death

Exhale

I love dandelions. I don’t care that they’re weeds. I love blowing their dirty rotten little seeds everywhere. Because it’s pretty. It’s neat to watch. And I’m twelve.

And I’d like to be able to blow them into the wind in another twenty years.

And I’d like see my children’s children and grow old with my best friend. So… in order to exhale properly, one must inhale. And that means the nicotine has got to go.

Yep. You read that right. Even though the world’s leading lung doctor told me they look great. Even though I’m the female version of Coop when it comes to chain-smoking. It’s time.

I promised myself I’d do this some time ago. Other things happened instead. Then I promised someone else I’d do this… and even though promises get broken all too often, it’s time to keep this one.

Please forgive any snark, attitude, anger, outbursts, lashing out, or strangely calm and quite frightening behavior you may see for the next few weeks. I know some people get cranky. I’m convincing myself that I will not be like that. I’m trying to be smart about it—electronic to get rid of the other 3999 chemicals first, then lower nicotine each time. Eventually, it’ll be zero and i’ll be nicotine free.

I’ve always said I was allowed one bad habit… time for a better option.

Death by Bubble Wrap

“You are constantly dodging danger like Forrest Gump.”
~ Bob Ford

It’s been a long standing joke—er, I think it’s meant as a joke—that I will die by some stupidly ridiculous method. Paper cuts are often given as an example and the hippie usually follows it with his concern over the authorities not believing him, “No really, officer. She had a paper cut and then, well…” or how exactly to explain to my mother that I had a run-in with a rogue stapler and lost. Except my mother, unlike the cops, would totally believe it. After all, she watched me sleepwalk my nose right into the bulletin board on my closet door, full of lovely stickpins and tacks and things, all through high school.

Yesterday, I was pretty sure it was going to be bubble wrap instead of a paper cut.

See that picture? It’s hard to tell without something in the image for comparison, but that’s a 14′ x 5′ sheet of bubble wrap—the big bubbles, fist size bubbles. Keep that in mind.

I was going 83 on 83 (the locals will understand that reference) on my way to work. Because there were no buses to slow my progress, and the construction season seems to be winding down, Murphy hit me with his other favorite: caravans of semi-trucks on the highway. Okay. Whatever. At least they’re moving (unlike the buses and construction). And as I found myself locked in on all sides by vehicles much much larger than my cute little ‘stang (yes, I am still in love with my mid-life crisis), a piece of road crap came flying out from beneath the truck in front of me.

“What the hell?!” If I remember correctly, was my initial response. A quick glance around me, nowhere to swerve, no way to hit the brakes and change lanes, led to the follow up, “Shit.” I gritted my teeth, hit the clutch, and coasted over it. I exhaled and watched the rearview mirror.

Nothing.

Then I heard it.

*Pop*

*Pop pop pop pop pop pop pop*

And I could smell it. The lovely smell of hospital fish without the morphine drip to dull the flavor, er, I mean, burning plastic.

“Shit.”

The steering got weird. The ‘stang developed a touch of a cough and lurched a little. I held my breath and concentrated on what exactly I was going to do if this thing caused my car to seize on the highway, going too fast, surrounded by semi-trucks. And my black humor gene kicked in as headlines flicked through my thoughts. “Gypsy killed by bubble wrap.” “Tragedy on 83 blamed on bubble wrap.” Followed by, “Crap, Bob doesn’t know where the Christmas presents are hidden!” (Yes, these are the thoughts I have while thinking I may actually die because of freaking bubble wrap.)

I pulled off the exit, pulled into work, and literally jumped from the car as if it was on fire. It wasn’t, yet, thank god, but it smelled like bubble wrap brimstone. I dumped my stuff in the office, briefed the boss, and carefully drove it three blocks to the Jiffy Lube.

Batting my eyelashes and hoping this wouldn’t sound as stupid out loud as it did in my head, “Hiiiii… I don’t need an oil change. Um, I was blocked in by semis on the highway and a ginormous piece of bubble wrap flew at me and is now wrapped around underneath the car. Could you pull this over the pit and fix that for me?” (Yep, it sounded exactly as stupid out loud.)

With a raised eyebrow, the tiniest mechanic I’ve ever seen smiled, “Is that what I smell? Sure. No problem.”

They pulled it out. I took a picture (because no way was the hippie going to believe this—turns out he had no problem believing it at all. He was only surprised it wasn’t a paperclip that tried to kill me.), and I went back to work.

This is my life. You can’t make this shit up. It’s ridiculous and yes, the hippie may be on to something. I do tend to get hurt in the most bizarre ways. And I do tend to get out of danger in equally lucky ways—though I still don’t know if what he said (the quote above) is an insult or a compliment. But I can’t be the only one… Can I?

So, since this happened on a Thursday, let’s make it a coffee blog from the garage, a little gypsy chat to start the day. What is the silliest way you have either gotten hurt, or could have really gotten hurt but skidded through somehow. And I’m not demeaning the danger or the injury as silly, but rather, the headlines that could come out of the situation. Gimme a headline and the story behind it. Death by Bubble Wrap is mine… What’s yours?

