That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

it’s not that tough.

Ya’ know, if you stumble on something at Goodwill, like, a $10 American Girl doll in like-new condition, or a similar hidden treasure, and you know that I’ll love it, I don’t see any fault with wrapping it up and giving it to me as a gift. Actually, Haley and I were with my cousins when we found American Girls’ Felicity and Kaya. We couldn’t leave them.

It makes sense. I love my AG Samantha. (Actually, she dates back to Pleasant Company.) I’m a collector. A psychology student that I had to go see at AIW (As part of my psychology class, we had to go. I’m crazy, but that’s not why I went, I went for the grade.) gave me a Mickey Mouse beer stein and it’s prominently displayed on a shelf in my living room. I forget where she found it. Maybe she just had it forever, she might have said yard sale. I forget, but I love it. I love that she thought of me. It’s such a rare, unique, and special thing. I’ve never seen another one like it.

But I don’t know, you guys. Don’t just go to Goodwill to find something for the sake of finding anything. If you are there and see Bruce-sized pajamas for, like, $2. That’s cool. You were thinking of me, and I appreciate that. Give it to me the next time we see each other. But don’t wrap it up and present it as a gift for him. You have created work for me. “Happy Birthday, wash these clothes.”

It’s slightly alarming that the need exists for this post.

Maybe there is no need for a post. Do people do this, or is one person just doing it to me? Maybe the need is for a note to the individual… but, okay, you tell me how to broach that subject.

I take a lot of stuff to Goodwill and consignment shops. Do you know why? They have no value to me. They’re not special. They’re the throwaways. It’s not about money, I don’t care what you spend, it’s about value. Like I said, we didn’t bat an eye at buying AG dolls for $10 because they are valuable to us, if nothing else. (But they actually are valuable to everyone else as well.)

Rather than continue harping on why it’s in relatively poor taste to gift someone used articles of clothing, I will instead point out several options for super-cheap or easily made gifts. I get it if you’re broke. I get it. Your life’s not about making money, you’re a do-gooder. You want to make a difference. I get it.

Check ebay. For example, I searched “Disney.” Then arranged the results according to price + shipping, lowest first. I immediately found a Walt Disney 6 cent stamp for $ .99 shipped. Buy a mini-frame. You know, they often use them for place settings at weddings? (I think I actually have TWO of those laying around my house, if you don’t, they’re like $1.) Cut a piece of acid-free paper to fit the frame and mount the stamp to it. Boom. Nice, sweet, thoughful… $2. (Unless you’ve been to a wedding in the past 5 years, then it’s only $ .99!) The same price as a shirt at Goodwill that was somebody’s throwaway. I love it. I’ll sit it on my mantle or desk. Super cute. Crafty. Thoughtful. I appreciate you.

Check Amazon. I have a Kindle. Did you know that? Maybe we should talk. Maybe if you had a conversation with me you’d know that I hate folding clothes but love playing “TripleTown” and “Candy Crush” and “Where’s My Water” and “Monsters, Run.” Are there any other Kindle apps that I might enjoy? You can save 80% on, like, 350 different Kindle books. Buy me a book! Again, I looked for about 30 seconds and found something that I’d enjoy. You can choose the delivery date and everything. (FYI, fiction isn’t my thing, but I love art, history, humor, and religious works.)

Your recipient doesn’t have a Kindle? Do they have a Smartphone? Do they have a computer? It’s 2013. You can’t dance around this technology issue.

I sent my sister a $10 Starbucks gift card on her birthday that I got for free by signing up for a Starbucks account or some crap. $10! That’s at least two tall white-chocolate mochas. I know she’ll like that. It cost me nothing.

Still evasive about the recipient having or not having technology, huh? That’s okay. If you’re reading this, you can find things.

