respected and feared the gruff men that taught the Ag classes at my old school. I was there at their request, helping with grooming and to try and calm the nervous students. Natalie was there because she liked cowboys.

When I crossed behind the horse barn to hide behind a trailer Natalie spotted me and yelled for me to join her.

She was standing with two young men and their horses. I recognized one of the guys vaguely, but dismissed the three of them with a little nod and a, “Be right back.” I headed to the parking lot to find a trailer to hide behind while I enjoyed my little bad habit in private. I sat on the wheel well of an empty trailer and dug the smokes out of my pocket and lit one up.

I heard voices and the clip clop of slowly moving horses coming my way, I turned to look through the slats of the horse trailer and saw Natalie with her two friends and their horses coming towards me anyway. I rolled my eyes to myself about to stub out my smoke and make small talk until I could politely excuse myself to get back to work when the older guy waved off my attempt at putting out my smoke as he lit one standing next to his animal.

I remained where I was and finished my smoke as Natalie introduced me to the younger darker one, Kelly (her voice practically swooned as she said his name) and his friend Glen. I shook both of their hands and asked after their horses. They gave me the basics and then Natalie said that they were from a smaller town south of Fort Worth and that Kelly was up her for a special event with his horse.

I made a little small talk then excused myself to go help some of my old classmates and their animals. Natalie stuck with Kelly, Glen and their animals.

The judging started and the students were nervous, making sure that their steers were perfectly groomed, that the pigs were behaving and the lambs were brushed to a snowy white. I was out behind the arena with the group when a student’s steer bolted from the grooming chute. It kicked a friend of mine square in his junk, he went down like a sack of sand and luckily one of the Ag teachers grabbed the errant steer by the halter and calmed it down. The teacher asked me to see if I could calm the steer’s owner down so I went into the arena to find her.

I found Angel and calmed her down, taking her back to her (crazy ass) steer and convincing her that she could control him if she could control herself. She put her hands on the steer, gave him a treat and all was well.

I went back into the arena to see how the rest of the class was doing. I loved being there and I was glad when I was called over that Easter break to come and help with the show. I was a little irritated at Natalie and her boy craziness but she was sweet and just happy to be along.

Standing between the bleachers watching the action in the judging ring I heard Natalie whisper to me, “Hey, would you mind exercising Kelly’s horse while he gets ready for his event?” I had two thoughts. The first was, “Fuckin A. You’re damn right I will. Any excuse to get on a horse, regardless if I am familiar with them or not.” And the second was, “He doesn’t even know me. Why would he trust this animal to me? ME?” But when I turned around what I said to Natalie was a nonchalant, “Sure, why not.”

Natalie gave Kelly the thumbs up and he grinned like she was the most awesome thing since sliced bread.

I walked over and Glen was standing there with Kelly’s mount. Kelly and Natalie were walking off laughing and talking. I asked Glen if he had any preference for the exercise. Did he want me to longe the horse or to just walk/trot him? He walked to the left side of the horse and cupped his hands to give me a knee up. I raised my eyebrows at him and mounted the horse inside the building.

I neck reigned him to the left and settled my butt in for a little ride. My first order was to get him out into the parking lot or onto the roping arena to get his muscles warmed up. Before I was completely clear of the building I put my legs down and as a student of both English and Western riding I clicked my tongue and touched the horse with my left heel just a bit behind the girth belt.

The horse exploded.

Not in a gory zombie getting hit by a truck type of exploding but in more of an, “I am going at least ninety miles an hour on this horse and I am STILL INSIDE THE BUILDING!” PS, “Holy Shit.”

People were doing that waving their arms to try and herd the animal or maybe to calm him down but they were not helping. Not Helping, Stop with the Waving and Whistling random people, because if I survive this, I will keeeel you.

I pulled the animal into a tight circle and kept his head almost at my knee so if he wanted to go fast, then he was going to go fast, but also get dizzy for the love of God. I quickly searched the crowd for Glen’s smug ass face and when I found it I was all, “What the fuck… over?” He yelled over the crowd, “Cutting horse, don’t touch his belly.” I dropped my feet slack and using my thighs and the reigns got the horse out of the building and calmed down. I trotting him then went to a slow walk around the parking lot.

Glen came walking out of the building shading his eyes even though his hat was doing that for him and he was smiling.

I dismounted and walked the now calm animal up to Glen and thrust the reigns into his hands. Before he could burst out in laughter Kelly and Natalie walked up smiling, “What was all the commotion about?” I glared at Glenn and then with my jaw clenched I said, “Kelly, your friend here forgot to mention that your horse is a cutting horse when I asked how he wanted the animal exercised. I have been schooled in English and Classic Western riding…. you figure out what the commotion was.”

Realization bloomed in Kelly’s eyes and his face was red as he turned to Glen, “Coach, why didn’t you tell her?” "Coach! COACH!?” I yelled back into Glen’s face. "You are this kid’s Coach and you gave me a leg up onto an animal without giving me any instruction on temperament or anything!? God.” And I stomped away.

As I walked angrily back across the dirt parking lot I heard Glen tell Kelly and Natalie, “She clicked and nudged him a bit on the belly and he went ape shit. She handled it nicely though. Kinda impressed actually, she got him out of the building without running anyone over.”

I (maturely) raised my hand above my head and flipped him off as I walked away.

On top of everything, my adrenaline rush was calming down and I started to get embarrassed. I should have known better. I should have never gotten on a stranger’s horse without a walk around, checking the hooves, asking if the animal preferred a soft hand, neck reigning or anything else. I knew better.

Even as I rationalized… it was still all Glen’s fault.

I was looking forward to seeing the students get massive amounts of blue ribbons so that they wouldn’t feel bad that their animals didn’t sell at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. I wanted to go dancing or downtown to a comedy club that night but when I spotted Natalie she was floating on air. Clearly smitten I was not the least surprised when she came up and said that Kelly and Glen had invited us to Paluxy the next day to hang out and she wanted me to go too. “Pleeeeeeeeeeease?” she wheedled.

