Friday, August 19, 2016

Whose Pants are Wetter? Gypsy Wedding Crasher or Ryan Lochte?

This week. Holy cow. I wanna talk about a couple of dudes who got shitty drunk, made "bad decisions" that impacted others, and who now are just befuckingwildered that people would like to hold them accountable. Ryan Lochte and our own Fat Gypsy Wedding Crasher.

Yeah, we had a wedding crasher. I was waiting until the juicy judicial system did its thing before I talked publicly about it, because witness influence or tampering or whatever. You know. I just wanted to zip it. I know. Shocker that I'm able to do that on occasion. I promised I would talk about it. What excellent timing that it wrapped up the same week as these shenanigans of:


My kids try this face. Even ToddlerBandit. I'm immune to its powers.

If you just woke up, #lochtegate is happening on the interwebs.

Condensed version:

Ryan Lochte called his mommy and said he and his buddies got robbed at gunpoint by some group of banditos pretending to be cops. You know, in Rio, where that kind of thing happens and where the story was accepted as truth.

Oh my goodness! Our poor, sweet, exceptional, American athletes! How scary for them!

Upon further investigation and review of crime scene footage, the actual crime was that Ryan Lochte and his buddies were all drunked up in the wee morning hours, wearing skinny pants (a misdemeanor in itself), kicked in a gas station bathroom door, peed everywhere, and were held by a security guard who demanded they pay for the damages.

What. A. Dickbag.

Full disclosure: I've not ever really been a Ryan Lochte (or his mom) fan since the whole "he doesn't have time for relationships so he just has rando-sex" thing happened. For one, it's a little trashy. For two, it makes his mom make the Toddlers & Tiaras moms look VERY hands-off when she is THAT involved in his pee-pee-poking-around business. For three, if that had been said of any female athlete, she would have been slut shamed. Instead, women the world over slobbered over that POS wishing they could get in line to be the next Ms. Rando.


Today, after he, his mom, his attorney, and his agent sat SILENT all week, he issued this piece of crap statement and called it an apology:

Anyway. Apology not accepted. I think we should be shipping his ass back to answer for any charges like...filing a false police report and being a general asshat. And that's the last I really ever want to hear about him, really. He selfishly stole the spotlight from the people who were there and humbly tumbling or swimming or running or diving or shot-putting their hearts out and quite literally MAKING HISTORY that he doesn't deserve a second longer of our attention.

This brings me to Tuesday.

Tuesday I sauntered down to our grand old court house to view the late morning session of Misdemeanorees, Miscreants, and Mayhem Masters, starring only half the originally booked cast (the others will still get call-backs via bench warrant, don't worry).

I was only there to see one star, the one that tried to steal the show at the BFGW. Let's just call him for the purposes of my silly little story:

Walter William Phillips

Because that's his name and all this shit is public record, if anyone cares enough to go digging around if they think I'm wrong.

I'll even give you a "nice guy" picture of him instead of his mugshot so that you won't think I'm TOTALLY trying to paint a picture of him all one-sided and whatnot (even though I did consider filling out a public information request to obtain the booking photo. I did. Ask the ladies at the S.O.):

photo: lmtribune

Oh, where's that from? That's from the newspaper. From when he tried to get a spot on our CITY COUNCIL last election cycle. This guy wanted to make the rules for the REST of us.

Moving on.

I am a chronic observer. I always have been. So I made my way to the end of the hallway, checked each posted docket until I found his name, saw that he was there and looking very much soberer than the last time I saw him, and planted myself on a bench with the other defendants. Prosecutors and public defenders buzzed back and forth, only one was familiar to me from the wayback. He stopped when he saw me there.

"Heeeeeeey. How's it going? What are YOU doing here? You're not on MY list, are you?" he asked nervously, knowing that I didn't fit the profile of the group that I was with.

"Waiting for the 10:45 group."

"Oh. Ummmm. Good luck, I guess."

They called name after name, people disappearing this way and that. They called name after name to which there was no response. They'd whittled the group down to a handful and just started asking OUR names, deciding to take cases out of order. They looked at me.

