deza: (Secret master librarians)
It's no secret that I paid my way through college as an exotic dancer.

old me
That's me, back in the day. The picture is a crappy cellphone shot of a Glamour Shots photo from over 20 years ago. It's the only picture I still have from back then, courtesy of my former mother-in-law throwing away my photo albums during the divorce. Yes, I really did have the Distressed Poodle Perm. It was the early 90s; you had to be there.

Every day, I went to my classes. I socialized with my friends, played hands of Magic, rushed out papers, general college stuff. At work, though, I changed. I stopped being the shy, dorky, nerd gamer girl. Instead I became a smart, confidant sex goddess who bent men to her will. I teased and tantalized and manipulated men left and right. I danced under the name Faith. I told guys that the name Faith was because I was always faithful. It worked like a charm to open wallets.

I took a Women's Studies class while I was dancing. One of the girls went off on an "all sex workers are exploited" rant. I told her what I did for a living, and that if anyone was using people, it was me. That still holds true. In the club, I was the one in complete control of the interaction with a client. I was the one who walked away with an average of $400 each night, as well.

What I didn't say was that part of what I was doing on stage was reclaiming my sexuality. I am a rape survivor. The trauma of that had a pretty severe impact on me. I went in a depressive spiral, and more often than not I was at the bottom of a bottle trying to escape from my hatred of myself. When i started dancing, I was in a situation where I could be a sexual being in safety. The club had bouncers on staff whenever we were open. There was no chance of a customer forcing himself on me. the one time someone did try to touch me while I was on stage, the bouncer broke his fingers before escorting him out the door. I was escorted to my car every evening, and called in to let the club know I'd made it home safely. There are few places I've ever felt safer.

I miss the character I played when I went onto that stage. I miss her courage, her certainty that was beautiful, her strength and agility. I'm older now, maybe a little wiser. There are times when I'd still give anything to feel like Faith again.

LJ Idol
deza: (Secret master librarians)
Have you ever tried Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)? I ordered some for our teen summer reading group a few weeks back.

When you let the tablet dissove in your mouth, it tastes kind of gross. After about a minute, though, something incredible happens. You stop tasting sour and taste sweet instead. Suddenly grapefruit tastes like candy. Sucking on a lemon wedge is like eating old Lemonheads candy -- the original stuff, not the modern version. Apple cider vinegar tastes like tart apple juice. It's amazing.

So when I had a room full of teenagers are handed this stuff, of course the boys get to challenging each other. They ate some pretty disgusting things, and loved all of it! The best part was the vinegar chugging contest. That's when they learned that gulping vinegar means it bypasses the portion of the taste buds altered by the fruit, and on hitting the back of the throat the full vinegar reaction kicks in. There were some mad dashes to the bathroom after that.

Summer reading is always a busy time for libraries. Here, anywhere from 40 to 120 kids will show up out of the blue one day a week. Sad thing is, most of those kids don't set foot in the library any other time of year. They get dropped off by their parents for the free babysitting service for the morning. The rest of the year we require parents to actually stay with their young children. When it's not convenient for the parents any more, the kids don't come.

Then the kids turn into teens, and they can come to the library on their own. Since the only exposure they've had to the library previously was in summer reading, they have no clue how to behave, If fun and games aren't presented to them, they go to talk loudly, running, playing hide-and-seek, destroying the library's plants, writing on the walls, generally disruptive behavior. Yes, I've seen teenagers do all these things in the last two months.

I'm all for having teens in the library. They desperately need a place to go where they can be safe, socialize and just be teens. There's also the small thing of every teen who comes in the door is a potential future donor for the library -- not a small thing for a non-profit who gets no tax funding from the communities we serve. I do wish they were slightly better behaved, though. I wish their parents had made sure they knew how to behave in a library.

Still, seeing their faces when I introduce them to a bit of small science magic -- like turning lemons sweet -- that makes up for a lot of bad behavior. Now I just need to find something else to keep them occupied.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I'm a single mom in my 40s, living in a small town in rural Pennsyltucky. One of the big downside of living in this kind of a place is that if you have interests that are outside the local norms, finding dates can be tricky at best.

