Friday, September 30, 2011
I'm about 11 years old. Family getting ready for a drive in the mountains with some friends. I'm getting dressed...look down and thought, "Jesus Christ! What is THAT?"
Two small lumps...One of each side of my chest. A tumor? What the hell was it...I screamed for my mom who came running into my bedroom...I stood there pointing to my chest and asked, "Does this look strange? " She looks at me like I'm a complete moron and says, "Trina, your chest* is growing. It's natural. Oh, and your sister needs her hair done. Can you help out?"
Nice of her to keep me in the puberty loop....
She walked out of my room and my emotions went from panic to exuberance over my new 'boobs'...Boobs so tiny they counted really as marbles. But whatever. I knew just what I needed to wear to show them off.
I searched my drawers for a tired looking 'hand me down' shirt. Navy blue..crew neck..long sleeved...with a gold stitched monarch butterfly on front. Why I thought this shirt was grade A for showing off my boobs is beyond me. For some reason as I glanced in the mirror puffing out my chest, I was convinced my new assets were showing through...
Not in a naked way, mind you. Just in "Look at these small lumps" kind of way.
Maybe I felt the shirt captured my transformation...formerly a boobless caterpillar who overnight morphed into a beautifully developed butterfly. Fancy. Free.
I walked through the Rocky Mountains that day keeping my posture extra straight. You know...so people could see my boobs.
A butterfly shirt. What the fuck...
(*Chest = 'Boobs' in my mother's lexicon.)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So I'm making it official. I fucking despise going to warehouse clubs to do my shopping. It all starts with trying to park....dodging and weaving between people hauling a year's supply of canned tomatoes and toilet paper in carts.
Then you have to get a cart...Carts that are I'm guess double the size of a standard grocery cart...Oh, let's not forget to tack on a plastic goddamn car on the front so the kids can have a sweet ride while their mother...(me) hauls ass pushing the cart equivalent of a city bus.
Then you go the check out and it's like the super duper deluxe stealthy transaction...The cashier...sizing you up...then continue with their, "Do you have your club card?" I want to scream, "Fuck yeah I do! What? You think I'm hauling shit in this behemoth cart to work my upper arms? Fuck off and scan my 10 lb bag of flour you douche bag. Oh, here's my card..."
I even had a cashier tell me she wouldn't lift my 40 lb bag of dog food. So I had to lift it. Fuck that! There should be a weight lifting requirement for people checking me out. Right? I mean like in the interview that woman should have done 10 push ups...or carried a huge ass bag of dog food. Then if she appeared weak, a trap door would open sending her down a swirly slide back to the parking lot....
So I'm really worked up today because after pushing a double wide, locating my club card, paying...oh, wait one other thing...I had to dig out my license too because they'll card you no matter what...Not kidding. I could show up with a walker waving a colostomy bag and they'd still ask me to keep my balance while digging in my pocketbook (isn't that what old farts call bags?)...and then I'd slip on a bulk grape someone dropped and I'd end up breaking my hip anyway...and because the parking lot is so difficult to navigate the ambulance would have a hard time making it to the....
Wait....I'm rambling...back to complaining...
Anyway, you know how after you pay? They'll say "Keep your receipt out for check out at the door"...Why not just say what they're really thinking? "We're on to you...you fucking cheap ass thieving thief! Can't pull a fast one on US by God! No siree!"....
Back to today...I'm pushing my huge cart that now weighs 200 lbs (this includes weight of attached goddamn plastic car and 80 lbs worth of children), I hear this as I approach the receipt checker patrol..."UH-UH-UHUH!"...and this posy of foreign men totally cut me off and held out his receipt. Then looked OVER his shoulder at me as he walked out....What a dick!!!!!
I'll give the receipt checker credit though...he agreed that guy was rude...we both kind of looked at each other like we were both thinking, "Asswipe." Or at least I'd like to think he was thinking that and I'm not a rage-aholic.
The nerve of that guy.....
Whew, that felt good!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
On one of our visits to Ohio, my family went to my grandparent's house for dinner. My grandfather was actually a really great cook. Had a delicious meal of pork tenderloin, homemade mashed potatoes...and for dessert? Homemade apple pie. Did I mention he even grew the apples? He did.