I gave in because I am a sucker. She got directions because I said that I wouldn’t drive all the way over there just so she could see her newest love. I expected her to yell out, “Isn’t he dreamy!?” at any moment. She was forever falling in love with guy after guy, it got a little tiresome.

Little did I know that the next day would change my life.

We were invited for an early lunch so we left our town a bit after 10 am. She picked me up and even offered to stop and buy breakfast for us. I was floored, she had it bad for this guy. She prattled away as I drank my Dr. Pepper and blew smoke out the crack I the window. She told me all about the things they had talked about the day before. I resigned myself to be hopeful enough to get another chance at riding one of their horses. We were headed to a ranch and the agenda consisted of lunch, touring the ranch and hanging out. Sounded like a peach of a day but I put on my happy face and tucked my bitch face into my purse.

The boys met us at a convenience store a few miles from the ranch and led us in. The place was beautiful. The grass was greening up nicely and there were interesting trees and a perfect little spot where the road went over a limestone spillway and fell into a pretty lagoon. There were horses everywhere and I rolled down the window to let the wind run through my hair and breathe the fresh air.

We got to the main house and the boys had packed up a picnic. Not bad, I thought to myself, but I just nodded and tried to smile. With the picnic and a cooler of beer in tow we hopped in Glen’s big black truck and tooled around the property. Kelly and Natalie sat in the back and whispered and made out while Glen drove and I sat up front. He pointed out various points of interest and offered me a smoke or two. We settled on a hill under a tree and had lunch.

After lunch the boys decided that it was too hot and that a nice dip in the little creek would be just what the doctor ordered. We went back to the main house so we could get more beer and so the boys could get their swim suits. They had conveniently forgotten to mention that we should bring our suits so they let us borrow boxers and t-shirts.

Natalie and I giggled at ourselves as we changed in the bathroom. I had on men’s striped boxers and a bright yellow t-shirt with red lettering and my boots. She had on basically the same outfit and we went out to the truck, vogue-ing as we went to the hoots and hollers of Glen and Kelly. We all looked ridiculous. But with as much sun and beer as we had in our systems, how we looked wasn’t of the highest priority.

Glen drove back to the lagoon and I climbed out of the truck, peeled my boots off and stood in the run over and let the water cool my toes. The “road” was a concrete dam that let the river flow over into a limestone surrounded pool below us. Kelly and Natalie scaled the little limestone outcropping, Kelly took off his shirt and they were soon in the water, splashing, laughing and making out.

Glen and I each took a handle of the cooler and brought it to the point on the limestone outcropping. He removed his shirt and I sat down to let me feet dangle in the water. I smoked one and he smoked one then he jumped up, let out a whoop and did a cannonball, soaking me completely.

I figured I might as well go on in as my hair and makeup were ruined, I was a little tipsy, wearing an insane outfit (especially for someone as insecure as I was) and my only security person, Natalie, was passionately making out with Kelly against the far bank about 30 yards away. It looked like they may be having sex so I quickly looked away and tried to engage Glen in conversation so he wouldn’t notice.

I slipped into the water and asked him about the ranch, his horse, who he was riding and for whom, how he met up with Kelly, how he liked Paluxy, talked about the day before and my near death experience on top of Kelly’s horse and what type of music did he like?

He brightened up at the mention of music. By this time we had been in the water a good 20 to 30 minutes and there was no talking or looking at Natalie or Kelly from either of us. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of directing the attention away from something that was pretty embarrassing to me.

Glen hopped out onto the outcropping and rolled the windows down in his truck, he put on some music and came back into the water; he brought me another beer and yelled something obscene to Kelly and Natalie. They both waded back over and the four of us had another beer and then they swam away again but not before throwing their clothes onto the outcropping.

Glen added his swimming trunks to the pile of clothes and not to be a prude I threw the boxers that were already floating somewhere near my knees up onto the bank as well. The river was murky and you couldn’t see anything, so being a pretty immodest person to begin with, nudity was not that big of a deal. Getting rid of the boxers made treading water easier so I just slipped lower into the water, removed the hideous (and already transparent) t-shirt and threw it up onto the bank as well.

I kept a pretty good distance from Glen as we talked. I wasn’t attracted to him, he was still on my shit list for the stunt from the day before and I didn’t want to get involved with some guy when I was going to be leaving after the Easter Break. My disinterest did not discourage him from asking if he could kiss me. I looked over at Kelly and Natalie, they were even further away… no help there. I said, “No, thank you.” And he looked a little peeved. I decided to try and lighten the mood by telling him that he got me good with that cutting horse thing the day before, hoping that he would go off on how hysterical I looked twirling that horse in a circle and …. Oh… ut oh, he was coming closer.

Glen said, “So that’s how you are huh? Come out here all flirting, drinking our beer, getting naked in front of me and now you won’t even kiss me!? Your friend over there seems to have the right idea.” I was stunned at the venom with which his little speech was made. Apparently the man thought I was leading him on.

I tried to move around him saying that I needed a smoke but really wanting to put the boxers and the t-shirt back on… boots too for that matter. He blocked my way. I backed up. I yelled for Natalie and Kelly and they didn’t answer. Glen had triumph in his eyes. I swam out into the lagoon a bit and treaded water for a few minutes. I was glad that I am a strong swimmer, but the nerves that had kicked up were making my breaths come short and shallow.

He called out, “You can’t do that forever you know.”

I swam closer and went under relying on the murky water to hide my position. I popped up just behind him and he dove for me grabbing me by the ankles. He flipped me over and pulled me to him with a lot of force. Once my momentum was carrying me towards him he let go and grabbed my knees quicker than I thought possible. He pulled again and spread my legs as he grabbed my hips and shoved himself into me. I looked at his face and that was the worst mistake. His eyes were vibrating to the right and to the left as he lost focus.

I pushed at his chest, hit him and screamed as the combination of nerves, adrenaline, not being even slightly turned on and the water were all causing me to rip. I felt the sting and knew that the only way to get away from him was to put my feet on his hips and push off of him like a platform, but to get my feet onto his hips I would have to spread my legs even wider around his hips.

I grabbed his neck, pulled my feet up and planted them on his hips, it was like fighting with marble. I pushed off and took a good portion of skin from his neck under my nails. I climbed, weak kneed, up onto the limestone outcropping and put on the t-shirt, the boxers and my boots. I yelled at the top of my lungs for Natalie and told her I needed to go home RIGHT NOW.

She and Kelly swam over and nuzzled each other and made out as I kept the truck between Glen and me. When everyone was ready to go I jumped in the back of the truck for the ride back to the house and when we got there I went and took a scalding hot shower. I felt so sick. Natalie was completely unaware… and drunk. While I was in the shower she even got talked into asking me to stay with her over night at the ranch.

I dressed quickly and went for her car. I already had the keys and I told her I’d meet her outside. She came over all, “I love you man” drunk and asked if I would call my folks to ask if I could stay the night. I glared at Glen and said, “No.” She wheedled again, “Pleeeeeease!? For me?! Your parents love me, they’ll let you stay.” I was pretty sure that my parents wouldn’t let me do any such thing, so I agreed to call them.

“Momma? Hi, yeah, it’s very pretty here, Natalie was wondering if we could stay the night.” I heard my mother say, “Honey, it’s Susan, she sounds strange. Okay, here’s the phone. Honey, your dad wants to talk to you.” “Oh, alright…” I replied, “Hi Pop. Yes sir, Natalie wants to know if we could stay the night out here.” He immediately said, “Are you alright?” “Sure Dad, fine.” He answered with, “No, you may not stay, come home immediately.” “Thanks Daddy.” And I hung up.

I literally carried Natalie to the car because she was so drunk. I drive home and somewhere around south Dallas (about two hours later) she woke up. I asked her if she was alright to drive herself home once we got to my house. It was just a few miles and she said she was feeling very good. She seemed happy and wistful, I asked her if she knew what happened to me that day, she said, “No, why?” I told her and her face never registered surprise.

She never mentioned it again and neither did I.

September 8, 2008

Redneck Engineering.

I’ve been told that I am in the dark place and I need to climb my janked (pronounced jank, like yank… ED) ass out. So, in light of watching… and I’m not kidding… You Don't Mess with the Zohan over the weekend and seeing this character…

Picture courtesy of IMDB.com

I would like to make fun of my ex-husband.

A little brevity and a few tales of some of the most redneck behavior should bring me back around to some giggle-snorts.

Not to mention that I just realized that my ex-husband looks like a brown-eyed (contacts) Rob Schneider playing a Pakistani. This information is awesome, and a little disturbing.

For those of you playing the home game (On the Notify List) you have already seen a picture of the ex. For those of you not. I have a present for you, and not because you are good boys and girls (you should totally be spanked) but because I give, I am a giver. That is what I do.

Picture courtesy of me. And the wee little leprechaun redneck in the shot.

Yep. That’s X.

Do not judge me.

I cut his brother out of the shot because I don’t think the world at large is ready for that much assholery. (Is SO a word.)

Side note: Where in the blue blazes are all of these bruises coming from? My knee, my right hand, my ankle, my hip and both forearms. It’s like I’ve been training for a pillow fight with Janice Dickenson. Not really, she could probably kill me with one clench of her buttocks.

Okay, let the sniggering begin.

When I married my X he was living in a 1976 doublewide Redman trailer. His (not ours, his) “home” was at the bottom of a hill and the “driveway” was often washed out and covered with red clay. Slippery shit. So we (I) would hook the box blade up to the John Deere and get to scraping. We’d (I’d) move dirt (clay) out of the way and try to re-grade the driveway to some respectable and usable capacity.

We also raised emus.

I’ll stop there and let that sink in.


Big fucking chickens.

Just to the south of the “house” was a dog pen, hurricane fenced with a nice little gate. To the west of the “house” was one of those sheds that you can buy at Home Depot with the little corrugated steel siding and the tin roof. It had a linoleum floor and was stacked from the floor to the non-insulated ceiling with shit.

Some of the shit had been nice before. There were antique roll top desks and china cabinets, bed frames and boxes of paper, artwork and farm tools. When humidity had taken over the door warped shut and nobody ever went in there anymore.

X decided he needed a new building in that exact spot for it would be between the soon to be built chick runs for the emu babies and a small incubation room/food storage shop.

So, the shed had to be moved.

How to move a shed that had been sitting there for about ten years?

X had the idea to jack the little shed up on some logs and roll that motherfucker across the dangerously sloped yard using momentum and gravity to their advantages. “Like the fucking Egyptians built the pyramids, for God’s sake! Gah!” he said. I pointed out a small issue. “Darling sweetheart, that is an excellent arrangement seeing as how we have the man power and the cylindrical wooden poles that you require for this master plan.” He gloated. “Oh wait,” I continued, “We only have those square railroad ties behind the house. Drat.”

He cursed up a blue streak and then started thinking.

His personal motto was, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” And I wondered why I had problems with him being faithful. Golly, I just don’t know how I couldn’t have seen that one coming!

He decided to make a sled of sorts out of some tin. He would lift the shed gently onto the tin using the bucket of the tractor and then slide it across the yard and safely to the north side of the “house”. He went to the barn and brought back a rusted piece of steel, which he then placed gently in front of the shed. He was almost there; I could see a look of triumph in his eyes. He maneuvered the tractor around to the shed and without ties around the bottom of the shed for support he just gently pushed against the roof of the shed to lift it.

