Friday, October 29, 2010

Your chicken strips are showing

I learned a new phrase this morning thanks to Case at Great Job All Week (I mean it).

I stalk his blog on occasion and read whatever posts might interest me.  This particular one was about motorcycles, which do not interest me, but for some reason I read it anyway.

I'll summarize his post so you won't have to read it unless you just want to:  blah blah blah blah chicken strips.

I know, it caught my eye too.  I couldn't figure out what in the heck chicken strips had to do with motorcycles so naturally I Googled it.  Fortunately, I was not traumatized by what I found.

You can read about chicken strips at Motorcyclebloggers.com.  I even borrowed this lovely photo from Timberwoof's motorcycle page.

So now you know.  Chicken strips are the lack of wear marks on a motorcycle tire due to not leaning very far into your turns.  If your tires show no chicken strips then your kneecaps probably show no flesh as well, but you will be considered more manly by your crotch rocket riding friends.

I can't let a perfectly good brand-new-to-me phrase go to waste, so I've come up with some ways that I can work it into my everyday conversations.

     Me: There's that snooty Martha with her fancy new minivan.

     Nameless Friend: Omigosh, look, it still has chicken strips!!!

     Both of us laughing hysterically: What a LEUSER!!


Me:  Uh, excuse me...EXCUSE ME!  Did you not read the sign???  You can't use the express lane if your grocery cart still has chicken strips.  Sorry, I don't make the rules.


     Jayson: It's too hot out here to mow.

     Me: (sipping tea from my lounge chair) It's okay honey, I'll cheer you on.

     Jayson:  No really, I think I'm having a stroke.

     Me: (fanning myself with my magazine) You can do it, baby, grind the chicken strips off that mower!


Nameless Friend: Ohhhh, look at the sweet baby over there.

Me: Must be a new mother, her stroller still has chicken strips.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo Meet & Greet

I survived the meet & greet with my new NaNoWriMo friends and I'm glad to report that none of them turned out to be a serial killer.

The three there besides myself were Sean, Angel and Will.  Sean is our friendly leader, he's very intelligent and has lots of writing experience.  Angel studies archaeology, she's beautiful and gives people the benefit of the doubt.  Will is into politics, has a killer smile and needs to marry my daughter.

All three have done NaNoWriMo before, or at least attempted to do it, so they had tons of helpful tips for me.  I had pretty much nothing to offer them except for unwanted attention from the police.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to Exect When You're Socially Awkward

Last week I was trolling through some of the blogs that I follow and I noticed that Beta Dad had some kind of contest going on.  I'm embarrassingly noncompetitive so I normally just skim over those things but this one caught my eye.

From what I understand, the folks who publish the What To Expect When You're Expecting books contacted Beta Dad and asked him to write a review/endorsement of their books and in exchange they would provide him with several copies to give away to his readers.

Beta Dad turned it into a contest where his readers could share their embarrassing sex ed stories and his wife would choose her 12 favorites to receive one of the books.  Since my life is pretty much one long embarrassing sex ed story after another, I had a couple of things to share.

Oddly enough, I won a book.  I don't have much of a need for it at this point in my life, but I will pass it along to one of my pregnant friends.  Since Jayson had a vasectomy about 10 years ago, if I ended up pregnant now, the book I would need would be What To Expect When You're in Divorce Court.

Tomorrow night I will be meeting some of the other local loonies who are participating in NaNoWriMo.  We're meeting for coffee at the CC's on Ambassador at Congress at 6:00 p.m.

I'm telling you this in case one of them ends up being some kind of freaky serial killer who poses as a literary geek who tries to write a 50,000 word novel every November.  He lures his victims to a crowded coffee house and gets her wired on espresso in the hopes that her hyper alertness will cause temporary disorientation and frequent trips to the bathroom where he can grab her and take her back to his evil lair.  One he has his victim on his turf, the real horror begins.  Too much caffeine makes the killer too jittery to kill his victim without causing serious injury to himself, so instead he forces her to play Guess Which Jackie Collins Novel is My Favorite until she loses the will to live and does a swan dive off his third floor balcony just to stop the pain.

Tragic, I know.

