I’m starting Shit I Found Saturdays here on my blog, which will exist only Saturdays, (betcha couldn’t have gleaned that from the name) which is cool except that the Internet is mostly closed on Saturdays. So let’s fuck that noise and get into cool shit we’ve found around the ‘net (I sorta want to punch myself in the throat for saying “the ‘net”) and bring Saturday back.
It’s like bringing Sexy Back but awesomer.
Join in! We have donuts (lies)!
Shit I Did:
I put this page together for my blogroll, which I’ve been cleaning out. Totes depressing to see so many abandoned blogs. Fill that shit out – my only request is that if you wanna be on my blogroll, just put me on yours.
I pulled out my hair a lot because holy FUCKS does my site look like dogshit right now. This is why I should never hit “Update” on any WordPress blog, ever.
Shit I Read:
Abraham Lincoln Filed For A Facebook Patent in 1845 – I know this is a prank so ancient that dust poured from my fingers when I typed it, but it’s still fucking hilarious. Also: Pranksters, we NEED to do another prank. OBVS.
Violence – So often we forget how after all is said and done, many of us have been the victim of terrible violence in our lives, and we’re left to “recover” on our own.
Graph Paper Press – this is an old wordpress theme site in which, for a not terrible sum, people who have photoblogs and other actual “art shit” to display, can download, customize and use. I get full of the jealous every time I look because I am not a photoblogger, which means I should be banned from the Internet.
Things I Learned In Wisconsin At A Wedding – who doesn’t like lists? And humor?
Fuck You Firefly, Have You Lost Your Light? – totally brave post about feeling empty and broken after a series of shitty relationships.
Lil Bub – the world’s cutest motherfucking cat. I only wish he made videos where he sang and danced.
Shit That Made Me Smile:
Dude, that cat is totally all sticking his tongue out at me. What the shit?
Shit That’s Just Fucking Rad:
A mashed potato vending machine:
We live in the motherfucking FUTURE, y’all.
Also: I now have a new thing to lust after.
People Doing Good Shit:
We all know (because I’ve blabbed about it ad nauseum) that I founded and work on a (nearly) non-profit site called Band Back Together, where we work to break down stigmas of mental illness, trauma, sexual abuse, and darkness by bringing them into light. We are, after all, none of us alone. You are all, as always, welcome to post with us.
Turns out? The Internet is rife with people doing good.
My friend Aaron recently launched Kids Cooperate, a site for kids ages 13-15, 16-18, and 18 and over with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Shyness. Kids will be grouped together based upon their needs and interests.
Kids Corporate has eHangouts, an rad use of technology that brings teens together in safe, facilitated friendship circles to socialize and support each other. Using Google’s secure video conferencing technology, groups of 9 peers and a facilitator meet for 30 minute sessions to check in, play games, and hangout in a way that builds confidence, develops social skills, and scaffolds the development of real friendship.
I think that’s fucking awesome.
Shit Other People Found:
– From Pete in AZ
Now it’s your turn. What cool shit have you found? Write it on your own blog and link up or throw it in the comments!
Saturday, July 14
The problem with sleeping in hotels is, for me, the lack of direct sunlight cuing my ass to get the fuck out of bed and start my damn day. Hotels, even like the one we stayed in in NashVegas, which boasted beautiful indoor gardens, which our balcony opened up to, are timeless to me. Sort of like hospitals – it can be 2AM or 2PM and it feels the damn same.
Dawn had, like the morning person she is, sat out on the balcony reading trashy magazines for like 8,272 hours waiting for my lazy ass to slog out of bed. When I did, she handed me a cup of coffee and then watched, befuddled as I went to the teeny coffee maker outside the bathroom and made myself a cup of coffee.
“Um,” she said. “You do know that we already have coffee, right?”
“Yeah,” I grunted. “But I’m double-fisting this motherfucker.”
She laughed before saying, “if we don’t go soon, we’re going to miss our tour.”
