Tag Archives: bubble

Hello. I am a blonde turd with a sweaty bum. Nice to meet you.


I have been a student forever.  I went straight through school, spending more time than one should in college (5 1/2 years just for a BA), and then went straight into massage school.  My plan was to immediately continue from there, but I hit a wall and had to rest my brain for a few years.  After five years I started taking some “enrichment” classes to see if my brain cells still worked. Then I had a baby and realized that a) my brain cells had not only shrunk, but some of them had turned into slow reacting goo, and b) I needed to start towards a new career because I was making less than my kid’s babysitters.  I decided on Anthropology first, but after taking a credit class in that (for $440) I changed my mind to Occupational Therapy.  I went over the requirement list time and again, knocking off Intro to Psych ($550).  I went to visit the school and realized it was all wrong.  I liked the idea of Occupational Therapy, but I have been living in a tree-hugging bubble where vegetarians are hiccocrites because they eat cheese, with touchy feely people surrounding me for 18 years.  It felt so clinical.  I changed my mind to Art Therapy and found I had two more prerequisites to take, Developmental Psychology ($675) and The Psychology of Personality ($750).  All of these courses have been over the last six years.  They all started at $440 six years ago.  Even a math nob can see that is such a huge increase in price.  We’re all going to have to become hookers or reality t.v. stars to send our kids to college.  In the meantime, I was ready to interview for the Art Therapy program.

First I spent four months tuning up my portfolio of art.  I had to add some sculpture, and my idea of sculpture is a pinch pot.  I’m really not skilled at sculpture (though my pinch pots have been praised by many a grade school art teacher).  I asked for help.  I learned how to make cement leaves (huge leaves, super cool).  I worked on my essay.  I asked for more help.  My friends proofread it.  I retyped it.  Maybe five times.  It was good.  Made my husband cry.

I was ready.

I was called in to interview (made the first cut).  To be honest I had never been scared of being accepted because it’s a private school and it costs as much as a Lamborghini to go there.  I figured that if the GRE wasn’t required, and I was willing to take out massive student loans, then they be thrilled to have me.  What I didn’t know is that this year, for some reason, everyone had the same idea.  They had their biggest pool of applicants EVER.  uh oh.

I went in for my one-on-one interview.  The head of the department sat down with me.  We went through my portfolio and talked about certain pieces.  Then she asked if I was going to be able to handle the rigorous schedule for three years.

“It’ll change you.  It changed me.  I would go home at night and have no idea who I was anymore, and my husband and kids would expect me to make dinner while I tried to figure out who I was.”

Well, my husband and kid don’t expect a lot of meals from me, so I’m safe there.  I’m also not 20.  I have an idea of who I am.  I’ve seen some things.  Okay, most of them were in movies, but I’ve seen some things.

“What is going to happen if you can’t come to terms with what’s happening and your family needs  you?”

“Well, I’m sure this program will ‘change me.’  That’s inevitable with whatever you do in life.  If things don’t change  you, you aren’t human.  But I feel that I am a happy person.  I tend not to mope.  I have figured this out about myself and I am okay with being happy.  I kind of have a bubble and I like my bubble.”

The interviewer responds, “Well, we’re going to do our best to pop that bubble, if you get into this program.”  I swear, she smiled at me with an evil twinkle in her eye.  Diabolical!

Huh?  Why would someone want to pop my bubble?  You can join it, if you’d like, but I’d rather you not pop it.  It’s like an amoeba, so it’ll envelope you with pink shiny stickiness.

“Well, it may get popped.  I understand that, but I’ll just duct tape it back together.”

I’m thinking, argh.  Why did I bring up bubbles in an interview?  Gad.  There’s something wrong with me.

“Well, we’ll let you know soon if we accept  you into this program.  We have a huge pool of applicants this year, so it’s hard to say.”

Fortunately, I just barely stopped myself from saying, “Oh yeah? Cos I’ve been working hard for this and I want it and I am getting loans and selling my first born, and it’s gonna happen whether you pop my bubble or not!  I think I’ll get my bat and knee cap some prospective students in the parking lot.”

Instead, I thanked her for the interview and didn’t even comment on her desire to pop my bubble.

I returned that evening for a meet and greet.  I brushed my hair (this is a big deal for me).  I put on mascara (woe.  stop the planet!  This is as common as Charlie Sheen making sense).  I dressed in a brown sweater, trying to look professional and smart.  I walk into the room.  The first person I meet has a nose ring.  That’s the norm around here, although I don’t have one.  The next person I meet has a nose ring and a lip ring.  The next one I meet has those two piercings and an eyebrow ring.  They are all about 23 – 27 years old.  I am the oldest person in the room by ten years.

