Planes, Trains and Automobiles: More Idiot Travel — Part 2

Trains

On the same trip I’ve referenced a million times (because it was the only overseas trip I’ve ever gone on), we took the train only a handful of times. For the majority of our trip, we had a car, but we weren’t crazy enough to drive in London, so we took the train to and from Oxford when we didn’t have our car.

The train trip to Oxford from London was so pleasant. Idyllic even. The train was barely at half capacity, and we were seated across from a friendly couple from Denmark. We had a great time chatting and it made the trip really quick and painless.

The train from Oxford to London was a whole other story.

The train station in Oxford was balls to the walls insanity. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat to sit in and if I’m remembering correctly, you had to pay to use the restrooms. It was not my favorite.

When we finally got onto the train, we saw that, just like the station, it was packed.

I had booked our seats in advance and upon seeing the Mad Max situation that was our train, I was pretty grateful for my forward thinking.

However, when we had finally clawed our way to our seats, dragging our bags with us as there was no more room in the baggage compartment, we saw that an older couple was in our seats.

They were adorable. I mean, gray hair perfectly coiffed, matching linty sweaters, and they totally had Kleenex up their sleeves for later. They were the epitome of what every loving grandparent has ever looked like since the beginning of time. Well, ever since easy wear sweaters came into fashion.

We were in a real conundrum. We had two choices: Kindly ask the couple to move or schlepp ourselves and our bags all over the train looking for two empty seats that didn’t exist.

Even worse, there were people behind us trying to get by and there was nowhere to sidle over to as we discussed our game plan. It was act or be eaten by the angry, over-it people lining up behind us.

“OMG. What do we do?” I asked with a deer-in-headlights look on my face.

“I don’t know! What do we do?” Answered Friend, looking pretty freaked himself.

I don’t know. What should we do?” I repeated with more desperation in my voice.

From somewhere nearby came a voice that said, “If there are people in your seats, bloody well tell them to get out of them!”

We both looked at each other like, “OH GAWD”.

“OK. Go tell them. It’s your turn to do something embarrassing, ” I asserted (It was me who had to ask the cop in Blackpool for directions).

“No way. You’re closer and I don’t want to be an asshole. Look at them. They are Mr. and, the less well known, Mrs. Rogers!” He exclaimed.

“But, I was the one who had to go out of my way to reserve seats so that we would be sure to have seats. It’s your turn.” I proclaimed.

Another phantom voice rang out, “OMG. Sit or MOVE!”

“I’ll just go sit on my luggage by the door,” decided Friend.

Out of nowhere, a voice again, “You can’t do that. You’ll get caught and told to find a seat.”

The people behind us were, at this point, ready to murder us.

It looked like we really had no other viable option as we were blocking the aisle and the man to my left had had enough of having the side of his face smashed into the ten-days-not-washed ass of my jeans.

Just like always I had to be the adult in the situation.

I sheepishly cleared my throat and tapped the woman, who looked just like my grandmother, on her shoulder, prepared to be forever cursed by karma.

They ended up being really sweet, which only made things TEN MILLION TIMES WORSE.

I still, to this day, think of them and hope they found a seat or someone who wasn’t as big of a cunt as my friend and I offered their seats to them.

DON’T HATE ME. I WAS A TRAIN VIRGIN UNDER PRESSURE.

While I was majorly feeling the effects of being a terrible person, my friend seemed pretty lost in his thoughts, too.

Once we were situated, the only place left to put our bags was right next to the exit as this was as close to the baggage compartment as physically possible.

Instead of worrying about what an asshole he was for making me kick grandma and grandpa out of their seats, he was more concerned for our luggage.

“Look at our luggage. The next time the door opens, they’ll all go tumbling out. Just watch.” He ruminated.

“Mmmhmm,” I was too wrapped up in silently chastising myself.

“OK. I’m going to go stand by our luggage. I can’t take the stress anymore,” Friend said, throughly wrought with worry.

