That Time I Saw A UFO

Jun 2, 2013

When you go to college in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by corn fields and the occasional hog farm, you should know that aliens seem to prefer that type of terrain for scaring the shit out of you.

Those small town Liberal Arts schools are fantastic, and are totally worth going to, but if you go, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  It’s when you least expect it that a giant light in the sky will try to beam you up.  I know, because it happened to me.

Well, that’s an exaggeration.  It didn’t try to beam us up so much as we were just terrified that it would.

One night, a friend and I were driving back from The Big City, where we’d lived the big life by going to a Target and a Taco Bell, when we saw a bright light moving in the sky in front and above us.  Nothing seemed off at first, but  it kept getting bigger and bigger and on a path that seemed to be heading straight towards us.

Now, at this point, we thought it was a plane.  A little plane doing a flyover, then a big plane that must’ve been off course, then an even bigger plane coming in for an emergency landing, using the freeway lights as a landing strip.

That’s when curiosity turned into panic.  I’d seen enough emergency landings on the news to know that I didn’t want to be on the “landing strip” (I mean, duh).  But should I stay on the road or veer off?  Keep driving or stop?  The light got massive, and before I could make a decision, it shot to the right of us.  Just like that.  All the way over to the right of us, and then back up a bit.  And then it shot in another direction.  And then more lights lit up in a row under the main light.

And the panic turned to fear.  Blinding fear.  Because that was obviously NOT a plane.

It had taken about five minutes for the light to descend, then just a few seconds for it to shoot around.  While we watched it hovering, it suddenly shot off into the distance like a shooting star, its light leaving a streak in the sky.

I shit you not.

The rest of the drive back to school, my friend and I tried to convince ourselves that the government must’ve been testing out some secret new flying machine.  But when the only open parking spaces meant we had to walk a LONG way back to the dorm, we huddled against each other, terrified that light was going to come back and beam us up so there weren’t any witnesses left behind.

We are both still alive and haven’t had any other UFO experiences (as far as we know), so whatever it was in the sky that night didn’t deem us worth the trouble of picking up.  In retrospect, the whole things seems a little silly.  But it was REAL.  If God created the Earth and us humans, then he certainly could’ve created other beings in other places.  After seeing what I did, I’m open to the possibility.

And, no, I was not high or drunk.  Not that time.

So the next time your out in the middle of nowhere and you see a star start to get bigger and brighter and closer until, finally, you think it’s going to crash into the earth right where you are, remember my story and run for your life.  It could be an asteroid or a plane, but it’s probably a UFO.  And you might not be as lucky as me with the whole beaming up thing.

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How Eggnog Plus Rum Equals Bangs

Dec 1, 2012

One of the things I love the most about the Holidays is eggnog!

When I saw it on the shelf at Trader Joe’s a few days ago I did a little shuffle right there in the dairy aisle.  I turned to one of my oldest friends, Beth, who visits every year for Thanksgiving (and doesn’t mind getting dragged along on shopping trips), and practically squealed.

Me: Look, Beth!  Eggnog!

Beth: Oh, cool!  And you know what goes really good with Eggnog, right?


We spiked that eggnog before all of the groceries were even out of the car.

But you know what happens when you drink spiked eggnog?

Bangs.  Bangs happen.

Beth, taking a big draw of eggnog: Hey, what happened to your bangs?

Me: Oh, I grew them out!

Beth: You should totally bring the bangs back.

Me: You are SO right!

And so the next day I made a same-day appointment, and this is how it pretty much went down.

Me at salon: Oh I LOVE them!

Me at home: Aren’t these great?  They were flat ironed, though, so these hot bangs you see on my forehead right now might be a bit hard to recreate.

Me the next day: Well, bang shrinkage is normal, so I just need to wash my hair and all will be fine.

Me after shower: Crap.

Me the day after that: Crap crap CRAP.

Me that night, after wallowing in some more spiked eggnog: I just need MORE bangs.  Like Zoe Deschanel!  Yeah, that’ll do the trick!

The appointment has been made.  And the alcohol has been put away until after my trim, in case I make any more stupid hair decisions.

