24 September 2010

The one where I ended up in jail

Since I haven’t been doing all that much recently, I have decided to tell you a tale from my more exciting youth. Obviously from the title of this post you can guess this tale is about the one and only time I ended up in jail. I was going to exaggerate and go on and on about how I was a hardened criminal with a rap sheet a mile long, but it would be a lie and I’d like to cover my ass in case I ever want to go back to Canada.

When I was 19, I used to work at a shoe store in a very suburban mall. I started off as a regular Sales Associate and on my first day of work my manager got me high and then made me re-arrange purses according to size. I’m hesitant to tell you that I got high because it’s not a very family friendly thing to admit (hi Dad!). Since this post is about jail (not exactly family friendly) and I had never been anything more than a person who smoked if everyone else was doing it and I didn't have to pay for it(pot makes me too sleepy to ever enjoy it) I will mention it. I think the fact that my manager got me high on my first day really kind of sets the tone for this whole thing anyway. I hope you can imagine a 19 year girl who was very nervous on her first day of work trying desperately to be serious in arranging hand bags according to size but having to run into the back in a fit of giggles because zippers were really really hilarious.

After about a month of working there, the manager who got me high decided to quit. I can’t remember why but I’m sure it had something to do with starting his own grow house. The Assistant Manager therefore became Manager and since I was good with numbers and managed to keep a straight face when obvious cross dressers came in looking for high heel pumps in a size 12 (Wisconsin cross dressers like to wear beards…I know, I don’t get it either), I became Assistant Manager. This new title meant nothing in the way of increased compensation – I simply got a key to the store and had to work more hours.

One day when both the Manager and I were working the same shift, he asked me if I’d like to come out to a dance club in downtown Milwaukee with him and his girlfriend after work. My manager was over 21 and I had to explain to him that even though I would love to go to a club, I was only 19 and there was no way I could get in. He said he knew I was underage but that he had a friend who’d be joining us who was willing to let me use her old driver’s license. Never one to consider something as a bad idea just because it’s illegal, I agreed.

After we closed the store, we drove down to the East Side and met up with my Manager’s girlfriend and the friend that was loaning me the fake ID. We met at Vitucci’s, which back in the 90’s was never known to check anyone’s ID. Before you young bucks gather up your spare change and head for $2 PBR pints, let me assure you that times have since changed (sorry). Anyhow, my Manager's friend gave me the ID which of course looked nothing like me. I’m not a 5’4”, 115 lbs, blonde with blue eyes – not even then when I was young and svelte. My manager assured me that they wouldn’t be looking at the picture or the description – but if they did, to memorize everything on the ID. So I did. I had my name and address down. I knew my birth date. Hell, I even memorized what sign I would be (Sagittarius – some things you never forget). I knew my height, and weight, and whether I was an organ donor. While I was still nervous, I was pretty sure of myself that they couldn’t catch anything on the ID that I didn’t know.

When we got to the club, my manager and his girlfriend went in first with me right behind. I was sweating bullets by the time I handed over the fake ID to the big bouncer in the skin tight black muscle shirt who probably just ate three high school freshmen for dinner.

The bouncer looks at the ID. The bouncer looks at me. The bouncer looks at the ID. The bouncer looks at me. The bouncer says, “This isn’t you.” I say, “Yes, it is.” I knew questions about the ID were coming. I could tell by the look in his eye. My mind was going through all the information, “….Mary BlahBlahBlah, November 28, 1968, 345 Howell Avenue, Sagittarius, Organ Donor, 115 lbs…” but I did not and could not expect what the bouncer actually did. He handed me a piece of paper and a pen and asked me to write my signature. The signature! I hadn’t looked at the signature! It could be in Braille for all I knew, with little smilie Braille dots marking the I’s! I breathed in sharply and grabbed the pen. I gave it my best effort trying to forge a signature I had never seen. The bouncer looked at my handy work, laughed a bit and said, “I’ll have to confiscate this from you.” I, knowing when I had been defeated, nodded my head and started to walk out the door.

That really should be the end of this tale. If I hadn’t done a series of unfortunate mistakes after handing over the fake ID that would be the end of this story – which would mean it wouldn’t really be a story now, would it?

My Manager and his girlfriend hadn’t seen what had happened. I think the strobe lights and promises of cocktails made them temporarily forget that there was a 19 year old girl using a fake ID that they provided at a night club. I slowly walked toward the door to go outside when a police officer, now holding the fake ID that the bouncer gave to him, called out to me by saying, “Hey, can I talk to you for a moment?”

