That time I crowd surfed

Back in the 90’s there was a phenomenon of dancing called “Moshing”. This is where you get with a group of people who would randomly bump into each other for no other reason than releasing pent up aggression and hormones. This was predominantly done in the teenage and young adult circuits.

One day at the beginning of senior year my friend had just announced that there would be a group performing at her church across the street. We were all excited and loved live music. There couldn’t have been a more fitting beginning to last year of high school. The night of the concert, we assembled with many local teenagers in the church parking lot to hear some grunge music. Well; Christian grunge music.

When I told my boyfriend at the time about the concert, he agreed he was going as well with his group of friends. In conversation with him leading up to the concert he had joked that I could go in the “baby” mosh pit which “is next to the actual, much larger mosh pit.” He made the comment away from me, chuckling with his friends. Unbeknownst to him this irritated me to my very core. There is nothing more I don’t like than being told I can’t do something.

When I arrived at the concert with my friends, it was hot, the sun was about to set and we were waiting for the band to come out on the stage. We began to cheer when four young men clad in orange shirts with the word “Juda” on them appeared. By the time they were in their second song, a small crowd of moshers began stomping, ramming into each other with their shoulders.

I had just been told I couldn’t do something because I’m a girl and I wanted in.

I didn’t blink when I fled from my boyfriend’s side. I ran into the sweaty cesspool of teenagers and began ramming myself against strangers. It was a strange freeing experience feeling like a pinball being struck against others who were going through their own angsty rebellion. In that brief moment running from being a spectator in my life I became a mover and shaker. We did what we did because we could. Nobody could stop us and it was incredible.

The crowd then started to give way from moshing to surfing people through the crowd on a sea of teenaged phalanges. It was very much like the scenes you see in movies where hippies, metal heads, or hair band fans are frenetically dancing and begin passing people over their heads while the person being surfed has an epiphany. In the movies the scene plays out over some poignant music of that decade in an arena or an open farm field like Woodstock. This scene played out in four to ten parking spaces.

When I looked to my left, the people launching others into the crowd were my boyfriend’s friends. He was standing in front of me to the left of them, just watching me. Not looking at him, I sensed his disapproval at what I was about to accomplish. I smiled at his friends as they put their hands down and we gave each other the signal. I ran full force, stepping into their grasp in my beloved brown Doc Martens as they launched me into the air.

I flew. In that moment I had no fear and was full of trust. I landed on a bed of fingers, with nails of metallic blue, gently rolling me through the crowd as I screamed all the air out of my lungs.

Photo courtesy of Mindy C.

The crowd gently set me back down on the ground as the music began to pick up. When I was placed on the ground, I hadn’t quite found my footing yet. The rush from being carried by a crowd full of adrenaline quickly stopped when two moshers accidentally knocked me to the ground. When I tried to get up their buttocks hit my head on the left and right side knocking me down again. I crouched in a Spider-man stance getting a whiff of something rancid. One of the gluteus maximuses had passed gas. I got up again only to be struck repeatedly by the pair of posteriors. I was able to perfunctorily wiggle my way out of the permeated labyrinth of derrieres when one of the owners of said derrieres lended a hand pulling me up. A few moments later a church official called out saying there would be no more crowd surfing.

They should have been more specific. We still moshed.

What is something you were discouraged from doing but did anyway? What did/do you do as an act of rebellion?

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Oatmeal vs. Pizza

My husband has recently, in the last few months, been getting back into his faith. He is Catholic and therefore can not eat meat on Fridays. This is the catalyst of what lead to the the minor skirmish known as “Oatmeal vs. Pizza”.

photo credit craveonline

It all started when we realized we both worked Valentine’s day. We decided to delay our Valentine’s date until the Friday we were both off of work. We had always wanted to go to this revamped bowling alley nearby. We heard the rumors of virtual reality video games and food there being top notch.

Then we checked the prices.

Twenty bucks for one game of bowling. We were stuck.

We didn’t know what to do for our date until the next day I went to work and my boss asked me what we had planned to do for Valentine’s day and she jokingly said, “Work?” When she discovered what we had originally wanted to do, she gave us tickets to two free games of bowling. I couldn’t believe it, it was kismet.

Everything was set in motion, we would wake up, go bowling, play some video games, eat some great food and let off some steam while acting like a bunch of oversized children.

On the 16th, we arrived at our destination, tickets in my wallet ready to play. We walk in the door to be greeted by a huge abstract sculpture of a bowler. Immediately on the right was the virtual reality we heard so much about, to the left was the restaurant. We didn’t realize, this wasn’t just traditional bowling alley food. This was a definite upgrade and worthy of a Valentine’s date.

