19 February 2013

Word: 365 Week 7

I wrote 5 letters last week. But I'm still ahead of the game, so that's good.

In the last two weeks, I have written super nice letters to two of my friends, sent them out in the morning, to only find out later in the afternoon that they had very bad news. I sent a letter to Tone-Loc in the morning, only to find out later that she was diagnosed with Lupus. Not cool. The other letter I wrote to my BFF Jes and sent it in the morning, only to find out later on that her aunt and uncle died tragically in a house fire. Very sad news, on both accounts and I've been thinking about both of them ever since.

I wrote a letter to my dear friend Lindsey, letting her know that although we don't talk all that often and only see each other when I make it home to WI, I still consider her one of my best friends and distance has no affect on our friendship. I wrote a similar letter to my FL friend Rachel. We hadn't seen each other in almost a year even though we live in the same county! But, we saw her on Friday and nothing has changed, which is great.

The last letter I wrote is to my new-ish friend Anna, whom I met through my friend Blue. I wrote her a getting to know you type of letter, since I've only met her a few times. But, she is coming to our game night in a few weeks so she will see the "other" side of me. Especially when we play the game "Cards Against Humanity". Holy balls. So excite.

Well, I am headed home to WI in two days. I can't wait to see everyone! My first order of business is getting the stupid Chinese symbol I have tattooed on my foot covered up with a fun clover/knot design. My sister Kate and I got these Chinese symbols back in college because we thought we were cool. But we weren't. And 10 years later, it's time to cover them up. Then I head home to Rhinelander to see my parentals and some friends. Leave Monday night to see another dear friend and then a couple on my way out on Tuesday. It will be a short, jam packed weekend but I'm looking forward to it. Not looking forward to driving in the snow, which I'm sure I will be doing quite a bit of. Such is life.

WTF pic of the week:

This is Merica, bitches. I'm glad that we have such strict gun laws that a choad with a skullet can pose for such sexy pics such as this. Wow. What a beaut!

14 February 2013

The Mattress

Well, we are in the market for a new bed (currently have a pillowtop queen, but it's not at all glorious; keep reading). But neither of us has ever shopped for or purchased our own bed before. I slept on a futon all throughout college and Emily had a full mattress. When we moved in together, she made me get rid of the futon and we shared the full.  Or double. It could have been a double. Shit, who am I kidding? It was probably a California twin.

Then we moved to Florida and it seemed that everyone we knew had an awesome queen or a king bed. Everyone had grown up and gotten rid of their college furniture in exchange for matching bedroom sets. Everyone except us. Either they already had one or we knew someone who was buying a new bed and needing to rid of their old one. Except us.

And one of those people was our dear friend Sarah.

One hot, sticky day in June, Sarah told me she needed help moving AND she needed assistance moving her bed. She had just dumped her loser boyfriend (the same guy who told her he dreamed about stabbing her in her sleep because she broke up with him and was seeing someone else; not a violent guy, just one of those nerdy types you'd see on The Big Bang Theory) and needed to move out of their apartment pronto. My first thought was to tell her to rent a U-haul but I'm a good person so I offered the use of my SUV. And I didn't want to find out her ex-douche stabbed her with a butter knife while she slept so I knew I had to get her out. And fast.

I was not excited to help her move (she's the type that packs as she moves) on a hot Florida summer day (I was so sticky with sweat, I could have been a honeycomb), but she was my friend and she needed help. Luckily for Emily, she was in WI at that moment so she was exempt from this horrifying day.

When I arrived at Sarah's house, she had a hot pizza on the counter and lukewarm beers she had just put in the fridge. Um, was she unaware this was June? In Florida? And one of my stipulations of helping her move was COLD BEER? Whatever. The sentiment was sweet and she fed and watered me so I sucked it up. Had I known what I was in store for, I would have asked for $1,000, a series of vaccinations (the kind you get when you go to Africa for the first time), and an orgasm. Seriously.

