Monday, October 04, 2010

Freak of the Week: Round 3

This week's edition is a throwback and a double-whammy.  I'm naming the girl who subletted my roommate, Patrick's, room last summer AND her crazy friend as the honorary Freaks of the Week.  Patrick found Jess, the subletter, on Craigslist.  Red Flag #1.  She needed to sublet a room for a month because she was taking a summer class.  She told Patrick and I that her name was Jess, but her Email Address, friends, family, and Facebook account all referred to her as Susan.  In an attempt to retain some level of tact, I've changed BOTH of her names.  But I will say that her two actual names were equally unrelated, meaning that, just like the names I've used here, the name she gave us could, in no way, be a nick-name for her real (?) name.  The fact that she gave us a fake name and made no attempts to hide it was Red Flag #2.

To say that Jess had a lot of weird traits was an understatement.  She barely spoke at all, and when she did, she whispered.  I would have to lean in close and ask her to repeat everything she said at least three times whenever she spoke to me. Also, she functioned only in the dark.  I literally never saw her turn a single light on.  She made food in the kitchen in the dark, used the bathroom in the dark.  I would come home and turn a lamp on in the living room and as soon as I left the room for five seconds she would switch it back off.  She also wore long flowy skirts or pants, long-sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, tennis shoes and hats every day.  And this was a HOT summer, pushing 100 degrees daily.  The kind of hot that makes you miserable.  I guess Jess liked it that way, because she made it her personal goal to ensure that our apartment was hotter than it was outdoors.  By the end of the first week of her stay, we were on par with the Amazon.  Our apartment didn't have Central Air, and the only form of A/C we had were window units in our bedrooms.  Patrick and I developed a useful strategy of keeping our bedroom doors open and blasting our respective A/C units to circulate air flow.  Jess didn't believe in such practices.  She kept the doors to Patrick's bedroom closed at all times.  The only time she ever left the apartment was to go to class, so during that time I would open the doors to Patrick's room and turn the A/C down from the 80 that she kept it on to 60.  I wasn't paying for her to have heat in the summertime.  Once she came home, she promptly locked herself up in Patrick's room...A/C set back to 80 and doors shut.  I learned to bask in the glory of those measily 3 hours she spent in class daily.

Every time I ventured into Patrick's room, coated in sweat and grasping for the A/C knob as I saw spots--delirious from being overheated, I found something new and alarming about the room's condition.  The first time I went in, I was in shock.  Food and clothes were everywhere.  The clothes I could forgive.  After all, my desk chair is dressed for the week and a pile of skirts basically serve as my comforter, so who am I to judge?  But the food?  Empty Capri Sun packets, noodle packages, and juice boxes strewn across every available inch of space from the floor to the desk.  Three of my bowls, empty, laying on the bed, cuddled by two full bottles of Cranberry juice.  Doesn't this girl believe in a fridge??  And, to top it all off, two bags of grapes rotting on the floor.  Random grapes had escaped from the bag and were scattered about.  Runaway grapes!  They were smushed and red grape juice stained the hardwood.  Apparently Jess spent her evenings trying to make wine.

One day, I noticed a pill bottle sitting on Patrick's desk.  Yes, I may have been a little too nosy, but if this girl had some sort of mental instability, I needed to know.  So I checked the label.  It read: Take one every four hours as needed for claustrophobia and anxiety on planes.  There was only one pill left.  How many planes had she been on?!  On another excurision into unknown territory I discovered that Patrick's mirror had been taken off the wall and placed face-down on the dresser.  It was around this time that I started forming my theories about Jess.  The clothes covering her entire body when she went out in the daylight.  The dark apartment.  The turned-over mirror.  It was all starting to add up all too well: she was a VAMPIRE.  It made sense to me now.  And, I'm not ashamed to admit, I was terrified for my life.

It only got worse from there.  On my quest for A/C the next day, I found a hand saw lying in the middle of the bedroom floor.  I couldn't sleep at all that night, as I was convinced that Jess was going to burst into my room and saw me to death.  I had made a secret call for help to Patrick from the bathroom, telling him about the vamp saw and how he had put me in a deathtrap.  His response?  I'm sure she just likes to  I told him that I was blaming him if I went missing in the middle of the night.

