You Are At The Archives for October 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010 in

A Look Back: Halloween

Happy Halloween! I can’t really say that I’ve celebrated Halloween in a few years or even remember most of my Halloweens past the age of 13.

Well, except for Halloween Car-Gate of 2008. Two years ago on Halloween someone tried to steal my car. I was at an old boyfriend’s house in Kansas City and some hooligans wedged the window open, tore into the steering wheel column and tried to hot wire my car. I don’t know anything about stealing cars but apparently they did a poor job. I was left with a busted up car that is still trying to recover from the trauma. Isn’t it strange that after living four years in St. Louis, which ranked in the top five most dangerous city in America all four years, someone tried to steal my car in K.C.?

But most of my Halloweens have been pretty nice. Like most American children, I loved dressing up in costumes. My brother and I always had interesting costumes, that were usually made by my mother. Eric, my older brother, usually went as something weird or scary and I always went as something cute. Pretending to be something scary was... well just too scary for me. I’ve never had a very firm grip on reality.

My favorite one from my childhood was probably the year I went as a unicorn. It was pink and purple (because I was girl) with a hood that had a gold horn attached. My brother went as a dinosaur.

Couple of Extinct Animals
Best Unicorn Eva
I think my poor mother had a hard time figuring out how to make her one- year- old daughter into a unicorn but she was a magic worker.

Then there was the year that I went as a blue and yellow butterfly. I remember really loving this costume too. Actually I loved it so much that a few weeks after Halloween I tried to duplicate it by taking fingernail polish and making circles all over my face.  The end result was probably pretty terrifying. As was getting the fingernail polish off my face.

As I look back on all the costumes I’ve been over the years, I noticed a common trend. One year I went as a gypsy, another as a pirate, then there was the red-wig/Elvira costume.
Living a life of crime

Now, that's some good hair.

What do all these costumes have in common? An emphasized dark, well manicured eyebrow. My mother didn’t just make my costumes she also did my makeup for Halloween too. And the one thing that stayed consistent as the finishing touch to each costume was the thick, cakey layer of mascara lavishly applied to my young brows. I’m not really sure what this was or how it went with each costume but year after year, a thick eyebrow I had.

Maybe the funniest costume this was applied to was the year I went as a gypsy. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this but I still remember the costume. I wore a long colorful skirt with a white shirt, big hoop ear rings, and lots of bracelets. As my mother painted my face with colorful eye shadows and added a “Marilyn” mole, she topped it all off with a very thick, stereotypical, politically incorrect layer of mascara to my eyebrows.

Here are some of the other costumes from my past. I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween.

Spiderman and a Precious Ballerina

Oh Eric...

Why did the ghost go into the bar?  For the Boos
(Warning: this joke is not going to make you any friends)

Sunday, October 24, 2010 in ,

Irrational fear #2

So I’m not much of a cooker.

Single girl, living alone, I don’t need a lot of leftovers in the refrigerator judging me. But being single isn’t the only reason why I don’t do a lot of cooking. I have a pretty short attention span so I tend to forget about whatever is on or in the stove (smoke alarms are horrible cooking timers). As you can guess, I haven't always had the best luck at cooking.

My earliest cooking experience was in high school. I was cooking bacon and was getting really impatient.  Impatience seems to the key factor with most of my poor choices. So I turned the heat up to high (bad decision) and walked away, probably to do something important like watching reruns of Boy Meets World.

Shawn Hunter, what a dream boat
When I returned to the kitchen the bacon was a smoking pan of fire.

As one bad decision usually leads to another, I went screaming out of the kitchen. The only way I can explain this is by my overzealous Fight or Flight response, which for me is 90% flight and a pitiful 10% fight. But on a positive note, it’s the main reason why I’ve lived to the prime age of 24 and escaped natural selection so far (fingers crossed for another 24 years).

Anyway, my brother put out the fire while my mother fanned the smoke alarms. From then on I was banned from the kitchen.