I'm a nerd, a geek, a gamer chick, an anime freak, a SCAdian, an author and a cosplayer. Given a choice, I'd much rather wear garb from the 16th Century than standard work clothes. I thrive in situations that are intellectually stimulating, where my creativity is challenged and I can safely indulge in wild flights of fancy. You want to talk about why unicorns have rainbow poop? On it. Discuss the possibilities of the local nuclear power plant as a terrorist's soft target? Sure. Figure out the perfect murder? Let's go. While we're at it, the conversation could hit on the flammability of a gryphon's wing feathers, the differences in game theory between Halo and Call of Duty, and trends in popular reading. I'm an outspoken liberal; the last time I took a political personality test, I scored left of Gandhi.

And I live in a place where the schools close on the first day of deer hunting season.

I work in a public library, with my office in the Children's Library. If I see menfolk at all, they're generally happily married dads here with their young kids. Meeting men through work has been less than successful. Single men in my age bracket just don't hang out in the stacks for some reason.

So I'm doing the online dating thing. I have a profile up on a couple of the free sites, because gods know as a single mom supporting three kids it's not like I can really afford to blow $20/month on site fees. The problem with the free sites, particularly in an area where there's not all that many people to begin with, is you get what you pay for.

Here are some of the messages I've gotten in the last month:

  • maybe you wanna see my junk

  • Pretty lady.....wanna wrestle

  • My library books are super late.

  • So what's the youngest you've dated lately girlie?

  • Holy boobs batman

  • Are you really single?

  • I want to worship your feet.

  • Is it normal to masturbate?

  • How does it feel to know I just came to picture of your tits?

  • How about a drink with lunch?

  • I'm on my way over.

These were all first contact messages, not parts of conversations. Now don't get me wrong, I'm USED to socially awkward guys. Geeks and nerds are my people. But there's a difference between "socially awkward" and "rude just for the hell of it." I mean, these guys already missed the exit to Creepytown and are well into Nopenopenopeville. Do lines like these actually work for anyone? Yeah, there are times when I desperately want a guy in my life again, but I sure as hell don't want one of THOSE guys. Is it so unreasonable to hope to meet a nice, nerdy, quirky, single, independent, cosplay guy in his 40s?

Oh well, maybe next convention.

Elvira cosplay concept picture. No makeup, wig not styled into the beehive, wrong shoes, but a basic proof-of-concept. Yes, I know the sleeves aren't right, but I'm wearing this to Otakon in Baltimore in August. Loose sleeves are a good thing.

LJI Week 14:Confessions From the Chair. I have to say I was really, really tempted to write a noir fiction piece that was a chair confessing to something horrible."Look here, see? Yeah, I did it, yeah. But I had to do it. He didn't give me a choice, see? Just picked me up and swung."
deza: (Secret master librarians)
Everyone's been keeping up with the Supreme Court decision on major corporations not providing contraception as part of health care, yes?

And the one on unions that effectively guts the non-Koch Brothers fundraising of the Democratic Party's major financial backers?

Good, got that out of the way. On to important stuff. ;)

I've been talking a lot about my daughter and my grandson lately. It's been a pretty obvious subject of conversation, since there's been a lot going on. But I've barely mentioned my son.

On the surface, he's a pretty typical 13-year-old. He's quiet and introspective (hard not to be, growing up with a chatterbox as a big sister) and he loves his video games. Given a choice, he's connecting with his online friends in CoD or GTA V. For all that he seems like just another gamer kid, though, he's surprisingly quick on setting up alliances and friend partnerships.

He was explaining one of the GTA V missions to me today. Stealing a certain model car, repainting it to make it untraceable and delivering it to a buyer raises a large amount of cash quickly. Since other players also know this, a player seen driving this model of car is an easy target from other players in the game world. My son has a workaround for this. He teams up with three friends. One of the four drives the target car, two drive military grade vehicles and the fourth flies a military helicopter. By forming a caravan, the target car is safely delivered to the buyer and the payout can be divided evenly between the players. No player walks away with as much cash, but they are very unlikely to be attacked by other players because of the perceived strength.

Who expects a 13-year-old to come up with that kind of a cooperative plan?