Jess only had one friend; a guy from her class who she never actually introduced me to. He called her Susan and came to the apartment anywhere between 3 and 5 times a day to cook her meals and serve them to her while she laid in Patrick's bed.  I wanted to ask her where I could get a friend like that.  One morning I was reading a magazine and eating cereal in a tank-top and underwear.  Yes, I was pants-less.  Jess was already gone and I assumed she was at class.  Suddenly, her friend came bursting through our front door without knocking.  I didn't even realize it was unlocked.  He awkwardly started asking me all kinds of questions about where she was, when she had left, what she was doing.  I had no idea, considering I had only heard two whispers out of her all week.  I gave quick answers, trying to get him out of there so that he wouldn't have the image of me pants-less burned into his memory.  Shifting his eyes down to my legs, he screamed, "Oh! Oh, sorry!  Sorry I didn't knock first!"  He walked back outside the door and shut it behind him.  I thought I was rid of him.  No, no.  Things couldn't have been THAT easy.  Then, he knocked on the door twice and let himself back into the apartment.  He did a Make-Up Knock!! It was the weirdest thing I've ever witnessed and I started laughing at the absurdity of it all.  He proceeded to bolt out of the apartment...for real this time.

Jess came home a little while later, and greeted me with a whisper: "Wash your hands, I'm sick."  Naturally, I couldn't hear her, so I thought she had said "Watch your pants," assuming that her friend had already briefed her on what happened.  I screamed, "I will not watch my pants!  You watch your friends!"  She looked baffled.  "I have mono," she whispered as she shut herself in Patrick's room.  When she finally emerged to get a snack, I heard a loud thud in the kitchen, followeed by "Cabinet's broke."  She scampered back into the bedroom and I went into the kitchen to inspect the damage.  One of the cabinets was open and hanging by one hinge--the screws had fallen on the counter.  What did she do, I thought.  Go for a ride?  Why was she swinging on my cabinet doors?  The metal front to the door of the dishwasher was also dangling.  I placed the toolkit my Grandpa (Poppy) had gotten me for Christmas on the counter so that she could fix the cabinet.  Of course she never did, and the next day I found myself balancing on a step-stool trying to adjust the bottom hinge on the cabinet door, dripping sweat and thinking about how I should invest in some garlic or Holy Water.  And if that didn't work, I could always buy a chainsaw, which everyone knows one-ups a hand saw.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Exploits of Ms. Rouxmeanas Mohern

My cat’s full name is Rouxmeanas Mohern and she is out to ruin my life.  Let me explain.  One humid night during the summer between my Second and Third years of college, my stepdad found Rouxmeanas stashed behind the rear tire of my mom’s car in our driveway.  After he brought her in the house, she quickly took refuge in my room.  I’ve been stuck with her ever since.  It didn’t take long for us to discover that she was a unique cat.  A cat with such a crazy personality deserves a crazy name, right?  Well, that’s how things ended up.  Johnny Depp is my favorite actor and in the movie Chocolat he plays a gypsy named Roux.  So, even though she’s a female feline and not a long-haired, guitar-playing man, that’s what I wanted to name her.  My eight-year-old sister had her own opinion.  She wanted to name the cat “Meana” because she’s mean, and, according to my sister, adding an “a” onto the end of the name clearly makes it feminine.  Eventually we compromised, putting both names together to make “Rouxmeana”.  I took Rouxmeanas back to college with me, and my roommate and I decided to pluralize her name because, for some reason, we thought it sounded better.  Rouxmeanas was born.  Her name had gotten so ridiculous by this point that we just wanted to keep it going.  We decided that she needed a last name, too.  Thus, we combined our last names and came up with Mohern.
The first problem with Rouxmeanas is that we have opposite schedules.  She likes to sleep all day; on my pillow, on the couch, under the coffee table.  Anywhere, really, as long as she is in my visual vicinity.  Even when she’s under my bed she allows a limb to protrude, ensuring its visibility; the tip of her tail, a paw, an ear.  I think she does this to taunt me.  While I’m at class, cleaning the apartment, cooking dinner, slaving over a research paper, or cramming for a test, Rouxmeanas is undoubtedly catching some Zs.  I recently began noticing that Rouxmeanas’ breathing was accompanied by a raspy noise while she was sleeping.  At first I was concerned because I thought she might have a sinus defect or a kitty cold.  But that heavy breathing soon morphed into full-blown snoring, which I’m now sure is all just a part of her plan to rub her laid-back life in my face.
Roux begins her day around 10:30 P.M.  She wants me to pet her, she wants to feast on copious amounts of Meow Mix or Whiskas, and most of all, she wants to play.  She bolts around the apartment as if it’s her own personal jungle.  She gets a running start and jumps onto my desk chair, using her sharp talons to stealthily scale her way to the top, all the while thrashing her head about in every direction and biting the air, never taking a bright yellow eye off of me while I sit petrified on my bed.  I haven’t seen a scene like this since Jurassic Park.  Once she’s championed her way to the top she jumps from my chair to my dresser, where she finds some prize (one of my earrings, a nail file, a hair tie) to bring back down to the ground with her.  She runs laps around the living room, jumping from coffee table to couch to windowsill to other couch to floor.  And repeat.  She’ll sneak up behind me while I’m lying on the couch watching a movie and start biting my head or eating my hair.  All of this would be tolerable if it wasn’t for her “DesirĂ©’s Trying to Sleep Right Now” routine.