I am an old brown, dumpy looking turd.

But I keep smiling.  Because my bubble is strong.

We chat for a good two hours, and I’m trying to stay upbeat about getting into this program, but I honestly feel like I am not cool enough, or hip enough, or artsy enough.  We eventually come to sit in a circle.  We bow in.  The incense starts. We pass around a peace pipe and start noshing on some wonderful brownies.  Okay, I’m making that part up, but we did bow in.  Like a bunch of white bread, female Tibetan monks.  I like that.  Irony is my friend.

I was starting to feel better.

We asked an alumni panel questions about the program and their careers after they finished.  It was awesome.  I forgot my lack of piercings.  But it was hot.  It was so so hot in that room.  My brown sweater started to seem like not only a frumpy choice but a dumb choice.  I was sweating, and my butt is my tell.  If I am nervous my butt sweats.  It doesn’t seem right to apply deodorant to my ass crack, so I just let it sweat.

As we finished up and said our farewell, I stood up, hoping and praying to the Tibetan god of bums, that my arse hadn’t sweated right through my pants.  Had it?  I’ll never know, but I couldn’t walk our backwards, so I retreated as quickly as I could, a blur of a frumpy brown turd with nicely brushed hair racing down the hall.

Man it was nice outside.  It must have been twenty degrees.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Cool that butt sweat down.  My bubble was still intact.  I had survived the night.  And guess what?  I got into the program.  I may be old and frumpy, but I’m going to be an old frumpy bubble-reinforced grad student.  yea.

Maybe I’ll make my back-to-school clothes out of duct tape.

life in the gutter series


I want my MTv!


I have been fortunate to travel a LOT in my life.  Well, when I was a kid, at least.  Now I am a “Grown Up” and I have to pay for my own travel, and to be honest, I haven’t been out of the country in 9 years.  And that was to Canada.  I no longer have an active passport, and I’ve had a passport since I was 9 years-old.  In those travel years I went all over the world.  I walked along the Great Wall, I took a flash photograph of the Mona Lisa (out of focus – DAMN!), I even climbed a pyramid in Egypt… but most important to me was the hotel room television showing MTv.  It’s true.  Hate to admit it, but there it is.  MTv.  It was new.  It actually consisted of ONLY music television… not reality shows about actor people in rehab.  Bah!  It was Madonna and her Material World, and the Beastie Boys, and Duran Duran.  I could watch it for hours and hours on end.  World history outside my window.  Wellllll…. I guess I could go climb that ancient wonder of the world… right after Corey Hart finishes singing Sunglasses at Night.

I grew up in Saudi Arabia, in the 80’s and 90’s.  There was no MTv.  It was forbidden.  Actually most television was forbidden.  We had a local station that showed edited version of Benson (yes, Benson had to be edited) and occasionally I could find a Punky Brewster episode on the Bahrain network, but there were few options apart from the Indian Movie of the Week.  That may sound fun to you, now that everyone is into Bollywood.  We have sort of adopted India because all of our employees live there.

Soon we’ll be wearing saris and treating our cows much better.

But the Indian Movie of the Week was something entirely different.  I don’t think it translates well into this culture.  Sometimes we’d attempt to watch it, because there would alway be a hilariously strange musical number and a Bollywood scene.  Between those entertaining bits, there would undoubtedly be a murder or a dead baby or something horribly graphic.  Imagine that.  You’re watching SAW and after a particularly horrifying scene, the victims start dancing and singing, in unison with their killer, all in a choreographed parade of bright colors and twangy music.

Needless to say, when I saw MTv for the first time (I remember it SO well) I was completely hypnotized.  Remember that, all you parents out there who don’t allow your kids to watch t.v.  It still exists, and when your kids do finally get to watch it, they’re going to turn into completely obsessed couch potatoes.  I was in Idaho on vacation (okay, not all of our trips of historical greatness), staying with my best friend.  She had MTv (who didn’t?).  We had a sleep over every night, talked about boys incessantly, fretted over the changes our bodies were making (well, I fretted, she enthused), ate junk food, and watched MTv.  She fell asleep around midnight.  Me?  I stayed up the entire night.  I never slept.  I would start to doze, and then there was a CURE marathon.  Oh My God!  My favorite band. I get to see them move and shake and dance!  I kept watching.  In the morning, my friend woke up.  My eyes were glassed over.  She asked if I ever went to sleep.  Well, sure, during the Tiffany video I nodded off.  I must admit.  But then I heard The Reflex, and I couldn’t resist opening my eyes again.  Simon Le Bon!  It was amazing!  What an invention.

