Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Musical memory lane: The Fixx, Rick Springfield and "what is that smell?"

Once again, I've been led down memory lane by a song. And once again, I'm taking you with me. Suckers!

This is the last song I heard on the way to work this morning - "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx.






I bet you think I'm going to reminisce about the 80s and how great they were. I wouldn't blame you for thinking that; it's no secret that I loved everything about the 80s, especially the music. But today, I'm not going that far back.

***   ***   ***

Flashback to Odessa in September of 2004. My friend Sonya and I (along with another gal whose name I can't remember) were planning a baby shower for our friend Carol who was about 14 months pregnant at the time. On the way to one of our shower planning meetings, I heard on the radio that my boyfriend Rick Springfield was going to play a show at the Lone Star Amphitheater in Lubbock. Since it had been 19 years since my last Rick Springfield concert, it seemed like I was overdue for a live dose of "Jessie's Girl," so I talked the girls into having a girls' night with me to go to the show.

On the day of the concert, we got dolled up, loaded our lawn chairs in the trunk and headed for Lubbock. We had dinner at Applebee's (because that's where middle-aged white women go to get their party on) and then made our way to the amphitheater. It took us forever to get there because we were depending on my directions and I only vaguely knew where we were going. (I've lived in Lubbock nine years now and still don't know exactly where the thing is. But I've heard it closed down, so now I don't really need to know where it is, do I?) But I digress...

Anyway, we get to the amphitheater and the guy at the door tells us, "you can't take the lawn chairs in, ladies." We're thinking, "great, they've got chairs there." But no. They have these mat-things that you can spread out ON THE GROUND to sit on, which wouldn't be a big deal except you might recall that Carol was about 14 months pregnant. She was such a good sport. We got our mats and sat on the ground and she never complained once. I would have bitched the whole time. Actually, I think I DID bitch about the ground the whole time.

I realize that some of you reading this may need a little more background info before I continue with the story.*

*For those of you not familiar with amphitheaters, they are outdoor venues. This means that we were outside, sitting on the ground...in September...in Texas.  

*For those of you not familiar with Texas, it's freaking hot here from April until at least October. That night it was just a smidge under 100 degrees before the sun went down. Again, you might recall that Carol was about 14 months pregnant. Again, she never complained once.

*For those of you not familiar with the amphitheater in Lubbock, it's east of town. 

*For those of you not familiar with Lubbock, the stockyards are also east of town. 


Finally, the sun went down and the concert started. This is where The Fixx comes in. They were the opening act. We had to listen to a few of their songs before my boyfriend Rick Springfield came on. 

They did the usual "Helllllooooooo, Lubbock, Texas!" and sang their first song. And then it happened. As any West Texan knows, the winds shift a little in the evening, and they definitely shifted on the night of the concert. 

Suddenly the lead singer howled, "OH MY GOD! WHAT THE FECK IS THAT GODAWFUL SMELL? IT'S BAD ENOUGH THAT IT'S HOTTER THAN THE GATES OF HELL HERE, DOES IT HAVE TO SMELL BAD, TOO?!?"

At first, no one knew what he was talking about, because we West Texans have become almost immune to the smell of stockyards and oil fields. We grew up knowing that the answer to "what is that smell" is always "that's the smell of money." Sadly, a city boy from somewhere in Britain was not familiar with, and was most definitely not immune to, the smell of money...aka...cow manure.

After someone on the front row explained the smell to him, the band played another song, which was followed by the singer swearing, "DEAR GOD, HOW DO YOU PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS?!? I THINK I'M GOING TO VOMIT." All the people down in front took a step back in unison, as if it had been choreographed.

Thankfully, Mr. Fixx (I have no idea what his name was), only had one more song to sing and managed to not lose his lunch for that last three and a half minutes.The band cleared the stage so fast after that last song, you would have thought their instruments were on fire.

Finally, my boyfriend Rick Springfield came on stage. He sang and smiled and strutted. And, like Carol, he never complained once.


 




Have to give equal time to my boyfriend Rick Springfield.






Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thanks, Google Images Search. I think I'm insulted.

Apparently, if you search "insulting is not funny" on Google Images, one of the top images links to my blog.

