comma splices and cupcakes

Posted by christelpistol on April 9, 2009 at 12:13 PM Comments comments (1)

maybe it's because it's spring.  maybe it's because lauren made the words "us.  write.  book.  Numbers."  maybe it's because it's been in the back of my mind.  but i am rife with ideas.  i need a stenographer for the voices in my head.  i have mentally written about three chapters for the Numbers book while driving to the corporate office in south austin and driving from WIO's house to work.  i zone out and come up with some of the most wonderful phrasing and when i finally get my fingers to a keyboard and open the gates, nothing comes out.  and yes, a notebook would be a fantastic solution, but do you know how hard it is to text and drive?  much less write a book chapter in rush hour on MoPac? 


needless to say, there are words.  but they are stuck.  no, not stuck, just hiding back in the recesses of my brain.  i am excited at the prospect of "the Book"  even the little stuff not even related to writing.  like the dedication.  and chapter titles.  and thanking everyone in the back of the book like liner notes.  and the title.  oh lord, the title.  how do you get 5 women to agree on a place to eat, much less a title?  and format, and who goes first and when it comes to the story of how we all met, do we all write OUR version or collaborate?  i mean cause i met Lo first and Mary last.  not all at the same time.  if we ALL write that story, then wont it be repetitive?  SO MANY QUESTIONS.


but another reason for inspiration is the book signing i went to last week.  trust me, THAT was inspiration.  what is better than reading a book where a grown woman uses the words, "Fuck" and "Vagina" as if they were as common as "The" and "Water"?  actually HEARING that very same grown woman say "Fuck" and 'Vagina" to a crowd of women in a fantastic bookstore in downtown Austin with a microphone and delicious husband in tow. 


i have read Heather B. Armstrong's blog, for roughly 4 years now.  i have no idea how i stumbled across it, and very few blogs have sucked me in after reading a few entries like hers has.  i have read about her now five year old daughter and the dog that doesn't act like a dog.  i have chortled through stories of the inability to poop and a love of pop tarts.  and i am ashamed to say it, i feel like if given the opportunity, this woman and i could be fast friends. 




when i read that Heather was coming to Austin for her book tour, i was ecstatic.  when i read that she was coming for SXSW i was excited too, but more excited when she "twittered" that she wanted chocolate cupcakes while she was in Austin.  i formulated my plan then to take this woman chocolate cupcakes at her book signing.  i was thrilled! 


in the interim of her leaving Austin for SouthBy, and returning for her book tour,  WIO and i have done some major overhauling to his house, i have fallen OFF the wagon,  i have gained a room mate, and had a brother in town for a week.  needless to say, i've been busy.  and flighty. 


that Tuesday i had to be at the corporate office at 8am.  then to work.  and knew after work i needed to go see Ian while he was getting his new tattoo and get cupcakes and then make my way down to the bookstore for the signing.  the signing that i have spoken tirelessly about.  the one i tried to back out of for dumb reasons.  the one where i realized i had nothing to wear except work clothes and went and bought and ENTIRE outfit for during my lunch hour.  to recap: up and out of the house by 7 am.  at work by 9.  shopping at lunch.  leave work at 5:30 and get cupcakes.  drive one more block and check in on inking brother, get BACK in the car and drive to bookstore.  using my GPS to navigate my way there, i sat at the light at Lamar and 6th waiting to "turn left.  your destination is on your left"  had i LOOKED to the left, i would have realized that the bookstore was RIGHT there.  instead, i drove through the light, cussing, and turned around 8 times and considered about 11 illegal u-turns in order to get back to the place i should have been in the first place.  once i got there, and did one last lip gloss check, i got out with my box of cupcakes and smoothed my clothes and headed in.  i was shocked at how i was able to score a front row spot and really didn?t think too much of it.   i walked around for a bit trying to get the lay of the land and then found the giant pile of Heather?s books for sale.  as i was purchasing the book, i asked if the book signing was upstairs.  the guy looked at me as if i was speaking Dutch.  as the wheels turned and gears clicked he and i both came to the realization at the same time, that the book signing was NOT on that night.  it was the next night. 


after i let forth a string of expletives that would have needed their own special locked section of the bookstore, i gathered my pride, my book, and my box of cupcakes and left.  holding back the tears of exhaustion, anger, and defeat. 


i drove home deflated.  having let everyone know that i was a moron and don't know how to read a calendar and considered shoving all four of Heather's cupcakes into my mouth at one time. 


