Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No Doctor, No Bun in this Oven.

So I haven't posted anything in a very long time, but I figured my encounter with my primary physician warranted a post. It was so incredibly uncomfortable that it was not exactly surprising that it happened to me.

I should be used to this by now, because ever since I started going to my primary physician (we'll call him Dr. W,) no matter what ailment I seemed to present with, his initial diagnosis was always the same:

"Courtney, are you pregnant?"

My first visit was at age 16, and while the "Teen Mom" sensation is very much alive, no, I was not pregnant then. Not unless immaculate conception was on the table. 
I wasn't pregnant when I came in with that sinus infection.
Or when I had my gallbladder removed.
Or when I had really bad back pain.
Still not pregnant now.
But no matter how many times I tell Dr. W that my eggo isn't preggo, he just doesn't seem to want to accept it. 

 How many times should I do this?!

My most recent visit was no different. I hadn't seen Dr. W in awhile, and my most recent job entailed working long hours in an unfavorable location. Basically, it was not a neighborhood where one would want to get out of their car by themselves to walk around in search of a nice, healthy salad. I also didn't have much time to eat, so I'd pack a healthy lunch, eat it, and then quickly high-tail it up to the drive-thru window, and shove one of these bad boys in my pie-hole at around 7 or 8 (or 9) pm every evening on occasion:

Wendy's homestyle chicken filet sandwich. Fast, easy, and chock-full of saturated fat.

In addition to this new fast-food habit, I had unknowingly become the office garbage disposal. I only discovered this fun fact when my co-worker didn't want the rest of her doughnut, and someone else casually said, "Just give it to Courtney, she'll eat anything." I laughed and took this with a grain of salt (no pun intended), until the one day where I bent over to pick up a stack of files and BOOM!

Right up the butt crack.

I tried to convince myself that clearly, it was a testament to my size that I was still able to fit into my high-school pants. (Denial can be funny.) I soon realized this actually just meant I had severely stretched my pants to their breaking point. After all the seams in my pants decided to throw in the towel, I accepted the fact that I had indeed, gained 5 pounds. 

I had successfully avoided a scale until my visit with Dr. W. So when he asked if I had any "present concerns," I told him I was concerned that I had turned into the human equivalent of Mrs. Pac Man, nom nom nomming my way through my latest pair of pants. Dr. W seemed to miss the part where I described my previous diet of fried chicken, french fries, frosties (really anything that starts with any given letter of the alphabet), and immediately told me to lay back on the examining table. 

With a determined look on his face, he started aggressively grabbing and poking my arms, hands, and wrists. Surely he must have had some brief delusion that he was falling and grabbed me with such vigor in order not to fall; the only reason he dug into my pudgy shoulder was to avoid the impending vertigo he was clearly experiencing. Unfortunately, I was not that lucky and that was not the case.

After what felt like he had been trying to mold cookie dough into some artistic masterpiece, he grabbed both of my ankles like he was choking two small children. He furrowed his brow, and in some weird combination of honest inquiry and clear conviction he asked:


Wow. Which one of us is the doctor here? Which one of us is HOLDING my ankles in a karate death grip? He had now moved from a look of conviction, to a crazed Dr. Jekyll and Hyde look in his eye, as if the many years of my preggers denial had just come back to bitch-slap me in the face and now MUAAAHAHA! SHE HAS CANKLES! SHE MUST BE WITH CHILD! I KNEW IT! 

The situation was so ridiculous I almost wanted to say "yes, yes they are most definitely swollen. It was definitely not the 4 fried chicken sandwiches I had last week that have my joints ballooning to the size of cantelopes, it's clearly because of the baby that we have already concluded is not in my stomach." Instead, I composed myself and simply said "Well, you're the doctor, you're holding them, do YOU think they're swollen?" Captain Obvious decided not to respond to this question, and quietly retreated from my now (more) swollen ankles.

Dr. W then left the room, and I took off the fashionable paper gown and got dressed. He came back in and continued to ask about birth control, (since we hadn't cleared this hurdle yet, obviously,) but then simultaneously stared at my other, ahem, swollen extremities:

"Do you think you have you gained weight anywhere else?"

