Monday, February 28, 2011

And the award goes to me for...

While we were watching the Oscars last night, Eric asked me if I were going to win an award at the Oscars, like, if in another life I became famous in the movies, what would it be for?

Not acting. I'm a terrible actor as anyone who witnessed the debacle that was the one one act play that I performed in in high school can attest to. (That's a weird sentence, isn't it? One one and in in. But, yeah, I think that's what I meant to say.) In my head, I can see myself acting all serious and dramatic, but when it comes down to it, I can never keep a straight face.

I also took one of those aptitude tests in high school that's supposed to tell you what line of work you should pursue. It told me I should be a TV/Movie Producer/Director. Somehow I don't see it. I don't think I'm bossy assertive enough for that.

I'm tone deaf, so it wouldn't be for score or sound or anything like that. I don't even really understand what editing is. (insert joke about lack of editing my own blog here) And if you've ever seen me close up, you would know that make-up is out of the question too. I stumble over that line between clean skin and clown face every day.

The first time I went to college, I majored in costume design. And then actually worked with a couple of small local theaters and costumed a few plays. I guess it could be for that. But I also briefly studied interior design, so maybe I could be a set decorator. But the designers at the awards shows are never wearing the beautiful, glamorous gowns, so it makes me think that those awards are somehow less awesome to win.

But alas, in this life, it's just not to be. I guess I'll have to settle for both of my kids winning Oscars someday. Merry will be an actress. She's got that role down pat already. Lucas, I foresee, will be the next John Lassiter, animator and director. And they will both be all, "...and most of all I'd like to thank my mother, because she predicted all of this in her blog when I was 3, and then went all Joan Crawford-crazy-mom on me to make it happen."

Friday, February 25, 2011


My parents always called me Beth, but I've been thinking I'd like to jazz it up smidge. 

Wikipedia lists 103 nicknames for Elizabeth. What do you think? Leezbeez? Zabs? Effy?

Wait, Wizzy? Why do I get the feeling that Wikipedia is fucking with me here?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hand Me Down

During the no man's land that was the year between the end of my marriage and the meeting of Eric, I dated a guy for a while who, in hindsight, I realize was a complete douche tube.

He didn't like my friends, questioned my parenting, "borrowed" money from me, and stole my extended DVD of The Two Towers. I would write those months of my life off as a complete waste, if he hadn't also introduced me to this band.

So last fall, they came to town and I dragged Eric along with me to see to see them. We snagged a table in the back so I could hide from the aforementioned douche, who was also there. As we were plotting ways that we could publicly humiliate him, Rachel Flotard from the band came up from behind me and hugged me. I was surprised and bemused, as was she, when she realized I wasn't who she thought I was.

(I'm pretty sure she mistook me for Sara, a friend and former co-worker of mine who now works in the music industry- we have the same hair from the back.)

No moral to this story. I like her. She smelled nice. And if we ever meet again we can talk about our dads. Hers was in the Local 638 Steamfitters Union. Mine was in the Local 126.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If I were rich

I would live in this sweater. *

*I would actually still live in a house. (Probably a nicer one.) But I would buy this sweater and I would wear it a lot. In fact, I would buy a whole bunch of them so that when the elbows wore out I would just pull a new one out and start wearing that one every day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gun Range

When I was a kid we had this really nasty rooster that used to attack me in the yard whenever I went outside, and I would get revenge on it by climbing up on the roof of the goat barn and shooting at it with a BB gun. The BBs would just startle him and bounce off his feathers, but it made me feel better. And sometimes my dad would let me shoot his rifles at a hay bail target (and laugh when they knocked me on my butt.)

Anyway. I'm not a total gun virgin, but far from expert. And Eric had done some trap shooting, but had never fired a pistol. So when I called to see if they would let us shoot real guns at the range for Valentines Day, and they were all, "Sure! We'll walk you through how the gun works and get you all set up",  I picture them handing us a loaded gun, showing us the safety and pointing us at a target.

