Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sam and Sharon: Part Deux

“Your blog totally changed my life.” 
“Reading your blog, it just…inspires me.”
“Write some more about your crazy parents.”

I’ve heard one of the above phrases in my lifetime, and I’ll let you guess which one.  At no point have I endeavored to do anything with this except make fun of stereotypes, text speak, and whatever else bugs the crap out of me in life, but the blog I wrote about ole Sam and Sharon really struck a chord with some folks, and so, in the interest of keeping the 2 ½ readers I sometimes have, here’s another introspective into the lives of my parents. 

1.  I called my mother the other day for the catch-up chat.  When I inquired as to their weekend activities, she said, “Well, Debbie had a swarm of bees…” She then proceeded to explain that swarms of bees are highly sought-after in the bee community and in trying to create a win-win situation in that they could rid the neighbors of the bees and then keep said bees for themselves, they suited up and began Beepocolypse 2012.  The bees were apparently terrified of whatever contraption they came up with to catch the bees and they disappeared completely, making it a win-lose the bees situation.  It also served up delicious fodder for this here blog as I’m almost certain I was the only person in the Metro area having a conversation about capturing a swarm of bees with her mother on a Tuesday afternoon.  On another note, if you too have a swarm of bees, gimme a shout.  I know people. 

2.  My parents also raise chickens and these chickens produce what I’m quite sure are the most glorious eggs ever.  This is not the point.  You see, they got some new chicks a while back and these chicks weren’t yet ready to go in the area with the bigger chickens, so they were relegated to the cellar until they were able to be emancipated.  They started off in a cardboard box, but as they got bigger, so did the box.  So much so that my mother started calling their enclosure the “Chicken Hilton” and became the owner of what I’m sure are the most-hated-due-to-jealousy chickens in existence.  These birds were living it up in the comfort of a cool cellar, a heat lamp, and enough room to order up some room service chicken food.  I would lay an egg if I could live like that for a while but sadly, I’ll just have to keep eating them.  One delicious frittata at a time. 

3.  My father manages a mill for a group of Mennonites in Kentucky.  I don’t think this needs further explanation on why it’s funny because I’ve never in my life heard this as a job description.  What I do know is this job nets responses along the lines of, “Oh, I’m just driving the Mennonites to the feed mill” or “going to pick up a grain auger for the Mennonites.”  Really, though, isn’t any sentence instantly more intriguing when you add “with the Mennonites?” 

4.  My parents’ extracurricular activities are extremely varied and not necessarily limited to chicken architecture and bee entrapment.  My father took a hog-butchering class the other day (I won’t lie, though.  I was a little jealous about that,) they sometimes grind their own flour, and at one point my mother took a class on growing mushrooms (not that kind.  I know.  I asked.) 

5.  I called my mom once and she was extremely excited about the fact that she had just unearthed some forgotten apple trees.  These trees just happened to have been forgotten in their hallway (not to be confused with the several bushels of sweet potatoes that were temporarily housed at the top of their stairs.) 

6.  Once when I was growing up, our wild cherry tree behind the chicken shed amassed quite a few cherries.  We picked what we could, but were stumped when so much of the treasured fruit was beyond the reach of our ladder.  Not to be outsmarted by a mere tree, my mother decided it needed to be pruned anyway.  Cutting down the branches, she brought the cherries into arm’s distance and many a pie was had that summer.  The chickens didn’t have quite the same amount of shade as before, but they didn’t seem to mind that much. 

7.  The majority of my parents’ garden equipment has white stripes painted on the handles.  My mom will tell you this is so they can find them easier if they’re lying out in the garden.  This IS partially the reason, but the real motive behind it is my mother spilled a bucket of white paint once and, not wanting to waste it, gave the tool shed a zebra-esque revamp and painted everything she could find with white stripes.  Easily-spotted implements and the rescue of paint – it was a good day in Robertson County.