Anyway, that's not the story. After dinner my grandma always enjoyed sitting to relax in her favorite recliner. Kind of a 1970's style poop brown tweed fabric. I have to admit it was pretty cozy. Until I sat in it once and realized she stuffed dirty kleenex between the chair and cushion. But I digress. It was obviously her 'spot'.
We're all sitting in the living room watching television when all of a sudden we hear..."OH MY GOD! QUICK SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! GRANDMA'S TURNING BLUE!!!!" Startled, we turned around to see my mom scrambling to figure how to administer first aid to my grandma. My grandma, likely confused from a lack of oxygen was just sitting in her chair...blankly staring at my mom...saying nothing.
Indeed the scene was frightening. Her lips were blue....she was speechless....and my mom got everyone into panic mode...until grandma did something to let us know she was going to be ok....
She lifted a blue toothpick to her lips and continued to pick her teeth.
Funny old bird. Bet she loved sending my mom into a tizzy...No, I know she did...
Monday, September 26, 2011
Is Trina an odd name? Maybe...I don't know. All my siblings have what I'd call "normal" or "mainstream" names....not me. Mom got creative.
So on this fine Monday I decided I'd give you some insight on some names people have used in lieu of Trina. You know...my name....Read on. I'm sure this was high on your to do list today:
"Trini" - (pronounced, "Treenee") Courtesy of Mrs. Reinking, 7th grade algebra. Back when scan trons were used, my last name was so long that I couldn't fit the "a" at the end of "Trina". This big brazen broad took it upon herself to assume it ended in "i". She was so big and intimidating, I never corrected her. She also gave me my first and only "C" in math. Wench.
"La Trine" - (french for Toilet) This name was ingeniously created by none other than our Pastor's son, Jimmy Cantrel. Asshole. He'd wait until the entire classroom was full before he'd yell across, "Hey! Laaaaaaa Triiiiiiiiine!" followed by uproarious laughter. Dickhead turned into a loser...What goes around is what I say....
"Katrina" - Everybody. Just about. Except my family who knows I'm just "Trina". It usually goes like this, "Is Trina short for Katrina?" Me: (for the billionth time) "Oh...No, it's just 'Trina'" as though it's kind of a disappointment. Or they'll just assume I don't know how to spell my name and call me Katrina anyway....
"Janelle" - I was often called Janelle from 3rd through 6th grade because my classmate named Janelle Souply and I looked a lot alike. Never asked her if she was ever called Trina. People stopped mixing us up when I decided to get the dorky Dorothy Hamill haircut. Janelle wisely opted out of that hair trend and became more popular.
"Pirate Dream" - The cutest boy I (secretly) had a crush on called me "Pirate Dream"...I was flattered until I realized it was a precursor to the punch line I unwittingly heard him say to his friend as he gave him an elbow nudge..."Sunken Chest"...Get it? I was a pirate's dream...because I had a sunken chest...no boobs. Yeah, that name stuck for awhile. Also quelled my crush on that little pecker head.
"Tina and/or Teresa" - I'm called these names...a lot. But I'm not at all resentful...really...I likely won't even correct you. I just don't care.
Isn't this post so enlightening?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Ever know someone who isn't terribly funny but likes to crack lame jokes anyway? That's my dad. He fancied himself a comedian...
Don't get me wrong. He could be funny when he didn't try too hard at it. Subtle jokes like changing into a formerly red Ohio State sweatshirt that was now ratty and faded to pink to sit for Easter dinner for example. I found that funny.
Or the time he told me he applied a deodorant label on a can of spray paint because he knew his roommate from college was using it...Gold spray paint on the armpit...."Classic."
He also acted serious one time when he gave my uncle a coffee cup for a Christmas exchange. It had the planet Uranus on it.
So when he tried to crack dumb jokes I didn't find funny I liked to laugh along...but fake. So it would go something like this:
Dad: "Trina, did you hear the joke about the elephant named 'Nuts'?"
Me: "Uh, no, Dad, can't say I have."
Dad: "He was a circus elephant."
Me: "You don't say."
Dad: "He got fired by the ringmaster."
Dad: "Because the guy in the stands was selling peanuts. Get it? "Peeeee-NUTS!"