It didn't take us that long to pack up her crap and move it to her new place, which was nice because it was so hot. Did I say that already? Let me repeat. It was HOT AS HELL. So hot I think a cardboard box stuck to the side of my arm and when I went to put it in my SUV, the cardboard had adhered to my skin and tore a chunk off. The bed was the last thing she needed to move, which we saved for evening time when the sun went down. As an after thought, I'm not so sure that was a good idea because playing with ratchet cords and putting mattresses on top of my Saturn Vue in the dark turned out to be less than fun, but at least it wasn't as hot.

We loaded up her box spring and mattress on top of the SUV, miraculously figured out these stupid blaze orange ratchet straps (we had caught a mid afternoon buzz with those lukewarm beers), and drove slowly to her new place, each of us with an arm out the window, holding on to the mattress on the roof. Plus I drive a stick shift, so this was no easy task.

We looked just as, if not more stupid as those lawn care truck companies that are too cheap to provide their employees with ample transportation, so they just shove the sun beaten, decrepit looking workers in the back with the fallen trees, bushes, and what I would assume to be woodland creatures that have crawled in, thinking the back of the truck was a forest. We looked like idiots.

After we unloaded her nice big fluffy queen bed (thanks for rubbing it in) and got it set up, Sarah dropped a bomb on me. She told me we had to go back to the old apartment and get rid of a mattress. I was confused. What mattress? We had moved everything she had? She said it was from a friend (after seeing it, I don't know what kind of friend would unleash something this horrible onto another human being) and she was anxious to get rid of it. She started acting suspicious and seemed nervous when she would speak of this mattress. Later I would learn it's because there are video cameras by the dumpsters where she lived and she didn't want to be caught tossing a mattress in a dumpster where clearly you only toss garbage bags. By the way she was acting, I could have sworn she had committed a serious crime and was trying to rid of evidence. Little did I know, that could have been true based on the state of the mattress.

We arrived back to her old apartment and she brought me to the spare bedroom and showed me the mattress. Words literally cannot explain the horror I felt when I first laid eyes on this thing.

If memory serves me correctly, this is what I encountered:

My first thought was to call CSI because it looked like the mattress had been the star piece of evidence in a violent crime scene. There were stains that eerily resembled a Rorschach test and the thing smelled like and was as old as George Washington's death bed. If I had shined a black light across this abhorrent thing, I would have seen more semen than I ever care to in my life. And blood. And urine. And any other liquid that can weep from a human body. To say the least, this mattress was the nastiest thing I had ever seen in my life, besides the dead, drowned, bloated squirrel I discovered in a garbage can that had filled up with snow and melted during a spring thaw in WI.

I knew there was no way out of it. This mattress had to meet the dumpster that night, which meant I had to touch it. With my bare hands. And probably other parts of my body, like my cheek. When you move a mattress, it's best to let it rest against your body and I knew I would have to not only touch it, but carry it down two flights of stairs and across the parking lot to the dumpster. With my bare skin (I was wearing a tanktop and shorts). It would touch my bare skin. Everything else of hers was already moved, and that includes any hope of yellow kitchen or latex gloves she may have had. Gone. Long sleeves? Gone. Hazmat suit? I wish. Bare skin it is. 

It's really a shame I didn't look like this whilst moving it:

Who knows what kinds of diseases I contracted from that thing. It was a breeding ground for the Hepatitis Trifecta (A, B, & C), a number of STD's, and probably polio. I'm not showing any symptoms yet, but I'm still waiting.

I walked toward the mattress slowly, struggling to hold in the bile that was rising in my throat. Meanwhile, all Sarah could do was laugh at my reaction. I was screaming things like "Abe Lincoln murder scene", "rape/murder victim crime scene", "bloodborne pathogens", and "FUCK MY LIFE" and all she could do was laugh. All I wanted to do was cry. At one point, I even contemplated ending my own life (I was holding my breath for a long time, so it could have happened), but even in death, I couldn't stand to think that I would land on top of this cesspool of germs, crust, and piss.

Three beers later, I finally mustered up the courage to not only approach this mattress crime scene, but to touch it. With my pinky toe. I had to touch it with something and I could spare my pinky toe without being too upset. The thing was a giant "scratch n sniff". It was crusty, soggy, hard, soft, and emitted the foulest of odors that no landfill could even attempt to mimic. I suggested we just start the apartment on fire, but then there's the whole "arson is a felony=jail time" thing, so I quickly scratched that idea. 