 

The Smell of Fear

Fear is the mother of morality.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

After posting Tuesday’s blog, regarding the pissy smelling tunnel of my childhood, my mom emailed an interesting thought. I responded. Then I thanked her for giving us this week’s Gypsy Question Thursday blog. Grab your coffee and a healthy dose of fear… here we go.

Many monsters, in films and novels, have used the line, “I can smell your fear.” Generally they’re speaking about your personal smell. Rather than a come-hither pheromone or expensive perfume, they smell your endorphins, adrenaline, etc. But this is not your body and its ability to chameleon its scent. This about your fears themselves—the objects, the places, the situations.

First, think of the thing(s) you are afraid of. Now then, does it have a natural smell? Elevator grease? The heavy metallic smell of blood? Secondly, there’s the reverse, which may be easier for some to do. What smells induce raw emotional terror in you? Medical or general purpose sterilizing chemicals? The aroma of electricity? The stench of disease? What do your fears smell like?

I give you two options, let you attack this thought from both sides, because in trying to answer it myself after talking to mom, I realized woodticks have no aroma, and the smell of the woods doesn’t make me automatically fear their presence. But conversely, I remember driving down the road once and suddenly smelling that sickly sweet scent of doom the engine gives off right before it overheats. I remember watching the gauge and slowing down, for fear of crashing at high speeds. See… I don’t necessarily have a fear of accidents that I would list or note or even think of when asked my fears, but that smell induced it quick enough.

Now then, your fears…?

 

 

Suck my WHAT?

Yeah yeah, I know it’s Monday. But I don’t have a pithy anything for this week. Between #LS deadline and promising myself not to have any more nervous breakdowns online (with apologies to all those that have had to experience that freaking joy), I’m sharing this instead. It’s more of a Thursday question post, but I don’t care…

The radio station I listen to on the commute to work has dual purpose. First, it plays the music I prefer 99.9% of the time. Second, the DJs are insane and I adore them for it… and often bring home stories they’ve shared (i.e. the old man stuck to the shower chair that some of you were told about).

Saturday’s amazingly awful story turned into a comedy routine when the Hippie was asked to imagine the scenario with a handful of our shared friends. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself… First the story:

Two male friends were in the Australian outback on vacation. One dropped his drawers to relieve his bladder… and was promptly bit on the ball sack by a poisonous snake. *waits for the boys to stop wincing* His friend refused to suck the poison out…*

When I shared this, the Hippie entertained the hell out of me while I tossed different friends at him and he tried to imagine not just the outcome of “would you suck out the poison?”, but the conversation that would go with it. Which turned into giggling hysterically over the game of choosing two other friends to be in the situation (“ok, ok…. Tomo and Coop?”) and deciding whether the bitee was going to live or die because the other would or wouldn’t suck the poison out, and the exchange of words and reactions that would take place.

When the giggling finally died down, he asked me to answer. And that turned into a surreal conversation filled with more tears of laughter. At one point we wondered if it was better or worse that as a female there were still people I wouldn’t save simply because of where the poison that needed sucking was located. So it’s not a male-only kinda question, girls, and you can answer too!

You and a friend are in the Australian outback when this happens. Help, hospitals, etc., are too far away to help…

  1. If you’re bit, do you ask them to suck the poison out?
  2. If they’re bit, do you suck it out when they ask?
  3. If they’re bit, do you suggest it if they can’t bring themself to asking you to do so?

Run this scenario through your head with several friends. Start with your nearest and dearest and work your way out from there. Be the bitee and the suckee. Try to keep a straight face…

Answer on here if you want (I’ll never say no to free entertainment), or just giggle your way through Monday humdrum at work, while you walk past people at the office and imagine them in this situation. You may love and adore and be willing to “take a bullet” for ______, but are you willing to suck poison out of their balls?

*end of radio story: after much arguing about it, the guy tossed the snake-bit buddy into the truck and hauled ass to the nearest hospital (a bazillion miles away). They made it “just” in time and the guy lived… with one helluva vacation story.

Memories of Me

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
~Edward de Bono

In digging through old blogs (because yes, I’m up to no good), I found a reference to a day that has haunted me. Shortly before she died, Todd’s grandmother shared her tin box full of letters and cards and memories (yes, that’s where The Tin Box came from that the muse raped). She showed them to us, after gentle nudging from me (I’m rather fond of making the elderly remember things and tell me stories—not just to glean their memories for future generations, but to watch them as they relive them). She read to us from letters, both old and new, as she recounted times past—the barn dance she attended at 17, swimming in the little pond near their farm, etc.

Little things, really. But they were hers. And they made up her.

In conversations with the hippie, I have recalled various things from my own past, told stories, shared memories, and laughed or cried at what has happened to make me me.

Me.

