Crazy as the Day is Long 1.0

The funny thing about being crazy is that it makes you interesting. There is harmless crazy and harmful crazy and I love me some harmless crazy. Though the “less” part may be debatable, I love Nancy Grace because she is what I believe to be, a harmless crazy.

Soothe me with your lovely voice, Nancy. Soothe me.

(If you kill yourself based upon a 15 second interview with Nancy Grace…then I have to believe something else in your life has gone horribly wrong.)

I’m crazy. I’m okay with it. I think everybody sort of is. Or, at least, everybody I would ever want to spend any amount of time with. The crazy is what keeps things interesting, and funny, and by golly, keeps me on the edge of my seat.

This is a poster I have above my bed. No. It isn't. I'm not a fucking loser. Who made this and why do they hate life so much, that they would subject their fellow humans to a fucking panda kicking us in the face with this horrible message?!? This is only appropriate to be sold in gift shops at insane asylums. Seriously. For real.

The older I get, the more types of crazy I see.

Personally, I don’t do “anger-crazy.”  I don’t yell. I don’t slam doors. I have never raised my voice to any boyfriend I have ever had. (And if any of them stumble across this, they will verify that….or else). I just don’t get crazy-angry. I don’t see a point in yelling, and on a purely psychological and physical level, I don’t get angry like that. (except at kittens. watch yourselves…baby cats.) (just kidding, guys.)

While I wrote this post, I ate two orders of this. Crazy bread is my muse. Along with cheesecake, guacamole, and Alf.

But I’m food-crazy. Oh, how I’m food-crazy. Aside from my very obvious unhealthy relationship with food, that alternates between rapist-victim, to mother-child, to ex-boyfriend-with-a-new-hot-fiance-and-old-girlfriend-who-has-a-major-breakout-happening-at-this-mutual-friend’s-holiday-party.

I figured since nobody ever reads this blog..."fuck it" I'm just gonna post a pic of my tummy. Took 8 hours and 300.00 bucks to do that, guys. Worth. Every. Penny. They don't call me "Chicken & Biscuits" for nothin'

It is a complicated and disgusting relationship that all too often involves 6 trips to the grocery store a week, binge eating blue corn chips dipped in pesto, and then crying in the shower afterwards. Jealous? Yeah you are. Turned on? You’re fucking gross. Get out of here.

Why is Little Ceasars trying to make mental illness fun again? Let it go, Ceasar Pequeno. Let it go. But keep the dipping sauces.

So speaking of grocery stores-here we go. The crazy.

I lived in a dorm freshman year at Arizona. I had no cell phone, as I have previously mentioned, and so we had a nice land line phone with a great answering machine. Jealous? Yeah you are.

The dorm assigned us a phone number. For Christmas, freshman year, I received a cell phone from my dad. Hooray! No more land line.

But I had started over in Arizona, and as my only phone number, I had given the land line number out to a million places.

Like Safeway. To hook up my Safeway club card.

I have little to add to this gem. But...offer accepted.

Everybody knows Safeway club cards are altruistic measures taken by grocery stores to ensure their very loved customers are getting the absolute best discounts available and not over-paying for groceries.

Just kidding. Its a way to ensnare, track, and hunt you until you are so exhausted from playing their  “this is 9 cents less with a plastic card” game that you curl into a ball below a palm tree and pray for a swift death. Death comes, and you are mummified in long receipts and your body turns into garlic salt. This is all true. I saw it once.

Fuck. I'm hungry.

So when I moved, I still had the one number connected to my Safeway club card. I never carried the actual card around…I’m not a plebian, for Christs sakes.

But I always used that number. Safeway cashiers would always say, at the end of our interaction “Thank you Ms. _______, have a lovely day”

But whomever had gotten that number after me had switched over her name.

Her name was Amy Bernal. To be precise.

So for years, they’d say “Thank you, Ms. Bernal, have a lovely day.”

Sometimes they pronounced in Burr-nall. Sometimes they pronounced in Burr-nail. Sometimes they pronounced in Burr-nawl.

One day. A full four years after I got a new number and never changed over my Safeway card, I was checking out of Safeway, and the cashier said “Thank you, Ms. Burr…nail?” and before I even realized it, I said in a authoritative voice “Its Burr-nawl” and corrected her pronunciation of a last name I don’t even have.

