Bloods or Crips?

I didn’t realized I lived in the hood until today.

I always kind of suspected it but it became clear today.

On my running trail there are a lot of loiterers. Typically I am the only white person out there. All jokes aside, I really am not racist.

No matter how many times I pass the same group of young males leering at me, I never get comfortable.

So today, on my run, I was rocking out to David Guetta (don’t judge me.  I dont judge you to your face, do not judge me) having a good time when I notice a young man on a bike.  I have my little wave and smile that says “I enjoy running from nothing” prepared when I notice that he is not sharing the path. So to accommodate i shift a little further to the right, hes on a bike and probably needs more room to move around than I do. He gets closer to my side of the path.  Then I realize that he is targeting me. He flys past me within 6 inches of my left arm and calls me a bitch.

Now keep in mind, I am not bothering anyone.  I was minding my own business on the right side of the path running along listening to bad dance music. I never did anything to him that would evoke such a reaction. In fact, I was overly accommodating.

Perhaps it was the way my shoes match oh, so perfectly to my iPod nano or maybe it was the kick ass kitten I have on my shirt that pissed him off. Or maybe it was the fact that my running shoes cost more than his bike, knock off ed hardy shirt and gold plated chain combined.  Ok, that was a little bitchy.  But it’s only actually bitchy if it isn’t true.

Since I had to come to a complete halt in order to save my own life I had to get back into my rhythm when I got back on the path. Going out I passed my neighbor.  His mom is missing teeth and his dad is very tall.  He calls his momma a “fucking bitch” in the parking lot. Coming back in i was tempted to ask if they saw the assailant. But then I realized…what would I say?

So I rehearsed in my head what I would say to this troubled young man.  Would I tell him that I forgot my anti-psychotics this morning and I will find his mother? Would I tell him that I understand he is upset because I am white but I cant help it and he needs to get over it? Would I use one of the sticks on the ground and whoop his little ass? Maybe I would treat him to a trip to Barnes and Noble where he could buy a book and educate himself on the proper way to share a bike path or the acceptable ways to address a woman in public? Or would i simply engage him in a staring contest because I would be too scared to actually say something.  So I practiced my evil eye behind my mirrored aviators the whole way back in.

Now that I have my look down, I hope we meet again but this time I will Tonya Harding his ass.

shit @jaredwsmith says: “wwjd? smh”

we have been working ourselves silly in the last month so we decided to go on a “date”. I for one, have never understood grown ass people who live together and either are married or about to be married needing to go on a date to an Outback on a friday night.  I call that more of a borderline punishment than a “date”.

We pile into the car and ship off to outback because at the end of the day, we were hungry for fat, salt and carbohydrates and since we are starting a business, we have little to no money after our bills and drug habits are taken care of.

Everything is semi normal, we get a beer and a glass of wine because god knows, just like Outback’s european cousin Olive Garden, there is always a wait. My purse decided to take up three chairs at a crowded bar and Jared decided to rock back and forth on his feet like a 5 year old that has to pee.

We are seated by a young lady who had a literacy deficiency (Coccaro: co-care-o guys, not so hard), to her defence, she was only an infant. We are seated at a table with one side being a bench.  naturally, having a much larger ass than @jaredwsmith I took the bench.

@jaredwsmith seems to forget we are getting married in 42 days and momma’s the size of a house, he orders cheese fries. thanks, ass.

We get half way through our steaks and I feel its time to start preparation for our impending after dinner meal, dessert.  This is when I announce to our waitress, Sandy (who has longer than healthy blonde pigtails) that it is @jaredwsmith’s birthday (in may) and we are celebrating tonight (in september).

Trying to ease the frustration and embarrassment that he has at this point I decide to engage him in the penis game. Like the book The Help, it starts with a whisper. eventually it turns into @scoccaro half shouting the word “penis” in a very crowded Outback Steakhouse on a Friday night.

His dessert arrives, the waitress refuses to sing, so I do.  Loudly. for everyone to hear. i am celebrating my life partners birthday after all.

He turns shades of red then purple that i have never seen.

We promptly pay the tab because he is afraid we will get discovered and we vacate.

