Back when she was Sandy

Lately my mother’s favorite leisure time activity is poodles. She’s got three now. Until recently it was four, but one of them was just so fucking old and blind and heart-murmmery that he had to go. Now there are just the three. This is all very new to me. In fact, in the ten years since I lived at home it’s safe to say that I no longer know the woman that lives there.

When my sister and I were growing up there were all these strange “good for you” rules; we couldn’t play with Barbies because they’d give us negative body image. No Miss America for the same reason. We couldn’t watch Speed Racer or eat Fruity Pebbles. Instead we got Upstairs Downstairs and All-Bran. I realize that this is a far cry from the children who were given names like Lyndon Skye and taken to live in the communes of Washington State, but as far as central Oklahoma goes, we might as well have been eating bricks of hash while living in a converted school bus. Incidentally my dad was still a little wacked from his time in Nam and looking to name his next little girl Lyndon Skye, that is until Johnson pulled out in ‘75. On the day the helicopters landed on the roof of the American embassy, dad disappeared into the Wichita mountains for a week. When the time came I was named Erin, Gaelic for peace.

They divorced, Amanda and I grew up, we moved away. It’s only when we came back that we realized things were somehow off. In addition to the poodles the house is now filled with collectable Christmas ornaments and University of Oklahoma memorabilia. One entire spare bedroom is filled with Star Trek toys and no one is allowed to touch them. There may very well be something in her will regarding said toys. I hope to god they don’t come to me because I will forever be haunted by the voice of my mother telling me never to remove them from their original packaging. She won’t listen when I try to tell her that the extensive water damage does take the value down a touch.

I guess everyone’s mother goes a little nutty. This weekend as we walked through the mall (we had to go so she could buy me my own collectable Christmas ornaments) she turned to me and said:
Sandra: “You know Sheila?”
Erin: “No.”
S: “Well, she’s having a hard time. Apparently a crippled retard is claiming to be pregnant.”
E: “Um, what?”
S: “Her son, Sheila’s son, dated this retarded girl with a crippled arm and now she’s saying she’s pregnant.”
E: “Is she pregnant?”
S: “Yes. She can’t be all that retarded. Think of that next time you feel shit on.”


Little cabin in the woods

Unlike others the Christmas spirit has never really moved me. Perhaps it’s that whole ‘heathen-never-going-to-church” thing. I heard a rumor that that was the reason for the season, but I’ve yet to see proof. Ever since I got married I’ve seen bits of season reason creeping in around the edges. Real trees? Check. Traditional Christmas morning snacky-meal? Check? Genuine goodwill? Check. A mother-in-law who can manage to locate my stocking unlike my real mother who just buys new ones every three years? Check. It’s pretty crazy and, I’ll let you know, a little uncomfortable at times.

The Christmas of my youth is a far cry from the storybook. With six grandkids trapped in a rural lake house, Christmas was a little heavier on the screaming, running around, gift-grubbing side. A veritable sugar frenzy fueled by my very own Gramma and her never ending supply of Dr. Pepper, Smarties, and Brach’s Pick-A-Mix. Put that on top of all the pecan divinity, Martha Washingtons, and peanut brittle we’d spent the day making, it’s a deadly cocktail. Her promises to give a quarter to the grandchild who was first asleep rarely worked. We paid no attention, despite the fact that we all got our beds ready at 6:00. ‘Cause, you know, the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner Santa Clause comes. When we finally settled down around two in the morning no one ever slept, it was due in small part to the WWII era army cots we were allotted, but mostly it was constant Santa vigilance. And the keening sounds of my ADD cousins begging for more Dr. Pepper. We counted the chimes on the cuckoo clock until it was time to get up. Eventually we lost count, but that was ok. We knew it was time to get up when one of us would run through the house with a “come-n-get- it” triangle, screaming “SANTA CLAUSE CAME! SANTA CLAUSE CAME!”. Trying to describe what happened Christmas morning is like trying to describe the Bataan death march. You have an idea of the horror, but you will never know the truth.