I have since relaxed with the music television and no longer find Simon Le Bon attractive.  As I fell victim to the Bouncy Castle Belly Syndrome, he slipped into the British Puffy Faced world of has-been pop stars.  Anyway, it’s hard to ever even find a music video on MTv.  I still wish I could travel.  It was great to bask on the beaches in Greece, scuba dive with the fish in the Red Sea, ski in Austria, float on top of the salt in the Dead Sea, climb mountains in Switzerland, take a cruise down the Nile, and see musicals in London, between marathon EuroMTv sessions.

I need a passport.  I must travel one day with my daughter.  She needs to know where the Bollywood obsession comes from!  She needs to see the art in Paris.  She needs to taste a Ballisto bar.  She needs to see something other than white people.  It’ll be good to leave our bubble one day, when I can afford it.  At least for the time being we have MTv.

Of course, she’s not allowed to watch it.

I swear to tell the truth, with limited exaggerations.


I am a nervous laugher.  I always have been.  If something makes me uncomfortable, I giggle… which often gives people the impression that I am NOT uncomfortable.  Go figure.  People tell me intimate details of their sex lives, I giggle.  People ask me heated political questions, I giggle.  I enter a church, I giggle. And, here’s a new one for me, I am selected for jury duty, I giggle.

I know, I know, it’s an honor to serve on a jury, it’s our democratic process at work, and blah blah blah.  You may think that in my finding humor with jury duty, I am being disrespectful.  Perhaps.  But, remember, I am a nervous giggler.  That’s my excuse.

I entered the courthouse at 8:15 a.m.  There was a small line of people, putting their belongings onto a conveyor belt, much like at the airport.  I watched the woman in front of me put her purse down, then offer to put her super puffy parka that was thrown over her arm on the belt.  The guard told her not to worry about it, and she went on through.  Then it was my turn.  I put my stuff on the belt, smiled at the guard, and he told me to open the top to my coffee cup.  I did as he requested, wondering what I may have been suspected of smuggling in my vanilla latte.  Maybe a grenade?  A shank whittled from my coffee stirrer? Wouldn’t it be easier to smuggle a weapon into a courtroom under a puffy giant parka, anyway?  hmmm.  I guess it’s my social deviant look that I have.  Really not fair, I even brushed my hair that day.

We were led up to a waiting room, where we waited for about a half an hour to be called down to the court.  Fortunately for me, I brought along my intellectually stimulating copy of Chelsea Handler’s book, Are You There Vodka?  It’s Me, Chelsea.  I sat there, reading my book with a big stupid grin on my face, while we waited for the judge to prepare.  I actually read a chapter about a Peekapoo licking a man’s penis.  It just seemed wrong, considering my environment.   The state of mind that book was putting me in was not helping my giggle retention at all.  Did I mention that I was nervous?  New situations do that to me, and especially ones in which I feel I am supposed to behave a certain way, but wasn’t listening very well while the rules were being dished out. I have a insanely short attention span.  I may have giggled.   Everything started to seem funny.  And of course, that was about the time we were called into the court room.  EEEEK!

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea [Book]

We sat down again, because they don’t seem to want anyone to fatigue their butt muscles in a court of law, and listened to the judge give us directions.  Then I was called into the jury box with 11 other people.  It was a good 10 paces away!  My butt was pretty thrilled to experience some movement.  The closest I had ever come to this court room scenario was acting in a pimply faced classroom version of 12 Angry Men in 7th grade.  And watching Judge Judy when Fox was the only channel I had.  This wasn’t the same.  I focused on the smell of cigarettes pouring off the man next to me, instead of my nervous, sweaty armpits – thinking that his stench would surely overpower mine.

The judge read off the charges against the defendant, and while he was still talking I smiled and raised my hand.  He looked at me like there was a purple nipple with horn on it growing from my forehead.

“Am I allowed to ask a question?”  He stared.  Apparently annoyed with the social deviant in the second row.

“Can you explain 3rd degree assault?”  I knew what this meant, but thought that it could be beneficial to the other 11 people sitting up there with me.

