Think Goose!

What a nice wake me up. My Pandora is playing Disney tunes. First, Part of Your World and now Hakuna Matata. Reminded me of a story that I hope you’ll enjoy. As always, laughter is always welcome.

I got this idea into my head (yes, I have awesome ideas most times :P) that my husband and I should go walking in nature one Sunday. It looked like it was going to rain but it hadn’t started yet and we were up early enough, I figured we could go walk a mile or two before the rain started.

There are quite a few metroparks in and around our town. There was one right around the corner that seemed promising. I always saw it driving on the way home and figured it would be a nice little walk. When we got there, turned out this park was just a dock point for kayaks. I took some pictures especially of the geese because it’s baby season and Canada geese all over have been rapid, reproducing machines.

I should have known that was a sign.

We decided to drive to the Gorge Metropark instead since that’s a tried and true nice, long hiking trail. We get there and instead of taking the trail to the giant waterfall dam, we take a route we hadn’t walked before. I’d say about 7 minutes into the walk we encounter Goosey Lucy on the trail. She is not happy to see us. We get the hiss treatment and the stink eye. Luckily, there’s enough trail that we could stride widely and slowly around her. We didn’t see any other geese around her so I attributed it to her being a morning grump. I’m a grumps in the morning cause my bed is so comfortable that I don’t want to leave it but priorities and all that; grumps until I fully wake up then I’m less grumps.

I want to say we walked a total of 3 miles. It started raining on us and we kept going forward cause the trees were a natural barrier and my husband and the foresight to grab an umbrella. At one point we decided to turn around because the way metroparks work in Ohio, you could literally walk from one city to another through the parks. They’re quite extensive. One of the highlights on this trail was getting to see the dam from top side.

You know that feeling when your legs are tired but the best relief is to walk a little faster or run because regular speed hurts too much? That’s basically what we had going on plus we were getting hungry so we hustled back at a faster pace.

We get back to the spot were we saw Goosey Lucy only to encounter Goosey Brucey as well. Now we’re getting two stink eyes and double the hissing. They’re taking up more of the trail this time. We start to give them a wide berth like we did the first time but they spread their wings and take steps towards us!

My husband tries to keep walking. I grab him by the elbow to stop him.

Him: Why are we stopping?

Me: Because these geese are giving us their “I’m going to kill you stances” which means there are probably babies in that tall grass.

Sure enough I was right. Three goslings walk out to stand with their parents.

Him: Okay, so? We’ll just walk quickly.

Me: No we aren’t.

Him: I have the umbrella. We can use it as a shield.

Me: That umbrella has a sharp point! I don’t want to be responsible for injuring a goose.

Him: They won’t get my wife!

Me: My hero.

Him: Yes, I am.

Me: You do know a goose attack can break bones right? People underestimate the power of their wings.

Him: I can take ’em!

He was getting upset cause they were hissing in earnest now. I’m like they’re just protecting their babies. It reminded me of my trumpeter swan days when us group of college students had to basically steal 6 babies from their parents before they fledged. It was part of a breeding program and definitely a story for another day.

The geese must have realized we wouldn’t move until they did because they started walking ahead on the trail. My husband and I followed slowly behind with our umbrella shield and I couldn’t help but thinking about that scene in Aristocats where the geese teach the cats how to waddle like geese.

The geese fam walked off into the tall grass and Brucey stays on the edge of the trail eyeing us as we pass. We’re five steps away when my husband turns around and goes, “You’re lucky my wife is holding me back or I’d take you on!” I wasn’t holding him at all. I was certainly laughing though, especially when he wrapped my arm around him to simulate me “holding him back”.

Silly man.

Objectivity & Perspective

A regular activity of mine is listening to NPR (National Public Radio). I only listen on my drive into work and on my way home; when I’m not talking to someone on the phone. I hate commercials and music stations are too repetitive. I should admit that I do pay attention to what’s going on in the world a lot more than I did before because of America’s current president.

This past Friday, I heard the most interesting story. It was about conspiracy theorists in relation to the Sandy Hook shooting. I won’t go into detail about that tragedy because it’s depressing. Feel free to look it up on your own. Anyway, the journalist on NPR was interviewing a mom who had experienced losing her child because of this tragedy and her feelings about being asked to come on a new show to be interviewed by a known conspiracy theorist.

To those who may not know, a conspiracy theorist is someone who believes that certain events in history and today were staged by an individual or a group of individuals for whatever reason. They believe they can explain the circumstances down to the very last detail because all things can be explained I guess.

In this case, the belief here is that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged; that the children who were killed are actually still alive in a bunker or hidden spot somewhere and all of their families came up with this plan for monetary gain.

I listened to this woman explain what she and these other families have experienced in the last 5 years. She said the worst thing in the world besides losing a child to a shooter in America is having to defend that her child is actually dead. When asked how she shields her 12 year old son from potential questions about his sister, she said she’s practiced a script with him because she realized its impossible to shield her child in this world.

