Tag Archives: seattle

If it’s major, hit me on my pager

9 Nov

I am going to get real with you today homies.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Today it’s 1996.  I am 15 years old.  I have a Meg Ryan inspired haircut-which I am not-repeat NOT pulling off well, I weigh 90 lbs, and I’m wearing jnco pants.

To clarify, that would be these:

In my case, my feet were never visible, which I assure you, made me hip. I am lacking boobs and an ass at this point.

Also, I live in the suburbs of Seattle.

So you know, practically Compton.

I have taken up the habit of cruising around in my best-friend’s car, attempting to smoke cigarettes (first time encountering this to be a later post-but let’s just re-emphasize that I am attempting, not really succeeding in smoking said cigarettes), and I have become temporarily obsessed with hip hop.  I have started referring to my friends as my homies, I’m convinced that one can never wear enough eyeliner, and if I could figure out how to slick my hair back into a tight ponytail with just two spirals hanging out on either side, you can bet your ass I’d be doing it (aforementioned haircut-an unfortunate side-effect from my previous punk phase despite my desperate desire to become a ganster-excuse me-gangsta).

I am in 10th grade, I am unpopular, and I have acne.  I also have been ordered by the orthodontist to wear headgear 14 hours a day, which I am rebelliously not doing (and yes mom, I still defend that decision).

So, I’m in my jncos, with a baby-toll tshirt which shows off my belly-button piercing (which I did myself-again, later post…), in my friend’s car, and we are cruising around parking lots in search of anything interesting.

By interesting, I mean boys.  Specifically, cute bad boys.

It says something about the male libido that they’d find me attractive, but the fact that they do works well for me.

This is not prep school readers, this is the ghetto.

Ok, so maybe we all saw Dangerous Minds one too many times, but regardless, here we are.

In a parking lot.  In a car.  Coughing cigarette smoke and trying to chat up boys.

Our vessel is her 1982 Honda.  It was at one time white, it is now various shades of dirt.  The driver door does not open so we both have to enter and exit the vehicle via passenger door.  We have slurpees instead of alcohol because we cannot get our hands on anything more adventurous than sugar-soaked ice.

We are listening to e40.  Specifically, we are listening to this song:

Which is of course, the song of my tenth grade year.  The song which inspired the months of begging my mother for a pager.  To page, to be paged, is the epitome of cool and I desperately want to be involved.

The song is reminding me that I don’t yet have a pager, but it’s also working in my favor because I know all the words and can bob my head slightly along in a bad-ass manner I learned from movies.

I will sit in that parking lot, in that car, in those jeans for the next three months before I decide I’m a rock girl.

A rock girl with a pager.

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Demonic cookie breath, sundress, and my love of burritos

11 Nov

Last summer I was haunted by a demon.

I know what you’re thinking.  My imagination is ridiculous, I’m overly-dramatic and prone to campfire-style tales likely to scare no one but myself.  I’m not saying you’re wrong-I’m just saying that last summer a demon in a floral print sundress followed me.

Ok, not in total abundance, more like a two-sighting occurance.

But still.

It started when I went out to lunch with my cousin Molly.  We went to a Mexican restaurant to catch up over chips, salsa, and burritos.  Things were going fine until I left to find the bathroom.

The restaurant is located inside a near-vacant strip mall.  In fact, I think the only thing in the mall is the bathroom, and the lone bench sitting next to the door of said rest-stop.

That’s where I first saw her.

No blinking. Just eye contact.

Sitting on the bench, floral church-going dress, long, wavy blonde hair framing her beautiful face.

I started towards the bathroom, when her eyes locked with mine and I knew something was off.  Mostly because she was creepily chewing on a Nilla Wafer while fiercely maintaining eye contact.

Demon fuel. Dude.

Holding it to her mouth, she nibbled away on the treat while never looking away as I worked my way towards the door.  The torn box sat on her lap, eagerly providing her with cookies while she sat with no apparent purpose other than to stare.