My next cooking experiences came when I moved out of my parent’s house. As I’ve mentioned, I was living off campus in an apartment with a pretty nice kitchen. Oh yeah, and it had a really old gas stove. Welcome to irrational fear #2: Gas Stove.

I still remember my mom showing me how to light the burners. You just turn the knob over to light and then adjust the temperature. “It’s just that easy,” she said.

Just that easy? Oh really.

The first time lighting the burner I almost caught my eyebrows on fire. I kept turning the knob to light, but it never started. So giving it the ol’ college try, I kept turning the gas knob over and over and over, until finally the burner did light. The spark ignited the 2 minutes of gas I had been releasing and exploded with a giant burst flame. To make matters worse I had a pan on the burner which deflected the fire directly to my face. That demonic burner almost got me. 

From that day on, it seemed as though the stove was toying me. Lighting easily some days and stubbornly not lighting others. Then there were the days where it would light so quickly that the flame sparked 12- inches above the burner.

Even the ticking sound as it tried to light sounded demented, mocking me and my pathetic culinary skills, waiting for it’s chance to melt my face off. This stove was playing a deranged game of cat and mouse, and I was terrified of the day when I was bound to get caught. It looked a little something like this:

This is offensive to anyone who has a mustache

Fast forward to August 2010. I’m moving into my new apartment and as I looked around, to my horror, there stood a gas stove.

Unlike the old stove this one is shiny and relatively new. It’s also about half the size of my old gas stove. But it's size seems strange to me, almost child- like. And by child- like I mean the Satan child, Damien from The Omen.

That's not fruit punch
I really shouldn’t be so hard on this stove. It hasn’t once tried to catch my eyebrows on fire. And it lights within seconds, never toying with me but calmly sizzling to a low flame.

Got any weird birthmarks?
But I just can’t seem to get over my fear of it burning my face off.
I guess like all relationships, it'll take time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting Lost

I have a horrible sense of direction. I get lost ALL the time.

Like the time I was going to an audition at Powell Hall in St. Louis and found myself cruising the streets of East St. Louis.

Or when I was playing a concert in Illinois with the Youth Symphony and got lost somewhere in very rural Illinois. Did you ever see the that X- Files episode with the incest family? (click here to watch the trailer to the episode) I think it was filmed in Illinois...
Hey, families are complicated. Don't judge.

But the worst part is, it seems to be contagious.

Like the time Ann and I were meeting this guy outside of Kansas City and we took the same wrong turn four times (I still have no idea how that even happens?).

My parents have supplied me with all the special equipment to help me get around: an iPhone, GPS, city maps, AAA card.

The problem is I tend to get overconfident in my abilities to navigate my way around. In the last month I haven’t gotten lost once, not once. So, naturally I was starting to feel comfortable, a little too comfortable.

I went to the store yesterday and on my way home I came across some traffic. Being the impatient driver that I am, I thought to myself, “I’ll just take a short cut!” So I took the first right turn that approached.

And this is how every “And then I got lost...” story happens. Once one random turn happens, I compulsively make another and then another... until I am in the middle of no where. At this point my mind conjures up the chase scene from Jeepers Creepers (click here to scare yourself) and I spend half the time trying to find a familiar landmark and the other looking over my shoulder for creepy scarecrow vans.
Oh shiz
While driving around aimlessly, I always look at the gas gauge. And without fail, every time I get lost my gas is on a quarter of a tank. To a normal person, with a normal car, this would be totally fine. But my car, Ol’ Reliable, is not a normal car. It is a 1995 Jeep Wrangler with over 200,000 miles on it.

Sure, I love my car. I think it’s cool but it’s kind of like dating a bad-boy. They’re tough, they always look good, they’re a lot of fun but at the end of the night you’re left pulling their head out the toilet and trying to get vomit out of your favorite shirt.