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Make me a cake. Just the fact that you mixed, and baked, and decorated, I mean — that takes me all day. Make me a mix CD. There’s thought in that. Did you know if you draw on a plain ceramic mug with a Sharpe and then bake it you will heat-set it? Yeah. Custom mugs anyone? Cut out a little heart on cardboard, trace that heart onto a map, cut out that map and Modpodge it to the cardboard, put a ribbon on it, boom: sentimental ornament that will recall that trip we took that one time. (“I’ll put that flea in a box…”) Do the same thing with a bunch of Disney characters from a book that you found at, oh, I don’t know, Goodwill? You could make a whole set: Snow White and all seven dwarfs.

Me. Me. Me. “That’s fine,” you say, “for you. Bruce has no desire for a $ .65 octopus necklace!” Learn something. Google “blanket stitch,” and design a t-shirt using a fabric remnant.

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It’s painstakingly custom-made by hand! That’s valuable! I’ll keep that forever!

It is ridiculous how cheaply inexpensively you can put together a present. Go look at Pinterest. People on Pinterest are so much smarter and more thoughtful than I will ever be. Google “Free DIY Printable.”

You don’t have to do this big thing. Just a little token, a little gesture, is sufficient. And let’s face it, a shirt that’s been caressing someone else’s stinky pits or a sleeper that some other baby pooped in is no big thing anyway. I’d like to research the History of a Gift in modern times. Specifically, I want to know how we got to this point. When we were kids, anything was okay. “Look, I drew this for you.” That’s pretty neat, you did that by hand. You put yourself into it. I guess we got older and started making our own disposable income and wanted to do more, which evolved into making money, albeit never enough, and having bills, feeling obligated to buy presents. We can go back to the drawings. What did I do to make you think, “okay, I have to get her a shirt,” or, worse yet, a skirt and a pair of pants. Not a SHIRT and pants, a skirt, a bottom, and pants, another bottom.

What woman buys another woman a pair of pants?!

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Pajamas are the exception. But one doesn’t just gift a pair of pajama bottoms.

It’s so… ugh… I just have run out of words to describe how I feel smiling as I open something that perhaps someone else opened once upon a time. You know how re-gifting is tacky? You’ve heard that, right? This is like re-gifting, except worse. We can assume a re-gift is something new that you don’t like so you don’t use it and instead you gift it to someone else, in the same new gift condition in which it was received. This is kind of like that, except someone else didn’t like/want/need this so much that they gave it away. It was a little bit nicer than trash, so they didn’t want to throw it away completely, but they really can’t have it in their house anymore.

And now it’s in mine.

 

(OMG… side note, I just did this and it took me 20 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88cn_rtLo Bruce pulled up the < key. Holy crap.)

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lately

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  No progress on Little Happy’s room or anything.  At this point we’re just trying to get out of the old house.  We’ve got one week.

It’s been a rough few days.

We bought a house, closed on 7/27 and have to be moved out of our rental by 8/18.

I don’t have gestational diabetes per se… but my numbers are elevated.  So I’m diligently trying to figure that whole mess out.

Tom went to Dallas last Thursday and Friday, so in addition to be pregnant and having to work on the old house by myself, I was super-duper depressed at being alone.  There’s nothing in the new house to eat.  So, I had to go to the store.  Everyone I know who has a pet can just walk out the door and go to the store.  Not us.  We have to dog-proof the whole house.  Close all the doors to all the bedrooms…  Put boxes on the couch so she doesn’t jump up there and cover it in fur…  Move anything that’s edible higher than 5 feet off the floor…  It’s exhausting.  I just want to be able to go to the freaking store without having to turn my pantry into Fort Knox.  I just want things to be easy.  I just want my life to be simple!

So.  I put the dog in the garage.  I prayed she wouldn’t crap in the garage – because I’m still nauseous all the time and didn’t want her sh*t to make me throw up.  Still, I bought clothespins at Walmart so I could put one on my nose if she did poop and figured we could use them at the baby shower.