Let me point out how weird it is to be eating Nilla wafers this close to a Mexican restaurant.  I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, except that the sweet cookies are most likely mass-produced from the tears of children.  Enchiladas on the other hand, come from a happy place filled with sombreros, ponchos, and laughter.  Given the two options, obviously a demon would choose the cookie.

That was my evidence of her being a demon by the way.  Cookies next to restaurant + creepy eye contact + sundress=demon.

Since I am brave, I just decided to pretend that I hadn’t noticed our eye contact and went to the bathroom.  On my way out she had upped the creep-factor.  Now sitting so that her body faced the bathroom door-whereas on my way in-she was facing the Mexican restaurant-she continued gnawing away on the tears of children.

Obviously, I hurried back to my burrito.  I tried to act casually, but knowing me-the glancing over my shoulder definitely gave away my fear.  Not that it matters, demons can smell that stuff a mile away.

After we finished eating, Molly had to go to the bathroom.  I said I’d wait for her outside.  Happy to discover that the woman had left, I sat down on the bench while awaiting my cousin, breathed a sigh of relief, and was just convincing myself that my imagination needs a make-over when I looked out the strip mall door and saw:

Demon woman standing outside glass door, about an inch away from the glass, still munching away on the Nilla Wafer, and again-holding eye contact.

Needless to say, this was not a highlight of my afternoon.

Regardless, I sighed relief when Molly emerged from the bathroom, and we got into her car and left the scene of what I’m sure was about to become a Satanic-epicenter of evil.  Who knew such things could happen outside the Happy Taco.

Skip ahead two weeks later, when I flew to Madison, WI to be in my best-friend’s wedding.  On the morning of the big day the bride-to-be and I stopped in a pharmacy for some things before getting ourselves ready.

We were waiting to pay for our items, when suddenly, P.J.(bride) noticed that the woman in front of us was acting a bit-odd.  I didn’t notice because I was too busy debating the pros and cons of eating skittles before squeezing into a bridesmaid dress.

Zilla bridesmaid fuel. Sweet.

Regardless, the woman left the shop before P.J. had a chance to comment.  On the way out of the pharmacy, the woman-who I then spotted just outside the door, was a blonde in a sundress, creepily holding eye contact with me.

Even though she wasn’t identical to my Mexican restaurant demon, she had those same eyes, and this time she got worse.

This time she walked up to me, got way too close to my neck and whispered:

“Stop doing that.  It’s hurting me”

She then proceeded to hold eye contact with me while backing away down the sidewalk.

P.J. laughed pretty hard, but I knew deep down-this demon woman was stalking me.

So if you happen to see her lurking in the cookie aisle of your local grocery store, be careful.  I clearly didn’t receive her message and I’m sure she’s just waiting for the right person to receive her Nilla-wafer whispers.

As for me, I’ll be in the Mexican restaurant.  Look for the girl hiding under the sombrero.

Boxed wine, Doc Martins, Braces, and an RV

3 Jun

Hologram Doc Martins, yellow plaid pants, white wife beater, braces, acne, body resembling a twig, short boy hair cut my mother convinced me would be a good idea: welcome to my fourteenth year.

Twas the year a ouija board saved me from severe punishment.

Let me explain.

My friend Monica and I convinced her mother to let us throw a slumber party in the vacant RV sitting in their driveway.  Her mother thought we wanted to feel like we were camping, but in reality we had discovered the stash of boxed wine kept in the garage, and desired the proper venue to explore the joys of drinking alcoholic grape juice from a spout in peace.

Sophistication and class have clearly been with me from the onset of my adult personality-as nothing quite screams those traits like an RV and boxed wine.

In addition to acquiring the proper ‘hotspot’ for such a party-we also ached for a place we could invite the two boys across the street over so as to fully showcase our hip and all-knowing ways of the party scene.

They were skater boys.  One of them even had a tattoo, and the other one could play guitar WHILE flipping his long grunge-inspired locks out of those piercing blue eyes.  He was two years older, he was a bad-ass, and he and his friend were most definitely the objects of our affections.  Butterflies flew in my stomach the one and only time he had grinned and me and told me I had a cool name.