Once outside @jaredwsmith launches a full-on Penis Game attempt. I have never heard him say the word penis so loudly.

I get over to the car, hop in and lock him out. he stands there knocking on the window and yelling at me as if i have forgotten him on the exterior of the vehicle.  Once he sees that I have in fact noticed him but have chosen not to welcome him into the car he starts with the shouting and hand gestures that make his mother proud. We went through the unlocking and locking process when he is finally allowed back in the car.

We rush home listening to bad rap and I make him car dance with me all the way home.

so he says: “thank god there are no PENISES in the road. and by penis i mean speed bumps and by road i mean this parking lot.”

This is who I am marrying.

That one time in Roanoke

After a long weekend in Hilton Head, we are driving back to Reston VA.  We got a late start leaving this morning and made a detour in Charlotte (@lemursmanlemurs).  We finally got on i-77 North to head home around 8pm.

Things are going swimmingly until the 3 cokes I had with dinner hit my bladder around 11:15.  Jared, being the gentleman he is, finds the nearest rest location for me to eliminate my bladder contents.

After a death defying dash across 6 lanes of traffic in the pissing rain he locates a Pilot station.

He pulls into a parking spot and grabs ahold of maggie so she doesnt follow me into this dark, moderately populated rest stop.

I hop out into the icy, wet outdoors and proclaim “holy shit im fucking cold!’.  Much to my dismay, @jaredwsmith was already on to looking at his phone and over me getting out of the car.  Luckily the blonde with dark roots smoking a cigarette in the next car noticed.

My best defense mechanism that I have is to smile big and raise my voice an octave when I feel threatened. so with a big ass smile sounding like Ke$ha, I walk into this pilot station.  Lets do this.

I saunter up to the counter and ask Vi if I may use the restroom.  (tip: as somebody whose father made her go on annual treks from Minnesota all up and down the eastern seaboard, always ask, never assume, that the restroom is free or even located in the building.) She nod’s yes, I smile and shout “thank you” almost too enthusiastically, startled she points to the back corner, nods and mumbles “back there”.

It’s one of those restrooms.  The one where you can’t pick the cleanest one, just the one that is less filthy than the rest.  After creating my ass-to-seat barrier i do what i came here for. Just then, I hear the door open and close.  I am already on high-alert with Vi, the blonde and the fact that there are 10 semi’s parked out back. Just because this gas station has a subway in it doesn’t mean its safe for a lone female to wander at almost midnight alone. I decided to hide out in the stall for a few minutes.  What’s a little inhalation of industrial cleaner and fecal material?  When I am sure the coast is clear, I flush the toilet with my big toe and do the cootie dance all the way out of the stall.

Before I left @jaredwsmith and I made a pact to drink a shit-ton of red bull and finish the drive jacked up on sugar and caffeine.  I buy him a liter of red bull and a hershey’s bar, i got a normal-sized-person red bull and chewy sweetarts.  I also found a random magnet from South Dakota (where I went to college) that I had to purchase because if I made it out of here unscathed I needed something on my fridge to commemorate it. I ventured up to Vi.

Once again, i have my “i dont belong here” smile on when I approach the counter and put my soon-to-be-mine belongings in front of her.  When in doubt, talk about dogs and weather.  I mentioned how balls cold it was outside, she nodded, I told her how happy my dogs must be because they wear sweaters all year, she nodded, I mentioned how stupid it was to keep a bin on knifes under the counter at a shady gas station. She paused, gave me my total and the stink eye.

I handed her the $20 my mom stuck in my pocket before we left and giggled nervously. All I could smell was burning hot dogs, while she counted out my changes all I thought about was that smell seeping into my hair and how I might have to burn it off when I get home…

I got my $8.00 back and scampered out the door back to @jaredwsmith who was still playing on his phone next to the blonde who was still smoking.

Where I always feel like family

Olive garden. We have all been to one. We were mildly happy and then we went home and forgot about it. But what keeps us coming back? The mediocure breadsticks? The subpar wait staff? Kind of feeling like family?

Olive garden is like that high school boyfriend who you loved to hate. He was cute, always busy, emotionally unavailable and never had enough time for you but always wanted to be your friend.