My husband has assured me that even if I end up with a giant triangle of bangs that start at the top of my head and angle down to where my ears attach to my head, he will still love me.  So there’s that.

Oh, and Beth?  Thanks a lot, you turd.  This whole More Bangs thing better turn out well or revenge will be sweet!


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The Morning My Mother Accused Me Of Leaving Heroin On The Kitchen Counter

Aug 16, 2012

After dragging myself out of bed this morning, I ran into my mom in the hallway.

We started chatting, then all of a sudden her face changed to disapproval and her hands went to her hips.  She looked the way that moms do when they’re about to chastise you for something.

Mom: I saw the heroin on the kitchen counter last night.

It took a moment for what she said to sink in, because that’s not the kind of thing you expect to hear from someone first thing in the morning.

And then panic swept through me.  OH. MY. GOD.

Did I leave heroin on the kitchen counter?

Well, NO.  Duh.  I don’t do heroin.  But then what was she talking about?  Did someone ELSE leave heroin on the counter?  Did someone sneak into my house and do drugs in my kitchen and then not clean up after themselves?  Or did I bake something and leave some flour on the counter and she just thought it was heroin?  And if that was the case, why on earth would she think it was heroin and not flour?  Was my behavior kind of off lately and she must think it was because I was doing drugs?

Mom: And I just couldn’t resist.  I partook!

She kept staring at me, disapproval seeping from her and hitting me like heat waves.

WHAT?  WTF?  Now I was really confused.

She PARTOOK?  Did my mom snort flour?  Did she lick it off the counter?  Did she have a bad reaction to the flour and that’s why she thinks it was heroin?  Or maybe it WAS heroin!!  Did my mom accidentally do heroin?  But if so, HOW did it get on the counter?


And she just stood there, staring at me, and me staring back at her, my jaw on the ground and my eyes a bit buggy, until my groggy morning brain cleared enough for me to remember that what I HAD left on the kitchen counter was not a stash of heroin, but a chocolate cake.  Which for us is kind of LIKE heroin, in that it’s pulls us in with it’s deliciousness, and we keep going back for more, even after it attaches to our hips and backsides and makes our bodies bulge in very VERY unflattering ways.

As soon as I started laughing she relaxed her stance and joined me.

Me: Oh my WORD, mom!  I thought you were being serious!  I’d totally forgotten about the cake, and I was trying to figure out how to convince you that it wasn’t my heroin and that I wasn’t a drug addict!

And then she went to take a shower, and I went to calm my nerves with some chocolate cake.

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Reading Fifty Shades Of Grey At Inflatable World

Jun 12, 2012

When my friend invited me to tag along to a place called Inflatable World, my first thought was of us walking through a warehouse full of blowup dolls with giant red lips.  I laughed with relief when she told me it was an outdoor bouncy house playground for kids, because as much as I love hanging out with my friend, shopping for sex toys is something I just can’t do as a group activity.

Not too long after we arrived I looked over and noticed a woman comfortably stretched out in a lounge chair reading a book.  Her shoes were kicked off to the side and she was sensually rubbing her feet against each other while she chewed on her bottom lip.

Me: Look, Jen, see what that woman is reading? Gah!

Jen: Yeah?  And?

Me: You don’t know about Fifty Shades of Grey?

Jen: No?

Me: OMG!  Okay, it’s basically erotic porn for women.  Like a romance novel on condoms.  It’s a best seller, and is supposedly doing all kinds of good stuff for relationships that need help in, um, that area.

Jen: So it gets you horny!

Me: Yes!  And that woman over there is getting horny in Inflatable World!

It was an odd place to be enjoying oneself, with the hundreds of kids and parents running around (my two kids alone are enough to knock me out of the mood), but you’ve got to hand it to the woman for her confidence.

Me: You know how people tell PDA offenders to get a room?  I’m going to yell, “Get a Kindle!”  Just for fun!


So I didn’t.  I guess it’s good to have mature friends with you when the mood to be 15 strikes.

