funny

Guckles

gucklesMy love of pickles is not a secret (deal with it Nate). I have always loved them. Forever. Period. And as I giggled at my little Raynebow munching on one the other day, my mind went off into a whirlwind of thoughts regarding the little green treasures that excuse cucumbers for their existence.

I have been known to get just a pickle when the work crew orders from the local sandwich shop, and the delivery guy knows exactly who that for and smiles at my child-like joy. When I was a teen, my brother called them guckles (he was a toddler at the time). Not sure why. He could say “p” but in this instance, he preferred his own word for the happy dill treat. And going back even further, when I was six, my mother bribed me with pickles.

Yes, bribed.

And that’s where the whirlwind stopped.

My mother used to stop on the way home from work at some mysterious place and bring home ginormous pickles, individually wrapped just for me by a group of fairies living near the dill tree in the woods. Hmm… I was six. I believed this. She would then show me said pickle and put it in the fridge and tell me I could have it if I would just be a doll and rub her back (and/or feet) for a few minutes. I was the youngest masseuse to ever work without a license! And I had a lot of fairy-wrapped giant pickles Monday through Friday that year.

And looking back now, as an adult, the woman was brilliant! It wasn’t even about the pickles. It had nothing to do with getting tiny masseuse to work on her kinks. Nope. It was her walking in the door and being able to plot on the couch and just be still and quiet and let the day melt off her for 20 minutes. It was mommy time, not pickle time. Brilliant. Kudos to the woman I often refer to, with love, as crazy (what? she is!).

So here’s a fun wayback-machine question for you… thinking back now as an adult, did your parents ever trick you into something for “you” that was really for them? How brilliantly evil were they?

 

Adventures in Time

mammoth2Faith and doubt both are needed—not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve.
~Lillian Smith

I clearly remember waking up freezing under, not one but, three heavy quilts on that fateful December morning in Wisconsin and mentally saying shouting, “Enough!” But, being the over-analyzing soul I am, I asked my parents to be my rock, my logic, and tell me why I shouldn’t move. They said no such thing. Instead, mom said, “Go! Go while you have the fire. Go before you wake up at sixty-five, still live here, and still hate it.”

Five years ago today I shoved everything I owned, two kids, and a cat into a huge u-haul with a mammoth on the side of it. I turned in my apartment keys, and handed the keys of the mammoth to my best friend (volunteered to drive the u-haul). I watched the sun set at a gas station near Ed Gein’s, said good-bye to my Wisconsin residency, and began the next adventure…

It’s been an interesting five years.

My kids have grown and flown the coop. The best cat ever, Chaos, ran away. I’ve loved and lost. I’ve made new friends and lost old. I’ve hit writing deadlines and missed life goals. I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve aged. I’ve changed.

Life has offered challenges and provided pitfalls. Time has both slowed and sped up. The universe has played yo-yo with my emotions, suggesting I run while begging me to stay. I’ve seen divorces and marriages, births and funerals. I gained a new title, wear a new hat, gotten new ink, earned new scars—physical and emotional. And in the end, I’m glad I listened to my mom and took the plunge.

Because life is an adventure. All of it. Period.

Whether it’s going to the grocery store, or sitting on the porch, or hopping in the car and driving until you find a beach. It’s all unwritten. Merely outlined. And attitude is half the battle. I was raised by a crazy woman who blessed me with the right attitude—enjoy the little things, make memories, accept the adventure, and make it in the mundane.

So, happy anniversary Pennsylvania. Thank you for the much warmer winters, four actual seasons, and flowers on my birthdays instead of blizzards. I’ve finally realigned my brain to your night sky and get that even if he’s in the wrong spot, Orion is still Orion. I’ve loathed and loved, laughed and cried, but it all goes into who I am and who I become and how well I pack for the next adventure.

Though I really do miss that cat.

#trending

twitterdudesThe internet is a strange strange thing. Social media makes it even stranger. You can plan and plot how to expose something new and get no buzz. You can ask a question you really want to know the answer to and get nothing. And then you can say something completely random and your feed explodes. Makes. No. Sense.

So welcome to No Sense Thursday.

Today’s question: what makes your feed trend? What bizarre thing can you discuss, question, or otherwise mention that gets the most feedback, responses and attention? Because it isn’t what you want it to be. I’ve been watching everyone’s feed and have learned, it rarely is. Examples you say? Why certainly… (and yes, please, feel free to follow anyone I may mention in this particular blog)

My personal favorite for the week — saw this the other day, and it sums this up perfectly.  @steveniles (Steve Niles) summed it up well with “I say ‘good morning’ and lose three followers. I’ll try ‘fuck you’ tomorrow and see what happens.”