Not so much. Once we picked out a gun, the guy showed us an empty clip, a box of bullets and basically said, "Put the bullets in here, put this in the gun hold the gun like this and squeeze the trigger. If you do it wrong, you might die" Then shooed us off into lane 13. (13!)

So, Bill's Gun Shop and Range isn't exactly like what you see in the movies. It's loud. Really, really loud. Really. really. really. loud.


And it's crowded. Two or three guys on most lanes, with big guns and scowls on their faces. Serious shooters, who bring their own guns and gear and elegantly empty all their rounds into a tiny quarter sized hole in the center of their target.

As we walked behind these men (all men, I was the only girl there) we had to be careful not to trip on all the empty rounds scattered on the floor and dodge the flying ones.

It smelled like sweat and gun powder.

It was awesome.

Once we figured out how to load the gun and got our target set up, Eric took the first turn with the gun.

He looked like a total badass.

Then it was my turn.

Lookit!! I'm good at this!

A tip for the ladies: do not wear a low cut sweater to the shooting range. Shell casings are very hot when they fly out of your 9mm gun and they will flip into your cleavage, wedge themselves into your bra and burn your boob.

Happy Valentine's Day, Puddin. Has the adrenaline worn off yet?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pen, Man Ship.

Nobody really tagged me. But a few people said, "hey, knock yourself out if you wanna." And I'm a joiner. So here I go. My first blog meme.

The meme rules/questions:
1. What’s your name/your Blogger name?
2. What’s your blog’s name/URL?
3. Write “the quick fox jumps over the lazy dog”.
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your Favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3-5 other people.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Does anyone know if there's a dress code for the shooting range?
Cause I'm thinking about going in costume.

A ball gown?
Head-to-toe spandex?
Double-knit pants suit?

I'll probably get beat up.

Maybe just a jaunty hat?


At my desk I am surrounded
by five different versions of fake woodgrain
And gray walls
And gray carpet
And gray window blinds
And a gray and foggy day

On the gray walls across from my desk
hang two Matisse posters
that are crooked in their frames
I was a picture framer for years
and this makes my eyeballs itch

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bang Bang. Shoot Shoot.

It's February in Minnesota. And even though the weather this week has been mild (leaving a thick layer of grime on everything as the snow recedes) more cold and snow is hiding behind the next corner waiting to jump out and sucker punch us.

Add the miserable weather to my horrible soul grating job, frustrating house repairs and we are in desperate need of a release.

And so, here's Eric's facebook status from today: 
True love is when your lady gets you a GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE SHOOTING RANGE for Valentines Day, and it is the BEST PRESENT EVER, and you are NOT EVEN A REDNECK.
That's right, this Saturday, we are going to go pick out a bad ass gun and take turns shooting at one of those torso shaped paper targets.  
And it's going to feel good.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Still Life with Pig and Ring

My mom just gave me this ring. My dad had given it to her a long time ago.
When I wear it my hands look just like Mom's.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Envelope

Not long before my dad died, one of his sisters went to visit him and I'm not sure how this came about but she ended up transcribing for him some of his stories from the war.

This was not a thing that was talked about in my family. Dad had a couple of funny stories that he would tell, but for the most part Vietnam was a taboo subject. As were all things that might cause him to show emotions. Children's tears were met with jokes, old or ailing pets suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, relationships ended without goodbyes.

So my aunt typed out his stories and asked him what he'd like her to do with them. Should she give them to us, his kids? Not until after he died, he said. (eerie foreshadowing - dum dum dum) And since Dad was a luddite, he made her promise never to send the stories electronically.

And so, these things have come to pass.

A fat envelope of typed up war stories came in the mail the other day. Stories that Dad didn't want told until after his death. So, in effect, my dad's last words for me.