We sat down, and admittedly our eyes were bigger than our bellies. The menu had options for someone like me, who is gluten free but misses the gluttony of being able to consume a whole pizza. They had items for him who needed to be meat free on Fridays.

We both ordered pizza, mine gluten free with my usual black olive, pineapple and chicken. His; a large veggie pizza. His pizza was glorious, it had every vegetable imaginable on it from artichoke, to peppers. Mine was presented on a flat pizza pan. His was presented on a metal stand, much like a trophy worthy of the winner of the Triple Crown, gleaming in the dimly lit restaurant, light reflecting off the greasy cheese.

As I was finishing the last few bites of my pizza, I looked up to realize he had only eaten half of it before he was full. This is abnormal for him. I started to not feel well, throat sore and beginning to ache all over my body. Suddenly I didn’t feel up to playing a round of bowling. I looked up badly wanting to join the baby-boomers listening to oldies and celebrating strikes in the alleys. We somehow managed to make it to the gaming area. There I knew I could sit and rest while he had fun playing some of the more physically intense games. We had fun but my body was tired. I was tired. It was time to go home.

His pizza was in the fridge for a couple of days. I was at home sick. It just sat there, tempting me to eat it, but I knew better. The gluten would send my already dizzy head from the cold into a further downward spiral. Avoiding it, I had to look for other options.

Oatmeal and soup.

Because oatmeal is relatively inexpensive I sometimes use it as a treat or eat it when I’m hungry before bed because it doesn’t weigh so heavy on my stomach. Needless to say I consumed a lot of the oatmeal as it was soothing my throat and warming me up while I was running a fever and having chills.

My husband came home from his job hungry. He heated up some slices of his illustrious bread dripping with marinara and veggie goodness. I was sitting on the bed watching some unimportant show on my tablet. Suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off the pizza. He sat down and when both of his hands were occupied trying to settle in to eat I snagged a piece of artichoke.

It was delicious.

My eyes were on the screen of the tablet again, with me keeping visuals on the location of his pizza in my peripherals. When both of his hands were occupied once more, one holding the plate, the other feeding himself, I stole a black olive slice. He then uttered the words I will never forget.

“HEY! I don’t go dipping my fingers into your oatmeal when you’re eating!”

Yes, because oatmeal is the equivalent to a piece of Italian-American artistry conceived out of convenience and genius.

Yes, because you can walk into any restaurant and they will have entire menus written on their hipster chalkboards about how their oatmeal has components that were free range and raised in a good home.

Yes, because there are hordes of restaurants dedicated to the many various ways you can prepare oatmeal inventively and consistently make new and traditional dishes from it.

Yes, because oatmeal is America’s sweetheart.

NOT pizza.

What is something you and your significant other have had a disagreement or funny moment over?

Diary of an angsty girl

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t written in a while.  This is partially due to adjusting to a new job position, taking in two roommates temporarily at two different times, thyroid issues, and a major bout of depression from weaning off Bupropion while dealing with the thyroid issues.

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It seems like since 2015 I’ve been giving more of myself and concentrating on others rather than being selfish and doing things strictly just for me.  I love doing things for others, don’t get me wrong, but at some point it would be nice to refuel the tank so I can turn around and give more kindness and encouragement out to others.

Since the tank is empty, this has caused me to think outwardly outrageous things.  Here are a few examples.

“Just because I’m overly helpful is no reason for you to passively aggressively allude to having raging diarrhea. Asking where the Imodium is, isn’t enough to get me to leave you alone.”

“Why are you still wearing your high school jacket 22 years later?  Only The Beach Boys get to do that.”

“Coming in with your music blaring from a battered blue tooth speaker hanging from your belt loop isn’t a good idea.  Especially when curse words are involved.  This is a family establishment.  Also telling your significant other, ‘You sound white’…is like saying you’ve suddenly realized something you hadn’t noticed about them. I think he knows. Maybe turn off the music and communicate more.”

“Yes, I AM on my knees.  Why do you act surprised?  That’s the only way I can reach the shelf! #tallpeopleproblems” “I’m on my knees?  Noooooo, I thought I was a pirate without peg-legs!”  “Yes I’m on my knees.  You’re old.  I thought we were just making obvious statements.”

seinfeld

Those are just things that happened at work.  Here are some things that happened at home.

“Whose underwear are these, and why are they out where the squirrels have access to them? Are the squirrels the cause of the person losing their underwear?”

“Why is there blood dripped on the sidewalk where we exit the steps?  Can’t they bludgeon each other indoors?”

