Tuesday, July 20, 2010


For those of you who may never visit College Station, Texas, I'll let you know up front this place is full of critters. Since moving here, I've seen live skunks, armadillos, and possums on a weekly basis. They are not even phased by my presence most of the time. Moving on...

So four years ago when I first moved to College Station, spiders scared me.

But I moved to a neighborhood pretty far from campus and then there were freaking spiders everywhere; scuttling across the floor, climbing on the walls, building little webs in the corners of every room... I got over the spider thing pretty quickly.

Not that spiders and I are best friends, but now I go to the restroom and pee with a spider sitting on its web lurking five inches away from my foot...and it really doesn't bother me.

Every so often, though, there is a spider that comes along that makes me go, "Holy Sh*t!" and break out in panic sweat. Once I reach that point, in my mind there is only one choice--it's either it or me! & usually, I'm somewhat fearful that the spider will prevail.

This has only happened a small handful of times while I've lived here;

1.) I pitched a tent in my backyard and then left it there for two weeks. I wasn't living in it or using it for anything, I was just too lazy to take it down. It was the summer so the bugs started migrating and setting up a bug eutopia inside the tent. When I realized this, I was also taking an entomology course so I got my bug catching supplies and went in there. There was this big black hairy spider eating a wasp, I kid you not--this really happened. I caught the spider in a jar, stuck a cotton ball soaked with nail polish remover in there and let them die. Then I used them for my final project; a bug display. I thought it was pretty neat that even in death, the spider clutched the wasp in its fangs. My professor thought I glued them like that. Anyway

2.) The second time I encountered a particulary scary eight-legged monster, Shakespeare was in the back yard so I had the back door open. I see a black mass the size of my hand come rushing into the room from the yard and settle behind my entertainment system. Thinking it was a rat, I grabbed my aluminum baseball bat and went looking for it. It turned out to be a spider that looked like it was on steriods. I hit the damn thing with the bat and even after being hit, it started jumping all over the place. I finally squished it but I was seriously concerned for a moment about Shakespeare and I's living situation.

3.) This past weekend. My dad is visiting and I walk to the back door to let Shakespeare out but freeze in my tracks. "Oh my God. OhmyGod. Shakespeare no!" and I pull Shakespeare back inside. My dad comes to the door and looks out, "What? I don't see anything." "You don't see that?" I point to a gigantic spider web  built between the corner of my house and the door frame with an equally gigantic spider just waiting to snatch up my small toy breed puppy as a snack. My dad nonchalantly walks back to my kitchen sink and grabs the spider killer spray. What ensued was pretty dramatic but my dad was victorious. After putting up quite the fight, the spider finally succumbed to sweet death and fell on my patio table. It's been out for days and I just brought myself to go look at it today.

Okay, seriously--have you ever seen anything so scary? Just looking at this makes me itch.

& this all happened on the same day I found out my dad could moon walk. But ya' know, hey, that's my dad: spider-hunter, moon-walker, all around bad ass.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Salamander Love

He was lanky, skrawny at best. He had terribly crooked, discolored teeth and was covered in excessive but patchy body hair. It was mid-way through the semester before I realized we were in the same art class. Actually, I only noticed he was in my class the day I showed up early and walked in on his girlfriend and him eating chipotle burritos on the architect tables together.

His girlfriend was morbidly obese and swarthy. She was possibly an Albino and her frizzy-fried, ghost-white hair was always pulled back into a messy pony-tail. When I came to class that day, she looked up from her half-eaten burrito and smiled at me; her teeth were full of black bean skins.

As the beginning of class neared, the two stood up and walked to the door. He kissed her on the lips and slapped her ass as he pulled away from her embrace. "Thanks for bringing me dinner, babe. See you at home."

"Love you," she said.

"Love you, too."

"That's sweet that your girlfriend brings you dinner," I glanced up at the clock hanging above the projector screen and thought about how scheduling a class this late in the day really conflicted with my eating schedule...maybe I could run out and grab a bag of cheez-its before class started.

"Actually, she's my wife. We've been married for 2 years."

It had never occured to me before that moment that unattractive people fell in love. I'm not sure if, at that time, I could even understand how they would even fall in love.

And I think I felt sorry for them.

Save a few rare occurences where the nerdy high school student somehow lands the head cheerleader (or other similar variations) tv and movies have not prepared us for the reality that all kinds of people fall in love. To a degree, I think I believed being good-looking was a pre-requisite to finding a mate and that a rational relationship existed between a person's degree of hotness and their respective chances of finding someone to love them.

I have since reconsidered and have come to this conclusion:
we should all be ugly...or blind.

