Wannabe Vigilante

As I sit here typing this on our front stoop my husband is reading “The Killing Joke”. As you all know, I’m more of a Wonder Woman/Supergirl kind of fan, however, there are times when my inner Batman comes out.  Admittedly I was obsessed with the character as a kid.  

In our neighborhood here of late we’ve been having issues with some neighbors breaking and entering into apartments, stealing things, and ransacking private spaces.  

One particular neighbor was evicted from his residence for his recent behavior, usually fueled by alcohol, and what I am assuming to be bitterness. Since he has been kicked out, he has been staying in a tiny gazeebo (the one feature of our entire complex), sometimes with a suitcase.  Then the day came where he was so drunk he passed out behind the laundry facility,…ten feet from the gazeebo.

His staying in the gazeebo and passing out didn’t warrant a call to law enforcement.  His day came when he ransacked a neighbor’s apartment, calling him a racial slur, then trying to lure said neighbor’s kids into the gazeebo.  

The cops ushered him out once before, then again after the incident with the kids. Believe it or not, this former tennant is only one small problem in a neighborhood full of criminal ongoings.  

It has become so bad the decent neighbors approached my husband and I about forming an official neighborhood watch where we go on patrols to keep the thieves at bay.  

Is it time to move you say?  Yes.  Can we afford to move?  No. Not until our lease is up in December.

My husband has been patrolling a few nights a week, sometimes by himself which makes me nervous and unable to sleep. This doesn’t help on nights when I have to be up at 4:30 am.  I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it and trying to figure out a way to make this neighborhood better.

Last night was the first night we went patrolling together.  He showed me where he and the neighborhood watch have figured out where one culprit lives who has been breaking into cars. He’s been using his bike as a quick get-away vehicle and has done so without being exposed, until last week.  

As we walked “the beat” we rounded into the parking lot of the apartments where this kid lives.  My husband then showed me which residence.  This kid didn’t do a very good job in covering up his window.  There was a sheet haphazardly hung in front of the window exposing parts of his home.  There was a scent of blackberry vapor in the air.  I approached the window as my husband said, “That’s illegal, ya’ know?”

Then the dark side of the Quirk came out.  I said, “If this guy is willing to go into our neighbor’s apartments, into their cars and steal things that don’t belong to him, then we should have every right.”  (Every right to see into his life.)

He kind of just looked at me with a cautioned grin, wondering what had just happened and where I had gone.  Don’t get me wrong, usually I’m not an ‘eye for an eye’ kind of person, but living in a horrible neighborhood has opened my eyes to having to stick together for the good of the community and unfortunately wanting to bend the rules. Especially when the safety of children is involved.

As we were having this conversation, a car started and the headlights came on.  We tried to hang out at the corner of the building, even though I wasn’t successful in my venture of jumping up at a distance to see above the poorly hung, makeshift curtain. We looked guilty of something way more sinister.

The person drove past us, probably thinking we were just as shady as the person we were trying to keep at bay.

We moved on the foot path trying to see any other markers of behavior.  Luckily this night we didn’t have to stay out too long.  The prostitutes, pimp and drug dealers were all behind closed doors conducting their business or hopefully just sleeping.

Last night we slept well.  Then my husband woke me up.

The cursing, child lurerer was back in the gazeebo this morning with a soda.  I was still in bed, my brain tired of all the nonsense in this neighborhood and all the crap the kind and good people here have been forced to see and endure.

“He isn’t supposed to be here”, I said.
“I don’t think he’s with it enough to understand that.” Sobering words from my husband.  The evicted guy has been known to be inebriated 24 hours a day.

This time my inner Batman stayed at bay. Out came Catwoman, possibly Harley Quinn.  I had entered new territory.

“This is a time I wish I had a BB gun. I could lay down on the porch, where the weirdo can’t see me, and I could aim the gun between the rails. ‘POP! POP!’ right on his butt.”

My husband kind of grinned again, “Those things hurt worse than you actually think.”

“I know.”

My theory is it wouldn’t tear the skin.

“OR, I could use a paint ball gun.  When it hit him we could then call the police and tell them to follow the guy with the paint splotches!”

He kind of giggled at the idea.

“Or we could sit with a soda in the gazeebo across from him, and if he spoke to us, we could say, ‘Did you hear that?’ We ignore him, making him think he’s a ghost.”

My husbands face lost any trace of a playful smile.  “That’s sick and twisted.”

“You married me!”

Then he remarked, “If we did that though, it would give him the idea or license to do whatever he wants to see what he can get away with.”

“Dang it!  Why do you have to be right?”

I’m out of ideas readers.  What would you do in this situation?  

Unicorns, p´╗┐lungers 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?

Mystery Tree

When I was a kid at the age of 9, I felt a little like an outsider.   Don’t get me wrong, I had friends, but they were all pretty, with blonde or blondish hair.  Somehow it wasn’t just my slightly doughy exterior that made me feel this way, or my brown hair and crooked teeth. Something about me felt different but I couldn’t place my finger on it.

When I would play with dolls, it was mostly for fashion.  However, when it came to Barbies, they felt like they had a story to me.  My mother gave me her Barbies from the 1950’s for my birthday when I was quite young.  Growing up I felt like her dolls were reminiscent of high fashion and glamour.  When it came time for me to get Barbies of my own generation, someone gave me one with bleach blonde hair.