When it comes to meeting new people, I have this love/hate thing going on.  I like meeting new people cuz the old ones get boring after a while.  But I'm always a little apprehensive at first because these things tend to show off my lack of social skills.  I get a little nervous and when that happens I start to babble uncontrollably and I can hear myself saying the most ridiculously idiotic things but I can't stop myself so I will drink more coffee to occupy my mouth but that just throws fuel on the fire.

By the end of the night I will be exhausted and embarrassed but I guess that's okay if the alternative is death by Jackie Collins.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Insert Inappropriate Title Here

Some content may not be suitable for children...reader discretion is advised. 

I should have that phrase tattooed on my forehead.  Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about balls lately, due in part to this hilarious commercial.

Jayson's been home since Wednesday which means we're back to watching all the man channels on TV at a volume that can be heard from the space shuttle.  This is because he's deaf in one ear and can't hear out of the other.  I used to get confused as to which one is the bad ear until he gave me a little tip that helped to me to remember which is which.  His deaf ear is the one that's always closest to me.

Jayson likes UFC which is on SpikeTV...all testosterone all the time.  While he's watching the fights I'm usually in the living room with him either playing on my computer, reading, making jewelry or doing some other extremely important task that prevents me from cooking and cleaning.  

I've gotten very good at tuning out the TV and rarely even pay attention to what he's watching.  But lately the Axe Detailer commercial has grabbed my attention by the... .

Okay, yeah, it's inappropriate.  But it's extremely well done inappropriateness and I can respect that.  Jaime Pressly's facial expressions are perfect and I know we would be best friends if she would ever return my calls.  I nearly bust a gut when she says, "throw those fuzzy suckers down here".  And that other gal plays with those golf balls just long enough to make you really uncomfortable...which is the point so, good job!  At the end of the commercial I am very touched by the way Jaime shows her humanitarian side when she breathes new life into Mr. Hackerman's dirty old balls.  What a gal!

Obviously I have no problem with balls and could have fun talking about them all day long.  This might cause a person to come to the conclusion that my moral compass is off and I've probably corrupted my 19 year old daughter as well.  Yeah, not so much.

They say the apple never falls far from the tree but I don't think she and I were even in the same orchard.  When it comes to morals, values and a sense of right and wrong and what's appropriate and what's not...Taylor is as straight as an arrow.  I, on the other hand, have tied my arrow into a bow that suits my current mood.  Needless to say, my daughter often shakes a disapproving finger at me.  I used to be like her until I gave birth to her so I figure she'll loosen up eventually.

Back to balls.  I know people have different terms they like to use for their body parts and I have no problem with that.  In fact, most of the time, the proper medical term for some parts is more offensive to me than a slang word.  

Take, for instance, vagina.  It's just not an attractive word.  And it makes me think of fajitas but I'm not sure why.  Anyway, when Taylor was first learning about her body parts she would say that she had a front butt and a back butt.  That worked for a while until she asked more questions which forced me to get a little more technical.  Since my mother never even told me that I had lady bits much less what to call them, I thought I'd be all hip and mature and much better than she was by teaching my daughter the proper medical term for her parts.  This backfired big time when she was about 3 years old and stood up in the cart in a very crowded grocery store and said in that glass cutting toddler shriek, "MY VAGINA ITCHES!!"  

I did what any mother would do in that situation.  I looked at her calmly and said, "it's a good thing your mother isn't here or she'd be really embarrassed."

Nowadays we respectfully refer to our girlie goodies as our hoo-hoo (sounds like who-who) or our vajayjay.  Not that we sit around talking about it all day long, but it does come up in conversation from time to time.

When Taylor turned 6, she had her first slumber party which was also the first slumber party for most of her young guests.  I think we had about 8 girls and one of the things we did to keep them busy was to help them put on a fashion show.  My sister helped them into dress up clothes and jewelry in Taylor's bedroom, then they walked out into the living room to strut their stuff while I video taped.

One little girl had put on this little red sequined dress that my mother had worn for real when she was young but I wore it as a Halloween costume.  As she got closer to the video camera, I noticed that she had stuffed wash clothes into the top of the dress to give her some cleavage.  This really took me by surprise since the girls were only 6 and I wouldn't have thought they'd even think to go there.