“The trial has not yet begun, Miss.”  oooooh.  I was having some high school flashbacks.

“We will explain those charges after we decide on the final 12 jurors.”

Okayyy.  Seemed more efficient my way.

Then the questions began.  We each had to introduce ourselves to the court and give a bio.  You know, name, occupation, age, number of UFO sightings, that sort of thing.

I was feeling silly again, after asking a question in the middle of the judge’s ranting – and now I was even more nervous to be speaking since he had obviously already decided I was at least partially mentally handicapped.

There was a question about if you had children, and if so, what were their occupations.  My kid is a first grader.

“I have a six-year-old, and she’s a professional magician.”

In my defense, nothing remotely entertaining had happened yet.  I thought we could use a little levity.  A couple of hours later, I realized I had technically lied under oath.  Egads!  I mean, of course she’s a magician, but “professional” may be a stretch.

The judge was looking at me, quizzically, probably wondering to himself what kind of drugs I was on.  Caffeine, nerves, and CRAP!  I forgot to eat breakfast. Let’s add low blood sugar to that dangerous cocktail.

And then the last question came along.  It was “What do you listen to on the radio? What television shows do you watch?  What do you read?”

“I listen to music on the radio (just in case they may have thought I was a follower of small town Evangelical radio broadcasts).  I only watch comedy (OH MY GOD!  It’s like I am a pathological liar.  I watch the news.  I watch countless cartoons.  I watch Glee, and I don’t even know what category that fits into!). And I am currently reading Chelsea Handler.”

The guy on my right had graduated from Harvard.  I could tell he was impressed.  The woman in front of me snickered.  The judge said, “What?  What book? Who’s that?”

At this point I am wondering, what the hell is wrong with me?  Why is this stuff in my head actually coming out of my mouth?  Where did I misplace my filter?

I pulled it together and said, “Oh, she’s just a stand up comedian.”

Another lie.

She’s like a 35-year-old, rather slutty Olsen twin.  She’s got her hands in television, books, maybe even porn (I’m guessing).

She wrote this book here, in my hand, that is shaking a little because I am giggling a bit, in this oppressive, wood-paneled room, that is too cold, and gee my coffee is all gone, and I just read about a dog licking a man’s penis, and I really want to laugh because that is just so totally inappropriate while I sit here, possibly being selected to decide if this man is guilty of hitting a woman, while my butt is getting a little sweaty from all these questions.

I was not selected for the jury.

I was a little bummed, because I had already decided the guy was guilty (he had guilty eyebrows) and I thought that my supreme giggling powers would probably sway the decisions of my fellow jurors.   Too bad.  As I walked out of the courtroom, I realized that they had made the right choice in not selecting me, after all.  I was terribly hungry and would have voted for the death penalty if it meant I could have grabbed some breakfast.

My bubble may appear to be a democracy, but in actuality, it is a dictatorship.  I make the rules.  If someone has a questionable arch to their eyebrow, it means they are guilty!  If someone has a puffy coat, check them for a machine gun!  If someone brings coffee, let them in.  Ask for a sip.  And as you giggle, don’t shoot any of it out of your nose and most especially not into the coffee.  You may add some unwanted slip to the shank.

It’s possible that my bubble could use some decaf.

I Kissed Myself, and I Liked It


I had watched countless videos on how to kiss.  They weren’t actual “how to” videos – but my best friend and I repeatedly watched scenes from Zapped and Grease, learning the expected moves.  We were experts with fast forwarding, rewinding, and the play-slow mode.  We would pause when John Travolta kissed Olivia Newton John.  We would watch Scott Baio tilt his head to the side as he expertly planted one on his leading lady.  We had it down.  Or at least my BFF had it down, because she actually had a boyfriend to practice on.  Me?  It was just the mirror or my hand until I was 15.  Up until that point, and probably for a long while after, I was only good at making out with myself.

My first kisser apparently had not studied those 80’s flicks as closely as I had.

It was my first fall away from home, at boarding school.  I had a fantastic roommate who managed to ask me, with a straight face, if I was okay when I woke up on my ass during my first night sleeping on a bunk bed.   I’m not sure how she kept from laughing.  She was a saint.  I dusted my bruised butt off, and attempted to get back up on that bunk.  I survived, without any broken bones and a small portion of my teen pride.

