Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Car Story Number Whatever, Starring Daniella Maria

Sometimes it's hard to write a blog about an adventure you've had because putting it into words does not do it justice. Look, it's hard work! And I'm burnt out. So I prefer to show you pictures and make a brief, to the point summary of stuff that happened, and you can work out the details in your head. This way, there are several different versions of my story, with all of your own personal twists, which makes it more appealing to each of you individually. Maybe for a few of you, I was in my bathrobe. Maybe for others, I'd just eaten a whole box of Velveeta Shells n Cheese and my stomach was giving out warning signals. And maybe one of you even dares to assume that I wasn't wearing earrings. Well, there, you'd be wrong, my friend. Sorry sucka.

Okay, here is some stuff that happened Sunday night as I was trying to get to Mickey's to have a damn drink with Daniella and Schabow. Jesus...

I pick up Daniella, and although we could have easily walked, it was slightly raining, so eff that noise. We're driving. We get near the bar, and I turn into a driveway on a side street in order to turn around and get to a parking spot on the street. Suddenly there's this awful noise coming from under my car, like a scraping, scratching sound. I slam on my brakes and look at Daniella in horror. Daniella, who apparently knows how to keep cool in situations, looks at me all wide-eyed and starts laughing.

"Okay, it's fine," I say, as I throw the car in reverse and try to back out. Nothing. The car doesn't move an inch. I try going forward again, and again...nothing. Daniella, Ms. Cool-In-Any-Situation, gets out to go look. It is at this point that her laugh turns into some kind of guffaw that echoed throughout the empty street.

"You're effing stuck, girl!" She says to me as she points at my car's front tires, still laughing. "You're stuck in the mud!" I get out to look, and Cool-As-A-Cucumber-Daniella is right. I'm effing stuck.

Look. We tried everything. She pushed, I drove, we turned the wheels every which way, we went forwards, we went backward, we went forward again. We asked three strangers walking by to help us push, which only resulted in one woman getting her pretty shoes all busted up when she stepped in a puddle. I still feel kind of bad about that, by the way.

Anyhow, I eventually decide to call AAA because I have coverage and I may as well use it. They send out a tow truck, saying it will be there by 11:06. We spend the time waiting and leaning against the car, and Daniella "I think this is hilarious even though Reem isn't totally sure yet" Maria keeps saying things to cheer me up and comfort me, such as:

"Just pretend it's not your car. Pretend it's your mom's," to which I respond "that would be a lot worse."

"No problem," she says. "Just pretend it's stolen then."

At this point, because of her marvelous and creative tactics, plus that undeniably hilarious laugh, Daniella became the star of the show.

So anyhow, the tow truck shows up and the guy is like "Yeah, I tow cars out of this very driveway about once a week." Damn. Now I'm just grouped together with the ordinary masses. I fell for the ordinary. Totals unfair.

This is the mud on the side of my car from every time I made the wheels move. What do you think about that sexy light brown/tan color?

Here's the sad face that I'm-the-funniest-person-in-an-emergency-and-also-kind-of-a-hero-Daniella drew on the hood of my car.

Another view of the poor baby, Tommy (that's my car's name, after Tommy from the song "Livin' on a Prayer." My sister's car is named Gina. We're so great.

That's where my car was stuck. Duh.

Look at this stupid driveway! Who does that? Jerks...

To conclude, I just want to say that a)we promptly parked the car and got to Mickey's and each had a shot and a drink, b)I still haven't looked underneath my car to check out the damage, and c)it ended up being a really fun night, despite it all. Sucks to you, mud!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rib Hillis

Rib Hillis is a carpenter on the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition. For real...that's his real name.

Yeah. I have very little else to say. So instead of commenting, I am going to write a list of some fantastic names:

Rock Strongo
Chim Richalds
Mike Rithjin
Max Power
Chesty LaRue
Busty St. Clair
Hootie McBoob
Ben Dover
Rip Torn
Ricky Bobby
Bobby Jimmy

I don't even know. It's all so funny.

Also check out Miss Genia's blog: www.geniathequeenia.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

That Was Effing Ridiculous

So I'm having this moment of "what the eff," or "WTF" as you more internizzle-savvy people might say. It was kind of the theme of the night. Recently, I've been getting more comfortable with going out by myself to a show or something, and it actually is kind of awesome. I like not being attached to anybody, or having to look out for anybody else, or like make sure nobody is stuck in the bathroom for too long. Look, I'm a damn good friend, probably one of the best you'll ever encounter, but this has gone on long enough. I need some me time or something. No bathroom time.