It started raining when I went into Walmart, when I was ready to leave it was a gosh-darned MONSOON.  I got soaked, despite the umbrella (“…big ol’ fat rain.  Rain that flew in sideways…”)  I looked like a drowned rat.  Aaaand I slipped in the parking lot.  Stubbed my toe.  I’ll live.  My super-long second toe kind of folded and saved the rest of me from going down, but it got cut pretty bad and hurts like a mug.  Added injury to the insult of being soaking wet, and lonely, and sad, and frantic about Jasmine.

At home, of course there was sh*t in the garage, which infuriated me.  Of course.  Just because I DID NOT NEED THAT IN MY LIFE AT THAT MOMENT.  So, okay… fine.  I can pick up poop.  I mean.  I’m having a baby.  Me an’ poop are about to get real friendly.

But geeeeeez… do I hate dog poop.

So, I open the clothespins and they don’t fit on my GIGANTIC, HUGE, ENORMOUS, TITANIC nose.

I stuffed a paper towel up my schnoz and picked up the crap, put it in a bag and cracked the garage door so I could throw it out on to the driveway and throw it away when it’s not raining cats and dogs.  Oh!  And speaking of rain/dogs… Jasmine decides she’s out.  She’s gon’ bounce.  She peacin’.  So, she runs out of the garage into the rain.  Nice little plus.  Like my evening wasn’t already awesome… now I get to go find a wet dog.

JASMINE!  WHY YOU SO DUMB!  WHY YOU RUN OUT INTO STORM!

I don’t get it.  I’ll be damned if I’m going out there.  I yelled and she came back.  I yelled at her to stay and went inside to get a cup of water the flush out the pee that she also made for me while I was gone.  Come back out – she’s gone again.

SUNNUVA!

I called her again and she came back.  WTF, Jasmine?!  It. Is. RAINING.  Stay in the garage… if for no other reason, because I JUST told you to.

WHY YOU SO DUMB?!

This happened every time I went in to get another cup of water.  By the time the pee was flushed out into the rain I was ready to just shut the door and leave Jasmine out there.  I didn’t.  I called her back into the garage from wherever the heck she was.  I stood by her bowl and watched her eat the food that had been there since I left.  (If you don’t know this dog, she loves to eat.  We pour the food at dinner time, she eats it.  Interesting, huh?  Leave her in the house and she will eat anything within those 5 feet of ground level.  Leave her in the garage with a full bowl of food and she doesn’t touch it.)  Poured her some water.  Stood there while she drank it.  Went in the house, told her to get the F away from me, and I finally got to eat something.  Finally.  Sat in the kitchen and cried and ate “dinner,” a Lean Cuisine.

I was beginning to think Tom had forgotten about his wife.  It was about midnight, Texas time.  So… clearly he’s having more fun than I was.  Whatever.  I’m going to bed… Jasmine was finally dry, but I didn’t want her near me and she knew it.  She got as close as she thought she could safely, which was the landing halfway up the stairs and eventually outside my bedroom door.

Tom called at about the same moment I gave up on him.

Maybe none of it is a big deal, but I FEEL depressed.  So, I FEEL like it’s a nightmare.

Tom got home and we decided that we’re never doing that again.  Ever.  That was stupid.  Lil’ Happy and I are going next year.

The screen on my laptop, my only means of communication with the outside world, went black on Tom’s first day away – JUST as I was opening photoshop to create Baby Shower invitations.  I also have someone WAITING for me on Etsy, and no way to create a listing.  Our shower leaks.  The washing machine stopped working.  The ceiling fan and light in our bedroom turn on and off at random.  And oh yeah, we have a house to move out of.  Oh yeah, and my nose is huge.

Friday night – Tom was finally home!  I met him at the door.  It was like in the movies where they guy has been over seas fighting Nazis for 9 months.  We just wanted to be together.  We drove to get food at 11:30 – not because we were hungry, but because we wanted to drive around and talk and just be together.  Took the Holy Terror with us.  Got home and Tom showed me cupcakes! And presents! We were in bed around 12:30.

