On Cherry Hill

Do you remember the first dirty joke you were told? Not something you overheard an older relative telling someone else. The first dirty joke one of your peers went up and told you. I remember mine. I also remember not quite getting it at the time. I knew it was dirty, I got that it was sexual, but I was still not fully aware of the complete, uh, mechanics of it all.

So, a boy walks into class 5 minutes late. The teacher, she keeps a tight ship, she sees him come in late and pulls him to the front of the class and asks "Why you are late?" And the boy simply states, "I was on cherry hill." and he sits down.

5 minutes later a second boy walks into the class, also late, in fact, even later. The teacher pulls him to the front and asks "Why are you late?" And his answer is word by word the same as the first boy, "I was on cherry hill".

5 minutes after that a girl walks into the class. Now, she is 15 minutes late. The teacher is just beside herself. She doesn't even bother pulling this girl to the front to talk to her in private. She is exasperated and says to the girl, "Don't tell me. You were late because you were on cherry hill" The girl says, "No, I am cherry hill."

Get it? Get it?

I'm not even sure I thought it was funny at the time. I was in first grade. A friend told me. She certainly got the joke. Public school is nothing but trouble.

Why am I telling you this? My lovely step-sister and I are about to birth a new, joint blog, called "On Cherry Hill". The vision is to deal with sexuality and sensuality, the personal and political of it. Geared towards the early experiences. A teen-ish perspective. It will be an open blog, meaning we will be looking for people to contribute. Both people that want to get rights to the blog and contribute on a regular basis and people that just want to email us with items and have us post it anonymously. We want it to be more than words, comic strips, art, videos, all are in the scope of the vision. As well as everything we haven't thought of yet. Here is our call to action:

"What was the first dirty joke you ever heard? The one you heard before you quite even knew what it meant. We want to hear that. We want to hear about your awkward early dates and sexual experiences. We want to hear how abstinence only education makes you scream. What do those sexually suggestive bracelets the kids wear even mean? Why isn't oral sex considered real sex anymore in high school? We are trying to get our muther fudging blog off the ground. We want it to be about sexuality, the personal and the political aspects. We want it to be a mixed media affair. We want it to be fierce. Help!"

Eventually, if you don't volunteer, I'm just going to show up at your house and make you. Eventually when that is squared away, the blog will be off and running.


Today's Letter

Dear Asshole in the Hummer by Home Depot,

Here's the thing. If you choose not to use your turn signal, you give up the right to honk at me if I cut you off. While I am a woman of many, many, many extraordinary abilities, psychic powers are not among them.

Also, since the chances of your automatic transmissioned tank catching up to my car were slim to none, it occurs to me you honked not because of potential vehicular related danger, but because you are an asshole. Not only is that firmly against my understanding of what the state of California code allows, it also could startle the people working at Togo's. The people at Togo's cannot be startled at lunch. They have to make my avocado and provolone on wheat.



Meeting of the Minds

"That 3o minutes I spent with the Backstreet boys is a half an hour of my life I'll never get back" Trace Adkins

From your mouth to God's ears, Trace.

I don't normally watch The Apprentice. Mainly because few people annoy more than 'The Donald' does. Sure, his hair. But mainly he is a greedy, misogynist asshole. With bad hair. But, I was forced to watch Celebrity Apprentice the other day. Because the draw of watching Trace Adkins help plan a Backstreet Boys concert was too powerful to resist. First he has to call their tour manager to set up a meeting to review their concert rider. He has to say his name about ten times, and then spell it, and then explain his role. So, that got off to a good start.

Then the freakishly tall country singer and the freakishly bad boy band meet face to face. Trace breaks the news that there is only going to be one dressing room for the band. Then he fields requests for room temperature water, hot tea, and wheat grass. Which is great because Trace has no idea what-so-ever what wheat grass is. And you know, I'm a native Californian and I still am not really willing to juice grass and drink it. Seeing what it was like to explain that concept to someone born in small town in Louisiana, was pure television gold.

And soon, the finale, where the Backstreet Boys ask Trace to get black nail polish for them. (!).



Today Fondue ate cat poop. Threw up cat poop. Ate throw up. Threw up throw up. By then I had a hold of the paper towels and put an end to the vicious cycle. Today is not my favorite day.