I caught myself and stopped breathing. Realizing just how deep I had gone down a crazy hole.

I had assumed somebody’s Safeway identity and had the audacity to correct a cashier on my fake name.

I lived in Arizona for 5 years after I got rid of that original phone number. I never did get a new Safeway card. I lived as Amy Bernal, buying oatmeal and produce under an assumed identity for years before I left. So, wherever you are, Ms. Bernal, however you say your name…I apologize for being absolutely insane and boosting your coupon output, but probably lucky for you—I’m a harmless crazy.

😉

Marry me. I thank God you exist, good sir.

Advertisements

Pickle Ornaments: Getting kicked out of Epcot: Germany.

Hi.

There are a lot of sad things in this world. A lot of pain, a lot of anger and hurt and suffering. Disease, natural disasters, heartache, lost love, unfair situations, bad timing, addiction, etc.

But there is a lot, a lot, a lot to laugh about. Here is a story that makes me laugh. Followed by a clip that makes me laugh.

“Pickle Ornaments” or… “How my brother and I were asked to leave Epcot Germany”

There are two things you should know:

1. I have a very, very, very dysfunctional family. In fact, I don’t even think the word “functional” should be in there. Nor “family” really.

That being said, we all have great senses of humor. My family is fucking hilarious. My brother Jeff is very funny. He is a different sort of funny than me, but very complimentary. We are the closest age-wise in our family, and during trips, we were always in a room together.

2. At Disney World, my absolute favorite part- is the World Showcase- where you get to walk around miniature versions of other countries and eat their food and buy their shit. I could walk between France and Japan forever. For. Ever.

So. 2004. My father gets us a trip to DisneyWorld for Christmas. We are leaving on January 2nd, 2005 and I am flying back to Arizona from Orlando. I am 19 and Jeff is 16. Bryan is 12.

The trip starts off on a great note-in that I schoolyard a bottle of champagne in my friend Nick’s basement with my ex-boyfriend a half hour before going to the airport with my Dad-where I drink a latte and take sleeping pills for the flight.

You guessed it-those combined to make a great cocktail of meth in my stomach. I wake up and vomit in secret, and spend the next 11 hours shaking uncontrollably and having to lie about why I’m not interested in maxing out at the Disney brunch buffet. I think I pulled it off-but then again, my father knows I don’t turn down mini french toast shaped like animals for anything short of death.

I've eaten 14 of these in one sitting

Don't even ask what happened to me in their soda shop. A story for another time.

We stay at the Yacht Club-or whatever it is called. An amazing hotel that allows us to walk right over to Epcot’s World Showcase and enjoy the pleasantries of Canada World! or Mexico World!

Homeland* Unless you ask one or two "frowned upon" questions

But this was an interesting time to go to Disney World. It was so soon after the holidays that there is literally nobody there. But it is nice because all the Christmas stuff is still up. So, of course, at all the nations in Epcot’s World Showcase-they have trees and ornaments, and holiday decor up. Except, of course at the Muslim nations.

hahahahhahahaha just kidding. There aren’t any Muslim nations at World Showcase. What’s wrong with you?

Enter: Jeff and Nikki Ulrich.

See that last name? It is 200% German. See those two kids? They were once screamed at by British police for shouting “We did it then-we will do it again-Revolutionary War 2002!!!!!” In a crowded British airport.

The train is on the tracks people- it is heading for a crash.

"Please take your brother and leave"

So at some point Jeff and I are out on our own, and we’re perusing the merchandise at Epcot Germany.

A lot of large German Steins, some carved with the entire history of Germany…sort of.

A lot of marionettes, German figures, leiderhosen, clocks, and historical German items

Then there are the trees- the large trees decked out with ornaments. A lot of glass pickle ornaments. A lot.

Because this is normal behavior for a master race of people.

So I’m looking around and I’m a little perturbed. I consult with Jeff-who shares my ideology.  Listen, if I wanted a fucking glass pickle ornament I would have driven twenty minutes and picked one up with a sauerbraten to-go. Okay? I came to Epcot Germany for a FULL FUCKING GERMANY EXPERIENCE.

