Tag Archives: Childhood

we don’t need no stinking badges

This place knows nothing of Facebook, cell phones, or MAC foundation.

Who am I to go against the grain.

 
Hey, Smalls, you wanna s’more?
Some more of what?
No, do you wanna s’more?
I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
You’re killing me Smalls!

Outhouses and Mosquitos,
Swan

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caulk wagon and float it across

This past Saturday the Beetle and I went for a intense run leisurely walk by the river. This was especially fun for us because we used to live by the river.

See doesn’t that look peaceful? Now imagine sidewalks, apartment buildings, and a few pieces of trash.

 

I used to run this river path often so I felt the need to be a tour guide for the Beetle. I commented on the “old man” who would water his roses religiously, the Hispanic clan who’d play soccer in their apartment parking lot, and the drug dealers who  lived behind my old apartment.

This clearly is an upstanding part of town. 

My suggestion for withstanding similar living arrangements is a) grow a pair, b) take some Karate lessons from Mr. Miyagi.

(Warning: You may have to paint a fence or wash cars)

More importantly, Beetle and I used to live right on the river. Or as we liked to call it… Bum Mecca.

My two favorite bums were:

1) Cat man – a man who rode his bike around with all of his shit attached to the back of it. His cat would sit on top of his piles, balancing like a tight rope walker. What a loyal feline.

2) Skirt Man – It’s like it sounds. Except skirt man would appear in all different places and he would never talk, just stare. Creepy? Perhaps if he wasn’t wearing a skirt.

This past Saturday the Beetle and I saw Skirt Man again! However, he was sans skirt and had rather impressive luggage. Good for him!

 

Anyway, this blast from the past made me reminisce about river memories.

 

1) My first river memory involves a frantic call from the Beetle late at night (I happened to not be at the apartment, maybe I was in the middle of a tv show marathon, maybe not).

After a while I started to gather what had happened to her. She was enjoying a leisurely evening at home on the couch. The sliding glass door was open, allowing for a glorious summer breeze. She had noticed a rather sketchy character passing the walkway outside our apartment door, but thought nothing of it, this is river territory after all. Weirdos were a dime a dozen. Anyway, unexpectedly this man came up to the screen door (open to allow for the glorious breeze mind you) and started masturbating. Understandably, the Beetle jumped to her feet and slammed the glass door not on any appendages. She called the unhelpful police to report her horrific endeavor, and then called me presumably to give me a good laugh. How thoughtful.

2) My next river memory involves a detour I had to take to get to my apartment.

I was upset that I had to take this round about way to my apartment just because the street closest to it was closed. Later I found out it was closed because they found a body. I was unaware I lived near a filming of CSI.

3) My last river memory involves me on a run.

This one is short. At the end of my run I had the pleasure of witnessing a homeless man (not Cat Man or Skirt Man) shitting into a plastic bag. I get it. Your options are limited.  

I hope I’m painting this river picture for you Bob Ross style. Lots of happy trees and a feeling that you could jump right in and live there.

No?

Well whatever, suit yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, the river is a nice place to visit, but a horrible place to live.

Unless you enjoy cats and wear skirts. Check.

But also enjoy the possibility of stumbling upon a corpse while stepping in shit. Uncheck.

Rivers and Riff Raff,

Swan

p.s. Don’t Google bums. I’ve sufficiently warned you.

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i’d rather poke out my eye than diy

Has anyone ever referred to you as the HGTV Hilter?

No?

I wish I could say the same.

 

Let’s take a trip back into time….way back…back to the end of escrow. It was a glorious Spring day, filled with chirping birds, blossoming flowers, and electric saws.

When buying a home I felt it important to keep an open mind, look past any flaws, and be willing to DIY the shit out of things. While this is good in theory, it’s a miracle my husband and I survived it because, you guessed it, I was referred to as the HGTV Hitler.

Barking demands left and right…at least this is what I’m told. It’s all honestly a blur. I blacked out like a trauma victim.