As she walked closer I said, "what's that in the top of your dress??"  She grabbed the front of her, uh, wash clothes, looked at me like I was an idiot and said, "you gots to have tits!"

Of course I nearly dropped the camera but I'd had enough experience with this kind of thing to know that if I made a big deal about it we'd never hear the end of it.  If I ignored it, it would go away.  So I ignored it.  And it went away.  But it was all I could do to keep from screaming, "NO!  NO you DON'T gots to have tits!!  We don't say that here!!"

We tend to be more conservative and refer to our chest area as the booblical area.  Or, we may speak respectfully of our breasticles.  No other euphemisms will do.

Since Jayson is the only man in the house, we spend much less time talking about man parts which is a shame since there are dozens of entertaining slang words that can be substituted for them.  When Taylor was little, Jayson had started referring to his jewels, as in don't kick Daddy in the... .  We avoid testicles since that might be confused with breasticles.  

In our house a penis is a penis.  There's no need to even substitue for that one since penis is already such a cute little word.  I have a friend whose grandson calls it his manhood.  I love that!

I think I had a point when I started this but now it's late and I forgot.  It was something about how I think it's healthy to be able to laugh at balls.  Or something like that.

My paternal grandmother was the most Godly woman I've ever known.  She taught Sunday school at the local Big Baptist Church for 45 years.  She loved the Lord.  Jesus was her BFF.  But she wasn't one of those stuffy Stepford Christians, she was the real deal.  It didn't matter who she was talking to, she gave that person her undivided attention, made them feel like the most important person in the room and she would speak to the cleaning lady the same way she'd speak to the President.

When I was pregnant with Taylor I was talking with Grandma and I have no idea how the subject came up, but we ended up talking about sex.  Which was weird.  We'd never talked about that before and like I said, I'm not sure how we got there.

I remember telling her how I thought it was interesting that when men talk to each other about sex it's usually a bunch of bragging and lying.  Or at least that's what I thought at the time.  But when women talk about sex we are extremely graphic and brutally honest.

My grandmother said that she was just glad I was talking about it because she said that people who aren't talking about it aren't doing it either.  

I think there's probably some truth to that but even if there isn't, that's the justification I use for most of my inappropriateness.  It's just a sign of a healthy sex life.  Which is good.  So....balls. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dirty Balls?

I have a whole lot to say about this but I'm working right now so it will have to wait till later.  I know...the suspense is practically unbearable.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NaNoWriMo...or Robin Williams on a Rhino

During some of my random internet wanderings, I happened upon a blog where the writer was talking about how they joined this club type thing where they write a novel in 30 days.  Intrigued, I clicked the link and discovered the site for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

Being a visual person, NaNoWriMo gives me very conflicting visual images.  The NaNo part of it gives me fond memories of Mork and Mindy.  But the WriMo part sounds like rhino so every time I see that abbreviation I see Robin Williams on the back of a rhinoceros.  And I think that should be their logo.

So I read up on this NaNoWriMo thing and found that it is a part of a non-profit called The Office of Light and Letters which I swear is straight out of Harry Potter.  I'm still not exactly sure what they're all about but it seems like they exist to promote creative writing and encourage young people to write.  Or something.  It wasn't important for me to know so I just skimmed it.

Every November they give the world the opportunity to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  That's a lot of words in not a lot of time but I can see the advantages.  You know how if you have all weekend to clean your house it will take you all weekend?  But if some surprise guests just called you and said they're on their way you can have the house cleaned in 15 minutes.

The time it takes to complete a task will expand to fill the time allotted for that task.  That sounds like physics, I bet Einsten said that.  Or Martha Stewart.

So basically, if you give yourself 10 years to write a novel, it will take 10 years.  If you give yourself 30 days, it will take 30 days.  Sort of.  You certainly can't expect to get the thing written and edited in that amount of time but the NaNoWriMo folks know that and make allowances in their rules.

I thought to myself, heck I can write, I'll sign up and write myself a novel!  I've had book plans in the back of my mind for years so this should be a breeze.  Unfortunately I had temporarily forgotten that I don't write fiction.  I don't even know how to write fiction.

Some of the other writers on the Lafayette forum are talking about the ideas they have for scenes and characters and plots and there are outlines and interviews and notes and I'm thinking, "huh??"  I was supposed to have PLANNED for this??!  Well crap.