And we weren’t getting it. Here’s a hint- there was a very specific time period missing on the “History of Germany” items.

Hitler Youth?

So after talking with Jeff- we approached the counter. You know, at these places-they import people from the actual countries to work there. In case you didn’t know this-you only see people from Germany at Epcot Germany. It is a Disney Scholarship program. It is a great idea, and lends to the authenticity of Epcot! Malawi! (a kiosk hut outside of Epcot Mexico)(Seriously.)

So we approach the Germans working and we utter what will seal our fate: “Where do you keep the good ornaments?”

blank stares.

“Uh, ya know- the ones from um…war time”

confused stares that are quickly turning into looks of horror

Jeff– “Listen I’m looking for some Third Reich ornaments. Okay. Are they behind the counter? Or… Because I checked in all the little wicker baskets under the trees and all I can find are glass pickles”

The girl whispers to another worker. They both stare. A manager comes out and Jeff repeats his question.

“We don’t carry any memorabilia of that nature-and I think you two should find your way out, and not return for the remainder of your time at Disney”

I really love what they've done with the glitter.

I mean-that’s fine, but now my “Genocide through the ages” Christmas tree theme continues to be incomplete.

And, for your viewing pleasure-

Pro Thunderball from the best sketch comedy show in history: Matt Besser is the best part.

Pete and Nikki

Nikki and Pete.

Friends for life

I’m not sure which one of us would be Larry and which one of us would be Jeff. While Pete has a family and obligations that make him much more like Jeff, I dare to say that I am much more grounded in reality and would probably say, despite being less hilarious-that I am Jeff.

But certainly, beyond both loving the show-my Peter and I embodied these characters, and their relationship quite well.

Odd couple

So, to keep things brief, I will tell a short story that lends itself to my claims here.

In case we don’t know- Peter is my best friend in Arizona, who was a co-worker and mentor of mine for two years. For almost all of that two years, I sat at a desk that faced his desk and spent more time with him and Greco than anybody else on this planet. For most of two years, I ate forty meals a month with him, spent over 50 hours a week with him, countless happy hours, and probably thousands of text messages and about a hundred midnight phone calls.

I owned his old furniture, I drove his car, I was often his alibi, he took me to buy my first bike, he picked up our morning lattes with cinnamon, he introduced me to udon noodles and albacore, he fitted my helmet, I taught him yoga, we sang Old Dirty Bastard to each other, quoted Gangs of New York, I paid his vet bills, he paid mine, and we were often each other’s first-call when something funny happened a mere twenty minutes after leaving the office. We literally were and are partners in crime. There was never even a moment of romantic chemistry between us-and I know both of us wouldn’t have it any other way.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cheryl: I thought you didn’t like talking to people.
Larry David: I don’t like talking to… to people I KNOW, but strangers, I have no problem with.

(neither Pete nor I were nice, normal enough people to be Cheryl)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

To this day, I truly believe he is one of a handful of people I was meant to meet in this life. He is also probably one of the only human beings I will ever meet that I can love unconditionally. (See: non-romantic) He is the Mario Batali to my Gwyneth Paltrow, the Leonardo DiCaprio to my Kate Winslet. The Gayle to my Oprah. For those who have never experienced a relationship like this, I really, really hope you do.

***********************************************************************************************************

On to a story I remembered yesterday:

Pete is small. He is a smallish human. I am certainly taller than him in flats, and tower above him more or less in heels. No matter, he certainly hasn’t lacked for female attention in this life. Anyway- we were both leaving our job, we had spoken about it many times and in order to fully maximize our health insurance, we decided to schedule a bunch of appointments before we quit.

So I scheduled a physical. I get to the office and right away they weigh me so I can feel like not eating for the rest of the day-and get my height. Now, ever since high school I’ve been under the presumption that I was around 5’7 or 5’8. In talking about this with Pete, he was comfortable with the notion that he was around 5’6.

This doctor’s office measures me and tells me I’m 5’4. I freak out. In my head-my first thought is that my BMI basically now means I’m morbidly obese. My weight-to-height ratio is totally motherfucking fucked if I’m THREE TO FOUR inches shorter than I thought I was. That’s a lot of height. Gone. Boom. I look at the nurse and she jots down 5’4. I didn’t have time to argue but I drove back to the office depressed.