At about 1:30 am, his phone starts going off and we both thought it was the alarm.  We were supposed to leave early to go to Virginia.  It wasn’t the alarm, it was the neighbor that lives by the old house.  She said some kid told her he thought our house was robbed.  We got dressed, loaded Jasmine up in the truck that was full of stuff from me moving earlier that day and went to the old house.  The cops were there.  They said the back door was open.  Great.  We went in the front door.  The cop was like, “alright – what’s missing?”  “Nothing.  It looks just as it did when I left this evening.”

Turns out, they had parked the getaway car in front of our house, broke in to a house about 5 houses down and ran behind all the houses in-between with the goods.  But it wasn’t us.  It’s like Tom’s back home and all is right with the world.  Nothing is a big deal.  Everything’s okay.

We were up late.

We went to Virginia for a glorious wedding – but traveling is always tough anyway.  I’ve got this gestational diabetes problem and it’s been tough to find good nutritious food on the road.  Anyway.  Being on the road is just an extra stressor on the existing list of crap that’s going on.  We were both tired from the night before.

It was a whoooole weekend that we weren’t moving.

It was a great weekend.  Great wedding.  Great day at Busch Gardens – although I could not ride a damn thing.

I take that back, I rode the carousel.  Everything else was either too dangerous or part of the Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

As if my list of whiny complaints wasn’t long enough, at the wedding a friend of mine pointed out that my voice is suddenly very deep.  Yes, it is.  Thank you.  I actually find it quite devastating.  Huge nose… growing a beard… voice of Gaston… wedding band doesn’t fit… yes… pregnancy is AWESOME.

Side note: this sounds like me, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770619/, I’d love to know other peoples’ opinions on the subject.  People on various message boards claim the nose thing will go away after I have the baby, but the deep voice bit sounds like a legit issue (that will resolve itself eventually, but an issue nonetheless).  All the stuff about the ovaries sounds like me… just sayin’.  Look at it.

So… yeah.  That’s what’s happening down here.  I’m just kind of waiting for this pregnancy thing to get fun.  At first, I figured it was lame because I was waiting until after my cousin’s wedding to make a big deal about it.  But here it is a month later and I’m still miserable.  I don’t feel special!  I’m not glowing!  I’m just… kind of… blubbering.  I’m tired.  I’m fat.  I’m sad.  Projects are not getting done.  The house is a mess.  I was looking forward to the baby shower because that’ll be fun… show off my new house, you know?  But like, people have a problem with it because I want it to be at my house in Charlotte.  That’s really getting to me for some reason… like, making them unhappy is completely filling me with anxiety and irritability.  There really just aren’t words to express my feelings about that.  I can’t imagine any of the complainers being like, “oh – you know what, I’m going to have my baby 4 hours from home because that’ll be easier on Wendy,” but that’s what I’m doing for them.  (Not just for them, I like the doctor, too – but if you ask, “wow, why are you having the baby in Cville?”  First thing out of my mouth is, “Well, my whole family is there.”)  And they can’t come here, to my home for a shower, so I can nest for one f*cking minute before I have to move to Charlottesville for a month – away from Tom, and we’ve seen how well that worked out – and live as a guest, out of a suitcase while I have this baby?!

Buuuuut…. trying to be optimistic.  I don’t know.  Trying.  Sorry if you wanted a fluffy entry about magic baby fairy dust.  Tom makes me feel better.  We tried for so long.  This is our little miracle.  I’m hoping it’ll be a whole different story when he emerges from… my… gosh… I do not want to think about that right now.

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busy weekend!

Rough weekend.  Someone reading this would assume it was because of my full house over the weekend, but I promise that has nothing to do with it.  On Thursday, we narrowed our house-hunt down to 4.  On Friday, 3 of those 4 went under contract.  Two of them literally went overnight.  So depressing.  We had no idea that it could happen so suddenly, and I’m not sure whether that is a faux-pas on behalf of the realtor, or naivety on our part.  Probably both.  She knew how we felt, surely if she thought we should throw down asap she would have said that.  So, it seems like we were all caught off guard.  Three out of four times.

