Sunday, February 13, 2011

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog Post. . . .

. . . for a blatant plug marvelous glimpse at the fruits of my friend Angie's imagination! If you haven't been over to Handmade Hugs lately, lookit what you've been missing!

Hugs for your neck, your wrist, your fingers, your wine glass stems, and even your walls. She'll customize anything in her shop with your favorite colors, too, so yours will be unlike anyone else's! Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Called "Following Distance", Ya Jag!

A few facts before I launch into my story.

Fact: I drive a Jeep.
Corollary: Yay four-wheel-drive!
Corollary: Boo, utter bullshit visibility from the old, cracked, scratched up plastic back window.
Corollary: I can hear everything that happens outside my vehicle as though I were driving with my window open.

Fact: My "driving formative years" were spent in climates where snow was rare, and certainly didn't accumulate over a few inches (namely, southern New Mexico and southeast Texas).

Fact: People who grew up driving in the Greater Chicagoland area drive in the snow, and on icy roads as though it's just another sunny day. It's terrifying.

Fact: I've been driving here for about nine years now; I aught to be used to driving in winter conditions, but I'm just not. Sue me.

But luckily, I have common sense; it tells me I should drive slowly and not follow anyone too closely on icy roads, and I pay good heed to that sense. This strategy apparently stuck in some sports-car driver's craw (no doubt, a native).

I was driving to work Thursday morning, the day after our big blizzard. The sky was clear, and the roads had been plowed, but there was a thick enough layer of ice on the road that driving felt more like off-roading. People were sliding around like crazy, and I was doing my best to navigate all the treacherous road conditions, and dodge other cars.

I was halfway through Gary (a city derelict in general street maintenance even on a good day), driving in the right-hand lane so as not to offend anyone with my vexing attempts at preserving my life and the good repair of my Jeep. I noticed the vague shape of a smallish car out my ruined back window, driving way too close to me. A glance in the side-view proved it to be a small black Civic, naturally tricked out like the owner thought he was starring in Fast and the Furious.

The light we were approaching turned red, and instead of stomping on my brakes and sending myself careening off in some undesired direction, I began down-shifting to slow myself down; I rolled to a gradual stop about two car-lengths behind the guy ahead of me. You know, just in case. The Civic stopped so close to my bumper I couldn't see his headlights anymore. I suspected he did this intentionally, but let it go.

The light changed, and we began moving. I could hear Civic's engine racing behind me, and driving way too close. I could actually see the owner gesticulating. Ridiculous! My window is in such bad shape, I should't be able to make out anything but headlights! It made me nervous, but I ignored him and made my cautious way along. Civic eased up off my tail, and began flashing his lights at me. Was that supposed to goad me into driving recklessly?!

Poor Civic was in for a nasty surprise- I am not affected AT ALL by road rage. My attitude toward my fellow motorists is a pretty solid Whatever, whether they're cutting me off, creeping into my lane, honking, using the shoulder to get past stalled traffic- it doesn't matter. I'm completely imperturbable.

Anyway, since the light flashing didn't seem to have the desired effect, Civic left his lights on high-beams, and tapped his horn. The lane to my left was clear- he could've opted to move over and go around me at any time. I guess he thought laying on his horn was the better option.

I rolled to a stop at the next light, twoish car-lengths behind the guy in front of me. Civic rode back up my bumper, obscuring his high-beams. He rolled down his window and started yelling at me. Yelling at me! I couldn't believe it! Cautiously, I cracked my door open and looked behind me. He paused in his tirade. He seemed somehow surprised by me.

"Pick up the pace, sister!," he finished lamely.

"Just go around me!" I replied calmly. The light turned green, and I shut my door on whatever it was he was about to say to me. The left lane filled up, and he missed his opportunity to bypass me. He continued raging behind me, and I was not looking forward to the next stop light.

By now, traffic was dense, and he was attracting the attention of everyone around him. I could see the car next to me frowning into his rearview, and the passenger craning around to get a better look at the spectacle behind me. We came to a stop at the next light, and I decided opening my door wasn't a good idea, so I just sat there while he delivered his stream of abuses from his open window. I hoped he was freezing his nose off.

"It's called 'Following Distance', ya jag!" I heard another voice chime in. To my surprise, I saw the passenger in the car next to me hanging out of her window, addressing my tormentor. Civic replied something in a smaller voice. I didn't catch what he said, but the Amazon passenger apparently did. She thrust her door open, and stepped her nearly-six foot frame out of the car and stalked over toward my erstwhile traffic-persecutor. I cracked my door and peeked out as Civic was furiously rolling his window up.

"Oh, you not such a big man now, huh? Roll ya window back down and say that shit to mah face, white boy!" She rapped lightly on his window, and then (OMG!) tried the door handle.