This affected me, ok. I’m driving home and I’m feeling sad and angry at the same time. So I turned around and called my husband right back and started with, “I just heard the most depressing thing ever…” and I explained the story to him and ended it with a healthy dose of curse words about how messed up I thought it all was.

My husband silently listens to my rant. When I come up for air, he starts to tell me his own story.

He tells me it’s ironic that I mentioned this because earlier in the day, a coworker showed him a video supposedly of one of these parents faking tears on camera. I guess someone caught video of the parent’s emotional state before the video went live vs. after. He said this coworker was trying to show him “evidence” of why conspiracy theorists think the things they do.

I got a little pissed, I won’t deny. I said something along the lines of, “you’re telling me that if one of these parents came up to you crying their eyes out about losing their child that you wouldn’t believe them??” Got seriously worked up here.

He calmly says, “I probably would believe them but hear me out.” Earlier in the day he was also listening to NPR but it was a different story. He said the journalists were discussing human nature. As humans, we innately, instinctively want to believe that when a person tells us something, they are telling us the truth. We don’t want to believe a person is a liar unless given an express reason why right? When presented with evidence that things may not be as they seem, how can your perspective not change a little bit? He said he’s not saying he believes his coworker but he’s not saying his coworker is wrong either. Who are we to say who’s wrong and who’s right when we aren’t personally involved you know?

My worked up emotions died at this point. I never thought about it that way. It’s hard to be completely objective when presented with different perspectives. I don’t want to believe that the world is that ugly that people would fake mass deaths but if I’m honest with myself, I’ll never know the real truth and I have to be okay with that.

It’s amazing how the course of a conversation can change in the span of minutes. I started it upset but I ended up feeling much better by the end.

This isn’t my usual happy go lucky story and I apologize if it upsets any of you but I wanted to share it to get an idea of how you all think. Do you try to look at the world objectively? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said about a person’s perspective of the world? Do you think my perspective is wrong (I won’t be offended if you do)? Let me know in the comments below.

My Weekend: Pt. 2

To read part one, see here.

So, I’d gotten my books signed from Darynda and my friend’s girlfriend asked me to get a signed book for her from J.R. Ward. Okay, I said. I can do that, no problem. I’m leaving my Darynda line when J.R. Ward and company show up and it’s a big squealing girl fest because J.R. Ward, Darynda and Karen Marie Moning are apparently really good friends. So I look over at the line and we start to try to find the end of it. It went out the area they were in, around the corner, and down a long hallway….

The things you do for friends right?

My husband, the awesome man that he is, grabs a chair out of conference room for me to sit in and then he takes all the signed books out to the car. This line is legit, intimidating. I kid you not, there were fans with suitcases of books! Like, I’m going on a trip, please check my bag type of suitcases for this woman!

We settled in for a long wait. Every time we moved a little bit, my husband would drag the chair with us. This lady behind us thought he was on to something and went and grabbed her own chair. At one point her friend asked her, “are you going to drag the chair the whole way?” And she was like, “I’m not giving up my chair til he does”, pointing at my husband.

About halfway through waiting was when I met Melanie Jayne. Besides picking her brain about being an author, I informed her about how I was standing in this ridiculous line for a friend.. Turns out, she was doing the same thing! I told her how I wasn’t a huge J.R. Ward fan and she she explained to me about the direction of the books and the spin off series. It sounded like Grey’s Anatomy to me (because I can’t not make Grey’s connections in my regular life) where you have the residents with interns and then the interns become residents and get new interns and next thing you know you’re in season 14.

Because I’m a pretty forward person, I decided to ask her if she knew why J.R. Ward had bodyguards. She looks left and right and steps a little closer to whisper the scoop to us. She said word on the street was, in years past, two fans tried to kill her. I do not make this stuff up. Why would people want to kill an author?? I mean the characters aren’t even real. Don’t get me wrong, I get attached to my characters but not to that extent. I guess the content of her stories are so dark and sometimes devastating that it upsets people or their favorites got killed off? I really don’t know. Can you imagine someone wanting to kill you because of your creative mind?

I tried to Google it to no avail. The only thing that kept popping up was #peegate because apparently at RT (Romantic Times convention), when J.R. went to go pee she went in alone and had her bodyguards prevent any other ladies from entering to pee themselves. It was big deal cause it’s a hotel and the restrooms are for everyone. But when you’re a big deal it’s only natural to create a bigger deal right?

Anyway, the book signings were only until 5 pm but J.R. Ward said she would stay until the last person. Volunteers ended up going around with sticky notes so they could write the name you wanted signed and streamlined the process. When we finally got up there, it was quite funny when J.R. Ward looked at us and goes, “Didn’t we see you in Rally’s?” I was like yep. Her bodyguard thought it was quite hilarious.