I smiled politely and just said "probably." After what felt like 10 minutes of my doctor's eyes playing ping pong between my face and my possible other "swelling," he concluded that I am not, in fact, pregnant, and that he would run my blood tests and call me in a few days to give me an update.

And the icing on this cake of mortification was yet to come. As he left the room he smiled and said, "You should probably still make an appointment with your OBGYN."  


"I don't care how many times I have to grab your ankles; I still think you're pregnant. Now I just need a second opinion."


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bar-flies Beware.

So it's not breaking news that I've had my share of awkward encounters. I'm also not the daintiest, or most graceful girl--I dropped out of ballet after five days at the ripe age of 7. I tried my hand at gymnastics, only to discover that I was not only freakishly tall for a 9 year old, but apparently a little too heavy as well. I can tell you from experience; it was incredibly difficult to do a back-hand-spring when you fear not only that your jolly-green-giant stature is going to prematurely hit the ground, but that you'll also accidentally snap the instructor's petite frame in two. Then there was also that other move. The Split. Or what I like to call: "Satan's cruel joke for long-legged, pre-pubescent husky girls". Once my groin, legs, and undeveloped hips had twisted into some weird combination that resulted in getting my body down onto the floor, (in increments of multiple jarring, bungling movements,) the chances of me getting back up into what they called "ready-position" was basically next to impossible.

"Courtney, do you want to try another round on the bars?" 
"Uhhh nope. No thanks coach, I think I'm good just like this."

Needless to say, I never really made it back into "ready position." While I clearly never excelled in the realm of back-flips and the high-beam, at least over the years I learned I could run, skip, jump, and walk like a normal human being without crushing or maiming another person. Most of the time. Sure, I've had my moments where I've tripped, run into a sliding glass door (or two), but I would have liked to think I could generally walk in a straight line without physically hurting a fellow walker. Well, this assumption changed last week. 

Around a year ago, Sean and I started going to Kahuna's in Deerfield Beach on Wednesdays. The fat kid inside me loves the insanely delicious wings, and the indebted-for-life-recently-graduated-student in me loves the insanely cheap drinks. The specials start at 4pm, and so like two hungry pit bulls who have just spotted a quadriplegic bunny rabbit, we usually descend on the beachfront bar & grill at around 3:58pm. There's a little surfboard table outside where we usually claim our territory and post up for the rest of the evening. 

"We'll have 20 wings, 10 Kahuna flavored, 10 Teryaki. And an order of fries. And 7 PBR's. And everything behind the bar and in your kitchen. RARRRARRRAR!!"

At Kahuna's, the people-watching is phenomenal, and usually every week we get at least one memorable character who would be worthy of their own biography on A&E, or at least a cameo on The Jersey Shore. It never fails. (One fine fellow affectionately refers to Sean as "O Captain my Captain" and told me I would be better off as a stewardess on a boat, because of the big, pearly-white chiclets in my mouth.) We're usually the ones watching, not the ones who have somehow made a spectacle of themselves. However, on this fateful day, one little unsuspecting blonde patron had no idea that one of these two pit bulls was about to (unintentionally) be ALL. UP. in her grill.

About half-way into a fun yet uneventful Wednesday evening, nature called, as it so often does once you start drinking, and so I figured I should probably answer. As soon as I began walking (a straight line, mind you), I realized nature wasn't just calling. It was more like nature had become that psycho ex-girlfriend that was calling, texting, and pressing *67 and then calling again. 


I was somehow tactfully (and very quickly) maneuvering my way through this crowd of people when I heard someone call my name from the bar. At this point, my mind understood that my whole body had to slightly pause in order for me to turn my head and acknowledge whoever had shouted my name. But apparently, my legs didn't get the memo--they kept moving since they had sensed the, ahem, impending urgency.

Here was where it all went downhill. so. very. fast. As my legs continued walking, my head caught up with the situation that I had to keep my eyes on the prize. I quickly turned my head so I could be looking where I was walking, so as not to run into my fellow bar-goers. Unfortunately, that is EXACTLY what I did. This poor, unassuming blonde girl had just moved directly into my line of fire. But not only did I nearly trample this girl, our foreheads collided in a swift, violent way that could only be described...

as a full-throttled HEAD-BUTT.