And so I leave you with another glimpse into the lives of my folks.  Stay tuned for more stories involving wild animals, produce, and the adventures of Sam at the mill.  It promises to be awesome, because it’s true.  Real Housewives, eat your hearts out.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

An Open Letter to No Shows

I apologize for missing your call.  When the showing service called at 10:51 and requested to show our house at 10:45, I was in a meeting and my phone wasn’t available (and little did I know that I lived in a time warp where my house could make time go backwards!)  I heaved a sigh of relief when I was able to reschedule the showing to a later time (6pm – 7pm,) giving me an entire lunch break and part of an afternoon to clean the house in anticipation of you actually buying it.  
I rushed home, in a dress that could have walked out of “The Stepford Wives.”  Not having time to actually mop, I decided to spot scrub the kitchen floor with a sponge.  Yes, I was crawling around on my kitchen floor, cleaning device in hand, in a plaid halter dress and one of the cats who obviously knew I was deranged.  I put up clothes, shoes, microphones in their proper places.  I ran up and down the stairs probably 17 times (note:  not an inflated number.)  My nicely-straightened bangs of the morning?  Sweat-drenched and slowly going back to curly.  My hand?  Bleeding from…something.  My choice of words?  Loud, alarming, and at times, completely fabricated.   But my house?  My house was freakin’ clean. 
I went back to work, smelling like someone who had just run up 17 flights of stairs in the middle of August in the middle of Tennessee (oh wait – that’s exactly what I did) and proceeded to convince my (very understanding…or maybe he just wanted me out of his office because I smelled so bad) boss to let me leave just a bit early so I could rush home and put the final touches on my showcase de home.  After furiously shoving some last minute items under the bed, corralling three cats into carriers, hauling out food dishes, litter boxes, and other sundries, I politely left the house in anticipation of your arrival.  I was early, so I brought the People magazines that I previously stashed under the sink.  “Foresight,” I thought.  “It’s a hell of a drug.”  It was still pretty hot, but not wanting to run my car for an hour (gas is exorbitant, just in case you didn’t know) I went in intervals of “turn on the car for AC” and “turn off the car for before you declare bankruptcy.”  The cats didn’t seem to mind. 
I read one magazine.  I then completed the crossword puzzle (well, almost completed it.)  I checked my watch and told myself, “They’re probably stuck in traffic.”  I chatted with the security guard, who wished me good luck with the showing.  I jokingly replied, “Thanks!  We need it!”  (Foresight – it’s a hell of a drug.)  I read another People magazine.  I started to fill out the crossword puzzle when the realization hit me.  You, you piece of trash, stood me up at my own house. 
My eyes went a bit blurry and I felt veins pulsing in places you’re not supposed to have veins, and I punched the center console of my car so hard that my hand throbbed for several minutes (and is currently bruising.)  You see, as the time approached 6:30, it was in the back of my brain…”What if they don’t show up?  What if I just did all this for nothing?” but me, being the optimistic dipshit I am, refused to believe that voice that was growing louder with each tick of the clock.  When it finally hit me that you are, in fact, a complete idiot with no sense of time OR decency, I freakin’ had a little meltdown in the parking lot.  Sobbing uncontrollably out of anger, then disappointment, then the realization that we very well may die in this house (be it from old age or the fire I’m going to set to it – take your pick) made me stop and focus all that negative energy on to something that totally deserves it – you. 
I wished things on you and your family that I won’t even put into print, lest it turn into something, let’s say, premeditated.  I don’t even know you, person of dumbassery, yet I can tell you one thing – you are a prick and deserve all of the things that I previously alluded to but wouldn’t commit to typing. 
You didn’t just miss an opportunity to see a house – you’ve brought down upon you a veil of bad karma so thick that you could throw it on the floor at the Brady’s house and call it shag.  You wasted my time.  You wasted my energy.  You wasted my dinner.  And the clincher?  YOU MADE ME MISS THE TITANS OPENING KICKOFF.  
So here’s to you, dumb jackbag (told ya I was fabricating words.) I hope you find a house suitable for your needs.  Heaven knows you won’t need appliances, as you’re probably too stupid to work them anyway, and you obviously don’t need the clocks because you’re an arrogant asshole to whom time does not apply.  I hope this house is infested with bed bugs that are infested with fleas.  I hope someone dumps dirty mattresses on your front lawn on a nightly basis (but they won’t get caught with the expensive surveillance equipment you’re going to buy to catch them!)  I hope your neighbors have a meth lab and several unattended bee hives.  In short?  I hope you’re as miserable for at least some amount of time and have no idea why this misery is taking place in your life.
Because that’s what you did to me, and karma isn’t just a friend of mine.  She’s a bitchy, bitchy friend.  And I hope she finds you, dominates you, and then makes you cry and punch something in a parking lot because the world is full of moronic hacks such as yourself.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuff About Me that Probably Annoys Others