It works for the Texas blind salamander, and cicadas.
I bet the peacocks and lions are never so satisfied in their relationships as those fucking salamanders.

"Say guh, what yo' name is? I don't even care that you're a shrimp!"

And people--I definitely think we enter into relationships based completely off of physical attraction and STAY in them. I'm not saying my next guy after Flintstone is going to be a total uggo, but I am saying...I don't even know what I'm saying. I'm shallow.

Okay, what I'm saying is the way they fell in love was not based off of mutual attraction. They fell in love after getting to know each other. After time spent making each other laugh and being fascinated by one another. They fell in love after realizing that nothing outside could ever be as beautiful as the people they found within eachother.

Wow, how dramatic was that?

Well anyway, my last week of class at A&M, I saw them. I'd been up all night studying and was walking to an 8 am final, as I passed the library there they were. They were sitting on the steps together, laughing and drinking coffee. He was holding her hand and drew it in towards his mouth, planting one sweet kiss on the back of her palm.

I looked at the clock on my cell phone and thought about how I could really have gone for a nice cup of black coffee with sugar.

The first time I saw them, I felt sorry for them. Now I just feel sorry for every one else.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That's How Much I Love You Part Deux

You may (or may not) recall a similarly-titled post I once wrote about armpit hair. Rest assured, if there is a "That's how Much I Love You; 3rd Times A Charm" it will ALSO be about something remotely disgusting I've done brought on by Mr. Flintstone's euphoria-enducing love.

Did I just inadvertantly spoil this post for you?

Well anyway
I've been packing up my house in anticipation of my upcoming move from College Station to San Antonio. While Darlene was over last week, she asked me if she could cook some chicken stir-fry in my freezer, to which I replied, "What chicken stir-fry?" She showed me a packaged Panda-Express frozen meal I once purchased in 2007.

So I decided it was time to bag up all the petrified left-overs and freezer-burned entrees dwelling within my refrigerator unit. This plan was poorly thought out, however, because I dragged this gigantic bag of spoiled food out to my garage garbage can on Wednesday where it has since been marinating in the Texas summer heat.

I drove Darlene back to our home town on Friday and returned Saturday to move some furniture from my place back to my mom's. The smell emanating from my garage on Saturday was comparable to the odor (I would imagine) that'd occur if tuna and broccoli had a love child. That smell made me think one thing, well two if you count the tuna-broccoli baby; The Trash MUST Be Taken Out On Time This Week.

Reader(s), I'm pretty responsible--hey, I had a betta fish once AND I've kept Shakespeare alive and disease free for like four years. But admittedly, I'm pretty lackadaisical when it comes to taking my trash to the curb on Monday mornings. So I went back to Killeen and told my mom I had to leave; Mr. Flintstone & I had an impromptu meeting I had to attend and the sooner the better so I could get back to College Station before Monday to get my trash out on time.

Well, as you can likely guess I extended my trip with Mr. Flintstone well beyond trash pick up time. When I came home last night, I was almost floored by the smell. Exiting my car, I was apprehensive about even walking past my trash can for fear of going into a fit of dry-heaving, or worse being snatched up by some evil being spawned from the decaying food remains living in my trash can and hungry for blood. <--Fortunately, that didn't happen BUT the smell did manage to get stronger and waft its way into my living room.

That's right, reader(s), my love for Flintstone is so blinding, I abdicate my ohso important responsibilities just to spend a few more hours with him. Be flattered, baby; be very flattered.

Okay but seriously, I WILL PUT A STOP TO THIS ON MONDAY.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Phantom Cat

Scene: approximately 1 am, last Monday. My best friend has agreed to spend the remainder of the week watching me pack and laze about at a pool belonging to an apartment complex I don't live in. We are driving along dark country back roads on the way to College Station.
And then a cat comes thrashing across the road in a fit of wild rage. Okay, he just carelessly runs out in front of my car and I hit him.