"What's your name?"

"I'm not on your list."

"Oh. Are you on the County list? I'll see if he can move you up."

"No. I'm not on any list."


And as they whisked the only other woman away, dressed in her fanciest thin white tee shirt with a neon pink bra showing through and a pack of Camels just begging to be taken out for a walk, a man struck up a conversation with Walter.

"What are you in here for?"

It sounded like two cell mates meeting for the first time. Cute.

"They got me on a bullshit misdemeanor for disturbing the peace."

"Oh. Dude, I've been there. That sucks."

"Tell me about it. I went down to that Black Lives Matter thing they had, you know, because...well SOMEBODY had to stand up to those fuckers. You know?"

"Oh yeah. TOTALLY. So they arrested you for that? Whoa."

"Oh, don't even know, dude. All's I know is I was there and then next thing I know, I woke up in jail strapped to a chair and my fucking pants are wet."

"WHAT? That's nuts."

"Yeah. And now I've gotta go back East for a job and I have this bullshit to deal with, and it's a complete waste of the judicial system's time and taxpayer money, if you ask me."

Yes. It did take every fiber of my being to sit there with my mouth shut and listen to this garbage when all I wanted to do was either bash his head or my own repeatedly into the cinderblock walls of our Halls of Justice. Fortunately, his douchebaggery didn't stop once his name was called and he met all side-bar like with the prosecutor before going before the judge.

First off, she's about forty-eleven feet tall and has a "go fuck yourself" haircut. Having never met her before, I had to put aside my sudden lady-crush until I knew whether she was going to hold him accountable for his actions.

She began by giving him a chance to tell her what happened.

"Well, I went to that Black Lives Matter thing. You know? And I guess maybe I was riled up and had too much to drink. I'd went to BoJack's with my boy for his birthday. I don't know, really. And then I just woke up in jail and my pants were wet. It was a pretty bad deal."

She let out a sigh.

"Well, according to the report, you showed up at a wedding reception to which you were not invited, you were intoxicated, you touched the breasts of some of the female guests there, you rubbed the face and head area of a black person and yelled racial slurs at him, you yelled "ALL LIVES MATTER!", and then when you were asked to leave you jumped in a fountain."

"Well, I don't recall any of that. I was just at the Black Lives Matter thing. I don't know if you know my family history, but we maybe have a problem when it comes know. Maybe it's time to quit drinking again. I was sober for a long time, you know. Cuz I don't even remember any of that. So how can I plead guilty if I don't remember it?"

"It took four men to hold you until the police arrived. And then you fought the police. And then you kept fighting at the jail."

"Ok, so if I fight this plea, four people could say I was there."

"Probably like a hundred people would say you were there."

"Well, like I said. I don't recall. And I'm just trying to earn a living and I'm headed to Wisconsin on a job and I don't know if you've heard what's happening in Milwaukee with THE BLACKS but they're all rioting and it won't be safe FOR ME."

"I'm filling this form out, recommending that you change your plea to GUILTY and I will recommend fines ONLY at this time."

This asshole never ONE TIME acknowledged what he did nor did he apologize for the impact his actions had on other people, including AND ESPECIALLY that he put his hands on a black person and then said HE is not safe from BLACK PEOPLE.

He went on to blather about how he didn't want this misdemeanor on his record because it would make him look bad, UNNECESSARILY as he was just a goody-two-shoes WHITE GUY out there in the world trying to earn a living and the justice system was squishing his balls. Because, of course, all these options came with like...probation...or some other nut-squeezing restriction on his ability to just be a LAW ABIDING CITIZEN.

For real.

He asked to plead No Contest. She explained that is a Washington thing, not an Idaho thing. This got my cackles up as to his unusually intimate knowledge sitting at the WRONG table in the court room. And rightly so, he has a history of DUIs and license suspensions.

Ultimately, she and the judge allowed him to enter an Alford Plea. He has $350ish in fines and fees. And not one goddamn intention of being a better human after this.