So I spend an abundant amount of time complaining about characteristics in others that drive me insane.  In the idea of “if I complain about it enough, something will get done, right?” I will talk endlessly about the world around us and the sheer amount of aggravation it holds.  While thinking about this, I wondered to myself, “Am I in someone’s blog because I annoy them?”  And then I thought to myself, “Probably.”  So, to turn the tables on myself, I present things about me that probably annoy others. 

1.  I talk to myself in the grocery store.  And in Goodwill.  And well, everywhere possible in public.  Walk past me in the produce aisle at Kroger and I guarantee you’ll hear the whispers of, “No, I have tomatoes.  Don’t I have tomatoes?  Maybe I don’t have tomatoes.  I should probably get tomatoes” while I wander around with my grocery list that is surprisingly devoid of tomatoes.  I’ve had to admit to several people on different occasions that I wasn’t talking to them, but rather to myself in a delusional haze of bad grocery planning.  Follow me around Goodwill and you’ll hear, “Oh, I’m totally gonna spray-paint that later” or “You really don’t need another pink dress, but it IS just a dollar” while I walk around the store on a hunt for a good bargain or photographable mullet.  The point is, people probably (and justifiably) think I’m crazy.  Mainly because I am, but that’s beside the point as I’m sure someone, somewhere has taken some time to talk about stupid people talking to themselves in public.  And I’m public enemy numero uno. 

2.  I have pretty bad taste in music.  The husband once borrowed my iPod for a quick jog and returned it after ascertaining that I was a 1970’s stripper from Alabama from my selection of tunes.  It’s no secret that one of my favorite bands of all time is ABBA (although I blame my sister for this) and yes, there is a LOT of Britney Spears in the ole iTunes account, along with a mixture of Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Nelson (and Alabama.  I can’t help it.)  Old music from the ‘90s?  Yep.  Classical country music on the AM station in the morning?  PLEASE sign me up.  Having married a music-fan of a husband, my musical tastes are ridiculed by my husband with almost the same regularity as my Food Network addiction.  Oh well.  At least I can dance (badly) in my kitchen to the glorious sounds of Flo Rida’s “Whistle” while I make cornbread waffles thanks to a TV tutorial from Paula Deen.  And yes, I just may have helped Mr. Timberlake bring sexy back while making a batch of toffee.  Don’t hate. 

3.   I’ve been using the phrase “no bueno” with increasing regularity lately.  I don’t know where I picked up this phrase but it’s becoming more and more crutch-like in my daily vocabulary and I’m not okay with that.  Plus, I’m not Spanish, so I’m sure that’s irksome to those down the Mexico way. 

4.  I probably didn’t listen to your voicemail and I’m just going to ask you to repeat whatever it is you said when I finally get around to calling you back (another point of annoyance, I’m sure, is the non-existent quickness I have for returning phone calls.)  I’m sure the other person is thinking, “I went through the trouble to tell you why I was calling and you couldn’t trouble yourself to listen to that for 43 seconds?  What’s the point of even setting up your voicemail if you’re not going to utilize its intended purpose?  And the reason I called you was to remind you to get paper towels.  Had you just listened to the message you wouldn’t have even had to call me back and therefore you’ve wasted more of my time.”  I get it.  It’s rude and I apologize.  And if you reply, please do so in text form.