Numerous times, I’ve awoken around 4 A.M. to Rouxmeanas gnawing on my leg through the covers like I would a bucket of KFC chicken.  Her front paws pin my leg down and hold it steady while she tries to take a bite.  Needless to say, I was highly disturbed the first time I awoke to find that I was the snack of choice for Cannibalistic Rouxmeanas.  But now I just kick her off and turn over.  As if in retaliation, she decides to play with her favorite toy: a plastic ball that has a bell inside of it.  I don’t know whose idea it was to buy her this ball; perhaps my mother, who gives her all kinds of cat toys in her Christmas stocking that are designed to make the pet owner go certifiably insane.  But I do blame myself for being too weak to take it away from her.  She swats the ball so that it goes flying across the apartment, ricocheting off of walls.  Meanwhile she tramples around after it like a pack of hyenas.  The sound of that bell ringing and smacking every hard surface ensures that I won’t be falling back asleep any time soon.
Eventually, Roux carries the ball onto my bed.  She lies next to me and bats it between her paws as if practicing her dribbling.  Every now and then the ball smacks me in the face.  Yet, I never have the heart to take it away from her.  For some reason, in my zombie stupor, her having fun seems just as important as my getting sleep.  So I compromise and grab my headphones from my nightstand and plug up my ears.  No music, just something to serve as a barrier between the ringing bell and my sound receptors.  I’ve often wondered if Roux’s energy fits are abnormal.  I imagine that the few precious hours of sleep I get without her interruption are due to the fact that she has snuck downstairs to the neighboring cat’s apartment to score some catnip.

When I give in and actually choose to play with her, she means business.  If I swirl my finger in the air in front of her she will catch it, and then it’s game over.  She will scratch and bite whatever she’s taken captive.  Consequently, I now have scars all over my hands and arms, and I constantly have fresh wounds.  I can’t count how many times my friends have asked me if I fell in a bush or the amount of terrified glances I get from strangers who think I cut myself.

The second problem with Rouxmeanas is that she jeopardizes my relationships with just about anyone.  The Fall semester of my Third Year in Undergrad I pledged a co-ed service fraternity.  My pledge class decided to get a pledge class T-Shirt specially made.  Two days after I received my shirt I went home for Christmas break.  I never unpack and often live out of bags whenever I travel.  One afternoon I came home from the mall to find that Rouxmeanas had managed to unzip my duffel bag, pull out my specialty pledge class Tshirt, drag it to her litter box, and poop on it.  She pooped on the shirt in such a way that it was not salvageable.  I couldn’t believe it.  How was I going to go back and face my pledge class and tell them that I wasn’t going to be participating in any unity involving clothing?  How was I going to look the girl who spent time designing and ordering this shirt in the eye and tell her that her hard work was covered in cat poop?  It was poop terrorism!  However, the following summer I engaged in some Rouxmeanas’ poop terrorism of my own.
I was living in my college apartment and had a couple of friends over to watch a movie.  As if on cue, just as my guests arrived, Rouxmeanas decided to stink up the place.  It was so bad that my friends were screaming in disgust, begging me to do something about it.  All I could do was gag.  So I sealed her cat litter in a plastic grocery store bag and ran out the back door onto our tiny wooden fire escape.  Usually there was a huge dumpster right beneath our balcony so we would always throw our trash over the banister.  In keeping with tradition, I chucked the bag of poop over the railing in a frenzy, expecting it to land in the dumpster with ease.  But when I looked down, there was no dumpster.  Instead, there were individual rolling trashcans with lids lined up against the building.  The bag of poop missed those trashcans altogether and instead landed on my neighbor’s windowsill who lives two floors below me!  I panicked.  The windowsill was too high off the ground for me to reach and too far below my own window.  To make matters worse, we’re not allowed to have pets in our building, so what if my neighbors thought it was my poop, instead of cat poop?  I was trying to envision what I would say to them, if ever confronted.  Oh sorry guys, my toilet was broken.  I was doomed.