@marysangiovanni (Mary SanGiovanni) twittered a cthulu emoticon /\(;,,;)/\ and it was the number one most re-tweeted thing she’s ever posted. Also popular are her tweets regarding cannibalism and NJ traffic… she writes books she’d like you care about too =)

@natesouthard (Nate Southard) has random squawks of pointless rage get the most response. He’s declared this is either a terrible commentary on the population or the golden secret of working in the horror small press—take your pick.

@Nukegumby (Michael Huyck) has a wide range of popular tweets, from funny to sarcastic to accidentally motivational. Yes, accidentally motivational. No rhyme. No reason.

@bobford (Robert Ford) can say something truly horrific about midgets and gains followers—if I said the same thing I would not only lose followers, I would get hate mail (justifiably so). He proclaims hatred of all things Michigan while driving through there and gains followers. I say it’s cold and lose 10.

@DaveThomas76 (Dave Thomas) past a lot of things, but if it’s about booze (aka: “Is it too early to drink scotch?” or “Martinis: so much more than a breakfast drink”), people always seem to chime right in. He wonders if his followers are functioning alkies too =)

me @kelli_owen ? Yeah… I post comments about the dayjob, my books, crazy news tidbits… mostly to my following of loyal crickets. But the moment I say anything remotely lesbian or sexual in general, especially to one of my female friends, I’ve got everyone’s attention.

It’s strange. What will grab someone’s attention is so bizarre. Anger, humor, cruelty — very popular. So, the question is… What strange non-important topic do YOU twitter about that makes your feed explode? As an experiment, feel free to answer here, but also and more importantly, answer in twitter by posting a link to this (or just retweet the tweet that got you here) and hashtag your answer in the tweet if possible. It will be like a meme and a hashtag had an illegitimate lovechild…  (feel free to copy and paste this and fill in the blank)

RT: @kelli_owen Fun Blog: #trending http://wp.me/p2tbLH-X5  answer: #_______

 

 

Dear Santa

11-29_christmas_mailbox_t670The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
~by Clement Clarke Moore (1799 – 1863)

“If you don’t believe you don’t get anything” That’s my mother’s rule, and it became my rule for my own children. Well, I had a couple rules actually: 1. believe 2. write a letter 3. give 10 toys to the children’s ward (you got so you give) 4. don’t ask for anything that has a commercial on repeat—be yourself & want your own things, rather than what they want you to want. Simple rules really. But that first one? The second? Those were the winners growing up, and no matter how old I get, I follow the rules.

I’ve been writing letters to Santa since I could hold a crayon. At some point, I stopped putting them on the fridge or giving them to mom, but I have continued, for decades, to address the north pole with my yearly plea for approval, reward for good behavior, and that one thing I just have to have.

I’ve been thinking about those letters a lot since I put mine for this year into the mailbox a couple weeks ago. I remember the smell of the kitchen the year I knelt by the stockings and wrote the letter to Santa when we lived in the house now torn down. I remember the wind howling outside as I wrote the letter the following year. And I remember that I asked for the same thing both years but didn’t get it. I remember being disappointed, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was I had asked for.

I’ve always asked for strange things. I blame Miracle of 34th Street. I rarely asked for something that could be purchased. I tend to ask for things only the universe, or Santa, could provide. Something magical, rather than something to send my mom into a rush of humans all being helped by an angry minimum wage worker who really just wants to get their own shopping done. One year I asked for world peace and a million dollars. Unfortunately, I was grown and gone and said this request over the phone rather than sending mom a letter—allowing her to hear the words rather than read them. And well, she’s my mom. Ever wonder why I’m weird? Blame her… I got this in the mail:

worldpeace

Yeah, she’s real funny…

I remember a lot of presents I’ve gotten over the years. I remember a lot of wishes and wants and requests. And while I still cannot remember what that was I asked for repeatedly so long ago, I know what I asked for this year. Another repeat request. Third year running, actually. Let’s see if I can get that Miracle of 34th Street response…

Dear Santa,

I’ve eaten all my vegetables and even re-tested some I previously shunned. I have been kind when I really didn’t want to, because my name is Kelli not Karma, and I know better than to try and do her job for her. I have tried really hard to shut my mouth and listen to others. You know what I want. And I believe in your abilities to come through…

~ Silly little gypsy girl

My mom believes. My siblings and kids believe (rules is rules). Heck, Audrey Hepburn believed in a lot of things (“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”)—I can only assume Santa was also on her list. Do you believe? And if so, what did you ask Santa for? Do you remember what you asked for as a child?