Still, I'm moving forward because this is something I've never tried before and how will I know if I can do it if I don't ever try?  I'm all about trying new stuff and I'm totally fine with failing new stuff too.  Fortunately there are no real consequences if you fail to complete your book within 30 days.  This is basically just for personal growth, it's not going to lower my credit score or anything.

The problem is that I don't even have a starting point.  Not even a vague idea of what to write about.  If I could just come up with a rough idea of where to start, I know I could build on it.

This reminds me of a car trip several years ago.  I don't know where we were going or why, but we had Taylor and her friend Nikki in the car with us and they were maybe 9-10 years old.  If I remember right, it was getting dark outside and starting to rain.  To pass the time we made up a story one sentence at a time.  Jayson would say a sentence then I would add to it, then Taylor, then Nikki and we just kept going like that.

It naturally progressed into a horror story and when Taylor introduced the uber-scary villian, she said in her most frightening voice, "...and his name was...The Dotted Line of Symmetry!!"

Okay, that made no sense which made it absolutely hilarious.  Evidently the girls were learning about symmetry in their math class and maybe that was horrifying for them.  I'm really not sure.  But here we are 10 years later and the Dotted Line of Symmetry (always said in a scary voice) still shows up in conversation from time to time.

When Jayson gets home we are going to play the Dotted Line of Symmetry game again and maybe that's how I'll write my novel.  I'll just build on whatever random ideas come out of our mouths.  If all else fails, I'll write a trashy romance novel that doesn't require any thought at all.  It's okay for me to say that because I love trashy romance novels.

The Hooker Grandma

Today I went to a very nice wedding shower for a friend who is getting married in December.  The invitation said, "Please join us in showering..." which made me feel like I should be showing up with a bar of soap and a loofah.

Dressing for these occasions is always a struggle for me.  I would prefer to wear nice jeans with a nice top and some nice shoes.  All of my jeans either have paint on them or a hole in them, my nice tops are clinging a little too tightly to that second belly roll I am nurturing, and my nice shoes hurt my bunions.

About once every year or so I will wear a dress or skirt if I happen to have one that fits and it isn't too hideously out of style.  As I was dressing for the shower this afternoon, I remembered a skirt and top that I bought recently and thought it might be cute shower wear.

The skirt is long, brown, full and stretchy.  The top is long, tan, full and stretchy.  My kinda clothes.  Then I got all excited because I remembered my new hooker boots that I haven't had a chance to wear yet!  They're black so I knew they would go with my earthy ensemble.

I put on the outfit and immediately felt a little too....full and stretchy.  It wasn't working for me and Taylor agreed. 

I ditched the skirt and replaced it with some long, brown, full and stretchy pants.  That was an improvement but it didn't look right with the boots and I had my heart set on wearing them so I ditched the pants.

Then I put the skirt back on and pulled it up under my armpits to shorten it, I replaced the tan shirt with a multi colored one that I frequently wear with jeans and I added a pair of brown tights.  Taylor said it just had too much going on...which I took to mean that it made me look fat.  So I yanked the skirt back down to my waist but the pained looked on Taylor's face told me that it didn't help.

At that point I was already 10 minutes past my targeted departure time so I had to make a fast decision.  I took off the skirt, put the tan shirt back on, zipped up my boots and asked Taylor to tell me honestly if it looked like I forgot to put on pants.  I have a recurring nightmare where I am either pantless or completely naked in public and I am so mortified that I can barely function but no one around me seems to even notice.  That is definitely one nightmare I do NOT care to live out in real life.

Taylor assured me that I did not look pantless and she had to reassure me several times that the shirt/dress (which is what it was intended to be) was not obscenely short.  She said since I was wearing tights, it was okay.  Once again I asked her to tell me honestly if it looked bad or inappropriate or anything.  She said, "no, you just look like a cross between a hooker and grandma".

I was temporarily stunned that my daughter would say something so disgustingly vulgar about her mother and I made her apologize immediately for saying I looked like a grandma.

I still felt extremely self-conscious and couldn't bring myself to leave the house without something besides tights on my lower extremities.  A quick tour of my closet reverified that I have no other skirts or pants (that still fit me) that would work with this outfit.