It starts with someone in the car uttering the following statement “fuck Atkins, I want to eat the shit out of some carbs”. Then with a poorly executed 3-point turn at a busy intersection you land in the general vicinity of either olive garden, carrabbas or macaroni grill. All are similar enough to make a generalization of all chain Italian restaurants: they leave you sad and alone.

If you have chosen olive garden you have chosen the path on Oregon trail that gives you dysentery.

If you can find one of their three parking spots unoccupied then it must be after hours. Olive garden parking lots are crawling with pt cruisers and minivans with white stick figure people on them (are African American people offended by this? It seems only white folks are stupid enough to put this shit on their cars). You, father time and the 90 pound mother of three with the jogging stroller in the back are in a face off for an available parking spot. But then! You see a silver Sebring on the other end of the parking lot back up. You have two options: calmly back up, wave with all fingers and slowly move to the soon-to-be open parking spot or throw it in reverse and hope nobody’s packing.

When you are victorious in your parking grab your posse and head in. No doubt you are ravenous. Good thing there is a minimum of a 30 minute wait at 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. This is a prime opportunity to review the menu at a high level while high school juniors move around in polyester ties.

Once your buzzer finally alerts you that it’s your turn to feel like family you proceed to the hostess station where she will guide you to the back of the dining area to a vinyl booth where you can stick to the seat.

Sheena will then come by and get your drink order but not before offering you a snoot full of riunite. Yes that shit your parents drank in the navy in the 70’s when stationed in third world countries.

You may now review the menu in detail. How can I have a heart attack today? Let me count the ways! Let’s see how much cheese we can put in a single dish. Maybe ravioli or just a big ass bowl of cheese served with buttered bread.

Place your Order and wait for the soup, salad and breadsticks to come out. They never bring you as many breadsticks as you will need. You better believe sheena will cop a little attitude on her 4th trip to the kitchen for breadsticks. It’s call unlimited for a reason honey.

Food arrives. Once again, more cheese is applied. The food at its best is at least hot.

The check arrives and it’s time to drop $45 on carbs that made you feel bloated and undeserving.

Return to the parking lot full of shame and humility that nothing will fit tomorrow due to the amount of sodium you just consumed. Hating yourself for falling into that same rat trap again.

Go home. Sleep in the fetal position while you quietly mist in your pillow. All families are a little dysfunctional and remember, when you’re here, you’re family.

Just like crack!

There are many things that people list as being “like crack”.  Crack seems to be the drug of choice when people are talking about things being addictive.  Most of these individuals have never actually tried crack cocaine so they really have no basis for their comparison. Moreover, studies have shown that crack is not the most addictive substance on the planet.

I like to say that something is “just like finding a clean bathroom” in that is is pleasant and also somewhat addictive.

Here are the top 10 things that most people would consider “just like crack” but are not quite actually crack…

  1. heroin
  2. gummy bears
  3. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  4. children
  5. those bath salts those kids were smoking/eating/snorting
  6. compressed air
  7. starbucks
  8. homemade italian food
  9. fancy, overpriced cupcakes
  10. cocaine

This is why I have a hard time making new friends.

About 3 years ago I was with a girlfriend and her fiance (at the time).  She was about 6 years older than me and was only my friend because my dad was her boss.  I had just moved to Hilton Head and had no friends so she was nice enough to hang out with me for awhile.

She had some friends in town from St. Simon’s Island, GA and I definitely didn’t feel “Beach Cool” around them.  “Beach Cool” is the easy style that people in the south along the coast have.  Its the ability to go to the beach, not break a sweat, not get sand where the sun dont shine and tan evenly. I am none of those things.  I sweat like a hog, whine that the sand is too hot, i usually only tan half my body, get my books wet (even though i go nowhere near the water) and find sand places where it doesn’t belong for the next 24 hours.

I managed to get through the afternoon without having sweat marks under my boobs (deodorant FTW) on my tank top nor did my entire forehead turn bright red being exposed to direct sunlight so I looked like I just ran a marathon.

All was going really well while we walked back up to the house.  We all went inside and drank a beer.  The sun was starting to go down and I needed to get home.