Within a few weeks of entering the house my husband and I, with a little more emphasis on the husband, tackled the following:

Repainting the kitchen cabinets
Removing the popcorn ceiling
Re-texturizing the ceiling
Removing all doors and closet doors, painting them, putting them back up
Ripping up the carpet
Installing (most of) the new flooring
Removing and replacing all window blinds
Fixing the hot water heater
Installing all new kitchen and laundry appliances

I think this is all of it…

This list is crazy and I’m the first one to admit it.

So, with all of that being said we’ve taken a little break (eh, a year and a half or so) from the house for a lot of reasons. However the main one being we were exhausted and didn’t have Jeff Lewis to help us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or David Bromstad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Considering the people I would have wanted to be our helpers, I suppose our big problem was that neither of us are gay males. This seems like a huge oversight on my part)

Things were good and lazy…until this past weekend.

We did the following:

Cleaned and organized the garage, Pulled weeds, Made 5 trips to the dump, Cleaned up probably a years worth of dog shit in the yard (I wish this could be an exaggeration or that I could be embarassed about it), Shopped for and put together a new bed frame and hall bathroom

 

After all of this we celebrated with copious amounts of beer, food, and laughter. Man we felt accomplished. You’d think we’d just freed slaves, or discovered fire.

I wish I could say this was the end of this long, drawn out tale. But alas, we are about to embark on a whole new level of home improvement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Johnathan Taylor Thomas, moare affectionately known as JTT, what ever happened to your acting career? I thought you surely were a shoe in at the Oscars after your stellar performance in Man of the House. Your emotion during the rain dance scene made me cry.

 

So anyway, we will be tackling the roof.

Yes, the part of our house that protects us from the elements.

Yesterday they delivered a dumpster to my front yard, ya know, for ‘roof garbage’ or whatever. I was having renovation PTSD. Hopefully I don’t go all Leutenant Dan on people and start shouting war commands like “Hand me the hammer!” or “Yeah, you heard me right, we’re painting everything…even the ceiling and I’m aware that’s inconvenient.”

Wish us luck. We will need it. We cuss a lot.

Nails and Epic Fails,

Swan

And as a side note: Dear HGTV, you are deceptive. It’s not easy or fun to be a ‘Weekend Warrior’. Home improvements suck. Home improvements are no walk in the park. Your shows are just as bad as the Pantene Pro-V commercials I would watch as a child. My hair never looked that smooth or satiny. You made me believe my house would look professionally put together on a paupers budget. Blasphemy. My house may never have baseboards or working electrical sockets. I’ve come to terms.

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littlefoot just wants to reach the great valley where there are plenty of tree stars

Do you enjoy looking at fake animals and prehistoric dinosaur bones?

Good. You will enjoy the wonderful pictures I took at the Museum of Natural History.

Prior to that, I’d like to share 9 things I learned while on vacation that in hindsight I would have enjoyed knowing before getting on a jet plane.

1) Oddly enough the east coast seems to think toilet seat covers aren’t a necessity. Perhaps I have a new butt fungus, perhaps I don’t, things are still fermenting.

2) Cowboy boots are not a fashioneable or practical piece of footwear while in New York and walking 60 blocks.

3) Staking claim on the armrest on a plane is not rude, it’s survival. If you don’t do it the other guy will, and then you’ll be elbowed in the hip during your 4 hour flight.

4) The subway is not scary when you take it during the day and you’re not panicking about switching lines.

5) People in New York do not like to wait for anything. Why they have crosswalks I’m not sure.

6) Security lines for monuments are no joke. Perhaps wearing silver chains and sweatshirts with a thousand zippers isn’t wise because then they’ll make you take off your shoes and treat you like a terrorist.

7) When someone tells you, “These sandwichs are so New York” that’s code for “These sandwiches contain an entire pig, 10 slices of bread, and require reinforcement underneath them to prevent the thick paper bag and butcher paper from ripping.”