Anyway besides my car leaving me stranded places (and a long list of other misbehavior), the gas gauge isn’t quite right. When the gauge reads a half a tank, there is really only a fourth of a tank of gas in my car.

Of course I tend to never check any of the gauges on my dashboard and that makes for a bad combination. One of these days I’m going to be lost, out of gas, on foot and things are going to get real stupid. Hopefully, I won’t get kidnapped by one of the locals and forced to become a sister- wife ...

Needless to say, it took me an extra 50 minutes to get home last night. Next time I’ll just wait out the traffic.

Peanut Butter Finger Update: (or Peanut Butter Terrorism Update)

I took the finger-scooped White Chocolate Wonderful back to Target yesterday. Mostly I just wanted someone else to be shocked and grossed out by it too. So I took it to the customer service guy and explained and showed him the peanut butter. I was surprised, and a little disappointed that he wasn’t even shocked. It appears this wasn’t the first time a finger scoop has been found. But I wasn’t satisfied by his calm and cool attitude and I just kept saying, “Someone scooped it out WITH THEIR FINGER.”  The guy just starting laughing at me and said, “Oh yeah, that’s disgusting.” But the good news is they did let me exchange it for a new jar. Yes, I did check it for finger scoops.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Crew setting up the stage the night before.
On September 28, 2010 President Obama visited the UW Madison campus. It was an exciting day and started out as such.

In the morning, while walking to school, there were gates sectioning off Library Mall which fortunately (or unfortunately for the Debbie Downers) is across from the Humanities building. While walking through the gates I got to see the secret service huddle up while getting instructions for the day. I wanted to get a picture of them because most of them were “disguised” as college students equipped with backpacks and chucks, but I pictured myself getting chased down and tackled. This wouldn’t have been so bad but they probably would have taken my camera away (Cue Paul Simon here).

School went on as usual except my afternoon rehearsal was cancel so students could attend the Obama visit. The speech was scheduled for 5:30 and the gates opened at 3:30. I naively thought I get in line at 2:30 and be able to get through the gates. As I made my way to the back of the line, I think I passed the 24,000 people it was estimated attended the speech. I’ve never seen so many people standing in a line before in my life. This will strangely make me rethink the lengthy lines during the holiday season.

While waiting in line for two hours, I was able to do some Wisconsin people watching. There were the expected protesters, the loud supporters, and the biggest category, the people bitching about standing in line.
But there was some entertainment. Like the older gentleman making his way to the back of the line with his wife. He stopped and tried to “sell his ticket” to the group in front of me. His wife responded with dismay, “He seems to think that’s funny.” After seeing this, the older man standing behind me tried unsuccessfully to think of variations on this joke. In my opinion, when a joke is already corny, it doesn’t need variations. And then there was the guy walking to the end of the line with some little kids, who entitle the lengthy line as: “Obama’s Forever Line.” I thought this was really funny at the time because it did feel like Obama’s forever line. Looking back, it’s not so funny.

After waiting for over two hours, we were told the gates had closed and it was a free for all to sit on the hill facing Library Mall. However, the sound cut in and out and there was not a screen to view. I ended up leaving to get a sandwich.
Blood shot eyes from being among the public too long.
The day took an even worse turn when I returned home that evening to find my car had been towed. Apparently a request was made to clear the street my car was parked on because it was on part of Obama's exit. When I called to find out where my car was towed to the police women said the no parking signs had been up for the previous two days. Isn't it funny how an entire block full of cars seemed to miss these signs and were towed? (Something smells fishy to me...) 

The Obama Day started out with such promise and ended with a total disaster.

I understand that it is not Obama’s fault that I didn’t get to see him, or that I had to wait in line for hours to sit on a grassy hill, or even that my car was towed. But I can’t shake this pathetic feeling of blame. As I looked at the empty street, where my car used to be legally parked just that morning, I couldn’t help thinking, “Hilary wouldn’t have towed my car.”

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