You know who else was going to be depressed that day? Peter. I get back and tell him the bad news. Not only am I actually 5’4, but he is now around 5’2 or 5’3. Five feet and motherfucking two inches.

He freaks. He’s enraged by this doctor and demands a recount. I don’t know what to tell him- I say- I’m upset too. I’m very upset. He is turning red now. He will not stand for this. He knows that I’m at least 5’7 and he is not taking this lightly.

The long and the short of it is- (see what I did there?) Peter makes an appointment for the next week at my doctors office to “settle the score.” He goes and demands to be  measured twice. Five feet, six inches.

If that story isn’t ripped from Curb, I don’t know what is.

Larry: He insulted me. He implied that I was lying about my stepfather!
Jeff Greene: You don’t have a stepfather.
Larry: I know, but I didn’t like the implication!

Warning: Everybody Here is Crazy Pt. 1

This post will be the beginning of what I believe will be a beautiful series of short stories. That series will be called “I survived Arizona, where every thing and everybody is fucking insane and racist and scary and stupid and there is a lot of sand.”
Or- in the shortened version, it will feature the “Arizona Crazy” tag, and the “Como Que?” category.

So, to make a brief introduction to my 6 years in Tucson, Arizona-

I went there for my undergraduate education.

I received monetary incentives to attend.

I visited for two days before accepting.

I wanted to get out of the midwest and far far far from my family.

After school, I moved in with my then-boyfriend.

Because of him, and the economy, I took the first job I was offered and worked for 2 additional years.

I purchased furniture, trips, a dog, a great bike, and a lot of food and makeup to fill the enormous void in my life.

That void was called “any emotion other than depression.

I decided to go back to school-and I escaped to the north in the dead of night. This is exactly how the slaves must have felt.

* * * * * * *

So lets begin-

To set the scene- this is the first forty minutes I was in Tuscon, Arizona. A forty minutes that would literally set the tone for the next 6 years of my life.

 

You may think-that if you got that message-LOUD AND CLEAR….

Note RV full of crazies.

That you’d heed the warnings, and turn around and go back to where you came from.

But we can’t all be that intelligent- and so just to clarify a couple of important points:

1. I had no cell phone during this time. 

2. I had never flown into Tucson “Int’l” before this. I also had no idea of how Tucson “worked.”

So here I am- 18 years old and traveling to school out of state on my own for the first time ever!

I went by myself, as nobody from my family could go with me- and because of ticket scarcity, I ended up being slated to arrive in Tucson at about 1:30am the day before I was officially supposed to check into my dorm.

I emailed the school, and was promised that they’d have a human being waiting at my dorm for me- even at around 2am which was when I estimated I’d arrive. I’d be shown to my new room-and would be able to check in the next morning when everybody else did.

Great! I thought– this is a crazy adventure that will be scary but awesome too!

So I boarded my plane after a lot of tears- and I flew off to Tucson Arizona-land of milk and honey*, with like six full suitcases full of stuff. This was of course,  before the economy tanked and we could assume that paying 400.00 to fly uncomfortably one way to a shit-hole entitled us to fucking CHECK SOME SHIT FOR FREE.

Oh-everything is grounded and closed? Must be a holiday weekend.

So I land in Tucson- and I get all of my bags, and something is…off. It is 1:30am-but I am literally one of four people in the entire “international” airport. One other person was on my connecting flight-one person is mopping a floor and one person is homeless asleep on the baggage claim. ( I claimed him- and he makes a mean pancetta mac&cheese. He also talks to fences. #tradeoffs)

I had an uncomfortable feeling about the total lack of humans, but I gathered my things and went outside to look for a cab. It was easy to find one…as there was only one. Only one cab.

This is actually the exact cab I entered. I recognize the plates.

 

So I pull all my stuff to the cab, and the driver jumps out  and helps me-asks where I’m going, I say the University.

He starts loading my bags, and I open the back seat. It was a van cab- so the seats are higher, and I go to step in-and there is a wallet sitting on the seat. Oops.

So he hops in the cab and before he even starts the car, I say:

“Oh, hey there is a wallet back here, somebody must have lef—”

“Oh. Give me it. Give me it right now. Oh. I know who left it. My last customer. What a fucking chink. I mean-okay-I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t–but this fucking chink. What a fucking bitch.”