I had quite literally just headbutted another girl. In the animal world, I'm pretty sure this is how fatal fights typically begin. Luckily, we were both too stunned to engage in any kind of battle. And even luckier for me, said girl was three-sheets to the wind, and just died laughing where she stood. I was still incredibly mortified, and had begun to apologize profusely...but then nature began to violently push the re-dial button. By the time I had gotten the words "OHMYGODI'MSOSORRY, I'MACLUMSYMORON" out of my mouth, she had stumbled her way out of the front door, and my legs had moved me toward the much-needed destination.

I was pretty much traumatized for the rest of that evening, and was terrified to go back inside: I had the fear I would either A) accidentally assault someone else with my forehead B) run into (no pun intended) the same little blonde girl I had slammed with my big head earlier that evening. From now on, I will always look where I'm going, and make sure all body parts are accounted for when doing so.

Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Most Common Phrases a (Recent) Graduate Student Does Not Want to Hear

Let me just preface this post with a) I haven't blogged in about a year (oops), and b) if you are one of my friends and/or family members who have used one of these following phrases, do not fear. I know you are asking in my best interest and you want to know how things are going. Plus, most of these questions are from acquaintances, friends of friends, etc. Either way, I will not come at you like a spider monkey--I have just simply noticed a common trend in the kinds of questions I have received in the last 2 months since I was released into the wild world of post-academic life.

That having been said, here are the 5 most common phrases (or questions), in descending order, that I have encountered over and over again. Most Importantly I don't want this to be a post that makes you scared to ask me how things are going, it is supposed to be funny (I hope) and I've found that other graduates have experienced similar situations, and I promise I'm not actually getting upset! If anything I'm thankful to have friends and family who are checking up on me, so take this with a grain of salt :)

5. "Oh my gosh CONGRATULATIONS! So where are you living now?"

Here is the exact moment where I fight to completely steal Nick Swardson's "well I live with my roommates" schtick from Grandma's Boy. Instead, I swallow a little bit of my pride, and say "Well, I've moved back home and I'm living with my mom for the time being." Hey, times are tough and I have graduate school loans coming back to me. Unfortunately, I'm starting to think that "moving back home" in this generation tends to connote ideas of Will Ferrell or John C. Reilly in "Stepbrothers," where these fine gentlemen, well, never really leave the nest.

Yes, I am living with my mom. But at least I don't have to share my fancy sauce.

Trust me, I've left the nest-- about three times since I was 14. Instead of the baby-turned-big-bird that never leaves the nest, I like to think I'm more like a full-sized falcon that just migrates for a couple of years at a time, and happens to fly back to home base.

"I'm just brushing up on my interview techniques"

4. "So what's next? Are you going to be like that guy on CSI, or that little Asian guy on Law and Order: SVU that analyzes criminal behavior?"  
In short:     


And nope. 

Trust me, there's a reason they're TV shows. But after awhile, I've just stopped saying "nah B.D. Wong is a Forensic Psychiatrist who works for the FBI. I haven't gone to med school, and I only have my Bachelor's in Psychology." 

Now I just say, "Exactly, and I work with Benson and Stabler."

*I only use that one if I don't think I'll ever see that person again, or at least within a time frame where I'll actually have a job and we can laugh about it in the future. That is, if they don't think it's an awful joke/think I'm living in a fantasy land where I report to Captain Cragen every morning and have coffee with Detective Munch. 

3. "Oh, well have you sent out any resume's?"

Nope, I'm just waiting for my awesome, dream job to fall into my lap. I go to career fairs and resume-builder workshops just to pass the time and enjoy the free punch and delicious pecan sandies. I don't know if anyone reading this is currently in the process of the job-search, but sending out resumes is kinda like throwing an old-school boomerang. I have yet to meet a person who can legitimately throw a boomerang and have it come back to them in a perfect U-shape the way it does in cartoons. My depth perception, (in combination with my awesome dexterity), would usually result in the boomerang just flying in some awkward direction, or getting caught in a tree, never to be seen again. If anyone has seen me attempt to throw a frisbee, it's kind of the same deal.

I'm pretty sure this is where my resume's go^
(The caption on google images was literally "the boomerang eating tree")

Trust me, the resume's have gone out. Sometimes I am just curious if they are actually reaching the employer, or if they are just getting sucked into a black hole somewhere in the universe-- possibly to the same place where my missing socks that I thought the dryer ate seem to go.