Mom, Dad, Haley, Starsky, Van, Trudy, Tyler, Bree, Sunny, Nick and Toby were here over the weekend.  Now it’s just me and Jasmine, and I’m so lonely.  Tom and Dad went to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races on Saturday and Sunday.  The Herolds were here for a wedding.  So, let’s see… on Friday Dad, Haley and Starsky got in around lunch time.  We went to Speed Street in Uptown and won lots of fun swag.  I was a rockstar.  I won game after game.  I tell you what, ever since Mr. Nasty was removed, my hand-eye coordination and ball-handling skills have gone through the roof.

On the way home on Friday night, it occurred to me that I had left a Chickfila sandwich on the table behind the couch.  CCCRRRAAAPPP.  I knew that Jasmine and Starsky would have been all over that thing after we left and was positive they’d get up on the couch, spill half-empty soda glasses (also on that table) down the side of the couch, and litter my floor with the sandwich wrapper.  Craaaaaap.  The covers come off of the couch cushions easily enough, and are machine washable, but it was already midnight.  And I have no idea how we’re going to wash the cushion part of the couch…. I felt so sick on the drive home.  So sick.

We pulled up to the house, Tom apologized to Haley in advance because it hurts her feelings when we yell at Jasmine.   As we made our way to the door, Haley ran to the window and looked in at the living room.

“IT’S STILL THERE!”

I opened the door to two happy, friendly pups and a perfectly intact Chickfila chicken sandwich exactly where I left it on the table behind the couch.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so happy in my entire life.  I felt so warm, almost drunk.  Drunk with happiness.  It was kind of like marrying Tom, or sitting there with Tom watching the two lines on the pee test form.  So good.  So wonderfully awesome.

We had dinner at Mac’s Speed Shop (I think), because it’s rated the number one restaurant in Charlotte.  It was perfect.  A unique Charlotte experience, lots of food for the money – oh yeah – and also it was delicious.

Saturday, I had big plans.  Haley and I were going to hit up Old Navy and then paint pottery.  We went to Chickfila to get lunch for the Herolds, and Target to get her some pizza.  When we got back to the house, everyone was there.  It was good timing.  That’s what we were shooting for, we wanted their food to be hot.  We pretty much got there at the same time, I think.

Turned out we had to dog-sit Tobster.  Makes sense.  It was really hot out, so he couldn’t wait for everyone in the van like he usually does.  Plus, the van was loaded with their stuff for the beach.  Everyone was in formal wear.  It really wasn’t practical for them to take a slobbery, hairy hot mess with them to that wedding.  It just didn’t occur to me until about 30 minutes before they left that Haley, Starsky, Jasmine and I were all in for the night with Toby.  Womp wah.  (Not that I mind, Toby is always willing to babysit Jasmine!)  Haley and I watched the Nationwide race, which I thought was really fun.  🙂  We watched about 6 hours of Jersey Shore in Florence.  Haley ordered us a free pizza and breadsticks.  She’s a good egg.  We had a good time.  It’s kind of like when it snows and you decide you have to walk to the grocery store.  We felt a little bit of cabin fever because we couldn’t go anywhere, but we made a really good night out of it.  My favorite part was our last two hours or so.  Haley got a cup of Sammy Snacks and had all 3 doggies sit, lay down, and speak for a treat.  She’s really amazing.  She is a dog person… she’s an animal person in general.  It was like watching Andreas Deja draw in my sketchbook, watching a pro do what they do.  Very, very cool.

At 2 in the morning, Dad, Haley and I went to the train station to pick up Mom.  And all was right with the world.

