Friday, July 29, 2011
My bike as a kid was pretty cool...Hot pink with white flowers...a denim banana seat...High handle bars...But one part of my bike really had me conflicted. Emblazoned on the metal chain guard was the following:
"Sweet n' Sassy"
What the fuck was that? I mean in my young mind it was more, "Why does it say Sweet and Sassy?" Did it mean I was supposed to be nice while riding my bike...courteous to pedestrians, not run over cats...that kind of deal. Or did it mean I was supposed to be an asshole? Popping wheelies...skidding my tires on my parents' driveway...swerving just before I'd crash into my brother who was just learning to ride...I dunno.
So one day I came up to my brother who was hanging out in his room. I told him I decided to become more of the "Sassy" connotation and would he like to jump ramps with me. He agreed it was a good choice.
We went into the basement and got pieces of plywood and propped them up with cement blocks. My brother went first. It was a beautiful sight watching him catch some air...all two inches of it but still. Then came my turn..."Be Sassy Trina...just jump..." was racing through my mind as I prepped for my feat....I peddled as fast as I could, rolled up the ramp...and was amazed at my ramp jumping agility...
But I forgot the landing part...and unfortunately rolled over my handle bars and landed on my back in the street. My brother of course stood there and laughed...and laughed harder still when he saw I had split my favorite "Body Lingo" jeans in the rear. Body Lingo was the brand...ever heard of it? Me either...Anyway, I ran into the house with the wind knocked out of me while grabbing my now exposed ass...
My lesson from this experience was that dirt hills were better...I made the switch and continued biking as my sassy self...
Monday, July 25, 2011
My aunt came to visit us in Colorado one year. As was the usual deal, we'd drive our guest to Estes Park. My mom and dad would gather all six of us kids and load us into our crappy van for the ride.
We all got into the car and drove two hours to enjoy the splendor of the Rockies. Majestic. Beautiful...
Then mom says this to my sister:
"Heather, you're in the back there...can you please pass up the Doritos?"
Heather: (no reply)
Mom: "Heather? Did you hear me? Pass the chips..."
Me: "Mom she's sleeping."
Mom: "Wake her up. I want some chips."
Me: "Ok." (Look in back seat) "Heather isn't here."
Mom: "What do you mean Heather isn't here?" (lifts up newspaper resting on floor between seats to see if Heather is underneath)
Me: "I mean she's not here."
My other sister Kim: "Oh yeah mom...She's at home. She was pooping on the toilet and I told her if she didn't hurry we'd leave her."
Mom: "JESUS CHRIST!!! TURN AROUND! QUICK! GET HOME!!! GODDAMMIT!!! KIM YOU'RE GROUNDED FOREVER!!!!"
Did I mention Heather was 4 years old? And the year was 1979? And cell phones had not yet been invented?
She was fine by the way. Stayed home and pigged out on Girl Scout cookies...I think they were thin mints.
I was actually just happy I didn't have to spend another endless afternoon in Estes Park...rode my bike instead...enjoyed some Doritos.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Fourth grade...Mrs. Maginnis' class. I was sitting at a table with another classmate. No idea why I wanted to curse but decided for some reason that day would be my big reveal.
So Mrs. Maginnis is teaching us something about geography. Pointing to the various continents...boring. I needed to jazz things up. I look across to a girl seated at my table, leaned in and muttered..."Shit! I can't wait for recess, can you?"
I sat back..grinning...pleased with myself as I saw her face turn ashen white as she said, "Trina, why did you say that? You'll go to the principal's office! Shh!" I whispered back, "I don't care if I go to the damn principal's office. Would be more exciting than this boring shit."
Now at this point she's starting to giggle nervously...and I continued by whispering, "I know...it's funny to hear me say bad words, isn't it? Here...here's some more...'Shit! Shit! Damn! Hell!'"
For some reason it felt great. Maybe I was having a bad week...Sure as hell know my dad was...he inspired me...