I’m silent

“Okay! So-the university! Great. Here for school? That’s great. I’m trying to remember where the University is…”

Note: if you live in Tucson and cannot find the University of Arizona, it is tantamount to living in Orlando and claiming you forgot where DisneyWorld is. Its everywhere. It is the fucking anchor of Tucson.

At this point, we are on a road and out of nowhere-he whips around and starts manically beeping his horn.

Try roughly 2190 days in Horrorland.

He screams at me “More pretty girls in Tucson!!!! woooooooooooooottttt! WhoooooHooooooo!!!!!”

Um.

At this point I’m hoping I survive this taxi ride. I’m hoping even more that my virginity (waiting for marriage) survives this taxi ride. I’m also hoping he turns around and watches the road, stops honking and doesn’t think my skin would look good as a suit.

He begins to question me intently about my dating history and my plans to find a husband in Tucson. (I’d rather find a husband on To Catch A Predator)

This has nothing to do with anything. But come on. Come. On. Like you don't want to look at this.

Precious quotes like

“You know, I could be your personal cab driver-we could hang out. I’m just saying. We could hang out and I could drive you around. Do you have a boyfriend? Are you a virgin?”

“What do you want to study? Oh-you want to learn how to be a politician?”

Yes. Sir. Political Science teaches you how to blow anybody for a campaign donation while fucking your driver’s daughter. (If head doesn’t work, appoint more judges.)

I resent my parents even more for denying me a cell phone at this moment.

He then goes into a soliloquy about his life and “some drama” and “some fucked up shit” he has going on with HIS WIFE and finally he turns the corner that my dorm is on.

I pay him- with the little cash I have on hand, and he starts to unload.

But something is not right. It is 2:30am and there is not one light on in my dorm. No human being waiting for me. I start to have an uneasy feeling once again about my life, and my odds of avoiding being a Nancy Grace topic.

So he unloads, gives me his “card” (he’s a cab driver. Seriously?) and his cell phone number. Asks to hang out. I shudder. I sort of chuckle. Tell him I’ll call. (we’re married now)

I'm the inspiration for this game. I'm in this photo-but my lifeless mutilated body is under the front wheels.

I drag my bags up to the door and he is staring at me from the street. He knows I’m not getting in. It just hangs there. The panic I felt in that moment made it feel like an hour. How would I get him to leave? Where would I go?

These things would never-ever happen now. Now I’d just book a hotel before I traveled. I wouldn’t rely on an RA to do anything. Now, I’d just use my Evo to fucking call the police. Or the dorm. Or my parents. Or a hotel.

But I had nothing. I would have had to leave all my shit at this dorm and wander around a campus alone until I found a payphone. To call whom? My parents would not answer and they would not help. I resigned myself to just sleeping outside for the night. Until somebody left and I could make it into the building.

But he was still watching me. I ran back down-and he, of course, asked if I could get in-and wanted to wait with me.

“No, No, I just texted a friend and she is coming to let me in. Thanks so much-nice meeting you.”

He stared. But- luckily I think he was tired and he got in his cab and left.

 

But I was still stuck outside a dorm with 6 bags of crap, extremely tired, alone, with very little money, and no way to get into my dorm room.

And then- God answered my increasingly frantic prayers.

 

An SUV pulled up less than a minute later. A tiny girl hopped out and ran up to the stoop.

“Oh- hi.” she said and I told her the situation.

“Oh, you can sleep in the extra bed that is in my room. Come on, I’ll help carry your stuff up.”

He name was Bree. She was a tiny cheerleader who was a Tucson native- had moved in early and was getting home from a friend’s house. She helped me carry my stuff up, let me use her cell phone to call my parents and let them know I was still alive (barely) and her computer to email my friends. She talked to me until 3am when we both went to sleep. The next morning, she helped me check in and told me all about her boyfriend and friends when we grabbed coffee.

And here is the punchline ladies and gentlemen—-

She never. acknowledged me. again.

Never. In the elevator-she’d look down. In meetings, she’d introduce herself each time.

Is it me? Or is everybody here fucking nuts?

What a surprise.

* leche and shit.