In a flash of brilliance I thought, bike shorts!  A pair of bike shorts would give me the security I needed without even showing.  No one would know I was wearing them!  Unfortunately, I don't own a pair of black bike shorts.  I own a pair of neon red bike shorts.  So I wore a pair of neon red bike shorts under my stylish, flowing tan shirt/dress.

I felt fully dressed and didn't have to worry about causing an R rating if I happened to drop my napkin at the shower.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The bane of my existence.

There is one aspect of my job that I'm not particularly crazy about (okay, I've had nightmares about it) and I often describe it as the bane of my existence.  The last time I said that, Dennis (my pastor/boss) asked if I even knew what "bane" meant.

Never being one to lie about my stupidity since it shows every time I open my mouth, I admitted to him that I didn't exactly know what bane meant but I knew the gist of it and was confident that I was using the phrase correctly.

He said I couldn't keep using that phrase if I didn't even know what all the words meant.  Dennis has pretty good grammar skills and is an excellent speaker/teacher but there have been times when we've had to call an English teacher to get grammar or language advice on his sermon notes.  He does not even try to present himself as the grammar police so I knew this had nothing to do with me using words that I didn't know the definition for, but probably more to do with the fact that he's tired of hearing me complain about the bane of my existence and thought this might put an end to it.  And it did.  For a few days.

I saw the logic in not using words that I, myself, don't fully understand so I set about to educate myself.  Here is what I've learned about "bane":

From ChaCha:
Something or someone is "the bane of my existence" means that the person or thing is a constant irritant or source of misery.
          _____________________________________________________________________
Bane \Bane\ (b[=a]n), n.
  1. That which destroys life, esp. poison of a deadly quality.
  2. Destruction; death.
  3. Any cause of ruin, or lasting injury; harm; woe.
  4. A disease in sheep, commonly termed the rot.
    _____________________________________________________________________  
From yourdictionary.com:
bane (bān)
noun
  1. Old Poet. deadly harm; ruin; death
  2. the cause of distress, death, or ruin
  3. deadly poison: now obsolete except in ratsbane, etc.  _____________________________________________________________________  
bane noun \ˈbān\
1 a obsolete : killer, slayer 
   b : poison  
   c : death, destruction bane 
   d : woe
2: a source of harm or ruin : curse bane than a boon for mankind 
        _____________________________________________________________________
bane[beyn] –noun

  1.  a person or thing that ruins or spoils: Gambling was the bane of his existence.
  2. a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants): wolfsbane; henbane.
  3. death; destruction; ruin.
  4. Obsolete . that which causes death or destroys life: entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane. 
        _____________________________________________________________________
bane n

1. a person or thing that causes misery or distress (esp in the phrase bane of one's life)
2. something that causes death or destruction
3.   a.  a fatal poison
      b.  (in combination) ratsbane
4. Archaic ruin or distress


I believe I now have a pretty darn good grasp of the word "bane", what it means, and how to properly use it in a sentence.  Now that I have educated myself and apparently met the minimum requirements for "bane" usage, I intend to get some good mileage out of my efforts and will be using the word "bane" at every possible opportunity.

And just so you know, that thing that was the bane of my existence before I knew what bane was?  It's even more of a bane now.    

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Broken window rollie uppie downie things

Apparently I am incapable of learning and apparently it is genetic.  Here is a recent conversation between my sister and mother:

     Shamayn: Jayson's gonna be gone a lot traveling to Houston, Aberdeen and then Houston and then home.
    Mom: Where's Aberdeen?
    Shamayn: I dunno.  Canada, I guess.


Bless their hearts.  Neither of them are stupid, they're just over 40 which is my excuse for the majority of my noticeable flaws.

Here's how stupid over 40 I am.  When Jayson left for Houston last week he wanted to take Taylor's car to "see how it handled on the highway".  She hasn't had it very long and certainly hasn't ventured out onto anything resembling a highway, so that was his excuse to get to drive the new car.

Taylor was fine with that as long as she got to drive my car for the 3 weeks Jayson will be test driving hers.  Jayson and I both drive 10 year old Durangos that are almost identical except for the color and the wear and tear.  Mine has more wear, his has more tear.  We tend to drive our cars until they literally become undriveable and only then will we consider replacing them.  My Durango is still in fairly decent shape and so is Jayson's thanks to some strategically placed duct tape.