There was a boy, named Emilio.   He was a member of The Spanish Connection.  This was a group of Spaniards at our school who had parents that were diplomats for Puerto Rico, Spain, Columbia, etc.  I guess some of their parents may have just been normal people, but to me, they were all from mysterioso backgrounds, filled with intrigue and danger.  And the way they spoke?  Wow.  My name had never sounded so romantic, even when I imagined River Phoenix whispering it in my ear.

“Kreeeeesssstta!  How are you doiiiiinnng todaaayyyy?”

I just melted into a puddle on the sidewalk.  I have the same reaction to Antonio Banderas’s voice.  It’s a bit awkward to melt when you are watching Shrek with your kid.

So, there was Emilio.  He hardly even spoke English, but what he said sounded like liquid gold in my ears.  Someone told me that he wanted to meet up with me to go to the mall.  I missed the bus.  I told someone I wanted to talk to him at the Canteen.  He never showed.  Someone told me he wanted to meet me to go for a walk after study hall.  Our paths finally intersected.  We walked in the dark, trying some awkward conversation that neither one of us could understand. There were more butterflies in my stomach than in a field of wildflowers on a warm summer day.  Annoyingly, they were fluttering up to my cheeks, making me flushed, and around in my ears, messing with my hearing.  I think even my vision was distorted.  Where were we going?  It was so dark. We were heading over past the gym to the football field.  This couldn’t be good.  Of course, I wasn’t  thinking logically.  Those stupid butterflies were confusing me!   Instead, I was listening to the inflection of his voice, the cascading musicality of each word, not understanding a damn thing he said.  We sat down on a big mat.  I guess this mat was intended for some athletic purpose, but I have a feeling it served more as a soft and cushy seat for people wandering around after study hall, needing a make out spot.  And that was it.  He was not a player, I give him that.  There was no “baby, you’re so pretty, you could be a model, I get lost in those eyes, …”

Of course, maybe there had been on the way over to the mat of shame, but I couldn’t have understood it anyway.

Emilio placed his beautiful Spanish hands on either side of my face.  He looked into my eyes, and I looked into his… thinking only of Scott Baio and how he would kiss if he were in this situation.  A lean to the right?   Probably.  But what if he leans to the right at the same time.  Oooh, that could be awkward.  And do I wait to see if the tongue creeps on in?  Or do we just start like that?

Well, guess what!?!

It’s too late because after holding my face in his hands, and gazing into my eyes, he started to lick me.

Um.  I don’t remember this from my movie training. What do I do with this?  What if he licks out my contact lens?  How will I find my way back to my dorm? The licking continued as my mind grappled with what was happening.  Just as I started to realize that he had somehow at least found my mouth to lick, I also realized that one of his hands was no longer on my face.  It was on one of my floatation devices. I gently pushed it to my shoulder, as if that was the bump he had been looking for.  That hand seemed to have a mind of its own and it gravitated BACK to my floaty.  What was even more alarming to me was the fact that it started to seek out the bottom of my oversized t-shirt, to dive underneath.

What the?

First kiss night – let’s not go through the bases quite that fast.  One milestone at a time, dude.  I need more video learning.  Thankfully, time was up and I needed to return to my dorm.  As the saliva dried in an effervescent sheen on my cheeks, he walked me most of the way back, and said goodnight (or adios or something).  I slithered up the stairs in my dorm, finally reaching my room, and entered it to see my roommate sitting on the floor, doing homework.  She looked at my (freshly licked) face and asked me if I was okay (see, she really was a saint) and I proceeded to crack into bits and pieces.  Even the layer of saliva couldn’t hold me in place.

I did not feel like Sandy, in Grease.

I did not feel like Scott Baio.

I felt like some dirt ball had swooned me with his native tongue and then used that tongue to lick my face.  I knew he wasn’t going to be telling people I was his girlfriend.  I knew he probably wasn’t going to even look at me in the hallways.  And my roommate knew it, too.  She just held me while I cried and cried.

He turned out to be a great guy.  No.  Not really.  He was a total jerk, and followed through with each of our predictions.  It hurt.  I felt like Scott Baio and the cast of Grease should be charged with false advertising.  It was NOTHING like in the movies.  My hand and my own reflection had been much more rewarding (and still talked to me the next day).

Sometimes bubble headed thoughts lead you to expect more from life.  The perfect first kiss.  The amazing sixteenth birthday party (which MY parents completely forgot).  Your romantic high school prom (for another blog).  Even your magical wedding day.  None of these things actually turn out like you expect them to.  It’s much safer to keep such expectations from your bubble, and just continually be surprised.  You can’t practice for everything in life.  Ask my kissing hand.