Me: (Screaming reminiscent of B Horror Film) "Oh My God. Oh my God. I think we hit a cat."
Darlene: "If you ever scream like that again I will slap you. I'm horrified. I couldn't even respond to seeing that cat because your scream was so scary."
Me: "I think we hit a cat..."
Darlene: "I was like literally going to shout, 'Lauren, there's an animal!' but I couldn't get it out because your scream startled me."
Me: "Maybe we didn't hit it..."
Darlene: "We?"
Me: "Okay me, Maybe I didn't hit it."
Darlene: "I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm pretty sure you hit it. I felt the car go over it."
Me: "You're an ass!"
Darlene: "I'm just being honest."
Me: "I'm a bad person. I killed a cat. What if that was someone's pet?"
Darlene: "No one lives out here, we're in the middle of no where."
We drive past a lone house with the lights still on.
Me: "See!!! I have to go back and look. I'm taking this turn-around."
Darlene: "Oh my God. This is scary. It's dark and we're in the wilderness. If you get out of the car, I'm not waiting for you."
Me: "I won't get out. I just need to know for sure whether I killed it or not."
Darlene: "Okay, but I'm pretty sure you killed it. You ran it over. You cat-killer."
Me: "Shut up."
Darlene: "Meow."
Me: Ughh
We drive back a couple of miles and turn onto the same stretch of road where alleged feline homicide took place.
Me: "Do you see anything? I don't see it. Maybe we didn't drive back far enough...I'm turning around again."
Darlene: "Sometimes animals don't die right where they get hit. Like this one time Mona hit a deer and it walked over to the side of the road and layed in a ditch to die. The next day when she took me to see the deer, its head was cut-off. She thinks the police officers cut it off because it was a ten-point deer."
Me: "I don't even know what that means. But that's disgusting."
Darlene: "I think it means it's the biggest deer...Hey, you should check the grass in case it died there."
Me: "I've been looking. I don't see it. Maybe it didn't die..."
Darlene: "Yeah maybe, but I'm pretty sure you killed it."
Me: "You are evil."
Darlene: "Meoooow."

I've given the situation much consideration and I've come to this conclusion: I am a ghost-whisperer.

Only like with animals.

To back up my claim, I offer as evidence the time I spent four hours with my head against my bedroom wall listening to a non-existent rat chewing and scurrying and scratching.
There was also this one time I saw something run across my screen door and I assumed it was an Opossum but when I went to look with baseball bat in tow, it was not there and presumably, was Never there to begin with...
And now this.

Try not to be overwhelmed by my paranormal talents, I put my pants on one leg at a time--just like everybody else. Syfy channel producers; take note (and also, if you're reading this--it makes no sense that you changed your channel's name from SciFi to Syfy. But you should still give me a show).

*The picture of Shakespeare and I is almost un-related except Shakespeare probably has the same sixth sense since he was also concerned about the  imaginary  phantom possum and rat in the wall...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why Being a Nerd Doesn't Suck

I was a senior in high school. Horribly scarred by my PE experiences from middle school, I avoided taking physical education my first three years. Then I realized I was fucked because I HAD to take PE to graduate...
But I wasn't going to do that... instead I went and talked to the athletic trainers--they let me videotape the football games and practices that season for a PE credit.
Ellison High's football program sucked.
It had sucked for years.

But then outta nowhere, this one year, we were actually doing good. The game that would qualify us for the playoffs, this Brazilian exchange student kicks a record breaking field goal. I'm videotaping the game from behind the field goal and am thoroughly surprised when the ball smacks me in the face.

& what's worse, there were other trainers videotaping the game from the top of the stadium who got the kick and my resulting injury on tape.

Monday, all the football players smiled when they saw me; I thought maybe it was my outfit. Nope, a JV player with a locker close to mine told me.

& then they played it at the football banquet.

I cannot sum up for you how much my high school experience sucked.

I could tell you like this: my high school experience sucked so much, that although I coulda gone anywhere in the state--I was top 10%, k?--I didn't apply to any schools my friends were going to. INCLUDING the school my best friend went to (and the school it turned out Mr. Flintstone went to) because I didn't want to be around anyone who would remember me from high school. Because more than anything, I desperately wanted to wash off that nerd stigma.

What I found at college was that I couldn't wash it off, BUT instead I met people who loved nerds and outta nowhere, being a nerd became the prerequisite to being cool. Early junior year, I broke my glasses. When I went to buy new ones, I chose the biggest, thickest frame glasses I could find--because if I had to wear glasses, dammit, I was going to wear GLASSES. Initially, people laughed when I wore them around campus. Then the hipster era ushered in & gigantic, no prescription lenses were EVERYWHERE; Hollywood, the clubs--EVERYWHERE.

& what I've found is that the nerds are the Most interesting people you'll ever meet. The nerds grow up to be successful, in some cases, they grow up to be stars. Sometimes, they become dream chasers--living in a van and following the summer.

The nerdiest, geekiest kid I  ever knew did more by the time he was 16 than I have done at 23. By 16, he'd already jump-started his own computer software program. Although he doesn't have a college diploma, he works at MY ALMAMATER UNIVERSITY in the business department.

So what I mean to do is say that being a nerd is incredible and enriching. Own it, even if it seems like hell in your pubescent years.

I hope this helps some of you, even just one of you. I wish I knew a really nerdy adult when I was a teen to tell me it'd be okay. :)