Rouxmeanas knows that the heart of any modern person lies in their computer.  That’s why, when she’s not using me as a scratching post or using her poop as a weapon, she uses my MacBook Pro as a means of sabotage.  During my Spring Semester of my Third year, I was trying to land an internship in the arts field.  I was emailing back and forth with the Director of a local arts organization about setting up an interview.  After the Director asked me what days and times would be good to meet, I hit the reply button and went to pour a cup of coffee before writing my response.  I returned from the kitchen to find Rouxmeanas sprawled out across my laptop, settling in against the warmth of the keyboard in preparation for one of her naps.  I stared at the computer screen in horror.  My stomach was doing flips, my heart was threatening to beat right out of my chest, and my hands started to shake.  “NOOOO!” I screamed at Roux, who didn’t bother to open her eyes.  Roux had somehow managed to draft and send my email for me.  She had sent the director an email from me that simply said p.  That was all. p.  What kind of response does that warrant?

Dear Desiré, When is a good time for you to come in for an interview?
P sounds perfect! See you then!

I had to fix this somehow.  The way I saw it, I had one of three options.  Either send her a real email acting as if p had never been sent, send her a real email and tell her the truth (that my psycho-pet has it in for me), or send her a real email blaming myself (in which case I may come off as incompetent and unworthy of an internship if I don’t even know how to send an email).  I took my chances and chose the latter.  I apologized and explained that I had accidentally sent the email before I was finished typing.  Then the challenge became starting a sentence with the letter p.  What could I have possibly been typing to her before that required p?  I had to be consistent here and cover all of my tracks.  But all I could think of were phrases like puck Rouxmeanas and please take my cat

            I was about to leave for work this morning when I realized that I hadn’t seen Roux at all since I had woken up.  On my way out the door, my heart stopped when I saw four furry paws emerging from beneath the couch.  They weren’t moving.  This is it, I thought, convinced that Roux had died Wicked Witch of the West style.  I closed my eyes and pulled at the paws.  My breath caught in my chest.  It was a stuffed hippopotamus that belonged to my little sister.  I turned around and there was Rouxmeanas, standing in the corner, with a gray stuffed ear hanging out of her mouth.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Freak of the Week: Round 2

This week's Freak of the Week is a paperclip that I received on a packet of papers from my insurance company.  Now, before I continue, I need to make a clarification: yes, the Freak of the Week CAN be an inanimate object.  As you can see in the picture above, this wasn't just any was shaped like a FOOT.  In order for you to understand why this paperclip was not only an instant freak in my book, but also one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen, you need to know a crucial fact about me: feet are my biggest fear/pet peeve/whatever you want to call it.  Bottom line: they are gross and I hate them.  If anyone's foot gets near me, I automatically's a reflex.  Shoes are my favorite fashion item (I'm obsessed) and I'm beginning to think it's because shoes cover up these filthy extremities.  So you can imagine my disgust and utter shock when, in an attempt to flip through the pages easily, I removed the paperclip from the packet only to discover that it was a FOOT.  WHY did I receive THIS?!

First of all, paper clips do NOT need to be spiced up.  Trust me, receiving a themed paperclip will not brighten my day in any way, nor will receiving a plain, silver paperclip send me into a frenzy.  Whose bright idea was this?  Body-part paperclips?  Was this some "cute" ploy to get me to remain with this insurance company, since they do, after all, provide medical insurance?  If so, it most definitely did NOT work.  How am I supposed to take this company seriously when it looks like the Jolly Green Giant's miniature counterpart stepped on my papers?  I would have preferred a paperclip shaped like a kidney.

However, this paperclip is tricksy and is obviously trying really hard to suck me in.  It's green, which is my favorite color.  I see this as some sort of bribe.  It is not going to fool me into thinking that it's aesthetically pleasing.  As if its color is enough to completely distract me from its shape!