Flight Club

There is this certain age during youth. The early, early teen years. The pheromones kick in. The hormones kick in. Your body changes. But you are still not sure what to do with it all. I love seeing kids in this stage. Trying to figure out what to do with the body that is almost adult and the feelings that are almost adult and the thoughts that are as adult as they can possibly be. Except sometimes when they just aren't. And to have to hold all of this constant, crazy change. Oh my. This is why the kids are just nuts.

It is important for you to know that I was that age once. Not that it is a specific age so much as a specific phase. Some go through it at the end of grade school, some in high school, some get out the gate way too quickly. For me, it was towards the end of grade school. I was tall, gangly, looked older, was full of angst and contemplation. Awkward. And also pretty. Pretty in an awkward way, which just seems to make you prettier. Not that I ever thought I was pretty. The self awareness was being tested. Suddenly, others notice you. The objectification begins. You are fully unprepared. You are fully curious. Lethal, lethal, lethal.

And this is where the groundwork for your future relationships gets created. This is the testing ground, the emergence. I had swooned over the unattainable boys for years. Rock stars, actors. Poster after poster torn from magazines and taped to my wall. But now, the boy crushes were real. Not the innocent flirting of the younger years, but the lusting of the magazine boys taped on the head of a real boy. The yearnings had begun and I was scared shitless.

There was this boy. Who, technically, was recently out of high school so maybe more of a man. He was beautiful. Even better he was beautiful and cool. Even better, beautiful, older and a bad, bad boy. He sold pot on South St. in Philadelphia. He hung out there. He was beautiful. Did I mention that? I met him at my mothers friends' house. I guess they were my friends also. I hung out there a lot. I would sit on the couch and they would get stoned and talk and I would just learn. I learned that smoking pot makes you hang out on your couch a lot, learned who Nelson Mandela was, how red lights never last more than a minute so you should never run them, and that Hall and Oates were gay. I also learned that the beautiful boy that stopped by their house to buy pot to sell on South St. liked me. You know, liked me, liked me. And as much I yearned for that with every ounce of my gangly body; I was not ready for that.

He took a few weeks with it. Talking to me, throwing compliments my way. Watching the combination of terror and desire in my face. Gauging his place. Then he went for it, escalated it. Asked me to walk up to South St. with him for some reason or another. I said yes, but I don't know how or why. I walked with him, up the stairs, out the door, and around the corner. We passed the Wawa and that's when it happened. He ran into a group of his friends. More older boys. Beautiful boys, cool boys, pot-smoking-south st.-hanging-out boys. This officially made it just all too much for me. I was a bundle of nerves and confused feelings and just not ready to be around that many beautiful boys. My would be suitor walked a little ahead of me, to talk to his friends. I lagged behind. And then. And then, I just cut around the corner without saying a word to any of them. I took off in a completely different direction. Sat in a park for awhile, let the hormones rearrange themselves, got on the SEPTA bus and went home.

Sometimes you end up being more flight than fight.


Jolly Ranchers

I am safely home and back to work and even in the actual office, instead of sitting on my couch with my laptop and Divorce Court. It's nice to be back here. Yesterday, a co-worker brought in lunch for me. Because she remembered I like Korean food. And she's Korean and had cooked Korean food. And mainly because she is nice. It was excellent. And a fantastic welcome back. I've missed my co-workers and my plants and the basket full of snacks the HR Farm keeps in the break room. My fingers are still covered with almond dust from today's snack break. I need wipes.

The broken elevator has been fixed. The receptionist has refilled the candy jar. But she still managed to pick out all the cherry jolly ranchers and keep them for herself. She's pregnant. Once the baby comes I will insist on getting access to the cherry ones again. In the meantime, I make do with the green apple.


Lucid Dreaming

I have a lousy track record with remembering my dreams, but a fairly decent track record with the occasional lucid dream. Lately, the dreams have not been that great. The worst part of that is that I have not had the best track record of getting to sleep in the first place. It's not my most stress free year. I get that. Two weeks ago, I had an awful night full of tension dreams. I woke myself out of the bad dreams three times (!). Luckily, with the lucid dreaming skill, I can wake myself out of bad dreams. Unfortunately, I have not yet learned how to harness those powers for good and just turn the dreams around. And, I am more concerned about getting the sleep than getting the dreams.

