By a wire

My driver’s side car mirror, my entire car mirror, was hanging by a wire today. I feel that the Buick’s life is nearing an end. I took her in for an oil change and was told she really needed $700 in repairs. That’s about half of what I paid for her two years ago, so it seems like it ain’t worth it. But the sentimental value… well, I never thought I’d be this attached to a car. But that car was the only place I could scream at the top of my lungs; sing my heart out; drive as fast as I dared or as slow as I wanted, even when everything else seemed completely out of my control.


every now and then it’s time for a free write when you’ve just woken up and the sky is zinging with the bells of clouds that never hatched, you are so lucky, you’ve got the entire wind of an army nestled at your feet, maybe it’s time for a plantation of plantains or a passle of pilgrims, maybe it’s time for diamonds to throw themselves from the rings of the married and bored and to join the other stars in the sky and find a home next to the milk moon and there are only so many days left in a life, in a string, in this equation scrawled hastily on the back of a napkin, so maybe today is it.

Thanksgiving here

Standing over the sink full of dishes…

Me: We have a dish situation here.
K: Yeah. You should do the dishes.
Me: I did the dishes like every day last week.
K: Yeah.
Me: And I cooked for you!
K: Yeah.
Me: (Astonished glare.)
K: Welcome to your gender role!

Of course, I immediately rushed to blog this, while K is actually doing the dishes.

Raven’s Grin roadtrip

My friend Adie wanted to take us all to a haunted house. A haunted house that was really haunted and not just full of bad actors in masks. A haunted house that was three and a half hours away. Truth be told, anything that requires a roadtrip is immediately more exciting to me than anything that’s around the corner. So I was in.

The entire drive there to Mount Carroll, IL, felt like The Blair Witch Project set on wheels. We got lost at least four times, drove through endless stretches of pitch-black, and when we pulled over at one point, Kevin said it was so quiet he heard a bug blink. There were two cars full of friends on this trip, and Adie declared at the outset that anytime she’s been in a group that drove two cars to Raven’s Grin, only one makes it back. I was having horrible images of how she’d witnessed her friends’ murders, but she clarified that this mostly involved flat tires and getting hopelessly lost.

Still not comforting.

When we pulled up at last, the house looked lifted straight out of an illustration from a mysterious leather-bound book — covered in vines, with half-wrecked cars out front, falling down, tucked behind trees, with cats roaming around, skeletons dangling from the eaves. You know, the usual. A large group of teenagers was lined up to enter the house ahead of us, so we spent a couple hours at a bar down the street, the kind of bar that hipster dive bars attempt to emulate — tin ceiling, cheap beer, good jukebox, old men with long beards who love this song.

Around 11:30pm we headed back to the house, and our tour began by sitting in a darkened room with an extended video of a clown running around a room and laughing. When the lights went on, the proprietor of the house stood there with a flash light under his face, and the general grammar of Raven’s Grin was made clear: Haunted houses are usually goofy. Let’s make fun of how goofy they are. Let’s create a building crammed full of homemade creepfest objects that are clearly for fun. But this building is hundreds of years old — and while you’re enjoying the meta-goofy of this intricately decorated house, watch out for the parts that are really haunted.

This house tour itself was basically a maze that took us up and down several floors. And “down” = two extremely scream-inducing slides. The proprietor led the tour in Willy Wonka fashion, disappearing and reappearing through trap doors and cracking jokes even as he turned on a sink with blood as running water or lifted a lever attached to a Victorian bed that catapulted you down into the wine cellar.

I left feeling dazed and giddy, awake to the world and dead tired from the adrenaline. Both cars made it back.

More blogginess

Hey. So, I’m now posting items over at Gapers Block a few times a week. That’s right. You can’t escape my grasp for long. (*evil laugh/zombie smother/snarl + bite*)

Structured, competitive

I have problems with structured, competitive activities. I think this stems from a variety of childhood traumas, mostly occurring in gym class. By age 8, I was clearly tall and long-legged, but was skinny and wore thick glasses. I was also painfully shy. Therefore, my prowess at team sports was basically non-existent. I do vividly recall a substitute gym teacher who didn’t know how feeble I was — we were playing kickball, and he said, “You’ve got long legs! You’ll be great!” and I can still picture his disappointed face when I was easily gotten out at first.

But I am slowly, slowly learning to be ok with the structured and the competitive. I’m starting small, with board games; Kevin and his friends are leading me gingerly down board-game lane, and I’m learning to play Risk and Trivial Pursuit. I also realized, at a party on Saturday night, that flip cup — when played with tons of team spirit and no voting-you-off-flip-cup-island, can be lots of fun. The host of the party turned to me jubilantly after our team (Shasta) won by a mile, and yelled, “This is why people like sports!!”

Of blenders

It’s midnight and you just want some tequila but there’s nothing in your fridge. Well, ok, the tequila is in there, but there’s nothing to cut it with. No ice in the freezer. No juice in the fridge. The lack of tequila-cutting agents is so strong there’s an outline of a nonexistent orange juice container sitting in the fridge instead, burning your retina like an afterimage. So you think to yourself, what can I do. What can I, one lowly woman in a slanty-floored coach house, do. You open the freezer again. And you realize: frozen mango chunks. YES. So you puree these chunks of orange, which are so old they are covered in icefur and you watch them grind grind grind in your smoothie maker. And then you realize: water. YES. You need to add water. So you add enough water that the grinding stops and the mango becomes liquified. But when you pour out the mixture, you realize: It’s gross. Far too gross to drink. NO. It is texture only, with no taste at all other than a very faint tang of mango. And then you realize: orange freezie pops. YES. You have orange freezie pops in the freezer too. So you drop in some orange freezie pops and grind it up as well. And it’s delicious. Frighteningly delicious. Though chunky. You add tequila. And present it to your boyfriend. Who points out that it’s very chunky with mango pieces and orange freezie pop pieces. So together you strain it through a strainer and into a glass. And you drink it. And it’s even more delicious than before. No one would ever know it was made from year-old tasteless mango chunks and an orange freezie pop. YES.