Do you see what I see?


Someone let me teach a class this year.

I was thrilled, and pumped, and nervous and very aware of the fact that they had only hired me because the original teacher had flaked out on the job at the last-minute.  I didn’t care.  It was an opportunity to do something that scared me.  Sometimes you have to do those things, just to remind you that you are bolder than you think!  It was an Ethics class.  Other faculty would approach me in the halls, to congratulate me, and then quickly add, “If you need any support, let me know.  Don’t let them get to you.  They’ll try.  Are you scared?”  Well, I wasn’t until you said that.  Thanks.

I borrowed the book that I was to be teaching from and read it from cover to cover.  The Ethics of Massage.  You’d think this stuff would be rather obvious, but for some strange reason, people keep confusing massage therapy with prostitution.   Who the hell came up with the phrase “Massage Parlour?”  C’mon.   Couldn’t they just call it, “Whore House” to alleviate the misconceptions?   Anyway, the idea in teaching this to students is to give them the verbal skills to avert any misunderstandings.  I slaved over my lesson plans.  My main plan was to somehow keep them from sleeping so soundly through class that they drooled and embarrassed themselves.

The first day of class came.  I was so nervous that I arrived an hour early just to organize myself.  I HATE talking in front of people, and this was 2 hours straight, of pretty much me talking.   I wrote lists and bullet points on the dry erase board.  I suddenly realized that I have the most horrendous handwriting. I also could not longer spell.  They were going to think I was illiterate.

Well, I guess that would mean they weren’t sleeping.

My (adult) students began to trickle in.  I started chatting with them, as they sat in a semi-circle around me.  I acted like I had taught a million times before. We did introductions.  I learned that they all had pasts, most with some drama, many with some trauma, all interesting and unique.

I told them I could eat an entire Chipotle burrito in one sitting, because I think it’s important for a teacher to share some of their own personal life, as well.   I could tell they were impressed.

The class finally came to a close.  My first class.  I only finished 20 minutes early!  It was not as painful as childbirth, but a tad more painful than my first kiss… simply because it lasted much longer.  I felt awesome, like I had really accomplished something!  I had tackled a fear, and hopefully spoken comprehensible English to a group of adults, while making eye contact!  I didn’t shoot any thing from my nose!  Here I was walking on sunshine, feeling so great about myself, when I came out of the bathroom.  I was washing my hands when I noticed something in the mirror.  The bright flourescent light was quite visible through my new pants.  Like COMPLETELY visible.  I was wearing flowery undies, for all to see.   I had been in front of a group of adults, for almost 2 hours, writing away on the dry erase board, butt towards the class, teaching Ethics (of all things) in my see-though pants.

Of course, no one fell asleep.

Throughout the quarter, I learned new words and phrases for ‘doing it’ that I hadn’t heard before.  Obnoxiously, I wrote them on the dry erase board – blushing like an overripe tomato, giving thanks that the pants I wore THAT day were not sheer.  I’m happy that in my bubble, if nothing else, I reminded my students how to laugh… sometimes at their teacher.  I also learned that pants that have been reduced in cost 2 or more times, at Old Navy – probably have a flaw.  I wore the violating pants to my bookclub meeting later that month to get the official word.  Yes.  They were see-through.  Not a little, but a lot.  If I was to wear them again, I’d have to register as a sex offender.

Joe Camel meets Robert Smith


I had an extremely unusual simultaneous love of Euro Trash music and Heavy Metal, as a young woman.  I still do.  It makes absolutely no sense.  I can pop around to Dead or Alive one minute, and then blast some Guns n’ Roses the next.  Switch from the dead fish dance, to the head banger.  I can’t head bang any more though, it hurts my neck.  My chiropractor has warned me.

My absolute favorite concert in the history of my life was seeing The Cure at the Leysin Rock Festival, in Switzerland, in 1990.

I was so excited the entire day leading up to it, that my stomach started a series of seismic eruptions.  I couldn’t eat.  More importantly, I couldn’t drink.  I was going to see my favorite band of all time, completely sober.  What a blessing that turned out to be, because I remember it!  yay!

We walked down the mountain to the concert arena.  There were massive amounts of people and I promptly lost my group.  Normally, that would stress me out.  Not on this night.  I wormed and wiggled and squirmed and crossed my fingers ferociously that my stomach would behave.