my twitter that night was "I feel like Jack McFarlands mother doing a dry run. But cupcakes instead of a casserole dish. And clenched teeth instead of buttcheeks."  (yeah about 5 of you get that)


so.  dry run.  ok.  no big.  we will do it again the next day.  but NOW i know where im going.  but insert the guilt of taking Dooce NOT-FRESH cupcakes!  oh,  the horror. 


the next morning i got up and was prepared this time.  book, CHECK.  clothes, CHECK.  cupcakes wrapped in 4 sheets of saran and hermetically sealed, CHECK.  i had to be BACK at the corp office down south for training and while waiting for the class to start, i was catching up on facebook (or MyFace as it's called around here) and saw that someone posted something about having the ACTUAL book receipt in hand in order to get my book signed.  of COURSE i do.  and where is that receipt?  on my kitchen counter.  so i drove from SOUTH austin to round rock (40 miles for the non-locals) to get my receipt.  i would be prepared if it killed me. 


finally it was time to leave work and go BACK downtown to the bookstore.  i was wearing cute clothes.  i had cupcakes, Heather's book, AND my receipt.  i just hoped i didn't need to know a secret handshake or have actually given birth to be able to gain entrance.  i got there at 6 ish and the parking lot was way more packed than the day before.  (WELL DUH, IT WAS THE RIGHT DAY NOW) and i went upstairs not knowing what to expect.  i was stopped by the wristband lady and she didn?t even ask for my receipt.  of course she didn?t.  i found a seat and waited.  and held my bladder and texted with KimmyDarling and fidgeted and wriggled in my seat.  finally.... FINALLY i saw ankles.  i saw ARMSTRONG ankles as Heather and Jon descended the staircase to the podium where i would finally get to SEE and HEAR this woman speak.  let me just say, Jon Armstrong is delectable.  and they are adorable together. 


Heather started off with some anecdotal stories and then did a reading from her book.  she talked about the first time she and Jon were able to have sex again after the birth of their first child.  and to live in a world where a woman can say "vagina" and "fuck" into a microphone in a bookstore with children walking around is a world i want to live in.  while she read, i imagined myself and the other Numbers sitting at a table with five microphones doing the EXACT same thing this woman was doing.  i imagined the excitement and electricity before we all took our places at our microphones and a hush would fall over the crowd.  i imagined people hanging on our every words and laughter erupting from the crowd as we told stories and read from OUR book.  and the part about holding my bladder became more difficult.  when i snapped back to reality, Heather was telling a story about how some guy in Portland heard her tell the same story and during the Q and A, he felt the need to let her know that "he didn't know who she was, nor had he read her book, but the story she just told scared the ever-living shit out of him".  THAT is making a difference, people. 


she then read her favorite story this year from her blog.  it was the one where she and the family took their miniature Australian Shepherd to "sheep-herding" school.  after she was done, she did Q and A.  and here was my FAVORITE thing from the whole adventure.  while leading into the answer for a question, she asked a crowd of over 100 people in a bookstore, "Have I told you the story about..." (i cant remember what the story was, i suck.) which struck me because it was if she was asking some friends or guests sitting in her living room all drinking wine, not as if she was addressing an entire sea of strangers.  i thought that was the most awesome display of being down to earth. 


the Q and A was fun, and i asked if she and Jon had any off-limits things they made SURE she didn?t mention in her blog.  what i imagined is a closet in their house where all the things that DONT go in the blog live.  and that thought has to be worth hours of entertainment. 


we finally got to line up for the book signing.  i stood and fidgeted and wiggled and tried to hold my shit together.  not because i am that big of a fan, but i am that big of a nerd that i have absolutely no ability to be cool when meeting anyone famous.  i rehearsed what i was going to say so that the only that thing that spilled out of my mouth was NOT, "i carried a watermelon" cause i would totally be that girl.  when it was my turn i said to her, "a good southern girl doesn't show up empty-handed.  a GREAT southern girl shows up with food."