"That's what I thought. Pussy," she said with a charming smile and stalked back to her car. She winked at me and got back in. Civic turned at the next light, and the remainder of my ride to work went without incident.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Shelly sat in the old cafeteria where nobody was allowed to sit; sitting in there would bring ruin.
She had found something that was hers. She clutched it to herself and began to cry.
As the tears fell to the soil, more things came to the surface to be found, things that shouldn't be found.
Things better left in the past.
One was a piece of inscribed glass that said The Love I Should Never. . . it crumbled to dust in my hand before I could finish reading it.
A doll turned to me and spoke, and i spoke back, silencing it.
I told her and Jessica to leave- I had to start it on fire.
I went to the wall and traced my fingertips in circles on it.
I stroked it slowly, encouraging it to ignite.
The wall bulged in a spot in front of my face, and a long forked tongue the size of my arm burst forth.
I caressed it, moving both hands up and down along its slippery wet length, feeling the dormant strength of it.
I knew who it belonged to.
Flames began to lick the wall where I had touched it, and I opened the cabinet to prepare the denizens for their awakening.
I bared my breasts.
I yanked the clothing and spite from Shelly and began to adorn her.
I placed an amber choker around her neck, an amber spiral around her arm, amber shackles around her ankles, an amber phallus into her vagina and I was interrupted before I could place the jewel on her brow.
Her forgiveness would not be complete, then.
A crowd still milled around, waiting to see what would happen.
I screamed for them to leave, but they couldn't hear me.
Fools. . .they would give up their lives for a good show?
I left them to regret their fate.
I turned back to the cabinet and the children had begun to crawl toward the doors.
One by one, I tore the flesh away from them and released the firey creatures trapped inside.
They skittered about, finally free, dripping trails of burning brimstone behind them.
The fire began in earnest.
I went back to the wall, stroking the tongue, and the owner began to emerge behind it.
He couldn't see me, but i could see him.
I pressed my naked breasts on him, crooning to him, willing him to see me.
My flesh seared where it met his.
Power coursed through me.
My mouth opened to say his name and complete the event.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Willpower, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me?

I know, I really have a flair for the over-dramatic, but it just hasn't been a good past couple of days. Monday I talked myself into cheesecake (yes, that same cheesecake I blogged about on Monday; that same cheesecake that caused my coworker to call me out on my whiny bitchism). I tracked it, though, and I was determined to not let that piece of lemony, blueberry-ey goodness put a wedge in my week. (Get it? A wedge in my week? Okay, sorry. Moving on. . .)

Then I got some pretty awful news last night. Not good, seeing as how I'm an honest-to-God, dyed-in-the-wool emotional eater. So maybe I can't exactly articulate how terrible news translates to Taco Bell, but it did last night- a seven layer burrito and a nacho supreme. I know, I know! I could have at least eaten off the Fresco menu, but I didn't.

I was tempted not to track it. . . okay, I'd totally decided not to track it and just throw in the towel for the week. But then I got up this morning and decided I just had to know the damage, so I looked it up and tracked it. Turns out it didn't completely wreck my week (I've got 8 weeklies left, and this is my WI day). But I'm still upset, and worried about how that's going to impact my day.

I promise, I'll do my best not to let it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Gotta Be Steaks

It was our turn to go get lunch. Everyone decided on Wendy's, so we got in the truck and started heading over there. Instead of pulling into the parking lot, he decided to keep going, because he had a better lunch idea.

"Steaks," he said to me, "fast food ain't no real lunch. It's gotta be steaks." I nodded my agreement, and we headed off to get some steaks. He drove by several grocery stores, and I watched them go by but didn't point it out.

"I want fresh steaks," he said, as though I'd pointed it out.

We pulled up to this ramshackle butcher shop and went inside. He was going to get the steaks, and I was going to procure the slaw. I went over to the counter where they sold the cold salads, and the old lady told me that they were fresh out of slaw just now, but if I wanted to wait an hour, they'd have some made up. I told her never-mind and went back to the meat counter where he had only ordered four steaks.

"We need five, Hip. You're forgetting Tanya," I reminded him.

"Make it five, Mister," he told the butcher, and he disappeared through the vertical plastic strips with the loin to cut us up five filets. While we were waiting, I told him there was no slaw, and that it would take an hour to make some more. I was itching to get back because we'd already been gone an hour and a half, and I knew our boss was gonna have fits as soon as we walked in.

He said he knew a place on the way back that had good slaw, and black eyed peas too, so we'd hit that place up when we left. The butcher came back and passed the steaks to us wrapped up neatly in spotless white paper. I always wondered how they kept that paper so crisp and white, with no evidence of the blood and carnage it concealed.

As the butcher rang us up I realized i'd forgotten to take up everyone's money, so I paid for half and he paid for half and we'd collect when we got back.

"How're we gonna cook these?"

He didn't answer. I climbed back into the truck with my neat little white package and glanced at my watch again; we'd been gone two hours now. It was one thirty, and Steve would have left by the time we got back; poor Steve. Working all day and not getting any lunch.

We pulled up to this little hole and he went inside to buy some slaw and peas. I waited out in the truck, wondering if the bunsen burner would cook a steak well enough or would it just burn the outside. I was kind of excited to try, because we'd never had occasion to use that bunsen burner as long as I'd been working there.

He tossed some bags over to me and hopped in behind them. They smelled like edible divinity.

"You cain't cook a steak over that thing," he said as though I'd suggested it out loud. As we drove back to the lab, he tried to convince me that if I douse the steak in enough worcestershire sauce, it would seem done and I wouldn't know the difference.

"Like how they do fish for sushi up in lime juice", he concluded. I was skeptical.