The roof made a screeching noise of tortured metal and bent at an odd angle then pulled free from the sides of the rest of the structure.

I went inside, got a beer, my smokes and a phone. I was not going to be selfish and not share this great moment in stupidity with the world. I came back out to the porch, settled on the swing and called my father in law.

Pa*: Y’eeeello.
self: Pa’, it’s Sue… you have to come see this.
Pa: Ut oh, what now.
self: X is moving [the sound of metal screaming cuts me off… then a fit of giggles muffle my words]
Pa: What the hell was that?
self: Seriously, get down here. It’s awesome.
Pa: What is that dumbass doing with my tractor?
self: You looking out the window?
Pa: Yeah.
self: He’s trying to move the shed.

*Seriously…. Pa. As in Ma and Pa… Kettle.

After X ripped part of the roof off he forgot to figure out a way to actually lift the shed onto his home made sled. Or how to attach the sled to the tractor for that matter.

It was starting to drizzle and my ex-husband was sitting in the seat of the tractor cursing with the speed of an auctioneer. The many adjectives and phrases using whore, lazy ass and piece of shit were astounding in number and variety. I cannot tell you how many times he basically made a guttural scream at his frustration before pounding the steering column of the tractor.

When his father pulled into the driveway and got out of his truck, smiling amiably at his son and then headed to sit on the porch swing with me. X pointed an accusatory finger at me and yelled out, “She called you didn’t she!?” Pa got my back on that one, “No son, the whole county can hear what sounds like you tearing a water tower apart.”

Pa bummed a smoke and whispered, “How long has he been at this?” “Oh, about an hour or so” I replied. We sat and watched in silence as the tension mounted.

X yelled a triumphant “Ah HA!” and bounded out of the tractor seat. He went to his truck and pulled out several long canvas tie downs. Then he raided his daddy’s truck box for the same thing. He got enough material to create a sling to loop around the bottom rear of the shed and then tie to the tractor. He did so and then let out the clutch of the tractor and took the slack up with his tie downs.

The shed had been made with several 4x6’s attached horizontally to the bottom of the structure so if it was sitting on the ground it would have some protection from moisture. It was around the corners of the shed and these struts that X had looped his sling. He took up more slack and the shed started forward an inch at a time. X was ecstatic. He was pulling it so slowly that a small mound of red clay built up in front of the struts. For about two feet the clay parted and went under the shed but after the successful two feet a small snap and then a much louder cracking sound was heard. We yelled for him to stop but he was focused.

He must have hit a root, some gravel or just a small jerk from the tractor because something caused the strap to slip all the way off the struts and just pull the very bottom edge of the shed. X had enough force going that the cracking sound continued to get louder. All the sudden, SNAP! The shed was pulled completely off of the struts. It pulled forward about five feet then tipped about six inches and buried its’ front edge into the soft clay soil.

I was laughing so hard that it was that silent, wheezy Muttley laugh that completely incapacitates you and makes you cry and do that “No more, no more!” hand gesture that is completely futile.

(Muttley laugh here: Download file)

The shed, an 8’x10' structure, was now hanging off of the struts and buried in a shallow groove of earth.

X turned the tractor around and rolled around behind the shed. He backed up to it and put the box blade against the side (back) of the shed and pushed on the shed about two feet below the window. The shed shuddered and then pushed all the way off the struts and made a nice burrow into the spongy ground.

By this time Pa was so red in the face that I was afraid he would have an aneurysm. Tears streamed down his stubbly cheeks and his hair was in disarray. If my ex husband looks like a Pakistani version of Rob Schneider then his father is a dead ringer for Walter Matthau. He was mad that his son was tearing up their property, but the absurdity of it was just too much not to be funny.

X pulled away from the carnage and lowered the bucket. He pushed the struts out of the way with the bucket then turned the tractor around again and pushed on the lowest part of the shed with the box blade. Slowly it began to move, he gave it a little too much gas and it jackknifed to the left. He got around behind it and slowly backed it in a circle and then pushed it across the yard leaving at least an eight foot swatch of destruction behind him.

He missed the propane tank by mere inches but got the little shed secured squarely to the north of the “house” up against the fence. The frame was warped, the roof was pulled halfway off and some of the linoleum was still stuck to the struts so there were holes in the floor, but he got that shed where he wanted it.

And that was some of the funniest shit I have ever seen.

Someday I will tell you about how he and his brother blew up a lake.

September 15, 2008

Word Vomit on Monday

I have a bad habit. Scratch that, it is more than a habit, it is a compulsion and it is an addiction. It’s called reading and it can interfere with your life.

This is your brain [picture an egg here]… and this is your brain on a book a day (or more) habit [picture a three egg omlette with spinach, mushrooms, smoked gouda, adobo and white pepper to taste here].

And also?... mmmmmmmmm, scrumpdillyiscious*.

*Ned Flanders… heh.

This weekend I started and finished a fluff book (I first called it a fluff piece and that sounded too p0rny) that was handed over to me by my director on Friday right before I left the office. The book is called “Play Dirty” by an Arlington, TX author, Sandra Brown. The book was entertaining and totally a fly by type of book. No thought needed to enjoy the plot. I enjoyed the hell out of it and I turned the book over to read the back and whistled. Lookit… Click for picture of Hotty McCougarson.

The book was fun and totally on the same level as “Breaking Dawn” or whatever the fourth installment of the twilight series is. But with the twilight book I (started Saturday afternoon, read into the night, and last night… almost finished) I am completely taken surprise by the new first person character. I won’t spoil anyone’s fun but it is not at all like the third book. But for it being a “young adult” book… it’s pretty… um. Gonna stop right here before I get hate mail for spoiling anything. And yes, I am 13 years old.