Somewhere under that mop of hair is a kind, considerate young man with a quick wit and devious strategic thinking capability. He can plot out the way to reach an objective with a minimal loss to himself and those closest to him. He's likeable, funny, and more than happy to defend what he sees as right. Don't laugh, he's gotten two online girlfriends by standing up for them against the "girls can't be gamers" trolls. He's sweet, empathic and can swear better than his sailor father.

I'm so very proud of the person he's become.

My son, the brain-eating zombie kid.

This has been my entry for Week 13 of LJI. See Gary, you give me an option for schmaltzy topic and away I go...
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I'm tired this week. Really tired.

Between waking up Thursday morning and collapsing into bed Monday night, I had roughly 5 hours of sleep. I'm not in my 20s any more; all-nighters wear me down. I haven't had a full night of sleep since.

If you read last week's post, you can probably guess what happened.

bunny g

His name is Grayson. He was 7 pounds 7 ounces at birth. Of course he's turned our world upside down.

Rowan asked to go the hospital Thursday night. Yes! I thought, A Friday the 13th baby!
I'm weird. Sue me.
We got to the hospital, and there was hemming and hawing and they finally decided to keep her. I stayed by her side all night, and then all day Friday. Her dad came up from Maryland and stayed at my house, doing the final paint job on the nursery and putting the crib together. She slept a lot. I knitted. We talked about my experiences giving birth to her and to her little brother. Time passed.

It was a little disappointing that he wasn't born on Friday the 13th after all.

Through it all, Rowan really didn't complain about pain. She loved the epidural at first, then slowly realized that it does get less effective over time. We heard another baby born in the next room, just before the doctor came in to deliver Gray. I stayed by Rowan's side, holding her hand, coaching her through pushing this new life into the world. At one point she looked at me and said "Mom, I can't do this!" I said "Honey, you already are." I knew it would hurt to see her in pain. I never expected to feel so helpless over it. Official time of birth was 1:15 am, Saturday, June 14.

After he was born, she said "I hope I didn't wake up the other baby."
I told her that if ever there is a time in her life when it's ok to be selfish, giving birth was it.

They're home now. Gray is just as beautiful as his mother. Rowan's been dealing with some anemia, that we're hoping will respond to iron supplements.

Guess the fun is just beginning here.

Written for LJIdol. Kinda tired these days, so I hope it all makes sense!
deza: (Secret master librarians)
There's a lot going on in the world that I want to talk about, that I should talk about...

Then there's the fact that my daughter is due on Saturday.

Guess what's uppermost in my mind?

Rowan's Maternity Shoot

This is my favorite shot from her maternity pictures. It captures a timeless "earth mother" vibe, I think.

She's younger than she looks, only 15 years old. I will love her son unconditionally, of course, but I still wish she'd waited a few years before having him. I grieve for the teenage freedom she won't experience. It's hard to be wild and free when you have a baby needing his mother, and a sense of responsibility for him. The father doesn't want to be a part of the picture. His main response when she's tried to talk to him has been "Whatever."

Doesn't matter. This baby has a mother who adores him, a grandmother who loves him already, and an uncle who is ready to teach him the finer points of GTA V. We may not be the traditional family, but we are all family none the less. We will scrimp and we will save and at times we will do without, but this baby will never doubt that he is wholeheartedly loved and accepted. That matters more than all the toys and fancy electronic doodads in the world.

I love you Baby G. Can't wait to meet you.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I'm sure that everyone has heard about the Isla Vista/UCSB shooting by now. If by some chance you haven't, a disaffected 22-year-old guy decided that since no woman had ever thrown herself at him demanding sex (seriously; he stated he didn't approach anyone himself) then it was up to him to "punish" all the pretty blue-eyed blonde girls that weren't sleeping with him. He killed 6 people and wounded thirteen before turning the gun on himself.

Cheery, ain't it?

One of the things that has come about after this is #YesAllWomen. During the initial outrage reaction on social media sites, many men felt they were being unfairly targeted as dangerous to women, and began using #NotAllMen. #YesAllWomen puts into words the unspoken realities that American women face on a daily basis.