I didn’t even care about my luggage, because kicks-old-people-out-of-train-seats people don’t deserve luggage.

“I’m gonna do it,” he said again.

“You’ll get in trouble by the train police, but have at it, dude,” I said totally not caring.

For the first time in my life EVER, I was not the one who was worrying and obsessing.

It felt amazing.

I didn’t give two shits if my luggage full of dirty underwear got kicked out of the train or stolen by someone who would be very, very disappointed by my Target-special clothing.

My friend piled up our luggage, biggest to smallest and leaned on them the whole way to London. If someone walked by, he’d hug his body closer to the tower of American Tourister like he was guarding the secret to the afterlife in between his barf-stained jeans (hang tight for that post) and his questionably clean socks.

When we were nearing Paddington Station, he sidled up to me as I was peacefully resting my eyes (I’d finally accepted my dishonorable deed as a necessary evil of train travel, because the mean train people made me), and whispered in my ear, “I have an idea.”

I almost jumped clean out of my stretched-from-too-many-Magnum-bars-and-cheese-and-tomato-sandwiches skin.

“WTF is wrong with you? Only creeps whisper in people’s ears while they’re resting on trains minding their own business,” I hissed.

My comment didn’t faze him.

“I know how we can both get ourselves and our luggage off the train in one piece.”

“Kinda like how we got on?” I didn’t understand why he thought this needed a game plan. We’d trip over our luggage and our feet like we had getting on like total tourists. Duh.

“No. It’s genius. First, I’ll take my big bag-that’s the size of your small bag, by the way, and your big bag-the one I vehemently swore I’d never help you carry, because you just keep cramming new stuff into it and it already weighs more than a standard-sized car. Then, you’ll grab my small bag and your small-not really small, though, bag and we will all get off this god-forsaken train together,” he said resolutely, but with a noticeably twitching eye.

The rest of the ten or so minutes of the train ride, he kept pantomiming, with overly expressive eyes and wild arm movements, how this “genius” plan of his was going to look. He legit looked like that crazy person every train has.

Crazy person*

Someone even asked, “Who the fuck is that idiot gesturing to? Do you think he’s dangerous? Should we be worried?”

I just sat back and reveled in not being the worried, crazy one for once.

We did get ourselves and our luggage off the train, but I almost didn’t “mind the gap” and our attempt to not look too much like tourists, was wrecked by yours truly.

Looking a lot less psycho-on-a-train

Looking like someone who is happy to not be on a train with a psycho

*I’m not some asshole who posts embarrassing photos of others for my own selfish gain. I was given express permission** to share any photo and/or embarrassing story, because friend-in-story would “probably find it funny too”. That’s a pretty solid assurance if I ever heard one.

**For real, I really have permission!

Zumba, Zumba

You know, I really ought to finally give up on my dream to be a surprise breakout dancer.

I never learn from past fails, because time goes by and I forget all about when I was drunk dancing and thought I was the sexiest, smoothest dancer on the dance floor, but then I see the video one of my asshole friends took and I just look like a meth head really enjoying some fresh meth*.

THEN, I see a movie, like The Greatest Showman, and BAM! I’m determined to be the next America’s Got Talent breakout star.

I’d totally be a viable contender on Dancing With the Stars, too, except:

I’m not a star.

I have as much rhythm as a flag pole.

My body is entirely incapable of quick movements.

Well, since I have dance-shame amnesia, I took a Zumba class with a friend on Sunday. The only saving grace this time was that said friend is just as coordinated as I am.

Not surprisingly, we claimed a spot in the back corner, behind some old mats and a mop bucket. Absolutely not in front of the mirror and definitely not where anyone else could see us.

The class started out promisingly well, because they turned the lights off and added some strobe effects. Even better to disguise ourselves.

As soon as the music came on, the instructor busted out moves straight from a Shakira/Rihanna/J. Lo/Zendaya collaboration music video, choreographed by the dance gods.

Uhhhhh.