So the WTF of the night...I don't know. With my newfound going-places-alone-thing hitting me pretty hard tonight, I somehow made it to three clubs and got away with only paying one cover and for two drinks for the entire night. WTF? And those bands at the High Noon...WTF? Bored. I'm sorry, but they were. So I go to The Brink, which to me looks like a glorified Holiday Inn Lobby and there's a band there playing "Sweet Caroline" and the whole place is jumping and waving their arms in the air like it's the best thing to ever hit town. But I guess it kind of was. Then I get to The Annex at about 1:20, hoping to hear Mr. Gnome, who I'd been so excited about for a month because they remind me of the time I watched Pump Up The Volume for the first time and got all nervous about boys and girls and love and music. And WTF? They'd already played. I was, however, fortunate enough to catch Helliphant playing what I can only assume is their greatest hit, "Bullshit." Yeah. That was eye-opening. But still...the touring band went already? WTF?

Okay. I know this is mostly boring and irrelevant to anything cool. But get ready. Because the biggest WTF moment happened not but minutes ago as I pulled my car into the driveway. There's always gotta be some kind of adventure here on my little one-way street. Whether it's Barefoot Lady out sweeping the sidewalk, or that one Tackle Football Guy smoking outside the Wil-Mar center, or that really intense lady I saw last Friday at 3 am as Stacy dropped me off who was crouching in the grass across the street, not blinking, there's always something exciting happening in my neighborhood. Tonight, though, it was actually scary.

As I pulled into my driveway, something caught my eye. There was this huge thing in the path of my car. As I slowed my car, I realized it was an animal. First instinct: dog. Wait, no. Second guess (and this is the thought process, word for word, by the way): Wolf. No, that's stupid. Coyote. It's a coyote. WAIT, no! It's a gaddamn raccoon! And it's the size of a small horse. For serious. It was a giant. And it didn't even move out of the way. As I sat there, contemplating honking at the monstrous beast in front of me, it looked up at me with a menacing stare and ambled off to the side of the driveway, into the bushes.

"Shit," I thought. "Now it will probably get me somehow." So, like my mother has taught me in the parking garage at my father's office in Chicago, I stamped my feet really loud on the paved driveway to try and scare it away. Moms does that in case of rats. But there's this rustling in the plants, and I'm frozen and terrified and don't know what to do because obviously, at this point, the giant raccoon is retaliating. So I take a deep breath, count to three, and run in the opposite direction to the darker, spookier side of the house to try and get to the front door. Let's keep in mind, now, that this is where the garbage cans for us and the Wil-Mar center stay; I'd say altogether there are 843 cans out there. A raccoon's paradise, if I've ever seen one. As I'm running, and I use the term loosely, the heel of my new shoe gets stuck in some mud that smelled suspiciously of poo and I have to tug my leg out while trying not to drop my purse and keeping watch for that stupid wolf-raccoon. I proceed to break free, run the rest of the way to the front porch, trip up the steps, and drop my keys. And eventually, I get inside. But not without much trauma and drama. All because of a gigantor raccoon.

And so it is at this point that I must say to myself...What The Fuck? What was that?

I just remembered another thing that happened as I was running to the front door. There was a 20 foot ladder propped against the side of the house and I walked under it to get to the front door. As I walked under it, I remembered the superstitious thing about going under a ladder, and even though I don't believe it, I had this moment of paranoia, mostly due to that stupid elephant-sized raccoon, and had to double back under the umbrella and climb around it to get to the door. Jeez...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

These shoes are $300...let's get em!

I do not, by any means, love shopping. I'm too impatient to wait in line. Browsing makes me bored. In fact, just being in several stores gives me a headache, especially craft store, like Jo-ann Fabrics. I hate Jo-ann Fabrics. I actually call it Jo-ann Stupids. Anyhow, I really have to be in the right mood to shop, and I do best on my own. 