One little inconvenience that both of our Durangos are experiencing is a broken window rollie uppie downie thing.  One day I was just driving along and one of the backseat windows fell down and couldn't get up.  Jayson pulled the window up and we wedged it into place with some scraps of rubber that I had lying around.  I rarely even think about not being able to roll that window down because I never sit in the backseat of my own car.  And if I did, I'm not the wind in your hair kind of gal and would never have a reason to roll the thing down unless the entire car was under water and I needed to escape.  In which case I'm betting the window rollie uppie downie thing wouldn't work anyway.

Shortly after my window mechanism died, one of Jayson's windows suffered the same fate.  Unfortunately for him, it was the driver's side window.  Also unfortunately for him, we used up all the good rubber scraps on my window so he was left with the duct tape option.  Not being able to roll down the driver's side window is a significant inconvenience but the duct tape that's holding his car together doesn't really bother Jayson.  I guess that's because he's a guy.  Or because after 20+ years of being married to me he has absolutely no sense of pride left.  I will stop traffic at a major intersection just to pick up a cool looking rusty bottle cap.  My face will glow with excitement as I carefully cradle the bottle cap in my hands and clutch it to my chest as if it was a 3 carat diamond.  I can see how that might take its toll after a while.

I've been driving the duct tape mobile with the inoperable driver's side window for approximately 10 days and during that time I have tried to go through the drive-through of the bank, Cane's, Starbuck's, Sonic and Taco Bell...twice.  What does this say about me, other than I eat too much fast food?  That's right. I am a moron with zero short term memory and incapable of learning my lesson through repeated mistakes.

This morning at Starbuck's was the last straw.  Their drive-through is a tiny single lane thing where once you pull in there's no graceful way to change your mind and pull out.  That wasn't an option anyway because I was at the caffeine or die stage.  I ripped the duct tape off the window placed my order, then wedged a little piece of paper between the glass and the weather stripping, hoping it would hold long enough for me to get to work where I could tape it back up.  Well, it didn't even make it from the ordering speaker to the pick-up window.

Now I'm left with the task of either taping the window back up like it was or covering the window opening with plastic.  I guess taping it back up would draw less attention than a big garbage sack flapping in the wind, but if the past is any indication I will just end up busting through it the next time I'm in a drive-through with a craving.  And there will be a next time since the fact that the window doesn't work seems to just slide off my Teflon brain.

Now I'm just wondering how many times it will rain inside the car before I remember that the window is down and I need to deal with it.  My guess is 4.

Friday, October 08, 2010

18 Hours as a Fugitive

Last night when I got home from work, I tossed some junk mail onto the growing pile that has been accumulating for weeks, just waiting for me to make that long 10 step journey to the recycle bin.  This was feeling like the right time to take it out so I flipped through the stack just to make sure no "real" mail accidentally got mixed in.

Sure enough,  I came across an envelope from the City Court of Lafayette.  I noticed they included my maiden name which I never use but it appears on my drivers license.  Being smarter than your average bear, I deduced that this must have something to do with the ticket I got several months ago for having an expired inspection sticker.

The fee for that ticket was payable only by money order or cashier's check which is inconvenient for me so I put off paying it until the very last minute.  It was due on October 4 and I mailed it in on October 1.  I thought maybe the check was late so this was probably their standard nastygram they send out warning you of dire consequences unless you pay immediately.  I live in the world of the check and the past due notice crossing in the mail so this idea didn't phase me one bit.

Then I actually opened the envelope and saw "Notice of Arraignment" at the top.  To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what arraignment means but I've seen enough legal dramas on TV to know that it isn't good.  My first thought was, "oh shit".  Can I say that here?  Sure I can, it's my blog.  I'm a recovering potty mouth and the only time words like that slip out is when something happens that causes me extreme distress or when using them would be really funny.  This was one of those uncontrollable distress utterances.

I read the whole thing but focused mainly on the part about if I didn't appear in court on October 4 a warrant would be issued for my arrest.  I opened my date book to see what I was doing on October 4 (I'm not lying, I checked my date book) and sure enough, I was not in court that day.