When he left and she saw me standing in the hallway listening, she assumed I was next on her list. I assured her I was only there to make sure he was held responsible for his actions. Because while the day was beautiful and memorable in all kinds of OTHER ways, this was a disruption that absolutely did not need to happen.

I had the opportunity that day to stand up for/stand in for some other folks that aren't keen on the navigation of our court system. I get that. I AM keen, so I went. I also had the chance to meet some new (to me) prosecutors that I'm proud to see carry forward and complete the cases that folks like my husband have to start. Their job sucks. Everyone they deal with hates them. Maybe because they don't get to hear from victims in these cases to hear THANK YOU enough.

I know they don't always see eye to eye. Especially when they schedule hearings on Hubs' day off. Or too early on his days on.

He hates that, by the way. But he goes. Because deep down, they're on the same team. He thanks them, too.

So now that the Phillips case is resolved, I'll only mildly be listening for Ryan Lochte's airplane engine to fire up as they extradite him to answer a few more questions. Because totally forgetting about it is exactly what he (and USA Olympics) wants us to do.

But I'm going to be right here. Not forgetting about Ryan. Not forgetting about Walter. May they forever be plagued by fungal issues in their nether-regions from all their wet pants-shenanigans.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Drunk Uncle: Career Influencer, Accidental Speech (and blog!) Topic

I herded kids into bed the other night with aggravated enthusiasm. I had too much to do.

"Hurry up. I don't have time for this. I have a thing tomorrow."

"What kind of thing?"

"A thing. A speaking thing. I have to go talk."

"Are they paying you to talk? That's good for you, since you like to talk."

"Well, I get paid anyway. From my job. But people are driving from out of town to hear me talk. And unlike YOU yahoos, they'll probably listen to me."

"OMIGOSH. You're's so cool."

"Go to BED."

I'll spare you the gory details about my job and whatnot because this is kind of a job-free zone. But I did have to give my listeners some background about myself and some sense of how I might have ended up where I was. It was also a group of all women*, and being a lady-type-person myself, I like to never pass on an opportunity to remind other women that they should always grab life by the balls.

*If there had been a man in the room, I would have equally believed he should go grab life by the balls. I am equal opportunity that way.

So I started with a question of this room full of women who carried in their various purses at least one same credential as me:

"Does everybody have one drunk uncle?"

I knew from the mix of those that laughed and those that didn't what I was getting myself into. I told my story anyway.

Drunk Uncle, in my case, sloshed up to me about seven drinks in at my high school graduation to ask what I wanted to do with my life.

This was really the first time I remember anyone posing it in that way - so open ended - instead of inserting their opinion on one end or the other. I didn't hesitate to answer him.

"I want to be that person with the video camera that follows the guy around, you know, the guy who is putting a new roof on his house with his butt crack hanging out, the guy that's on workman's comp? I want to be THAT person."

"PPPPPPPFFFFTT," he slobbered at me. "There's no money in that. Get a REAL job. I'll put in a good word for you at the mill."


You know, because in this mill town, if "the mill" is nice enough to extend you a job offer, you take it and you are thankful for that opportunity to have a giant pile of money in exchange for your life span to be cut short and quality of life to be zilch. It's a great deal. Ask anyone who's sold their soul to the company store. And so I did. Not immediately, but still. When I did, they had 1,500 applicants. 130 interviews. 13 people were hired. I was one of them. I believe this says their Human Resources sucked ass at the time.*

*I say this because I personally know at least one person in Human Resources at present and I do not believe that she sucks ass. I also believe strides have been made to select candidates more befitting that work than I ever was. I also believe they have made strides to actually enforce their own workplace violence policy, which used to also suck ass, and which is what initially motivated me to leave. I did not wish to die and become a piece of your milk carton.

I let Drunk Uncle pour his drink over that fire in my belly in an instant. I forgot all about what I really wanted to do. What I - as a SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL - had a glimmer and a drive to want to pursue. And it would be years and years before I would be like:

NO. I'm better than this. I like solving puzzles. I like getting to the bottom of things. I like discovering the truth and calling people out on their hijinks and shenanigans (which are different). I like standing up for and protecting people who can't do it for themselves.

