Tuesday, January 30, 2007

!@#$%

My favorite curse word is "dumb ass" and/or the variation, "jack ass".

Jeff K. over at Boiled Dinner borrowed on the topic of first memory, which brought to mind my inagural use of salty language. I was walking home from school (we did that in those days...alone, unaccompanied and sometimes for blocks and blocks) when I came across a boy who asked me my name. "Jodie", I said. Obviously a huge fan of TV's "A Family Affair", he replied, "Jodie??!! That's a boys name!!". At which point I called him a prick (a fun sounding term I'd heard my two older brothers throw around) and went on my merry way, ever so proud I'd stood up for myself and put little-boy-Mr.-French in his place. So proud, in fact, I happily told my Mom the story in detail as soon as I got home. I don’t recall if I had to bite on a piece of Dial soap or get a sprinkle of black pepper on my tongue, but Mom was not amused.

Let 'em flow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Never or now?

Yes, never say never. This is a bigger-than-us, wacky world with surprises around every corner (for those who peek). But I can categorize certain circumstances and events as a “never” or a “now” (apologies to The King):

I've never had a Krispy Kreme donut. In days past, when I ate such things, "air donuts" (a.k.a. glazed) where the 'nut of choice. However, since I suspect an orgasmic response and immediate addition, K.K. is a never.

I've never traveled out of the country as an adult, but will absolutely do so. Ireland is first up.

I've never sky-dived. For the bid 3-0, friends bought me a tandem-jump package. The first two attempts were cancelled due to bad weather (one, a freak storm that blew up minutes before boarding). On the third attempt, got suited up, got ready to board and got to see a light plane crash in a fiery ball hundreds of feet from our tarmac. I'm a serious dumb-ass if I don't take the hint that I should remain inside a plane only, in the upright and seated position.

I've never bought a vehicle based solely on thrill quotient, instead going for MPG, value and how well it handles the snow (can you say, Honda?). There is a shiny piece of fun that goes vrooommm in my future.

I've never had surgery other than a wisdom tooth extraction or full-one anesthesia. Hope I never will. The thought of knock-out juice and (not?) waking up sort of freaks me out.

I've never had a Big Mac. Never will.

I’ve never been married but once engaged. It’s now or never. My looooovvvveeee won’t wait.

So, what's your never, what's your now?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Gas leak evacuates homes" just hot air?

In the category "The rich do get richer" comes an article in the Sunday, January 14th edition of The Denver Post.

Xcel Energy, in response to a gas leak and forced evacuation of an area of Highlands Ranch, a south-metro, high-end Denver suburb, helped accommodate evacuees with an offer of hotel accommodations and a $70 per day, per person stipend for “living expenses”.

Diane Eto, Highlands Ranch resident, mother of five, including a 3-month-old girl and evacuee was quoted in the article as saying, "I think my family can eat on $490 a day”. One hopes the sarcasm of the comment simply didn’t translate into print. Let’s do the math. The Post reported 61+ homes and 175 people were evacuated for (let’s say) a three-day period, at a cost (excluding hotel bill) of $36,750. This, in a neighborhood where low-end housing runs in the $300K range. How very unfortunate the gas leak didn’t occur near the Denver Rescue Mission downtown; that’s a lot of soup.

Oh, and did I mention my Xcel Energy bill doubled last month? But, hey, anything to help those in need (now that's sarcasm).

Friday, January 12, 2007

The first time

Writing in almost pornographic prose about my first cigarette got me thinking about other “firsts”.

Speaking of porn, I saw my first true-blue movie freshman year of college, in a dorm room at Libby Hall. Not only did it bear little resemblance to my reality, the action was a bit too crazy, violent and it looked like it hurt a hell of a lot.

The first time I held my first and newborn niece, she peed on me. She’s about to give birth to her first baby.

The first time I ever kissed a boy I thought it tasted bad.

The first time someone my age died suddenly I was 16 years old. Chris Mastalski, who told me I had the nicest legs of all the girls, was killed in a fit of road rage in 1981, before the term was even coined. It was a first.

The first memory I have of my Dad is him walking away down an airport corridor, shipping off to Vietnam. We has wearing a blue suit, but carried the jacket over his arm.

The first concert I ever went to was The Captain and Tennille with my Dad.

I tell everyone the first concert I ever went to was The Rolling Stones, Heart and George Thorogood on one bill. I was just 15 at the time, but my Mom said I could go if my older brother took me and looked after me. He used to be a big stoner. Guess how that went?

The first time I said “I love you”, he didn’t say it back.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Thank you for not smoking

I’m a quitter.

I quit smoking nine years ago today, one of the best things I've ever done. I still recall my very first ciggie. I was 17, had just graduated high school, moved out and got a full-time job, working the assembly line in a factory on the night shift. Back then, folks smoked in the regular break room; no smoking sections or need to “take it outside". It happened in my 1972 Dodge Colt, driving home from work. I packed down the leaves with several slaps of the pack to my palm. The crinkle of gold foil. The "schwooot" sound when the flint scraped the metal wheel of my disposable Bic. The interior of the car glowed as I lit the tip of a Marlboro Light 100 and drew in deep…then hacked and choked like a fat guy with a chicken wing stuck in his pipe. I kept going until the choking eased.

I smoked until I was 32 years old. Fifteen years. I now detest the smell of smoke, the mess of floaty gray ashes and sight of a dirty ashtray. If I'm at a concert or club, come home in the wee hours and smell smoke in my hair, I have to wash it out before going to bed. Given that my vanity has grown with my age, I breathe a now-clean sigh of relief that I didn’t continue the damage to my skin, teeth and lips. Oh yea, and my heart and lungs.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Though shall not steal, asshole

First, to the asshole (or assholes, plural) who broke in to our community mail box, destroying the unit and stealing mail (no, it was not an "accident" after all)...your mammas must be proud.

Second, to the credit card companies who push additional account protection fees when you call to track down payments, ensure mailing addresses are intact and rogue charges not made...you should change the term from call center to profit center.

As a survivor of violent crime (I don't choose the word victim), mail theft absolutely pales in comparison. But it's a crime none-the-less. One that pisses you off and makes you rethink if your neighborhood is safe, going to shit or merely reflecting societal trends. After the fear comes the anger. Every penny, every pair of shoes, every piece of fruit in the 'fridge, the ‘fridge, every home, car, college education, everything I now have I EARNED. Those that choose to violate, cheat, steal or take advantage, it's not your circumstance, it’s not someone else’s fault and it’s not the only option. Do for yourself.

Wheel of morality, turn, turn, turn. Tell us the lesson that we shall learn.

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