Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Don't Be a Menace to Norwood While Drinking Apple Schnapps in Your 'Hood

It’s officially the suckiest heights of winter in Cincinnati. We have somewhere between 9 and infinity inches of snow on the ground. It’s not unbearably cold, but it’s a little windy and staying around the 20s. I’m sick of wearing heavy rubber boots every day that only middle aged women have complemented. I’m getting tired of running from one door to the next. Not that I’ve ever been a terribly outdoorsy person, but I’d give just about anything to have one day to sit by the fountain and watch people and their dogs walk by. Or have a drink in the park and feel the sun on my skin. I’d take just sitting on the stoop of the coffee shop downstairs. I miss our Saturday afternoon walks around the neighborhood. I had a dream just last night that I had a bike but couldn’t ride it. Days can get a little boring now. Even though I’m at work 40 hours a week, there’s always a few hours out of the week where I’m at home and wish there was something else to do. When there’s nothing on tv, I’ve reached every corner I care to see on Facebook, I’m not in the mood for dishes or hanging laundry, and whatever the last meal I had was is still digesting and I’m not hungry. Though I can pass a surprising amount of time staring all googley-eyed at my boyfriend and telling him in multiple ways how much I love him and marveling and his hands or eyes or whatever body part, I suspect that gets annoying sometimes.

The work I do often requires very little thought. It lends itself very well to listening to podcasts and various radio shows because I can pay more attention to what my headphones are saying than I need to pay to my work most of the time. Radio shows also do a pretty decent job of drowning out the chatter from the cubicles around me. I’ve got pregnancy and kids talk flying over one side of the cubicle wall (for god’s sake, please don’t name your baby Aiden) and angry typing and a grating Midwestern accent coming from behind me. For the last few months I’ve been listening to old episodes of This American Life. I’ve listened to years and years worth of stories. Most of the time they give me some spark of inspiration. Some new idea I hadn’t had before. Some insight into the human condition or something. In the first part of most episodes there’s usually a quick 5 or so minute introductory story. Fluff, sometimes. I’ve had tons of ideas for my own little fluff stories, but I don’t really have the equipment or (mostly) the ambition to narrate and edit my own collection of short radio stories. Also, I would assume that if they didn’t air one of my stories at some point, I would take it as a personal rejection from Ira Glass himself and probably never be the same.

This short story is the first in what I hope to be a series of stories inspired by those I’ve heard on TAL. Stories I can write while the snow piles up on the sidewalks or perhaps when the radio shows run dry. This on is a true account, but perhaps there is fiction in my future.

I was 19 or 20 and working in a hotel pizzeria with other kids around my age and my future ex-sister-in-law who was also my roommate at the time. We decided that night to come back to our place and drink some beers and play cards or Scategories or give out blow jobs or something. It was me, my future ex-sister-in-law, and 2 of our high school senior co-workers (both male). They were simultaneously dating the 16 year old who worked with us and ended up never speaking to each other again by the end of that summer, although they had been best friends from childhood. That 16 year old is now in her twenties with 2 children and several abortions under her belt. Her boyfriend is in jail and more than 10 years her senior. Neither of the babies belonged to those boys, although one of the abortions did. Dodged a bullet there I suppose.

My future ex husband was living in this apartment at the same time, but details are hazy as to why he wasn’t there that night. I think he may have been at a Phish concert on the other side of the country or some other place I wouldn’t be caught dead in. The night was uneventful. We drank some beers, had some laughs, and stayed up very late. In college fashion (which none of us happened to have much experience with) we stacked each beer we drank into a rather unimpressive beer can tower on the dining room table in the middle of our large apartment. I took my dog to bed while my roomie took one of those other dogs to bed. She had to work very early that morning at her other job and agreed to drive the two boys home while I was asleep.

I hadn’t been asleep long when around 11am I was startled out of bed. I could see flashing lights coming through my blinds and I looked out of the window. There was a piercing noise I didn’t know the origin of nor care to seek out. Across the street, a couple of houses down, a fire truck was sitting in the road with its lights on. I wasn’t particularly alarmed. It was a pretty common occurrence to see fire trucks and ambulances on our street. Probably once a month one of each came to a neighbor’s house down the street where we assumed an elderly person lived. Once I came home to find our drunken hillbilly neighbor had fallen down the stairs of our foyer and exploded the finial of the handrail with his head. Apparently he had been rushing out of the apartment to get more beer before beer sales stopped at 1:30. The kids wandering around the front porch in their pajamas didn’t seem too shocked and the paramedics let us squeeze by to our door.