Me: *totally think the joke is super dumb but decide I'd humor dad by laughing.
Dad: (Hears me laughing and starts laughing harder)
Me: (Sees Dad thinking I'm really laughing at his jokes, so I begin to hold my sides and ramp up the laughter as though this joke is hilarious....)
Dad: (Begins to laugh even harder...eyes watering with tears)
Me: (Begins a blatantly exaggerated "HAAA HAAAAA HAAA!" to begin to clue in Dad that he's been had)
Me: "AAAAHHHH HAAAHAAAAAA! HAHA....HAHAHAHA.... HAAAAA HAAAAAA!"
Dad: (stops laughing...) "Jesus Christ Trina that's annoying."
I think he was more mad and annoyed at himself for falling for my faux laughter spiel...every time I pulled it...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
So a family friend of ours who was our neighbor in Colorado had a distant elderly relative who just happened to live near us in our new locale of Northern Virginia. We didn't know her. Never met her. But somehow my parents thought we should go to her home for dinner.
On the drive over my parents gave strict instructions..."No fighting. Mind your manners..or plan on dying later..." That kind of deal...We knew to be on our best behavior...
I realized as we approached her estate that this this lady was loaded. The home was a mansion... The biggest house I've ever seen in my life. And she lived there all by herself.
As all of us entered my parents introduced us one by one...all six of us kids...I was somewhat humored thinking she'd never remember six kids' names...but she seemed pretty coherent for an aged lady.
After about 10 minutes of mundane small talk, we sat for dinner. Being that she was a rich spinster I had really high expectations for a lavish dinner...So imagine my surprise when she served our meal.
"Spaghetti"...And to clarify?..Just the pasta part...topped with canned baked beans. What the hell lady? Did we look like we just deplaned a box car? Hobo food. I tried to keep my "What the Fuck!" facial expression in check as I choked down the beans.
Anyway, as we quietly continued to eat, my youngest brother decided he was all for seconds. He politely asked if he could have more pasta. The old lady dropped her fork and looked around as though she wasn't aware she was seated in a chair.
As she rose we heard a loud noise...A really loud noise. A fart. My little brother shot a look to my parents who were now glaring at him...thinking he tried to lighten the mood by expelling some gas. He stood wide-eyed as he shook his head and mouthed frantically, "It wasn't me!" and pointed to the old lady as she walked to the kitchen...Farting all the way down a long hallway in concert with her footsteps.
Quite impressive really...Like I said, she had a huge house so I'm guessing she farted the length of a football field...but walking...that's a lot of farts.
It was at that stage of the dinner that none of us made eye contact with the other...Knowing we'd lose it as far as laughing...Amazingly we were able to keep a straight face as she returned with my brother's second helping, seated herself back at the table, and continued to vociferously fart throughout our meal.
We continued to dine and visit as though the farting noises emanating from her old ass was nothing unusual for first time guests to hear.
Faces were kept straight until we said good night later that evening and loaded into my parents' van.
All it took for everyone to laugh the entire ride home was for me casually say, "Anyone notice anything unusual aside from serving baked beans on spaghetti?"
Monday, September 19, 2011
One year my dad took all of us to a pig roast. Sure, the food was great, but the thing I remembered most about the party was an awesome go cart. All the older kids got to drive it. It rocked...
It was this crudely constructed car powered by a small motor...Top speed maybe 20 miles per hour. I loved it. I was sorry to leave it the end of the night...but I became resolute in creating my own.
An initial but ever so slight problem was my lack of a gas powered motor. But not to worry, that's why we have hills, right? My dad was kind enough to give me a nice piece of plywood that would serve as the base. I also took wheels off an old red wagon...
My dad was generous enough to help me create a swiveling steering mechanism by attaching the front wheels to a 2x4 that was in turn loosely screwed to my base (plywood). I then took two old and frayed jump ropes and attached each one to the side of the 2x4...with a nail. Genius. I'd hold them like reins and pull left or right depending on where I'd prefer to turn...
But what to do for braking? Not a problem. I found an old metal pipe in the basement. Tied it to the side of my car. I'd just lower the pipe and apply pressure to the asphalt. I know what you're thinking..."Jesus Christ she's smart." I thought so.