Back when I first did Zumba in Elko, the instructor would teach us the steps. I think she figured we were all inept, or maybe Zumba used to be more about actually learning a few moves versus trying to mimic a professional dancer with our strange, not-even-close movements.

Honestly, I think Zumba is now all about the instructors really feeling themselves and not caring that the fat chick in the back is 20 steps behind and looks exactly like Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers.

My friend and I just looked at each other and laughed, like, “NOPE!”

We tried (for awhile). We really did, but my hips do lie and they are never going to be mistaken for the hips of a gay Latin Zumba instructor.

During one of the songs, the group shifted so that half of the room faced the other half. Pretty quickly, I realized that we were taking part in a dance off.

Oh, hell no. Nope. NERP.

Not only did we have to engage in a dance off, the instructor started pointing at people, which meant, “OK, now let’s ALL look at this ONE person while they do a made up move they they come up with RIGHT ON THE FUCKING SPOT.”

I almost hyperventilated and fainted from fright right there.

For self-preservation purposes, I stood right behind a woman who looked like she knew what she was doing. I was literally on her heels and mimicking her every move so as not to be seen. I’m fairly certain a bead of her sweat flew straight into my eye, but it was worth it to not be called out.

Eventually, the asshole instructor was done giving the inept people cardiac arrest and the *dancers* moved back to their original spots.

That’s when I noticed him.

Now, I must preface what I’m about to say with the urging that I’m not making fun of this person. I’m really not. He just looked like the opposite of someone who would be at Zumba on a Sunday. This just goes to show that even when you look like you’d be the absolute worst twerker, you can really surprise people with your expert booty popping.

So, this awesome guy…he had curly, but thin-on-top hair and coke bottle glasses (on purpose). He was chubby, but it looked really good on him. He had on one of those “Straight Outta…” shirts.

I really wanted it to say “Straight Outta Nachos”, but when I finally got a good look, it said “Straight Outta Rehearsal”. That’s not even half as awesome.

He also could move his body in the most amazing way. I was jealous and felt instantly self-conscious. He was truly glorious and I was just a sack of potatoes rolling down a steep staircase.

I think what this all boils down to is that when you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you don’t, it’s time to quit embarrassing yourself at Zumba.

*I have no clue what being on meth is called. Is it a trip? A high? Help me out, people.

The following are some really blurry stills from a video taken during the wine walk. We were dancing in a cage, if that’s not immediately obvious. It was the direct opposite of talented or sexy. In fact, we’re only allowed back if we promise not to drunk dance ever again.

I Swear I Don’t Try to Be This Way

Ahhhh…massages. In a perfect world, massages are an über relaxing experience for the body and the mind.

But, when you’re an over-thinker, just because the lights are dim, there’s soft music playing, and you’re laying on a comfy, heated table, doesn’t mean your brain immediately takes a vacation. Usually this is when the brain is most active and alert.

The other day, as I was getting my massage, instead of finding my inner chill and namaste and all that other impossible-to-do-when-you’re-neurotic relaxation crap, I was instead obsessing over the fact that I forgot to shave my toes.

How could I have forgotten that those bristly bastards had gotten so out of control they were poking through my socks?

What else did I forget?

Oh.

Shit.

Did I wear my Limburger cheese boots without socks again?

Why are you the way that you are, dude?

They’re just really easy to slip on…

I’m forgetful.

I’m an asshole.

I’m sorry.

As my massage therapist worked closer and closer to my porcupine stubs, I reflected on all of the other things that I obsess/worry/think about before, during, and after a massage:

1. Did I shave everywhere? Like, what if an extra long downstairs hair pops out while she’s doing my thigh? Ugh. I’m basically Robin Williams’ knuckles.

2. For some reason, whenever it’s my monthly massage time, my body thinks it’s fart go-time. I probably am doing irreparable damage with all of the clenching I’m doing.