I don’t know if I’d ever see the movie (Okay, who am I kidding, I’m TOTALLY going to see the movie.  And apparently I’m a closet prude because I can’t imagine going in anything less than a full body cape that would completely hide my identity.), but it’s fun to weigh in on the whole Fifty Shades of Grey casting craze that’s taken over the web.

I think I have to jump on the Dave Gandy train.  Though he’s kind of obscure, I don’t know if he has a train.  If I had to go mainstream, then it’s Chris Hemsworth all the way.












Though, really, any of the guys being considered for the role will smoke it.

So with all that said, I guess I need to get a move on it and read the books.  I will be downloading them to my PHONE, though.  No physical evidence!  I don’t need Gabi coming across them in a few years and asking, “What are THESE about, mom?”

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Does God Hear You If You’re On The Toilet?

Jun 6, 2012

My mom picked Gabi and the two other girls that we carpool with up from school today.

In the car, one of the girls, who is incredibly polite and well-mannered, decided to share some very serious topics about God.

These are two gems from that conversation that need to live in perpetuity:

“If you accept Jesus as your Savior, make sure you’re not sitting on the toilet when you do it.  That happened to me, so I did it a second time just to be sure it stuck.”


“If you fart while you’re praying, that’s rude.  And you need to start over.”

I love eight-year-old brains.

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How We Prank Grandma

May 28, 2012

We were having a pretty silly Saturday morning, the whole family lounging in the living room yakking and laughing over whatever popped into our minds.  Gabi lifted up my arm and gave me a disapproving look.

Gabi: Mom!  You are so hairy!  Look, Dad, at how hairy mom’s armpits are!

Me: Leave me alone!

Gabi: Will you give me three dollars if I smell your armpit?

Me: Um, NO. I really have no problem with  you smelling my armpit, so go right ahead for free.

And because I was in a silly frame of mind, I had the BEST idea.

Me: GABI!  Go upstairs and climb into Grandma’s bed and smell HER armpit!  When she wakes up and freaks out, ’cause she’ll be sleepy and not know what’s going on, just insist that you need to smell her armpit.

Gabi: Okay!

We love playing tricks on groggy Grandma, so up the stairs she charged.  I heard her say, “Grandma!  I need to smell your armpit!”  There was some mumbled conversation and then Gabi bounded down the stairs.

Gabi: She was really confused and wouldn’t let me do it!

Me: Okay, now go up and tell her that you really do need to smell her armpit, kay?  And don’t let her say no!  And I’ll give you a QUARTER.

Up she ran again, and by now she and I were laughing so hard I almost peed in the chair I was sitting in (life after two pregnancies), and she was having a hard time talking straight as she made her armpit smelling demands.

Gabi: Okay, mom!  She let me smell her armpit!  Now give me my quarter.

Me: Go back upstairs and tell Grandma that SHE owes you the quarter, since it was her armpit you had to smell.

When Gabi came back down she had a message for me.

Gabi: Grandma says that you need to lay off the alcohol!  And she gave me THREE quarters!

My mom should know by now that it takes far less than drinking in the morning to get me in such a silly state.  Pretty much all I need is the air I breathe.

I love fun mornings like this one!  Especially with pancakes.

*My mom is used to our shenanigans, and has been known to pull a few of her own, so it’s all good.

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So What’s A Mystery Date Anyway?

May 23, 2012

Gilberto and I are part of a couples group that takes turns planning Mystery Dates.

No, it’s not THAT kind of group.  I only mention this because you’d be surprised how many people think I’m talking about something kinky, even after I’ve explained what it is we do.  It’s like no matter what I say, they’re waiting for me to get to the part where the clothes come off.  So just to be clear, THE CLOTHES DO NOT COME OFF.

When the date day arrives, you’re told where to meet, what to wear and how much money to bring.  The rest is a surprise!

Last Saturday it was our turn to plan.

Me: We need to so something different than we usually do!

Gilberto: Paintball!

Me: No, we always plan physical stuff.  We should do something cultural!  Like go see the Titanic Artifact Exhibit at the Natural History Museum!  Oh my gosh, doesn’t that sound awesome?