1 in 5 American women are raped (or survive an attempted rape). This adds up to 22 million women.

A sexual assault occurs every 90 seconds.

1 in 3 murdered women were killed by a sexual partner.

15 out of 16 rapists go free. Only 6% of rapists actually serve jail time.

Less than half of all domestic violence crimes are reported to police.

Those numbers are frightening -- and they only show reported crimes. Most women are socialized to accept that there is a very large chance that we will be beaten, raped, or murdered. We're told how to dress to avoid being raped, how to carry our keys to fight off an attacker, to travel in packs because it's safer, to send out texts to friends before and after dates so if we disappear someone knows the name of our killer.

Guys, this is why your girlfriend can't go to the bathroom by herself in a crowded bar. There's no guarantee she'd make it back.

My contribution to #YesAllWomen on Twitter was "Because the cops told me not to waste their time filing a rape report."

What I could have added:
Because my son hears rape jokes every day.
Because my daughter has gotten leers and catcalls since she was 11.
Twenty-eight fraternity brothers took turns sexually assaulting me as Little Sister "initiation."
My job as a Little Sister was to be the Welcome Mat.
I was fired from more than one job because I wouldn't screw my boss.
I still have PTSD flashbacks, 20 years later.
I'm afraid to lose weight because I was raped more often when I was "pretty".
My ex-BF found a place to dispose of my body.
My ex-husband bought a .22 and told me it was the gun he would use to kill me.
Because rapists look like everybody else.

The sad thing is, this is nothing new. Women have dealt with these same fears and threats for as long as we've been human. And there's nothing we, as women, can do to change it. Until the men decide it's time to stop making rape socially acceptable in their peer groups, this will keep right on happening.

So, whatcha gonna do?

This has been my entry for Week 10 of LJI. The topic was “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time”. Thank you for reading.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I think there are a lot of memes in our society that need to come to a full stop. Period, end of story, no going back.


Just a few of the top of my head.
Let's put it to a rest, shall we? Stop judging people on one or two shallow qualities and start looking at people as real live human beings, with depth and emotion and hopes and dreams and fears beyond what shows on the surface. Accept that not all people are the same. Embrace that difference.

We're better than this, aren't we?

This was my (hurried due to a work project) entry to LJI Week 9. The topic is Keep calm and end this meme.
Meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem): "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
Back in the mid-50s, my dad was stationed in Italy. As part of being in Europe, my parents did the tourist thing.One of the places they went was Annadale and Raehills in Scotland. While there, dad was officially recognized as a member of Clan Johnstone.

The Johnstone/Johnston/Johnson clan were known for being rabble-rousers. They were part of the border clans who defended Scotland from the English. According to legend, it was a Johnstone who captured Comyn's messenger and warned Robert the Bruce that the English were hunting him down; this earned the family a winged spur on the coat of arms. Johnstones also provided a large percentage of the supporters of William Wallace. Yes, my family were the kilt-clad barbarians showing their privates to the English troops.

My father carried on the warrior spirit. He fought in both Korea and Vietnam, and missed fighting in WWII by less than a year. His Navy accommodations included the China Service Medal, 2 National Defense Service Medals, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, 4 Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of VietNam Campaign Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Chiefs of Staff Medal, Combat Action Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

For not being Scottish born, he was a true Scotsman.

This has been my entry for Week 7 of LJ Idol. I hope you don't mind seeing a rather reminiscent look at an American born Scotsman.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
"Step on a crack, break your mother's back.
Step on a line, break your mother's spine."

We've all heard the rhyme, right? Obviously it's not to be taken literally. While sympathetic magic would allow for the transference of similarities between a crack and a spinal column, the amount of energy needed to make that work as a spell would be outside the realm of a child's rhyme.

That's not to say that children don't hurt their mothers. My kids generally manage to wound me at least once a week. It's just the slings and barbs from kids don't often leave physical marks or broken bones.

"I don't care."
"I hate you!"
"Why should I?"
"No one cares about me."
"You're trying to ruin my life!"
"You don't really love me."