Either it happened so fast, or I blocked it from my memory, but all I remember about moving this thing is holding my breath and picking it up, to quickly (and not so discreetly) throwing it on the dumpster. We didn't put it in the dumpster or next to it. No. We were in such a mad rush to get rid of this ancient, diseased, possibly historical artifact that we threw it on top of the dumpster. Looking back, we probably thought we were in serious stealth mode, sneaking through the parking lot undetected while holding a giant mattress, stealthily avoiding the cameras, but in reality, we looked like drunken loudmouthed laughing jerks shoving a mattress on top of a dumpster and running away as if we had just committed ding dong ditch.

Somehow, I survived. I should probably contact Biography.com and see if they're interested in my I Survived story, but they probably reserve those spots for people who are victims of crime, animal attacks, and freak accidents. Well, I know I was a victim, something was attacked on that mattress, and after touching it, I freaked. Maybe I'll qualify.

After listening to another round of hearty guffaws coming from Sarah the entire ride to her new place, she thanked me profusely while I cursed her silently. When I got home, here's a montage of what I did:

After living in FL for two years, we were approached by our friend Andria, wanting to do a mattress swap. She wanted our full box spring in exchange for a queen mattress. They had a full mattress and a queen mattress, but needed a full box spring and she new we were in the market for a bigger bed.

My first thought was "no way in hell am I accepting a mattress from everyone after what I had just gone through with Sarah". To give her the benefit of the doubt, she brought the mattress over and I did a 150-point inspection on it and thankfully there were no stains, odors, or diseases and we really couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a queen bed for the first time in our lives. So we got rid of the full mattress, bought a queen box spring, and it felt like heaven, sleeping on a queen from a full. But that feeling only lasted one night. The bed was uncomfortable and bouncy and it was difficult to get a good night's sleep. But we were poor so we dealt with it because after all, we finally had a queen bed.

Two years later, our friends Julie and Karl moved down here and bought a king bed. We exchanged our queen mattress for their queen (theirs was a pillowtop) and then we were really in heaven. Not only had they conceived their three children on the mattress we now slept on, which just the mere thought of their lovemaking can put me right to sleep with happy thoughts, but it was pillowtop heaven!

Well, that didn't last long either. We had to share the bed with Winkie and a few months later, we got a puppy. So now there's four of us in one bed. Wanks sleeps on my pillow, Kahlua sleeps by my feet, and Emily sleeps wherever the hell she wants. No joke.

On an average night, I probably have about 1/8 of the bed at my disposal. Every night, I claim my slice of mattress and at least 3/4 of my body hangs off the bed. Not only because Kahlua takes up so much room, which is odd because she's small, but Emily is an extreme bed hog. She shoves a pillow 'tween her legs, yanks on the covers all night long, and has violent RLS (restless leg syndrome for you anti-acronym people) and a weird habit of rubbing her feet together to fall asleep. She is also a heavy mouth breather when she sleeps, so I'm always trying to find a way to avoid that. Also, I'm scared for my life when she changes positions. I fear one day I will bounce right off that thing because she treats it like a trampoline. I literally have to hold onto the sheets when she starts moving around otherwise I know I will fall off the bed.

Needless to say, I seem to have bad luck with mattresses. I still have nightmares from the George Washington crime scene bed, I haven't gotten a decent, uninterrupted night of sleep in years, and we NEED a king bed like this:

Or a bunk bed like this:

We haven't decided. And no, please don't offer us your used king bed or I will stab you in your sleep, Sarah's ex-douche style.

My Anti-Valentine

Oh Emily, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (BARF)

Emily is an off-key singing, terrible dancing, tennis ball sniffing, big breasted, smiling silly woman. And today, she is my anti-valentine and I am hers.

I hate Valentine's Day. There. I said it. I think it's stupid. Before you call me a hater, let me explain.

I consider myself to be romantic. Not hopeless, but I like to do nice romantic things for Emily. But I like to be original, unique. If I want to surprise her with a gift, a bouquet of flowers (and never roses), or a romantic dinner, I will pick a random day to do it. A day she's not expecting it. I love her every single day of the year, so I am in no mad hurry to show her that I love her "extra", one day out of the year. Because I don't. I don't love her extra on 14 February; I just love her every day. Plain and simple.