5.  I have probably never seen the movie you’re talking about currently.  We didn’t frequent the movies so much when I was younger for a few reasons.  1.  We had a one-screen cinema in the sleepy town of Springfield and the movies were often out-of-date anyway.  2.  I peed in one of the seats at the cinema while being forced to watch a Jaws movie which literally scared the pee out of me and I still think about that.  Couple these reasons with the fact that we didn’t procure a VCR until the time “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” rolled out and you’ve got yourself a movie pop culture brain vacuum called me.  I frequently have to ask the husband why something is funny on Family Guy or other shows (you know they’re referencing…something…you just have no idea what that “something” actually is) and he’ll sigh exasperatedly while he explains it’s something from Star Wars (note:  I’ve never seen Star Wars.  I told the husband that I would watch it now but he says it’s too late in my life and I’m not going to appreciate it.)  So there.  I’ve probably never seen that movie unless “that movie” involves “Best in Show,” “Roadhouse,” or “Waiting.”  I have such good taste in cinema.  Aren’t you glad to call me your friend? 

6.  I drive with my windows down almost all summer.  This means everyone can hear me singing in the car and that I probably smell like sweat when I arrive somewhere.   

7.  I also back up my car like a trucker, hanging my head out the window and everything.  It’s pretty classy to watch. 

8.  I sometimes write e-mails that are way longer than necessary and it’s often because I’m just trying to get the recipient to laugh at them.  And then I figure it’s actually just to make myself laugh and I’m forcing the receiver to read 8 pages of text to get the point of my e-mail and he’s probably doing anything but laughing by the time he realizes I just wanted him to pick up paper towels.  My bad.

9.  I once took a picture of a guy in Vegas at the "Pawn Stars" pawn shop.  He offered to take a picture of the three of us (the husband, the best friend, and the myself) and asked if we would take his picture on my camera and send it to him since he had forgotten his own photography equipment.  I heartily agreed as he was very nice, and he gave me his card with his contact info.  
I lost his card and therefore never sent him the picture.  He probably hates me and it's justified because I still think about that sometimes and feel guilty.  I searched and searched, but never could find that little piece of paper with an e-mail address for a guy in Canada who just wanted proof that he stood with the guy from a reality show about people's old crap (hey, I'm not judging.  I totally have mine posted on Facebook.)  

10.  I hate olives.  I like the thought of olives.  I like the sight of olives floating in my martini.  However the thought of eating an olive makes me want to gag harder than Rosie O’Donnell at a Magic Mike screening. 
So there you go.  I could actually probably make this list go on for days, but that’s annoying as my long-winded e-mails, so I’ll bid you adieu, apologize for using the word “adieu” in a closing paragraph, and be on my annoyance-filled way of merriment.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Passive Aggression and Poison Ivy: A Dangerous Cocktail

A lot of things have been bothering me lately.  Like, more than usual, and I think this is precipitated by a combination of stress over still not being able to sell our house, the fact that I’m fairly certain everyone in our neighborhood hates us, and an increasing sensitivity to all things stupid surrounding me on a daily basis.  Without dragging out this introduction that most people skip anyway, I present more stuff that bugs me.

1.  The fact that Trisha Yearwood has her own cooking show.  I find this irritating because Trisha already has a lucrative career called “being married to Garth Brooks.”  I would like to strongly urge Mrs. Yearwood to let the folks who aren’t already rich have a crack at one of those coveted time slots.  I would also like for her to stop making Southern cuisine because, well, that’s MY specialty.  It was hard enough trying to come up with my sales pitch should I run into a random Food Network exec you know, on accident, while standing outside his or her house with my night vision goggles previously used to spy on Betty White, but NOW I have to come up with yet another way to spin our tasty edibles and stupid Bobby Deen has already taken the “healthy approach to Southern food” and his brother, Jamie, has taken on Southern food AND MY NAME!  Now I have stupid Yearwood food to overcome AND all this other crap (and by “other crap”, I mean Paula Deen.  She’s gonna make it awfully hard, I can feel it) before I get my own show.  I hope you’re “in love with the boy” Trisha Yearwood, because this girl’s gonna take you down.  Figuratively, of course.  I’m sure even the thunder can’t roll with the security equipment in that place. 