In a hungover stupor, a few minutes later, I could make out loud male voices yelling in the common hallway of our building. Then I heard the familiar click of my front door and heavy feet. My dog perked up. I was confused. I heard someone asking if anyone was home, and now realized that there was a very loud beeping coming from my dining room. My bedroom door opened a couple of inches and I heard a man call to me, that he needed me to come out. I was mortified, pretty sure that he had seen me sprawled out and pantless on my bed. I found some pants on my floor and scooped up my dog. In my apartment were no less than 5 firefighters in full gear. Stomping around my dining room. If you haven’t seen me before, let me tell you I’m very small and look younger than my age. There I stood, bleary eyed at 11am completely alone (and 19), and trying not to notice the beer tower, empty cups, and liquor bottles on the dining room table. My neighbor from across the hall, a sweet middle aged woman who did some sort of new age healing touch out of her apartment, peeked her head in. She explained that she’d been knocking on the door for an hour and had called our home phone and no one answered and she was worried. My carbon monoxide detector had been going. That stupid thing that my mom made me plug in, beeping for the last couple of hours while I was, quite literally, passed out. The firefighters stomped around a little longer and did not find anything (other than the obvious) amiss and suggested that I change my battery.

Digg this

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Band Name From Captcha

Or maybe a good happy hour where volcano themed drinks and apps are 1/2 off?

Digg this

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Conversation Regarding Decency

Rex: Whenever I hear TLC's 'Creep' all I can think about is Chili's underboob in silky pjs. Does that make me a lesbian? Is that insensitive to the memory of Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopez? So many questions.

CoCo: Oh man, I remember that underboob.

Rex: It gave me confusing feelings!

CoCo: It was quite a formative image to see at that young age.

Rex: I think that underboob sent me into a tailspin of failed relationships that ultimately lead to my divorce and I'm just now coming to terms with it.

Coco: Ruining your life.
Coco: Gaw whaddabitch.

Rex: It's hard to overcome your inner shame after seeing things like that in childhood.
Rex: It was really careless of her.

Digg this

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

General Unfocused Blog Updatery

Oh man, so much has happened since I last visited my poor neglected blog. I’m back at this 9-5 desk job scenario and I’m trying hard to keep a positive attitude, but I’m sort of missing waiting tables.

The highlights of this cube farm:

Wednesday afternoon snacks provided by a different member of my department, kindergarden-style.

Sometimes people bring in free donuts. It’s true that a donut tastes amazing when it’s free, even if all of the icing slid off into the box and the raspberry jelly filling is reminiscent of blended jell-o.

This building was built in the 50’s I’d guess and the bathrooms have never been remodeled. There is an ashtray built into the toilet paper dispenser in every stall. I can’t stop thinking about how much I want to take up smoking so I can try this at home. (Smoking indoors is illegal in Ohio, y'all. Freedom ain’t free. Or whatever.)

It will be a cold day in hell when I miss a single Facebook update or Twitter. Down time has me combing the internet for any kind of entertainment I can find.

I’ve become the honorary Johnny Cash of the office. It’s so cold in here that I wear my black winter coat every day with black jeans (because they’re cooler than normal ones) and boots. At least I look cool in fingerless gloves. I bet everyone thinks I'm mysterious, guys. I’m championing logo Snuggies for our Christmas gift this year!

My boss put a birdfeeder outside the window we both face. The birds get into crazy battles for the food. There is a splash of blood from one of the incidents on the window. Someone put up a post-it right underneath it that says "Thunderdome!"

I also I have pretty insane desktop background that was actually sent to us by a client as a legit email stationary.

So I’m focusing on these positives. I mean, how am I supposed to keep a smile on my face after such epic bummers of the loss of so many icons this year? Michael Jackson? BILLY MAYS? PATRICK SWAYZE!?!? All I can really do is continue my quest to pickle my liver and mourn the end of my bitchin’ summer.