I am more than “I Am.” I am also made up of I Was, I Survived, and I Chose Not To Do.

I personally tweaked the I AM and started an I WAS. “I was a ballerina. I was a tomboy. I played violin.” Some of them I am no longer, others have grown into a new version. All of them made me remember. And in remembering, my mind turned back to the tin box on grandmother’s kitchen table.

I’m making a tin box. It’s not a box of course, but it’s got the same purpose. A file that allows me to write memories down. Something the kids can find later and laugh or cry over. A diary in afterthought, I guess. I’m going to try and remember at least one thing from each year of my life. One little memory. Fishing with grandpa in the reeds at the cabin, which in turn reminds me of the flood at the cabin and people using their canoes in yards. It may be a brief sentence or two. It may be a paragraph or more. I suppose it will depend on the memory.

But this tin box will include at least one entry for each year—starting with the huge blue bottle flies in the window by my sister’s crib and ending with… well, I guess we won’t know the end until we’re there. I could use a notebook or journal or program to do this, but I’ve started a word document. Neat thing about MSword’s latest updates is that it includes a notebook layout in the view options. I have a tab for each year, so I can easily jump to the right place when something strikes me. The front page is a numbered list to represent my years on this planet. Next to each, I put little things to remind me where we lived, what grade I was in, what school I went to, etc. There’s a lot of blank pages right now, but they’ll be filled. In whatever order my mind decrees.

Why do I tell you about this? It’s like saying I’m writing in my diary, right? But it’s not. It’s not only an interesting idea, but it’s something that has spurred other thoughts in my mind. Other projects. Other ways to look inside and understand the demons looking back at me. And yes, there will be more things posted for you to try (such as the I Am).

I won’t likely share entries from this, but I can completely see a memory spurning a blog entry. And I invite you all to do the same. Whether it’s a word to jog your own memory whenever you look back at the journal, or a paragraph to tell it to someone who finds it later, join me. Write down your life.

Before the only person writing your life for you is the tombstone engraver.

 

 

Zombie Apocalypse

walkingdeadThey always say “start with a joke.” So here’s a funny little zombie apocalypse poster for you to check out, giggle at, nod in agreement, and hey, maybe order. Enjoy.

Now that that’s done. The Walking Dead on AMC was a beautiful television adaptation of the comics. Horror not only found a happy little slot on Sunday night, but it was extremely popular with fans and non-fans, of all ages. It’s been green-lighted for a second season and the pre-season buzz has begun anew with behind the scenes and other such specials popping up. And it’s the reason for this post.

You see, there was a scene near the end. A scene that followed me out to the porch for a smoke break and became quite the discussion (sans green couch). A discussion that has been revisited several times since then. Let’s do a little role playing first, to set the mood.

It’s the zombie apocalypse, following your basic zombie guidelines:

  1. If you die, you return as a zombie.
  2. If you are bitten by or sprayed with the blood of the infected, you become a zombie.
  3. The only way to stop a zombie permanently is to destroy the brain.

It’s that last one that will come into play later.

So, for those that didn’t watch the show, let’s put you in the situation. You have survived so far. For argument sake, we’ll pretend you have a spouse and one child. You have stumbled upon a group of survivors. The group is mostly strangers, there are couples and quartets that were together, but the bulk of the group didn’t know each other before the apocalypse.

One day, while you’re enjoying a moment of not crying, running or screaming, all hell breaks loose and there’s a zombie raid on your happy little camp. You family member gets bitten. (If which family member makes a difference down farther, please state that.)

They are dead.

End of story.

You can’t stop it, but you can watch it. You can hold their hand and wait for them to die and come back and then kill them. Or you can kill them now and skip watching them die twice. Your call really. But the scene that got me. The question for this week (oh, hey, that’s right… it’s Garage Talk time!) is this:

If you chose to let them die and come back… if your loved one was a zombie… would you kill them yourself, stubbornly stating that you wanted to take care of it? Or would you gladly hand the ax over to a stranger and let them do it?

This started quite the conversation and I’m interested to see if it’s a gender thing.

I love the hell out of my family, and zombie or not, I just don’t think I could let my last memory be ME smashing their brains out of their skull. I’d gladly let a stranger, or a friend if they volunteered, do it. The boys on the porch though… they all seemed quite adamant that no one else would do it. It would be their responsibility and they would handle it as such. Me? Yeah, if someone else volunteers, they can have it. I loved this person pre-zombie. If I don’t have to do it, I won’t. The boys? They insist they’d do it to make sure it was done right.

So? What would you do? Could you cut the head off your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse? Your sibling? You child? Zombie or not, you’re going to have to look at their face while aiming. You’re going to see their eyes… *shudder* Me? No way. How about you?

Now don’t give me a gut reaction answer. Really think about this. Stop. Turn away from the screen. Look at or think of your loved ones. Think of the good things and happy times and sparkle in their eye… Now then, would you want to kill them yourself? Or would you willingly let someone else do the deed?

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