I hugged my friend goodbye because she initiated it then i hugged her fiance because he too initiated it.

Then it came to her friends who I just met that day.  We all got along pretty well and I would, at that moment, hang out with them again. There was that awkward dance were to you do a half-hearted hug or shake hands. It is like a dance among friends just seeing which is the more dominant member of the pack. It is also the timeframe where you would exchange phone numbers.  You just pray that the other person initiates it so you can go along.  We were on the same wave-length because we extended our hands then opened our arms to hug at different times.  Then she made the decision and went in for the hug.

My hand was still extended to shake her hand and thats when it happened.

I cupped her boob so very gently. I didn’t just brush it or skim it.  I grabbed it. and my hand remained there for the duration of the hug.  There was no sense in retracting my hand because then it would be a big deal. So i left it there in hope that maybe she just thought her left boob was extra supported during the last 5 seconds.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed. There was a very long “i didn’t know you were a pervert” pause where we all looked at the ground and mumbled the word “so…”.  I took this as my queue to leave. I made up some excuse like “oh i forgot I had to go hide in the deep end of a pool” and made haste.

This was 3 years ago.  I will have you know that I have not spoken to any member of “the incident” since.

an ode to traffic

I am finishing up at the ukelele festival (its a thing) with @jaredwsmith.  He just got his new fancy pants camera and decided to take pictures of every blade of grass and bug in our path. naturally, we hit prime-time ukelele traffic when trying to exit the parking garage.

So as i sit in my car with the lights off and the windows down (im unemployed, i cant just throw money away on air conditioning) I write a small haiku reflecting on my experience.

It goes like this:

An Ode to Traffic

My Car Oh So Red
Everyone in garage wishin’ they was tipsy
I have to pee now

The woes of being unemployed

After I missed 4 phone calls, 3 texts and 15 emails while sleeping in to the crack-of-dawn hour of 11am, i decided to take fate into my own hands and tackle this insurance issue.

I can’t be without insurance, i have shit going on and i need to be insured so a lapse in coverage would be detrimental. Instead of doing cobra and having to haul into my old office, see my coworkers and cutting them a check for a weeks worth of unemployment every month, i decided to go with individual coverage.

I decided to work with Anthem.  That is who my employer had and I figured it would be easier to just transition that way.  I got through the pre-screening process with flying colors. I gave them my height, weight and medical history, which as far as they were concerned I was healthy as a horse. I had never even been on antibiotics as far as they knew.

Then they put Donna on.  Donna was the closer. Complete with a polished white belt and penny loafers. Donna, the thug she is squeezed me into answering questions about my health.  I accused her of violating HIPPA.  She didnt care.  bitch was a rebel. After she read me the first plan, i told her that $215/mo with a $3,000 deductible was unacceptable and thats when she told me that wasnt the best plan they had. Donna was slippery in her low-balling strategy.  She read me the next plan up.  it sounded better.  But then I asked about the prescription plan. Thats when i knew she had me.

me: “so how much are allergy shots?”

donna: “are you on allergy shots?”

me: “NO! i mean, they were thinking about it and i..uh..didnt want to do it at that time”

donna: “well its $35/visit”

me: “and scripts, lets say they wanted to put me on something…”

donna: “well you pay 40% of everything”

me: “holy shit! thats like $240 each month!”

then i stopped myself.  i had been caught.  the ruse was up.  she knew.

Donna: “whats 240/mo? WHATS YOUR DIAGNOSIS?!”


donna: “well your plan just went up to $550/mo”

me: “unmentionables” *click*

So the next plan was Aetna.  I was armed with my responses. A nice girl named leslie answered.  she went through the pre-screening process which once again  I aced.