“Why is there a guy shouting ‘Let me in!’ at 1 am?  If he wasn’t such a dog, maybe he wouldn’t have been let out with the other two. Guess that finally answers the question, ‘Who let the dogs out’.”

“Why are all the dogs barking suddenly while I’m trying to pray and meditate? (Dogs suddenly stop barking) My prayers worked!” (Cats starts rustling bags) “Dang it!”

This is only a small sampling, and yes, I get that they may not be all that bad.  However, for me they are.  Thank you for being patient with me while I’m working my way out of a 6 month funk. To family and friends who I’ve seen in this length of time, if I seem a bit stand-offish, it isn’t you, it genuinely is me.

What are some thoughts you have had that you wouldn’t normally say in your everyday life?  Were they due to depression or lack of sleep or both?

 

Unicorns, plungers and hearing loss

My student looked at me after lunch one day and said, “I ate half a unicorn.”  I gave her a funny look and realized she was either being silly or really had eaten half of Scotland’s national animal. 

“You know what? My old lady ears just heard you say you ate half a Unicorn.”

“Yeah Mrs. Quirky,” she said sardonically, “I ate half a Unicorn.”


It didn’t occur to me until recently that with undue stress the last two months of teaching school, working my second job (then in the last two weeks of school as a shift lead) and teaching an art class two hours on a Monday night had made some of my sensory issues go haywire.  Mostly my hearing.

One of the nights I was scheduled to work at my shift lead job, I was helping at the cash registers in the back of pharmacy.  One of my bosses was asking someone, anyone, to show this young couple to plumbing.  I looked right at her with gusto and said, “I can do that!”  Essentially I was all over it, I have worked the front end for almost two years now and know where our household sections reside.

I promptly exited through the pharmacy door, confident, with myself puffed up and greeted the young couple.  As we were walking down the back aisle I said to them, “We have two different sections for plumbing, we have this aisle which is our basic plumbing where the plungers are.”  The woman looked at me with a half smile on her face.  Her boyfriend was kind of looking around and definitely not at me.  What was probably a few seconds seemed like forever.  I couldn’t figure out what I had done or said that was this awkwardly funny or uncomfortable for them.

“This is a joke, right?” she said.

I furrowed my eyebrows, looked at her and gave her an expression fit for a detective trying to solve a mystery. At this point I didn’t know what to say.  What felt like an eternity to arrange my thoughts was a matter of nano seconds before she finally said with a smile, “We’re looking for Plan B.” (Birth Control)

I raised my eyebrows.

“OH!”

Immediately I deflated in confidence, un-puffed myself, hung my head in embarrassment and said, “Right this way!”

We made our way three aisles down. The e-n-t-i-r-e  way I was explaining how my hearing loss had played a roll in this nonsense.  Obviously I wouldn’t be this insensitive with this situation. Luckily they were the kind of couple that could take a joke (even though it was unintended) and they were able to laugh it off.  Myself on the other hand, have never been more embarrassed and will now forever double check what my ears hear.  

What is something embarrassing you thought you have heard? How did you handle the situation?

An Open Letter to Ronda Rousey


Dear Ronda,

First and foremost, I want to say I’m a huge fan.  You have singlehandedly put women on the sports map for MMA.  However, from recent articles it seems you are in need of a pep talk from a female friend.  Let me be that friend.

There was an article published online where you told your mother your new mantra was “FTA”.  (For frequent readers of this blog who might be under 18, we will just say that stands for “Forget Them All”).  I agree with your mom.  You don’t need to use this mantra. 

Look, I know you are dealing with a lot on your shoulders with your upcoming fight against, “what’s-her-face”.  You are angry from your loss in November of 2015.  You are angry because people tried to put you down or tried to steal your shine.  Let me put things in perspective for you for what it’s worth.

Nobody will really know the name of the person you fought 15 years from now.  Heck, I don’t even remember her name now and would have to google it.  Look at what happened after that loss; you fulfilled one of my long time dreams of being on Saturday Night Live.  Note who they asked…YOU.  Not the other gal.  You.

You performed a skit in which you stood against bullies.  You know what it is like to be bullied, and I don’t see anyone else performing that skit better than you.  That skit was so funny, I showed it to the kids I help teach.  

After your loss you admitted to depression and facing a lot of dark areas.  You opened up a lot of minds with that statement.  You could have kept it secret, but instead you let it out there into a world where there is still a stigma attached to it.  You helped others to see it is okay to be dealing with stuff in a dark way, which is completely normal even though society tells us it isn’t.