May you all get your Christmas wishes… Merry Christmas, everyone!

Let’s Get Dad a Tank For Christmas

iwanttobelieveel4This post has nothing to do with my dad, Christmas, or a tank. And only a little to do with the X-files’ poster and UFOs.  Of course, it’s not about LOLcats either — which is good — so please, no throwing tomatoes at the screen.

It’s about conspiracies. Or rather, the theories that abound — even more so now that we have the internet to help propagate paranoia, supposition, and false information.

See, there’s been a lot of television programming in my house lately that leans toward the strange, the bizarre, the unspoken, hidden, or otherwise secretive. Ancient Aliens, America Unearthed, Mysteries at the Museum, etc.—from ancient alien theorists (drink!) to secret cults and strange NSA data centers. It was that last bit that inspired the title for the blog. After watching a piece on the information stored by the government, there was a discussion about how they decide what’s dangerous and what’s just a conversation. I’ve joked about getting my dad a tank for the front yard for years. I’ve told him a couple times that I’ve found one online but he wasn’t getting it because the shipping would cost a college fund. But does the NSA know that I’m actually talking about a real tank, for my actual dad, for the holiday known as Christmas? Or do they think it’s some bizarre code, like “dad” is really the president, and “tank” is really some weapon or plan or something. Who knows. I once checked out the wrong combination of books from the library and called the FBI in the same week and ended up with a dark sedan with tinted windows outside the house for a month or so. Anything is possible. But this particular show spurred a fun conversation and google search, which then led to Bob Ford being a trouble maker and suggesting I google certain things just to see how fast the NSA shows up at the door—I chose not to follow his suggestion.

Now, I watch all those shows. I’m intrigued by what they’re investigating more than I am what they’re proposing. I make fun of them on occasion for jumping the shark and have turned a couple of them into drinking games, but I enjoy them at the same time. I don’t necessarily believe the conclusions they come to, but I like that they open the topics up for debate, discussions, and insane theories of my own. I’m not what you would call a conspiracy theorist, I’m more a curious pain in the ass (just ask the priests back at catholic school… they “loved” my million and two questions they couldn’t answer).

Some of the top conspiracy theories on google are:

  1. New World Order – group of international elites controls and manipulates governments, industry & media worldwide
  2. Lee Harvey Oswald either didn’t act alone or didn’t do it at all
  3. Marilyn Monroe was killed by the Kennedys
  4. Cancer has been cured but costs less than treatment so they won’t release it
  5. 9/11 was either done by our own government or covered up by it
  6. Elvis (and Tupac for that matter) is not dead
  7. The moon landing was a hoax and all those pictures were taken right here on earth in a studio
  8. Area 51 – ’nuff said

So, since I still haven’t found an actual tank for dad at a reasonable price with shipping included, and it’s Monday rather than Thursday and therefore my strange behavior could be a conspiracy of its own, let’s toss out the question you knew I was going to ask way up at the first mention of the NSA… What’s your “favorite” conspiracy theory. Now, of course I use the word “favorite” with caution, much like “who’s your favorite serial killer?” No one really likes serial killers—when you say that you actually mean “which one intrigues you the most, or you study the most, or you find the most bizarre, etc.”.

Explanations and examples aside… my answer? I’m a huge, will-watch-anything-at-all-to-do-with the Freemasons, Illuminati, and any other secret cult, group, or society even if only linked to the Masons on a the dust of the fringe of a robe they no longer wear. My grandfather was a Shriner/Mason and his ring had my attention from a very young age. The fact that I’m just a girl and am not allowed to join on any level may have something to do with it as well… I never have reacted well when told I can’t do something =)

What’s your poison? Your passion? Your go-to conspiracy of choice? Go ahead, you can answer… no one is watching, recording, or storing this conversation anywhere… no, really…

 

 

First Date Fail

bunnyIt’s been a while since I tossed a Thursday question out to the cosmos… But it was fun and I need to come out of my cave a little, so let’s try one of these and see what happens. I’m rusty, out of practice, and yes, I know it’s Friday. But Friday is traditionally date night, so let’s take that idea and run with it with First Date Fail.