This paperclip may be just as big of a freak in the realm of paperclips as it is in my world.  I have NEVER seen a themed paperclip, which leads me to believe that this may be the ONLY themed paperclip on the PLANET.  Even if there are other themed paperclips out there, or, more specifically, other foot paperclips (I don't even want to fathom it), this paperclip is STILL a freak.  It seems to me that the last two toes are kind of lumped together, creating a uni-toe of sorts.  What an unfortunate design flaw.

Have you encountered any inanimate object freakz this week??

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Current Thoughts: On Music

View from my seat in Downtown Roanoke right now...the sky looks awesome.

Like many people out there, I'm a music fanatic.  Here's what's been on my mind music-wise this afternoon:

1. The Black Keys are playing at the Charlottesville Pavilion tonight and I'm ridiculously sad that I'm missing it.  The jury's still out on the date of my official move back to Charlottesville, so until then, I'm bopping around Roanoke.  Even if I was in Charlottesville, I would probably have to resort to watching tonight's concert from THE bridge that runs by the Pavilion, in the interest of saving money (this Fall's show lineup in CVille is too good...forcing me to pick and choose what I spend on).  The only time I've seen The Black Keys play live was at Lollapalooza in 2008.  I can't even get started on Lolla, because, like every other festival experience, it was completely amazing and indescribable.  But I will say that watching these two guys rocking harder than most full-band lineups against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline blew me away.  To all of you going to the show tonight, have a blast!  And to The Black Keys, I'll catch ya next time.

2.  I don't mean to be negative, but I HAVE to get this off of my chest.  WHAT is the deal with Kenny Chesney???  Okay, I know I don't have the biggest appreciation for mainstream country music (by which I mean, generally speaking, I can't stand it...there are a few exceptions, but for the most part, let me just say...WOOF).  I love folk and I can get down with some bluegrass, but mainstream country has just never been my thing.  However, my two favorite artists have BOTH collaborated with Kenny Chesney!  It started with Dave Matthews back in 2008 or 2009, doing a song called "I'm Alive," which you can watch/listen to here.  Now, Grace Potter is jumping on the bandwagon and doing a duet with him!!!  The Grace and Kenny combo can be found here (I like to refer to them on a first-name basis, as if we're actually friends).  I'm going to spare everybody the obsessive details about why I worship Dave Matthews ("worship" should be too strong of a word, but if I'm being honest, it's probably not) and aspire to be Grace Potter (her voice, her lyrics, her style, her FLYING V my opinion, she is one of the most badass and talented females to hit the music scene in quite some time).  However, I'm starting to question their choices a little bit.  Do they know something I don't?  Should I give Kenny a chance?  I admit that I don't know much of Kenny Chesney's repertoire, but even these duets are kind of, well, ZZZ.

3.  If I'm going to be so harsh and bash one musician, I guess I should be fair and divulge what I AM listening to today.  For the past week, I've been listening to Jenny and Johnny (who I WILL be seeing in Charlottesville) and Ray Lamontagne's  new album.  Jenny Lewis is another one of my favorite female musicians, and this whimsical album is perfect for the summer-to-fall transition that's going on right now (yes, I often match my musical choices to the daily forecast).  And I can't say enough about Ray Lamontagne.  His deep, thoughtful voice and acoustic guitar communicate such honest, beautiful emotion.

4.  I FINALLY have side bangs!  I'm mentioning this now because:
A. All this talk about Grace Potter and Jenny Lewis reminds me of an article I read in a magazine a few months ago (the name of the magazine escapes me at the was either Marie Claire or Elle, as those are the two that I read religiously...I'm leaning more towards Marie Claire) about the correlation between cool female musicians and bangs.  Basically, having great bangs seems to be one of the keys to rock/indie glory.  Grace Potter and Jenny Lewis are both prime examples of this trend, but apparently Zooey Deschanel's retro-esque bangs are the most requested in hair salons across the nation.
B.  I'm shameless and I really just want to talk about my new hair.  I can be really indecisive, and I've been talking about getting bangs for over two years now but have been too afraid to take the plunge.  I have been known to utter such excuses as "I have a short forehead and no one wants to see burbee (baby) bangs on a 22-year-old" and "I'm too ethnic-looking for that" (not sure why these were legitimate concerns).  Anyways, the snipping is done and I like them!  I've basically opened Pandora's Box because I already want to go shorter!
Side-Note: I was just caught using Mac's Photobooth as a mirror!!! Yes, I was inspecting said bangs, when I saw a girl creeping up behind me in my webcam, giving me a smirk that seemed to say "you are sitting three feet away from a bathroom with a nice-sized mirror...are you that lazy?"  Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I AM that lazy.  Welp, now that I'm properly mortified I think it's time to quit talking about my hair.