You say your new mantra is for your nieces, family and fans who haven’t given up on you.  Ronda, I haven’t given up on you.  I will say this though; if you hadn’t had the backlash from “haters”, would you have had the anger to fuel you for this next bout?  By saying, “FTA” to te opposition, you are only proving them right.  You are proving hate is a way of life.  You are feeding into what the other teams want; which is you getting angry enough that you sabotage yourself.  They are betting on the false hope that your anger will open up any weaknesses they can exploit.  Don’t let them do this.

In a strange way, anger can get you through some tough times (trust me, I’ve had some).  Be thankful for the anger, but don’t let that anger dull anything that makes you happy.  Don’t let the anger get in the way of your passion for the sport.  Ultimately this is why you are still in.  Not just any woman would voluntarily train as hard as you do to get a few licks to the face.  You obviously are putting yourself at risk because there is something you love about the sport.  

Prove the others wrong.  You aren’t fueled just by anger.  You are also fueled by love.  Love for the sport, love for your family, love for your friends and your loyal fans.  Never give up, never give in.

Merry Christmas and Sincerely yours,

Quirky Girl

Christmas Quasi Coke

Between working three jobs at break neck speed sometimes I’m able to come home after one and catch a commercial on television.  (Usually during Supergirl or Agents of Shield.). The other night, as I was watching, a Coca-Cola commercial came on.  

     The commercial had a young boy going around town sneaking Coca-Cola bottles into various scenes, in which someone laboring over obligatory holiday decor, discovers the bottle right where their hand was about to be. It sounds pretty thoughtful right?  For me, it conjures up the same philosophy of the , “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” commercial from the 70’s.  However instead of sticking around to “keep the world company” as the 70’s commercial suggests, the kid took off running in the opposite direction.

Maybe this boy should have had more Coca-cola to help him build interpersonal skills?


     The little boy delivering coke stopped by the gift wrap shop where a young girl about the age of 14 is feverishly wrapping presents.  He dropped off a Coke for her too.  A few seconds later I realized the boy gave everyone else in the commercial a regular Coca-Cola, but somehow this young skinny girl who probably could use the calories (since she burned up a plethora wrapping presents), gets the short end of the caloric intake stick, and gets a DIET Coke. 

    Most people probably wouldn’t take offense to this.  However when it comes to commercials I read too much into things and wonder often what they are really trying to say.  I wish they would have inserted a scene in which the girl whips her braided hair behind her and shouts, “What is this supposed to mean?  HUH?” Then she chucks the icy cold diet bubbly substance at the boy as he runs away in tears after bringing up a normal sized girl’s insecurities.  Maybe he wasn’t referencing her size at all.  Maybe the boy was inferring she wasn’t worthy of a full Coke? Maybe he only quasi liked her?

    Nobody in the commercial as far as I could tell received a cherry flavored Coke, or even the illustrious cherry-vanilla version. Maybe this was an oversite on Coca-Cola’s part.  Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was subliminal?  Who knows.  

     What I do know is this; if a neighborhood kid comes up and brings me a Diet Coke, I’m going to ask if they’re calling me fat.  Mainly just to see their reaction.

     Bah-Humbug.  

     What commercials have you read too much into?

Do you know where…

The other night at work a woman approached me.  She asked, “Do you know wur the dushes?” Bear in mind, this was the customer who earlier this summer came in, swatted a fly with a bag of potato chips and demanded her daughter get a new bag because those were all crushed.

     I was puzzled. I asked her to repeat herself again.  She again said, “Do you kno wur the dushes?”  With a befuddled look on my face I quickly escorted her to the aisle where we might have dishes.  Making a huge gesture with both hands, I said, “If it is going to be anywhere, it will be right here.” She made a “tsk” sound and said, it wasn’t what she was looking for.

     She then tried to educate me some more on what she was talking about.  “You know, it’s a thing you can fill with water and vinegar and you can squeeze it?” Again, I looked at her trying to figure out what she was talking about.  She acted disappointed in me that I couldn’t figure it out.       

     Then I lead her down another aisle.  We walked down the dish soap aisle where I again made a huge gesture with both hands and said, “If we are going to have it, it will be right here.”  I thought she was talking about those dish scrubbers you can fill with various liquids like vinegar and water and squeeze to clean stuff with a scouring pad at one end.  
     

     Exasperated, she just says, “Well, I guess you don’t have dushes.” Suddenly it hit me. 

     “Are you talking about, like, lady stuff?” I said waving my hands back and forth in front of my pelvis.

     “YEAH! DUSHES!”

     “Okay, follow me.”

     We finally head down the aisle where the “douche” is and she smiles.  She looked at me and gently nudged me with her elbow, “You don’t know what dush is…” She chuckled.


     “I don’t know, maybe I’m lazy.”

Have you ever had a hard time understanding a customer?  What did you think they were trying to say to you?

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