Texas

Tits And Bits, July Edition

Remember, Tits and Bits is where I post random shit which may or may not be entitled to an entire blog post.  You will not see pictures of my tits or bits unless I accidentally post those selfies I sent to E last week.  Stop celebrating.  I can hear you.  As usual, we’ll do this old school, OCD bullet style.

  • The kids go back to school a week from tomorrow.  It’s going to hurt like a mother fucker, getting back on a schedule. There have been lots of times this summer I’ve looked at a clock while the kids and I were watching an Avengers movie, completely shocked that it was 3 a.m.  I was mortally offended when two different people called me the other morning before 9 a.m.  I’d barely even been asleep!
  • Fantasia, Sylvia, and I were embarking on an experiment/review for my blog while I was in Texas which involved purchasing this:

funnelI still haven’t finished unpacking from my Texas trip. Most of it’s done but there are a couple bags left.  Gracie was looking for her sea salt hair styling spray.  Apparently, if it’s not sea salt your hair is fucked.  Do NOT try that shit with regular table salt.  You will rue the day.  I’m only here to help, y’all.  Anyway, she found her sea salt spray, came back to the bedroom, and said, “I saw the funnel in your bag.  I didn’t touch it.”, then she visibly shuddered.  I attempted to explain that neither Fantasia or myself used the oil change funnel for the purposes we bought it for so it was unused and new but Gracie cut me off with a raised hand and said, “Mom, I don’t want to know!”  Oh, the teen years are going to be so fun – for me.

  • E and I were driving through Wendy’s one night a few weeks ago.  The customer in front of us was taking her sweet ass time.  E asked me, “How long does it take to order a Hot ‘N Juicy?”  I replied, “Maybe she’s in the wrong drive through and isn’t it called a Big ‘N Juicy?”  E laughed at me, which is his usual response to most things I say.  I then asked sincerely, “Is it Hot ‘N Juicy or Big ‘N Juicy?”, to which he just continued laughing.  Next time, I’m ordering the Hot ‘N Big ‘N Juicy.  I ain’t gonna miss any of those descriptive adjectives.
  • This goes way back to Christmas, when we were in Texas.  I never travel without my Poo Pourri.  It is priceless when you’re on the road for over two solid weeks.  E and I were on the way to my brother’s bar one night.  I was wearing a black leather jacket that had been thrown into a random bag in a hurry.  I kept smelling something not unpleasant but very strong and familiar.  I asked E if he smelled it.  He answered that he did.  We tried to identify the scent all the way to the bar.  I finally recognized the fragrance as we were parking.  My jacket smelled like the citrus Poo Pourri I packed.  The bottle had leaked all over my leather jacket.  Always looking at the bright side, I told E, “Well, if anyone shits on me tonight, I’m golden.”  Glass is half full, y’all.
  • Landon and I were running errands a while back.  Landon has Asperger Syndrome and is not up to date on the latest trendy things to say, which makes this even funnier.  Also, he kind of sounds like Forrest Gump and I say that with love.  I was listening to some new music I had added to my Spotify favorites playlist.  I wasn’t very familiar with the songs so I didn’t know there were multiple F Bombs in them.  I know it’s hard to believe but I try to not curse in front of my kids and I try not to play music with F Bombs when they’re with me.  So after the first F Bomb hit, Landon said “That was a F Bomb!”  I apologized and went to the next song which dropped about four F Bombs within the span of 10 seconds.  I was so flustered that I just turned the stereo off and apologized again to Landon, who sighed, shook his head and said very disapprovingly, “So many F Bombs.”
  • Gracie was bemoaning the fact that school starts next week.  She said, “Yeah, I can’t wait to hear the yelling and cursing and see the fighting.”  I said, “Oh, it won’t be much different than a night at home then.”
  • Speaking of hurting like a mother fucker, just block out everything and watch this.  It’s Adam, his ass, and almost peen.  Some other people may be in it, I’m not sure.

That’s it for Tits and Bits, July edition!  I’ll post my Summer Texas Trip Wrap Up in the next week, which will include an explanation for the funnel purchase and also explain to E’s good friend (who subscribes to my blog) why I asked him over the phone if I could show my tits at my brother’s One Year Anniversary party at the bar.  Yes, all that in one blog post.

Have a great week, y’all!

You Hit Like A Bitch

I make the drive back to Texas every summer to see my family.  It’s just me and the kids on this trip so I break the 12 hour drive into two parts and stay overnight in a hotel along the way.  E travels a lot so we’ve accumulated lots of hotel points for free stays.  I stayed at a hotel in a very small Louisiana town which I’m probably now banned from.  I was driving through East Texas when I received this email from E:

I love you and your pink hair. I responded and let them know there was not an issue with the charges.

I was initially confused but decided to investigate further (and more safely) at our next pit stop.  We rolled into a brand new Buc-ee’s in Terrell, Texas where I finally got the full picture.  There was an attached email from the general manager of the hotel I had just checked out of earlier in the day.  The manager had contacted E via email because it’s his account and information on file, not mine.  This is the email which I have edited for privacy reasons.  I will indicate edited parts of the email with little stars.  Like this:  *

Good afternoon,

I am the General Manager of the *Shit Hole Hotel* in *Bumfuck*, Louisiana. I wanted to write to you in regards to a miscellaneous charge you will find associated with the room that was rented last night under your Platinum Elite rewards account.

Upon entering the room to clean, one of my housekeepers notified me of a tub, shower surround and full set of towels that were all dyed pink. It was evident that someone had used pink hair dye while in the shower. I have processed a charge of $38.33 to the Visa card on file for the towels which had to be discarded and the additional labor and supplies consumed in cleaning the mess left behind.

I hope you will understand my position in this matter. As the GM of this property, I work very hard to ensure our product is up to the standards our Platinum Elite members, as well as other guests, have come to expect from our brand. This is an increasingly difficult task with ruined linen and stained amenities.

Thank you and I wish you a great rest of the week.

*General Manager and Professional Douche Bag*

I had a few more hours of drive time to stew over this whole fiasco and my indignation only increased by the minute.  I felt I needed to defend myself and my pink hair for the verbal attack on our character.  As I was logging onto my laptop late that night (actually, the wee hours of the next morning), I became even more enraged when I saw that the General Manager and Professional Douche Bag (known from the remainder of this blog as GMPDB) had included these two damning pieces of evidence with his email.

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I responded with an email of my own although I didn’t have pictures to back my side up.  I don’t think it mattered.

Mr. GMPDB,

Seeing as it was I, and not my husband, who stayed at your fine 2 star hotel last night, and your stated desire to make sure standards are up to par for not just Platinum Elite members but for everyone, I thought I would personally contact you about this matter.

“It was EVIDENT that someone had used pink hair dye in the shower”.  To quote one of my favorite movies (Princess Bride) “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”  But let me address my reasons for writing to you tonight. 

My children and I arrived around 11 p.m. last night, very exhausted by a long trip, and were greeted – well, not really greeted, that’s not the right word – by a young man who didn’t even acknowledge our presence, even though there was absolutely no one else around, until I cleared my throat.  Again, I had two children with me.  He couldn’t have missed us.  I have bright pink hair as you EVIDENTLY know and have documented with your attachments.  Granted, EVIDENTLY the AC was out so he might have been distracted by the heat.  I learned this fact quickly from the stifling heat everywhere besides the rooms and because the young man had a soaking wet towel around his neck.  It’s for this reason I will refer to him here on out as “Towel Boy” because I didn’t catch his name.  My apologies.  

Finally greeting us, and I use that term loosely, Towel Boy pulled our reservation up on the computer.  In the meantime, I sent my son over to the grocery section to purchase 3 bottles of water.  I made this request of my son kind of loudly because I thought as a Platinum Elite member, I got at least a bottle of water and/or a cookie or something at check-in.  Maybe that’s only at the 3 star hotels and above.  My mistake.  I was actually strongly hinting to Towel Boy to give me my darned bottle of free water.  Towel Boy didn’t catch on.  I’ll blame it on the heat. 

My son hollered (yes, I know this must absolutely horrify you but he is autistic and gets a little louder than he intends sometimes but at least I know for sure that Towel Boy heard him) that there were no bottles of water in the cooler.  Towel Boy ignored us and EVIDENTLY refused to assist us with our drought situation.  I was not able to withstand this test of wills and I broke first, finally asking Towel Boy if there was any water available for purchase, as my son would need to take his seizure medication as soon as we were in the room.

EVIDENTLY, the mention of seizure medication filled Towel Boy with a wealth of compassion.  He heaved a great sigh, I’m assuming to hold back the emotions he was feeling for our situation, and said he could “possibly” find us some bottled water but it would be at room temperature.  Room temperature in the public places of the hotel last night was at least 90 degrees but I took Towel Boy up on his offer.  I sincerely hope Towel Boy remembered to bill my account for the 3 bottles of 90 degree water.  Please double check my bill and add the water charges if Towel Boy forgot to add them.

The kids and I got settled into the room and the kids wanted to get their showers out of the way before bed.  As I was helping my son get everything situated and ready in the bathroom, I noticed there were only 3 full size towels.  If you’ll look at my husband’s Platinum Elite preferences, you’ll see it is EVIDENT I checked “extra towels” in the special requests that your hotel offers.  Extra towels.  That usually means more than what is normally provided.  EVIDENTLY you usually only provide 1 towel for 3 people.  The only other possibility is that my written request was EVIDENTLY ignored by your stellar staff.  Please excuse my ignorance on the towel ration at 2 star hotels.

Anyway, as I had went back through the lobby about 15 minutes before to move our vehicle to a parking spot, I noticed Towel Boy sitting in the lobby, mopping his face with his towel, so I certainly didn’t want to get dressed again, leave my autistic and epileptic son in the shower without an adult in the room, and ask Towel Boy to get off his tush to fulfill a request that was made 24 hours in advance of our stay.  In writing.  On your web site.  I suppose I could have called the front desk and requested that Towel Boy bring me extra towels but honestly, that didn’t even cross my mind and even if it had, I really wouldn’t have wanted to put Towel Boy through that ordeal.  

As for the pink hair, yes, I have pink hair.  You seem awful certain that I dyed my hair in your fine room last night as you used the word “evident”.  Your head of security must have EVIDENTLY attended one of those online college courses because there was no hair dye paraphernalia to be found in the trash cans in our room because I did not dye my hair there.  And believe me, there’s a lot of paraphernalia involved in dying one’s hair pink so there would have been tons of EVIDENCE in the trash can.  Sherlock Holmes would have figured this out.

See, the curse of pink hair is that it continually washes out, no matter what.  I have been dying my hair pink for almost 4 years now.  I carry an extra towel with me when I travel because I normally don’t like being a jack wagon and messing up perfectly good hotel towels.  My son used the hair towel I brought from home, unbeknownst to me until after the fact because there weren’t enough towels in the room.  And remember why there weren’t enough towels in the room?  Please have your head of security see the above paragraph.  

Now, I don’t know if you have kids or not.  It doesn’t really matter.  Imagine a teenage autistic boy dries off with the towel you brought to the hotel to specifically use on your pink hair.  He dries his nether regions with it which may or may not be totally clean, even after a shower.  You get it, right?  Would you use that towel to wrap your hair in the next day?  If so, sir, you need to reevaluate your standards.

When I took a shower the morning of our checkout, the tub would not drain at all.  I took a shower as quickly as I could but the water was still over ankle deep when I got out.  I asked my kids if the tub had done that the previous night and they replied that it had drained slowly but did drain.  It was EVIDENT this was the truth, as there was no water in the tub when I used it that morning.  I messed with the drain, attempting to get the water to go down but it refused.  It was EVIDENT that water was not going down.  Not that day.

When I checked out at promptly noon, I told the female front desk clerk that the tub was completely stopped up and to please warn housekeeping that there was pink water stuck in the tub.  I told her a little funny that my daughter had made, that it looked like I had killed a fairy in the tub and the desk clerk and I had a great little giggle over it.  I made clear again that I wanted her to inform housekeeping of the matter.  She cheerfully gave me a card with information to leave a Trip Adviser review.  It’s not EVIDENT that I will publish a review there yet.  I haven’t decided although judging by some of your Trip Adviser reviews, you are way behind on the high standard goal, at least consistently.

Lastly, “a full set of towels.”  A full set?  I used a small hand towel and a bath towel that my daughter had already used to dry my hair because you did not honor my written request that your hotel offers on the website for extra towels.  That is the EVIDENCE you see on the TWO towels, which is actually only 1.25 towels seeing as a hand towel is 1/4 the size of a bath towel but let’s not get picky here.  Now I know your definition of “extra” towels if a “full set” is a hand towel and a full size towel.  There was no pink on any other towels because my children used all 2 of the other bath sized ones and they have normal colored hair.

We vacation a lot and I have never had one of your hotels bill me for charges due to towels or otherwise.  It is EVIDENT to me that you must not use bleach on your white linens because that usually removes it.  If you do not use bleach, that leads me to really question the cleanliness of your linens.  Out of all the substances found on your hotel towels, you didn’t even wash them to see if it would come out?  Really?  Out of every disgusting thing you find on linens, me and my pink hair is where you draw the line in the 2 star hotel sand?  No, you didn’t attempt to wash the “full set” of 1.25 towels.  It is EVIDENT in your pictorial proof of the 1.25 towels that they were thrown in the trash. 

I am not asking for a reversal of the charges.  I simply want to help you, in your own words, ensure your “product is up to the standards our Platinum Elite members, as well as other guests, have come to expect from our brand.”

I would assume that your brand would want guests to be greeted properly, even in the midst of broken air conditioning.  I assume your brand would want bottled water to be stocked in the grocery section, cold and waiting for customers, priced at way more than a bottle of water should be for the sake of convenience, and not sitting in a random stock room at 90 degrees.  I assume that your brand would also include proper maintenance of your tubs in their standards.  I’m sure it was EVIDENT to housekeeping sometime in the recent past that this tub drained slowly, if at all.  Don’t they rigorously clean the tubs after every stay?  Wouldn’t they have ran water in the tub to clean it?  Either way you answer, you’ll be in the wrong on that one and you know it.  I would assume your brand would want its standards to include honoring requests your own company offers when redeeming points on the website, like extra towels.  I would assume your brand would not prefer the public spaces in one of its hotels to be 90 degrees or more.  Thankfully, although the AC was noisy and woke me from a sound sleep multiple times, it was at least working in the room.  I would assume your brand would want its standards to include a desk clerk who made sure maintenance cleared a non-draining tub when a customer with the best of intentions informed them about it and was up front about the pink water.  I would assume your brand wouldn’t want one of its managers to immediately blame a Platinum Elite member for a tub which was EVIDENTLY completely plugged and would not have been pink had it drained properly in the first place. 

Thank you for your time.

I awoke to find this email in my inbox.

Mrs. Steph,

I agree that you make several valid points in your email. Please give me a call directly at 1-800-IMANASS to further discuss some of the topics. I would really like to speak with you regarding your response. I understand your position and want to thank you for the email; I fully intend to use it to correct some behaviors that I have not previously been able to prove through a guest’s perspective. 

I sincerely look forward to speaking with you at your earliest convinience. 

Thank you,

Mr. GMPDB

I did not call GMPDB because when I pressed “send” after I finished my email, I dropped the mic on the stage and walked away like the fucking pink haired badass I am.  GMPDB, go fuck yourself.  Also, is that all you got?  Because you hit like a little bitch.

Throwback Tuesday: Let Me Borrow That Top, Bitch

Blogger’s note:  It was still Tuesday when I started writing this but time happened.  And beer.

When Fantasia and Lucinda came to my hometown for the grand opening of my brother’s new bar, we had a bit of down time during the day at the hotel.  We were sitting on the beds, just catching up and laughing, always laughing.  Lucinda, who not only knows about my worst closeted skeletons but also participated in some of them, giggled and said “You have to show Fantasia your Texas driver’s license”.

I have known Lucinda as long as I have Fantasia.  Not much about my appearance had changed between the time my Texas driver’s license photo was taken and when I met the girls.  Maybe really good friends block out incredibly bad haircuts and extra weight.  Maybe they saw the current version of myself six years ago as I was just starting to scramble out of that cocoon I’d built around myself.  Maybe they only saw the good parts of me because that’s what people who love you do.  Regardless, the license picture shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise to Fantasia.

I still carry my Texas driver’s license in my wallet as a reminder to myself on my worst days of how far I’ve come.  Lucinda knew that so I dug around, found my old license and presented it to Fantasia, who promptly laughed so hard and for so long, she almost puked and nearly fell off the bed.  I took it as a compliment.

I wasn’t always the way I am now.  I’ve lost and gained a lot of weight over the past six years but overall, I’m still around 70 pounds lighter than I used to be.  I was rather uptight when I was younger also.  I’m incredibly shy and although you may think that’s not true, I call few people “close friends”.  Unless I’m back home in Texas, I’d rather watch a movie or listen to new music alone than be out with a crowd of people.  My fashion taste was fucked up.  I’ll just lay that out right now.  I’m not sure if it was due to my weight or being a new Mom to a child with health problems, just trying to survive day to day, but I wish someone would have snatched the Keds off my feet and used them to beat some fashion sense into me.

Let’s back it up a bit.  It’s Texas law that as long as you don’t mind using your old picture, you can renew your driver’s license online.  That was what I did when we moved to Alabama.  We had literally just gotten here and were staying at an extended stay hotel.  Our house in Texas was on the market and we were looking for a house here.  I didn’t even have a permanent address, technically, so I just renewed it online to buy some time.

When this photo was taken, Landon was two years old.  He was sitting in his stroller and right before the picture was taken, he amused the teenagers behind us by belching.  Loudly.  I’d like to blame this picture on that incident but I’m even calling bullshit on myself on that one.  Behold, the old Steph.

Let me borrow that top, bitch.

Let me borrow that top, bitch.

I don’t know where to start.  I need a beer.  Hold on.

The hair:  Oh, the hair.  I’m not sure if I was going for a Dorothy Hamill or if I was wrestling with my sexuality.  Now I’m just insulting lesbians in my shame and pain.  I’m so sorry, my lesbian friends.  You don’t deserve that.  Dorothy Hamill totally did, though.

The earrings:  I can’t even wear earrings.  I gave up long ago due to very sensitive ears so those had to be clip-ons.  I don’t frown upon clip-ons, I still wear them for dressy occasions but they are mostly devices of torture I choose to go without.  Maybe I was into pain at the time.  Or they were edible.

The makeup:  What makeup?  I could literally contain my whole makeup collection at that time in one makeup bag.  It looks like I threw on some grandma rouge and matching lipstick I bought from Avon.

The sweater:  I can recall perfectly where I bought that sweater.  I found that gem at JC Penney and the brand was Alfred Dunner.  You’ve never heard of Alfred Dunner?  That’s because you need a fucking AARP card to even get into the Alfred Dunner section at JC Penney.  I must have had a real hard on for that sweater to evade being carded.  It also had cherries on it.  Betty White would kick my ass if she saw me wearing that sweater out in public.  She probably will still kick my ass after reading this even though I haven’t owned that sweater in over a decade and I deserve that ass kicking.

Oh, dear God, please tell me my clip-on earrings aren’t cherries.  I need another drink.

Shortly after getting settled into our current home, I tried to be an upstanding citizen and ventured down to the DMV to get my Alabama license.  I was told that I had the “wrong” birth certificate, even though I had my original in hand.  I eventually obtained the correct copy with the official Texas seal on it that Alabama deemed necessary but I was kind of over Alabama by then, took my ball home and told Alabama to go fuck themselves.

So, I had been driving around Alabama illegally for six years with a Texas driver’s license.  Yeah, yeah.  Lock me up and throw away the key.  I’m a real badass.  We were getting ready to leave for our cruise this past March and my Texas driver’s license had finally expired in January.  I have a passport but E, as usual, was the adult in this marriage and harangued me into getting my shit in order.

Several locals told me to go to Bumfuck, Bama to get my license.  At the time, you could easily spend half your day in line at a Birmingham DMV.  Bumfuck is one county over, about a 30 minute drive.  I was told that if I hit it just right, I’d have little to no wait but there was a caveat.  The caveat was that there was one woman who worked the entire department.  She’s been there for years and is rather abrupt.  “Abrupt” was the kindest description I heard, bless her heart, and it was incredibly accurate.  I was also warned by almost everyone that this lovely lady seemed to go out of her way to take the worst possible DMV photo of you ever.  It’s like she got bonuses for making you look like a backwoods fucktard.

I had been living with that picture on my Texas driver’s license for 15 years and I despised it.  I wasn’t that person anymore.  No one even believed it was me anyway when I did have to show it.  I almost didn’t make it through Customs when we returned from a cruise two years ago.  I didn’t have my passport at the time so I used my Texas license as ID and I almost didn’t make it through because the difference between the current me and that photo is just too much.

I was determined the real, new me would show through in my new license picture.  I mentally prepared myself for this picture.  I was like Rambo, going into battle.  I was ready.  This was going to be my first ever actually good DMV photo.  It was the DMV bitch versus me and DMV bitch was going down.

Take your best shot, bitch.

That all you got, DMV bitch?

I kicked DMV bitch’s ass.  Fantasia, through her laughter, said my facial expression is all plucky and “Fuck you” and I agree.  I had to show my new license at Sephora about a month ago.  The young cashier looked at the picture then said “That’s a really good license picture!”  And I agree with that also.  It’s the best government photo I’ve ever had taken.  I’m coming for you next, you Sam’s Club bastards!

What was your worst government issued picture ever?  Spill in the comments.  Bonus points if you post the picture!

Toadies: The Rubberneck 20th Anniversary Tour

Most of you know I’m a native Texan. I come from north central Texas, born and raised. No matter what genre of music you listened to, if you lived in North Texas two decades ago, you had at least heard of the Toadies, if only to wonder why the hell the group of strange looking, screamy young people from the big city of Fort Worth (NOT wearing Wrangler jeans or Roper boots, dafuq!) would make beloved Possum Kingdom Lake seem so fucking weird in that damned video of theirs. Where the hell is Garth Brooks when you need him?!

If you were like I was, you thought there was something special about the Toadies “weirdness”. You enjoyed seeing an ordinary area lake you’d visited in your own childhood made mysterious and dangerous in a video which aired almost incessantly on MTV at the time. Yeah, kids, MTV actually used to play vidoes but that’s a whole other blog post.

For those of you needing a refresher on Toadies history, here’s a great video on it. It is 23 minutes long but if you care anything about the Toadies or were raised in north Texas, you’ll appreciate it.

After listening to these songs hundreds of times over the last 20 years, I have formed my own take on them, my own background stories that spring to mind when I hear each song, which is what Vaden Todd Lewis states he wanted fans to do in the video below.  Even with those deeply embedded personal visions, I tremendously enjoyed hearing the origins of all the songs from Lewis’ perspective.  In my opinion, his original intent only adds to my own take on each song.

If you made it to the other side with me, I don’t need to recap Toadies history now.  Fast forward two decades as I read my Twitter feed.  One of the local concert venues announced that the Toadies were coming to Birmingham to play Rubberneck in its original entirety to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album’s release.  I could not buy tickets fast enough.

I kept in touch with the four albums and the handful of live albums that came after Rubberneck but like most things that change your world, you never forget that first one.  I’m talking strictly music here because music means more to me than any former boyfriend does or ever could.  Rubberneck stuck with me through the decades, through a few entire seasons of life. You can’t say that about many albums, at least I can’t.  Either you outgrow those bands/albums or they just don’t apply to your life anymore and you drift away.

In my case, I grew into Rubberneck.  It got better over time for me.  Maybe it’s nostalgia or maybe I’m guilty of glorifying a “local” band too much, much in the same way native New Jerseyians do with Springsteen but I don’t think so.  I think that novelty wears off eventually if a band doesn’t “fit” you, local or not.  Yes, I feel a connection to the Toadies due to our Texas roots but if I feel it’s bad music or isn’t my thing, the band’s geographical connection doesn’t sway me or hold me for two days, much less two decades.

Despite the fact that I never could relate to Springsteen and honestly think he’s way overrated, I understand the tremendous influence he and his music had and still has on New Jerseyians.  The Toadies are to me what Springsteen is to a lot of New Jerseyians but minus the bandanas and working man songs that sound exactly the same.  Don’t send me hate messages and flaming bags of your own shit, Jersey.  It’s cool.  You do you, I’ll do me, baby.  It’s just my opinion.  Come back later if you need to but put the knife down, Jersey.

I keep a close eye on the local concert schedule and unlike the other ones I’m attending the rest of this year, the Toadies concert never did sell out, which baffles me.  After attending the Rob Zombie concert a couple months ago in the same jam packed, sold out venue, I realize in hindsight that this less than sold out show was the absolutely best way to hear and truly enjoy one of my favorite albums of all time played live.

Black Pistol Fire opened for the Toadies and although they were good, I don’t want this recap to get bogged down by them.  Sorry, Black Pistol Fire.  Put the knife down.

E and I got to the front row, stage left and settled in after my traditional three pre-concert beers and enduring the ritual of a random stranger asking to touch my hair.  I shit you not.  Happens every damned time.  Yes, I let them touch my hair.  It’s just easier that way.

As was expected, the Toadies came out and played Rubberneck but  I always look up the setlist before I attend a concert and save it to my Spotify account so I know what’s coming.  I like spoilers, what can I say?  One of the encores was supposed to be Dollskin, which I was majorly looking forward to, but someone from the audience had yelled “Sweetness” earlier in the evening and they honored that request and did not sing Dollskin.  I’ll live.

They sounded great and just delivered the album and fucking rocked.  They sang two covers, “Heart of Glass” by Blondie and “Stop It” by Pylon.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the Pylon cover.  I was looking forward to the Blondie cover but it was the Pylon cover I jumped and screamed along with.  I absolutely loved it.  The video I linked is the best quality I could find but I don’t think this particular crowd really understood what Todd was trying to do.  At the concert I attended, it went over really well and we were subdued on the quiet parts, when Todd is shaking his head no and wagging his finger at us to “no rock and roll now”.  Then when it got loud and he told us to “now rock and roll now” the place went crazy.  I wish I could have captured it on video.

The highlight of the show, however, came with “I Burn”, when two additional drums and drummers were brought out.  I started to video but realized I wanted to be fully present and not wasting the highlight of the concert on what would be a shitty video anyway.  I did manage to find a YouTube video of another performance.  There is another drum and a couple more drummers but the effect is the same.  It blew me away.

Before I knew it, the concert was over with Todd announcing that the band would be at the merch table. I had to go to the bathroom (remember the traditional three beers?) so I missed the band coming out from backstage but E got to shake hands with them. I will add this event to the list of ways that E has stolen a fan girl moment from me but I’m not bitter or anything.

Here are a few pictures from this awesome night.

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After the bathroom, I promptly hauled ass to Todd’s line and E went to buy a tee shirt for me.  I chose the one with Texas on it because I like simple but also because this band means “Texas” to me just as much as Pat Green does.  The end result was this:

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I know!  Fucking awesome, right?  This is the first tee or ticket I’ve ever had signed by a band or artist.  And like I said, you never forget your first.

I meant to ask Todd if he was a preacher’s son because so many of his songs have religious references.  Backslider describes an exact scene from my formative years.  In my nervousness, I forgot to ask him but the 23 minute video answered my question.

Thank you to the Toadies for stopping by Birmingham, to a less than sold out show, when you sell out every Texas venue you play.  Thank you for taking the time to sign everything thrown at you by eager fans.  Thank you for not kicking my ass off your raised platform when I climbed up to get a picture with Todd and Clark.  Thank you to E for buying me the tee shirt, remembering to get the ticket out so the band could sign it and for running back into the venue after we realized in the car that I forgot to have Rez sign the ticket.  This is one I won’t forget.

Dude Looks Like A Lady.

It’s been an amazing week in Texas.  I feel like it has flown by and, as usual, I didn’t have near enough time to see all the people I wanted to see or do all the things I wanted to do.

It’s been a special trip because my brother fulfilled his lifelong (or close to) dream of opening his own bar.  It’s a gay bar.  And I’m very proud of him.

When my brother called me and told me his grand opening would be on August 2nd, I knew I had to rearrange my travel dates and it also meant I would miss my regular stop in Arlington to see my girlfriends, the ones I take a somewhat traditional girl’s trip with.  I suggested they come to my hometown to see me this year and also to see a show of a lifetime.

Anyway, I thought I’d post a few of the texts/messages going back and forth since all this started.  This is actually pretty tame for us but I hope you get a laugh.

Two weeks ago:

Me:  So here’s what I’m proposing.  Y’all put your three super fine asses in one vehicle and come to XYZ Town on August 2nd to do this with me.  Professional Queens and a reserved table at my brother’s gay bar.  It cannot, I repeat, cannot get more epic than this.  Btw, it’s a two hour drive.  Let Fantasia drive and you’ll be there in one hour, tops.

Fantasia:  I am so in!  I may have to find a kick ass outfit.  What do you wear to a gay bar grand opening?  Is it wrong I’m so freaking excited about this?!?!

Beth:  I will have to see how things go with Darrell.

Lucinda:  I think this will be a blast.  I will see what I can do.  Ferris gets home on the 1st.  I will say “yes” for now and see what I can do.

Fantasia:  Now I feel bad.  I didn’t even think about asking Tony.

Me:  Bring lots of dollar bills.  I’m so fucking excited!

Fantasia:  I already started making my $1 bills (I assumed she meant saving them since I don’t think she’s a professional counterfeiter and felon.  TO MY KNOWLEDGE).

Several days later:

Me:  Fantasia and Lucinda have confirmed!  We have a reserved table and at least one lesbian who has vowed to protect us.  From what, I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll have a ball finding out.

Fantasia:  Only one lesbian???  Apparently, our reputation is quite lacking in XYZ Town.

Me:  Well, so far.  Give me more time to woo more lesbians.  I’ve only been in town one night.

Last night:

Me (after some debate over staying at my parent’s house or getting a hotel room):  I already got a hotel room.  It’s on me since y’all are coming down here to hang out with my ass.  E said he expects a sex tape out of it, though.

Lucinda:  Well, that is the least we could do.

Today:

Fantasia:  So what do you wear to a gay bar?  I’m walking into Home Depot.  I thought about finding a skirt to wear.

Fantasia (one minute later):  Not at Home Depot just to be clear.

Me:  Just wear a tool belt.  Bam.  Most wanted woman in the room.

Fantasia:  Who will be the cop and the Indian?

***Something so inappropriate, I won’t even post it on my blog***

Me:  You could get plywood and make a box skirt to protect your innocence.

Beth:  An actual “box” skirt.  I like that idea.  Pick up a lock for your cooter.

Me:  I knew you would like that.  I’d also vacuum seal all your shit up.  Wrap it up tight like a steak.

Fantasia:  The people in Home Depot just stared in awe when I tried to explain the box skirt and asked what aisle it would be on.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post some kick ass pictures next week of the grand opening.  I hope y’all have an awesome weekend! Summer wrap up in the next week or so after kids go back to school and I can recover from this summer.

I Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists.

This will not be my most ladylike post.  Oh, stop laughing.  Fine, none of them have been ladylike but this one will be the least ladylike.

I’ve been busier than a one armed monkey with three dicks this week.  The kids and I leave for Texas the day after tomorrow for our annual summer visit and haven’t packed one fucking thing.  E’s Birthday was this week, we had a date night last night, I took the kids to lunch with E today because by the time we get back from Texas, the kids will be in school and won’t be able to go to lunch with us.  Gracie wanted to go decorate her locker at her school today.  So, obviously, a lot of important stuff on top of an already incredibly busy week.

I went to get my hair cut yesterday by the only person alive who is allowed to touch my hair and surfuckingprise!  He no longer works at that hair salon and he didn’t have the courtesy to call a bitch up and let her magenta haired ass know.  Wait.  My hair on my head is magenta.  Not my ass hair.  Wait.  I have no hair on my ass because I….  never mind, fuck it.  So now on top of everything, I have to hunt down my gay hairdresser so he can cut my hair before I leave for Texas.  You’d think it’d be easy to locate a flamboyantly gay man covered in tattoos, sporting much better cat eyeliner than I could ever do and wearing glittery flats in the deep South but guess what?  It’s pretty damned hard.

Luckily, Landon got his business card a few months ago and was gracious enough to give it to me yesterday.  I cannot make this shit up:  My hair guy’s business card has a unicorn on it.  If I’m lying, I’m dying.  It has a rainbow and unicorn and all kinds of gay shit on it, just in case you weren’t clear about which way he swings.

So I text him this morning.  Here’s how that went down.  I would screenshot it but it takes too much work to block the pertinent shit out and seriously, at this point, my head will explode.

Me: Hey, it’s Stephanie with the magenta hair.  Where are you?!  Went in yesterday for a cut and they told me you weren’t there anymore.  I didn’t let them TOUCH my hair.  But I do need a cut.  Let me know where you’re at.  🙂

Unicorn Boy:  I’m at XYZ Salon in Bumfuck Bama.  🙂  Those girls are crazy!  ♥♥♥ I’M SO FANCY! ♥♥♥

Again, I cannot make this shit up.  Out of nowhere, he texts “I’M SO FANCY!”  Like I didn’t know.

This is my life.

So, I’m making pee pee and have like three seconds to myself and decide to check in on Facebook.  My supposed friend Gary (I ain’t even going to give his ass a fake name because he deserves the hate mail and brown paper bags of flaming shit coming his way once my loyal and devoted readers get their revenge for me and I know you will) has this as his profile picture:

Still hot.

Still hot.

My friends Robin and Kari (real names but seriously, I have like zero time to even make up fake names right now) and I were involved in a “Selfie War” last fall.  Some pretty funny selfies were posted, which I may post at another time but not right now.  I sent the above picture to only them the next day, along with my frenemy Gary because somehow he was involved.  In this picture, I’m dying my hair magenta, I have some sort of seaweed/clay mask on my face and because I was out of shower caps, I improvised with a Kohl’s bag.  I didn’t use a Wal Mart bag because I’m classy like that.  The choice here that brings me the most shame, however, is the Trekkie tee.  I hang my head on that one.

After I post on Facebook that Gary will “RUE THE FUCKING DAY!”, he then, I guess, attempts to make amends by posting this horrifically photoshopped image he had made of me last fall.

Even horrifically photoshopped...  still hot.

Even horrifically photoshopped… still hot.

When Gary originally publicly terrorized me with this monstrosity last year,  some of his friends (not mine because mine graduated high school, minimum) thought the above was a real picture of me.  Never mind the awful photoshopping.  On top of that, that isn’t even a fanny pack, it’s more like a cooter pack, neither of which I would ever wear.  Also, I would never wear tacky red nail polish like that and I do not wear gold jewelry.  My arms actually touch my sides and I don’t have neck rolls which can store enough food crumbs for three days in a life or death emergency.  I also have nipples where they’re supposed to be.  You can’t miss them.

There’s my dirty laundry.  I do not negotiate with terrorists, Gary!

Now y’all excuse me while I drive to Bumfuck Bama to see my FANCY, gay (and fabulous) hair dresser.

I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little.

I ain't no quitter!

I ain’t no quitter!

My friend “Beth” messaged me last Thursday night while I was at the gym.  I’ve omitted some details for privacy reasons, but otherwise shit went down like this:

Beth:  Are you blessing the Lone Star State with your beautiful self this summer?

Me (already suspicious because she called me a blessing and beautiful in the same sentence):  I am.  I’ll be in Town XYZ on the 25th, staying 6 to 7 nights and then I’ll be through Dallas/Ft. Worth.  Will y’all be there?

Beth:  Cool…  the kids and I will be gone until the 27th.  I was worried we might miss you.

Me (relaxing a bit because that sounds harmless enough):  Sounds like it’ll work out.  You up to hosting again?

Beth:  Sounds good.  We may have to have one night without kids because we have decided that you need to meet Bob, Jenny’s brother.

Me (I’ve done the math on my calculator by now):  Is this a trap?  Is he an AA volunteer?  Fed?

Beth doesn’t text back right away, which makes me even more suspicious so I attempt to nip this shit in the bud.

Me:  No interventions!

Beth:  No, quite the opposite.  He is just a hoot.  He still hangs with Vinnie Paul from time to time.

Me (I decide to play it cool for now and investigate later):  No way!  Cool.

Beth:  He was very close to Dime while he was alive, has some of his things.

Me (God, I’m so smooth!):  Can’t wait to meet him!

I filed the conversation away until last night when I was talking to my friend “Lucinda” on the phone.  I grilled her, demanding to know if she’s in on this intervention thing.  Instead of instant denial and pledges of eternal devotion, she just giggled uncontrollably, which for her usually means “Hell yeah, I’m in on it”.

I attempted to trip Lucinda up and mused that I don’t recall Jenny ever mentioning a brother, much less a super cool one who hangs out with Vinnie Paul, the co-founder of the group Pantera and brother to Dimebag Darrell, God rest his soul.  Lucinda resumed giggling uncontrollably when I mentioned Dimebag Darrell, which convinces me this is a setup because Dimebag Darrell is nothing to giggle over, damn it.

I then emphatically stated that I was not falling for this fuckery and would just hide out at her house the entire time I was in Dallas.  Lucinda, most assuredly thinking only of the damage I’d inflict on her alcohol supply if I was holed up at her house 24/7, then decided to play Good Cop and searched Facebook for “Bob”.  She claimed there really is a “Bob”, complete with long hair, tattoos and rock dude type pictures with other rock dude types.

I smell what’s cookin’ and I don’t like it.  I want to state my defense up front.  Firstly, I only drink on days that end in the letter “y”.  Secondly, exactly how many shots make one drink?  What am I working with here?  Thirdly, it needs to be understood that I am incredibly shy in most social situations and merely hold onto alcohol with a deathlike grip much like Bob Dole clutches his security ink pen.  Quit laughing, that’s actually mostly true. Lastly, the following should not aid in any way in the case against me:

• Light beer

• Desserts with hard liquor as the main ingredient

• Meat marinated in alcohol

• Those little chocolate bottles filled with liquor

• Liquor made to look like blood, contained in fake blood bags, syringes or test tubes, served by fake nurses at Halloween

• Seasonal beers, year round but especially fall brews

• Hard ciders

• Screw it, the whole month of October is off limits

• Liquor added to coffee

• Alcohol consumed while I’m wearing a swimsuit

• Alcohol sipped through those really long, curly kid straws

• Fruit soaked overnight in alcohol and frozen

• Beer consumed during research at Brew Fests

• Holiday celebration alcohol, including but not limited to eggnog

• Thirsty Thursday at the ball park

• Liquor used for medicinal purposes

• Alcohol consumed on Saturdays during football season

• Liquor in tiny airplane bottles

• Any drink which can only legally be prepared by a licensed bartender and is flammable

Well, shit.  I’ll miss y’all.  Will you at least write to me while I’m in rehab?  Thanks a lot, “Bob”.  Ass hole.

You’re A Sneaky Bastard, Summer!

It may not technically be summer according to the calendar but it’s summer in my book when my vanity succumbs to my survival instincts and I actually don short shorts and a tank top to go out in public.  Throw your outdoor thermometers away.  The Weather Channel should just stand outside my house and post weather forecasts completely based on the amount of my flesh I am exposing to Southern air.  They could call it the “Flesh Tracker”.  No costly satellites needed.  Jim Cantore can retire to Florida and call his shit done.

Let me count the ways I have always hated summer.

I hate the temps.  If you’re in the South, you also know what humidity that takes your breath away feels like.  It doesn’t get much better when I go back home to Texas in late July.  A couple years ago, my friend “Fantasia” threatened to take my native Texan card away if I complained about the temps one more time.  In my defense, a whole bottle of hand sanitizer exploded in my car.  EXPLODED.  If I would have been in the vehicle when the bottle exploded, I could have been killed or even worse.  It was considered a “cool front” that year if temps got below 114 degrees.  I have located the mouth of hell and it is in or around North Texas.

I hate the fashions, especially when I have “more to love” than usual and I’m really lovable this summer.  I hate trying on swimsuits so much that I skipped it altogether, played swimsuit routlette and ordered online this year.  This is one of the suits I bought:

swim

The ad claims this suit will make you “suddenly slim” so I completely ignored the Law of Horizontal Stripes, figuring it wouldn’t apply to my suddenly slim ass.  I ended up just looking like the damned Hamburglar.

Robble fucking robble.

Now on a personal vendetta against the Law of Horizontal Stripes, this is the second suit I ordered:

No fucks to give. Not one.

It’s like Barney and the Hamburglar had a one night stand and this came out nine months later.  Before anyone asks, and I know they will, Barney was definitely the power bottom in that arrangement.  Hamburglar has done hard time and is through taking that shit.

I hate summer because no matter how much time I spend on my makeup, an hour later I look like a contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race who got his/her ass kicked by that coffee can full of bacon grease my Granny used to keep on the back of her stove.  Not a cute look, y’all.

I hate summer because I have a problem with swimming pools, aside from the obvious swimsuit debacle.  I can’t enter a public pool without desperately wanting to test the water for urine or even worse things.  I hate the toddlers at the local pool who smirk at me because they can swim better than I can.  One day, I’ll catch them when they’re not wearing their Disney arm floaties and it will be ON.

Before I send summer to therapy, I’ll attempt to find something positive about it.

I love the time off with the kids and the lazy schedule we strictly adhere to.  I’m usually at my fittest in the summer because we grill a lot and I’m more disciplined with my diet and exercise because I’m going home to see family and friends.  That’s another perk of summer, going back to Texas with the kids and seeing those same family and friends.  I love a really ice cold beer and summer was made for that.  I love Sonic Route 44 diet green iced teas.  I love summer action movies.  I love my summer playlist on Spotify, which I created last year and titled “Summer:  Let’s Do This, Fucker”.  I love knowing that on the other side of summer is the reward of fall, football, Halloween, cozy sweaters, knee high boots and mossy green eyeshadow.

Okay, fine.  Let’s hug it out, summer.  You’re not that bad after all, you sneaky SOB.

Let me know in the comments if and why you hate summer as much as I do.  Have a good week, y’all.  I’m down 8.2 pounds!  Woo hoo!

How To Deal With Mild Skirmishes And Punk Ass Bitches

A few of my girlfriends and I go on occasional weekend trips together (we are past due at this time, damn it!).  These girls are very dear to me and I love our little screwed up, dysfunctional crew very much.

We were brought together by the Texas PTA and its annual conference in Austin but the real bonding took place in the trenches of school carnivals and dances at the school our children attended at the time.  Several of us got tattoos together and an artist at the studio said he’d never seen another PTA group get inked together.  That’s right, we brought classy to the Texas PTA.

When my husband got a job promotion and my family moved to Alabama, the girls and I vowed to not only stay in touch but to get together once a year for a girl’s trip.

We met up in Vicksburg, Mississippi for our very first one.  The Texas girls drove together and riding by myself to meet them was so worth it.  Our girl’s weekend happened to coincide with the Vicksburg 100 Year Flood and we were astonishingly lucky that we had booked the only river casino hotel that remained open during the flood.  A 100 Year Flood might have ruined some other girl’s trips but we felt incredibly lucky to have witnessed it.  It was a great trip filled with sightseeing, shopping, heart to heart talks, many laughs and some very juvenile pranks on my part.

But even the best of friends have mild skirmishes.  One of our mild skirmishes occurred right before our last girl’s trip.  We were going back to Austin where it all began with the PTA but this time we had a first class high rise apartment to lodge in and no agenda to dictate our weekend.

All the girls live in the Dallas area so it was only logical that I fly to Texas for this trip.  I had triple checked with all of them before booking my plane ticket, verifying the dates and times of everything.  I was on the phone with one of them when I clicked “Purchase Tickets”.  So when a couple of them decided to get revenge on me for my juvenile pranks in Vicksburg, I did not take it very well.  At all.

The trip was a few weeks away but I first had to make it through April Fool’s Day unscathed.  I failed miserably.  Matter of fact, I had forgotten it was April Fool’s Day so completely that when two of them said they wouldn’t be able to make the trip, I was totally convinced they meant it and was, understandably, very pissed off.

A few hours of seething later, I found out that it was an April Fool’s Day joke.  My rage factor exponentially increased with that discovery and I stopped answering my phone and messages for 24 hours to cool off because that’s the kind of calm, rational person I am.  After the 24 hour cool off period, I came back with this completely well thought out, adult response (names have been changed to protect the very guilty and, believe it or not, I actually removed the vast majority of F Bombs from the original message just for this blog post):

“You punk ass bitches. Yeah, you read that right. Punk.Ass.Bitches. I just want to point out that you two (punk ass bitches) ruined our last morning in Vicksburg last year, pouting over baby powder and my wrong turn to Cracker Barrel. I don’t know if Beth was having peen withdrawals or what but that is how it went down – having breakfast with the two of you and the huge sticks up your asses.  So you at least owe me 24 hours to chill out after the total fuckery that went up my ass without one drop of KY Jelly last night. I mean, at least squirt a bitch a drop or two of some Jergens next time.

That being said, revenge will be ugly. It will be big. It will be funny as all hell, if you’re me.  It won’t be a fucking smiling penis magnet on the back of your car.  You won’t know when it’s coming. It won’t be in Austin. It may not even be in the next year. You’ll start to relax, start to take shits in the privacy of your own home without clinging to a butcher knife or automatic weapon and then BAM! That’s right. FUCKING BAM! I’ll be there.  So bring your mace and body armor and shit to Austin. You ain’t gonna need it there. I’m the ninja from your very worst nightmares, the ones you wake up crying from like the little punk ass bitches you are with wet panties and yellow stains on your Wal Mart sheets. Y’all best just start wearing Depends. That’s your safest mother fucking bet.

Also, I need measurements for our tee shirts. And y’all owe me a round of drinks in Austin. Fuckers. I love you.”

I hope every single one of you are blessed with the friendship I’ve been blessed with over the years.  Because really, what is life without the love of a few punk ass bitches?  Nothing.

Follow up:  The initial reaction to my message was righteous indignation that I’d needlessly attacked and dragged their Wal Mart sheets into the whole skirmish.  Also, to the best of my knowledge, they are all still taking shits in the privacy of their own homes armed with butcher knives and automatic weapons.  Revenge will find them one sweet day.  Yes, it will.