MISTAKE #1: I said yes. I said “Yes, certainly I will talk to you - Mr. Police Officer who is holding the evidence of my wrong doing”. I could have just walked out. The copper wouldn’t have followed me, I’m very certain of that fact. Do you want to know why I decided it would be a good idea to talk to the copper that was holding the evidence of my wrong doing? I honestly thought (I was 19 and I may have had a few beers in me from the previous bar – don’t judge) that the police officer was going to give me the fake ID back. And I wanted the ID so I could give it back to the girl who lent it to me – you know, because I’m considerate like that.

The police officer was a young guy with a nice smile. He asked me if the ID he had in his hands was mine. I said yes (technically MISTAKE #2, but I’m lumping it with #1) but then explained AS I TRIED TO GRAB FOR IT, that it was a friends and I needed to give it back. The copper said that he couldn’t do that and that he would have to write me a ticket for using a fake ID at a bar. My lip started to tremble as a big tear ran down my cheek. I knew I couldn’t afford a ticket, no matter how small the amount was. The police officer asked for my current address. In a stroke of genius, I gave him the address of my apartment in Colorado. I had just moved from Colorado to Wisconsin 6 months ago and my logic was that if they sent the ticket there, I could claim I never received it and therefore wouldn’t have to pay it. Genius! I am the smartest girl in the world!

MISTAKE #2: In the State of Wisconsin, if you get caught with a fake ID at a bar and you are from OUT OF STATE, you will be immediately sent to jail. Once in jail you can only get out if 1) Someone posts bail (which is the cost of the ticket) or 2) You attend your court date (usually the following afternoon) and pay the cost of the fine. I do not know what happens if you get to your court date and you don’t have the money to pay your fine. I’m assuming they cut off a body part and make you get a tattoo of a wheel of cheese with the slogan, “I got arrested in Wisconsin and all I got was this lousy tattoo.”

My Manager and his girlfriend ran out of the club just in time to see me handcuffed and put in the back of the squad car. I mumbled feebly, “I guess the ID didn’t work.”

At the station, I was processed like any other person staying the night in jail. They took all my possessions – which was $15 and a pack of cigarettes – fingerprinted me, frisked me (not as sexy as it might sound), and took my shoe laces in case I felt like committing suicide over my ineptness in getting into a bar underage. The shoe laces were actually a big deal for me as I was wearing my 8-hole Dr. Martens at the time and they would not stay on my feet without something holding them together. They threw me in the drunk tank with 3 other women who had the good luck to actually be pretty fucking intoxicated while I – long since lost my buzz – remained sober the entire time.

I only remember a few things from being in jail. I remember the cold hard benches. I remember that it was freezing and I didn’t have a jacket. I remember this African American woman talking (shouting really) at me the entire night about how it was her man that beat her up and how it ain’t right that she was the one in jail. But most of all I remember going to the bathroom. The toilet was stainless steel with no seat and no door. There also wasn’t any toilet paper. I’m assuming this was so that no one could commit suicide with a roll of Cottonelle. Not wanting to be wet and certainly not wanting to hang out pant-less while I dried out, I ended up using one of my socks. I was then lace-less and one foot sock-less and all together miserable and I was in for another round of why the poor African American lady was in jail when it was her man that beat her up.

5 hours later, 3 o’clock in the morning, an officer opened the door, called my name and told me someone had posted bail. The woman whose ID I had used had felt terrible about what had happened and offered up the money. She wasn’t there when I walked out of jail but my Manager and his girlfriend were. They also felt terrible and decided to buy me breakfast. Of course, on the way to the 24 hour George Webb, my Manager ran over a cat. The cat was still alive so we picked it up and spent the rest of the evening in the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital.

I didn’t get back home (to my parents house) until 9 AM in the morning. I collapsed on my pull out sofa bed and didn’t wake up until nearly dinner time. I didn’t tell my parents what happened until 10 years later at some New Year’s Day party they were throwing where I casually mentioned that I was in jail once. I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't seem at all surprised.

In case the Canadian Mounties are out there reading this, this little incident never landed on my permanent record so please continue to let me into your country.

22 September 2010

Sick Tiki Monkeys

Before I begin what I hope is a jolly good light headed blog post, I’d like to take a moment to bitch. My bitch will be in the form of a Post-It Note sized letter.