We’d planned exactly two things for the trip, figuring the rest would just be organic (but not like ORGANIC) and we’d do the shit we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. EXCEPT for the two things we’d planned, which had very specific start times. Like the fucking tour.
Rushing downstairs, we got the car from the valet, who had, thoughtfully, left the driver’s side window open so that Dawn was, effectively, sitting on a slushy, squishy seat. Awesome. I offered her my ass, but somehow she didn’t think it would help. Crazy ass.
She plugged in the coordinates to the Country Music Hall of Fame and off we went. Quickly, we learned that, not unlike Chicago, NashTucky had a “construction season” rather than a “summer.” Grimly we followed the chipper-sounding GPS lady (who I felt like throat-punching, truthfully), to one “closed to construction” street after another.
Finally, we made our way into the bottom of the Hilton hotel in downtown NashVegas, where we parked, all but screaming “FUCK IT” as we watched our tour time tick steadily past. Trudging out of the underground lot, I noted one thing. We were right fucking next to the Country Music Hall of Fame. After all the twists and turns we’d done, that alone was a minor miracle.
We raced to the desk, barely stopping to notice the beautiful atrium, and begged the woman behind the counter to take the next tour.
“Well,” she drawled. “We got one startin’ at one with two seats left. Want ’em?”
“YES! Thank you, YES, thank you!” Dawn returned. “It’s her birthday and we don’t want to miss this.” I didn’t bother to correct her – my birthday was the following day, but really, we’d be heading back to Chicago by then, so for all intents and purposes? It was my birthday.
The lady behind the counter fiddled with some tickets and a printer that had probably been created well before I’d been born, as I basked in the sunlight like a cat, listening to the delicate strains of a guitar playing through the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
I only have this moment, I thought, as I was reminded of my hippie parents: the future is unwritten and the past is unchangeable. I took deep breath after deep breath, letting the light inside me. The woman behind the counter eventually handed Dawn the tickets with the instructions, “Get into that line over there and the tour guide will pick you up at one!” She beamed at us, both falling all over ourselves with thank you’s.
As I turned to walk away, she looked me in the eye and said, her voice dripping with genuine sweetness and light, “Happy Birthday, hon.”
A normal response would be to smile and thank her for the well wishes, which I did. Then, I promptly turned around, standing in one of the most beautiful atriums I’ve ever seen, listening to a guy play a lone guitar version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” and burst into tears. That happens a lot to me when shit gets real: instead of behaving like a normal person, I cry when people are kind to me. If she’d said, “you’re an ugly fat bitch,” I’d have responded with some fairly rude gestures, reported her to her manager and demand a discount on the already-purchased tickets.
But when people are kind like that? It gets me. Every. Fucking. Time.
I stepped outside to regroup, not entirely comfortable with an entire atrium staring at the crazy crying lady, because you know as well as I, the very moment someone near you begins to weep, you want to know why; comfort them, or (if you’re me) hug them, and then create some story in your mind as to WHY this person, standing in the middle of the lobby of a beautiful building is weeping. If’n I’d seen me, I’d have made up some wild tale about John C. Mayer stalking me, vying for my love, while I slowly turned into Lil Wayne.
What? I didn’t say it was PLAUSIBLE. Or did I?
Alas, I digress.
After I’d stopped sniffling like a whiny bitch, a perky chick with long blonde hair was ushering us into a van. Without checking her ID, I hoped we weren’t going off to have our internal organs sliced out (altho, anyone on The Twitter knows I have beautiful kidneys – organ harvesters should BE so lucky), but, I figured, “what the shit? Live a little, AB” as I hopped aboard.
The perky blonde jabbered on at us while we drove past all the places where the greats in country music gave us our roots.
You’d probably not know it, but I’m sorta a music person. Not in the LEMMIE SEE AS MANY CONCERTS AS POSSIBLE kind of way, but I was raised around music. Each Saturday night, my dad and I would stay up until midnight, listening to the Midnight Special, a show put out by our local radio station. It was there that I cut my teeth on the roots of modern rock-n-roll (if there is such a thing) bluegrass, country, folk, and the ubiquitous anti-war songs. Music may not define me, but it flows through these here *taps arm* veins.
