Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Healing at the Titty Bar

A good friend of mine died on Saturday afternoon from cancer. She was nineteen years old- and one of the most amazing people EVER. Another friend of mine and I had intended to visit her that afternoon. While I was in the shower, the phone rang, and it was A (the another friend)- hyperventilating, asking what to do, talking at ninety miles an hour. I was mid-stroke on my right calf with a razor, and I stood in the shower and told her to "breathe, smoke a cigarette, and call Sue back when she was done, maybe she didn't hear right". "A" took my advice, and as I exited the shower and put a towel around me, I got another call: "I heard right. We're too late." We were too late by thirty minutes.

But, I headed into town anyway to pick up A, because she was hysterical. I've seen too much death to get outwardly worked up, but my insides felt like they'd been vacuumed out. We went to our friend's mother's house- and my heart broke there. Sorry, don't really want to say what that was like.

We spent Sunday and Monday cracking her computer and scrolling through thousands (literally) of songs to find the right music for her funeral because that responsibility fell to us.
Today, we were finished with the business of death. I had plenty to distract me- lots of schoolwork. A didn't have anything to distract her at all- she sat in the house and did nothing. She called upset because her boyfriend was trying to get her out of the house. When I called her later, she was at Olive Garden. As I ate an ice cream sammich at a gas station, I got this call: "Hey, whatcha doin?" (A)
"I'm eatin' an ice cream sammich at the Shell station. What are you doin'?" (Me)
"We're headed to Teasers. Wanna come?"
I pondered this- I have never gone to a strip club here- and in fact, I was very wary of it. Alabama ain't Michigan in any way, shape, form, or fashion, and I didn't expect that this would change at a strip club.
"Maybe. What's the door?"
"Um....five bucks. I just wanna go get blasted, man. I need it."
It became clear to me that this was A's way of not thinking about all this. Ever in pursuit of making life a little more bearable, I agreed to meet her at the club. I went into the gas station, pulled 20 from an ATM, and off I went.
A and I came with boyfriends in tow. We sat down, had a lemon drop, then it was pitchers of beer. We talked about the awesome tattoos we're going to get to commemorate our friend, we laughed a lot, lots of jokes, etc. It was like going to dinner with friends- with 90% naked girls in the background. Granted there were a few that I couldn't not look at- it was kinda like a trainwreck on a pole sometimes. But, most of the time, it was just background.
That is, until one came into the foreground. And that went something like this:
Stripper stalks up to us: "So, why'd you come here?"
We look at her in confusion and disbelief.
"Seriously, do you think this is a bar? This isn't a free show. You come here and drink and you don't tip anyone."
A: "This is a bar."
Stripper: "You and your little friends need to finish your drinks and get out of here. Seriously. We don't need you around here. You don't pay."
We had bought about $40 dollars worth of alcohol and paid $20 to get in- we spent money. There is a fully stocked bar with a bartender, and there are tables to sit down at- all the chairs are not at the stage.
Once I got over my shock, rage overcame me. (I shouldn't drink beer.) I wanted to rip the girl's face off just out of principle. I looked at A: "well, we still have a half a pitcher left. We'll leave when it's gone. And Imma wait for her to come back- she won't catch me offguard again."

Seriously, who gets insulted by a stripper who's working and trying to make money?
Apparently, we do.

But then, a few minutes later, a girl comes up to me. "You've got the prettiest hair. I wish I could get mine to do that- I want your hair..." so on and so forth. She was so nice to all of us- the girls and the boys. She and I continued to have a conversation, then she left to give the dj her music, and got on stage to dance. We gathered every dollar we had and gave it all to her- just because she was so nice. (She motorboated me at the stage, but I just laughed and asked why that always happens- she told me it was because they're pretty.) No, I don't think she had the hots for me.
We finished our beer, and walked out, but not before I told on Shitty Stripper. He promised me it would be handled. I'm sure it will be.

But either way, we all left feeling better about life. It's funny how beer, some good jokes and conversation, and a bunch of naked girls (10 naked girls and 2 ugly ones....that's what the sign says) can do that.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Quitter

In honor of Earth Day, I quit smoking. It's been a whole day. I figure it's worth a shot- I mean, I'll quit polluting the earth and my body at the same time, and save myself about two hundred bucks a month. That's nothing to complain about.....I just have abnormally high levels of energy now.'s 1 in the morning and I feel like I could run a marathon if my lungs would just stop feeling like they were the size of beans.
I don't know how well I'm going to be able to cope at work tomorrow with no refuge from the insanity that place is- maybe I'll be able to zen master it and ignore everything and keep myself on track.
If I can just make it through these next few days....I'll believe in myself more.

I ate a bunch of cookies today, trying to avoid the temptation to get in the car and go buy a pack of smokes. That is not conducive to my not being a fat-ass anymore, but whatever...first things first, and being able to breathe well is important. Can't do anything if I can't breathe. So, in the long run, I suppose I can justify my cookie binge as collateral damage while still managing to maintain the goal of becoming healthy.

I wish it were safe to go for a walk at this time of night- I'd totally put the pups on leashes and go!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lovely Things

My landlady approved me for a garden today. That means lots and lots of veggies. I'm really excited. I love to grow things. Thus so far, the okra, the corn, the chives, echinecea (sp?), and the bell peppers have started to pop up out of their little starter pods. It always makes me excited to see new living things. I jumped the gun a little and did about fifty seedling pods before she ever told me whether or not I could till up the yard, but i had a plan just in case she said no. I was going to build big boxes out of old wood pallets and dump them full of dirt...and they were going to live in the front yard. :) But, I will not have to resort to such actions. That lady didn't know it, but I was going to have my garden one way or another.