Robert Smith did his silly British floppy dance across the stage, with his geisha-caught-in-the-rain-and-promptly-electrocuted-style make-up and hair.  I couldn’t move.  I was a mere 25 feet away from him.  I stood still while people bounced against my stiff body.  I was transfixed.  I’m sure I looked like a complete loon, eyes bugging out, trying to watch the entire stage at one time, but being constantly drawn to the bouncing white boy in his oversized shoes.

Boy's Don't Cry

When the concert ended, I found the people I had gone there with and I floated back to the dormitory that I was staying in.  I climbed up to my top bunk, put my Greatest Hits tape in my bright yellow Sony Walkman, and I listened to The Cure all night long.  I made a list of each song they sang, in the order they sang it.  I wrote my boyfriend a letter, and shared the playlist with him.  Poor guy.  That was probably not the most endearing love letter.

“I love Robert Smith.  He’s so great.  He was awesome.  I love him.  Oh yeah, I love you, too.”

The next concert I went to was about a year later.  It was Guns n’ Roses.  In Tacoma, Washington.  What a difference.  Instead of walking down the mountain to see some European glory, we drove down the highway in my loaner car to see America’s kings of white trash.  I should have known it would be a strange day in my rain soaked bubble when we started out at the gas station and I proceeded to smash the car door into the gas pump protection post.  Whoops.  That’s why those posts are there.  I made my sister drive.

When we were nearing the Tacoma Dome (no longer in existence) we got stuck.  For a long long time.

Here’s where my penis envy and white trash horror collide.

A man in a car in front of us got out of his car and peed into a bottle.  Right in front of us.  Wow.  I had to pee too.  I hope he remembered to dump it out.  Or do I?

We found our seats in the Tacoma Dome, way up in the nose bleed section.  We had exams that morning, and our friend Amy (who has such an awesome super hero power of falling asleep absolutely anywhere, anytime) promptly laid her head down and started snoring.  My sister and I gawked at the ladies wearing their tiny half shirts and acid wash jeans.  There was even a forty-plus-year old wearing a prom dress.

Americana.  Nice.

To our mounting dismay, the opening band began.  Motorhead.  Have you heard Motorhead?  Well, when I said I was a fan of Heavy Metal, I meant the pop-ish kind of Heavy Metal. Not Motorhead. This was pure noise, with fingernail on chalkboard  undertones.  And screaming.  Wow.  I actually plugged my ears for their entire set.  The next band was Metallica.  I didn’t really like  Metallica until I saw them perform.  They put on a hell of a show.  The mullet sporting dude in front of us thought so, too.  He was fist pumping and head banging.  I was so glad that Amy was awake now, because I had to point out his fabulous jacket.  He was wearing a high school letterman’s style jacket, with Joe Camel on the back.  Underneath the graphic of Joe, instead of saying ‘Joe Camel,’ it said, in bold letters, ‘Camel Toe.‘  Once I pointed that out to the girls, we proceeded to laugh so hard that somewhere under the words ‘Camel Toe’ we managed to bedazzle that jacket with at least one snot bubble.

Finally, Axl and the gang came out on stage.  He performed his side to side hip thrust, sporting black spandex pants, a bandana holding back his stringy red hair.  It was phenomenal.  True white trash glory!  While I loved the performance, I did not go home and recreate the playlist in my head.

Had I grown up?

Well, not really.  I did dress up as Axl for Halloween that same fall, hair dye and head band in place.  I crashed my sorority’s dance, solo, and reenacted the side to side hip thrust next to the romantic slow dancers.  Someone’s date drove me home in that same loaner car.  As we neared campus I woke up, only to toss my guns n’ roses right out the window and down the side of the door.  Man that loaner was destroyed when I gave it back.

I have a certain yin and yang to my music personality.  I admit, neither one is Mozart.  But I still find it helpful to fill my ears with different tunes, to wake up with some Justin Timberlake dancing in my brain.  My bubble is always bouncing with a good beat.

Every bubble needs a soundtrack.  It keeps things interesting.  You should get yourself one.  I won’t judge it.  Unless it’s country.

Thank you my seester, for reminding me of the loaner car and the G n’R concert.  Memories.  I know you have a soundtrack too, I can hear it all the way over here at my house.  It’s rockin’.

Hello, cat woman. Nice boots.