8) Eating prior to entering the Met is a necessity, because walking that museum is like running a marathon, and their cafe is simply not sufficient enough to satiate all of it’s eager dwellers.

9) Get used to telling people no. Most corners have someone trying to sell you something. This ranges from horse and carriage rides to fake Louis Vuittons beautifully displayed on dirty sheets.

On to the museum of Natural History extravaganza…

Petrie and Spike,
Swan

P.S. I am currently dancing around my house to Carly Rae Jepsen. If that’s wrong I don’t wanna be right.

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you claim to be taller, but i think the ruler is just broken

Why is my sister cooler than everyone?

1) She can make a meal out of refried beans, lettuce, and broken taco shells.

2) She thinks animals are cooler than most people, so she goes out of her way to save as many as she can.

3) She sometimes goes out on a Tuesday, at 2am, just so she can dance.

4) She’s not ashamed to drink beer out of a bag while holding a penis straw.

5) She knows Barbie water beds are just zip lock bags filled with water, inside a Barbie tent made out of pillows.

6) She likes to run with me…sometimes…if the weathers nice….and she’s not tired.

7) She asks me for my opinion regarding her apartment and it’s level of haunting, because she agrees that I am ghosty gifted.

8) She humors me at Christmas, allowing me to force everyone to open one present at a time. It may take 4 hours, but damn it we savor the moment.

9) She naively went around our childhood neighborhood unknowingly calling our racist cat’s name, and still hasn’t forgiven our father for telling us our bunnies ran away when they were really driven to west sacramento, set free, and probably eaten by some Vietnamese grandma.

10) She knows how to finish this sentence. Camp Anawana we hold you in our hearts, and when we think about you, it makes me wanna…

Happy Birthday Beats on the Streets!

You smell of pickle juice and tea tree oil. That is badass.

Barney and Lambchops,
Swan

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the world could use a few more pony parades

Flashback Friday

This is completely unacceptable.

Is it just me or do these creatures look demonic?

The blue one actually looks upset. How can you be upset with rainbow hair? The orange one might have pink eye, and the yellow one appears to have just heard the saddest news imaginable.

This is how My Little Ponies are supposed to look…

I truly wish my mother would have saved my pony herd. Allegedly, I had so many I’d create pony parades.

A pony parade: is a straight line of ponies, that move forward simply by grabbing the caboose pony and moving them all the way up to the front of the line. My mother claims these parades would stretch from room to room.

Clearly I was a genius, and so incredibly self-sufficient.

Similarly, I vividly remember fighting over a pink sparkly pony in Kindergarten. I also remember having a pony with flapping wings, one with a spinning tail, and one that changed colors in the water. Legit.

None of these creepy eyed, alien ponies trying to be sold to the youth of America. I refuse to buy them you know whenever I have a child or it’s a Friday night and I’m feeling nostalgic while watching Rescue From Midnight Castle.

 Moondancer and North Star,

Swan

Side Note: If this does not make sense I am sorry. You clearly have gone throughout life without knowing joy.

Moondancer is a Unicorn Pony who debuted in 1983 as part of the Second wave of the Generation 1 Toyline. Moondancer then made her brief appearance in the first My Little Pony Special Rescue From Midnight Castle. Moondancer is one of the four kidnapped ponies in Dream Valley during Scorpan’s raid. Out of the four, she is the only Unicorn Pony that was corrupted by Tirek’s Rainbow of Darkness in order to pull his chariot. She was reverted back to normal after Tirek was destroyed. She has a daughter named Baby Moondancer, who is very shy. She got kidnapped by Catrina along with the Rainbow of Light to be used as a ransom to force the Bushwoolies to go back to her.

North Star is an explorer Pegasus Pony with a strong British accent. She has a good sense of direction, though she can be easily frazzled. She has a daughter named Baby North Star, who is one of the first tooth ponies, in charge of taking care of the twins Baby Snookums and Sniffles and Baby Milkweed and Tumbleweed. Like the other baby ponies, she has one tooth and was involved in a feud against Fudgey McSwain and Rocky Ripple.