I'm always looking for new music, so leave me a link to ya current favorite song!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Lil Sis

I was an only child for 13 short and peaceful years...and then my mom had my little sister, Tela.  All jokes aside, Tela is pretty much the most awesome kid I know.  She's absolutely hysterical and keeps me and my family cracking up.  As a self-proclaimed theatre lover, she has already been in several plays and she's the star of them all (I'm not biased or anything).  She even just got her first email address, and proudly and appropriately picked dramatween9 as her screen name hahaha.  Trust me, she is Little Miss Drama on and off the stage.  Her outgoing nature is great, but doesn't bode so well for me.  She's always trying to play jokes on me or embarrass me because, according to her (and this is a direct quote), it's "her job."  And I don't need any help in this department, because I already embarrass myself enough.  Nevertheless, Tela has performed her "job" so well that she should be named Employee Of The Month...or Employee of the Past 4 Years.  Seriously, to whoever's funding: this girl needs a raise.

Let me give you all a little preview.  She HATES it when I'm not paying attention to her.  AKA: if I'm on the phone or online chatting with friends.  So she does everything in her power to end my conversations or prevent them from even happening.  Once, when my friend Kristen called me and I was in the shower, Tela feverishly searched through my purse until she found my cell phone, and answered it.  "I'm sorry, Desi can't come to the phone right now because she's in the shower shaving her back hair."  (Disclaimer: I DO NOT, nor have I EVER HAD back hair.  Let's get that straight right now.)  If I hadn't have been best friends with Kristen since First Grade, this may have been more embarrassing.

So, one of these instances happened last night when Tela and I were at Mill Mountain Coffee.  I had just picked her up from drama class (of course) and we were grabbing some food before heading home.  A flier for sexy-back panties (as seen below) was conveniently sitting next to me at our table.  I was blissfully unaware that it was there and, in hindsight (pun intended), it probably looked like it belonged to me. 

Tela, however, had apparently noticed it sitting there and decided not to mention it to me.  Instead, she waited until the guy who worked there came over to deliver our food to say anything.  At this point, she waved the flier in my face screaming "I'm so glad you decided to try these panties Des, you really need them!"  He gave me a weird look.  I DIED.  And in case you were wondering, yes, it does indeed say at the bottom of the flier that if you host a sexy-back panties party, you get a pair for free.  You know, like a Tupperware or a Pampered Chef Party, except with butt-enhancing, cellulose-curing panties.

Tela is starting karate lessons next week and has secretly confessed "I can't wait to use these moves on my sister!"  I think I'm going to plan ahead and buy myself one of these:

(credit to Sophie's Space for this found picture)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Freak of the Week: Round 1

One of mine and my friends' favorite words is freak.  This is a recent development, which I blame on spending the better part of the past two years cooped up in my apartment watching whole seasons of Friends and Will and Grace on DVD.  After all, our favorite episodes make perfect use of the term.   First, Jack brings his coveted Cher doll to lunch with Will and Grace, leading to a hysterical scenario and Grace calling him a freak. Throw in a cameo appearance by the real Cher, and you've got yourself the best Will and Grace clip out there.  Watch it!  Our other source of the word freak comes from the Unagi episode of Friends, where Ross scares Rachel and Phoebe in an attempt to teach them to always be aware of their surroundings (what he calls "unagi"...which is really a type of sushi, you know).  Watch!

Anyways, my friends and I use this term very liberally, as it can describe almost anyone that we come into contact with.  If you were to eavesdrop on any of our conversations, it would not be uncommon for you to hear snippets such as, "I was driving on the interstate and some freak kept riding in my blindspot."  "I'm at the grocery store and this guy in the bread aisle keeps giving me weird looks." "Don't worry about it, he's probably a freak."  You may think we're being a little harsh or dramatic.  But our over-usage is completely justified when you take into account how many actual freaks we meet.  (The ironic thing though, is that we're probably the biggest freaks of them all.)  At the risk of sounding like Dr. Seuss (first a rhyming blog name, and now a rhyming feature? I know I know) I've decided to start writing Freak of the Week to discuss all of our weird/absurd encounters.