The third book I am reading comes from the journal of Henry Rollins. It is called “Smile, You’re Traveling” and I thought that it would be perfect for needing a mental kick in the ass for how grumpy I have been about work lately. If you have read back into my archives (bless you, you poor thing) then you know I love me some Henry Rollins. This peek into his brain is humorous, a little shocking and sometimes mind opening. I have had several “ah-ha” moments reading this book and I am not very far in.

He’s not very lovey dovey, he definitely doesn’t pull punches and I am glad that I never made an ass out of myself trying to say hello to him while attending one of his spoken word concerts.

Two things… I believe that in the late 90’s Henry’s favorite word was intense and if he were to ever write a self help book it would be very short. Maybe a pamphlet. It would merely say, “Get the fuck over yourself. Suck it up. Do what you want and take responsibility for it.”

So to summarize… two cheesy novels and a kick in the ass. BUT, these books got in my way this weekend. I was supposed to just hang out, maybe go see a movie, do a little light cleaning, ect. But noooooo, there I was with a book under my nose anytime Mister walked out of the living room, anytime the DVR was paused, anytime I was in bed… gah. So much stuff swirling in my head that I had madly inappropriate dreams about inappropriate things with an inappropriate person this morning. I woke up several times during the night but the level of inappropriateness was at an all time high around 5 am and I gave up and got out of bed.

What is wrong with me? I didn’t eat anything spicy before I went to bed, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. But y’all. Seriously, the inappropriate person in my dream is so laughably undreamable (new word.) when conscious. So I have to ask… hey, brain… WTF?

Do any of you have these weird, “Dude, I SO should not be dreaming about Mr. Whipple in that fashion” dreams? And if so… share. Go ahead. It’s alright, we’re all friends here.

Brain fart. I was just in the kitchen at the office. Yes, I write this over my lunch hour. Do not dooce me. And this woman came in to fix her meal.

Side note: I am being a total judge-y ho about this and I am taking responsibility for thinking mean shit. I’m kind of cruel in my head but only once in a blue moon because I want everyone to love me (shallow) and I am totally a people pleaser (door mat).

There is this woman whom I see almost daily that is (I’m guessing) partially insane. She’s had a rough life and she has lost a family member fairly recently. There is no telling how old she is but she is just the sweetest thing ever. The insane part is just a bonus. She’s an even bigger bucket of crazy than I am so I just refer to her as Bucket. With love, y’all. Shut it. And never to her face because I am a little nice… and also yella.

So Bucket has a very… eclectic pallet. You never know what she will be eating for lunch and even though my lunch schedule is all over the place somehow I get the joy of seeing what she has to eat at least four or five times a month. Maybe more. I’m not one to turn my nose up at food, really; if it isn’t a beet, liver or raw onions I am all over it… but… I have noticed some very unique combinations in Bucket’s lunch pail.

I will be standing there heating up my Jenny Craig meal and Bucket will be show me what she brought and then she’ll go get something else out of some tin foil and I never know what to expect. Nor will I ever know the reason why she likes to tell me about what she brought for lunch. Yes, I am a fat girl. Yes, I eat food. But just because I am fat does not mean I am interested in what you are eating. Unless you are crazy. Then totally count me in.

Side note. There is another woman who likes to walk around to everyone’s desk to see what they have for breakfast or lunch. I’m not sure why. It strikes me as odd, but to each their own, I guess.

Back to Bucket. So one day it will be apples and sardines. Another day it will be leftover meatloaf and a can of oyster juice. Then the day after it will be a grapefruit filled with cottage cheese and pinenuts with a side of boiled goat.


I am waiting for chicken fried squirrel, hominy and a slice of PVC.

Speaking of Henry Rollins (keep up y’all… the brain, she is fried)… I am so excited. I just talked to a buddy of mine. I have known this gentleman since I was… oh, 12, and we haven’t seen each other in… oh, good Lord, in almost 20 years. Anyway, since we reconnected through classmates.com or facebook or something we’ve been sending emails back and forth, sometimes chatting, sometimes I get a text… last one was “Are you coming to my freaking BBQ!?” The answer, sadly was no.

So he and his awesome wife and me and my fabulous Mister have been trying to work out a time to get together for dinner. We finally got a weekend that wasn’t chock full of shit and hurried to put our little dinner on the calendar.

Today, I was over on the Henry Rollins site (to get the link for you guys because I love you, I do… you guys are the wind beneath my wings and shit) and I found that Mr. Rollins will be in the DFW area the same night we will be having dinner. Messages ensued. Summarized below for your enjoyment.

me: do y’all like Henry Rollins?
him: fuck yeah we do.
me: rock on, he’s playing the night we have dinner plans… wanna go after?
him: let’s do it.
me: we are so awesome
him: if we were anymore awesome we would be on fire.

Okay, fine. Neither one of us said the last thing about being awesome or on fire. But it is true.

So, you see before you a very excited young woman. I am excited because I am going to get to see the awesome couple, hang out and have dinner with them then onward to see Henry Rollins.

I need to say Henry Rollins one more time. Henry Rollins.

September 23, 2008

Wuv and Mawwaige...

A few years ago I was working for an association that asked me to travel several times a year. I would do national conventions, regional conventions, board meetings, regulation and legislative meetings on Capitol Hill as well as site visits and various other sundry trips all over the nation. I truly loved my job. I loved the executive board, I loved their families and I loved planning the meetings and doing all of the publishing associated with each meeting. It was the perfect job for me but I had one issue. I hated my boss.

It was awful. He was cruel, demeaning and because of his Mensa member status he thought it was perfectly alright to treat others (women mainly) like chattel… never in front of those who mattered, just behind the scenes and when it wouldn’t be seen by the ones in power.

Truly horrific, I was torn by my intense love for my job and crying on the way to work at least twice a week for two years.

It was while working for that association that I had adopted Max (the cat). Max was my little love. I needed him as much as he needed me and he put up with a lot. I was miserable with how I had completely jacked up my life but I was proud of having the balls to leave my ex-husband and start my life over.