We stepped into RCA Studio B, where so many greats had once recorded, and, in a brilliant twist, Roy Orbison’s, “Only The Lonely” cued up immediately. I’d much prefer Journey, Pantera or Styx to cue up when I enter a room, but you know – can’t have it all ways. I, once again, stood with my back to the group, facing the wall while I composed myself. Just what I’d needed – the world’s most depressing song to come on at THAT moment.
Then we saw this. I nearly got a lady-boner:
After I touched the microphone, I wandered into the actual recording studio where The Greats had once stood.
Then I decided that even though I couldn’t play the piano, what I REALLY needed was a Honky Tonk Piano. I got busted trying to move this particular piano into my purse:
I thought it would do wonders for my mood.
They didn’t seem to see it that way.
July 13, 2012
Wait, they don’t tattoo BABIES, do they?
– My mother.
I’d spent years lusting after a sleeve (read: a tattoo that goes on your upper arm)(I felt it necessary to define it because, well, um, if I told you I’d been lusting after a sleeve, that would make it sound as though I lacked shirts with sleeves, and as a resident of Chicago, where winter is affectionately called, “ass cold,” that would be ridiculous).
ANYWAY. A sleeve. I wanted one. I was also shit-scared about getting one.
If you know anything about my tattooing history, you know that I
a) go big
2) go home.
It’s not like anyone was all, “If you get a sleeve tattoo, you’re a douchebag,” except for my mother, who harkens back to the days in which tattoos were for sailors and pimps, something she PROBABLY should’ve left out of her lectures to both my brother and I – who both (independently) took that knowledge to mean, “you know what? I DO need a lot of tattoos.”
Let this be a lesson to you, parents: be careful what you tell your children. For example, do not say, “Those weird ear plug things are waaayyyy trashy,” and whatever you do, do not say (unless you will be okay with the outcome,) “if you become an interpretive dancer, I WILL disown you.”
My mom’s big thing was that “tattoos were trashy.” What I heard was: “tattoos are awesome. You should get a lot of them.”
Those ‘ens were the first of my tattoos.
Which, if anyone tells you otherwise, DO NOT BELIEVE THEM: feet tattoos hurt like a motherfucker.
But? They have special meanings to me, which I may explain in exhaustive detail at a later date, but let me leave you with this: a month before my wedding, I got the seahorse tattoo to remind me that I would ALWAYS be okay alone – I didn’t need a partner; I wanted one.
Eventually, after approximately 87 years, I “finished*” this tattoo, which you’re probably familiar with:
My phoenix tattoo.
While I’d always lusted after a sleeve tattoo, I just wasn’t brave enough to attempt it. Besides, the only idea I’d had for a sleeve tattoo seemed kinda…silly, and really, a sleeve? On me? I didn’t know if I could pull it off. I was, and I’m being honest here, afraid of the idea. I’d noted that I’d been afraid a lot, over the years, much more than the girl I’d once known – I didn’t like it, but I didn’t quite know how to fix it.
As we drove down to NashTucky, countin’ tires on the side of the road, I let my mind roam – I knew I wouldn’t be getting a present this year, beyond the dildo/highlighter and rad CD tunage (which, let’s face it, is present enough)(If you like John C. Mayer), and I didn’t want that to be the defining moment of my 32nd year on the planet. Besides, no present, BEYOND the John C. Mayer CD would fix my life.
So, I decided to get myself a present.
Something to remind myself of the important lessons I was learning: in my new life, I must be brave; I must learn to take risks and I must be ready to do whatever it takes to get by (note: Craig’s List no longer has “casual encounters” so that’s out.). I must be proud of who I am, stand upright, be strong, and remember that I? Can get through anything.