It sits there on my kitchen table and I cannot make myself open it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free to Do Nothing

You know those rare nights when you are home by yourself because your kids are at their dad's and your boyfriend and his kids are at scouts and you can do whatever you want but you're frozen by the overwhelming options so you just sit and watch really old DVRed TV and do your taxes?

Monday, February 7, 2011


Everyone wants their own private tropical island, right? Some people even talk about it on their blogs. But since there are a finite number of uninhabited tropical islands on the planet and nobody's giving them away, here's what I want instead:

Picture water slides, a jumpy castle and a really long rope swing
I figure there's gotta be a few of these out there that have outlived their usefulness. Maybe BP's trying to unload a couple on craigslist. You pick one of these up cheap, you get yourself a jet ski, and presto! instant tropical getaway. 

But of course, you're going to need cash for upkeep and provisions so you remodel a little. You turn your offshore oil rig into an exclusive fantasy themed hotel. You cater to wealthy William Gibson fans, or people who really liked the movie Waterworld. 

András Gyõrfi's "The Swimming City"

You wouldn't have to get quite this fancy, but you see where I'm going with this right? It could be our own micronation. We'll make a flag and declare war on Antigua.

So. Who's with me? 

I call queen.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brandon, a repost

In honor of my new-found blog laziness, I am going to re-post a little item from way back when I first started blogging,  two long years ago. But written about a time nearly twenty years ago when I was an angsty art school student:  Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 

When Eric and I met, we were talking about how we both enjoy poetry. I like to read it. He likes to write it. And I told him that once, when I was eighteen, I had written a poem that I wasn't at all embarrassed to let people read. I remember quite liking it, in fact. It was about a train.

So I decided to try to find it. I had never unpacked all the boxes of miscellaneous stuff from my last move, and thought there was a possibility that the journal, containing said poem, could be in one of several boxes in my basement. I dug. I found one box full of pictures, sketchbooks, journals, and old letters. The journal with the poem wasn't there. I'm sure I tossed it out with many others years ago in a fit of cleaning. Or a fit of never ever ever wanting anyone to read all the ridiculous things I wrote in journals when I was a teenager.

But there was one journal, a sketch book actually, unlined, with only a few entries. I probably saved this one alone because I couldn't justify throwing away all the nice clean unused pages. I'm not sure exactly when I started this journal, or when I quit writing in it. There's one entry about receiving a critique of a sculpture in art school, but another one about a friend that I don't think could have been written until a couple years after I left college. One entry stood out. I was ranting about someone named Brandon.

Brandon, apparently, had a very cold and removed view on life. He thought that emotions made for a messy world. I thought he was way off base. I said I embraced emotional turmoil and chaos. Sure, sometimes I was miserable, but at least I knew a was alive.  Brandon thought that made me weak. I worried that his "Vulcan" thinking was going to influence my life. I wondered how I could prevent it. How could I go on living my life in all its sloppy splendor and avoid his overwhelming influence over me?!

I assume that I somehow discovered how to insulate myself from his corrupting world view.

I have no memory of ever knowing anyone named Brandon.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I've only just now realized that my blog's name, but nevertheless, is a redundant phrase. Like plan ahead, armed gunman, or basic fundamentals. I'm sort of embarrassed about this. Like the time I commented on someone else's blog and as soon as I hit post, I realized I had used the wrong form of your/you're, and couldn't fix it. (I hear that's a hanging offense these days.)

But really, of all of the bad and irresponsible things I do in my life, it seems minor. I rarely floss. I frequently drink more wine than I should. My tires are bald. I swear in front of my kids. I blog at work.

So. But nevertheless? Meh.

(In my defense, I didn't want to call it that anyway. I wanted just plain nevertheless, but that was taken.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit

My mom and I started saying this years and years ago. I don't even know where we got it. But, supposedly,  if you say "rabbit, rabbit" before your feet touch the floor on the morning of the first day of the month, you will have good luck all month.

Wikipedia says I can pretty much say it at any time today and get the same effect. So, here's hoping that February is better than January.

It couldn't really be worse.