Gilberto: Um, no, not really.

Me: WHAT?  It’s the TITANIC!  And ARTIFACTS!  FROM THE TITANIC!  What’s not to love?

Gilberto: It just doesn’t sound like something fun for a group.  But you do whatever you want to and I’m sure it’ll be great.  You are totally in control of this one, hon.

See, that man is clever.  He saw disaster looming and was able to bow out of any accountability and all planning responsibilities by laying on the flattery.  I’m such a sucker.  And I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I guess I need to start listening to his opinion more, because the museum thing was a total bust just like he predicted.  It’s the second time he’s been right about something recently.  My world is imploding!

Not all was lost, though.  We were able to find redemption with our next stop, a place called Extraordinary Deserts that I’m sure is replicated in Heaven.

Eating desert first is our new thing.  Actually, it’s one of the other couples’ thing, but we stole it because it’s AWESOME.  My inner six-year-old gets giddy every time we eat the sugar first, and Extraordinary Deserts is the best place in San Diego to do it.

Here’s what Gilberto and I shared:

I would have licked the plates if we’d gone on our own and I knew I wouldn’t have to see anyone there ever again.

I also got a Rose Lemonade.

It tasted just like roses!

After desert we moved on to dinner at a Mexican restaurant close to home.  I had originally thought going to an English Pub would be cool, as it fit into the whole Titanic theme, but I’m so glad I abandoned that idea.  Adding bad, bland food on top of the museum experience might’ve gotten us banned from the group!

At least we’ve had two other really great Mystery Dates under our belts.  We’re two for three.  Now the pressure’s on to knock the next one we plan out of the water.

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Nathan Fillion: From Not To Hot

May 21, 2012

My Netflix obsession has taught me a very important lesson: you can’t judge the hotness of an actor based on just one role.

Nathan Fillion in Castle…

NOT Hot.

Nathan Fillion in Firefly


Like, Holy Heck Hot.

This Space Cowboy blows Luke Skywalker out of the freakin’ water, in my humble opinion.

(I can’t believe Firefly got cut after only 14 episodes.  A serious disservice to mankind, and not just because of Nathan Fillion- the show is FANTASTIC.  The follow-up movie, Serenity, is a nice little wrap-up of loose ends, but isn’t nearly as good as the show.)


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Apparently I Have Eyeball Issues

May 18, 2012

I cut my eyeball with a cardboard clothing tag.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the whole world who has ever done this.  If I’m wrong, and there’s someone else, we totally need to bond over margaritas.

How it happened is a really long story involving a trip to the Brazilian Consulate in Los Angeles, a Marshall’s and a pair of baby pajamas that had a cute bunny on the butt.  And having to be led blind and crying back to the car while Mason, sensing that we weren’t on our A game, kept trying to make a break for it.  And then suffering through two hours of eyeball pain and nausea (I get car sick if I’m not driving) before we got back home.

So that little incident?  Was SEVEN MONTHS ago.  I got slightly better every day, so I didn’t go to see an eye doctor.  Actually, I didn’t really know that I was supposed to go to one.  Not until Blaine on Glee got his eye injured and had to have SURGERY did I think, wow, maybe I should get my eye checked out.  Because after seven months, it still wasn’t completely healed.  Yes, I’m a total idiot.

My appointment was yesterday, and I should’ve known when I felt the urge to throw up in the waiting room that the whole thing wasn’t going to go well.

First, dropping liquids into your eye is COUNTER-INTUITIVE.  That’s what blinking is for.  So getting the numbing and dilating drops into my eyes was a bit of a challenge.  The doctor ended up having to push my head against the headrest with his arm, and hold my eyelids open.  And then I cried, and we had to do it a second time.  And then it STUNG.  And then he sent me out  into Costco to wander around by myself for 20 minutes with a tissue to dab at my watering eyes.  I didn’t want to go far because I looked like a mess, so I just went up and down the electronics aisles, ending at the 3D televisions.  Only I didn’t know they were 3D and had a moment of panic where I thought the drops were making me go blind.