And I reignited that fire by myself. And when I did, the light was bright enough to find the rest of my tribe by.

I hoped these ladies wouldn't let THEIR Drunk Uncle or whatever lingering voice was in their heads keep them from maybe doing something even more awesome than they were already doing.

I continued the rest of my talk with the room staring at me, stunned at my lack of any Power Point presentation (I don't like to depend too heavily on technology - what happens when the power goes out and you don't have anything to talk about??) and talked about a lot of very boring and very shocking and scandalous things and included a quite very maybe inappropriate amount of me just pointing to various parts of my body, including my armpit, and sloping toward fan girl obsession with colonoscopies*.

*Spellcheck is certain the word I'm looking for here is kaleidoscopes.
I am certain it is not.

All throughout, my trusty sidekick held door duty and her composure, most likely outlining her resignation in her head and counting down the days until she could distance herself from my theatrics, hoping to blend into the wall and have nobody associate her with me.

Just kidding. She's a big weirdo just like me.

And I woke up today to a "Thank You" email and not a "Your membership has been revoked effective immediately" email, so I'm going to take that as a sign that things were received positively. Either way, everyone got their CEUs and I still get to do what I should have been doing all along, even though I spend most of my days wanting to put my head straight through a wall.


Go forth, my fellow Fixers...follow your own fires.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Date Night Makes Me So Hornet

When two thirds of the shorties are out of the house, we like to drag ToddlerBandit along to dinner, stick a screen in his hand, pretend he's not there, and call it:

Date Night.

Which is exactly what we did this weekend after a day of boating. The biggest littles went with their buddies for their first ever smash bash and a sleepover, which they reacted to thusly:

We went to KC's where I had my usual meat salad and where Hubs had the burger of the week and made me SWEAR to him that I would make him get the mac and cheese burger for sure next time. For sure. He says they have the best ever buns and that I need to get off my "high horse" about the carb thing and just eat one already because I'm missing out.

I believe him.

We spent the rest of our romantic dinner arguing over whether another couple was a couple or a mother and her son. His vote was mother and son because there was about forty years difference between them. My vote was that they were very early in their relationship because I saw them making out when they first walked through the door. She also appeared to be wearing pants for the first time in a long while in direct conflict with the religion that was dictating her hairdo, which didn't match what he had going on with his appearance. So there's no way that was her son.

We never did find out, so let's just say that I was right for the purposes of our marriage continuing down a happy path.

I also decided that people would assume that we were brother-and-sister and that ToddlerBandit was HIS kid based on the fact that my body just screams, "there's no way she has pumped out three children, I mean come ON...look at those narrow hips."

...and then he choked on his delicious caramel milkshake and rolled his eyes at me.

To really spice things up, we stopped by the Home Depot for more bee killer spray because those assholes are back again. And before everyone gets all uppity about how the bees are an integral part of our ecosystem, these aren't bees. They're wasps. Umbrella wasps, to be exact. I know this because those stupid charts that say "how long are the legs on your bees?" say so and also because I finally found their dumb houses that they build on the eaves.

Architecturally annoying as hell.

Oh, by the way, too...the doves are back. Well, they never left really. I took their nest down but they were all like, "No. We live here now. We will rebuild that tomorrow. Knock it off."

So. Birds and bees. And Mr. Fix is all like, "Hey...I'll go get you the ladder so you can get on the roof and take care of that."

So I hike my ass up the ladder in my sandals, which I kick off at the top rung, the one that says, "Hey, don't step here, dummy" but I do anyway. And suddenly the only thing in my mind is:

1982. 1982. 1982. My parents got their new roof in 1982. If anyone needs to know when my parents got their new roof, it was 1982.

I'm sure there's been another shingling since then, but that was one of them. I know this because I was five years old when my thighs last fit properly into corduroy pants, and my favorite ones were red and they had Strawberry Shortcake on them because duh, 1982. And they were reroofing the house and I was on the roof and I was throwing old shingles down and I was scootch-sliding instead of standing up and later in the day my mom was like, "what did you do to your pants???" and I suddenly realized I had an assless chaps situation going on.