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY.  Tom got donuts for the gang.  I want to say the Herolds left at 11 for a 7 hour drive, but didn’t hit the OBX until close to 9.  (Just a guess based on facebook.)  So, I’m real interested to find out how that trip went since I have to do it in a little over a month.  I’ve been told 9 hours, so if they did make it there in 7, I want to go the way that they went!  You know, of course, what I am thinking.  “Nine hours?!  I could be at Disney World in 9 hours!”  Not just at WDW, but in 9 hours, I could be all the way inside the Magic Kingdom enjoying a Dole Whip.

Dad and Tom left around noon for the Sprint Cup race, the Coca-Cola 600.  Mom, Haley and I left Starsky to babysit Jasmine and again I had big plans.  Lunch, Old Navy, and Painting Pottery!  Woo!  We went to Wendy’s and Old Navy.  By the time we left Old Navy, Mommy had a “hegg-aig.”  We went back to my house and watched… something… what did we watch?  I forget.  We watched some of the race.  Haley and I went to Target and bough the stuff to make PKP and chicken spaghetti.  It was a fun little meal.  About the time we were done cooking, Tom and Dad came home.  Everyone was so exhausted.  We ate and passed out.

On Monday morning, I had booked us a breakfast date in Rock Hill.  We met Will, Joyce and Sara Beth at 9:30 at Cracker Barrel and sat there running our mouths for about 2 hours.  It was so good to see them.  I had so much fun.  When my food came, I was sad, because it meant we’d be leaving soon.  (We actually didn’t, we sat at the table for a loooong time after we were all done.)

We left Cracker Barrel and I whispered into Tom’s ear, “Disney Store?”  He smiled at me and nodded.

We headed up I-77 from Rock Hill, into North Carolina and got on I-485 heading east.  Dad was fussing at Tom for being in the wrong lane, going the wrong way… he sad something about being a bad driver in front of Mom and that opened Haley up to her Anjelah Johnson, “honeeey, I try to he’p yoo,” impression.  We were all dying laughing, wishing Lindsay was with us, and just saying it over and over.  So, although Dad thought Tom was going the wrong way, Tom’d just say, “Hon’ay, I try to he’p yoo!”  We parked at Macy’s, walked through and looked at luggage.  It was kind of nice to just do nothing.  Mom hit the nail on the head later, she said that whenever we get together it’s because we have something going on.  It was nice to just do nothing.  Just shop.  Just be together and be funny.

We left Macy’s, walked around that corner and Haley said, “Gah! I know why we came here!”  She RAN to the Disney Store.  I was nervous, you know.  We have a sister that get’s a discount and all of the merchandise is available online. I was afraid they’d think it was pointless to go there.  They didn’t.  They were excited.  We shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped.  Dad talked to a Cast Member who said that the stores are making a comeback.  Dad said, “Yeah, because you can’t take your kid into an online store.”  Dad bought tiny sunglasses for Lil’ Happy.  So cute.  He also asked me when we find out, because he’s excited about being able to get gender-specific stuff.  I am so tickled that he’s playing that Grandpa card.

I bought a Disney Store vinylmation and got the chaser!  I wasn’t as lucky with the Snow White minis.  I got Sneezy.  Not bad, but you know I wanted Dopey.

They were so not-annoyed with going to the Disney Store without our walkin’ talkin’ discount machine, that we went from South Charlotte to Concord Mills to visit the Disney Outlet.  The pool in my neighborhood opened this weekend, I was chompin’ at the bit to paint pottery… but the Johnson Family went to the Disney Store.  That’s how we roll.  That’s what we do.  It was pretty fun, as fun as a pool day I’d say.

They left around 4, and I have been ridiculously lonely ever since.

In other news…

I had a BombPop this morning that Tom bought me yesterday from an ice cream truck.  It was SO GOOD.  The problem?  What does a pregnant gal do when her craving is something that rolls by the house at random on weekends?  (Or not at all.)  What?  Go to the grocery store and buy popsicles?  Not the same.  They’re more watery, more icy.  This was so soft.  It was a popsicle, but when I broke through the frozen barrier, it turned to some kind of delicious miracle of cushy goodness.  The ones at the grocery store don’t slush as much as they just plain drip.  Anyway, now all I want is another BombPop.  I don’t know what cravings feel like, but this is as close as I’ve gotten to it so far.