Dear co-worker who I genuinely like but to whom I would like to kick in the fucking ass right now,

If you are sick, stay home. I know the American way is to come into work even on the verge of a deathly bubonic plague. I know we Americans believe this shows commitment to the job which we think is ever so important with this horrific economy we are currently in. I read the CNN articles too! I read about the guy who used to be the CEO of some tech firm and now he and his wife are living in a beat up van eating Taco Bell with the money they begged for all day. I know what it’s like. But for fuck’s sake, if you can barely stay awake at your desk, are hacking up half dollar phlegm balls, and you sound like Darth Vader, for the love of all things holy, stay home. It’s not that you can’t work from home, because you can – we all can – when we are ill. But because you made the goddamn selfish decision to come in – on the same day we are all stuck in an airless conference room for a meeting no less – we are all sick. All of us! Our entire support staff is sick at home and has been for the last two days. Thanks asshole. I mean, I really do like you, I really do, but what the fuck? – that was a really douche move.


The woman you share a cubicle wall with and don’t think for a moment that wall protects those fucking germs for jumping up and over.


And now to the blog post I was going to write two days ago if I hadn’t actually gotten a cold and could manage to stay awake for more than a half hour at a time.

SO, this past Sunday was a real hodge-podge of activities. Andy started off the day by getting up at 4:30 AM to catch the Liverpool match down at the Harp. At 10 AM I joined him to watch the Packer game. We were both pretty bored of the Harp by the time the Packer game was over at 1 PM so we decided to go to the Santa Ana Zoo. The Santa Ana Zoo is kind of a mini zoo – it only takes an hour to walk through and the largest animal they had was a camel. However, if you like monkeys, this is your spot. I know you are wondering about my opinions of monkeys (it’s a common question I get – “What do you do for a living?” and “How do you feel about monkeys?”) so I’ll tell you. I like small monkeys – like a foot tall or less – but I can’t stand chimps, or gorillas. I guess ‘can’t stand’ is pretty strong of an opinion. I don’t care for them, though they have done nothing to me personally. I mean, I don’t have some poo flinging story from my childhood or anything. They just kind of creep me out. Too human, maybe. Small monkeys still seem like animals. Chimps and gorillas don’t – I think I have this fear that one day they will get really upset by being in cages and kill us all with shivs made from nuts and banana peels.

ANYHOW, after the hour walk around the zoo it was still early and I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet. We decided to take a drive up the coast and halfway there I made the decision that we’d go to Sam’s. Of course Sam’s is no longer – it’s now Don’s – but I didn’t really care as long as it was still tiki themed, which it was.

I might as well tell you about my love for all things tiki. I have it. I have love….for all things tiki. I don’t know where it stemmed from – ‘Grease 2’ maybe? I just know I’ve always had it. Our wedding was tiki themed for fuck’s sake. My all time favorite bars are all of the tiki persuasion. There’s Tiki Ti up in LA that is awesome. There’s Foundation in Milwaukee that used to be punk rock but moved to tiki. There’s Kon Tiki in Tucson. And of course there is Sam’s, er, Don’s in Sunset Beach.

Don’s is OK. They haven’t changed the d├ęcor much from when it was still Sam’s but the drink menu is definitely smaller. Of course, if I have a tiki drink I want it in a tiki glass, which Sam’s used to do but Don’s does not. And the fruit! You can’t have a tiki drink without the fruit (are you listening Don?)!. They did have a huge wall full of tiki glasses that I was a little put out weren’t available for purchase.

Andy had the Navy Grog which I keep telling him he doesn’t like but he continues to order (the name perhaps?) while I had a virgin strawberry margarita. I miss drinking by the way, especially since the Vicious Virgin looked fantastic. Who names a drink “virgin” and doesn’t actually make it virgin? (DON)

Pretending to like his Navy Grog...again.

As we were leaving we noticed this guy who was making tiki head statues in the parking lot. It’s actually probably a good idea that I wasn’t drunk on Vicious Virgin cocktails or else one of these would have come home with us.

13 September 2010

Random Monday Musings

Musing #1:  For the last couple of weeks I have heard Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ no less than 5 times. This isn’t by choice mind you; the song will just be playing when I’m running around in the grocery store or flipping through radio channels. It did dawn on me that my entire life I have always thought they were singing “…he just smiled and gave me a bite of my sandwich…” which confused me to no end since why would some guy be feeding another guy his sandwich? Did he have no hands of his own? It only recently occurred to me that they are actually singing, “….he just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich….” I attribute this mistake from the fact that when this song came out (1981), I was only 7 years old and had no idea something called Vegemite even existed. Because the word wasn’t in my vocabulary I substituted it for words I did know and never bothered to correct myself.