Monica and I were fairly certain that enough interaction with the two would eventually lead to true love. But first we had to prove our coolness in order to turn their pupils into tiny pink hearts whenever they gazed upon our subtle yet hip nature.

I’m fairly certain we paced in front of their open garage watching them tune guitars and smoke cigarettes for a good twenty minutes before gathering the courage to walk in and invite them to the party.  Monica did most of the talking, as I was too busy contemplating the oversized studded cuff on my wrist and blushing to manage more than a simple hello.  Though I did chime in to confirm that yes-there would be alcohol in the RV, and yes, she and I would like it if the two of them would show up at around midnight and give a little knock on the door.

I’m sure they thought I was mute, but I was so excited my palms were sweaty and I couldn’t believe that simply telling these two sixteen year old boys that we had boxed wine got them to smile at us like that.  Who knew that alcohol and girls were all boys needed?

There is a naivety to being fourteen that once lost, can never be regained.  But I digress.

At ten o’clock that evening Monica and I decided it would be safe to each have a glass of wine just to take the edge off.  While sipping the warm juice we also agreed to consult the ouija board on any and all love prospects that were likely to occur from inviting the rebel boys over for drinks.

Later on, the boys arrived, drinking occurred, and all eighty-five pounds of me passed out at the table.

The ouija board remained sitting on the formica table until seven oclock the next morning, when I woke up to the sight of Monica’s mother as she walked past the cheap window of the RV.  I could hear her shrill, excited voice chatting with what sounded like an army of suburban mothers and a herd of rumbling mini-van engines.

Unbeknown to us, she had decided to host a garage sale that morning.

Unbeknown to her, there were two very hungover teenage boys sleeping in the RV mere feet from her junk-sale.

Monica and the two boys were in the bed, hungover amidst the carnage of sleeping bags and spilled cheap wine.  I was just piecing together the deep conversation about song lyrics from the night before that I had so desperately tried to look cool in when the door to the RV swung open.  Standing there with one hand on her hip and a huge smile, Monica’s mother yelled out:

Good morning girls!! I need your help out here, busy morning with the sale and all.  Do you ladies want some break-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DOING IN HERE?!?!?! MONICA, WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU PLAYING WITH THE DEVIL IN HERE?!?! WE DO NOT USE THE OUIJA BOARD IN THIS HOUSEHOLD RYAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF HOME YOUR PARENTS ARE RUNNING, BUT WE ARE GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

The board had been the only thing her eyes had settled on, and to my complete and total relief she was so furious about it that she slammed the door in my face while sreaming: ‘MONICA, I NEED TO SEE YOU IN THE KITCHEN THIS INSTANT!!’

It was fortunate really, because while Monica dry-heaved waves of stale boxed wine in the kitchen as her mother ranted on about the devil’s magic, I was able to successfully usher the two boys out of the RV and back from the depths of grunge-guitarism from whence they came.

Standing in the RV after they left, I grabbed the ouija board, threw it in my backpack, laced up my Doc Martins, and waited at the sale for my own mother to come pick me up.

My mother didn’t care about the ouija board, but had Monica’s mother discovered the two hormones masquerading as boys in the bed-I am not sure I would have survived to see fifteen.

Scrappy-Doo, McGruff, and my brief career as a detective

12 May

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woes of a clumsy ballerina

7 Apr

If you’ve never had massive amounts of bobby pins scraped against your gel-laden scalp while wearing a tutu then you’ve never lived.  If you haven’t, then consider me jealous of your childhood.

Mine as I’m sure you’ve gathered-involved ballet.

Seven years of it.  That’s a long span of public humiliation.  My mother was behind it.  She had this image of me as a graceful, thin, elegant blonde dancer.

I am many things, but dancer and elegant are not amongst the adjectives that first pop into mind when considering my own character.  Nevertheless, mothers are blind to certain realities, and so it was that I suffered through my slipper, tights, and leotard donning prison sentence.