2. "Don't worry! The economy will turn around. If anything, there's probably MORE crime now since the economy is so bad."

This gem usually comes after the awkward back-and-forth where you explain you don't have a job yet. At this point the poor soul asking me about said job has probably noticed the beads of sweat rolling down the sides of my face, the fact that my mouth is as dry as a bowl full of cotton that's made out of hay, and they are trying to pacify me after they've realized that 5 previous people have asked me the exact same question in the last 20 minutes. I've heard this one so many times I think my mom my roommate is going to start following me with a poster-sized board that just simply says: "CHANGE THE SUBJECT!" Either that, or maybe she'll just start breaking into cars around the neighborhood with a crowbar to make me feel a little better. Sometimes you just need a little visible evidence that there is indeed crime.

"Don't worry honey, there's a TON of crime in this neighborhood! just look out your window at your car!"

1. "How is the job-search going?"

This is usually the first question. This one is also the doozie. Chances are if you're talking to me on the phone on a Tuesday at around 2 pm, I'm still searching. Asking someone without a job how the job search is going is kind of like asking a guy in a sinking canoe without paddles if he has installed his twin 165 Evinrude motors yet.

"Where's that woman with the crowbar? we could use that as a paddle, right?"

Ok, so that's a little dramatic. I am not sinking. But I think anyone who has been in the job-market recently can tell you--this economy stinks a little right now. I scoffed when one of my graduate professors snickered at the idea that I didn't want to stay for a doctorate. He rolled his eyes, laughed, and simply said "Wow, well let's hope this economy turns around for you." Well, I'm staying optimistic and keeping my head up. The hard work will pay off. But if you happen to notice a woman in your driveway who resembles my mom, breaking into your car with a crowbar and knocking out your headlights--don't fret. She's just simply trying to keep her daughter's roommate's career full of promise.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Orientation & Parking for Schmuck's

So I've completely neglected this blog for an insane amount of time. I hadn't even really thought about it until last week when I was informed that I hadn't updated it in a long time, and then my good friend Katie called yesterday and said "I just wanted to make sure you're alive, I haven't talked to you in awhile and you haven't even updated your blog or anything!" And my first thought was....people really read this? That's exciting!!

I'm now back up in Tallahassee getting ready to start my second year of grad school at FSU (holy. crap.) Some of the older and wiser students in my program asked that I be on the discussion panel for the new Criminology Grad Student Orientation. Ironically, Kristin, who is actually one of the few people who read my blog, approached me yesterday before the panel, because consequently she had read about my teensy-weensy fear of public speaking. But, I did my best, sucked it up and sat down in front of those new students ready to answer any and all questions and tried my very hardest not to pee in my pants sounded totally professional.

I do not believe my voice hit the octaves of a small chipmunk like it normally would, but I didn't realize until halfway through the panel that I prefaced most of my answers with "When I first came here, I was terrified" or "I was intimidated" or "I was a big fat pansy" (that last one wasn't true but it might as well have been). By the end I wasn't quite sure if I came off as down-to-earth and empathetic to their circumstances, or just some nut who is apparently scared of any and ALL of her surroundings. Awesome. Maybe if anything I gave them a little ego boost, considering I was a 24 year old, second year grad student shaking in her chair.

"You have questions!?!? For ME!?"

On a more positive note, while they were asking questions we came across the issue of parking on campus. My friend Alex had sent me a a funny text from last night last year when I first got here that said "You have a better chance of catching an STD than finding parking at FSU." Luckily I cannot confirm this statement, but that gives you an idea of how difficult it is for me to shimmy my little Jetta into an open spot.

This conversation gave me the opportunity to make myself look like an even bigger asshole some of the new students laugh (maybe they felt like they had to, but for the time being I'm just going to convince myself it was a funny story because it helps me sleep better at night). I gave them the abridged version of my parking horror story, but lucky you, because I will give you the full version here! So within my first week of school, I discovered that if I wanted to get a spot for my 11 AM class, I needed to get to campus at 830, or just aimlessly circle the same parking lot until some undergraduates began to get out of their classes. Well, one fine morning I had gotten out of my 830 class, and was trying to remember if I had parked on the 3rd or 4th floor, when this nice couple in a white sedan pulled up beside me and said:

"Would you like us to drive you to your car, and then we'll just take your spot?"