2.  Also annoying: eternal optimism.  This really stems from the “not being able to sell our house” portion of the introduction you probably didn’t read.  The whole attitude of, “Don’t worry, you’re totally going to sell it” is complete horseshit because it’s been well over two years and we haven’t had a single offer.  And while I get that people are more than likely only doing this out of compassion, it’s annoying because it’s not true.  We will probably die in that place with a huge collection of letters amassed from the fact that our HOA hates us, our attempts at parking, our movie making, and our general overall existence in their stupid community.  I’m a true believer in the “our world generally sucks” with brief instances of “it doesn’t suck as much today.”  Eternal optimism just makes me want to point out things that are wrong with the world and complain about them bitterly as the optimist in front of me stops asking why the glass is half empty and orders a double shot of Jack in what is now a quite tasty full glass that will soon have them hating the world AND simultaneously not caring.   

3.  Our HOA and passive aggressive letters.  I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff go down at the pool, including a drunk lady serenading us with “House of the Rising Sun,” footballs hitting not-so-happy float dwellers, and one guy who decided it was completely appropriate to talk about how difficult it is to get AND maintain an erection while under the influence of a $700 meth binge (true, however unfortunate, story.)  However, we received a notice the other day that stated something to the effect of “one of your neighbors told on you for being at the pool too late and we don’t like that.”  And apparently they’re not too happy when one has to climb the fence to the pool after hours.  Yes, we got turned in for climbing the fence by the pool.  The fence-climbing, by the way, happened from INSIDE THE POOL as they lock you in the pool fence after the pool closes, leaving you two options:  1. Sit there and drink the rest of your beer in the hot tub until the gate is unlocked in the morning or 2. Sit there, drink the rest of your beer, and climb the fence to go sleep it off in the comfort of your own bed.   It’s like a really low-budget version of “Bait Car” because now they’ve caught you breaking the law and they’re going to keep you there until they hand down punishment, which in this case, involved a stupid letter with the closing sentiment of, “We’re sure this is just an oversight.”  Yeah.  Because the fence accidentally got climbed, stupid neighbors.  Go ahead – leave your dog shit in the yard again.  Because I’m not going to report you, but I might leave it on your front step.  Petty letters get thrown away, but so do dress shoes with dog poo in the treads.  Ass hat.

4.  Poison Ivy: 1 - Jamie: 0.  I contracted a case of this evil plant rash last week while on a canoe trip down the Duck River.  We've taken this trip for several years in a row now, but this year we came home with some odd tan lines, several bruises, AND a case of poison ivy that would drive Van Gogh to cut off his other ear.  Thinking it was a bug bite, I foolishly scratched and scratched until I realized that it was the curse of the ivy and I'd only spread it all over my body with my incessant scratching.  This cued several trips to the store for calamine lotion and the look of "I'm here for poison ivy and not jock itch" to my fellow shoppers in Walgreens.  Finding the stupid rash on my foot this morning then sparked panic at the thought of not being able to wear my collection of awesome shoes and so to the Minute Clinic I drove.  Going to the doctor is an annoyance that I'll save for another (much, much longer) blog as I HATE doctors, but the idea of a dusty shoe collection had me panicked enough to see a medical professional.  I got prescribed prednisone for the dreaded awfulness that is native to Tennessee's flora and I've now been informed that this medicine makes you crazy, unable to sleep, and incredibly hungry.  So now I'm itchy.  I'm bitchy.  And I'm going to get fat.  F'ing awesome, Mr. Ivy.  Thanks for that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Note on Getting Older