Such simple words. It all makes you bleed on the inside, though. Even knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the words aren't meant, that it's just something said in anger, that they have no idea how it tears you apart inside -- it still hurts. I can say from experience that having a fracture in your C3 and C4 hurts less than words spoken by an angry child, at least for me.

As a parent, you aren't supposed to show the hurt. There are stages in child development when if a child knows something causes pain, it will be repeated in a bid for control. Through all the yelling and slammed doors, you're supposed to remain stoic. That's not an easy thing to do. I've slammed doors myself more than once (hey, I've never claimed to be a perfect mom) in response to a teenage tantrum. As much as I wish my teens came with an instruction manual, I don't think I'd have the patience to follow it.

So what do you do? How do you handle it when your child says something so hurtful?

You keep moving. You work past the hurt and remind yourself that words spoken in anger are regretted in calmer moments. You make yourself find the reason why they said such a hateful thing -- the hurt hiding behind the anger.

Beyond all else, you love.

This has been my entry for Week 6 of LJ Idol. The topic was Step On a Crack. Thank you for reading.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
My mother turned 40 a month and a half after I was born.

"So?" you say. "That's no big deal."

Except when it totally is.

When my mother was a teenager, WWII was going on. There are family stories about the POW camp near her town and the German soldiers that would walk in to her father's store to get odd treats and chat up the pretty girl. She was in college when she met my father. They had a grand total of three dates before they married in the 1950s -- Daddy was in the Navy, so most of their relationship was carried on by correspondence, both before and after the marriage.

Mom was every inch the military housewife. She ran things when Dad was deployed -- which was 19 of the first 27 years they were married. She had three sons, and one surprise baby girl just as the youngest son was gearing up to turn 13. She smiled and had bake sales and ran the PTA, was a member of both the Enlisted and (later) Officers Wives Clubs, supervised moves for herself and others. She's lived in Italy and Japan and on both coasts of the States. Behind the scenes, she always Got Things Done, whether it was a birthday party thrown together days after an international move or "arranging" for a cheating wife and family to be transferred to another base.

That was the woman who raised me. June Cleaver from a distance, Lucretia Borgia when she needed to be. She raised me to be a 1950s housewife just like her. I can sew, cook, clean and make it all look easy. I know how to handle a surprise "Honey I'm bringing the boss home for dinner" call with less than an hour's warning. I can golf and dance and mix cocktails and hold my own at any Country Club party. I can change a baby's diapers while making sure the toddler isn't peeing in the fireplace or covering the dog in mayonnaise.

Those skills are not exactly relevant in today's society.

You see, between when my mother became a housewife and I came along, this little thing called the 1960s happened. You may have heard of it. Suddenly women weren't expected to be Susy Homemaker any more. We were supposed to have jobs and careers and fulfilling lives outside of the family. Trophy wives were no longer The Thing To Be. The world changed, without my mother's permission.

She didn't see a need to change with it.

When I went to college, it was with firm instructions to "find a nice boy to settle down". I was told to hang out at the fraternities on campus because the "nice" boys would be there. Following that advice landed me in a world of trouble and hurt. So I turned my back on her vision of my future. I found a passion for knowledge, followed that through undergrad and grad school and into the working world. I refused to be the 1950s Trophy Wife my mother wanted me to be.

I'm not sure she's ever forgiven me for that.

There's still a little of the 1950s upbringing in me. Just a touch -- and that touch is enough to often make me feel like part of me is living in a different era. Sometimes I still fantasize about the life envisioned for me, about being the Trophy Princess in a castle on a hill.

Til fantasies come true, I'll be just fine in the castle I've built for myself.

This is my entry for LJ Idol Season 9, Week 3, In Another Castle. Thank you for reading.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I'm sure by now most people have heard about Chris Pervocracy's Missing Stair Theory. If you haven't, go give it a read (there is a trigger for discussion of rape culture). I'll wait.
Rape discussion inside, enter at your own risk )
deza: (Secret master librarians)
You can either laugh or cry, and crying doesn't do any good.