Then sara came on the line, she too was pleasant and sold me the plan.  I ended with “lets high five”. She passed me on to some woman who grunted when she answered the phone.  since I had already been sold it was fine.

we went through the series of questions which went something like this:

She-ra: “are you married, single or widowed?”

me: “single”

she-ra: “does your spouse or child have medical coverage?”

me: “im single, no kids”

she-ra: “does your spouse or child have medical coverage?”

me: “yep, still no kids”

she-ra: “you have to answer this question”

me: “i need some coaching…”

she-ra: “please just answer the question ma’am, i cannot help you answer the questions…”

me: “you make me!”

she-ra: “ma’am..”

me: “fine, my fictitious children and soon-to-be husband have health insurance”

she-ra: “so they do have insurance, do you know who through?”

me: “is this a fucking joke?”

she-ra: “ma’am just answer the question”

me: “ok then yes, my children, whom i have never met and my husband that I dont have have health insurance through blue cross. not through you because they would have tracked you down and killed you with their bare hands if they had to go through this screening process because thats the type of people they are. ”

she-ra: “ok, moving on”

67 minutes later my application had been submitted for underwriting. if i didnt have high blood pressure before this, i sure do now.  i just hope i have insurance to cover it.

the day the world broke in half

Today started as every week day does, or did, until today.

  • 7:30 first alarm
  • 7:45 second alarm
  • 8:30 third alarm
  • 8:50 get out of bed
  • 8:55 get in the shower
  • 9:05 get out of shower
  • 9:06 find the least dirty thing on the floor
  • 9:10 smear on some mascara
  • 9:12 curse my job by saying “off to another day of sarcastic remarks and name calling! I fucking hate my job at that fucking place”
  • 9:36 arrive at said fucking place
The rest of the morning was spent receiving sarcastic emails, being told to fix problems that I didnt create (after being told explicitly not to perform things that would create said problems) and dreading the moment that He came in.

I am not interested in a bitch-fest. If you are dying to know the ins and outs of my (old) day job, the admission to that shit show is a $15 bar tab.

The beacon of hope in my day is when my only good friend in a 100 mile radius asks me to lunch.  Today was Chick Fil A. Probably the best $6.58 i have spent in a long time (chargrilled chicken sandwich and a diet coke, thank you).  While we were finishing we felt what we thought was a large truck outside with its engine running.  then it felt like a huge plane above. then it felt like an earthquake.

At the exact time the earth was having a seizure, I was receiving my walking papers via email (yes, i was “let go” via email). I got the news on my iPhone in the car on the way back to “that fucking place”.

I can’t call my mother – which is exactly what I do whenever anything monumental happens (a canine bowel movement that is remarkable or you know, an earthquake in Northern Virginia) – the cell service was completely done. So what do i do?  I tweet! The next best thing to my mother is twitter.

The rest of the day is full of tension and job applications. I left promptly at 4:46.  I didn’t say goodbye or cry or anything else that people should do when they lose their jobs.  I simply walked out and didn’t look back.

My world was literally rocked today. Literally and metaphorically and I liked it.

Bewbies for all

Today is national “go topless day”. This is the one day a year that protests all around the country are held to spread the word about gender eqaility.  Because apparently voting isnt enough for my gender.  Now we want to be able to walk around half naked.

Look, its not sexy for the 90% of the male species to do it, so its probably not favorable for grandma to do it.

I understand, as a proud boob owner, bras are uncomfortable sometimes, but that is where there are thousands of brands, cuts and styles.  Wear a PE bra for crying out out.

According to the website,,  women should think about their topless rights in case they would like to garden free-balling, or perhaps are vain enough to not want tan lines. Because that is definitely something that a strong, free thinking, independent woman should be thinking about – tan lines. For those of us who aren’t fans of showing off our goods per se, we can buy shirts with illustrated nipples, or perhaps an iphone case when said shirt is in the washer. Everyone needs to know exactly how you feel about boobs at all times.

Their brand illustrates a young woman’s breasts and all of their photography features bresticles that belong to an 18 year old.  Do we want to see a 65 year old woman gardening in her front yard with boobs that she could fashion into a belt? Call me narrow minded, but I say, with a fair amount of accuracy, that nobody would like to see Aunt Linda’s lovely lady lumps, even Uncle Tom.

As I write this, in Washington DC, between the hours of 2-4 pm, it is legal to go topless in public.  I don’t need a demonstration to scare small children with parts of my body that have never seen direct sunlight – I can get to jail all by myself, thank you.