and as i handed her a box of 4 enormous chocolate cupcakes, she said "i was hoping someone would bring me cupcakes!"  i told her that when i read about her wanting them, i knew i had a mission.  i also insured her that i didn't poison or spit in them.  she said she would eat them anyway.  we chatted about GEORGE! for a minute or two and i knew i had to leave.  i wanted to sit and talk to her for about 3 days.  but that's just creepy.  so as i was walking away i realized that i forgot to get my picture taken.  i pulled out my phone and hit the camera button and saw six words that almost reduced me to tears.  "BATTERY TOO LOW FOR CAMERA USE" it was that damned texting with Kimmy!  (luhyourfaceoff) i put on a brave face and was going to walk away defeated, the girl behind me said, "i will take a picture and then send it to you if you like"  SWEET GIRL!  i knelt beside Heather and mentioned that when i told people what shirt i was wearing i was told that the picture would HAVE to be my Christelmas card this year.  i then grazed her shoulder with my boob and made an awkward comment about it.  as you can tell by the picture, it was snapped about a third of a second after that incident. 


notice how her left arm is tucked behind her.  yeah.  i strategically forced Dooce to get to second base!  YES!  and the shirt, the SHIRT... OH the Irony is Delicious!


that was my story.  i did it.  finally.  phew.  and she even mentioned the cupcakes in her blog.  now it's not as cool as being mentioned by name, but i know and she knows that "enormous chocolate cupcakes" is code for "we could totally be BFF now.  and i know we could.

the one where i grew 4 heads.

Posted by christelpistol on February 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM Comments comments (6)

well sports fans, its been a WHILE since ive had a good rant.


wanna hear it?  here it go.


 i went to the McDonalds in Wal-Mart this morning to get breakfast.  one half of the menu was unlit.  i asked the "Manager in Training" (aka the MIT) if it was blacked out because they were out of those menu items or if it was just burned out.  he looked at me as if i had sprouted 3 more heads and started to speak Russian.  he then started to mumble something in Spanish and looked at the ACTUAL Manager with fear and confusion in his eyes.  i thought to myself, "how efficient is it to have a manager of a retail food store that has a very limited knowledge of the english language?"  when he looked at her, his eyes twitched as if to say, "did you HEAR what this 4 headed white woman just asked me?"


the manager then asked me what was wrong.  i asked again, "are you out of those items or did the light just burn out?"  she said, " we arent like a regular McDonalds.  we dont have the mcmuffins and bagels.  we just have biscuits and burritos"  i said, "I KNOW that.  what i ASKED was..." and repeated the question slower.  she NEVER turned around to see what i was talking about and said, "we have everything."  i asked, "so the light is just out?"  and she said, "the light's not out."  i said, "uhhhhh.... ok, but... from here... uhhhh nevermind."


i placed my order and waited patiently for something else to happen.  surprisingly there were no other issues. 



so, my point is this.  why do they let ANYONE be a manager of a McDonalds?  why do they always fuck you in the drive thru?  why are there idiots in the world that DO NOT LISTEN? 





organized alphabetically

Posted by christelpistol on February 2, 2009 at 8:52 PM Comments comments (2)

 was telling a friend on Saturday night that i was doing "No ABC's"

No Alcohol

No Bread

No Cigarettes.

and i made it a month.  YAY ME!

and have decided to continue the theme.  at first i thought i would alternate it from NO to YES.  since i didnt want this year to REALLY be two thousand nein.  get it?  nein?  as in No?  as in i'm giving up a ... ahh screw it.  I thought it was funny. 

anyway... i thought, "since i said NO to ABC in january, i can say YES to DEF in february" but couldn't think of anything cool to say yes to.  dates? (the fruit, honey) diets? drugs? diving? exercise? eating? elephants? fitness? fritos? friends?  i was getting nowhere. 

until today.  i went for my consult to get my wisdom teeth yanked so i can make room in my mouth for when i get braces.  teeths gotta have room to move, yes?  and when the good doctah gave me my "dental plan of action" my DEF became clear.  February is YES to Dentist - Extractions - Fillings.

momma's got a LOT of work that needs to be done.  he will only take out my top wisdoms too because the lower ones are essentially lodged somewhere in my hips.  i'm thinking they would be too much of a pain in the ass to get to.  and since they haven't "erupted" yet, no need to dink with them.  so.  next monday i have fillings and one extraction.  then in march i have the other side.  and then i have scaling and major cleaning.  and THEN... THEN i can go see the orthodontist to see what HE thinks about braces. 

they handed me the sheet with the menu items of things i need done and i about fell out of the chair.  its gonna be $997 AFTER what insurance covers.  YEEEOUCH.  at least i dont have to pay for it all at one time.  but still.  as long as the end result is an ACTUAL shit-eating grin i dont mind photographed, then it will all be worth it.  right?  right?  amiright?