I have been in my share of Halloween parades.  As a child.  Dressed as a clown for at least three years running.  That third year my costume was so far up my butt, I suffered permanent damage.  This year was my first time parading as a parent.  And boy, was I excited.  Seriously excited.  I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years.  There was a time when I was THE hostess of Halloween parties.  One of my first dates with my husband was to a Halloween party.  We were Vampires.  We had blood capsules in our mouths, which made us look like college students with fake teeth and red stuff coming from their mouths.  Mind you, this was WAY before the Twilight nonsense had spread around the globe like cougar flu.

I wasn’t so insanely excited that I fashioned my own costume from a pattern or anything.  I bought some discount wings at Walgreens, along with some awesome pink and black fake eyelashes.  I ran to a department store and grabbed (even paid for) a long sleeve black shirt, some striped black knee socks, and some fuzzy pink slippers.  I tried on some leggings, but vomited in my mouth at my reflection.  Why are those fitting rooms so damn bright?!   When are they going to learn to use soap opera lighting?  I mean, really.  It’s not like I’m ever going to see MYSELF in these clothes… and other people know I have a rule that they are only allowed to look at me if they engage their own personal soap opera vision.  It’s similar to beer goggles.  Everyone looks good in soap opera lighting.  Susan Lucci is actually 110 years old.  See?

After brushing my teeth really, really, really well, I continued my Halloween costume adventure.  I found some crafty pipe cleaners and glued some cotton balls to the ends.  I put them in my hair.  Once I had donned my whole combination of random items, I suddenly metamorphosed into a beautiful butterfly.

Or a drag queen at a gay pride parade.

My daughter was thrilled that not only was I helping with the Halloween party at school, and coming to see the parade, but I WAS DRESSED UP!  I assumed most of the parents who were helping out would be dressed up.  I mean, why not?

So I helped her get dressed in her adorable little tiny witch costume.  Truth be told, she looked like a teen goth, ready for prom.  She wore it well.  Black lipstick and all.  Marilyn Manson would have been proud.  As we arrived at the school, a dad asked me if I was the Sesame Street Fairy.  I thought, “Well… I do look like a fairy – but not the kind you’d see at a grade school parade.”

Instead I said,  “No, I’m a butterfly! (duh)”  I tend to write better than I speak.

The kids were crazed like mini-meth addicts about to make a score.  They were dancing and growling and jumping and snarling.  It was awesome.  The other volunteer parents began to show up, and there was a common thread amongst them.  No costumes.

Work clothes?  yep.

Exercise clothes?  check.

Costumes? only one other.   A mom.   She was wearing SUPER tight leggings (perhaps the same ones that had induced vomit in me?), thigh high black leather boots, an extremely well-fitted leopard print top, a tail, and a leopard masquerade mask.  So here we are, the mom who could double as a drag queen, sporting pink fuzzy slippers with some dead leaves stuck in them, and cat woman.  Cat woman, from Columbia.  Have you heard Gloria speak on Modern Family?  That is her voice.  It’s beautiful and alluring… BUT I don’t think any real human has the body of Gloria.  I must say though, she looked better in her cat suit than I would have, and she didn’t seem to be fighting a gag reflex at all.

My daughter’s little bitty hand grabbed mine as the parade began.  After we had paraded through a few class rooms, I began to notice that the other parents were WATCHING the parade, instead of participating in it.  I kept going, a little tiny witch hand grasped in mine.  My wings indiscriminately tearing down Halloween decorations in each room.  As we neared the end, one of the moms said to me, “I think this is the first time that parents have been in the Halloween parade.”  Hhhmmmmm….

Well, who is this holiday for anyway?  I don’t attend crazy, intoxicated college Halloween parties anymore.  Since my daughter was born the number of beers that I consume on Hallow’s eve has rapidly diminished.   This year, I had one.  What a sad and pathetic effort.  What can I say?  If I’m not acting like a drunken adult who is trying to find the joy in this child focused holiday through booze or by hooking up with Batman, then I might as well pretend I am a child.  Besides, Halloween is the best!  You get to dress up and show off and people pay you for this display with candy.  Don’t worry, I didn’t hog the limelight from my daughter during the trick-or-treating.  I held back.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from stealing a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup or two once she had passed out in her candy coma.

In my bubble there are false eyelashes, made of sparkles and feathers, appropriate for daily wear.  People wear fuzzy pink slippers instead of thigh high boots. In my shiny pink bubble of happiness, Halloween is not about being sexy.  Unless a gay pride parade is passing through.