Once the initial shock passed and I was able to think more clearly, I decided that they hadn't received my payment on time and this is just standard procedure for when that happens.  To verify my theory, I took a closer look at the outer envelope to check the postmark date.  It was sent on September 9!  This caused me to repanic and I started wracking my brain trying to think of any other crimes I had recently committed.  Nothing came to mind (although I neglected to check my date book on this one) so I settled back in with my inspection sticker ticket.

When you get a traffic ticket in the great state of Louisiana, there is a phone number on the back that you have to call 2 days after the ticket is issued to find out what your fine is and when it's due.  I did manage to follow those instructions in a timely manner and the gal who answered the phone told me that my fine was $105.00 and it was due on October 4.  I can't remember the exact date that I got the ticket but it was several months ago.  I do remember commenting to her about the due date and she said something about me having  plenty of time to come up with the money so I was fairly certain I had written down the correct due date.  After I hung up I wrote directly on the ticket "$105.00" and "October 4" then stuck it in my date book.

Still more than slightly concerned that this arraignment notice thing had been mailed out in September, way in advance of my due date, I fished around in my purse and did manage to find the receipt for my money order.  This made me feel a little better since I was fairly certain I was going to have to produce proof of payment to someone at some time.  Then I got to thinking about that due date.  It was given to me over the phone by a gal whose name I did not ask for.  If push came to shove, it would be my word against hers and since I didn't know who she was I was looking pretty screwed.  I was almost comforted by the fact that I had written the due date on the ticket but then I remembered that I mailed the ticket with my payment and didn't bother to make a copy for myself.  Obviously that thing I said earlier about being smarter than the average bear was a big fat lie.

I had pretty much decided that I wrote down the wrong due date, my payment was due way back in September, and Dog the Bounty Hunter would be knocking on my door at any minute.  I took inventory of my general appearance and decided that I'd look right at home in jail.  I had changed clothes after work and put on a ratty t-shirt that I would probably end up sleeping in as well and a pair of shorts that are not fit for pubic viewing.  This didn't bother me at all since I gave up caring about fashion when I graduated from high school and became responsible for buying my own clothes.  They are nothing more than a necessity to cover nudity, I could care less what they look like.  Seeing a mug shot in my future I actually perked up a little since I was having a fairly decent hair day and had no obvious zits, rashes or unruly nose hairs to deal with.  Then I looked down and noticed that I was in dire need of a pedicure and I hoped Dog would let me put on tennis shoes before dragging me off to the pokey.

Before my imagination got too far ahead of me I decided to take another look at the envelope of doom.  I reverified that the postmark date was indeed in September and I chastised myself for letting the junk mail pile up like it did without doing a thorough search.  In my own defense, I really think that whoever it is that mails out that big wad of ads and sale circulars every Wednesday should be held at least partially responsible.  It's so easy to lose good mail in that wad of junk.  I made a mental note to find out who that person is cuz if I go down, they're going with me.

As I stared at the postmark it dawned on me that this couldn't really be that important because it was sent by regular mail.  I wasn't served and it didn't even show up by certified mail.  I've been in enough trouble before to know that when something shows up by certified mail, they mean business.  I've been served before, too, but that's a story for another time.  So, I let go of it and decided not to waste one more second even thinking about it.

Okay, so that didn't happen.  I thought about it for the rest of the evening and most of today but instead of worrying I just had a little fun with it.  I started to imagine what it would be like to actually get arrested and have to spend the night in jail.  The blogging possibilities alone were making me giddy!!  Plus, I do like to try new things and this would definitely be new for me.  I know how to post bail for someone else but I've never been on the other side of that equation.

Jayson loves to watch Lockup on MSNBC so I was feeling like I had a good idea of what to expect should I get thrown in the slammer.  I knew I would be finger printed and given an unflattering orange jumpsuit to wear but I totally blocked out that part where they make you squat and cough...that simply would NOT be happening in my jailhouse fantasy.  I've never seen the parish jail but I envisioned being in a large holding cell with several other women who were prostitutes, drug addicts, or both.  I bet they would have some fascinating stories!