In 2012, I was told I would never walk again. At that point, I was 3.5 years into using a wheelchair. My legs had started to atrophy, they told me. Physical therapy would slow down the deterioration, but the damage was already done.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my wheelchair. It was made to fit me, courtesy of my very generous brother. It's comfortable and supportive and best of all has these great front wheels that light up in rainbow colors. I've worn through sets of tires zooming around with my first service dog, Guinness. Used to piss off the Marines something fierce when we'd outrun them on their PT jogs, too.

But I'm not ready to spend the rest of my life there.

I started making changes in my life. I was already in the separation period for my divorce (second divorce from the same guy; I'll elaborate some other time). I didn't want to be re-entering the dating world in a chair. Some part of me would always be wondering if any interest was from pity, and I have enough self esteem issues without adding that on! I stopped taking my pain medications. I also stopped taking the weekly low-dose chemotherapy treatments. Most of my doctors were horrified, of course. There is no cure for my condition, and shutting down the patient's immune system is the standard course of treatment.

I knew I was in for a world of hurt.

At that point, I was taking enough hydrocodone to knock out a small rhino. It kept me in a haze. I wasn't a good mother, or a good anything else. I just stayed in bed and stared at the wall and didn't care about anything. One of the things I was busy not caring about was the pain. When your body has built extra bits of bone, those bits tend to press on the nerves in odd ways. This causes everything from that tingly pins-and-needles feeling to burning to numbness to sharp stabbing pain, and the pain doesn't go away. Even with the drugs, it's still there, you just don't care about it any more.

The week I stopped taking the pain meds, the section of Virginia where I lived was hit by an earthquake. The quake was followed by a hurricane three days later. Through all that, I was detoxing off of morphine, processing out the last of the chemotherapy, and dealing with the crippling amounts of pain without the morphine-derived buffer zone.

I cried a lot.

I also laughed a lot.

There are points in life when you are faced with a choice. You can give in to the despair of your situation and let it weight you down until you can no longer move. You can say "This is all too much; I can't take any more." No one will blame you if you give in. It's more than any person is expected to bear. Or you can say "To hell with this, I mean to live!"* You can decide that no one, not even an incurable illness, will control your life. You make yourself laugh in the face of the pain. You get up and get on with your life no matter how badly the odds are stacked against you.

I walked.
Now I plan to dance.

Me in my awesome light-up wheelchair at Camp LeJeune, 2009

*Joss Whedon writes the best stuff -- that line from Serenity has become a mini-mantra for me.

This has been my entry for Week 1 of Season 9, LJ Idol. The topic was Jayus, "From Indonesian, meaning a joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh." I hope you enjoyed reading it.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
Yes, I'm really doing this. Again.

A lot has changed for me in the last few years. Since I haven't been very good about keeping my LJ friends up to date, this is as good a time as any to recap what's been going on.
Background for the new folks )
And what's going on now )
Me, I'm just trying to get this all to work out, one way or another. My life has been many things, but boring has never been one of them!

One last Tassie pic, because puppy. :)

LJ Idol entry, Season 9/OMG THE END, Week 0. The topic is "Introduction"> Any questions?
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I'm trying LJ Idol again. Scared yet?
The Real LJ Idol
deza: (Secret master librarians)
The house is a little odd. It was a duplex when we got it. The first thing I did was rip up carpets and knock holes in the walls. Turns out it was originally a single-family house. I re-opened a sealed door that now leads from the upstairs hall to the master bath, knocked out a closet to open the door from the upstairs hall to the master suite, and put a hole in the wall to open up from the foyer to the gaming parlor. These pics are after the carpets were removed, so you won't get to see the 70s green shag. You can thank me later.

I'll eventually be removing the 1980s wallboard and the drop ceilings to open the place back up to the 10' ceilings everywhere. Under the wallboard is beautiful lathe-and-plaster construction, with horesehair in the plaster.
Pics ahoy! )

Hey there

Oct. 11th, 2013 04:54 pm
deza: (Delila's logo)
Yep, still alive. Shocking, I know.

I got a house! Technically it's two halves of a duplex, but I knocked down a couple of walls and voila! house. It's huge. Anyone want to come help me unpack and strip 120 year old wallpaper off the walls?



Jul. 11th, 2013 01:25 pm
deza: (Secret master librarians)
So life goes on, right?