It just occurred to me that I have a fridge full of wedding cake from the Herolds!  Woot!

Kirk out.

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escape!

Haley has said that she’d like to be a fly on the wall inside my head at night while I’m dreaming.  I wouldn’t recommend this, as it tends to be a scary, scary place in there.  Last night…

It started off innocently enough.  The first thing that I remember is watching a marching band practice.  They were a small band, but they were really good.  I went to find people, like maybe my Dad, and bring ’em back to see this awesome band.

The next thing I remember, we were in a huge stadium watching a football game.  I couldn’t tell you if it was high school or college, but the facility was enormous.  I was being chased, or trying to escape.  There were some terrorists running around that were trying to gather up people and kill them, and apparently I was on their list.  I slid down the banister and ended up right beside Leslie Jones (who is now Leslie Guettler).  I said hi, I think, and kept on running.

I ended up escaping the stadium and running down a long sandy, dirt road.  I followed a few people out, but somehow ended up on the wrong road.  They were uphill from me, all together.  I was down on a lower road alone with (I want to say) Matt Baysinger and the terrorists.  They were coming up on us fast, so we fought.  I don’t remember Matt doing much.  I feel like he ran.  I tried to run, and when I got stopped I clawed my way out.  I was hitting the terrorist with my book bag, and at one point I jammed my finger deep into an eye socket.

Back at the stadium, trying to get to that upper road, I ran into Leslie again.  (I am always sliding down hand railings in this dream – trying to get UP… you’d think I’d walk UP the stairs.)  I told her she had to help us escape.  She’s got to get us out of here.

You’d think she’d help us escape by car – and maybe that’s how it started.  All I remember was getting off of a bus at The Disney Store. It looks a lot like an updated Barracks Rd.  Matt, Dad, and I got off the bus.  Leslie seemed unsure about whether to get off the bus or go back to the stadium.  I grabbed her bag and said, “just come with us.”

Finding the entrance to the store was tough.  We had to enter through the chapel, because there was a lot of construction.  The Disney Chapel was interesting to say the least.  I meandered around there while I waited for Leslie to come in.  The walls were blue, there were characters everywhere, and the pews were bright pink.  There was a really high tech clock that hung from the center of the room like a chandelier.  It was digital, and told the day of the week as well as the time.  It had the Little Mermaid on it.

Leslie is slow getting into building, but when she realizes a complete stranger (my dad) walked off with her kid, she moves through the room quickly.  She wasn’t really upset, she just doesn’t know my Dad and wanted to make sure Gabrielle is alright.  I followed her out of the chapel and into the store.

We find Dad talking to Gabrielle, who is running in and out of playhouses.  Dad says, “Get him! Get him!”  My cousin Adam is inside a  playhouse full of balls and Gabrielle is tickling him, so we all tickle him.

What are the odds of running into him here.  “What are you doing here?” He said Ashley sent him to buy this Jeopardy toy that you can’t get online anymore.  It’s sold out, rare, limited edition… really fancy… you get the drift.

I introduce Adam to Matt and Leslie.  I tell him Leslie sat beside me at my high school graduation.  Matt immediately begins hitting on Leslie.  “So, uh, when did you graduate?” he asks her.

First of all, Matt, she’s married.  Secondly, she graduated with me – and I graduated with you.  That’s the cool thing about our friendship – I thought you knew that.  Reggie graduated (I want to say) in 1989, Tom ’99, but you and me, we graduated together in ’01.  I was irritated that he forgot about that.

Trying to do the math woke me up.

So, see.  Some crazy schtuff goes on inside my head in the middle of the night.  I guess it’s entertaining, but if you’re in there as a fly on the wall just watching instead of helping me fight terrorists, we’re going to have words come morning.  I’d love to know why my brain picks who it picks to hang out with at night.  Very interesting.

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