Watch out for those bird nests…

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One of the things that I spend most of my time with celebrated a big event in her life this week:

Freda Fusion hit 100,000 miles.

It seems like only yesterday when we first braved the MN winters together.

Never mind that when we first met she had a mere 52 miles on her transmission and seemed so young and innocent. Freda and I have been through a lot together — 40-mile-one-way commutes, trips to MI, hairy dogs, camping trips.

In honor of Freda’s big day, I decided that it’s about time that I share my most memorable car story:

The day I learned how quick the fire department can respond to a call.

The year was 2002. I was a junior in high school, looking forward to summer vacation and sleeping until noon.

I hate to admit this most of the time, but I was a cheerleader back then. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but I wasn’t the ditzy, giggly cheerleader-type. I joined because my friend wanted me to. And to get into all the football and basketball games for free. And to ride on the bus with my uber-crush. And to maybe get run over by him and then he would finally notice me and confess his undying love for me and then we would live happily ever after the end.

**Sidenote: I was never run over by said uber-crush. He never confessed his undying love for me. But I must say that I am definitely living happily ever after.

Awww…gross, I know.

Anyway, back to the car story.

My parents let me drive their Ford Taurus around and I loved having that freedom. Aside from the fact that I had to share it with my younger brother, I could pretty much go where I wanted when I wanted.

A car in high school = instant awesomeness.

On that fateful night back in 2002, I had cheerleading meeting at school and as luck would have it, my uber-crush was tutoring some kid in the commons area. I decided to stick around a bit longer to gaze longingly at the genius that  was my uber-crush hang around with my friends.

It was getting late and I decided I should probably head home after a less than successful attempt at the love confession. I walked to where my car was parked outside and I was passed by a senior boy carrying a camcorder and running toward the door.

Rae: “What’s going on out there?”

Senior guy: “Dude! Somebody’s car is on fire!!!”

Rae: “Sweet!”

I took off behind the guy, only to come around the corner and see the Taurus in flames.

One thing that is important to know about me in high school is that I wasn’t really a bad kid. I was sometimes painfully shy, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t get knocked up, and didn’t really swear all that often.

But when you see your parents’ car burning in front of your high school, there is only one thing to say:

“Sh*t!”

I threw my keys to the ground, ran up to the car, shook my hands in dismay and screamed. I was screwed. The dean of students flew past me with a fire extinguisher and a dormitory tutor was trying to beat out the flames with a pizza box.

I ran up four flights of stairs to borrow a friend’s cell phone to call my parents. I was so winded that it took a while for my friends to understand what the heck was going on. When I called home, my mom answered:

Rae: “Um, hi. Can I talk to Dad?”

Mom: “What’s going on?”

Rae: “Oh nothing. Can I talk to Dad?”

Mom: “No seriously, what’s going on?”

Rae:   sigh   “Okay, fine. Um, I’m at school and the car’s on fire.”

Mom: “We’ll be right there. Dad, get in the car!”

I was done for. No more car privileges for me. I might as well cut up my license.

By this point, I was sitting on the curb next to the smoldering car, trying to figure out if I should run away or rub soot on my face to look like I had been through hell trying to save the car. Not screaming and running away like my initial reaction had been.

The fire department showed up and all of the neighbors were out on their porches since it was almost 10:00 PM. The firefighters walked up slowly to survey the scene, looking around to determine why the roof of the car caught on fire and nothing else.

Then they started laughing. That’s when I noticed what I was parked under.

And that’s also when I noticed the twigs on the top of my car.

My parents came tearing around the corner and raced up to the firefighters. They were still laughing when they started to explain what happened to my frantic mom and dad.

It seems that there was some sort of kindling in the streetlight.

The culprit.

And shortly after the light switched on, it looked like this:

I like to think that it was empty before it burst into a giant inferno.

Which then fell directly into the center of the Taurus, causing the plastic from the light, nest, and paint of the car to catch fire. The car, after a run through the car wash to remove fire extinguisher dust, looked a little something like this:

Also known as The Flaming Chariot of Death.

And so began the short life of The Cow Car, before it was promptly totaled a few months later by my brother.

Here’s hoping that Freda Fusion doesn’t have quite that eventful of  a life. But if she does, I’m praying that she doesn’t go out in flames trying to top the Taurus.

Movie Theater Etiquette

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If there is one thing that I love to do, it’s going to the movies to see the latest blockbuster or a little-known indie film. But inevitably there is going to be someone who steals the show with their theater antics. I never thought sitting in a dark room quietly for two hours would be so difficult.