3. OMG. Can she tell I’m holding in a fart?

4. I always forget to have my boyfriend check for back decor. So, it’s almost 100% certain that at every massage I’ve ever gone to, I have some ugly, one-eyed puss monster that the lucky lady who has to touch me gets to rub over. *shudders*

5. I wonder if she notices how bloated I am this month? Bloated? Self, she knows you’re fat. She literally kneads your fat like bread dough. Never does she think you’re just “bloated”.

6. What does she think about as she’s rubbing my fat ankles and calloused feet? Does she think about having to hold down her lunch or is she mentally making her grocery list?

7. Do other people forget to shave their toes? Do other people even have to shave their toes?

So, now I feel the need to apologize to my massage therapist. I’m sorry that sometimes my body is prickly in random places and that my stomach sometimes sounds like a koala’s mating call. I swear I don’t try to be this way.

Anyone else feel like this during a massage or am I just insane?

Random Why Wednesday

Why do I have all the time in the world to binge watch shows on Netflix, play Words With Friends, and spend hours scrolling through a comment section on a video about rat tails as a hairstyle, but when someone mentions working out, I’m all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Why do bank tellers and cashiers ask people what their plans are for the night or weekend? I really don’t want to tell you my only plans for the entire weekend are to not shower, eat an entire pint of ice cream, and work on a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, OK? SO, QUIT ASKING.

Why do people pick their noses in their cars like we can’t see them? Your windows are tinted, not translucent.

Speaking of cars, why do I still worry people know I’m talking to myself when I could easily be speaking to someone on the phone through the Bluetooth in my car?

Why you no share our Facebook Friendsaversary? I don’t care we’ve only been friends for two months. CELEBRATE IT.

Why does IKEA shape their rugs like squatty penises, and when will I eventually unsee a penis rug every time I look at it?

Why do I recently sound like I’m giving birth when getting into bed every night? It’s like the weight of my day is being expelled from every pore and orifice and I need to be really vocal about that.

Why do I feel the need to take 18 different vitamins every day like they will somehow counteract the 20 Hershey Kisses, three bags of popcorn, and two pounds of pasta that I eat on the daily?

Why was I not born a Pygmy three- toed sloth?

Why is collecting enough Bath & Body Works hand soap for all of humanity to wash their hands for all eternity more important than paying my debt down?

Why are there always umpteen old people in every aisle at the grocery store when you’re running late?

Why did I look like this when I was 12…

…but twelve years olds today know how to contour their faces and draw on an expert-looking set of eyebrows? SHIT AIN’T FAIR.

Why are my leggings always inside out when they come out of the laundry when I put them in right side out? WHY? HOW?

Got any burning questions you’d like to share? Have any good answers for mine? Share in the comment section, because sharing is caring (unless it’s lice, the clap, or something you want me to eat that you touched with your bare hands).

We’re Not Allowed There Anymore

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Renee came to visit. This is the same Uncle Gary of WTF Family Photos, Pure Gold, and The Cabin fame.

If you don’t know already, he’s our family’s John Candy.

Even though time and that slippery son-of-a-bitch-health hasn’t always been too kind to him, he’s still the funny, snarky, wisecracker he’s always been.

He may still love to crack a joke, but he isn’t into shopping as much anymore.

Back in the day, he’d be right there with my mom, grandma, and aunt, digging through marked down Christmas bows and wrapping paper in the after-Christmas-sales. He’s the only man I’ve yet to know who truly enjoys shopping and finding good deals on a car-load of Christmas wrapping essentials.

On Black Friday, Aunt Renee wanted to hit up Junkee, which is a very popular thrift and antiques shop in Reno. It used to be the only place I’d *have* to shop at when I lived in Elko and came to Reno (Well, and Target. Lord Almighty, how’d I almost forget Target?)

However, after Junkee bought out all of the ugly Christmas sweaters from every local thrift store and marked them up an ungodly amount a few years ago, I stopped giving them as much business.

They completely took the fun out of looking for and finding some positively horrendous mauve and cream colored poinsettia Christmas sweater at a thrift store for $1.