My pants. My underwear. My ass was out. Back when it was teeny tiny and super cute.

And I'm up there thinking WTF were my parents thinking letting a five year old hang out on the roof?

And this was all I could think of as I sat perched and frozen and barefoot on the roof in my newly favorite leggings, gravity and mass calculations different from my five-year-old self. Still unable to stand, I rolled into position to spray the nests. One by one, as I sprayed, I could see there were more. And more. And more. These things had set up residence in the hidden recesses of our roofline. I ran out of murder juice and asked for more. Then I waited for the poison to sink in so I could annihilate them with the power washer.

And while I waited for Hubs to get back from wherever he was (seriously, he was off dicking around somewhere and I was annoyed that I could have fallen and he wouldn't even know), I had a chance to just sit on the roof and take in the quickly setting sun. And the sky was indescribably beautiful. And the moon was an impossible sliver of a crescent. I was in a Michael Parkes painting.

Or I might have been high from huffing all that wasp spray, now that I think of it.

The next day, I set out to observe our newly bug-free outdoors and was met with the swarm. Again. I found ANOTHER five nests further around back in a vent. But since I have a "nobody gets on the roof alone" policy (which only I adhere to around here), it will have to wait until at least Thursday again so I can finally show these jerks there's only room in this house for ONE queen bee.


I can't wait, really. Because that's the day when Hubs and I see each other again, and we only have two more episodes of Stranger Things to pound out on Netflix. Because when we do Date Night, there's no Netflix and Chill, there's only Netflix and Play Next Episode. You know, when we're finally done with all the super romantic stuff.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Brake-through, Without Therapy

Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge one of the seven hundred million things I do on the regular that make Mr. Fix absolutely bonkers.

It's no secret that he hates driving my car. It's the newest in the Lee fleet. It's also got the thickest crust of goldfish guts, a latte spatter pattern that would stump Dexter, and a permanent layer of BabyChuck sole-patterned mud on the back of the driver's seat. And usually a pair of underwear in there somewhere.

He can usually stomach all of that. But when he puts her in drive and we go:


He's annoyed. Always.

"Why is the parking brake on? We are literally on flat ground. You're being ridiculous."

Let me brake (ha) it down for you. Because things dawned on me today as I absentmindedly set that sucker at work again. Just like I did yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that.

Long, long ago, when I was a wee child, my mom loaded me up and carted me off to the babysitter before she went off to work. EARLY. Like....EARLY, early. Like, so early I went back to bed at the babysitter's house. And this was summertime, and I had one of those plastic kiddie pools because we didn't have air conditioning and it's hot as Satan's vagina here (still), and when we got in the car she noticed it was still out and full from the day before.

Not wanting it sitting there all day smashing the grass or whatever, she got out of the car, dumped the water out, and dragged it over to rest against the garage. This was when the car began rolling backward down the driveway, across the street, through the fence, and into the field opposite our house. With me in it.

Now. I will tell you that from this moment forward, I haven't had a particular likening to carnival rides. But I particularly began being a little OCD about setting the parking brake in a car way before I ever started driving one. Especially if I was in it. Because just barely being able to see out the windows is just about the most traumatic view of all. The world whizzing by. Your mom, through the windshield, in a dead sprint, but really, it's mom there's no way she's gonna catch you and you know it. And you want to close your eyes but you just can't.

I'm sure it was all very very slow-mo. But at the time? It felt very much like this:

Was it life changing trauma? No. I mean...I tripped and fell right behind the riding mower once and she almost backed over me with it. That was pretty effing scary. I have a healthy respect for the John Deere and I keep my distance when it fires up. I also absolutely do not let my kids play out in the yard while Hubs is mowing. ToddlerBandit likes to help, but he rides WITH him and wears ear protection.

But this? I mean, so what if I have a compulsive habit of setting the parking brake. All the time. On flat ground. Wouldn't you? What childhood traumas have carried over into habits that annoy your significant other?