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let them out of the vault, walt

Last week Beetle and I were flipping through our 900 television channels trying to find a suitable distraction (because let’s face it, the 75 hours of recorded TV was of no interest).

Luckily we stumbled upon the trusty Disney Channel, and Beauty and the Beast was on. Instantaneously we both squealed with excitement and settled in for the long haul.

Side Note: The Disney Channel had some really great entertainment back in the day. Oh you want examples? How about Zenon Girl of the 21st Century, The Thirteenth Year, Johnny Tsunami, and Brink! This was before they started producing shit like The Cheetah Girls.

Moving on..

It’s amazing what emotions 80s and 90s era cartoons will evoke! This got me thinking about all of the well-deserved winners who’ve made my Disney Superlatives list. No, I’m not embarassed. Beetle chimed right in when I started justifying my opinions, hence I know at least one other person who appreciates this astonishing use of time. The red wine might have helped too.

Best Castle: Beast

First of all, it’s huge. The shots from the outside show it’s vast square footage, it’s simply remarkable. Plus, who wouldn’t want talking inanimate objects pouring you tea and fluffing your pillow? All of this, plus a huge ballroom with an amazing mural, and a library that doesn’t institute late fees, make it the clear winner.

 

 

Saddest Scene: When Dumbo has to say goodbye to his mom

So the Beetle hasn’t seen this. I thought it would be wise to find this clip on YouTube and force her to watch it. I did. We both cried, out loud, hysterically. It wasn’t a good look. This could have been the wine as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Representation of Beetle in Disney Form: Belle

“I would totally be Belle because she’s smart and weird.” -Beetle

 

Best Representation of Swan in Disney Form: Ariel

“I would totally be Ariel because she’s fiery and defiant.” – Swan

 

Best Pet: Nana

How helpful! Does your dog get you water and give you medicine? Mine sure doesn’t. Plus she is completely committed to Michael, Wendy, and John…even though they leave her to go frolick in Neverland with Peter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Shoes: Cinderella

I know this goes without saying, but I’m saying it. Shoes made out of glass: totally impractical and uncomfortable. However, they sparkle brilliantly. I’m sold.

 

Most Bland Princess: Aurora

I suppose I have no justification for this one, she just isn’t memorable to me. I enjoy her love of animals, but that is a knock off of Snow White. I enjoy her beautiful gown, but Cinderella really owns that category. Aurora needed her own unique tagline. Maybe poisoned spinning-wheels were just too much to fathom as a child, but poisened apples were totally believable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list could go on and on, so consider this Part I.

I miss the way Disney used to be, and know they will never get back to that magical place. So, like a Doomsday Prepper, I am snatching up Disney Classics when they are let out of the vault, creating my own cartoon kit, and will be forcing them upon my own children some day.

Princes and Princesses,

Swan

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myopia to mammals

Growing up I couldn’t see. Literally.

My mother didn’t know I had vision problems until I smacked into the corner of a wall, cracked my head open, and had to be rushed to the emergency room.

After that, the fact that I sat so close to the television made sense. It’s one of those chicken and egg predicaments, which came first? Mothers always say “Don’t sit so close to the television it will ruin your eyes!” However, in my case, I sat so close because otherwise it was all a blur.

I prefer to think I looked like this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…not this.

(My obsession with Poltergeist and 101 Dalmations for that matter is a different post for a different day)

Don’t cry just yet, this story gets happier.

So anyway my mother finally wised up, got me some spectacles with pink jewels in the corners, and sent me out into the world to explore.

So to celebrate my vision, I thought I’d share my top 3 television animal influences of my childhood. I realize this is an odd segue…from vision to animals on TV, but to me it makes perfect sense.

1) Lassie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lassie was the shit. Lassie always found Timmy, even if he was in a well, and on top of that Lassie helped me understand the concept of time. My parents would say “Grandma will be here in 2 Lassie episodes”. That is legit parenting if you ask me because I totally understand what they meant, and it was an excuse to weatch more Lassie.