The first honorary Freak of the Week is Rat Girl.  Last week I was sitting at a table by myself at Mill Mountain Coffee (the local coffee shop in Roanoke), on my laptop with headphones in when two freaks (a guy and a girl) walked in and sat at a nearby table.  They kept staring in my direction and whispering, and it soon became blatantly obvious that they were talking about me.  Suddenly, the female freak was hovering over me.  She proceeded to pull a pet RAT out of her BRA, put it down on my table, and let it run around!  I flipped out.
Me: "Oh my god please get that off right now.  That really freaks me out!!"
She let the rat chill on my laptop for an unnecessary amount of time.
Freak: "Why does it freak you out? Wanna pet him?!! He's really sweet!"
She shoved the rat in my face.  I'm crying by this point.
Me: "I'm sure he's sweet, but I don't do rodents."
Then the guy freak ran over, yelling at the girl freak: "What are you doing?! You're so weird!" He took off and hid in the bathroom.
Girl Freak: "My friend thinks you're cute and he wanted me to put this rat on your table so we could talk to you."
Me: "Oh cool.  What a turn-on."  Because that's normal.  I often throw rats all over people I want to strike up a conversation with.
Freak continues talking to me: "Have you ever heard of the band Blind Melon?  You know that song, No Rain?"
Me: " that song."
Freak: "Well right before the lead singer died of a heroine overdose, he named his daughter Neko, which is what I named this rat."  And with that, she put the rat in her shirt and I watched it bulge out from beneath the fabric, crawling down her back.  She asked for my name.
Me: "Jennifer."  Freaks weren't getting my real name.  The guy finally emerged from the bathroom and the two scampered off out the back door.

Weirdest thing of my life.  Will never understand.  I had to go home and shower for 8 years and pour anti-bacterial hand-gel all over my laptop.  Well, not so much the last thing...I've poured enough liquids on my laptop over the past couple of years, but those are stories for another time.

Stay tuned, I have many more Freaks to introduce you all to.  In the mean time, I invite all of you to use the term freak whenever you see fit...which, now that you're paying attention, you're going to realize that it comes in handy...a lot.

If any of you have freak stories to share, please leave me a comment...I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunset Hikes!

I know I said that I would post more this afternoon, but by "this afternoon," naturally I meant "tonight."  Serry.  (I have a penchant for spelling things how I would actually pronounce them...and sometimes I do weird accents).  But really, I'm never on time for anything.  My friends and family have secretly started telling me to meet them half an hour earlier than they actually want to meet, just so I will make it on time.  So if you think about it, the fact that I'm even writing a second blog post today is an improvement for me!

Anyways, exciting news!  A picture of me "kissing the sun" at sunset was featured on a hiking tumblr called FYeah Hiking!  Check it out here.  FYeah Hiking asks fans to submit their favorite hiking pictures, and then a new chosen photo is posted daily.  There are some gorgeous pictures on this blog, and my best friend since age 7 (shout-out Kristen!) is the mastermind behind it all.  This picture of me was taken at Wind Rocks, a look-out just past Mountain Lake (you know, where they filmed Dirty Dancing).  We had gone to Wind Rocks twice before to see the sunset, but failed both times.  The first time it was too cloudy, and the second time we arrived too late, missing the sunset altogether because certain people (I may or may not have been involved) had to finish a particularly delicious grilled cheese sandwich and a competitive game of Connect Four.  But, third time's a charm and we finally caught the sunset Sunday night.  As a person who has a love/hate relationship with hiking, I really enjoy going to Wind Rocks.  Yes, hikes are pretty and completely worth it once you get to the top, but the journey to the top usually involves me crying and being drug up the mountain by my friends who always seem to glide up the trail.  At Wind Rocks, you park the car, walk two feet, and there you are.  My kind of hike.  And yet, I was still out of breath (shhh).

What's your favorite outdoor spot?


Those of you who already know me also know (and if you don't know me that well yet, you're about to discover) that I'm extremely wordy. I love to write and I love to talk.  Since I have a lot to say and since my recent graduation from the University of Virginia has left me with more free time than I'm accustomed to, I'm going to use this space to discuss topics that interest me (ie: art and fashion) and to recount the absurdity that is my everyday life (more on this later).

Hang Tight; More to come this afternoon!