I had sworn off of dating because I didn’t really need the sex or the companionship and I definitely didn’t need the drama. So there I was… eleven cats shy of being the crazy cat lady and pretty okay with that.

I was pretty okay with my divorced/single/no prospects status and my decisions because I was determined to make myself better. I was going to exorcise my demons and work on making myself happy because I knew that even if someone did come along that they couldn’t make me happy. No one can fill a void in you unless you are cool with yourself. And to put that kind of pressure on someone (that had previously been put upon me) was unfair. “I’m empty, please make me happy!” [vomit]

I was happy with who I was and what I was. My past, present and the unknown future.

I went to my brother’s wedding in June of 2002. I was so happy for him and his beautiful bride. They were perfect for one another and I was excited to be invited to such a happy occasion. That weekend I left Dallas and went to Houston for Friday, left Houston Saturday and drove to Austin; where they were getting married; and went to stay with some old family friends.

Linda and Phil’s home was gorgeous and I got ready for Brian and J’s wedding and then headed out to the festivities. The wedding was perfect. The bride and groom were absolutely stunning and glowing with their happiness and the excitement for their future. I couldn’t have been happier for two people. They were starting their lives together and there seemed that there was nothing that they couldn’t do if they were together*. The future was stretched out in front of them like a blank canvas and I could see that they would paint each other’s worlds with beautiful color.

*They are due in October. YAY!

After the wedding Brian and J had a nice reception. All of our old friends from school and church were there with their new husbands and wives and their children. Our friends were spread out over two or three banquet tables of ten and I sat with my parents and the rest of the empty nesters at two large tables.

The empty nesters were the parents of all of Brian and my friends from church, school and our neighborhood. They would all get together for the weddings of each of their children and toast one another to their figurative baby birds leaving the nest.

Who am I kidding? They’ve been toasting one another with or without a reason for about twenty plus years now.

Example: “It’s Tuesday! Wooo! Margarita’s and beer over at the [my parent’s] pool!”

So I was sitting there among the empty nesters smiling at my friends and their new family units when one of the empty nester women turned to my mother and I, gasped and grabbed one of my hands and one of my mother’s hands in hers. She beamed as if she had just had a sunshine enema and said, “Susan! You are just like a mini Empty Nester!” I muttered thanks. My mother gave me an apologetic look and I excused myself from the table.

I kept my composure and went to the ladies room; I passed several friends at the bar and politely shrugged off conversation stating I would be back inna bit. I went into the ladies restroom, found it blessedly empty, stepped into a stall and promptly lost my shit.

I didn’t get why her blasé comment hurt my feelings so badly. I am not sure if her implying that I would forever be without a partner or children of my own hurt because she was so excited about it or that it shone light on a falsehood. Maybe I was actually perpetuating a weak little façade. Regardless, my tenuous control of my little bogus reality shattered like a crystal champagne flute dropped from the shaking fingers of a startled partygoer.

I wept. I sobbed. I had those awesome hitching sobs that come complete with a red face and strings of snot. Thankfully my little emotional break was short and I had time to stop blubbering before someone else came into the bathroom. I blotted my face and then reapplied the scant make up that I had in my teeny satin evening purse. My hair was already a mess, no one would notice as it normally is in disarray.

I stepped from the ladies room, stood in the line at the bar with some friends and chatted. After I made my rounds saying hello and then goodbye to those I love and hold dear I practically ran out of the building and jumped in my car. I went back to Linda and Phil’s and because Linda is a night owl I knew I wouldn’t wake her when I let myself in.

I went and changed into some shorts, slipped into the kitchen and made myself a tall glass of ice water and then took my smokes out on to their back porch. The night was beautiful and I was not the least surprised to hear Linda come up behind me, “How was the wedding?” I told her it was beautiful, and never one to waste words she asked me what was wrong. I tried to say “nothing”; she called bullshit, so I told her. She listened to my little story and nodded her head thoughtfully.

She said that what the empty nester said was out of line and not something you should EVER say to a just-turned-thirty year old woman as if she is already a spinster. Linda assured me that she was just trying to find camaraderie as she is a bitter shrew who is still pissed over her decade-old divorce. Leave it to Linda to be honest.

I took a deep breath, looked over the beautiful view of the hill country and sighed inwardly as well as physically. Linda was right. And I was doing just fine working out my own kinks, enjoying my own company, rebuilding my relationships that I put on hold when I went to ground after the divorce. I was right not to jump into relationship after relationship trying to retroactively fix the marriage that was broken and would always remain so.

I was alright.

I left Austin the next morning after having bar-b-que with Linda, Phil and my parents and headed home.

Of the next few months I turned down dates, I concentrated on my job and trying to work out how to communicate with my boss on his level. I kept my head down, did an amazing job at the convention, planned things, did stuff, went to happy hour with friends, cuddled my cat and then in October we had a board meeting in Atlanta that was around a tri-state or regional convention. I went prepared.

One of the executive board members was from Colorado, he met his current girlfriend on J-Date the Jewish online dating service. His girlfriend, Stephanie, and I clicked immediately. She and I were both lived in the Dallas area. One evening we were at the corner of the table over dinner and she started peppering me with questions.

Stephanie: So, what’s your story?
me: I was born the poor black son of a share cropper…
Stephanie: I’m serious.
me: Me too…
Stephanie: No, I mean, are you married?
me: Nope.
Stephanie: Kids?
me: Nope.
Stephanie: Boyfriend?
me: Nope.
Stephanie: Divorced?
me: Yep.
Stephanie: How old are you?
me: 94… Um, why all the questions? Are you hitting on me?
Stephanie: Heh, no. I just think that I have the perfect guy for you.
me: [eyebrow raise] Hmmm. Um.
Stephanie: Not interested?
me: Well, no. I seem to attract the crazy, Bob M. stuck his tongue down my throat in the elevator last night.
Stephanie: Gah. Wait, isn’t he married? AND on the Board of Directors!?
me: You’ve made my point for me.
Stephanie: Did you kiss him back?
me: NO.
Stephanie: Okay, okay, sorry. But really I think this guy is awesome and you are awesome, at least hear me out.
me: [sigh] Fine.