2) Milo and Otis

(2 animals technically, but there is no one to complain to about this so I guess it will have to fly)

So who can argue with the fact that Milo and Otis are adorable. I loved that they were so different, but still besties. I didn’t like when they got seperated, but I did enjoy seeing them create their own individual animal families. Seriously who can resist a pug and an orange cat? Not me. Perhaps that’s why I’ve collected Milo and Otis look-alikes for my own pets.

3) Mister Ed the Talking Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admittedly I can’t remember details of this show, but I do remember liking it. I was deep in a My Little Pony phase though which could have contributed to my attachment to Mister Ed, but I guess I’ll never know. How did they get him to move his mouth with the words? Magic.

All of this leads me to my final point. Vision, animals, and happiness go hand in hand. I feel like this should be a Humane Society plug minus the depressing Sarah McLachlan music.

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky and Carol Ann,
Swan

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all the cool kids have walking canes and coke bottle glasses

Flashback Friday

Dear Waldo,

I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions.

First question: How on earth do you travel so much Waldo?

Second Question: How do you smell so fresh and so clean clean when you’re always wearing the same outfit?

Third Question: Are you originally from a cold climate, hence the beanie?

Fourth Question: Is your favorite holiday Christmas?

Oh Waldo, you seem to love your gypsy ways. Thank you for sending me so many postcards from your destinations, but I’m having a hard time spotting you.

Oh there you are….oh no wait…that’s a red and white striped towel. Who did you go to the beach with? Was it the man who got a severe sunburn from his holy shirt? Or perhaps it was the large lass in red heading towards the water to take a dip?

Oh fooled me again with that red and white striped loin cloth. Why is it so crowded Waldo? Are you eating spaghetti? You know you could have just made that at home, it would have saved you the hassle. Unless of course you’re having an Eat, Pray, Love moment. Eat on my dear Waldo, eat on.

WTF…there’s a man who’s wearing the exact same shirt as you. That really doesn’t seem fair. Is this a laundry expo? Why would you ever want to go to that? Plus women are being assaulted left and right! One woman has a Peeping Tom exposing her in the dressing room, and another women is having her outfit literally sucked off her body by a vacuum.

You’re kind of an adventurer aren’t you Waldo. I guess that’s cool. You clearly don’t have social anxiety. Always a plus.

Enjoy your travels.

Wizard Whitebeard and Wenda,

Swan

p.s. What’s your vision prescription?

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alexander graham bell, to see miss marron

When I was little I loved to perform. I thought for sure I would be an actress, singer, or ballenrina.

My mother neglected to tell me that when I sang to the credits of Beethoven’s 2nd I wasn’t good. Furthermore, acting as if I was Nala from The Lion King wasn’t exactly Hollywood material, and dancers don’t get HoHo’s in their lunch bag.

Despite all this, I continued to practice my skills. One of the ways I did this was to pretend I was Rachel Marron from The Bodyguard.

I mean robe on over my outfit, fake mini microphone, bedazzled perfection. Queen of the Night I was, nobody could tell me differently.

Beetle knows this all to well. I forced her to be my audience on more than one occasion. (Thanks Beets, I know I may have scarred you, but you were a trooper).

I have no idea how many times I’ve seen The Bodyguard, but perhaps it’s telling that I can recite the whole movie. I would also eat my apples by peeling each layer off with a knife, just like Tony.

Dangerous? Maybe.

I hear that in 2011, Warner Bros. announced a remake that will update the story to reflect the world of the Internet; in which sites such as Twitter, Google Maps and countless other sites makes access to celebrities easier than ever.

Boo. Remakes make me want to poke my eyes out.

 

In the end, I know Whitney had one too many rocks de la crack. But, that doesn’t keep me from popping in my favorite guilty pleasure motion picture.

After all Frank Farmer would want us to open up a fresh bottle of orange juice add vodka and celebrate the better days.

 

How will I know and I wanna dance with somebody,

Swan

 

 

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