Monday, May 5, 2014

A Fairy Tale (of sorts)

Once Upon a Time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a great big castle in a far away kingdom.

(Ok, so that princess was me and the castle was a cheap and poorly managed apartment complex.  But back to the story...)

One day the princess was in her castle getting ready to leave to the royal academy of princesses for her royal princess exam, when a sudden commotion in the royal kitchen caught her attention.

T'was the royal mutt barking at it's royal (and solid gold, naturally) food bowl.

"Tis strange," thought the princess, "usually the royal mutt devours it's royal food, not barks at it."

The princess, being ever so clever and brave, decided to see what the fuss was about.

BEHOLD! An evil dragon-serpent-thing had stolen into the castle and was going to devour the princess and her royal companion animals!!!!

.....Okay, you guys, I think you're missing the point of the story.  A baby copperhead was in my house.  A COPPERHEAD.  IN MY HOUSE.  OH MY GOD.

At this point, my cat (who isn't exactly brilliant) came to investigate.  I freaked out and screamed NOOOOOOOOO at the top of my lungs and managed to swoop both the dog and the cat up in one arm.  I threw them in my bedroom and shut the door.  Then I went to face the MIGHTY DRAGON (aka the snake) which then promptly proceeded to dart under my roommate's closed bedroom door.

I jumped into the nearest stool (because snakes can't climb...right?  Please tell me snakes can't climb) and called the apartment management office.  They promised to send someone immediately.

Half an hour later, my knight in shining armor (aka, a tiny wizened old man with a limp and a hacking cough) came to the door.  I let him in and showed him the bedroom the snake was in.  We then proceeded to have this conversation:

Me: It went in there!
Old Man: I don't see anything.
Me: It's in there! I saw it!  Maybe it's under the bed or something?
Old Man: Welp, it'll come out eventually, I guess.  Nothing I can do now.  Call me when you find it again.

Aaaaaaand he left.

He left me alone with the snake.


At that point, I did what any sane person would do:  I jumped back in my stool.

I realized at this point, I was not going to make it to my class that day, I emailed the teacher and told them "I'm very sorry, but there's a poisonous snake in my house and I can't leave the animals alone with it or they will die and that would be pretty tragic.  I mean, the dog isn't even mine, it's my roommate's"

The teacher never replied.  Pretty sure he didn't believe me. (And now that I've had experience teaching myself, I probably wouldn't believe me either.) But that wasn't important at the moment.

Next, I called my friend, all around bad-ass and animal whisperer, Lindi.

Lindi, brave soul that she is, came straight over to slay the beast (she even missed class for me.  She is THE BEST)

We spent an hour tearing apart my roommate's bedroom trying to find the evil creature and banish it to the outdoors, but alas, our hopes of victory began to fade after much cursing and gnashing of teeth and lifting of bed covers. I resigned myself to living on the kitchen stool.

As we stood among the wreckage, upon a pile of dirty laundry, the heavens opened and a light beamed down on us--or Lindi turned on the closet light, my memories are a little fuzzy--and knowledge came from the heavens.

We scrabbled down the pile of dirty laundry and began to look through it.  There, on the bottom, curled as though ready to strike, was the snake!

Lindi had prepared a big pot lid as a shield to protect us against the dangerous fanged menace.  As soon as the snake was uncovered, she slammed the pot lid down upon it.  It's reckoning had come!

After several minutes of heavy breathing and paranoid laughter, we lifted up the lid to see what foul terror the horrible beast was planning next.

It was then that we noticed the snake was oddly flat and still.  It was smushed as though someone had been unknowingly standing upon it for several minutes.  (It was us, we were standing on top of it THE WHOLE TIME YOU GUYS).

With the monster vanquished, the beautiful princesses decided the only logical and heroic thing to do was to take pictures of the lifeless foe and then throw it outside as far as possible.  The two brave and beautiful warriors decided to eat ice cream to commemorate their battle.


Vanquished Foe (much smaller than he looks here.  That was my kitchen counter)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I Hate Springfield, MO: Part Deux, The Incident With The Sheux

Once, I lived in Springfield, Missouri.  I had many adventures (if by "adventures" you mean "really sucky things that happened") which I documented here.  But one adventure sticks out more than all the rest (even the time I watched terrible commercials at the mall for money), and that is the time I had to trudge to class, soaking wet, and with one shoe.

Rain in MO is weird, yo.

You see,  like most miserable and homesick college kids, I would go home almost every weekend, ostensibly to do laundry somewhere where I did not have to fish someone's forgotten and moldy (at least I hope that was mold) tighty whiteys out of the washing machine before I could put my stuff in, but really because I missed my cat (and my family, I guess).

It had stormed all weekend, and I have terrible night vision, as a result, I decided to wait until Monday morning to make the two hour trek back to Springfield. 

I overslept a bit, and therefore sped back to Springfield post haste upon waking, but barely arrived in time to park my car at my apartment/dorm/hell hole  and walk to class.  Unfortunately, my rain boots and umbrella were in my apartment. Even more unfortunately...I locked and shut my car door with the keys still inside...

Don't act like you come here for the artwork.

Faced with no other option, I valiantly began to trudge to class in my pajamas and flip-flops.  However, I did not count on the fact that the campus of Southwest Missouri State had been designed to maximize flooding potential every time it rained.

SO THERE I WAS (every great story starts with SO THERE I WAS) crossing the busy street that separated the dorms and frat houses from the rest of campus when a TORRENTIAL CURRENT OF DEATH came racing down the street, straight towards me.
It was exactly like this, but more epic.