I guess I was mostly too poor to really take advantage of doing real stuff this summer. I did get to know the cheapest brands of vodka available: Crown Russe (hailing from Frankfort, KY! lulz), Takka, and Aristocrat if you were wondering. (Oh how I longed for the days before I maxed out my credit life and could afford blueberry vodka and lemonade! Even Popov!) I spent a lot of time crusin’ around, listening to Passion Pit (so much I can’t even explain to you), staying up late internetting and watching Arrested Development or Northern Exposure on DVD. You know. Mainly keeping it overall real.

I did complete a couple major life events: divorced and moved several times (from ex husband’s to Mom and Dad’s, to Fire Eagle’s, to my final resting spot with my bf). I’m actually kind of surprised I didn’t have a total meltdown, but I didn’t even really come close. Holding it together well for ruinin’ 8 years of a perfectly decent life. We’re thinking about maybe getting a dog, but I didn’t get married or have a baby. Hey, you know, year’s not up yet! I can collect them all!

I turned 26 on the beach this summer.

I impressed my boyfriend hardcore by losing my shoes in a late night drunken ocean swimming adventure and finding them 2 days later on the beach, climbing fences to hot tubs like I should have but never would have done in high school because I was such a prude, catching a soft little brown frog for funsies and letting him go...

and one of my life’s greatest achievements: with about 10 seconds of trying I renegaded a beer.

photo cred:


For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, it's when someone truly incredible tips a can of beer, finds the soft spot, jams their thumb into it, tips the can up, pops the top and shotguns the beer. (Although I'll admit I'm not a beer drinker and I just did it on principle and passed it to one of the 4 guys who were trying and failing. We had a fridge full of beer with little thumbnail dents all along the bottom that night.)

On a final note, some cool people I know contriubute to this cool blog that they’re starting up called Overlooked Cincinnati. You should add it to your RSS because there’s more cool stuff comin’, and submit some overlooked stuff of your own.

Digg this

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun Summer Stuff

I know it's been a long time since I've updated. I have good reason though! The Mr. and I split up (no hard feelings, it's cool it's cool) and my life got a little turned upside down. I'm living with Fire Eagle now in a cool apartment in a cool part of the city, waiting tables, and spending a lot of time smoking hookah, drinking, walking around town, and generally loafing. It's pretty great so far! (I'll get a real job soon, guys)

Keepin' this blog light and summery and all of that, for now, here are 3 things that I am currently loving that I want to share with you.

(1) Jorts™ (cut-off jean shorts for the layperson) The key is to find the right width. Go shopping for jeans that are snug on the legs so they don't look too flowy when you do the cutting deed. Don't go shopping for shorts. They're always going to be too high school, too short, too dumb. That's not what the hipster kids want to see. When you get your snug cool jeans home, put them on and cut a little slit where you want them to be. A few inches above the knee is legit for girls and guys, but start long. You can always take a little off, but once they're cut they're cut! Take them off and cut a straight line very carefully. Fold them in half and cut in the same place on the other leg. Put them on, boom, instant shorts. All the comfort of jeans with room to breathe and you can ride your bike, unlike in a dress or skirt. Also, throw them in the washer and dryer and trim them up a little when they come out. No one looks cool in freshly cut jorts.

Tip! Dudes: buy girl jeans. Even if you make your girlfriend go to the register and act like they're hers.

(2) We made up this drink last night, out of desperation, and it turned out so good! Here's what you need.

A bottle of super cheap vodka. I prefer Popov.
Soda water
A lemon
A microwave

Mix water and sugar up in a cup, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Microwave it and mix it up. (to dissolve the sugar) Boom, simple syrup. Ideally you'll do this before you're desperate because hot sugar melts your ice, duh.

Fill a cup with ice. Pour in vodka. As much as you can handle. I do about a 1/3 vodka, but that might be a little much for you amateurs. Add soda water to fill it the rest of the way, add some of that sugar syrup that you made earlier, and squeeze in some lemon. It's so tasty and light and low-cal! (as long as you go light on that sugar, boss) Better than diet tonic any day.

(3) Rock 'n Roll Tank Tops, as I call them are all the rage in the Me circle right now. My friends band THE LIONS RAMPANT *plug* gave me this awesome t-shirt but only had a men's medium left in black. I really wanted to wear it but it was way too big on me.