Things have mellowed considerably. The grandkids are scattered, some have children of their own. This year it was a quiet affair. Ham, ambrosia salad, The Scorpion King, a Christmas ornament that wouldn’t stop playing Boomer Sooner, and a box full of slutty underwear from my mom. Holidays really do get sweeter with age.


I believe in a thing called ROCK!

I’m no good at finding my own music. I rely on recommendations from others or I just listen to REO Speedwagon and wonder why they’re so maligned because they fucking rock. Seriously, I dare you to listed to Take it on the Run come away without a blistered face. It can’t be done.
Anyway, when my sister suggested that I check out The Darkness I was all for it. God knows I love hair metal and the mere notion of Nuevo Hair Metal sets my palms to tinglin’. Little did I know that my life would change forever. Some naysayers accuse the Darkness of not taking themselves seriously, which, I guess means they aren’t worthy of snobby accolades and shit like that. Well I think that’s garbage and I’ll tell you why. Despite the fact that one particular Darkness video features a pterodactyl humping a space ship thus resulting in the birth of the band, their music kicks ass. Far more ass than KISS ever kicked that’s for sure, and they’re worthy of rock adoration. Allegedly.

I’ve never been a fan of meaningful music. My favorite Vietnam protest song is that one about “Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box”. Some might say that’s crass. I say it rocks. You be the judge. The Darkness manage to wholly bring the rock, but they also manage to bring plunge-chested jumpsuits, spaceships, an octopus attack, guitars that shoot lasers, and a love song that specifically mentions needlework as an extracurricular activity. I think I might’ve found my new religion and, in the words of my illustrious husband, I’m gearing up for RagnaRAWK!


Dixie Traditions

I’m trying to think of my favorite Christmas carol. Since I’m totally not into the Jesus reason for the season, it’s definitely a draw between Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys and Sleigh Ride by the Ronettes.
Yesterday I asked my story time kids what they wanted and one of them shrugged and simply stated that all she wanted was “I guess a real horse and an Easy Bake Oven.” She would name the horse Unicorn. I asked her if she wanted to come live with me for Christmas but I’m pretty sure she didn’t get it. I decided that I too wanted a real horse, Unicorn II perhaps? As well as an Easy Bake Oven and a brick of hash. She didn’t mention anything about that last item.
I asked My Dude specifically to get me this. I find that I’m really into the Confederacy these days. Not as much as I’m into marching bands or Charlene Tilton, but the allure is definitely there. I think it’s the balls out insanity that the daughters of the glorious dead hold so close to their hearts. These people seem to be genuinely dangerous. Like cut off your thumb and throw it in the yard dangerous. Maybe if I garb myself in their native finery I can get away unscathed. That is until I venture into north Tulsa where I’ll be kicked to death by an entirely different type of bad ass.


…and I’m not talking about that crappy show

Many of you might be embroiled in the many faceted discussion of The Babysitters Club over at QSS. However, if some of you are me you did not read the BSC. I’m by no means hatin’ on Claudia, Stacey, et al. but the truth is, I was too busy with some girls of my own; girls that go by the name of Laura and Mary Ingalls. That’s right, I’m a Little House girl through and through. Before I could read my mom read them to my sister and me each night, one chapter at a time. It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes these books so fucking awesome. It could be the fact that for much of the time the Ingalls clan lived, literally, in the middle of the woods/prairie with no people around anywhere. Pa and his gun had to catch their food and the threat of Indian raids was a very distinct possibility. Then there was that time that it blizzarded for seven months and the family very nearly starved to death. That’s good readin’.
I read these books about once a year. My favorite is Little Town on the Prairie. Laura starts dating Almanzo, who, with his team of perfectly matched Morgans, drives the equivalent of the nicest car in town. Plus Laura sticks it to that bitch Nellie Oleson by snagging Mr. Wilder. Oh, and Almanzo calls Laura Beth, which is just really sweet, but that’s not until the next book.
I often wonder if my affinity for these books come in part from that fact that I grew up in the wilds of Indian Territory myself and have, ever since early childhood, been a part of Pioneer Day celebrations of one sort or another. To others April 22 is Earth Day. In Oklahoma April 22 is Land Run Day. I’ve actually ridden in a covered wagon and eaten rattlesnake meat. These pioneer roots run deep. The Little House books were my ultimate dress-up time fantasy. As I got older Cap Garland became a fantasy of a different sort.
A couple of summers ago I got to go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Missouri. I was freaking out the entire ride up there and I’m not ashamed to say that I cried when I saw Pa’s fiddle. It was that awesome. It was like when my dad saw Howdy Doody at the Smithsonian or when my mom saw Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis. A heart stopping dream that was finally answered. Plus my sister made an awesome joke about trying to find lunch “ at a place like Ma’s Boughten Stove or something like that”.