I stared in wide-eyed terror for approximately three seconds before I started running for the curb, but it was too late.  The water rushed past me, and as I took that final step towards the sidewalk, a fatal squicky suction noise resounded in the deep, carrying away with it's reverberations, my right flip-flop.

I lunged forwards to grab my rubbery friend before he could slip away, but alas!  The current proved too swift and my poor flip-flop was swept into the large gaping maw of a storm drain.

Disheartened and sopping wet, I made my way to French class, where I proceeded to form a puddle under my desk.  I'm pretty sure that's why I made a D in French that has nothing at all to do with my complete lack of memorization skills....

Pretty sure my French teacher hated me before this incident.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sometimes, the internet scares me.

I know you are all desperately awaiting the second half of my sweeping narrative of a poor girl's struggle in a foreign city, bereft of friends and family, but to tide you over, I present


Gaze upon the horror:

Whatever you do, don't look into its eyes!
What?  What is that??  And what does it have to do with being a social worker?  Yes, social worker.  Oh, you weren't sure what they were advertising?  You thought it might be purifying fire?  Nope.  Social work.

OK, Seriously, what is with these kids and their creepy, creepy eyes?

Here we have what looks like a floating head/bad photochop combo.

Two of these are just from Facebook, I can only imagine what horrors lurk on the farther outskirts of the internet.  Please don't email them to me if you find them (but really, do).

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why I hate Springfield, MO: A treatise, Part the First.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I had the bright idea to go away for college.  I had just finished my first year at the local community college and I decided I needed the full college experience.  I had my eyes set on Drury University.  I even tried out for a choir scholarship (sadly, my repertoire consisted only of Disney songs, thanks to my hippie-esque voice teacher)...I did not get neighbor did.  True story.  That did not deter me, however, and I soon got enrolled at SMSU in Springfield.

It was going to be AWESOME!  My grandma took me shopping for dorm decorating supplies and I bought the brightest, LOUDEST comforter set EVAR!

I did not have the best taste at 18.  Also, I swear my hair just gets bigger in these pictures...

 My friend Ashley bought me a hamper filled with snacks and cleaning supplies.  My parents started making plans to convert my bedroom into a bomb shelter.  And BEST OF ALL, because of the incoming student overflow, instead of a traditional dorm, I was going to be staying in the international student apartments, deceivingly named Sunvilla Tower.

I knew things were not going to go as well as I suspected when we pulled up to unload my things and instead of being greeted by a gleaming tower, the building was more reminiscent of the apartment complex down the street from us when I was growing up in the projects.  It was a serious letdown.  But bigger blows were to come.

 Firstly, the apartment was only made for two people...and there were three of us.  I had a very sweet roommate from China and a roommate from Brazil that I never really saw except for when she and her boyfriend were making out in her bed while we were trying to sleep.  Yeah, that's right, all three of us had to share a bedroom.  Not only that, but my clothes had to go in the living room closet b/c there wasn't enough room in the bedroom. And since I got there late, I did not get a drawer in the dresser we all had to share.  Which was, unsurprisingly, in the living room.

I'm seriously considering a career in drafting...

My roommate from Brazil was really intense and there to study dance.  She had an American boyfriend who was pseudo-buddhist and would come over and declare everyone in the apartment had to use absolute silence so he could meditate.  Why he had to meditate in our apartment, I'll never know.  They seemed to only ever be in the apartment when he wanted to meditate, or at night (as previously mentioned) while I was trying to sleep. They were there so scarcely that to this day, I'm not sure what her name was.

You can't help it when you're a loud typer!

My roommate from China was very very sweet.  Her name was Yei Lei, but she went by her "American" name of Aviva.  Unfortunately, we had some culture clashes.

Word to the wise:  Dawn is not dishwasher safe...

Everything in that god-forsaken apartment was bubble gum pink.  Thanks for that, 1970s.

Honestly, it was the smell.

I was also very very poor while going to school here.  I had two work study jobs, which paid approximately nothing.   At one of my jobs, I was required to go through about 50 years of collected research and throw away things "that didn't look important"...(to a sophomore undergrad, everything looks important.)  It was the single most terrifying job I have ever had.  I'm pretty sure I somehow derailed a professor's stem cell research.

And yet, I could have endured all of this if it hadn't been for my trip home for Thanksgiving.  I came back and the trash had not been taken out.  There were little baby maggots happily munching away on left over boiled cabbage in the sink.  And some sort of green goop leaking across the kitchen floor from a pile of trash bags.  I sat down on the floor and cried.  Then I called my mom and cried some more.  Then I went to the store and bought a truck load of cleaning supplies and a hazmat suit.

I almost suffocated from trying to fit my hair in that suit...

Approximately three weeks later, after the semester finals were through (which I mostly failed), I moved home.

 But leaky garbage and terrible roommates were not the only horror stories I have from Springfield.  Stay tuned for Part Deux or How I Ended up in Class With One Shoe.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Paw Paw: The Man Behind The Legend

Last week, I went to Louisiana to visit my dad's family.   I love all of my family, but my Paw Paw (grandpa to you non-creole speaking peeps) always steals the show.  He is one of those "larger than life" personalities.  He kept his pompadour from the 50s.  When I was little and he still smoked, he kept his pack of cigarettes in a rolled up sleeve.  He still uses Royal Crown on his hair.  He has a tattoo of a naked woman on his forearm.  He says he spent more time in the brig for fighting than actually being a Marine.  He once broke my grandma out of a leper colony.  And under his vaguely racist exterior, he has a big heart.  Case in point:   He once went AWOL b/c he wanted to go home and visit his mom. 

So on this trip, I decided to write down some of Paw Paw's sayings for posterity and future reference.  I posted them on Facebook, but I've collected them here for easy access (there is also a bonus quote from Maw Maw):