She started telling me about this guy.

Stephanie: Do you like tall guys?
me: The taller the better.
Stephanie: Bald guys?
me: Hells yes.
Stephanie: Facial hair?
me: Yep.
Stephanie: Okay, so good so far…
me: Wait, is he gainfully employed?
Stephanie: Yes.
me: Rock on, you may proceed.
Stephanie: He’s kind, gentle, loyal, respectful a great boyfriend…
me: And you know that last part how?
Stephanie: Oh, well, we dated for a while.
me: [snort] If he’s so great, why aren’t you still with him?
Stephanie: Well, because, he’s not Jewish.
me: [sheepishly] Oh. Alright.

So Stephanie went on and on about this guy. She asked me if I would like to meet him. I shrugged noncommittally and said, “Sure.” She was excited. “Okay, I’ll call you.”

The meeting/convention wrapped up and I headed back to the Dallas area to plan the next meeting.

I got back on Tuesday and was very surprised when my phone rang that Wednesday and I heard Stephanie on the other line. We chit chatted for a while and I told her that I never expected her to call but I was very pleased, I told her that when she had an hour or two to spare one night after work that we should do happy hour. But she wasn’t having it, she was on a mission.

Stephanie: Actually, I was calling to see if you wanted to meet that guy I was telling you about.
me: What… huh?
Stephanie: The guy, the perfect guy for you. Do you want to meet him?
me: Um.
Stephanie: Oh come ON Susan… we’ll do something casual. No big deal, CASUAL.
me: Casual…
Stephanie: Yeah, like ice cream, and I’ll be there too.
me: You’ve already set this up, haven’t you?
Stephanie: Yes. Be at my counter at 7 pm tonight.
me: Tonight?
Stephanie: Tonight.
Stephanie: Susan?
me: Fine.
Stephanie: YAY!
me: Don’t expect much, I look like shit.

I looked down at my black pants and my black boots, and the (shocker) black v-neck Old Navy t-shirt with the white pointed collar. I had no expectations and I am sure he didn’t either so I figured that I’d go “as is” and see if that worked in my favor or against me. At that point, I really didn’t care.

I got off work and leisurely drove to the mall where Stephanie worked at a Fresh counter. I got there right on time and in a very uncharacteristic move for me, I didn’t even powder my nose or reapply lipstick. I think I may have been unconsciously trying to turn this poor man off. I figured that I didn’t want to date or even have the possibility of getting my hopes up. So I went in with no expectations. Sure, Stephanie had painted him to be everything on my WANT IN A GUY list that I had torn up and burned about a year before but I refused to be even the slightest bit optimistic.

I was even a little cynical.

And I almost put on my bitch face.

I walked into the mall and over to Stephanie’s counter, she was so excited that her face was flushed and her eyes positively sparkled. I couldn’t help but smile back at her and as we idly chatted about her products I saw her head snap up as she watched Captain Awesome approach from behind me. When he reached the counter and said, “Hey Stephanie” in a deep bass voice I looked over at him and smiled. He said, “You must be Susan, I’m Mister.” And he stuck out his hand for me to shake. I shook his hand (it was huge, soft and warm) and nodded, “Very nice to meet you, Stephanie has told me a lot about you.” He mocked horror and then the three of us fell into an easy conversation as Stephanie closed up her booth and led us to Haggen-Dazs.

I looked him over as we walked to the ice-cream store. He had on suit pants (navy), a white button down shirt (starched), a gold herringbone tie and shoes that were polished to a mirror like shine. He was handsome in a rugged way which worked with his manner of dress as opposed to against it. His short auburn hair offset his close-groomed full beard that was red and gold. His eyes were blue grey with a sparkle and he had full lips that had a perfect little freckle on the bottom right corner of the fullest part. His hands were perfectly manicured and I was curious about his feet. He was huge, at least 6’5” if not taller and he strode purposefully forward but not at a fast gait that his long legs could certainly carry him. He kept pace with Stephanie and me as we walked.

Stephanie let the cat out of the bag that he had just been made an officer at his bank that day and that is why he was wearing a suit, sans the coat. I was impressed. I felt like I was meeting a real grown up that wasn’t over fifty.

Since I am not that big on sweets I deferred to Mister and Stephanie as they picked the best thing on the menu. Mister paid and we all sat down to chat. The three of us fell into and effortless discussion of how we all met and how strange it was that it took Stephanie dating a guy in Denver and then she and I meeting up in Atlanta for the three of us who lived within a few miles of each other in the DFW area to meet up at last.

I started asking questions about Mister, almost the same things that Stephanie had asked of me in Atlanta.

me: So, where are you originally from?
Mister: Originally, originally? Or just before I move to Texas?
me: Both.
Mister: Well, I was raised in Wisconsin and then moved to the Orlando area.
me: And how did you get out here?
Mister: [turning to Stephanie] You didn’t tell her this part?
Stephanie: Nope.
Mister: Well, Stephanie use to be a recruiter and she hired me for a job.
me: The job at the bank.
Mister: [they exchanged a glance] No, that job actually didn’t pan out so I started consulting for a bank. As of today I am an officer and a full time employee.
me: And I understand that you are divorced.
Mister: Yes.
me: Me too.
Mister: Any children?
me: One stepdaughter. Well, I guess, ex-stepdaughter.
Mister: I had four.
me: Step children?
Mister: Yes.
me: And none of your own?
Mister: No.
me: May I ask why you are divorced?
Stephanie: Ooooh, oooh! Can I take this one?
Mister: Sure.
Stephanie: She cheated on him with a blind preacher from Texas.
me: No shit?
Mister: Some online crap. It was only a matter of time.
me: A blind preacher from Texas. Online.
Mister: And after I moved out here, so did she.
me: A stalker? Super! [two thumbs up]

He laughed and told Stephanie, “She’s funny, I like her.”