Here, check out the Yelp review I wrote about my disdain:

So, I usually avoid the place, because I know it’ll just be a bunch of overpriced crap someone found on a dusty rack in another thrift store, but since Junkee is cool with the hipsters, that late 90s era coffeemaker is now worth $25.

ANYWAY.

I decided to push aside my bitter disdain, so I could join the Always A Party, But Also Kind of a Shit Show party train.

Uncle Gary’s socks. We aren’t afraid to admit it.

Also, the independent artists who sell their handmade wares are always worth a look-see.

Because, as I mentioned earlier, Uncle Gary is not much for shopping these days (which is good, because we might have been there three additional hours had he also been one of the look-at-positively-everything-and-then-talk-about-each-item-for-twenty-minutes shoppers), he planted himself in the seating at the front of the store.

After quite some time, as in hours, most of our group was done.

At the front of the store, there was an elaborate Christmas backdrop for pictures. On hand were ugly Christmas sweaters, funny hats, and wigs.

Surprisingly, Aunt Dana (and not yours truly) begged us all to take a picture.

My mom flat-out refused at first, saying she doesn’t like to pose and doesn’t know how to make silly faces (I have an entire album on my phone that completely proves her wrong on both fronts).

My uncle, bored to tears waiting for the shopping to be over, eagerly agreed for something to do.

I’m always game for anything Insta-worthy, so that just left Aunt Renee.

Aunt Renee was still standing in line with her 38 treasures she couldn’t pass up.

As she was paying, a store clerk helped us get into all of the outlandish gear. My mother was helped into a flamboyant green and red monstrosity. I was given a vest that I swear I saw hanging in my mother’s closet not too long ago. Aunt Dana was given a super sweet pair of hipster glasses. And, Uncle Gary got an Afro wig.

The sight of my aged uncle with his salt and pepper beard, Sasquatch Sighting shirt, and an Afro wig was just too much.

As I was peeing my pants in absolute donkey-impression-worthy laughter, my aunt informed the clerk that one member from our group was still paying. She explained that she was the one in the pink sweater.

When I finally came to, some random woman in a pink sweater was being forced-with-a-smile into a glittery reindeer number. The look on her face was pure confusion and unadulterated fear. She cooperated with the clerk, who was insisting she’d look, “Awesome!”, despite the fact that she was eyeing us like we had rabies.

When we started to get situated, Aunt Dana realized a stranger was being forced against her will into our impromptu family Christmas photo straight from Honey Boo Boo’s family picture album and said,

“Oh! Not her! We don’t know her. The other woman in the pink sweater!”

The woman, released from the Crazy Train, tore off like a bat out of hell.

When Aunt Renee was finally located and locked down with an ugly sweater, the photographing of our craziness commenced.

This was the outcome:

I made the same face in all 82 pictures.

With all of the ruckus we caused and the general shenanigans we created, I wouldn’t be surprised if they printed one of our pictures and they have it up in a staff room with the description: Just Say No.

Merry Christmastime from the Clampetts, ya’ll !

Pure Gold 

My mom is a great storyteller. Family stories have been passed down, retold countless times, and loved since I can remember. On Sunday, my mom told us a story I had never heard before, and how it’s even possible she never told us this doozy, I do not know. 

Because it’s pure gold. 

Back in the time of Mom Jeans, VHS, and Kenny Loggins cassette tapes, my mom and her brother had a battle of epic proportions. 

It was Christmastime, and my uncle was visiting, as he did every year. My cousin and I were young, and likely we were the reason the whole fam bam was at the park in the middle of December. 

For some insane reason, the topic of who was faster on foot between my mom and my uncle came up in conversation. My uncle swore he’d literally beat the pants off of my mom. 

Well, that pretty much sealed the deal. 

My mom and uncle readied themselves for a foot race that would easily rival that of Usain Bolt…if he were middle aged, out of shape, and if he considered tight Lee jeans appropriate running attire. 