Yes, fail.

Not because the relationship failed, not because you never called them again, but because, in hindsight, that particular date maybe didn’t go as well as you had planned, hoped, or expected the universe to write for you like a hollywood moment. Yeah, that date.

While not every relationship succeeds, they all have a unique beginning. From a 50-year marriage to a blind date you can’t wait to forget, they all have some shred of a story to tell. Here’s your chance. Let me oil these squeaky hinges and give you a giggle before I bat my eyelashes and ask you to entertain me back.

A boy once asked me out while I was working—while I was at work. I said no. He asked again an hour later. I said no. He told me we could just go to a graduation party for a mutual friend and nothing else, just spend time together. I hemmed and hawed and said “Fine. But I have to be back here by 2am.” After all, my car was parked there at work and I would need it. Eventually. Right?

So we went to the party, talked to other people more than each other, and got back in the truck. We did not go back to my car. Instead, we decided we hadn’t really gotten a chance to talk to each other, so we drove around. Now mind you, I was new to this town and within five minutes was completely lost on the backroads he seemed to wander down like he had personally named them. I didn’t know if he was a serial killer taking me to my final resting place or not, and caught myself sizing him up to see if there was a chance I could take him. I didn’t think so. I was doomed. And the conversation continued as he distracted my pessimistic thoughts with interesting topics and comments that made me laugh. It was actually going fairly well…

Until the rabbit.

Those backroads were dark. The wildlife doesn’t understand roads are for vehicles, not them. And before I could gasp and he could brake, there was a *thump thump* as the front and back driver’s tires turned bunny foo-foo into road pizza. Now, things happen. Animals get hit. It’s not unusual. But when he stopped to make sure it was dead, to which I found him chivalrous as he didn’t want the animal to suffer, I learned this was not only unusual but the chivalry was questionable.

He got out and reached into the bed of the truck, pulling free a mini baseball bat.

“What is that?” I’m pretty sure my eyes were about the size of the moon.

“My little thumper.”

“Your what? What’s that for?” (Did you know if you furrow your eyebrows hard enough it actually hurts?)

“In case it’s not dead.”

“You’re going to kill it again?”

I’m pretty sure he answered, but in the years since, it has become part of the blur that followed. I buried my face in my hands and began rethinking the serial killer questions. I tried to block the world out, but from outside the truck I heard *KER-RACK!* followed by a slew of profanity and the most horrible noise I’ve ever heard.

A dying bunny does NOT make a happy noise. Nor can it just die quietly like an over-acting B-movie star hoping to get noticed. Oh no. It makes this hideous cry and sounds like rubber bands snapping against rocks inside the throat of a child being throttled while their toddler sibling stands nearby screaming at the top of their tiny lungs. To reiterate, it is NOT a pleasant noise. There was another *thump* sound and the horrific noises stopped.

A double bang in the bed of the truck and the door slamming pulled me from the happy place I had forced myself to go.

“Oh my god.” I looked at this boy. He was tall, he was dark, he was nice, and he had just destroyed an animal on our first date.

“I know, right? Pisses me off.”

“What?” I was so confused at that point I likely looked like a teenage boy in the girl’s locker room—both confused and intrigued.

So it turned out, the *ker-rack* I had heard was him missing the bunny, hitting the road with his “thumper” instead of hitting Thumper, and breaking it in two. He was mad because he broke his little critter club. He hit it cleanly with the second attempt and only half the bat, thus putting it out of it’s misery.

I nervously laughed about the whole thing and we drove on, getting me back to my car eventually—though 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. are not the same thing. I nervously laughed about it for a couple years actually. Eventually, I started wondering if that hadn’t been my warning, my red flags, my runanddonotlookback moment for this relationship. But then I wouldn’t have my two beautiful children. Yeah… that was their dad for those of you who know him. For those of you who only know “of” him, you’re not shocked, so don’t pretend.

I don’t remember much of that first date, other than the sound of a dying bunny and the truly deep-seated desire that developed to never ever ever hear that noise again. Red flags I ignored? Blood, murder, mayhem, and the possibility of being victim to a serial killer? Yeah, I’m going to call that ‘first date fail.’ But it makes for a fun story, sorta.

Now then, entertain me… red flags missed on a first date? Horrible first date you ran from and never looked back? You know you’ve had at least one horrible evening you may have actually paid for the privilege to have. Share with the class…

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