And then the doctor tried to get a piece of lint out of my good eye with his FINGER and I started crying again.  Sobbing, actually.  And I made him promise he wouldn’t touch my eyeball again.  Or the other one, the one I was actually there for him to take a look at, emphasis on look.

After more examining and a few unsuccessful attempts to lighten the mood, he said, “I guess I shouldn’t joke around with you!”  And that made me realize how far I’d fallen, because I’m usually the one cracking jokes, especially in hard times.  And I was so disappointed in myself that the tears started rolling again.  Though part of it might have been due to my fingers hurting from clenching the chair arms so tightly.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that I’ve been put on the DO NOT SEE AT ANY COST list.

The good news is that it’s a clean slice, and some super salty drops will help the flap adhere back to my eyeball and my eyelid won’t rip it open anew every morning when I wake up.  Kinda nice to know what was causing all the pain, in a NOT sorta way.  From now on I’ll be attaching a No Details clause to all my eye appointments.

What I figured out from this whole debacle, besides GO TO THE FREAKIN’ DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY IF YOU HURT YOUR EYE (I was told that I was very lucky),  is that I can add Eyeball Touching Phobia to my fear of heights.  And spiders.  Oh, and my fear of anything that can come out of a child’s head (puke, snot, slobber, eye boogers, ear wax, etc.).  Seriously, what’s one more?

I keep thinking back to that walk we had to do from the store to the car, and laughing.  It was a bumpy one!  I even tripped down two stairs.  Let’s just say that if Gilberto and I were ever on Survivor and we were playing that game where one person leads the blindfolded, I would not nominate Gilberto for that role.  Or I would not be blindfolded.  Either way.

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Netflix Is A Dangerous Place

May 12, 2012

When I saw Gabi splayed out on the couch, remote in hand, channel surfing and not able to turn it off despite complaining that there was nothing on, I decided that, dagnabit, we didn’t need a TV anymore.  Gilberto talked me off of that ledge and we opted to get rid of live TV and rely solely on Netflix and Hulu Plus memberships to see us through any dark times that might arise.  I envisioned us all having much more productive days, full of learning and crafting for the kids.  I’d even get to the ironing pile!  And finish Gabi’s baby book!  And just add an occasional show to fill in a cold and rainy Saturday night.

Any illusion I had that getting rid of cable was going to cut down on our TV watching time has been busted.

(I also discovered that I’m a bit lacking when it comes to self control.  Though my WHOLE LIFE probably should’ve clued me in on that one.)

It started with Glee.  I was hooked 10 minutes in, and proceeded to watch 58 episodes in the next 6 days (44 on Netflix, 14 on Hulu Plus).  That is a LOT of high school and emotionally driven singing to take in in such a short amount of time.  I started having dreams about all the characters and getting lost on choir trips and kept waking up in a panic thinking I was 17 again.  It was such a relief to finally catch up to the current season.

My next series obsession was a joint venture with Gabi.  We started watching an Australian show called H2O, Just Add Water.  It doesn’t even matter what it was about (three young girls that turn into mermaids whenever they get wet), we were really just watching it for the accent.  We spent weeks trying to copy it, including Gilberto, because he was in the unfortunate situation of having his computer within earshot of the TV, and I was the only one who couldn’t do it.  I just end up sounding like I’m drunk.  It’s one of my greatest disappointments in life.

Next up was My So Called Life.  I was so excited to find it, and was ready to relive some of the best TV of my youth.  But, y’all, I am too old to be watching angsty stuff like that again!  It was seriously STRESSING ME OUT.  I guess I can only take so much drama in a day before I start siding with all the adults and declaring the kids crazy and in need of some long term boarding reform school.  They should’ve been in Glee club.

After that I moved on to more peaceful stuff like Shark Week, Portlandia and Lilyhammer.

Once I start, I can’t stop!  I need some serious intervention.  But not until after I watch Madmen and Weeds.  At the rate I’m going I’ll be free in about two weeks.

We should’ve just dumped the TV when we had the chance.  I blame Gilberto.

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