I figured it would be rough at first because they always pick on the new girl and they would see me as an easy target.  But while they were trying to pick a fight with me, I would use my lightening wit to overpower them and make them laugh, then we would all be best friends.  We would sit in a circle, talk about our lives and past relationships, our kids, our hopes and dreams, and we would share recipes.

I did consider the fact that things might not go that well and one of the larger girls might decide that I needed to be her girlfriend.  I would probably be flattered that she chose me until it came time to put out, then my whole brain just curled up in the fetal position and started reciting nursery rhymes.  Since I am sometimes under the delusion that I can talk myself out of anything, I went ahead and played that scenario out in my head to see how I would handle it.

The first thing I thought about was the ultrasound I had done on my girlie parts last week.  I was supposed to drink 32 oz. of water before the appointment to give them a better view of my uterus.  I guess I didn't drink enough because when she ran the thingie across my tummy she said my bladder wasn't full enough which caused her to not be able to see the whole uterus.  She even showed me on the screen and showed me how big my bladder needed to be.  She gave me 2 options:  sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes and drink 2 more bottles of water or she could do a vaginal ultrasound.  Guess which one I chose?

45 minutes and 2 bottles of water later she took another look and said the good news is that my bladder was just the right size...but the bad news is that it just made things worse.  Evidently my uterus tilts toward the back so now she couldn't see it at all.  Perfect.  She was going in.  The average woman my age has endured her share of embarrassing medical exams not to mention the whole child birth thing so this was really no big deal even though this particular exam was new for me.  Fortunately, I avoided the paper gown and just had to drop trou this time.  I was lying on the exam table, discreetly covered by a sheet, listening to her explain that I would feel something cold and a little bit of pressure but no pain.  Yeah, yeah, whatever, let's just get this over with.

Then I saw the instrument she intended to use for this exam.  There is absolutely no way I can describe it and keep this rated PG.  Can I just say it was....intimidating?  I'll leave it at that but I will say that as far as this type of exam goes, it was not any more unpleasant or uncomfortable than the other ways our doctors humiliate and violate us on a regular basis.  I still can't figure out why that thing needed to be so dang long.

Back to jail...as I was considering what I would do if Bertha decided I needed to be her girlfriend, I figured that after that ultrasound I'm pretty much a lesbian now anyway so I could just roll with it.  I put a little note about my new predicament on Facebook and felt so loved when some of my friends offered me almost 3 whole dollars for bail money!  I was a little surprised that out of at least half a dozen of my Facebook attorney friends, only one had the nerve to speak up and offer help.  He obviously typed without thinking.

I decided not to tell Jayson about my being a fugitive since he is in Houston this week and would likely worry himself into a migraine over it.  I went to bed knowing that this would somehow take care of itself tomorrow and I slept peacefully.

Tomorrow is today.  When I got to the office this morning I told my coworkers about my fugitive status and they all dove for the phone to turn me in, hoping that crimestoppers was offering a reward.  They were about as sympathetic as I expected them to be.  Dennis mused about how fun it would be if I got hauled off in handcuffs just as all the women were coming out of their bible studies.  Marti said that with any luck I would get community service and could fulfill that by just doing my regular job for free.  Jennifer called to check on me and suggested I add a mask to my black and white prison outfit so that I'd look more like the Hamburgler.  Not bad if I do say so myself!

I called the number on my little arraignment notice, told them I didn't know what this was for and gave them my case number.  The gal I talked to said it was for a traffic ticket but it has already been paid and is closed so I should just disregard the notice.

Disregard the notice??  Just disregard it?!?!  AS IF!  Did she not know the humiliation I suffered by being arrested and definitely not strip searched??  Did she have no sympathy for the fact that I needlessly spent the night in jail with a bunch of hookers and my new girlfriend Bertha??!!  How could I just disregard all that??!  Marti said she could definitely see that the whole experience had caused me tremendous pain and suffering but she was skeptical that we could find anyone to testify that I'm any more "off" than usual.

Once everything was cleared up I called Jayson to tell him the whole story and I carefully reassured him that he need not worry and I didn't tell him yesterday because I didn't want him to worry himself sick about it.  He said, "hey, it doesn't bother me, you're the one being arraigned so it's pretty much your problem".  Boy, did I call that one wrong or what?