FSU had a Chauffeur service!? How nice! What a polite, unassuming couple! After I hopped into the backseat I quickly remembered "You moron...you're now a criminology major, and you're jumping into a strange car" I felt like this is how bad Lifetime movies begin...an unsuspecting girl unknowingly getting into a Bonnie & Clyde-like situation. Oh well, too late now. So I cheerfully said, "I'm on the 4th floor" and they began their ascent to find *Tedarius.
*Tedarius is the name of my Jetta, in case you didn't know.

Well, imagine my surprise when we get to the 4th floor and....no Tedarius. I apologize sheepishly and say "it must be on the other ramp, or maybe on the 3rd floor." So we begin to head down to the next ramp and wouldn't ya know it....still no car. I am now frantically pushing my automatic car key, looking for any shimmer of a flashing light or a faint "beep beep", secretly wishing the key had an eject button and not a remote control trunk-opener. Who REALLY needs those anyway?
"I'm smiling but I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. SHOW YOURSELF, TEDARIUS!!"

Before I knew it, we had literally circled the parking garage a whopping three times. We had now passed the appropriate conversation that one would have when put in the awkward situation of a strange couple driving you to your phantom vehicle. And then the unthinkable happened. The young woman looks over at the guy driving and "whispers" loud enough so I can hear:

"Honey, I'm going to be late for class, I hope you find this girl's car but I actually have to get out soon."

WHAT!? So now I was going to be in the car, in the backseat, with JUST this strange boy? His girlfriend got out of the car, smiled at me, but then shot me this look that said "I pity you like a small child that is lost in a mall, but clearly you must be a moron."

We continued to circle the parking garage, while he asked me questions that were lined with a hint of skepticism, such as: "are you sure you parked in this garage?" "What kind of car do you have again?" "Are you a couple fries short of a Happy Meal?"  First I felt panic, then embarrassment, then the "holy crap" fear that my car might be stolen. I must have crossed over into delirium because for a brief moment I thought to myself...

"OH. MY. GOD. I bet this is a joke and I'm ACTUALLY in the Cash Cab!!

As the sane part of my brain started to slip away and I waited for the disco lights to illuminate the ceiling, I quickly took notice of the scowl on the boy's face in the review mirror. Clearly he was not Ben Bailey and I was not in the cash cab. I also watched as OTHER multiple cars pulled out of spots...and his chances of finding a spot slipped away...and my chances of being a victim of parking lot road-rage dramatically increased. BUT THEN, just when I thought I was going to have to tuck-and-roll it out of there, I saw a glimmer of hope on the ramp between the 3rd and 4th floor. That faint "beep beep" in the distance!! I had found Tedarius!!! I didn't even wait for him to get within 50 ft of my car. I apologized profusely, thanked him immensely, grabbed my bag and what was left of sanity/dignity and high-tailed it over to my little elusive German car. I nearly fell over myself trying to get into it, and reversed out of my spot at probably 60 mph, and I sheepishly waved in my rearview mirror to the now 10-minutes-late-for-class Good Samaritan.

Moral of my story: If you are actually going to accept a ride from some poor soul just desperate for a parking spot, make sure you at least know where you've parked your car....don't get cocky. You may have been smart enough to get into one tough graduate program....doesn't mean you're brilliant enough to find your car in  a small, 5 level parking garage.

I is a graduate student.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Soooooo I've pretty much failed the 28 day blog challenge, but who likes being restricted to one category per day anyway? Apparently, not me. I apologize to all of my dedicated followers, all 12 of you, (...also just realized one of my followers is actually myself...) all 11 of you, because I have completely neglected this blog.

While I was in an elevator the other day, Lisa and I were reminiscing about the time she got stuck in an elevator by herself, and in a fit of hysteria, jumped out from the cart and nearly broke her ankles--apparently the claustrophobia was worse than the clearly safer 10 ft jump into the lobby. This got me thinking about fears. My mother was a daredevil when she was younger, and now we call her Chicken Little. This is no exaggeration. It has gotten to the point that when it starts merely drizzling, she thinks the sky is falling, or that the Apocalypse may be imminent.