Don’t stop believin’

If someone approached me right now and asked what got me the most hot and bothered I’d have to say watching the battle for Helms Deep while listening to "Boys of Summer" by the Ataris. I’m a girl of simple pleasures.


Christened in blood
Raised in sin
He's sweet 16
Let the party begin

Happy birfday to my golden, lean brother. My mom has already requested that I take him to a hotel room and get him drunk.


Written in stone

I’m going on record to say that Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz is the greatest book ever written. Oh, I’ll tell you why. First of all allow me to display my credentials. I’ve read a lot of shitty romance novels. Some with titles like The Wolf and the Dove, The Lion’s Lady, One Wore Blue, One Wore Gray, and One Rode West. It was a trilogy. There was one that I just refer to as The Midget and the Unit. She had to have two kids before she could take him all. That’s some serious action right there, especially since it was clearly stated in the text that she barely topped his belly button.
I needn’t remind you that, as a librarian, I’m totally an expert on this kind of stuff. I’ve got a degree and everything. However, Princess Daisy (PD) is of a different ilk than those previously mentioned, therefore it must be treated as such. While the other books are your garden-variety bodice rippers, PD is a shopping and fucking novel. It’s got everything. Exiled Russian aristocracy, movie stars, eyes that were as purple as the center most part of a purple pansy, a crazy gimp dog, a Jew best friend named Kiki, incest, a secret retarded twin, a pretty hot lezzy scene, and an inexplicable dress made of silver paper. There’s more but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.
The reason this book rocks is because it is quite possibly the most turgid, overwrought piece of crap ever written. Krantz really gives it her all. Daisy, whose name is really Alexandrovna or some crap like that, is flawless, she apparently has silver hair or something. It’s the most blonde it hair can be. There’s the purple eyes, taut tan thighs. The works. Oh, and she’s a freaking princess with a dad named Stash, who, in the made for TV movie, was played by Stacey Keach. She’s also a totally gifted artist who’s never had any training because she apparently got some sort of Michelangelo hand transplant at birth because her specialty is drawing horses, which are, from what I hear, notoriously impossible to capture on paper.
Because she refuses the love of her half-brother, even though she did enjoy the dickin’, he cuts her off and she’s forced to sell off her Faberge collection in order to keep her secret retarded twin in special retarded twin school. Hello? Ms. Krantz? Have you been reading my journal? Except I was selling plasma trying to keep myself in quarter bags. Did I mention the half brother is named Ram? Yeah.
Honestly, I could write a thesis on this fucking book. Probably something like “The effects of totally hot exiled princesses on everyone in the whole fucking world.” With maybe a special focus on intertextuality. It wouldn’t matter; I’d totally get an A+++. I’d get up there to defend my argument and I’d just say “Sha??!!” Then I’d win all kinds of prize money, have that surgery that gives you purple eyes, and just sit around all day in my Faberge troika.


Cut down in his prime

So, a few weeks ago the guy from Ladybugs hung himself. I know. I’m pretty paralyzed by not caring. Of course I had to consult my good friend the internet to find out all goods on this tragic occurance. Ok, maybe I’m not paralyzed but I was a far cry from some of the other sad sacks floating around out there. I found this on Fametracker, which, by the way sucks so hard that I can’t stay away from it. Anyway. I found this and I honestly think it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve read in a long, long time.