I know anyone out there above the age of 30 is now saying, “What the hell does SHE know?  She’s only cracked 30 recently.” I understand these feelings and will confess to thinking the same thing anytime someone under the age of 30 complains about getting older.  Whatever.  I’ve said it before – it’s my blog and I don’t give a flying rat’s dirty parts because I have officially moved into the next box on the survey when asked my age (so long, 25 – 29.  So long.)
The point is, I’m starting to reach the point in my life where I’d wax poetic about “really getting what life’s about, you know?” to People magazine, should they choose to interview me (I’m sure they need a feature story on some smartass girl who is trying to sell her house through witty Craigslist ads and what will soon be flat-out bribery.)  I’ve realized that my life has changed for the better (mostly) and being on a “get out my frustration at passive aggressive letters I get in the mail and a shitty housing market” writing binge lately, I’ve decided to share my litmus test for getting older.
1.  Onions.  Making burgers the other night prompted me to ask Travis, “Do you want onions or not?”  When he replied, “Well, what kind?” I honestly had to stop because I then realized that not only did I actually have onions that weren’t sprouting other onions in my fridge, I had a freakin’ plethora of onions from which to choose.  Just pick a color – white, red, or green – and I will take care of your onion needs.  This wouldn’t be a big thing, but I distinctly remember opening the “pantry” door at my house in college (it wasn’t a pantry.  It was actually access to the basement with a board placed over the opening to go downstairs.) and remembering that my mother had given me a sack of onions approximately around the time Nelly thought it was “getting’ hot in hurr.”  These onions ceased to be edible somewhere around the time 50 Cent opined about loving someone “like a fat kid love cake” and so the fact that I now have a farmer’s market worth of edible onions in my fridge is pretty smackin’ awesome.  The onions, along with the musical comparisons, show my age and subsequently, my awful taste in music. 
2.  I get to work around 7:45 in the morning.  My job in 2002?  I would walk in around 10:00.  At night.  The thought now of actually having to function at 10pm makes me wanna curl up in my pajamas even more as I drift off to sleep to the sounds of M*A*S*H and the lovely sound of Hawkeye’s martini glass. 
3.  I actually crave vegetables.  I’ve said on multiple occasions that I will judge a meat-n-three by their green beans and I mean it (best beans in town award, at the moment, goes to Sweatt’s.  They also get the best meatloaf award.  Actually, they just get “best damn food in Nashville as long as it’s daytime” award.  Not in the best neighborhood, unfortunately, so leave the Prada at home, folks.)  As awful as this sounds, the idea of a salad bar makes me absolutely giddy since then I have free reign to add WHATEVER I WANT to my salad.  Radishes?  SURE!  Cucumbers?  But of course.  And if they have sprouts on the other side of the sneeze guard?  Bless my heart and pile those suckers on top.  When I was 21 the only vegetable I got was the bloody mary I got at brunch and possibly some scallions on top of my Mexican pizza (before they stopped adding them on after the great scallion scare of 2003.)  My main form of nutrition was the Wendy’s $1 menu (another fast food tragedy – the removal of the chili, chips, and cheese tastiness that used to be my go-to meal on the fly.  Sad day, Wendy’s.  Sad, sad day) and sometimes, if I felt frisky, some mushrooms on my calzone from Barley’s (someone please tell me that place is still kicking?) 
I just realized that I’ve been talking about food for WAY too long, which is another sign of old age, so let’s just move on to…
4.  A big point of excitement in my life stems from being able to match up all the socks in a load of laundry.   Another point of excitement came when I bought a package of socks the other day – THAT WERE COLOR-CODED.  Each pair has a different accent color, making the match-making process after the dryer a freakin’ breeze.  When I can match up my socks in seconds, Trav’s socks come out evenly, AND I don’t have to search the corners of the fitted sheet for that one lone, straggling ankle sock?  That’s the triple crown of laundry perfection, folks.  The trifecta of the laundry room.  And it officially puts me in the “not a whippersnapper anymore” category. 
5.  I made the best vinaigrette dressing of my life yesterday.  I also made the dorkiest proclamation of my life just now.  I’ve been struggling while trying to find my perfect blend of oil and vinegar and by golly, yesterday I achieved it!  This might not sound like a big deal, but believe me, it was a good day in the Yost household.  I also totally forgot what I did differently this time, which also puts a mark in the “onset dementia” column and reinforces the fact that I’m old. 
6.  In my last “getting old” blog I mentioned that I heard Pearl Jam on the classic rock station.  Well, yesterday I heard Aerosmith on the “radio for baby boomers” channel.  I then realized what a caricature Steven Tyler has become and I longed for the days when he was doped up and not hopping on counters in a Burger King commercials.  The days of yore, I believe it’s called.  And I miss them.