"OH. MY. GOD. Court, have you looked outside!? It's POURING! Do we need the storm shutters? Did Hurricane season come early? Are we safe? Is it flooding? Do we need a lifeboat? Is the sky ACTUALLY falling on us!?"

While many of my mom's fears are completely irrational, it made me assess my own fears. In life, I can safely say that I have two, insanely paralyzing, intense, want-to-throw-up-whatever-is-in-my-stomach fears. This first lovely category is comprised of CLOWNS. Well, clowns, dolls, puppets...anything that has its face creepily painted or have eyes that look like they can follow you.

I like to pride myself on the fact that I can handle most scary movies and not even flinch. I can watch every Saw movie and not bat an eyelash. I can watch the characters get their heads chopped off, limbs pulled apart, even the dismemberment scenes, unphased. However, the only scene I CAN'T watch is whenever that creepy little puppet comes out to tell the selfish protagonists their fate. I have to cover my eyes and lock my door. To this day I cannot figure out my irrational fear of the pint-size psychos. Maybe it's their sheer stature (or lack thereof) that scares me---you would apprehend a killer that would attack you at eye-level. But would you really anticipate a mini-assassin coming at you? Much like a rabid Oompa-Loompa? (For the record, the Wizard of Oz gave me nightmares).

Can you honestly tell me that a man with a stocking over his face is scarier than this little monster? Both small AND a clown. A double threat in my book.

Maybe this fear stemmed from when I was 2 and my mom dressed me up as the wicked witch of the west. I already looked like a little boy until I was at least 5, so making me look "scary" was not a far stretch. I had green paint all over my face, a black dress and a little witch hat. After my mom had applied all the makeup, I looked in the mirror to take a look at my very first Halloween costume.

...and immediately began hysterically crying. I had actually scared MYSELF. However, there is one similarity (hopefully just one) between me and the terrifying tiny circus performer: we were both VERY SCARY and VERY SMALL. I've tried to put my psychology degree to some kind of use and psychoanalyze that fear, and that's all I came up with. Unless I've repressed a memory where I was assaulted at the Barnum & Bailey circus, that's all I've got.

Enough about the clowns, on to my second fear: public speaking. I cannot think of anything more terrifying than giving a presentation in front of a group of people. (Unless this group of people happened to be clowns, or puppets. I can't even imagine.)

Welcome to my own, personal hell.

Along with the initial fear of speaking in front of a group of people, I also become afflicted with a disease I have coined "The Helium Race Car Effect." When this affliction descends upon me, my heart races, my mouth dries up, and not only do I speak faster than an Auctioneer, I sound as though I could be a close relative of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I try to speak slowly and with purpose, but I end up only thinking of getting to the end of my shpeel, and so I ramble quickly and also at a pitch that could come close to breaking glass.

Much to my dismay, it has come to my attention that the helium race car effect is not limited to speeches, announcements, or presentations alone. No no, this disease has invaded my every day diction. My cousin Ashley will almost pee her pants when I open my mouth and order food in a restaurant or bar, because she catches it every time. While my audience is only the (now confused) waitress and Ash, my voice still gets exponentially higher.

"I'll start with the crabcakes and a diet coke please"

Do I subconsciously think I sound nicer or sweeter if my voice is higher? Is there a lesser chance that something will happen to my food if I sound like small woodland creature trapped inside a 24 year old's body? I still have no idea.

In November I'll be attending a conference in San Francisco where I'll be presenting a Criminology paper/poster with 3 other members of my Criminology program. It's a Biosocial Criminology paper, and this area is still a hot topic in the Criminology discipline, and so my Professor informed us that we may be subject to "hecklers." These hecklers are not akin to Celtics fans holding up mangled Khloe Kardashian posters to distract Lamar Odom at a playoff game. No no, they are numerous leaders and pioneers in the discipline of Criminology, who will be coming up to the poster and demanding detailed explanations of the research we'll be presenting.

Not only will I be speaking in front of other Criminology professors (that's terrifying enough), but I have to also ARGUE and DEFEND the research?? My stomach is starting to do back-flips just thinking about it. My inner monologue that is thinking about this situation has even become quick and high pitched too.