The British Dance Academy was run by a herd of strict, sadistic ballet instructors.  Think Nurse Ratchet does dance.  If Iraq had called for a dance-off, these women could have ended the damn war by drafting in their troops.  Any child between the ages of six and eighteen who had passed the most recent bi-annual exam would have kicked the sand with their pointed toes in time to brise it back home for dinner.   I don’t think I would have made the draft, but that’s a direct consequence of my relationship with the exams.

They were horrible ordeals involving a panel of stone-wall faced women.  Each trembling ballerina was sent in solo, to perform her duties to the judges.  Being as graceful as an elephant, this was always a problem for me, but when I was nine-it was especially horrendous.

The night before my exam, I prepared my tights, slippers, leotard and went to grab my skirt out of my dance bag.  Only children between five and seven actually wore the tutus, once we reached eight-we were upgraded to satin wrap around skirts.

Which is where my demise occurred.

Somehow during the last rehearsal, I had mixed my skirt with another girls, a girl in my class who was far, far bigger than myself.  Her exam was not until a week after mine, and as I had put off preparing myself until the last minute, there was no time left to inform my mother of this mistake.  The skirt wrapped around my tummy with FAR too much extra fabric.  So I did what any girl would do.

I put on my MacGyver thinking cap, and went to work coming up with a plan that would allow me to wear her skirt and finish my exam without telling my mother of the problem.  I would fix it myself.

Which is why the following morning, I showed up to my ballet exam wearing a total of fifteen pair of cotton panties underneath my tights and leotard, which were underneath the sweatpants I wore over them on the car ride.

Hence, my mother could not see what her genius daughter was up to.

I strode into the examination room, faced the judges, and by all accounts looked like a girl in a diaper.

And then of course, I danced.

If youtube had existed back then, I am sure I would have become an instant sensation.  Luckily for me, I was sent out with strict instruction to relocate my own skirt, and a long-winded lecture explaining that my solution was preposterous, undignified, and a disgrace to the world of ballet.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure that with or without my extra undies, I was forever doomed to be a stain on the world of dance.

thank you, Spielberg

30 Mar

When I was seventeen I worked in a movie theatre.

It was the summer that Saving Private Ryan was released.

I wore a nametag.

You do the math.

Obese gentlemen of all ages found it hilarious to inform me as I heaped piles of popcorn into massive buckets (with butter smeared in the middle as well as the top), that the feature they truly wished to see was Ryan’s Privates.

Some of them even offered to save said privates, which of course was especially tempting when uttered from the greasy lips of men known to inhale cheese-dogs and nachos faster than oxygen.

It was after one such man was zipping up his fanny-pack and preparing to balance his buckets of popcorn, pretzels, candy and gallon-sized soda that a sixteen-year old boy made me forever wary of certain peanut-butter and chocolate treats.

He had overheard the sweat-pant donning walrus casually request a view of my genitalia, and took it upon himself to redeem all of mankind.  So, cautiously approaching the counter I manned, he smiled, shook his head and said:

‘Betcha get that one a lot huh?  Sorry. That sucks.’

Standing there covered in popcorn grease burns, wearing a man’s button down shirt, and sweating from the heat of various hot-dog, nacho, and pretzel ovens-I instantly deemed him a poet. Compared to the rest of the sludge that rolled up to the counter-here was my adorable, grungy, dimpled, teenage hero.

I blushed, laughed, and smiled at him in gratitude for recognizing the horrors of working a concession stand.  He returned the smile, stared at the ground for a moment, and glanced up at me determined to continue the flirtation.  Which, given my mood-very well could have led to an overly dramatic teenage romance.   Delicious make-out sessions in the backseat of cars, hand-written notes, and romantic proclamations of love were all unfolding in our collective future.

But sadly, love is fleeting.

The next words out of Romeo’s mouth were:

“I’ll take a coke and a pack of Reeses Penis please”

Needless to say, he didn’t make it to the select screening of Saving Ryan’s Privates.