Quite handy for the two marathon runners was that the particular park where we were had parallel bridges, not too far away from each other. My grandmother, humoring her two always-picked-last-for-sports-children said she’d call “ready or not”. 

I guess now is a good time to paint the scene.

My good ol’ Uncle Gary, or, My Own Personal John Candy was one of the best parts of my childhood. If my mom was a good storyteller, it’s only because she learned the craft from the king of all storytellers-her older brother. 


He was round, and, just like Santa, when he laughed, his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. (And he laughed a lot, because he always had a new, mildly inappropriate joke up his sleeve.)


In essence, he was pleasantly, perfectly plump (he wouldn’t have been Uncle Gary had he been any different). 

As for my mom, it was she who I inherited my overly curvaceous bod, cellulite, and body hair from, so…

I think the picture is fairly clear. 

They were 100% the kids who cheated on running the mile in PE class (or walked the entirety, coming in with a record time of 12 minutes). 

Basically, we had a pair of real marathon winners.

I don’t think my mom even took the race seriously. She probably figured she’d have to embarrass him by beating the pants off him in front of God and everybody, or that he had a cheat or a trick ready and waiting. 

This was why she was far more concerned with what he was doing at the starting line, instead of readying herself for moving more quickly than she had in years. 

She was staring him down, incredulity and an ounce of fear growing, as his Rocky-esque stance proved he was ready and actually serious. 

Suddenly, Grandma called, “Go!” and it was all just a blur of color block windbreaker and handlebar mustache. 

My mom was glued to her spot. Stunned. 

Pretty quickly, she couldn’t contain her laughter and broke down in hysterics. 

She said, “At the starting gate, I collapsed in laughter. I saw him there, this 300 pound man, with his 32 year-old shoes flapping, going like the wind.”

As my mom was dissolving into a puddle of tear-soaked Jordache, Grandma was yelling, “Go, Judy! Just go a little bit, Judy!” 

After listening to this story, it was only natural that I dared my brother to our own relay race. 

I was fairly certain I’d beat the crap out of him. I’d only been an aerial yogaist for five weeks straight, and all of my walks to 7-11 had to make me more capable of movement than him. 

The last time I was witness to him doing anything that resembled physical exertion was when we went on a family picnic five years ago, and I dragged him on a “hike” up to a lookout, barely half a mile away. It was not his favorite. 
I figured I’d finish and have time to bake a cake before he came across the finish line. 

As he confidently, unwaveringly got into his runner’s stance, I began to doubt myself as a shoe-in for first place. 

Maybe he runs during his time off? Had I somehow completely missed that aspect of his life? 

I said to my mom, “I think I’m kinda scared!” 

She replied, “Maybe you should be. Sometimes fat people surprise you and they run like the wind!”

Spoiler Alert: I lost miserably.

Not only did I lose, I came incredibly close to eating asphalt. 

You know when you are trying to go faster than your body can catch up and your head has literally a head start? Well, that was me the entire 20 or so feet we ran. 

Not only did he beat me by running a hell of a lot faster than me, he did so with bare feet. 

When my dad yelled, “Go!” (BTW, my dad was excited enough to watch this spectacle, that he actually paused the golf he was watching, and said, “Now, I gotta see this.” as he practically ran outside), I thought my body would be moving quicker than it did. It was like I was in slo-mo, shlepping through molasses. Before I could even start actually moving, he had propelled his body through the finish line with his Fred Flinstone feet. 

It wasn’t even a competition. 

The two expert sprinters

Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate people carrying around some extra weight, because they can move. With the exception of this fat chick. I can’t move quickly for anything. 
Also, family stories are better when you don’t try to reenact them. Don’t let history repeat itself, people!  

Hello, My Name is Fertie McCerpcerks

So, I was totally meaning to share my beautiful school picture with ya’ll months ago, but being a teacher, tutor, and have-to-do-everything-during-the-holidays-freak kind of distracted me. 

I’m excited for the holiday break coming up. Maybe I’ll find some inspiration to write some little ditties (is that how that’s spelled? It kind of looks like a dirty word to me…no?)