But sometimes...sometimes there will be a day when I can handle it. Actually, I can more than handle it. On some days, I effing rock the shopping. Like today. I've had it in my head for the last two or three weeks that I "need new summer shoes." I don't know where it comes from. Payless commercials, probably. I'm so easily manipulated. But also, my old flip flops are so old and crappy that you can clearly see almost-black footprints on the soles of the lighter colored ones. It's from all the mud I walk through, apparently. I knew I needed new flip flops, in various colors, and maybe something else fancy. I'm totally not that guy, or like, Carrie from Sex and the City, but really. Shoes are hot! Anyhow, today I had about an hour break, and I was teaching out by the mall, so duh...I went shoe shopping.

After today, I've realized that I buy shoes as if I'm binge drinking. I bought 9 new pairs of shoes in less than an hour. Granted, 5 of these were flip flops (4 of which cost $2.50 each). The other four were the cute fancy kinds. But listen! Before you judge...I only spent $55. On 9 pairs of shoes! Come on now, that's an amazing deal! It averages $6 a pair, which equals $3 a shoe. Now that's affordable.


God. Really? Shoes? Sometimes I don't even know who I am anymore. 

In other news...

I have thrice pointed the remote control at the television this evening, trying to turn down the volume, and I've been holding it backwards.

I have not been able to correctly spell the word "beautiful" on the first try for about two weeks.

And also...you know that moment when a person or a name or a picture that once made your heart race and pound now just makes your eyes roll?  Yeah. That's what's happening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More DeVotchKa...ATL edition

My sister's blog about DeVotchKa!

Please read! There are beautiful pictures, words, and video.

xxoo, Reem

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I honestly cannot find the words. I've been trying, but it's not happening. All I can figure out to say is that I will never not see them. I will never be near them and miss them. I've never had a band in my head like this before.

Tuba Girl smiles while playing the souzaphone. Some people might say that this is just the way you have to hold your mouth while playing, but I still think she's smiling. And Nick's face was the most beautiful thing I've seen in forever. Who knew that you could fall in love when you see a man raise his eyebrows to hit the high notes? 

And thank god Jacob is so tall, because during "Transliteration" I looked up at him but ended up looking past him to the tall windows and just as the song swelled and the music grew and everything came together, more than 50 white birds flew outside the window in loops and figure eights, flapping their wings all crazy and swooping around each other and almost hitting each other. And as the song died down, one by one, they disappeared until the sky was clear and empty and silent. 

Friday, May 2, 2008

cool, refreshing manure

Today I was driving to Deforest for a couple of piano lessons. I don't go out there very often. It's kind of a special circumstance, so I only go every few weeks. Anyhow, DeForest is just north of Madison, and you have to drive north through some farmy areas. Today was a weird day, weather-wise; cold at points, balmy at others, windy, sunny, rainy, big black clouds. Weird.

So I'm driving with my windows all the way down, about a mile past the airport and suddenly it hits me. The smell of cows. Manure. Poo. And I start smiling. And then I'm laughing out loud. Crazy lady in DeForest. Here we go...

There is something about the farm smell that gets me every time. I remember hearing somewhere that of the five senses, smell (or the olfactory sense for you big-worded nerds) recalls memories better than any of the other senses. As of today I'm pretty sure it's true.

There was Greenmeadow Farm somewhere near Alpine Valley where we'd go every October to get our pumpkins. We all had the chance to milk a cow there, and I lied and said I'd already tried it, so I didn't need to again. I was totally freaked out about touching a cow's wiener.

There was Wagner's Farm in Glenview, about ten blocks from where I grew up. That smell didn't travel very far, but when it was strong, it was strong.

There was Auntie Bridget's farm in Ireland where I would sit and watch the cows being milked by machines, 30 or so at a time. I distinctly remember watching one of them pooping in a steady arc (sorry, I can't help but be graphic when talking about poo. It's in my genes). I'll never forget what that looked like. This was always my favorite farm, even though I almost suffocated when I fell down between those round bails of hay, stacked four high on each side, and had to climb back out. I barely remember...this is what moms tells me.

There was every other farm that we'd go to or drive by in Ireland. We'd squeal and roll up the windows, but once the smell hit, it was in the car forever. You just can't get rid of it after that.

Regardless of the nauseating, foul associations these memories may seem to carry, I must admit...I'm really not that disgusted. Actually...god, how do I say this? There is something about the smell of farms and the smell of manure that is strangely comforting to me. And refreshing, in a way. And, apparently after today, I know that the smell of manure brings a sense of hilarity.

Seriously. After a strange week, and a weird, surprisingly stuffy day, apparently this was exactly what I needed. A good, strong whiff of manure.

Now that's the way to a girl's heart.