Oct 28, 2009

I’m having to utilize all my 2nd grade science knowledge to use a combination of at least 2-3 of the six simple machines to figure out how to get myself out of bed in the morning. Currently, I am devising a rope and pulley system in tandem with an inclined plane to lift my body from a reclining position in order to have it roll down a slope and into the bathroom. Then I think I’ll work out something involving a lever and fulcrum to propel myself either onto the toilet or into the shower. But seeing as how I barely passed high school physics, the odds are I will just continue to struggle with rolling over toward the edge of the bed while crying and praying I don’t pee my pants.

Oct 26, 2009

I've always thought it was a crime that this movie wasn't run the entire month of October a la A Christmas Story in December. Or July.

Oct 17, 2009

My middle school had, like, 1200 kids in it (grades 6th-8th). This translates to about 20 popular kids per grade level, give or take a few girls that bought the right Dooney & Bourke purses or started giving handjobs early enough to elbow their way into the cool crowd that would have otherwise rejected them for flat bangs. But this also means that no matter how terrible you felt about yourself, there were at least 1140 other kids who could make you feel better about yourself because at least you weren't them.

Middle school was a mess of rules, both school-imposed and social hierarchy-imposed, only adding to the anxiety of navigating a prison that not only banned the wearing of shorts of any length for at least one school year, but also painted over all the windows with brown paint to prevent distractions. Everything about it nearly gave me an ulcer. Add to it starting your period and having to figure out how to carry maxipads in your drawstring Guatemalan purse without anyone seeing them as you reach in to take out your lunch money or hairbrush or Sunripened Raspberry body spray and you have a recipe for disaster. The worst days were the Fridays your mom forgot to wash your favorite Friday outfit, the one you had been banking on wearing all week which was probably a sweater from Pasta with some tapered leg pants from Express and Bass slip-on loafers or maybe a paisley button down shirt from Gap tucked in to a denim mini skirt over leggings with lace at the ankles that you wore with Sam & Libby's.

Your Friday outfit was the one you wanted to wear because you heard from someone who heard from someone that this guy may or may not ask you to go with him and it would probably happen on Friday so you wanted to look your best. But instead your mom forgot to clean your Friday outfit and nothing was perfect enough on the day you thought that maybe you would get a boyfriend and someone to slow dance with for the rest of the year so you took alternate routes to classes all day and spent as much of passing period as you could in the bathroom, just on the off-chance that he was looking for you and would maybe ask you to go with him on the day you looked terrible in an outfit meant more for Tuesday or Wednesday or one of those days when you could slack off. And then he asked another girl to go with him anyway and you never knew if it was because you hid from him or he caught a glimpse of your courdoroy coulottes and had second thoughts.

A lot of middle school was based around timing. Not being too early and not being too late. It was always a delicate balance of surrounding yourself at all times with at least one other person because God forbid you ever be alone doing anything (except maybe changing your maxipad because God forbid anyone know about you having your period). You never wanted to be too early to anything because the most awkward thing is to sit at a lunch table alone or arrive at a school dance alone or get off the morning school bus before the other buses arrived or walk into Texas History alone. The only really advantageous alone time came with gym class where you could change into your gray t-shirt and black polyesther shorts (Umbros not allowed)without any other girls seeing your bra or boob size or lack of satin Victoria's Secret bikini panties because they were $12 apiece and your mom only let you buy 2 pairs and today they were both dirty so you were wearing those pink cotton Jockey ones. Being late could cost you dearly though too. If you were late then you probably lost a spot at the lunch table which meant you'd have to try to squeeze 4 inches out on the end and make an extra effort the whole time to get in on the conversation. Or being late meant you got a shitty seat on the bus, probably near the front with the kids that talked to the bus driver and the Romanian kids that lived in the apartments and whose moms waited with them at their stop in the morning and made them wear jackets even when it was 80 degrees outside.

But despite the constant threats of being excluded from the right lunch table based on poor timing and your choice to take too long getting cheese fries and a Hot Pocket, becoming accidentally involved in a gang fight because you knew you shouldn't make eye contact with that obese girl that always wore red t-shirts and talked about the Bloods, and being laughed at for reciting Janet Jackson's State of the World as your poetry choice in English class, the excitement of a school dance could wipe the slate clean. School dances meant hearing Bust A Move at least three times at maximum volume accompanied by a smoke machine and maybe getting to talk to one Drakkar-drenched boy who was only talking to you because he wanted to tell you to tell your friend that he was going to ask her to slow dance, but still. And even if you had a poor choice in outfit every year until 8th grade when you stopped listening to your mom and wearing things like a white turtleneck with hearts on it tucked into a red elastic waist Units skirt with white tights with hears on them and red Sam & Libby's and a long gold chain with a gold puffy heart pendant, you still had a good time.

There was always so much anticipation. Maybe you would finally get asked to slow dance by someone decent who had Guess jeans and gelled hair. Or maybe that short kid in your theater class would follow you around before the DJ played Stevie B's Because I Love You and you would have to hide out in the bathroom for at least one fast song before the slow song and for another song afterward, just on the off chance that the DJ played the extended version of Everything I Do, I Do It For You because you certainly didn't want to get stuck swaying to that mess for 8 minutes. Maybe a really popular couple would break up at the dance and you would say something you thought was really meaningful to the popular girl and then go home and write in your day planner that you had made plans to go to the mall with her the next day which was way better than slow dancing with any boy. Or maybe another couple would let everyone know they were going to french for the first time after the dance and you and everyone else couldn't wait to encircle them in front of the school carpool line to see if they really used tongue until your dad yelled your full name from the carpool lane and everyone quit watching the couple french each other to stare at you.

Should french have a capital "F"?

Oct 11, 2009

More from the police blotter in the tiny town where I work:

9/20, 10:20am
Caller reports nearly being attacked by a rabid skunk.

Motorist snoozing in left turn lane found to be in possession of syringe with cocaine residue; the cocaine had apparently worn off.

Driver fails to exit car before entering building.

9/18, 11:34am
Caller suspects son may be poisoning him.

Caller reports her mother is preventing her from leaving with her child.

9/21, 5:21am
Caller reports wife is stressed out, distraught, possibly intoxicated. Wife responds that she just needed a break (from husband).

9/23, 8:00am
Report of unknown cow attempting to homestead caller's property.

Caller tattles on her 8 and 12 year old sons for swiping her cigarettes.

9/22, 2:59pm
Report of club-footed horse being neglected.

Caller reports that he hasn't heard from his mother in 15-16 months.

9/24, 5:37am
Caller inquires whether he is currently wanted by the police; is encouraged to make his inquiry in person.

Caller discovers a bag of marijuana in his office.

9/26, 12:26pm
5-year-old boy is left my mom at church garage sale. Mom is contacted and returns to fetch child marked "priceless".

9/27, 1:30pm
Renegade washing machine with eternal wash cycle holds washee's clothes hostage.