What the heck?

I'm funny. Dammit. No, really. (I'm also exceptionally humble and modest.) But in the blog I do my best not to be completely insulting.

It turns out that it links to my post about how the coupons that CVS prints just for me are insulting. (face cream, reading glasses, joint care, weight loss products.....)

But for a moment there, I was insulted. And it was not funny.

Apparently when people look for this, they get my blog. Not sure how I feel about that.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jueves del pasado...aka...Throwback Thursday, La Vida Loca Edition

Once again,  it's time for me to embarrass myself with a Throwback Thursday picture. This week, we jump into the Wayback Machine to visit Halloween of 2002.

Does my butt make this hat look big?

I worked at a place that encouraged costumes at work; they even gave a prize for the best one. My two closest friends and I decided to do a group theme and dressed as the Three Amigos from the movie "!Three Amigos!" (I wish I knew how to do the upside down exclamation point thingy.)


We decided to skip the horses.

We started about 2 months in advance working on the costumes. We decorated our own jackets and pants and made our own cummerbunds. I made a trip out of town to a resale shop and found the ruffled dickies. (After all those years in the high school band, wearing a uniform that included an ugly ruffled dicky, I would have never believed I was actually out looking for one to buy.) The crown jewel of my costume was the super duper sombrero that Mom found at a garage sale. It was awesomely beautiful. And really heavy. And technically too small for my big melon. It sorta just rested on top of my head all day and I made sure not to make any quick moves so that it wouldn't fall off and hurt somebody (it REALLY was heavy).

When we stood together in our finished costumes, we looked awesome. (Sadly, I can't find any pics of the three of us, just the one of me.) We just knew we were going to win the costume contest. But we didn't. It was a conspiracy. The ballots didn't list us as a group. They listed us each individually, so the votes were split. The winning costume ended up going to someone in a green sheet dressed as the Statue of Liberty. She had rolled up a newspaper and spray painted it green to make the torch, but you could still see the newsprint through the paint, so all day long it just looked like she had a paper ready to swat flies. (I might still be a little bitter.)


Sunday, April 6, 2014

I guess I'm just having bacon

A bit ago I started heating up bacon to have bacon and eggs for lunch. And then I realized I didn't have any eggs. So I figured I could just have a bacon sandwich. But I don't have any bread. So I guess I just having bacon for lunch. And I'm perfectly okay with that, because really, there are way worse problems to have in this world...and I do love me some bacon. (But I'm going to double up on the Pravastatin tonight.)

Hope your Sunday is a great one!



I got distracted looking for eggs and bread and let the bacon cook into one big piece.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday - The Banana from Hell edition






This is The Banana from Hell (TBFH).



The Banana from Hell was a two-tone yellow 1979 Mercury Zephyr. He was also my very first car.


I'd like to first say "Thank God The Banana from Hell couldn't talk." If he had, my friends and I would probably still be grounded today, 23 years after graduation. So, you're not going to get a story about me, but you're going to get a story about my car from me.

 TBFH got his name almost as soon as my parents gave him to me in September 1988. My friends and I went through a phase where EVERYTHING was "from Hell."  Tough math exam? It was the "test from Hell." Mean girl in 3rd period? She was the "bitch from Hell." Good looking guy? He was the "hunk from Hell." So naturally, a yellow car became The Banana from Hell.

TBFH had three "features" that made him different from any other car.

Only one of those features was intentional.

The intentional what-the-heck-was-the-manufacturer-smoking feature was that the horn was NOT in the center of the steering wheel. It was activated by the blinker switch. Move the switch up, you get the right blinker. Move it down, you get the left blinker. Standard stuff. But push the blinker switch in (like you were trying to impale the steering column) and the horn would honk. Weird, huh? And it doesn't seem like a big deal until you remember that I was 16, so my passengers were also 16. And occasionally they wanted to honk at someone. They would lean all the way across me to do it. And we were stupid kids, so the fact that it was stupid and dangerous didn't mean a thing.

The first of the non-intentional  features of The Banana from Hell was the almost-keyless ignition. Once I had turned the keys in the ignition and started the car, I could take the keys out and it would still be running. This was amazing for cold days. I could go start TBFH up, take out the keys, lock him up and go back inside to finish doing my hair. He'd be nice and warm when I was done, because it took so long to do my hair back then since my hair looked like this:



That much hairspray takes TIME, folks.


