Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wham That Lamb!

So I was scrolling through my past blogs and realized there has been no fluidity to my blog "labels". Generally people categorize their blogs, whether it be "gossip" or "work" or "relationships" labels are as random and meaningless as my blogs. They are floating freely in the cosmos. In an attempt to bring some sort of balance and purpose to my blog I have chosen to revisit said labels, and expand on each one. My first choice is "Lost Childhood Memories".

When I was younger I had a thing for stuffed animals. No, not like "a thing", but in true young girl fashion I thought stuffed animals were the end all, be all of cool. I had an endless stash of plush which was dominated by my comprehensive Pound Puppy collection. Something you should know about my Pound Puppies is that they all had names, voices and specific rolls. They were a family, but not just any family - they were the McPuppies. We (my brothers and I) developed this name after the beloved Marty McFly of Back to the Future, so of course there was his stuffed doppelganger Marty McPuppy. With the character profiles in place we were primed to play "dolls" with my "Loveable, Huggable Puppies who need a home"

The fun was not limited to those of the puppy persuasion though. There were others that joined in on the action, first and foremost a pair of stuffed, bean-bag sheep that had a Laurel & Hardy thing going on. They spoke in an incoherent dribble of "Bah bah-bah bah, BAH-BAAAAAH!!" You think I'm kidding.... I'm not. And all the animals lived in the happy existence that we made for them, working at McPuppies (that's right, they owned a restaurant) and just being cool. There were slow times, and in these slow times the puppies yearned for something more. We obliged. So we devised a game show for the pups to play. The game show was called "Wham That Lamb!" and went a little something like this:
The two lambs (one was named Lamby, and I'm not positive but I think they both might have been named Lamby) were hung by shoelaces in my brother's closet. We then rubber banded mouse traps to a board and propped the board against the back wall of the closet. The stage was set, and all we needed were some participants from the audience. Bruiser, Marty, Biff, Whopper, they all took turns answering "questions" from the host, and if they answered correctly (which they always did; my pound puppies were no fools) then the host/audience (my brothers and I) would all scream "WHAM! THAT! LAMB!" and the player would hit the hanging lamb as hard as they could, launching Lamby and/or Lamby toward the mousetrap. If the trap was sprung, and an appendage was caught in the trap the contestant would win! If the trap was not sprung.... we would just keep trying until it was. And thus "Wham That Lamb" was born, and the three of us discovered another way to misspend our youth.
Thanks mom and dad.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

9 times (in the voice of Ed Rooney)

This was the ninth Valentine's season I have worked at the Candy Wrapper. Ninth. I'll spare you all the grim details of enduring this manic holiday in a 10x30 fluorescently lit box, mostly because I've already recounted it with most of you. You can't fully appreciate how intense it gets unless you've worked it. If you've ever waited tables on a game day you have a small idea of the horror.

Every year is a little different; every anxiety attack slightly more alarming. Just kidding... kind of. Valentine's hasn't given me an anxiety attack in, ohhh at least 3 years. But seriously folks, it's good to be on this side of the nervous breakdown. Especially when I got to work with such a lovely bunch of high school girls.

So, as another Valentine's Day comes to a close I am resting easy. There were no tears, no under the breath expletives, no freak outs, no weeping in the fetal position on the bathroom floor, no shaking caused by exhaustion or loss of faculties due to hunger..... at least not by me, save for the expletives.

Until next year V-Day...

Monday, February 2, 2009

And I? I took the one less traveled by.

Oh, how the roads of living wind us mercilessly about. Turning through cities almost untraveled only to arrive at a familiar end. I can't help but wonder as I travel the roads, arms outstretched like a childish airplane, where they will be taking me next. Yes, I wonder....

I was walking a trail eleven months further along in the year two thousand and eight when I found myself rinsing hair color out of my newly blond locks. Blond matched this journey perfectly, but it seemed fate, or inertia or some... thing had a different idea. The warm water touched my head with a familiar comfort. Primarily the wonderful sensation of clean, but secondly a firm reminder of home, of routine, of - blond. Water pooled into the dye for a brief second before running down my back, into the tub, down the drain... goodbye... I stepped forward, perhaps in some tiny moment of precognisance, only to feel a sharp thud between my shoulder blades. I realized before I had fully revolved what had happened...

Yes. In a true Cosmo Kramer moment the shower head tore away from the pipes leaving me defenseless against the overwhelming water pressure. Unable to divert the violent stream (after all, a primary function of a shower head is to direct the flow of the water. No head, no direction) I pressed my body against the shower wall, scarcely avoiding my foe. My hand darted with stealth like precision to cut off the water supply. I was safe - for now.

It was here my journey took a sharp turn. Imagine me, meandering somewhat carelessly down a dirt path, my blonde hair lightly wafting behind me in a breeze. Then I am stopped by a sudden shift in the path. I pivot on my heels and face my body down the long, inescapably straight highway laid out before me. I pause briefly considering my options, but there are no options. In a very cruel turn of events I am faced with one and only one choice. My eyes fix on what awaits me, never straining for I already know of what I will see. The festering cesspool that is Wal-Mart on a saturday afternoon. Seriously life? Was this turn really necessary?

It was poetic I suppose that I already knew where the shower heads were located. Not because I'd bought one before, but because years before during sleepless nights (sleeplessness caused by some other woe of a young woman) I had wandered the aisles looking for something to spend my money on. Something that, for however short a time would bring me solace. I clearly had not found that before on the shower head aisle, but today I would. I speedwalked around old women in motorized buggies, and dodged single mothers, cowboys and shoplifters. I grumbled and cursed under my breath (not very far under) at my present circumstances: wet hair, splotchy skin, and the noticeable smell of Nice 'n Easy. People stared, not that it was tricky to figure out my situation. They watched with annoyed wonder, as if I was somehow bothering them. Because, afterall the greatest burden of this entire situation was the inconvenience I placed on the unsuspecting people of Wal-Mart. And then the coup de grĂ¢ce.... with the hostility growing ever heavier in the air I, in one fatal blow shattered the patience of all those around me when I, ever so graciously, pardoned my way across the check out lane to the register next to me and grabbed *gasp* the daily newspaper. That was it. I had pressed my luck once too many. I sought sanctuary with the cashier, fumbling to complete the transaction but not even she offered an olive branch as I had commited the unforgivable sin of reading current events... in her check out line no less.

I ran as fast as I could out of the gates of hell, down the long, stretching highway I had weathered. I ran as fast as my feet could carry me until in a startling instant I was back on my path. I took a moment to stop my dizzying mind. The loops and curls of the day had proven too much for me and my newly blonde hair that didn't seem to sparkle quite as brightly now. I didn't like the direction I had chosen. A direction that earlier had seemed so unavoidable, but now in the afterglow of my misery seemed so carelessly unnecessary.

Cautiously I faced myself forward, brushed my yellow hair behind my shoudlers, and kept walking.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss