Archive | June, 2011

I can “check” you out

16 Jun

I’ve finally reached the point in life where pick-up lines are no longer creepy or flattering, but simply humorous.

My earliest memory of a boy trying to “pick” me up was when I was a substitute teacher for a children’s Sunday School class.  A boy of about six years of age remarked as I walked by:  “…you want some fries with that shake?”

Oh yes.  He even wriggled his eye brows as he said it.  Score two points, Fisher Price.

Today, however, I experience the most original and professionally executed pick-up line to date.  I had stopped by the wine store on the way home from work to pick up some white wine.  Firstly, I don’t like to call it the Liquor store because it sounds less sophisticated.  (cough)  Secondly, I needed some white wine because I like to alternate my wine.  I’m finishing off a lovely Merlot, thus a Sauvignon Blanc was next in line.

…but I digress.

Normally the older gentleman who owns the store is the sole cashier.  I was waiting in line to purchase my New Zealand Sauvignon…because I’m continental…when a young fellow called over to me from another register with the offer to check me out.  Thus the pick-up began:

Twenty-ish Young Guy: I can check you out.

Me: Okay…thanks.

Twenty-ish Young Guy: Well…eyebrow wriggle…I can’t check you out.  But I can ring you up.

Me: Laugh.  Alright.

Twenty-ish Young Guy: More eyebrow dancing…Well, I can’t ring you up…laughing at his own smoothness.

Me: Embarrassed laughter not for myself, but for him.  Laughter which he took as encouragement. 

The “check out” process finished and as I signed my receipt…

Me: Thanks.  That was the best check out I’ve had all day.  Said in a sympathetic attempt to make him feel like he’d accomplished something.

Twenty-ish Young Guy: Same time tomorrow?  A line delivered dripping of suave-ness. 

Me:  You bet.  (As in…in your dreams.)

I left chuckling to myself over the exchange.  He probably tried to high-five himself over his sweet moves. 

Oh the experiences they’ll have

14 Jun

Our trip this past weekend to Memphis went off without a hitch.  The drive was okay with not much to complain about other than the length of time spent in the car.  The send off with the kids was a bit tearful but also exciting as I know that they will have a wonderful summer with their dad.  

We ended up meeting at a McDonald’s across the street from a large mall.  The mall had been our original meeting place, but after taking a terrifying two-minute tour, we decided to make a change of plans.  The mall was practically deserted on a Saturday and only about 20% of the stores were open.  The ones that were closed were boarded up and last-minute clearance posters seeming holding the boards together.  The few stores that were open smacked off filth.  The manikins in the windows were barely dressed and the interior of the store was filled with merchandise that would excite and aspiring prostitute.  It was grim.  We left.

That evening Jordan and I dined at a local Pizza and Wine Bar in Germantown, which is a suburb of Memphis.  Germantown is my favorite area in the greater Memphis area.  Due to a massive headache I had to skip the wine, which you all know made me terribly depressed.  They had a fabulous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that I desperately wanted to try. 

The next day, Sunday, we stopped off at the Germantown Commissary which boasted serving Epicurean BBQ.  It was actually a glorified shack that oozed charm and nostalgia.  The BBQ was delicious, but the real star was the dessert.  I had a coconut cream pie which was enormous and surely contained and entire coconut’s worth of shaving.  Jordan, however, got the best: Caramel cake.  It was hot, gooey and moist.  It was fabulous and I now regret not paying the $24 to bring an entire cake home with me.

Back in Georgia the kids were living it up.  Literally.  Their dad took them over to my dad and step-mom’s house to swim, play and ride horses.  By the pictures that were being texted to me, I could tell they were having a fantastic time.  The most interesting part of their day came when Fisher got thirsty:

From the pool Fisher called out that he was thirsty.  My dad quickly replied that it was no problem and all he had to do was go into the house and get whatever he wanted to drink out of the refrigerator.  Well, her certainly did that.  A few minutes later Fisher came strutting back across the lawn with an icy cold one in his hand.  Soda?  Oh no.  He was chugging down a beer.  (I’ll pause here for effect.)  Shocked, the kids dad raced across the lawn to snatch up the brewskie and replaced it with a more suitable beverage for someone his age.  [siiigh]  Hey, Fisher was told he could drink whatever he wanted!  [wink]  

…and now I’ll sit and wait for DFCS to come and take my children.  [laugh]

Visiting an old friend…I-40 East

10 Jun

Click to enlarge

Tomorrow morning Jordan, Jaden, Fisher and I will strike out on the road once again long before the sun even considers coming up.  However this time we won’t be driving all the way to Georgia.  It’s the kids time to see their Dad, so we’ll be meeting him halfway in Memphis. 

Fortunately for Jordan and I, we will only have to drive 8 hours tomorrow.  The kids however will transfer over to their dad’s truck and continue on for an additional 8 hours.  My poor babies. 

And I call them my babies not because they are particularly young , they are 6 & 8 now, it’s just that this is their first time away from me for such an extended period of time.  Six whole weeks.  I know, I should live it up.  Enjoy my time as a child-free adult.  And I’m sure I will for a few days.  However I’ll miss the morning rush of getting them ready for the day.  I’ll miss Fisher begging for just a little bit more breakfast because his stomach is surely the size of Texas.  And I’ll miss trying to tame Jaden’s wild bed-head. 

I am surely pitiful today.  So, here’s to summer and all that it holds.  Hopefully it will pass quickly and without too many tears. 

9 Jun

You're blood is happy to see you

Monday I went and donated blood for the first time in my life.  Normally if blood is being taken it is somewhat against my will and by a woman who is 350+ pounds with three-inch acrylic nails.  It’s normally not my idea of a pleasant afternoon.  

However, my decision to go and donate was fueled by a desire to help and a tinge of guilt for not having done it before.  You see, I’ve got the good stuff.  O- fools!  [wink]  What can I say, I’m a hot commodity.  

One of my customers has a 17-year-old son who is having open heart surgery next week.  That’s a pretty big surgery, especially for someone so young.  The family was in desperate need of blood for the surgery and I couldn’t help but volunteer.  If I was ever going to donate, this would be it.

So Monday afternoon I swung through the golden arches and scarfed down a happy meal before arriving at the Oklahoma Blood Institute.  It was surprisingly a cheerful place.  No crying kids.  No yellowed, tattered posters.  Only free sodas, cookies and some of the most mind-numbing day-time television one could ever dream of.  Now, here is where I want to hand out a few tips on donating blood:

1) Don’t wait until you’ve finished filling out the paper work for a regular donation before mentioning that you’re there to make a directed donation.  If you’re blood has to go to someone specific, speak up as soon as you walk in the door.   The nurses literally frown on having to redo mounds of paper work.  Why, I can’t imagine.  [cough]

2) Be prepared for some touchy questions.  As in 50 different versions of, “Are you a prostitute?  Have you ever engaged in homosexual intercourse?”  Because if you’re selling your goods on the streets, they’re not going to get near you.  Thankfully, my bits stay at home.  

It’s amazing how many different ways the question of “have you had sex for money, drugs or other compensation?” can be reworded.  Kudos, health professionals.  

3) Once you do finally make it to the ever-so-fluffy recliner and are sipping on your complementary soda, do not play around.  EX: If the nurse asks if you’re feeling okay, don’t pretend to pass out.  They temporarily lose their sense of humor when blood is coursing out of your veins and into a pint-sized bag.  More frowns will surely follow.  (I may be speaking from experience.)

4) Last but not least, once you’ve given all you can give, take time to rest.  Sit down and eat your cookie.  Slowly.  Marvel at it’s pre-packaged goodness.  Heck, have another soda.  What I’m getting at is that all that blood you just lost is going to make itself known within the next twenty minutes.  You may want to donate late in the day and go straight home.  Whatever you do, don’t race back to work in a car that is 100+ degrees and then commence filling.  The heat plus walking/jumping up and down to get to different filing cabinets would give you a fantastic case of nauseous and the distinct desire to pass out.  It’s definitely not a good thing.  

Fun and jokes aside, donating blood was awesome.  It didn’t hurt beyond the one second it took the get the needle in my arm and it truly saves lives.  I urge as many people who are eligible to donate as often as you can/are eligible.

Gettin’ our kicks

6 Jun

This past weekend the kids and I along with my co-worker and her family set out to get our kicks on Route 66.  The historic highway runs East to West through Oklahoma and is brimming with sights and attractions.  (Yes, I know I sound like a travel brochure.  Just know I’m also wearing a name tag and a State Park uniform…it’s niiice.) 

In true Southern style, we started the day off with a free lunch courtesy of the new John Deer sales facility in Edmond, OK.  Can anyone say redneck?  I think you can.  We feasted on hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and sodas that were chilling in a John Deer pull-along trailer full of ice.  That trailer was strategically stationed by the clown so that you could grab a soda and a balloon animal in one go.  Want a Sprite?  How about a balloon poodle to go with it?  Oh yeah.  Life is good.

Next we set out for the Old Round Barn in Arcardia, OK.  It was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. 

Old Round Barn, Route 66

The barn is amazing.  I know, some of you may scoff at driving an hour just to see a barn.  However, I think that this one is a barn worth seeing.  As your come out of a curve on Route 66 the barn comes into view and you are taken aback by its size, shape and height.  It’s a big barn!

The barn is two stories tall and part of it is still used for its original purpose.  The bottom floor is where the livestock and other farming equipment was stored.  However now it is a store/museum.  It has some amazing photos that were taken during the restoration.  The upstairs is still a large open room, used for gatherings and dancing.

Interior shot of the Round Barn Roof

This by far has to be my favorite shot of the barn.  The interior shot of the roof is…well, indescribable.  Call me dull, but I could look around this place all day.  (And practically did.)  The upstairs area was the favorite of the kids.  The briskly walked about the room because running was prohibited.  [cough]  They also stuck their heads out of the several open windows to get their pictures taken and giggle at passers-by. 

Pop’s on Route 66

 Last by not least there was Pop’s.  We actually stopped by here on the way to the barn after taking a quick stop off at Acardia Lake.  It was 97+ degrees outside and we were due for a cold drink.  Pop’s, also called Soda Pop’s, is built in the style of the bridges that were common along the highway during its heyday.  The walls are all glass and they are adorned with glass shelves full of exotic sodas.  There have to be hundreds out different sodas in Pop’s.  They import them in from all over and sell them almost as quickly as they get them in.  To say the place is popular would be an understatement.  You have to jockey to get in line for the sodas coolers.  Annoying?  Not a bit.  While waiting to get near the coolers, you have time to browse the soda selection.  You can even get a card board six-pack to fill up with your choices.  I absolutely love it.  The only down side is the price.  The sodas are $2.79 each.  However, I don’t mind splurging every once in a while for a fabulous family outing. 

Oh, and did I mention that they have excellent food as well?  Their cheese fries are a-freakin-mazing. 

Seriously, I may have to write a brochure for Oklahoma Route 66.  [smile with tooth sparkle]