There Are Flamingos on the Walls…
And Other Things I’ve Recently Muttered
I’m having a hard time posting things on here lately. Truth be told, I’m having a hard time getting on the computer for anything other than school work lately. I think it’s been about 2 weeks since I was on Facebook, and probably even longer since I was on Twitter (for those of you who continue to read this blog / follow my tweets / be my Facebook friend, I thank you and promise I will be getting online more in the not-too-distant future). There are several reasons for that, and I’ll actually go into all that without even a hint of apology.
Reason 1 – Perfect Fucking Weather
January and February in Arizona are simply spectacular. We had one weekend of dismal winter to start the year (note when my last blog posted… Jan 2nd… shitty weather) and then again one weekend of rainy overcast gray weather over this past weekend. In between those two meteorological speedbumps (meteorological is a word, speedbumps isn’t… go figure), the high temperatures have been hovering around 80 degrees, the sun has been shining, the breeze has been gentle, and my ass has been spending as much time as possible soaking it all up and ignoring the interwebs and googlenets. I know this must be hard to imagine, as most of you live in places where you’re currently huddled under a blanket typing furiously to generate a tiny amount of heat with your fingers (this is how I imagine life in cold places. Feel free to imagine me sitting at my computer in nothing but a pair of boxers, feet soaking in a children’s pool, dousing myself with ice cubes to stay alive during the horrible summer heat if it makes you feel any better).
Reason 2 – My Never Ending To-Do List
With the change of weather to… you know… utter perfection, comes a need to do a little spring cleaning. And repairing. And upgrading. Etc. It has been a non-stop parade of projects around here. I have built furniture, built shelves, done plumbing, planted plants, painted walls, rewired cable through the attic, and much, much more. Basically, if I’m not outside I’m working on some sort of utter nonsense around the house. Much more on this later.
Reason 3 – The Exmil Has Commandeered My Computer
The Exmil has moved in. What is an Exmil, you ask? Well, remember how I am living with my ex and her new husband? You know, my horribly awkward life which somehow makes sense when you’re living it but is impossible to explain to the outside world without getting a lot of cock-eyed looks? Well, now my Ex-mother-in-law (or Exmil) has moved in as well. She has taken up residence in what was my room, sleeping in what was my bed. Yes, this makes my life much more awkward and much more difficult to explain to the outside world, thanks for asking. She spends countless hours on my computer. We have three computers in the house, so during the day I can usually find one not in use, but after the kids get out of school, or John (the new husband) gets home from work, or when anyone has a day off, all three computers are usually in a constant state of use. This means I have a difficult time doing much more than the requisite school work (though, again, due to #1 and #2 above, I don’t seem to really mind).
Reason 4 – My Blog Has Meandered
Does anyone out there remember the whole idea behind my blog?? Here’s the basics, in case you forgot: essentially, I wanted to write a silly humor blog, in which I occasionally dropped in a story out of my past which was particularly interesting or funny. My blog has lost its way. First of all, the bulk of my blog entries have been stories from my past. So I’m at a point where I’m not entirely sure what to write whenever I DO sit down at the computer and attempt to write this thing. Do I just keep telling stories from my past until I have nothing good to tell anymore? Do I go back to some of the web-based shenanigans which launched this blog (remember good ol’ Jambalaya Dingletwat? Or my post-apocalyptic guide to cars? Those were good times!), or should I go back to doing political rants? I really and truly don’t know where my blog is headed at this point.
From Complete Nonsense to the Utterly Ridiculous
For now, though, I’ll just tell you about the insanity which my life has become.
It’s January (as you may have noticed if you own a calendar or at the very least haven’t been lingering in a coma for the last 29 days), which means, in my house at least, that poker season is upon us. I host a number of poker games throughout the year, beginning with Superbowl weekend. I have begun preparations for this year’s events by including a number of card and poker related projects into my to-do list. The living room, for example, has been redecorated to black, white, and red. In order to drive home the card-based theme, I’m doing a number of pencil-on-paper portraits of cards. That’s right, for once I’m not drawing robots. Instead, I’m drawing things like these:
I plan on finishing them up with some ink (black, red, and yellow only) and framing them up to hang on the walls. My daughter looked at the queen and said, “she’s a little fat.” To which I replied, “well, yeah! She’s the queen of spades, not the starving street urchin of spades!”
Basically, I don’t think anyone in the house quite gets my idea of a playing card theme for the living room. The Exmil suggested pasting cards along the top of the walls like crown molding, which I dismissed as silly. Yet, making pencil card portraits makes sense? I know, I know… look, it’s a fine line, people.
It’s Raining, My Shoes Leak, and My Poker Buddies Don’t Want to Stand
One problem I’m facing with the poker parties, though, is a lack of seating. Last year, it became apparent by my last poker party that I needed to add a second poker table and more chairs to my home furnishings. The second poker table simply isn’t in the cards (get it?! Cards?! Because… poker? Pun? Heh heh… sigh), but if this poker game spills out into a two table tournament like the last couple, I am definitely going to need more chairs.
Which is how I ended up standing outside a Salvation Army thrift store in the rain at 8am on a Saturday. We had gone to the store the previous day in search of more chairs, and they had a set of six dining chairs with padded seats for sale for $75. BUT the entire store was doing a 50% off sale the following day. So, Saturday morning, we awoke to discover that our old friend winter had returned for a brief appearance. The rain was coming down in buckets, but, undeterred, we pressed on to make it to the thrift store before they opened at 8. As I stood shoulder to shoulder with an ASTOUNDING number of like-minded (though less hygienically motivated) people, I soon noted that the bottoms of my shoes were no longer waterproof. Or, even water resistant. In fact, with each step, more and more water squished up through the soles into my socks. Cold, dank water from the parking lot of the Salvation Army thrift store between my toes on a Saturday morning. There’s a circle of hell I never even considered before.
Finally, 8 o’clock arrived, the doors were opened, and the throng of people pushed inside. I walked to where my chairs SHOULD have been, and… nothing. They were gone. I flagged down an employee and asked what had happened to the chairs. She said, “oh those nice black dining chairs? Someone bought them last night. I guess they didn’t want to wait until the sale.”
I guess not. Apparently, they were smarter than me.
Finally, I’ll end with this story. We live in a house built in the 1950′s. As such, it has a serious lack of electrical outlets in most rooms of the house. The hallway and bathroom, in fact, have no outlets at all. So, in order to do anything in the bathroom that requires electricity, you must first plug in an extension cord in one of the bedrooms. I needed (desperately) to trim my beard, and my cordless beard trimmer has recently died. So, I took the hair clippers and plugged them into an extension cord. I took the other end of the cord into the room which USED to be mine, but is now property of the Exmil.
I flipped on the light, plugged in the cord, and turned to leave. Then, like some Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, I head whipped back around in a double-take. There, on the walls which had once been a dull beige, were pink flamingos. Not posters of flamingos. Not framed pictures of flamingos, or even drawings tacked in place on the wall. No, the wall itself had become a sort of retiree-graffiti-tagged art project, complete with palm trees and the beginnings of a lagoon. But, mostly, flamingos.
You see, Exmil is obsessed with flamingos. I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, yeah, they’re pretty as birds go, but they’re not a creature upon which one should become obsessed. But, she’s completely flamingoed. She buys anything she can find with flamingos on them. She has painted them on her luggage, on her dresser, and now, apparently, my bedroom walls.
I stared… somewhat baffled… letting the neon pink image soak into my brain. Finally, as if my superpower was an ability to state the obvious, I mumbled, “there are flamingos on the walls.”
There are, indeed, flamingos on the walls.