Musing #2:  I sometimes go to Gelson’s for lunch. Gelson’s is one of those high end grocery stores that insists on never having anything on sale. They do have a great lunch deal though at their deli – a half sandwich with two sides for $5.50. I was there today (coincidentally where I heard ‘Down Under’ again) and while I was waiting for my sandwich to be made I saw this as one of my sides that I could choose to have:

I did a lot of giggling about it as chopped liver is, in my mind, one of those made up foods that you joke about serving to someone (“Yeah, come on over – we’re having chopped liver tonight!”) but that doesn’t actually exist in real life. Spam and chicken gizzards also fall into this category. I guess it’s not that I don’t believe that they really exist; I just have a hard time fathoming why someone would willingly put something like that in their mouth. Then again, I should talk. I eat hot dogs.

08 September 2010

Yes, it really was cabbage

So last night Andy and I met Finky and Davey Davey out at the Olde Ship in Santa Ana for their monthly pub quiz. I am sure that you recognize from the ‘E’ in Olde that the “Ship” is of the English pub variety. It’s actually pretty authentic, that is, if the pubs you go to in England haven’t redecorated since 1867. My friend, Andrea, and I used to go to their sister pub out in Fullerton (way back in the days when I could still manage to stay awake past 10 PM) and I used to get a kick out of their tiny Ladies Room that had news clippings and portraits of the Queen in various stages of her Queen-ness. There is nothing like trying to pee with her Highness staring you down.

It's hard not to say "Oldie" when something is spelled 'Olde'.   Maybe that's just me.  Anyhow, here's the inside of the "Oldie Shippy"

Andy, Finky, Davey Davey and I used to go to this particular pub quiz on a regular basis last year. We had a decent team and even though there were only 4 of us, we still managed to place high enough to win a prize most months. We never won first mind you, but the $25 gift cards and bottles of booze weren’t a bad runner up prize. Finky was our History and Sports guy, Davey was our Music guy, Andy was our English History, Literature, and Wacky General Knowledge Guy, and I – truly the only thing I really know a lot about – was the Pop Culture and American Television Chick. It worked for us. Notice I state “worked” in the past tense. Last night was truly tragic.

Last night’s quiz was 65% History, 20% Literature, 14% Random General Knowledge and 1% Entertainment that Nobody Fucking Knows. Finky and Andy basically were their own team with Davey Davey and me offering up incredibly helpful shoulder shrugs and “put down whatever”. To be fair, Davey Davey was a bit more gamely in throwing out ideas whereas I just sat there. My sole contribution to last night’s quiz was knowing that Mia Farrow was once married to Frank Sinatra. Since I failed to remember that Ava Gardner was his wife as well, we didn’t receive any points.

How could I have forgotten Ava? Stupid Stupid!

What is ironic (is it ironic, or just a coincidence?) is that I hold my own pub quiz at the Harp every first Wednesday of the month. Every month I get up on the stage with my 3-ring binder and Madonna-esque headphone-microphone and read off 60 questions like I know what the hell I’m talking about. But I don’t, I really don’t. I make my own quizzes but I create them under the idea that quizzes are supposed to be fun. A lot of the answers I don’t know until I look them up. For example, last week’s quiz I had the question: True or False – Is it legal to go topless at hotel swimming pools in Las Vegas? I think that’s a fun question. Not to say I knew the answer, I had no idea. But it was 50\50, people could guess. (It’s True, by the way)

I will say one thing though – I at least know the subject of the question. Last night the Quiz Master asked the question, “Promillio* sent his 6 men on search for what?” and then turned around to a table standing near her and asked, “Am I pronouncing that right? Who’s Promillio anyhow?” That’s just not right. How can you expect a people to know the answer to one of your questions if you don’t even know what the hell your question is asking?

That was a rant. My apologizes.

Anyhow, last night we came away empty handed. Actually worse! We came away with a $95 food and bar bill (for the 4 of us). It was fun though. Any time you can get 3 grown men discussing the weight properties of vegetables that start with the letter ‘C’, it’s a good night. (Sorry Fink that we trumped your ‘cabbage’ with ‘corn’ – I’m sure that one point would have made a difference.)
Cabbage: The heaviest vegetable per pound\per acre that starts with the letter 'C'

*Can’t remember actual name, but it was something Italian

07 September 2010

This post is not about bacon

This post is going to be similar to my hair post in the fact that the gentlemen out there who might be checking in can go ahead and check right out as this is going to bore you to no end. Similarly, any women out there who are feeling a bit butch today can go ahead and look at motorcycle ads with the men. I completely understand.