I have been, however, been reminded of my very first lucid dream. Or the very first lucid dream I was aware of. It was in grade school. I was in the school yard in the dream, then suddenly I willed myself to do something in the dream. And I did it. And suddenly I was aware I was dreaming and somehow still asleep. I wasted no time. Next thing you know, I was making out with Rob Lowe. But in a grade school kind of way. Still, good times.

I think what I am saying is where is Rob Lowe when I need him?

Sub-Urban Living

So. I live in a slightly transitional area. Not quite urban, not quite suburban. Sadly, not rural at all. What this means is I have a neighborhood watch group and a liquor store on the corner. I have easy access to public transportation and street parking in front of my house.

Well, the parking. Now that is a story. It's important to know that my block is suburban enough so that I know everyone's business through the gossip grapevine. And, everyone knows mine. Which mainly involves trying to figure out which one of the neighbors I am related to. I look nothing like my Aunt's girlfriend and even less like my Aunt. Also there is that I lock myself out of my house wearing only a robe and I never wash my car. Gossip is powerful. Not powerful enough to convince me to clean my car. But powerful.

So, the latest news is the guy on the other side of my Aunt's house. He is an outgoing guy, friendly enough. I forget his name. Which is okay, because my understanding is that he refers to me as 'the girl in the yellow house'. For the record, my house is green. So, friendly guy that can't bother learning my name or my house color stopped by my GREEN house a few months ago to get me to sign a petition that allowed him to create a handicap parking space. Fine. Then he paved over his yard so he didn't have to deal with grass. Fine. I don't like the look of concrete lawns, but unless you have an effective grey water system in place I don't like the idea of you watering your lawn all the time either.

The other day, while sitting on the porch sharing a sandwich with the tiny dogs, I noticed some construction going on at the friendly guy's house. On closer inspection, I noticed he was putting in a driveway next to his house. Fine. Oh wait. He now has one spot designated handicap parking and just took away another parking spot to create a driveway. This is going to create some issues.

The thing you should know about the sub-urban slightly transitional areas is that people are really, really, really particular about their parking. When I lived in San Francisco, I considered it a success to get within twenty city blocks of my apartment. And usually I only got that space because of some street cleaning sign I forgot to look at. In the suburbs, you park directly in front of your house. You feel entitled, you feel ownership. If you have a driveway, then the spot in front of your house, is in case your friends stop by. It is never to be used by your neighbors or your neighbor's friends or those f*ing out of towners that clog the street on crab feed days. I hate those people.

So, my sleepy block of homeowners are faced with two less parking spots. And people are talking. Things are about to get animated around here.


Last Words

It is important for you to know, gentle readers, that I have been near death these last few days. Suffering from the common cold as no one has ever suffered before. I knew it was coming. I knew my life style full of non-stop-rock-star-like-partying would catch up with me. There was the whirl wind, snow filled, trip to Boston. Then late night after late night watching the step-sister gamble in Vega$. Then. Then. I checked myself into an almost local hotel for a work training session. You think, Burlingame is so close to my home. I can sneak over the bridge at night and visit the tiny pets. You don't know during all that thinking how tired you will be. The HR Farm likes you to learn shit. They pack your day full of classes that use all the remaining brain cells. Then the HR Farm wants you to bond. They pack your night full of team dinners and team building exercises. After that I am too tired for the bridge and I don't really even remember where my car is parked or really remember how to drive a stick anymore.

So I got sick. The best part is my voice is going out. So I tried to work at home as much as possible. People insist on talking to you when you are in the office. "Hi Rachel, how are you feeling?" Selfish bitches. The best part is my voice is going out and I have to do a presentation for big important client on Monday. A big important client in Vegas. Oh yes, sin city, voice or no voice, I'm coming back to get you.


Las Vegas

Vegas loves a bride. Vegas even loves four girls with a cheap veil pretending to be a bachelorette party in order to get in everywhere for free.

Home, sweet and tawdry, home

Kickin' it old school at Ballys

Liberace. People go through the museum of excessive bling and still don't think he was gay.

Seamed stockings

Disco horse at the Bellagio

Topless hula hooping dancer at the Double Down

At Red Rock, hiking the sin away

Some tree I'm too lazy to look up the name for.

Moss on the rocks