I like my job again- mostly because I'm not working with people so much as I am working with stuff- all manners of odds and ends, much of it useless and most of it fun. It's amazing at how much just a change in position has improved my quality of life and my mood. I actually like to work, and I hate hating my job- so, getting something I actually like is sooooo good.

My house is clean. I love that. I've been able to open up windows and doors and let in all the fresh air.

This semester is nearly done, and I get to move on to something new. I'm that much closer to being finished with school, achieving my goals.

Sometimes, it's the simple things that can make such a huge difference.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keep Truckin'

It feels like summertime outside.
Indeed, it looks like summer.

The trees seemed to magically have sprung an overabundance of leaves, all the azealeas are bending low because there's so many blossoms. My dogs are out smelling flowers (literally). I planted my seeds for a garden, planted more grass to replace that which my weenie-Lab mix and Jack Russell dug up. I hang out my clothes to dry again. I prepped and froze FOUR gallons of strawberries (and made strawberry shortcake) last night- and if there's any sign that summer is here, it's the sign of fresh strawberries. They always come out at the end of spring and early summer.

I feel the hippie in me really start to jive about this time of year, and my attitude improves dramatically because really, who can be pissed off- even when everything is going horribly wrong- when it's so beautiful outside?

So, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young have had some heavy rotation on my CD player- as well as The Dead, Regina Spektor, and a host of others. "Woodstock" has played on the blu-ray.

Life really can look so much happier when the sun shines on it.

My music lessons have gone extremely well- so much so that my mom is considering springing for me to take lessons during the summer to tide me over til I can take more music in college in the fall. (In my defense, I work a minimum wage job and can't really afford to do anything but pay for necessities.) I've only got two weeks left of school, and it seems surreal that time has passed this quickly. I'm excited to have it over, sad to part ways with my professors, who I've grown to really, really like, especially my biology teacher. He's brilliant and funny- the best kind of teacher to have, really. He doesn't need to teach (he's independently wealthy) but he does it because he loves it and he's so good at it. This fall, I'm still going to be stuck in Alabama, and I fully intend to take every class that he teaches. I'm a science major, it's allowed. I'm also looking at the dismal prospect of more calculus in the fall- and this summer it's chemistry, speech, english, and history. Shit classes, really, but still required. Can't wait to be out of school, even though I really don't know what lays ahead- but then, in times like these, who really does know what's in front of them? It seems that being a 20-something in America these days is a perilous thing.

In other news, I may have to quit my job, even though I just got the position I wanted. It seems that I have a creeper problem. This older man- he's 52- posted an ad under the missed connections tab of craigslist about me (and believe me, if you read it, you'd KNOW it was me). He mentions my work and the location specifically and then goes into rather crude detail about what I look like and says he thinks I'm sexy as hell and wants to get together. I found out about this because a friend happened to see it (his favorite passtime is cruising through craigslist because there's some ridiculous shit on there) and called me. I've never been so embarrassed in my life- it's out there, all the world to see, this terribly ill-mannered physical description of me. And I just wanna say, that's not a good way to get good attention from a woman- EVER. And describing her boobs is a good way to get slapped, punched in the balls and subsequently punched in the kidneys- which is what I fully intend to do if I ever figure out who this elusive figure that buys car magazines is. Or, better yet, I'll find out who it is and whether he has a daughter and I'll post something bogus about her, then later go back and post something directed to him along the lines of "I'm the woman you posted the lewd physical description of. I'm someone's daughter too. No father likes to see his daughter talked about in any such way"...something. I'll get him, my pretty.

But, I'm happy. :) See? Still smiling.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Business of Spring

I know spring is definitely here when there are bees everywhere- a H U G E bumblebee came into my house yesterday morning (which meant he unfortunately had to die, as he refused to leave without a fight). I felt bad about killing the bumble bee- I know there's a shortage of millions, total hives abandoned and dead. But...I suffer no asshole. And that bee was being an asshole. If he'd just submitted to being corralled out the door, it would've ended better. I also magically had bees in my car, but they gratefully flew on to the clover in the field next to me. I say magically because all the doors and windows were shut and yet there they were.
The workload in spring time doubles, also. And I'm there. Actually, I'm behind. While there's always nine tons of homework to do, life came calling, and other things had to be done that might not ever be able to be done again. Such is life, ya know?
Yesterday was a rough day to be sure- lots of sick folks, and I don't mean colds, allergies, and the flu. I mean serious life-threatening illnesses, some terminal. I saw them all, and then went to my parents' house to care for their dogs while my mother is away, and I cleaned up. While my mom is gone to north alabama taking care of my grandmother and I'm down here, I have to stop in and take care of Daddy and the dogs. He works 11 hour shifts at 70 years old (!)- he doesn't feel like coming home and cooking and cleaning at midnight. And he's really bad about forgetting to do laundry until he doesn't have any socks. So... here comes daughter to save the day. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love him. I love the dogs, too- and so I come to let them go outside and to feed them. Eleven hours is a long time for them to wait for food and a pee break, ya know?
After taking care of so much stuff, I didn't get back to my own home before midnight...and I was welcomed by my own three dog-babies with all the exuberance a four-year-old would show over a birthday party. They're always so happy to see their Mama, and I happy to see them. Unfortunately there were piles of homework laying behind them....

See what I mean? So much work!