Monday, July 18, 2011
I had lots of pets as a kid. My earliest recollection of a favorite pet was named Pooky (1973-1975). Behold...a stock photo of what I can best recall my pet gerbil looked like...I know...take a moment. Look at all its features...agile...quick...fluffy....fascinating little gal isn't she? I think it's a girl. At least I don't recall Pooky having balls*.
Anyway...I was an only child for the equivalent of 15 minutes of my life. Maybe my parents thought I needed a friend until my 5 additional siblings came into the picture. I don't recall how Pooky came to be. Just remember going into my playroom one day and there she was....scratching in the corner of her terrarium.
I thought Pooky and I shared a special bond. My parents would smile when I came down to announce I was having a sleepover at Pooky's house. I'd take some blankets to her room and spent many a sleepless night in there listening to her incessant scratching...she was so restless! And that damn wheel of hers...Every third rotation I'd hear a tired, "Squeeee, squeeee..."
I held Pooky...once. She bit me. That was the one and only time I pet her before she died 6 months later. For some reason I wasn't too broken up about it. Put her into a yellow margarine bowl and buried her in a shallow grave...
"Bye Pooky!" was all I really said as I passed a few neighborhood cats...I thought at the time they were a little sad too...
Then went shopping for my next pet who would be named Trixie.
(*Anyone know if gerbils have testes? Now I'm curious...)
Friday, July 15, 2011
Ever have a family friend who your parents seemed to love more than you?
My nemesis was Paige Morris. That bitch outdid me on any and everything...I'm using her real name here because I know she likely lives in an area of Ohio that doesn't have Internet access...North...Near whatever Great Lake is up there...who cares...
My mother used to give me the heads up on her family's arrival...usually a month before. "Trina, guess who's coming to visit! Paige and her family...Be sure to have your room cleaned, ok?" "Yeah, ok Mom," I'd think to myself, "You mean the room I have to share with my slob of a sister? Because Paige has her own room, remember?"....
Her family would coincidentally 'vacation' in any state my family happened to be living in at the time of their plans...And wouldn't you know they planned a stop in our town and would we mind them staying with us. Cheap bastards...
Exclusively for you...a brief timeline of why I dreaded her visits:
1976: Paige and her family arrive to my family's home in Longmont, CO. Paige has mastered the art of going underwater without holding her nose. She does a summersault into my pink pool. Tells me to try...doesn't tell me to blow bubbles with my nose upon entry in water. I executed the summersault...then choked on water for a good 3 minutes.
(*Should also note here that at this visit Paige had nicer underwear than me too. Bragged about her "Day of the Week" underpants. Embroidered cloud on the front stating the day of the week the pair was to be worn. I admired them as I stood in my kid sized equivalent of reinforced training pants worn up to my navel.)
1980: Paige plays piano better than me. We give a concert for our parents in my mother's living room. I chose the song, "Swinging Along"...fucked up the second line..She gets accolades. I was told to practice more.
1983: Lexington, KY Paige is a cheerleader. I tell her I made cheerleading too...in Colorado...the state I just moved from. Her reply, "That doesn't count."
1986: Paige and I are now in high school. She's looking a little more well fed than usual. This pleases me. She also has a picture of her boyfriend she props on my nightstand for her stay. He looks like Yanni. This pleases me further.
Current: Paige got knocked up by Yanni about 3 months after I last saw her. She has also decided to go redneck. Lives in a double wide (that's fancy for "trailer park") in Northern Ohio.
How the mighty have fallen...(ear to ear grin)
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I remember being fascinated with people who didn't speak English. I wanted to be like them. So when Junior High rolled around I made the leap into learning Spanish.
Seventh grade. Senor Cordoza. I can't do the swirly thing over the "n" in "Senor" so please just imagine it if you could...sorry. Anyway...He was my teacher. I think he was a genuine Mexican too. So he knew his shit.
For some reason our textbooks had not arrived in time for the beginning of school. So, initially we bypassed actually learning the language and learned about the people of Mexico. Even made God's Eyes. Cool.