Anyway.

So, way back in the beginning of the school year, was one of my most favorite days ever. 

I mean, I get up early and actually do my hair for this momentous day. 

I pick out a special outfit that I hope will say, “I’m a teacher, but that doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to denim jumpers and solid white orthopedic shoes”. 

I make sure my eyebrows are on fleek. Or, at least, they’re laying in the right direction. 

I.get.up.early. Did I already mention that part?

Unless you’re a skimmer (and you missed that part) or you’re shit at comprehending what you read, I’m talking about picture day. 

So, I hate picture day. 

I am not the most photogenic of people, and there’s something just downright evil about school pictures. 

Maybe it’s the lighting. Maybe it’s the ridiculous glamour shot poses they make you sit in. Maybe it’s just that I look like a tool when I fake smile. 

Because my eyes always look like two, tiny, beady little assholes smashed into fat cheeks, I decided to wear my hipster glasses.

This was my ultimate downfall- I just didn’t know it when I was trying to make myself look half decent. 

After my super awesome “modeling” sesh this last spring, I learned some tricks of the trade. I fully planned on incorporating what I learned so that I didn’t get lost in my chins like every effing year. 

So, I started out with jutting my chin out like an utter idiot as my first trick. After that I firmly planted my tongue against the back of my teeth. 

Then, I waited for the already-over-it photographer to take my first ever decent school picture. 

He snapped once, checked out his work, and then shook his head, disapprovingly. 

“Your glasses are creating a huge glare. It’s going to feel weird, but I need you to put your head down, look up, and stick your chin out by straining your neck forward.”

I almost just said, “Actually I’ll just take the glare”, but I did what I was told like a good teacher.

Want to know what it looks like when you  are jutting your chin down, but out, as you look up, expectantly, all the while holding in a gnarly fart?

Well, this is what that looks like:


HOW YOU DOIN

I give up trying to take a decent school pic. 

My eyes still look beady and my forehead looks six inches tall.

I look like I’m 12 years old. 

I look like I have a naughty secret. 

I look like I’m holding in a fart (well, I guess I really was). 

I’m so excited that this will be included in the school’s teacher and faculty photo page for everyone at school to see. So excited.

Well, now the whole world (at least my followers) get to see it first. 

Today I got some mini stickers, so I can share my derp face with family and friends. 

Oy vey. 

Flashback Frightday

Yesterday, I shared some old pictures of when I went to Washington D.C. in the 8th grade with my students. Among the images of famous landmarks and monuments, were a couple pictures of me. I was not prepared for their responses to my awkward 13-year-old self. I mean, I knew I had some serious Mom jean action going on, but damn, kids can be brutally…honest. 

Some of their responses/reactions:

1. Open-mouthed shock 

2. “Why are your jeans so tight at the bottom, but baggy?”

3. Snickering 

4. Why is your hair so pouffy? 

5. Which one is you? 

6. “Your face isn’t red like that anymore. Good job, Ms. P.!”

7. Why are you matching? 

8. Whispering

9. “Why do your eyebrows look so different?”

10. “Are you missing teeth?”

Jerks. Wow. Payback will be in the form of zit-covered-too-big-for-their-face-teeth-adolescence. Don’t say you weren’t warned, little darlings. 

Is it really that bad? Yeah, yeah it is. Woof.

Food Naughty

 

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8 Awkward Things That Happen When You’re Being Food Naughty 

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Frank 

It’s funny how the littlest thing can trigger vivid, and super random memories.  Obviously, this leads to the desire to write, because all writers must take advantage of inspiration wherever they can find it. We are resourceful like that. 

Socks. Socks are what made me remember a really ridiculous incident in my past, involving my first boyfriend’s dad, a pair of knee high socks, and Frank. 

We were sitting in a meeting, in a fellow teacher’s room, and I noticed she had old men’s socks on all the desks. What a super ingenious idea for white board erasers! I just hope they didn’t happen to be my dad’s old socks that found their way to the thrift stores. Now that he’s older, his feet have a certain funk about them. Subjecting children to his old socks would, quite possibly, be considered child abuse *shudders*.