This Barbie was very much of the California kind and echoed everything every guy ever wanted according to the Beach Boys songs I heard from my father’s record collection. When we would go to a garage sale, often times I would find Barbies; with blonde hair.  Even Barbie’s sister Skipper had blonde hair. Their measurements looked like they were all an unattainable 39″, 18″, 33″.

surfergirl

As I got older and had more of the freedom of choice when it came to dolls, I tried very hard to find a Barbie that looked like me.  They didn’t have dolls who looked like they might be silly, and slightly roundish. They didn’t have any dolls at that time who resembled girls who were of Native American descent. The closest I could get was one with brown hair.  Immediately I shelled out my Christmas money to purchase the blue-eyed doll I would play with a few times and leave in her periwinkle ballerina costume.  Something inside me still wasn’t satisfied.

In my last year of playing with dolls, my grandparents took me with them to the store.  They told me I could purchase a Barbie if it was under a certain amount.  I wanted the African American Barbie.  Her name was Devon.  She was beautiful, and more importantly, she understood me and what it was like to be different.  She wasn’t dressed in all pink, she only used it as an accent color. In fact she was wearing a “rocker” dance club outfit, which meant (obviously) she understood my taste in music.  She understood, period.

devon

Fast forward to this year.  I’m now 26 years older.  Still different, but have since learned how to embrace and handle it.  For Christmas instead of getting dolls and beloved tiny tea cup sets, I get practical, useful things…and an Ancestry DNA test.

My husband decided to surprise me with this gift, to use his words, “Because you’ve been talking about wanting to do this since we’ve been married.”  My family is a bit of a mystery on my mother’s side since her parents were in the foster system. It wasn’t until recently we’ve had some confirmation of roots in Great Britain and Germany. My dad’s side has some ambiguous roots in Western Europe and Germany but one thing we were sure of is we were descended from the Choctaw.

We waited weeks for the test results to come in.  My husband decided to do the test as well to trace his ancestry back even further.  He didn’t know what to expect with his results.  I on the other hand, was expecting a high percentage in Native American and European Jewish.

The other morning as I was getting ready for work, I came in to the bedroom to see my husband staring at his phone with bleary eyes.  Being concerned I asked, “Everything Okay?”

“The test results came in.”

As we sat and looked at them together, he clicked on mine.

It was like a scene in action movies where there are loud explosions. Finally one is so deafeningly loud everything else becomes quiet and you have ringing in your ears.  As my eyes went down the list of each culture they could trace me back to, it was like mini-explosions saying, “Knew that, knew that…” Then came two very loud explosions.

“2% Spanish” boom. 

“>1% Melanesian” Ka-BOOM.

My entire life, my father and I were told we were Choctaw. For something that was to give clarity, it ended up adding more mysteries to an almost filled in family tree.

The test however, confirmed my intuition about being different.  Even though this is only 3% of me, it confirmed why I never felt like I fully fit in. Even though it gave me closure and insight on my ethnic background, it now gives myself and my family more questions as to how we got here.

It confirmed I had more in common with my Devon doll than previously thought.

 

Have you done a DNA Ancestry test? Were you surprised at what you found? How did it compare to your family tree?

 

 

 

 

 

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?

The Naked Eye

In Mark Twain’s time they must have not had women comparable to the Kardashians.


Bear in mind, I am all for women feeling comfortable in their own skin.  I’ve not felt comfortable in mine since I was a teenager.  Most women can wear yoga pants to the gym without feeling self conscious, I on the other hand wear them with shorts over them.  Sure people might giggle, but I’m at the gym to work out, not to catch someone’s eye.

It is this uncomfortableness with my own body that has led me to this post.  That and the issue of regard for self-respect.  

At my second of three jobs, I generally work the photo equipment.  Invariably there is always a vacation pic of someone pretending to pick someone’s rear at a distance, people who are too tall to climb tiny sculptures, babies, babies, babies and naked pictures.

Unfortunately, if something is an Internet order, we can’t always catch the pictures to censor them. They slip by, with the purchaser hoping it goes unnoticed.  Here’s my thing, if you have to submit it over the internet because you can’t put it on the large screen in the store, then maybe you shouldn’t print it at all.  Our printers are out in the open where anyone can see them; two key groups, children and perverts.

Recently last week a woman apparently went to a professional studio to have naked pictures done of herself.  In terms of nudity, the pictures didn’t make sense. She was waist deep in a creek, wearing a blue jean shirt which she purposely pulled behind her so you could see her chest.  A fully made up older woman, with perfect make up and hair, waist deep in a creek. The last time I was in a creek or around any body of water I face planted and had snail shells stuck in my crack; definitely not sensual.

Last night was a doozie.  We had printed off a booklet of boudoir pictures.  No big deal. We usually print these off at Valentine’s for women sending them to their boyfriends who are in the service.  Usually the women are covered sensibly.  Last night, the woman was covered, but then by the time the 4th page printed out, it looked like maybe her butt was starving and ate her underwear.

I couldn’t take it.  I immediately posted my frustrations on Facebook saying, “Please, no more…”

Then as if to taunt me the machine then printed out two 8×10 pics of a woman who looked like a real estate agent in a company van flipping off the viewer.  I was definitely not happy.

In the past someone has been sneaky and printed pictures of him and his girlfriend doing inappropriate things, men have told me I can take off the inappropriate pictures on their order if I want (when they are trying to save all of the pictures on their phone), and women printing off pics and using the big screen then saying, “Oops” and looking at me.  

By all means I am not a prude, I have drawn many naked people.  There is a huge difference between art and pornography.  If you go to my Etsy page you will see tons of naked drawings, but none of them are nefarious. 


 If you are going to take pictures for your significant other, send it to them via text or e-mail, then quickly erase it from your phone so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing it who shouldn’t. If anything think of the photo booth ladies, spare our eyes.

What is something you have had to do in the name of public service that bothered you?

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