Plus there's too much pressure on people for Valentine's Day. What if I don't get enough roses? What if she doesn't like my gift? I got her a diamond ring last year; what can I get her this year that will top it? Where can we have a super romantic dinner? Um...no thank you. I have enough pressure in my life being awesome, I don't need any extra.

Every year, it's the same thing. People spend way too much money on roses, which honestly, are NOT the prettiest flowers on earth. Nor are they the cheapest. Unless you buy them from the Hispanic guy on the I95 exit ramp. People spend too much time stressing over and picking out a gift. Candles? Jewelry? Vacation? Gift certificates?

And don't even get me started on those people who think it's cute and original to propose on Valentine's day. Dude, that's about as original as making a ham on Easter. Come on.

The only thing Valentine's Day is good for is boosting the economy, helping small businesses (restaurants, chocolatiers, florists, etc.) making single people feel lonely, and helping married couples have sex during the week. In this respect, fine. Valentine's Day: 1. Me: 0. You may have won that battle, but I will win the war about Valentine's Day. This holiday causes more stress, panic, pressure, and heartache than Christmas!

Thankfully, Emily feels the same way about Valentine's Day as I do. In fact, one year she made me an Anti V-Day card that was blue and black and looked like a bruise and it may have featured an anti-love poem. I had never felt so in love before! Girl gets me.

By choosing to not celebrate, there's no pressure on me to perform as anything but myself on V-Day. No pressure to outdo myself every year. No pressure to be über romantic, spend tons of money on chocolate or flowers, or to really do anything special besides tell her I love her, which I do every day anyway.

I love doing romantic things for Emily. I love surprising her with Gerbera daisies (her favorite and way prettier than roses) randomly. I love taking her out on the town, my treat. I love leaving her short notes on the bathroom mirror. Sending her sweet text messages. I love doing all that, so although it's shocking that I don't revel in the splendor that Valentine's Day creates for other people, I just don't see the point in over-celebrating when I celebrate with her every day. I love her every single day and simply don't feel it's necessary to go out of my way, one day of the year, to proclaim my love for her in outrageous ways.

12 February 2013

Word 365: Week 6

Last week I reached a milestone. I wrote my 50th letter. Currently, I have written a total of 52, but that will change today when I send out my next batch. But 50 handwritten letters in 45 days! Holy cripes Batman! Luckily, most of these are short letters.

So, who was the lucky recipient of the 50th letter? EMILY DAVIS of course! She's my person and deserves it. It was nothing special, just a short and sweet letter, but I actually put it in the mail so she was lucky enough to receive a letter in the mail instead of me just putting it on the counter in the bathroom!!!

I also wrote letters to my parents. Last week was a milestone for them as well. As you probably read, Dad finished his last round of chemo, and hopefully the last one forever. I wrote them both nice letters, telling them how much I love them and how proud I am of their strength and positive thinking for the last few months.

I wrote a letter to a couple of my friends last week that I thought could use a pick me up in the form of a handwritten letter. Shelby, Stacy, and Toni were the recipients for those letters.  I wrote another letter to Jess Spengler (read her blog here) because she is also participating in this project. She chose to write 52 letters this year, but I hope and I know she will be able to write more.

My nephews and sister Jen also received letters and stories from me this week. I haven't heard anything from them yet, which I normally do, so either they didn't get the stories or they hated them! Honestly, it could go either way. HAHA

Last but not least, I wrote a letter to Julie just reminding her how much I value our friendship and another to Amanda, an old friend with whom I rarely see or speak to, but our friendship is still strong and we can pick up where we leave off, which is the sign of a great foundation.

I wish I could give you a sneak peek into next week, which would be the letters I'm writing this week, of which there are none yet. Without further ado, I have to get writing but before I go, please enjoy this photobomb.

That kid is multi tasking; photo bombing whilst crapping his pullups and getting ready to take off his shirt. Well done Ese, well done.

07 February 2013

Adios, Chemo!!!