I digress. Let me get back to my random story about socks, my ex’s dad, and Frank. 

So, before I can even get into the interesting part, I have to let you know that my brother would steal all of our dad’s socks, because taking from Dad’s neat and tidy drawer was a lot easier than searching through the abyss that was my brother’s disgusting pit of a room. 

Obviously, my dad grew very tired of never having socks to wear because his teenage son had decided that he’d help himself. So, my mom bought two big bags of socks, one for my dad and one for my brother. To eliminate the possibility of my brother stealing Dad’s socks, my mom wrote his name on them. All of them. In big, bold, capital letters. She got bored during the branding of my father’s socks, because she started writing random names, like, “Bob”, “Herb”, or…”Frank”. 

She thought she was a genius, and quite hilarious too. My brother wouldn’t be caught dead at school with named socks, so all was calm in the world of Hanes for awhile (I’m not sure how my dad felt about wearing socks that said, “Herbert” on them, but it had to be better than having none at all!)

But, what they didn’t know, was that there was another sock thief in the house. I loved my dad’s socks, because it was all the rage to wear long white socks up to your knees. God knows why this was considered fashionable. At one time mullets had their day in the sun, so weird things do occur in the world of fashion. 

The best part about this whole sock fiasco was that no one suspected me. No one. That was until I almost, single-handedly, caused the divorce of my boyfriend’s parents. Oops. 

I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend’s house. His parents had a surprise, later in life, in the form of a bright-eyed baby girl, named Emma*. I loved her so much. I loved to feed her. Dress her. Smell her sweet curls. She was like the baby sister I never got. I’m fairly certain I didn’t date Joe Blow** for him, but so I could see his sister. I’m totally not sorry.

Well, because I practically lived at his house, I would frequently leave items or articles of clothing at his house. No, I wasn’t some ho bag, his sister loved to spit up on me. We were basically teen parents. 

One afternoon, after hanging out in my boyfriend’s room, watching TV (really, we were), I decided to get some Pepsi. I bee bopped into the living room, and there was his big, scary dad sitting on the couch. I often did everything in my power to avoid this man. He looked almost exactly like Fred Flinstone, only he had the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his heyday. He was scary. 

As I passed him, with my head down, eyes averted, I happened to notice, from the corner of my eye, his socks. They were long, white, and almost went over his knees. They also said, “Frank”. 

OMFG. He was wearing my socks. I was in full-on panic mode. He obviously didn’t notice he was wearing socks that named another man. Well, not yet. 

As I passed him again, to get back to the room, I did everything in my power to not look at the socks. But, like a trainwreck, I couldn’t not look. I was gawking, staring, mouth gaped, as I walked by. He took notice of me, looked at me like I was mentally challenged, and then turned back to the TV. 

Once safely back in the bedroom, my heart was pounding, but something was rising from deep inside. The sight of that bull-moose-of-a-man wearing my dad’s socks, named, “Frank” was too much. Also, my immature sense of humor starting getting the best of me. He doesn’t know. He’s sitting there, like a tool, with “Frank” on his foot. What a noob. 

I lost it. I could not stop laughing. Obviously, he heard me, and put together my gawking, like 2 + 2, and all I hear is, “Wilma!!!!!!” 

How does one explain to an incredibly irate man how his socks came to have another man’s name on them? Obviously, I had to jump in and explain the whole ridiculous story. I think, after that, he considered me mentally deranged, and that’s why he never uttered another syllable to me, unless forced. 

At least he wasn’t into wearing women’s underwear. It could always be worse. That would have been so much worse. 

*Not really her name 

**Obviously, not his name 

  
15 year-old glamour model. These are the actual socks from the story. Well, maybe they are. They could be, and that’s what makes this picture so amazing. That, and my eyebrows on fleek #didntowntweezers