So yes! Today I want to talk about shoes (at which point the men truly click away and hit their favorite site “www.bigtittiewomenwholikemakingsandwiches.com). I, like a good majority of women, love shoes. I love shoes for the same reason most all women love shoes - no matter how wide your ass expands, no matter how robust your stomach extends over the top of your jeans or how many chins you acquire over the years, shoes always fit. Wonderful, beautiful shoes, how I love thee.

I’m a bit different from most shoe loving women due to the fact that I don’t fawn over Manolos or Guccis. While I don’t think anyone should pay over $200 for a pair of shoes EVER, my dislike for those types of shoes is more because I don’t wear high heels, or fancy boots, or any type of footwear that could be considered appropriate wear for dinner at the White House – or on a street corner in LA. I’m not saying that I can’t stand those types of shoes on other people. Hell, I admire people (shout out to the cross dressers!) who are able to wear 5 inch heels, look fabulous and not trip over their own feet. I just can’t do it. Not only do I have arches that would rival the St. Louis Gateway, my feet are simply too damn wide to fit in shoes like that. You may think that you have wide feet. I’m sorry to say that you don’t. My feet are almost half as wide as they are long. I have ordered extra extra extra (that’s 3 extras) wide shoes on the internet and have had to return them for being too narrow.

But wait! You’d think that all this frustration over finding shoes that fit would make me curse shoes forever. But no, the love remains. And the love remains because of one brand in particular, which stole my heart at 18, grabbed hold and never let go. That brand, of course, is my dear beloved Dr. Martens. Oh sure, I’ve had flings with other brands – Vans, Converse, John Fluevog, Simple, MUDD – but I always came back to my ass kicking sweetheart.

I got my first pair of Dr. Marten’s as either a birthday present or Christmas present from my mom. I had wanted Docs for years but it wasn’t until my mother realized that there really wasn’t Any Hope for me that she finally agreed to let me have them. Funny enough, the day we were at the mall picking up the 8-hole black Dr. Marten classic shit kickers was the same day that my mother found out that I had “desecrated the beautiful body that God gave me” by getting a tattoo. You can feel sorry for my mom at this point if you choose to, I was a difficult child. Anyhow, once I had those glorious boots, I promptly put in green laces, spent a month limping about from the pain and bloody blisters breaking them in, and wore them for over ten years until they got to point where they were no longer waterproof what with the front leather having cracked and separated from the back section making sure to show off whatever stripped socks I was wearing that day. I was depressed the day I finally threw them out and I still get misty eyed thinking about them still. I loved those boots.

*sob!* I miss you!

A year or so after I got those Dr. Martens, I ended up working as an Assistant Manager at a shoe store. It wasn’t your typical suburban shopping mall shoe store – it was called the Wild Pair and they primarily sold Dr. Martens and stripper boots with 8 inch heels. I really enjoyed working there (even though all my friends started calling me Al Bundy) mostly because I got a crap load of Dr. Martens on super discount and the manager let us smoke cigarettes in the back.

To this day, I still only wear Dr. Martens. Wait, that’s a lie. I have “fancy shoes” for “fancy events” and I have more pairs of flip flops than I care to admit but my every day shoes are Docs. I have a couple of pairs of Dr. Marten sandals for the summer and two pairs of Dr. Marten Mary Janes for the rest of the year. While I still love the Dr. Marten boots, I just can’t be assed spending 5 minutes every day putting them on. I still spend a month limping about with blisters whenever I get a new pair but it’s always worth it when they get to that point where the leather has conformed to my obnoxiously wide, high arched feet.

Sadly, I have not been paid for this glowing endorsement. I would not, however, turn away any offer of payment if Dr. Marten chooses to send one my way. I am willing to accept more footwear in lieu of cash.

01 September 2010

Yay! It's September!

This is a picture of me being so very happy that September has finally rolled around and August 2010 is just a faint memory of the Month that Could Have Been but Isn't. 

That is, that's a picture of me if I had gone on a fasting diet for the last three months, decided Madonna's "True Blue" haircut was, like, Totally Back in Style, found a way to walk in clogs without tripping, ransacked Mr. T's 'A-Team' wardrobe for something to wear, grew a deep fondness for exercise blocks to the point of taking them with me where ever I go, burned my bra, moved to Manhattan, and had way too many "EAT ME" cakes when I finally remembered how much I love food.