Dawn had known of my plan – I’d originally planned to get some text written on me like my girl Dana had done, but realized that without doing precisely what she’d done, I wasn’t really going to get anywhere. This meant that Dawn, being the Type-A overachiever, much like myself had already pulled up a list of names and numbers of local tattoo parlors in NashTucky; the ones, of course, with the highest ratings.
When we finally arrived in NashVegas, I began to call the places Dawn had thoughtfully picked out. The first one – the one with the highest ratings – said “come on in!” To which I replied, in my VERY Type-A style, “but do I need an appointment first?” (I loathe doing ANYTHING without an appointment. I’d probably schedule bathroom breaks if I didn’t run my own schedule). Also: the tattoo was the one thing I’d be getting for my birthday and, quite frankly, I wanted it DONE so we could do other things and never mention my birthday again.
“Naw,” the guy said. “Just come on in.”
So we did.
We drove through what was probably the worst part of NashVegas, noting the sheer amount of “Quik Cash Payday Loan” shops peppering the sides of the streets, a sinking feeling of “what the shitnuts am I doing?” gnawing my guts. Then I remembered: I was being brave. Also: stupid. But hey, who’s counting?
Finally we turned down a quiet street.
“PHEW,” I said to Dawn, who looked equally stupefied by the locale. “At least all the houses aren’t…”
“Oh wait. They are.”
Yep. For every house we passed, the following three had boarded-up windows. I wanted to scream, SOUTHSIIIIIDDDDDEEEEEEE out the window but figured that I didn’t even have a tampon to bring to a gun fight, therefore I should shut my whore mouth.
Finally we pulled up to a tiny house, lit softly by a yellowish light, the front porch nearly taken up by two white rocking chairs. The humidity and moths circling about the lone light fixture on the porch gave everything a sort of hazy look, and I wondered if this was what living in Florida during the summers was like. The two rocking chairs were occupied by two fairly scary looking guys – I wondered, briefly, if I’d been friends with them in another life.
I walked in first, Dawn tagging along behind me, both of us nervous as cats in a roomful of rocking chairs, because, well, this was a BIG fucking deal for us both.
Pretending I wasn’t shitting my pants (thank GOD for adult-diapers), I walked up to the guy behind the counter and said, “I need a tattoo – two of them, actually.” He looked at me, carefully assessing me to see if I was, perhaps, going to ask for him to write “I heart Nickelback” on my ass or something.
“Where do y’all want it?” he drawled in a very pleasant accent; the kind I’d have been happy to listen to as I went to sleep.
“Right…HERE,” I gestured to my upper arm.
“Whatcha want there?” he asked.
“A peacock.” I replied, suddenly damn certain I was doing the right thing.
It was like the entire room perked up at once, suddenly listening, as though I’d said something ACTUALLY interesting (which, let’s be honest with ourselves – wasn’t like I said, “I KILLED JFK!” or “Tattoo Hitler’s likeness on my bunghole,” or anything).
He examined my arm.
“Y’all know that’s going to be huge, right?” He asked doubtfully, as though I’d expected to have to use a magnifying glass to see it.
I pulled down my dress to show him my back. “I’m good with big,” I smiled nervously, hoping I wasn’t about to make a horrifying mistake.
We examined a few pictures of peacock tattoos online until I found one that I liked. Adrenaline pumping, I steadied myself for (apologies to Mötley Crüe ) the Theatre of Pain I was about to endure…that is, until he began to speak to the actual tattoo guy, who said, “well, let’s make her an appointment tomorrow so I can draw this out.”
Fair enough. I didn’t need someone I didn’t know to go all free form on my arm.
But…gulp, TOMORROW? We had the Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B to tour! And! And! And!
I threw a small temper tantrum inside my mind as I reluctantly made an appointment for the following day. All that wasted adrenaline. We trudged back outside, and did the only thing we could think to do:
We went back to the lavish hotel and ordered burgers.
When the brothers Winklevii didn’t appear with our burgers, I won’t lie, Dawn and I were MORE than a bit disappointed.
Part II will air tomorrow because this shit is LONG, motherfucker.
*note usage of “air quotes.”