I know one of the old remedies for this problem is to just "imagine your audience in their underwear." I'm no doctor, but if I haven't gotten physically ill from the fear of speaking in front of many distinguished criminologists, the thought of picturing them in their underwear just might be the kicker to make it happen. Let's just hope they're not also dressed as clowns. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Suburban Incident

Oops...so I've already neglected my 28 day challenge and haven't blogged for the last two days. Well, I was fishing all day Saturday (I caught my first fish EVER!!!) and Father's Day is kind of a bummer, so I'm just going to skip those two days and pick up where I should have been: Day 6: "A moment you wish you could relive." BUT...I'm also going to combine it with Day 9: "A photo that you took" (I can do that, right?)

Anyhow, this particular moment takes me wayyyyy back, a whole 4 years to my junior year of college. One of my bff's, Ms. Emily Jackson (or how you've seen her referred thusfar, Emj), had just returned from an entire semester at sea, and was going through what she coined a "semester at sea hangover"--which was clearly a euphamism for "I've been all around the world on a boat, and now I don't want to do schoolwork, I just want to get drunk every night with my friends and cherish my college years."

Did I also mention that this was when Emj went through her emo phase?

So, being the good friend that I am, I decided to indulge in her wishes for awhile, assuming that she would run out of steam after one or two nights. Clearly, I was mistaken. It became a weekly, nightly ritual that we would go over to our friends' house (the good sports: Blake Martin, Rob Purple, and Chris Chugden), consume wild amounts of alcohol and then play guitar hero. I was usually ready to go at a decent hour since this was typically on a weeknight, but the Emj's "abroad hangover" had exacerbated to the point to which Chugden would have to blast Semisonic's "Closing Time" right before he had to physically push Emj out the front door like it was last call just to politely remove Emj from his home.

But, as you can see, Emj was not ready to leave the party yet.

Yes, I did take that picture, but that is not the infamous picture, nor does it capture the infamous incident that occurred about an hour after this one was taken. For some reason, on this occasion Emj had been even a bit more "overserved" than usual. She insisted that she be allowed to play guitar hero, even though she was swaying back and forth like a palm tree during hurricane season. After much persuasion, Emj was allowed to play a little "Carry on My Wayward Son." However, moments after the song started, we all realized that Emj was not actually playing the song, just blindly banging on the buttons like Ray Charles on a piano (minus the skill and harmony). As a result, Purple and Chugden decided to "help her out." And here, my friends, is the picture I took:

And by "help her out" I actually meant PLAY THE GAME FOR HER, whilst Emj jammed out like she was at a death metal concert.

I wish I could tell you the story ended there, but then this awesome anecdote would not include the moment I wish I could relive. About 20 minutes after "Closing Time," it was customary for me to walk Ms. Drunky McGee safely back to her dorm room across campus. However, tonight Emj was feeling extra saucy, and decided she wanted to play "catch blackout Emj" instead. And here's where it happened...

Emj did run track in high school, and I can safely say she would beat me in any kind of race. Sober. I can also say that from experience, I will give her credit that she can smack-talk with the best of them (which is always fun when she's on your beer pong team). However, this girl cannot combine both of these skills simultaneously. And when she tries, the situation takes a turn for the worse. Or, for the better if you were me that night and got to witness this rare event.

So as Drunky McGee is running down the street and jibber jabbering some incoherent smack talk, she didn't realize that she was now running in a perfect, diagonal line. When I say jibber jabber, she sounded like a cross between The Muppet's Swedish Chef and someone who was playing Chubby Bunny for the first time. I literally had no idea what she was screaming at me. Well, I'll give her credit, she made it a good 40-45 feet ahead of me before I heard a sickening THUD. Did she fall down? Did she hit that elusive curb that somehow seemed to pop out of nowhere for her every once and awhile? Oh no, that would have been too simple. In fact, she ran into this:

Yep, smack into the back of a suburban.

She hit it with such force that every light in the vehicle came on. She also hit it with such force that I watched her sink like a wet noodle out of a boiling pot onto the street. I have never seen anything like it. Since I'm so incredibly mature, the first thing I did was fall to the ground and almost pee my pants. And luckily, Emj did the same thing. So there we were, on the street, both peeing in our pants simultaneously. After rolling around and laughing until I couldn't breathe I diagnostically assessed the situation and realized there was no permanent damage, I walked her back to her dorm room.