I started out by cutting off the bottom so it was just below my waist. You know, normal length. I wore it out once like that and my friend Josh said it was a little Seattle circa 1993, and I have to agree.

So I (probably didn't) invented the Rock 'N Roll tank top, which I have since used on another shirt and it turned out even better. (My camp shirt from 6th grade! Who keeps that crap? Me!)

So here's how you do this.
  • Cut the bottom off to where it's comfortable for you. I'm not interested in a belly shirt but if you are, go for it. Don't worry about hemming the bottom because this is rock 'n roll.

  • Use a seam ripper to rip off the sleeves and collar. Looks cooler this way. Just do it.

  • Turn the shirt inside out and lay it down flat. Get another tank top that fits you pretty well and lay it on top of the shirt, centered. Use it as a guide for how wide you want your tank top to be.

  • Use straight pins to pin up each side where you want to bring the fabric in so it's the same size as the tank top that already fits you. Cut off the excess fabric close to the pins.

  • Use a whipstitch to close up each side of the tank top. Be careful not to sew up the arm holes and make sure it's about even on both sides.

There you have it, one sweet tank top. Should look about this awesome when you're done:

Hope you're enjoying your summer as much as I am so far, y'all.

Digg this

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When Will it End?

Lately, my friends and I have been talking a lot about how great our lives are, and it's true. Most of the people I spend time with are hilarious, kind, creative types who love to drink and dance and see live music. This is what keeps us connected. Most of my friends are not in serious long-term relationships, and most of the ones that are sort of drifted away into domestication while I continued to party in spite of my marital status. We don't have any kids or any dreams of having kids anytime soon. My husband and I love living our lives for ourselves (and each other) right now and just can't imagine what life would be like if we couldn't come and go as we pleased.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a blog today, simply saying "look at this prettiest prego lady ever". We went on and on about how beautiful this girl is and we glanced through the entries, looking at pictures from the blog. This blog is about one man, gorgeous preggo lady's husband, and the birth of his first biological child. I decided to go back to the first entry and read it from the beginning, as I often do with blogs that interest me. I just read this post which I felt summed up things for me right now quite well and I think my friends can appreciate.

Pacing the Panic Room

Digg this

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to Stay Classy and Fashionable - in This Economy!

These are real life things, generally fueled by liquor, that my faceless friends and I have been rocking that were both free and fashionable. I'm callin' them Recessiories.

In the way of hats, we've got

The leftover from New Year's Eve top hat. Pictured here in cheapass plastic red.

Glued some bobby pins to the bottom of this tiny bowler, straight off the bottle of fancy gin.

The Chambord Cage Hat is really not recommended to be worn outside the kitchen. It's a little cumbersome and clumsy for partying, I'll admit.
As far as jewelry goes, there's:

While watching a Frank Zappa dvd with my buddy a while ago, I was inspired to make some wearable pasta jewelery. I think that's probably in the top 10 best sentences of this blog, so I won't elaborate. Anyway, I spray painted this pasta wheel for FE and the T-Rex for myself, strung 'em on a little black thread, took it to the dancefloor.

The Chambord Cage Hat was dismantled and turned into, first, this nose ring.
Then into a bracelet. Unfortunately, the effect of alcoholic milkshakes (yeah, I'll give you some recipes later, delicious) made us forget to document the bracelet. I grabbed this from a video of me drunkenly singing the hit N'Sync single "Bye, Bye, Bye". That kinda night. I also lost this on the dance floor at some point.
Onea those Jager girls gave my friend here a lanyard which he promptly tied on his head and started chanting "Rufio! Rufio!" But it's actually sort of adorable, right?

My ladyfriend, pictured here in a drunk sandwich, had a rooftop grill out featuring pipe cleaner headbands with feathers. One of these girls wore the pipe cleaner headband all night at the bar...and for once, it wasn't me. (I thought it was kind of competing with the awesomeness of my Michael Jackson belt buckle, but I digress)

And finally, we've come to my favorite item, the Chambelt™. This is what became of the Chambord cage after being cut apart. I put it on as a joke and ended up walking to the bar with it and wearing it all night, even receiving complements. It has that bonus heavyweight champion vibe, which I really enjoy, while also being classy at a glance but still overall liquor-related.

Digg this

I heart FeedBurner