My brother saw my cart and really loved it. Then it dawned on me...in the age of zero bike helmets and safety gear I didn't want to crack my walnut on the trial run...So I said, "It's pretty cool huh? Say, you really like it? I'll tell you what, how about YOU drive it first? What do you think?"
Needless to say, my brother was surprised and thrilled at my generous offer. Before he could change his mind, I pulled my car to tallest hill in my neighborhood. Got him all settled on the plywood and gave a brief tutorial on operation of my car..."Pull left to go left. Pull right to go right. Lower the pipe to stop. Got it? Good."
I gave him a quick shove and watched as he sailed impressively down our street. I saw him struggle to remember which rope to pull...then I'm guessing he was pretty terrorized going fast because he reached for the brake (metal pipe)....
It was at this moment I discovered the design flaw of my car. You see, in order to pull the brake, you had to release the right jump rope. Damn...I didn't think of that. Neither did my brother as he turned a hard left and crashed into a brick mailbox while dragging the useless piece of shit pipe brake that was supposed to save him from the very fate I feared. And didn't want to experience.
Which is why I was glad he was dumb enough to do the trial run.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I'll always remember picture day as a very stressful event from my childhood. It seems as though something catastrophic always happened precluding me from the glamour shot I always longed for. The shot that I looked so great in that I'd beg my mother to buy extra wallet sized ones I could trade with my friends...A picture I'd be proud to give to the boy I maybe had a small crush on.
But alas that never materialized.
My picture day usually began with bad weather. So I'd spend extra time getting my hair "Church on Sunday" ready only to have to walk to school in a typhoon. The little comb the photographer had on hand was little consolation for my bangs that seemingly enjoyed parting ways in the center of my forehead like Alfalfa. Remember his hair? Little Rascals fame?...yeah, that.
And when the weather did seem to hold out, I inevitably had gym 20 minutes prior to sitting in that photographer chair. I especially remember my gym teacher from Junior High...she was a hardcore jock. Made us gals run 2 miles cross country on picture day.
I remember trying to assess the damage to my hair after sweating and wheezing running uphill. My perfectly feathered hair a distant memory as it hung sadly crimped. My face blotchy and red. Sweaty...so yeah, that picture was a winner too. I think I was so happy to just sit from running that my facial expression looked a little too relaxed. As though I just shit my pants really...
Then there was the year I had picture day and was playing at recess. I tripped and fell into a mud puddle. I was wearing a fancy frock...with a white shirt underneath. I remember my teacher telling me to wait for the speckles of mud to dry...then we'd be able to scrape it off in time for my picture. What the fuck lady? Ever heard of a phone? Calling my mom? No...I sat looking as though I just tried to jump a train car...and failed. That one was crap too.
And lastly, the year my mother had a fascination with butterflies. Made me weather lavender Garanimal Pants (2 inches shy of my ankles) and a lavender patterned butterfly shirt. A child's leisure suit really. She had also decided to trim my bangs for the occasion. Perhaps if the photographer tilted his camera they would have looked straight...but they didn't. Started long on my left eyebrow and ended dangling an inch from the right brow. But I also had pigtails, so many those detracted from the hack job on my bangs...No, it didn't...
Any of you have good picture day memories? I sure as fuck don't...
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
So the other day I was checking out a the grocery store and this elderly woman placed her stuff on the belt next to mine. I glanced down and took a mental note of her inventory:
Tea Biscuits (2 boxes)
1/4 pound of deli ham
Interesting. Well, to me it was...because it got me thinking about what I'd likely eat when I'm older than dirt. So, behold...for your enlightenment...Food I think I'll (eventually) like:
Deli Ham - Because I think I'll take a cue from the elderly. They all seem to love their deli ham, right?
Brach's Peppermints - My grandmother always had these and I always thought they sucked. But maybe my taste buds will mature...or maybe they'll dead so those god awful things will just keep my mouth busy.
Cottage Cheese - I think I'd eat this at lunch. With my deli ham on the side. I'd probably bitch about the curd size.
Apple Sauce - Not a huge fan of apple sauce but I'll bet it's ok as a side with my cottage cheese/ham combo.
Nutter Butter Cookies - Again, another staple at my grandma's. I liked these cookies as a kid so I'm sure as an old fart I'll continue buying them. If it ain't broke don't fucking fix it, right?