Incidentally, I did not remember this last detail until recently when I retold this story to someone else. On our "walk" (if you want to call Emj's post-collision-elegant-two-step "walking",) back to her dorm room, Emj looked up at me with all sincerity and states with (somehow) coherent conviction:

"Thank God I have this puffy vest on. Whew."

To this day I still cannot tell this story without dying laughing, and my only regret is that I was the ONLY one who saw this happen, and that I didn't catch it on video. So yes, minus the (pain?) that Emj (may?) have experienced whilst slamming into the back of an SUV like a wrecking ball, I do honestly wish I could relive this moment in college. And since all of us are now adults, none of us drink like THAT anymore...right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Funny how? Funny Like a Clown?

Day 2 of Blogging Rehab:
Okay so I didn't realize it until this morning, but figuring out what my favorite movie was was even harder than my favorite song! After a long debate with myself (that sounds incredibly odd, but yes, it was me vs. me), I had to go with my all-time favorite: Goodfellas.

I even have this poster in my bedroom. (Yes...I still have movie posters, lay off). It would be an understatement to say that it clashes with my Kappa Delta frames and nautical pieces--quite frankly if people walked into my room they might think I had multiple personality disorder. Or that I was a sorority girl who maybe sails and then moonlights as a hit-woman.

Either way, Martin Scorcese is easily my most favorite director of all time. And I think he captured the original non-fiction craft of Nicholas Pileggi into nothing short of a masterpiece. I read his original book, "Wiseguys," and there were a couple of tweaks but overall it was pretty true to form. I think I'm also a little biased because most of the movie took place in Bensonhurst (as do most Scorcese movies), which is where most of my family grew up. And really, I'll be honest, I'm just fascinated by any and all mob movies.

What's so intriguing about Goodfellas though, is that Pileggi never paints these men as actually good OR bad, just born into a life that seems not only normal, but very respectable to many in the neighborhood. That's not to say the life of a gangster is completely glamorized, I mean they do show the scene where Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro have to dig a hole themselves to bury their recent hit, and Liotta repeatedly pukes. (As many times as I've seen this movie, I don't handle vom well, so to this day I still fast-forward through him heaving up his capicola and prosciutto).

I can't tell you exactly why, but my favorite dialogue in the movie is where all three of them come home to Tommy's mother's house in the middle of the night, and she cooks for them and they enjoying their post-whacking feast:

In the middle of dinner, his mother whips out an oil painting she just finished (Tidbit of trivia: Pileggi's mother actually painted it!), and she and Tommy go back and forth concerning this obvious masterpiece:


MOTHER: Have some more. You hardly touched anything. Did Tommy tell you about my painting? Look at this.
JIMMY: It's beautiful.
TOMMY: I like this one. One dog goes one way and the other goes the other.
MOTHER: One's going east, the other’s going west. So what?
TOMMY: And this guy's saying, "Whaddya want from me?" The guy's got a nice head of white hair. Beautiful. The dog it looks the same.
JIMMY: Looks like somebody we know.
TOMMY: Without the beard! Oh no, it's him! It's him. (They hear a loud thumping through the open window from the trunk of the car parked outside--the last guy they "whacked" isn't actually dead.)
TOMMY: What's that?

Just listening to their back-and-forth makes me die laughing every time. Not to mention the fact that they're enjoying their pasta while their latest hit is still half-alive in the truck of the car parked in the driveway.

There's also the famous scene where Joe Pesci grills Ray Liotta for telling him "he's funny." I would type out the whole dialogue but just reading it without Pesci's inflection and voice would not do it justice.

The whole movie is based on this "world" of organized crime, and although there are some dark parts, there are so many quick one-liners sprinkled in that you can't help but laugh. Pesci adds to the levity, and this was the movie that made me fall in love with both Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro as actors. Again, I think I just love Robert DeNiro because some of his facial expressions mimic my grandfather to a T. And yeah, Ray Liotta has that AWFUL acne scarring and it looks like someone took meat-mallet to his face, but, I'm still a sucker for blue eyes so I can't help it.

I think this is just one of the few movies I own that I can watch over, and over and over again and never get sick of it. It has just all of these simple aspects that I love: Scorcese, Brooklyn, Italians, organized crime, and a lot of thinly sliced garlic. After typing this post, I might just now have to run to Publix, get myself a big Italian sub, and pop in this classic.