The other unintentional feature of TBFH was the electrical short in the radio. The folks who had owned it before me had replaced the original radio (which likely came with an 8-track player) with a "brand new" modern stereo that played cassette tapes. The problem was that they didn't do a very good job installing the new system. My friends and I could be driving around, doing the drag (which went from the car wash to the old Ford dealership. We did NOT turn around at Sonic like the kids these days. But I digress....). We'd be doing the drag and jamming out to Bon Jovi or Motley Crue or Bobbie Brown (ugh, I know) and if we hit a bump, the stereo would go off. But it wasn't really off. Our tape would still be rolling, the sound just wasn't coming out of the speakers. So then, we'd have to drive around looking for another bump in the road to jolt the speaker cables back into place. Good times.

Looking back, I have nothing but fond memories of The Banana from Hell, even though I recall that in those days I was pretty sure there was some kind of a mix up that needed to get fixed. Surely someone would finally figure out that I was a princess and that princesses don't drive 9-year-old yellow cars. Princesses have brand new red sports cars...and they have designer clothes....and they have lines of eligible bachelors at their doors....and it's been more than 25 years. Someone really should have fixed this shit by now.




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another day with the cubicle ninja ladies

Once upon a time, one of our student workers wrote a paper asserting that people don't only find fulfillment in their jobs because of the work they do, but also from the people they do the work with. No truer words have ever been spoken.

I may have mentioned before that my workspace is not just "my" workspace. I work in a room full of cubicles and other women. I refer to us as the "cubicle ninja ladies (CNL)."  (Technically, there's also one man in an office attached to our cubicle room; a man who I'm pretty sure mostly wishes he could be anywhere else.) Anyway, when we're at full capacity, there are eight women in the room at once. And as you can imagine, the conversations are interesting, to say the least.

(picture by user Nemo on pixabay.com)

Lately, the conversation has revolved around *Shoshanna and her recent foray into the world of online dating. (Actually, it's probably more accurate to call it "phone app" dating. I think she's been using Tinder.) Shoshanna is the life of the cubicle room. She's that kind of person who finds the humor in every situation, so she keeps us laughing all day long. Anyway, Shoshanna has been looking for her Mr. Right and it's been very entertaining for the rest of us.
 

Shoshanna's already found a few guys that she's texted or Skyped with to get to know them from more than just their pictures. And she's already found reasons why they're not her Mr. Right. It's turned into a group activity for Shoshanna to tell us why she's turning the latest guy down and for the cubicle ninja ladies to give our two cents' worth. The most recent three guys that got the thumbs down from Shoshanna elicited these conversations:


Shoshanna: He's cute in the pictures where he's wearing a cap. But he's not cute without a cap.

 Me: Really, Shoshanna? 

Phoebe: Wow, you're so picky.

Brooke: Just make him wear a cap to bed.

***

Shoshanna: "I think he's still with his baby mama."

CNL: {general murmurs of disgust}

 Me: "Okay, that's a legitimate reason to stay away from him.

Rachel: "He's still with his baby mama? I can't..I just...I can't..."  (Actually, I'm not entirely sure that Rachel said this in this PARTICULAR conversation, but it's what she says when she has to deal with stupidity, so there's a pretty good chance she said it. There's also a chance she said "Bless his heart" which anyone from Texas knows is NOT a compliment.)

***

Shoshanna:  (Talking about how she and the dude look relative to their ages. He looked much older than he really is.) "I'm pretty and he's not pretty. He doesn't look like me so I don't like him."

Phoebe: "You don't like him because he doesn't look like you? That's how genocide starts."



I love my cubicle ninja ladies.


*Names have been changed to protect the, um, innocent. The, um, innocent specifically requested to be called these names. (Except Phoebe. She wasn't around, so I had to assign her alias. All I could think of was "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock" from Friends. Since that was Phoebe's line in the episode, I decided to go with Phoebe.) There will be future stories, I'm sure, that include the rest of the CNL crew: Leah, Poodle and Kami.