And you thought the Transformers series was getting long…

This weekend Steve and I decided to see The Avengers, which we were both excited to see having followed all of the previous movies. Not surprisingly, there was a whole host of moviegoers bound and determined to drive me crazy; at least I didn’t react like this guy did.

Here is a list of what I think are common courtesy rules of a movie theater that no one else seemed to be aware of on Saturday night:

1. When in a public place, you should keep your shoes or sandals on your feet.

And you should also refrain from putting bare feet anywhere but the floor.

I understand that some theaters have next to nothing when it comes to legroom. I’ll admit it: I am one of those people that puts my feet on the back of the seat in front of me, but only when there is absolutely no one around that seat.

I was amazed when the woman sitting in front of my removed her sandals and propped her legs up on the seat in front of her, directly next to another man’s head. In disgust, I searched for others appalled as me, only to see the couple next to me doing exactly the same thing.

I shuttered.

2. When drinking a carbonated beverage and the cup is empty, it truly is empty.

More pop will not come out no matter how loudly you slurp.

Once again, this was the group directly in front of me, which consisted of the shoeless mother and her young daughter (definitely too young to be in a PG-13 movie). As the daughter polished off the extra-large pop in the first 10 minutes of the movie, she slurped and slurped and slurped, all while looking at her mother to get a reaction. Her mom just laughed.

Oh dear. This is going to be a LONG movie.

Throughout every fight scene and dramatic music sequence, the daughter would leave for a refill, only to do the same routine 20 minutes later. It took all of my inner strength not to take the cup and throw it across the theater.

3. When you spill your candy during a quiet time in the movie, it should all spill onto the tile floor at one time.

Not over the course of the next 15 minutes.

As if the crinkling of the plastic container wasn’t enough, someone in the back row slowly poured their candy onto the floor — 7 Reese’s pieces at a time.

4. Cell phones do not equal flashlights in a movie theater.

First of all, the screen is pretty bright, so you should have no difficulty finding an open seat in a relatively empty theater. There are also lights illuminating the walkways so that you will not surprisingly trip over someone or something.

But when you come to the movie 30 minutes late and decide to sit near the front, please don’t light up your incredibly bright cell phone, shining it on the tops of the seats.

Maybe she was looking for the boogie man hiding behind her seat? I am still not quite sure.

5. If you eat popcorn so loudly it can be heard over the movie soundtrack, you lose your right to eat it behind me.

Loud eaters are one of my pet peeves to begin with, so when someone is munching popcorn in my ear right behind me, there is nothing else that I can focus on.

I turn into The Hulk and it is not a pretty sight.

Who eat so loud?!?

I do not look good in green.

6. Talking has never been acceptable in movie theaters. Don’t start now.

I shouldn’t even have to put this.

It would be too difficult for me to point out all of the examples people talking in normal voices during the movie. Or yelling in the case of the young girl in front of me.

Even though I had all of these distractions during the movie, I still liked it. Quite a bit, actually. There was enough action to keep Steve happy (especially since I didn’t make him go see What to Expect When You’re Expecting instead) and enough humor to keep me from completely losing it.

The best part: I was uber excited to see that Robin Scherbatsky landed a role in the movie.

Legendary!

Moon over Minnesota

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For some odd reason, growing this human has been the best diet I have ever been on. After 15 weeks, I’m still down 4 pounds from my starting weight, even though I’m quite positive that the jiggle is simply redistributing itself to my front, top and bottom.

Well, I was under that impression until a few days ago at work, when I was reminded that my massive assive still follows behind me no matter where I go.

The weather was warm, so being in a summery mood, I decided to put out more effort than I normally do and shave my legs—for the first time in so long that I am definitely not putting it out into the universe for everyone to see. I’m married. Who am I impressing anymore? Plus, it insulates in the cold winter months.

Anyway, the entire reason for de-hairing was so that I could wear one of my all-time favorite dresses:

Circa June 2011, with a smaller behind (apparently) and my short friend

It has pockets.

So, no explanation needed on why I love it.

I weighed myself at work and shockingly I discovered I was still down those few pounds. I instantly decided that I would celebrate by having pizza for lunch. Obviously.

As I went to sit down, I felt a slow tear move its way up in the rump-region.

My eyes widened.

My mind raced.

What underwear am I wearing?

Oh crap.

I slowly stand and turn so that no one would notice the blinding sight of my pasty patooty, but as I felt around, I was relieved to find that it was only the lining of the dress that had torn.

I still ate an entire pizza for lunch.

Like a slightly torn dress is going to stop me.

In case I freak out randomly…

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Sorry I’ve been avoiding you.