I am still having a hard time coming to terms with this. He took his own life seven months to the day. (Seven months to the day what? You know that’s not a sentence right?) He was born April 13th. It's weird but last week I had the strangest feelings. I was filled with a great sadness that I couldn't explain. (It was as is if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced) On Monday I couldn't go to work. I was so sad that day and I didn't know why. Then I came on here and saw the Jon thread. (Obviously your psychic connection with Jon is so strong that, had you been paying more attention, you could’ve prevented his death)I thought it was good news about a movie or a come back. I loved this kid....I still think of him as a kid..even though I know he grew up to be such a handsome young man.
The last few days have been so hard for me. I can't stop crying. (Wha????) I haven't thought of him in years.(Maybe that’s why he killed himself. If only you’d paid more attention) I'd see a cameo in some picture and I'd wonder what happened to him. When he was 15 he was so full of life, always smiling. As he got older it changed. Still so handsome but haunted. His face.....he always looked so sad.
I guess it never occured to me to think of Jon as a child actor or washed up, it was Jon Brandis. (Remember when this guy was in Sidekicks? Yeah, the one with Chuck Norris.)
In the early 90's he was right up there was the likes of Keanu, Johnny, Leo, and Eddie Furlong. (Um, no he wasn’t. Come to think of it neither was Edward Furlong. Didn’t he date his manager who was, like, 17 years older than him? Is he still a drug addict? I digress. Jon Brandis…) He was a teen idol for so many girls. I'd go to the store with my parents every week and buy Bop. His face was plastered on every single cover. Right next to Luke Perry and NKOTB. He was famous. 4000 letters a week. (I’d like to check your sources on this one)
It's all surreal. I've been in zombie mode for days. (I shudder to think what will happen when someone actually close to you dies. Or gets a cold, or stubs their toe. Do you throw birthday parties for your cats?)I feel like its a very bad dream. One that I will never wake up from. (Wow, that is pretty bad.) How hard it must of been for him to see actors like Keanu or Elijah Wood go on and have careers. Or to see Orlando Bloom take his place in the hearts of millions of girls. They are about the same age. Orli is 26. (You are really on familiar terms with your teen heartthrobs. Oh, and I’m sure Jon took the plunge because he had been eclipsed by others dreamier than him. As a side note, I was reading an issue of Tiger Beat the other day and it was chock-a-block with pictures of 50 Cent. It looks as though Non-Threatening Boys magazine had taken a turn for the getto. “We’d love to have chatted with 50 longer but he had to go scoop up one of his kids”. Also, did you guys know that Blu Cantrell was once a porn star? Now, let’s just talk about when your man wants to get buck wild )I guess it was just a different time. (What, like 8 years ago? It really was a gentler age)
I never understood what it was like to mourn someone.No one that I know personally has ever died. (I KNEW it!) When a celebrity died, I'd feel sad but it never touched me as much as Jon's story has. (Not even Princess Diana? What about Raymond Burr. My mom cried when Raymond Burr died)I look at his pictures when he was a young boy and it sends chills down my spine. Now I know what it must have felt like for people to mourn River's passing,(What, like ten years ago?) or Elvis, and John Lennon.
They're no words to describe the pain I have been feeling. I'm numb. In shock. So incredibly sad.

I’m pretty sure this person is Japanese.