Grape Nuts - I don't know. May be hard on the teeth but I just don't envision myself saying, "Goddamnit! Out of Lucky Charms! Fuck that!"
And given I'm an aficionado of spirits, I think I'll continue with my favorite libation: Gin.
I've been told it's an old lady drink so I guess I'm ahead of my time. I do love my gin, so there's that.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
One day while at work a few years back my manager hired a new guy. As was the usual, she'd parade the newbie around the office, introduce them to the "team" as we were called, so they'd feel welcome.
I stood up, extended my hand and gave a friendly, "Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Trina..." as though we'd be lifelong friends. His name was Mark.
A friendly chap. Seemed to really know his shit when it came to information technology stuff. Always dependable.
But then I quickly noticed something odd about him. One day while testing one of the applications he had developed, I ran into a so-called glitch and called him over to my desk.
"Mark, why isn't this window popping up so I can enter a Tax ID code?" I asked...His reply, "Try just clicking on the bun."
Me: "The bun?"
Him: "Yeah, the bun...right there...see it? Bottom left."
Me: "Oh, ok, gotcha...ok...uh, thanks..."
Him: "No problem."
I sat stunned as he strolled back to his desk. What the hell was up with his pronunciation of 'button' as 'bun'? Weird...
Maybe it was the double consonant? I mean, did he sit at the table with his family and say, "Pass the ber (butter) and while you're reaching for it, I'll take some per (pepper) too?" or maybe he said to his wife at times, "You look rey (really) prey (pretty)"...
Any thoughts? Oh, and I didn't misunderstand him. He consistently said 'bun' when referring to a button. Phrases I heard included, "I lost a bun." "Press the bun." "The buns on my phone." and "The top bun on my shirt."
Weird fucker...Knew there had to be something wrong with him...
Monday, September 12, 2011
Flashback to 8th grade. My school had one of those "Spirit Weeks" where every day was a different theme. The day I most looked forward to was "Pajama Day".
I actually owned a pair of footed pajamas...at the age of 14. Now I think back to those pj's and think they were pretty pervy. Like they were made for adults who like to be treated like a baby as a sexual fetish or something... Regardless I decided to wear them to school.
They were royal blue. As if I didn't look ridiculous enough I also decided to up the "cute" factor by pulling my hair into pigtails...so I essentially looked like a giant pubescent baby...with zits.
Other girls wore their nighties...That was probably more sexy. I looked like Grover.
No wonder I didn't get dates. I really had shit for brains...
Now I'm wondering where my mother found those pajamas...kind of skeeves me out...
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Some coworkers of mine decided to have a holiday "Pot Luck", or as I affectionately refer to it, "Lucky to Make it to the Pot" because the food is generally dismal.
Having said that, I saw the sign up sheet and decided I'd make some kind of appetizer. I was super busy with work and the holidays and wanted to find a quick and easy recipe. And I found one...for Artichoke Dip. Sounds good, right?
I went and bought the ingredients and went to work in my kitchen. Cream cheese, tobasco, shredded parmesan, sour cream and drained chopped artichokes. Put in Cuisinart. Puree. Voila. No baking required...serve cold...
Except it turned out lumpy. The parmesan cheese wrapped itself around the blades and formed clumps. The whole concoction was well, just fucked up. But it was late on a work night and I figured a quick garnish of parsley would suffice for the awful mixture.
As a foodie I can tell you I was genuinely mortified at how awful this dip was. I saw the conference room with all the tables for food and quickly dashed in and did an "Appetizer Drop" before anyone could see me and say, "Trina! Hey! Looks good! What is it?"....
No one caught me. I did however sit casually and watch people as they approached the mysterious mixture..Study it with a confused expression...then cautiously grab a chip and dive in. Then they'd chew on a wad of dry parmesean, look around like they were thinking, "Holy mother of God! Who the fuck brought this shit in?" then spit out the chewed cheese, dip and chip combo into a napkin. Glancing around hoping no one saw. But I saw...And this scenario repeated itself probably 15 times. After that I think word got out, "Avoid the Artichoke dip..."
I was so embarrassed I left my dish unclaimed because I didn't want anyone to discover my epic appetizer fail.