25 Random Things

Posted by christelpistol on January 26, 2009 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

(a repost from my Facebook.  aka a Lazy Girl's Blog Entry)

1- i have 2 identical huge coffee cups that are my "day off cups" i will ONLY use them on my days off. regular cups can be used on a day off, but day off cups cant be used on a regular day.

2 - i don't eat blue MnMs. most of you know this.

3 - i am ridiculously in love. i honestly didn't think i would ever feel that again.

4 - most of my significant adult friendships were forged over the internet.

5 - i wanted to be a mommy by the time i was 23. i'm now 33 and still wondering what the
hell happened.

6 - i feel like i am a nag.

7 - i have 2 baby brothers that are 6 months apart. (different parents)

8 - i really really really miss grilled cheese sandwiches. i haven't had one in over 3 years.

9 - i know all the lines to Steel Magnolias and Princess Bride.

10 - not a single day goes by that i don't quote the movie Tommy Boy

11 - i want to take a tour of Scotch distilleries. in Scotland, of course.

12 - i want to see Van Morrison in concert again. this time in Belfast, Ireland.

13 - i am OCD about paper towels in a public restroom. i typically use 5. unless it's the motion detection one that takes forever and i will use 3. never 4.

14 - i have been able to tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue since i was about 4 years old.

15 - i don't eat certain foods due to texture issues. applesauce, grits, cottage cheese...

16 - i have a weird notion that one day i will be able to meet movie stars and singers that i like as if that's just as simple as a phone call.

17 - the last time i went out in public with unpainted toenails was 2001. before that it was probably 1991.

18 - i have a diamond earring in my left ear that i got on my 21st birthday from my mom. i have not taken it out since.

19 - i don't plan on getting married again, but if i do i have picked out the ring.

20 - i want to go back to London as an adult, since i missed so much of it as a 14 year old.

21 - i am a PIIIIIIICKY eater until it comes to sushi. then bring it on. it doesn't make sense.

22 - i am very self-aware.

23 - i miss smoking. the ACT of it. the gesturing with a cigarette in my hands like in the old movies. using it to punctuate a conversation.

24 - i don't like my smile.

25 - i have visions of myself from a past life in the 13 or 1400s, standing on cliffs of Scotland (maybe Ireland) in a long dress waiting for my true love to come back to me. i can smell the ocean and feel the wind in my face and feel the ache in my heart.

Christel, you're a Grown Up now.

Posted by christelpistol on January 20, 2009 at 5:16 PM Comments comments (5)

earlier today i posted THIS on a messageboard that i belong to:


i'm excited and hopeful and feel guilty and ashamed that i didn't vote.


someone responded back with this:


Don't be. The popular vote means absolutely jack shit.

I went the whole day in school with just one mention of President Obama by a teacher, who merely commented on it since he's a history professor. I was kind of surprised. It was actually eerily quiet at school today. 

my response back to that was this:


i mean that i was a lazy schlub who hid behind my "there is NO one worth voting for, therefore i am not voting" stance instead of doing ACTUAL research and being a member of the grown up world where people listen and pay attention and make choices that affect not only themselves, but affect other people as well.  i feel guilty that i am excited for this new wind of change since i didnt help in championing it.  i feel ashamed that i hopefully will be reaping the benefits for other people's hard work in watching debates and reading up on the candidates and caring about the state of our nation.  i took the easy way out and i don't feel that i should be allowed to have the swell of pride in my chest or the lump in my throat at the notion of the man who has the potential, the drive, and the desire to change this country for the better. 





and it's true.  i DO feel guilty and ashamed.  many of my friends voted for this man.  and i stood in my bubble and stuck marshmallows in my ears and gave lip service to those who would listen.  i did NOT do my duty as an American.  and i'm sorry. 

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To Do list

  • stop smoking
  • lose 5 pounds
  • lose 10 pounds
  • lose 15 pounds
  • lose 20 pounds
  • learn to quilt
  • pay off Target card
  • pay off Capital One
  • pay off HSBC card
  • yard sale
  • Canned Food Drive Party
  • 40 squares for Knit To Give
  • new glasses
  • wisdom teeth yanked
  • braces (?)
  • apply for financial aid
  • get my last college credit
  • teach Ashton how to knit
  • teach Maggie how to knit
  • vacation with WIO
  • vacation with Angela
  • donate to CAFB
  • 30 days of sobriety in January
  • 30 days of Sobriety in February
  • Sober till St. Pats.
  • blanket for Project Linus
  • etsy shop