6 February 2013. My dad's last chemo treatment. Hopefully forever. But for now, "for now" will suffice.

Let me back up a bit. 19 July 2012. The day I turned 30. Also my mom's birthday (I won't give away her age). And we all received terrible news. Dad has colon cancer. Needs surgery immediately, then recovery, then chemo for 6 months. Holy crap, Batman!!!

Needless to say, it's been a looooooong 7 months or so. The surgery was a success, recuperation was a bitch, but Dad got through it. Chemo was okay at the beginning, but he felt like death towards the end. But death it is not. Dad made it through, he is soon on his way to recovery and will bounce back to his old sarcastic, snarky, somewhat racist self.

And I for one, cannot wait to have my Dad back.

But Tom Kelly didn't do this on his own. Sure, it was his body, but without the love and support from our family and friends and the power of prayer and positive thinking, the outcome might have been different. So, I'm sending a shout out to all of you who helped my family, prayed, sent positive thoughts, food, gifts, who sat with him at chemo, who visited him in the hospital or at home, gave him or my mom rides, etc., or for people who could do nothing besides keep him in your thoughts. No matter what you did or who you are, just know words will never express our appreciation.

He's not in the clear just yet though; he still needs another colonoscopy, a cat scan, and I'm sure other blood tests in the future to determine if the chemo worked, if the cancer is gone, etc.; but for now, he's good. Even so, keep praying (those of you who pray), keep sending positive thoughts and vibes his way, and just think of us every now and then. He might be 70 years old, but we are not ready to lose him and the power of positive thinking and willpower to live is amazing. Tom Kelly, we still need you around.

I mean, how can you NOT love this guy???

Tom Kelly is one of a kind. For those of you who know him, no explanation is necessary. For those of you who don't, you know you wish you did. He's an incredible father and man, albeit a pain in the ass most of the time. :)

Thanks again for everything these last few months, all of you. It really means a lot. Much love. xoxo.

Word: 365 Week 5

Well, another week down. I've already written my letters for week 6, but won't post about that until next week. Trying to keep a week ahead.

In week 5, I sent letters to a few family members. Vicki and Tom, Nicci and Jason--just nice, short letters. I sent another story to my nephews. Bowling for Asians. Read it here. It's a dandy. Of course, I edited it.

From my sneak peek into this week, I posted this last week:

I wrote Emily a letter telling her how proud of her I am regarding work and a letter to Tara with things I will and will not miss about her living with us. Last night, they said to me "aren't you supposed to write 365 different letters to 365 different people?" My response: I made the rules. I will write repeat letters. I already posted about that and I feel that some people deserve more than one letter. Suck it bitches.

I wrote an old friend, Katie, a letter, letting her know that although we don't speak often, I think about her and her family. 

I also wrote my dear friend Jason a letter for his 30th birthday, and it was my favorite letter of the week. I wrote that since he's turning 30, certain things might happen. He might go bald, he might finally come out and NOT surprise anyone, he might get drunk after a few beers, he might find himself in a sexless relationship that resembles marriage. At the end I said, oh shit. This all happened in your 20's. SSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOORRRRRYYY.

The best letter I wrote all week (not the most fun, but the best) was to the family of Leanna Kossack. Leanna was a 17-year old girl from my hometown who was diagnosed in October with a rare form of cancer. According to her FB page (I recommend checking it out if you're in the mood for inspiration, or if you're feeling sorry for yourself) she fought the disease with everything she had. Only 17 years old and she's one of the strongest people I've ever heard about. She was an amazing young woman and had family and friends who loved her dearly. Unfortunately, Leanna lost her battle with cancer on 28 January 2013. I wrote a simple letter of condolences to her family; whether they ever read it or not, that's their decision. But it's out there. At the end of the day, this family is from my hometown and we stick together, whether we know each other or not. I keep this family in my thoughts, and I hope anyone who has heard or read about this story does as well.

Sneak peek into next week:
I wrote my 50th letter, reaching a milestone. Who received it? Tune in next week!!!

Since I know everyone loves a good photobomb, me in particular (I try to photobomb my own pictures), I saw this and thought it was probably one of the best photobombs I've ever seen.


Made by Lena