We talked and finished our ice cream then he asked me, “Would you like to go to dinner?” I nodded and we totally ditched Stephanie. We went to a restaurant, one of his favorite. I asked him to order for me and he did, the salmon. It was delicious. We talked for the rest of the evening and ended up closing down the restaurant.

He drove me back to my car at the mall and I got out and waved thank you. He asked if he could call me and I said sure. Little did I know that the next day I would get a call from him.

Mister: Hi.
me: Hi.
Mister: I was wondering what time you get off work.
me: 4:30.
Mister: Do you think you could get off work a little early tomorrow?
me: Like what time?
Mister: Two-ish.
me: I could, what’s up?
Mister: Well, I was thinking that said that you like Six Flags, and they have that whole Halloween thing going on. Would you like to go?
me: I would love to.
Mister: Perfect, I’ll pick you up at two p.m. tomorrow.
me: I’m looking forward to it.

Y’all, I had mentioned in passing that I like amusement parks and he calls me for our first date and made it apparent that he actually LISTENED to me through our three hour dinner the night before.

I was so excited.

The next day was drizzly and cool. But true to his word, he picked me up at 2:00 p.m. and we drove to Arlington laughing and talking the whole way. The rain kept picking up so we decided to stop in the nearby Cheddar’s to wait out the storm. We ended up sitting in Cheddar’s for about eight hours talking and laughing, the storm never let up and we were having too good a time to even care.

Saturday I called him to see if he wanted to go to a charity event with me Sunday night. He would be meeting Stacey, Greg and Kerry. Two Kerr Krew members and a friend I had known since I was 14. I figured if they approved as much as I was approving of this guy then I could go ahead and let myself hope a little.

Sunday came and he picked me up to take me to the charity function. Everyone loved him and I kept looking at this man, not a guy, not a boy but a MAN thinking, “Seriously, can I have one of these for myself? He’s handsome, he’s witty, he’s funny, he isn’t married, he has no children and he’s gainfully employed. I want this one.”

That night, he kissed me.

Mister was the first man I ever pursued. Our courtship was like a yearlong job interview with each one of us trying to make sure that we weren’t making a mistake like we had in our first marriages. We checked out our core values, our compatibility, our likes and dislikes and it all worked. When he proposed I he said, “Can I ask you one more question?” Y’all… I rolled my eyes because I was tired of us overanalyzing the shit out of one another. He slid to one knee and opened a box with a beautiful diamond on a perfect simple band.

He asked, “Will you marry me?”

He will always be my one and only. I have never known love. I have known jealousy, I have known possessiveness, I have known friendship, I have known complacency and I have known regret and hatred. I have never known love, but now I do.

Saturday will be our five year anniversary. We have had some tough times with health issues, job layoffs and many a family crisis. I wouldn’t change one moment of the past almost six years of being with this man. Even though some things were tough we rode the wave with each other as support. We talk, we laugh, we love. He is my true north, my moral compass. He lets me be who I really am with no apologies and I love him with all of my being.

I love YOU you husband. Thank you for being my other half.

September 29, 2008

About Me

Well, let’s see. I’m not good at writing little pithy snippets about who I am and why I enjoy putting words to paper. However, I am aware that my last “cast” page and “100 things about me” page have been lost (in the move from another URL to here) and are hopelessly dated anyway. Normally people like a little page at the top of a journal to give them a summary of the crazy. Sort of an answer to the question, “Should I really dedicate my hard won lunch hour to reading this drivel?”

So, I’m going to give this a shot.

Hi, I’m Susan. (That wasn’t so hard.)

I’m currently 36 38 years old, I am a Taurus and I have three one old men furry man living with me in my humble little home.

The first and most interesting is my husband of five years, I refer to him as Mister because he likes being anonymous and I have a habit of giving away WAY too much information and he thinks that people will search for our tax records and steal our credit reports. He is tall, he is awesome and I am lucky. You can see more of his story here. Yeah, this didn't last.

He is a very feminine elderly gray cat named Max. You can see more of his story here.

The third is a wobbly approximately nine year old German Shepherd named Zeke. You can see more of his story here. Annnnnnd, neither did this.

I love to read, watch movies, write really bad fiction and recount some of my glory days by hiding it as bad fiction. I enjoy art that involves leaf-less trees, landscapes and naked people. I dig animals, face, hair and body products, make up, jewelry and COACH purses. I have very long legs and a very big ass. I adore dancing and everything about dancing from movies to documentaries to the show So You Think You Can Dance?

I am the youngest of two girls. My sister is afraid of the internet and has just recently joined Facebook. She does not read this journal. If you know her, please do not send her the address or pull the page up at parties. She will cry.

My parents are very kind and warm. They also convinced me when I was young that I had a hatch-day as opposed to a birthday but that it was a wonderful day when they found me under that rock. I suppose that my sense of humor can be attributed to them, or to being dropped or shaken as an infant*.

*Oh, cowboy up Mary, I’m kidding. They only shook me a little.

I am very Type A at work. Details, details, details! BUTT CLENCH! (Dork.) But when I get home I would be the first one to admit to being a bit flakey. If it were not for my loving husband (Seriously?) I would be standing in a field with a sideways ponytail, one shoe missing, looking lovingly at the sky with half eaten banana being held loosely and forgotten in one of my hands.

This dichotomy is why I love suspension of disbelief in its many forms. Movies, books, television, storytelling, radio, dance, music, you name it. It is a mental vacation. That’s all I’m doing here y’all. A little bit of cloud watching.

*Updated 8/25/10

About September 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Suzanna Danna in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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