Then one day we arrived to class. A spanish textbook was placed neatly at each of our seats....and that's when Senor Cordoza delved into the actual language part.
We started by stating our name...My spanish name was "Theresa"...No, not like "Teresa"...."Tear-ace-ah"...like that...you dig? I didn't like it but whatever. I could live with it for a few days a week.
I quickly realized that aside from God's eyes and Mexican food? Spanish and I didn't jive. I just didn't get it. At. All. So one day in my confusion I finally raised my hand and asked for Senor Cordoza's assistance on a learning exercise in our workbooks.
Keep in mind the closest contact I had with Senor Cordoza was watching him teach as I sat in the back of our classroom. Imagine my surprise when he approach me and I quickly realized his breath smelled like tooth carnage...covered in cigarette smoke....washed with 4 day old bottom of the pot coffee. Bad.
He stood over my shoulder as he assisted me. Talking...breathing...warm nastiness wafting over my right shoulder....The nerve. "Binaca." was all I could think of as he rambled through his long winded answer...All the while I tried to breathe through my mouth...but even that was disgusting because I felt as though I was ingesting his disgusting pulmonary exhaust.
That was the one and only time I asked for help from Senor Cordoza. I opted instead to remain clueless and winged Spanish on my own. I got my first "C"....devastating for the overachiever I was at the time...But my gag reflex was always in check. So there's that...
Monday, July 11, 2011
So I guess my mom at some point during the summer was really getting sick of me and my brother fighting and signed us up for a so-called "Craft Camp" sponsored by the local elementary school. I think it was five mornings from 9 to 12 noon...
My brother and I rode our bikes there and walked into the craft room where the teacher greeted us. Her name isn't even worth remembering because I hated crafts. Didn't want to be there. I mean, who the hell concentrates on a craft for 3 hour spells? Bullshit.
I attended the class the first two days and kept my mouth shut as I was instructed on the art of loop pot holders...A pot holder whose unfortunate user would have 2nd degree burns after first use....Oh and there was a mail collector...A clay monstrosity with a crude pocket that I guess you'd hang on the wall to drop collected mail in. Only mine weighed about 20 pounds so it'd have to be anchored on a non weight bearing wall....And who wants to display their mail? Weird.
Then came Wednesday. We walked in to our room to tables piled high with yarn. My brother and I kindof shrugged at each other and sat down. What the hell was this craft? I was tingling with anticipation....not.
The teacher smiled as she instructed us how to make our shit craft of the day. She gleefully held a 6 inch styrofoam ball, draped it with yarn. Tied it taught around the ball...then proceeded to partition the yarn into three sections and made a long fat braid. Glue on googly eyes, and "Voila!" ....a worm.
I sat incredulous as I gazed at her finished product. A flipping worm. My thoughts then went to, "I'm not making a worm. This is dumb. Who makes a worm out of a braid? Morons, that's who. This is crap. I'm suffocating...I need air. Must escape, but how..."
I glanced over at my brother who was equally appalled. Then raised my hand. She looked somewhat surprised as she pointed to me and said, "Yes Trina?" I began..."Is this an earthworm or a catepillar? I find the design of this worm kind of confusing. Do worms really have eyes? And do you have brown yarn because I've yet to see an orange worm. I'd like to ensure I portray the species accurately."
She looked somewhat surprised but knew I was pointing out the folly of her crafty ways. "It's just a creative craft, Trina. How about you start clipping the yard into strands and we'll just..." I interrupted, "But Ms. (whatever her name was), can I opt out of this craft and begin on Thursdays project? I just am not into braiding yarn." My brother sat giggling as her face began to turn red.
She replied, "I don't think I care for your attitude today. How about you and your brother leave? You're disrupting my class...Actually your attitude has stunk all week, so how about you and your brother gather your stuff and not return."
So we left. Spent Thursday and Friday riding bikes and enjoying Jolly Ranchers at our local 7-11 so mom didn't know.
I hate crafts....