It’s not you.

It’s me.

And the human growing in my abdomen.

That’s right. I can’t keep a secret, so I’ve avoiding posting on here until the news was out in the open and people knew.

And by “out in the open”, I mean FBO. Facebook official.  You know, the new formal announcement to let all of your sort-of acquaintances know what’s going on in your life so they can stalk you for the next 6+ months. Hey, I’m not judging. I’m guilty of it, too. And there are a lot of my friends on there, too.

So, the little one will be arriving around the end of October and I’ve heard suggestions of keeping a journal to remember all of the ridiculous interesting things that come up between then and now. Here are just a few of my observations:

1. Now my dreams are all wacked out. To the point where I’m afraid to be unconscious. I just never know who will show up or what interrogation methods will be used to track down Jack Bauer. I’ve clearly been watching too much 24 on DVD…

2. The Beast knows. And she may or may not be okay with it. She won’t leave my side and needs to cuddle. Constantly. Even in the small recliner we have.

3. My hormones haven’t been too bad except in one aspect of my life: road rage. As if my strong dislike for my fellow commuters wasn’t already outrageous.

Zipper. Merge. Do it, people. Seriously, don’t make me hormonally rage on you.

4. I can really get away with doing nothing now. I have a built-in excuse even though you can’t see it yet.

And most importantly:

5. I have no idea what I have gotten myself into.

I haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth. Yet.

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I know, I know. It’s been almost literally forever since I’ve updated this. Forgive me, for I know not what I am doing.

Seriously, I can’t keep my days straight anymore.

I’m pretty sure it’s winter. Even though we’ve had a relatively mild season, when it drops below 60 degrees, my brain goes into hibernation mode.

Here are the only two things I can seem to think about lately:

and

Both of which I can’t find without a little bit of effort. Too much effort than I want to give right now.

So, if you’re looking for something entertaining to read about today and you somehow miraculously stumbled upon this, I’m sorry. Maybe after a nap, I’ll come up with something.

Until then, read up on this short friend of mine who had a run in with surgery in a foreign country. It’s got excitement, a medical language barrier, and some pain meds, although not enough in my humble opinion.

Happy Friday, yo!

The Talent I Never Knew I Possessed.

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(Yes, I am aware that it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I fell into the ever-growing Holiday Black Hole. Sunday is thankfully our last holiday celebration, at least for a few months, so I’m hoping to recover to my former state soon.)

It’s taken me a week to come up with the best way to describe my latest discovery of how truly awesome I am. Not only am I supremely fantastic* and incredibly humble**, but I continue to amaze myself with my variety of talents.

Dancing while driving.

Making a frozen pizza on the Pizzazz.

Watching 12 hours of TV straight.

But last Friday I even managed to shocked myself.

It was the Christmas celebration with my in-laws last Friday night. All of the brothers were there, along with the parentals and even the grandparents. To try something new, my IL’s decided on some festive fare for the occasion.

Fondue.

I love fondue. Cheese. Chocolate. It doesn’t matter. As long I can cover vegetables and/or cookies in it, I love it. And it loves me.

Well, at least I thought it did.

Having 9 people using one pot of oil to cook meat caused quite the issue when it came to space, so I decided to sneak in first and get my bitty piece of pork sizzling first. The rest of the family joined the feast and soon my dinner was ready!

Being logical, I let the metal skewer cool on my plate.

Apparently I’m not logical and/or did not let it cool long enough.

That’s right:

I burned myself while eating fondue.

Another embarrassing talent.

Not only did I burn myself, I burnt my lip. The metal skewer barely came close to my lip, yet somehow I quickly blistered and found myself in pain. But there was no way that I could make a peep…my BILs would never let me live this down. I just stuck to veggies and lukewarm cheese for the rest of the evening.

And while I am fond of weird and sometimes grotesque medical issues, I did not take a picture of my ailment. I did not to subject you to such horror, so I will demonstrate the results in my most favored medium:

Painted pictures.

Now here’s what I look like normally:

Well, at least that’s what I looked like a few years ago. And yes, I cropped Steve out of this picture. I didn’t want you distracted by his stunning good looks.***

And pay no attention to the teeth.

Now here’s what I imagine the injury looked like:

Not too bad, you say?

Oh, you are sadly mistaken.

This is what it felt like it looked like.

So, see, it was horrific. And mortifying.

Why, fondue?

Why do you hate me? How could you hate this face?

*I’m not really that vain.

**Seriously, I’m not.

***This statement is 100% true. Just don’t tell Steve that. It’ll go straight to his head.