In real life news, the divorce is final. If anyone would care to take me out for celebratory drinks/dessert/sexcapades, I'm down with that.

My adopted 23-year-old managed to put my car upside down in a ditch. He was successful in avoiding the deer; he was not successful in avoiding the mountain. I'm glad he didn't land on the train tracks or in the river. He spent a little over a day in the hospital for observation. He's ok. Relatively. Is any 23-year-old ever completely ok?

Either way, I'm in a desperate car hunt right now. The insurance company is only paying for a rental through Monday. I still have a repo on my record (happened when I was on the chemo/painkiller combo, and Andrew didn't care what it did to my credit score so he stopped making payments on it), so getting financing is a challenge. I'm debating driving back down to VB this weekend just because I know where the "no credit check" car dealers are down there. I have me heart set on a Jeep Wrangler, too -- if the boy is going to roll it again, I want to be able to roll it right back and keep going!

And that's it from my corner of the world.
deza: (Secret master librarians)
I went to a high school that had The Trojans as a mascot. Go ahead and laugh; we all did. There was a larger-than-life Trojan warrior statue at the entry of the school, complete with a strategically placed sword that more than once was decorated with namesake condoms. Oddly enough, I can't find a picture of it online and the picture in my 1986 yearbook really doesn't show the full glory.

Like every "football is our religion" high school, we had rivals. Part of the rivalry involved school pranks. Some of the pranks were cruel, some were funny, some I look back now and wonder what we were thinking. I'm still not sure what stealing a fiberglass cow sculpture and boosting it onto the school roof was supposed to say, but damn it we did it anyway!

One year, our rivals from the other side of the county decided they needed to let chickens dyed in our school colors loose on the football field before homecoming. That probably would have been more effective if our school colors had been something other than green and white. Still, the gauntlet was thrown, so the next week it was our turn to make their homecoming experience memorable.

Sticking with the theme, chickens were involved.

The interesting thing about using chickens in a prank is the little buggers can disappear in plain sight and reappear somewhere completely unexpected. If you've ever played Legend of Zelda you've seen this happen. Being enterprising young delinquents, we decided to use this to our advantage. We got three lovely, healthy chickens and painted numbers on them, then let them loose in their halls during the school day.

In relatively short order, they were rounded up. Our rivals were presented with chickens numbered 1, 2 and 4.

I'm not sure how many hours were lost searching for Chicken 3.

Best. Prank. Ever.

This has been my entry for Week 5 of The Real LJ Idol. The topic was Go Tell the SpartansTrojans. I hope you enjoyed my little stroll down memory lane!
deza: (Secret master librarians)
It's pretty common knowledge that people come to the public library to ask about everything. I do mean everything. Want to know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? Screw the owl; ask a librarian. How many neck vertebrae does a giraffe have? Do these cognac-colored shoes go with camel slacks? When does a movie start three towns over? What's the square root of pi?

Librarians have the answer.

Sadly, it's not uncommon for people to come to the library when they have a medical issue. It wasn't that surprising when one grey-haired lady showed up at the reference desk with an obviously ill little girl in tow. This child was miserable. Her face was flushed, her eyes were red, it was obvious she had been crying and she had this odd rash on her cheeks. The woman marched up to the desk and said "The doctor said my granddaughter has Scarlet fever. Says she needs to be quarantined. I think he's nuts. Does this look like Scarlet fever to you?"

First off, librarians are NOT medical professionals. We may be smart, but years of medical school aren't part of the library master's degree curriculum. Trust me on this one. We'd get paid a lot more.

Secondly, if the doc says a kid has a highly contagious disease, parading said kid through a busy public building full up with other kids probably isn't the best idea. Really.

I did the only thing I could do - gave the woman a CDC printout on Scarlet fever, told her to follow her doctor's advice and asked her not to bring a sick child into the library again. Once she left (in a huff, of course; how dare ANYONE suggest she put the best interest of both the child and the public ahead of her own indignation!), I wiped the desk down with antibacterial solution, let the Branch manager know what had happened, and hoped no one else would catch it.

What would you have done?

This has been my entry for this week's LJ Idol. The topic was "Does this look infected to you?" Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
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