Hey man. That’s not my scene

My sister came out to me when I was, I believe, in the 6th grade. This really came as no surprise since she spent most of her time extolling the virtues of Winona Ryder’s rack. However, when my sis took me into her confidence it really opened a whole new world to me. A world not too terribly many sixth graders get to see first hand. While the rest of the kids at Hoover Jr. High were making out behind Fun Skate, I was marching in the Pride Parade. You get the idea.
Well, when high school rolled around strange new urges began tugging at my budding heartstrings. Strange girlie love type urges. I’d read enough young adult books to know that when this type of thing happens most people tend to freak out on some level or another, usually it’s a magnificent level. I guess I missed that part because when a particularly swoony girl suggested that maybe we have our own New Year’s Eve party I was all for it. It was awesome. Unlimited spend the nights without mom-enforced restrictions. Girlie love. It kicked ass. However, as in to it as I was, I knew I wasn’t gay. I was all about her body, but I really didn't feel any sort of emotional connection with her. Maybe I'm just a cad. Anyway, this went on all through college. For some reason I was the girl other girls came to whenever they were looking to experiment. I’m assuming that this was because I had no intention of playing acoustic Tracy Chapman while I waited for them after softball practice. No, I just wanted to get drunk and feel them up. Or just feel them up. They were the ones who were usually really drunk. Dutch Courage I believe it’s called. All in all it was surprisingly easy, as well as surprisingly frequent.
Needless to say I had to put the kibosh on all that when I met My Dude. Ok, for the most part I put the kibosh on that. It actually works out quite well because he and I can check out the honies together, and he’s totally down with my slutty women of the 50’s decorating scheme. He knows that I will never invite some random girl trick into out bed, because that’s just really horrifying and I’m pretty sure that neither he nor I would know what to do with her. However, the strange girlie love type urges do remain. Maybe 20% girlie type love. Within that 20% is makings-out, feelings-up, but no talk of feelings. What’s not included in that 20%? Strap-ons, mouth-on-judy contact, Ani DiFranco.
The truth is, as hard as I worked at it, you really just can’t make yourself gay. I’m sure some of you probably already knew that.


Let’s step into the way-back machine

I have a degree in history. I’m super proud of my history degree because, quite honestly, I love history. Simple truths people. Some days when I let my mind take over. Ok, every day when I can’t stop my thoughts from wandering, I play a little game called Time Machine. This game is very easy. Where would I go in my time machine? There are so many options:
1.I’d go to Wall Street on October 29th, 1929. I want to see if people were really throwing themselves out of windows.
2.I’d go back to picture day 1985 and talk myself out of wearing a hot pink shirt under a lavender sweater vest. I’d also have a serious talk with my hair.
3.I’d go kick it with Alexander the Great. You know, ‘cause he’s supposed to be really hot and all.
4.I’d go back to the 40’s and give it up to some sailor because he’s shipping out tomorrow and might not come back. Then I’d get the clap and have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life. And oh, looks like he did come back after all and did he even try to look me up? No. Prick.
5.I’d go to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance with Crispin Glover.
The possibilities are endless. My time machine would look like this.



We got this book about babies. One of those with all the awesome inside the belly pictures. I can't stop looking at it. I can't stop wondering what my baby would've been like. She, it's always a she until proven differently, would be fair like Brian and me. She might have my dimples, which are actually my Grandpa's dimples. She might have Brian's flat feet and his killer guitar playing ability. She might have my crooked tooth. Mine is no longer crooked, but my dad's is. She might have red hair. She might come when I least expect it. We might name her Lilly or Henry or Quinter or Red. Brian will definitely kiss my belly. I will sleep curled around her like a comma. She will kick and scare the kitties. They will sniff her cautiously and might even hiss. I will keep them always end encourage them to sleep with her. Both of my grandmas will tell me that cats suck the breath out of babies. I can't wait to meet her.


Feel the burn..erm, Byrne

Due to impending fat-assitude I've started a little something I like to call Aquacize. Ok, I stole that from the flyer at the Y. Either way, it's AWESOME! I love playing in the water. I love livin' healthy, as you might've guessed, and I love the smell of YMCA pools. Believe it or not I was a champion high school athlete; star of the J.M.H.S. swim team and all the accolades that came with it. Mostly it was just firm triceps and a chance to ride on top of a Corvette at homecoming half-time.

So now that I'm actively seeking fitness the pool is the logical choice. The ladies in the class are all older than my mom but younger than my gramma. None of them are looking at my jiggly butt, that's for sure. Yvonne, the strangely Medeterrainan instructor, made me feel very welcome. Even when she paused in discussing the merits of spanking to tell me to straddle my noodle. I love her already.

Soon I will be totally buff. I will probably also have a kick ass pecan divinity recipe to share with everyone.

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