After that we drove all the way back home, dropped the rental car off, had some late night Wendy’s and went to bed. Woke up early the next morning and decided to see Wonder Woman. I think Robin Wright makes the best Amazon ever! I’m so used to seeing her in her serious role on House of Cards but she needs to act in fantasy much more often. Also, I don’t know if I was extra emotional that morning or what but by the end of the movie, I was literally trying to conceal my sobs. I’m such an easy crier. I’m thinking of creating a tag called “romances that rip your soul to pieces” and we can all list movies, TV shows and books that yank the heart strings.

Have you ever encountered a strange experience trying to do something for a friend? Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? What do you think of my tag idea? Let me know in the comments!

Size Doesn’t Matter

SHAME!

 

If your mind went straight to the gutter… well so did mine but this is my story so I don’t count.

I can’t deny that when I first read the word prompt, I thought it said ballsy (it’s actually brassy). Similar, no? Well they have the same meaning! The American language I swear…

This story is not in the gutter I promise!

Do you like spicy food? If so, you’ll love this story.

My husband works for a well known company with a lot of, mostly men, with diverse backgrounds. One day, one such friend was telling him a story about his pepper garden. He grew all kinds of hot, chili peppers. The guy told him about his setup — you know placement of peppers, care needs and jarring process for the winter. He then proceeded to to ask my husband if he had ever tried any of these peppers. Some, yes. Some, no.

I want to let you dear readers know that there is a such thing as a hotness scale. It’s called the Scoville scale. It basically measures how hot something is before it burns the tastebuds off your tongue; at least that’s how I’m dubbing it. Why people subject themselves to this kImage result for hot pepper scaleind of torture, I have no idea.

Anyway, one of the peppers he grew in his garden was the habenero. On the Scoville scale, this is rated as 200,000-350,000 heat units. The 5th hottest pepper! The hottest pepper, in heat units, is pure Capsaician with a ridiculous 15 million Scoville heat unit rating.

So this friend gives my husband two to take home and tells him to cook them up with spaghetti sauce or something to get a taste for the heat. A little goes a long way.

Remember that I said this.

I’m shown these peppers when he gets home.

This is right before the fun started. He got this idea into his head that instead of cooking them in a sauce, we should just try them the way they are. They’re tiny so they can’t be that bad right? Me, being the logical woman (keyword woman) that I am, I’m game for this test! So he has one and I have one. I take a tiny little bite. Like right off the tip! Trust me when I say its hot. I was able to tolerate it but I definitely doused my mouth with lots of water (because milk is disgusting) and some bread.

My husband sees my reaction and figures, it can’t be that bad. I try to tell him that what he’s about to do is probably not a good idea. “I’ll be fine.” Yeah, okay Hercules. So you know what he does? He decides to bite half of it. HALF. OF. IT! At first, nothing happened and I thought, okay maybe he can handle this. I mean we’ve been to Quaker Steak and Lube and were able to handle their triple hot wings just fine, especially him.

Yeah, no.

He RUNS to the bathroom and sticks his head under the sink. He then orders me to go to the kitchen to get the whole gallon of milk and the whole loaf of bread. I’m definitely in tears at this point — tears of joy and laughter! I could not stop laughing! He’s over the toilet drowning in a gallon of milk and trying to sponge the heat out of his mouth with a loaf of bread. We were living with his mom at the time and she comes running like, “What’s going on??? Are you OK???” And I can’t even speak cause I’m just sitting and laughing my ass off. In hindsight, I should have recorded it!

It probably took about an hour or so for him to be able to not breathe like dragon at which point the woman (pointing at me here) says, “That’s what you get.”

So you see, the moral of this story is size doesn’t matter matter cause tiny things can punch you in the face and make you cry. Also, when touching hot things, don’t touch your face, you know around the eye area, with said hot stained fingers. You’ll thank me later.

Turtle Power

In the midst of all that’s going on in the world right now, I feel the need to share a story that I hope will bring smiles to faces today. We all need a reprieve from life every once in a while yeah?

This is Turtle:

Let’s rewind back to oh, 2008ish. I was a freshman in college. I lived in a dorm with a roommate and my high school Biology teacher had imparted the gift of a baby corn snake to me. I named him Y because he had a Y on his head. Y didn’t last long because the stupid snake wouldn’t eat no matter what I tried. We buried Y outside under one of the trees in front of Miller.

I was following the school forum and came across a student who found this turtle in the river and didn’t want it anymore. I don’t even want to explain the lecture I gave this person about how they should have left the turtle in the river… Anyway, the turtle wasn’t doing well because she had it in a fish bowl (!!!) and basically got bored of it. It’s a turtle.. not a dog. Of course it’s going to be a bit more boring! So I got it into my head that I would rescue this turtle and give it a better life.

I decked Turtle out. Got a big 40 gallon tank and had a waterfall fountain and all these pretty stones on the bottom! It was awesome! One time I decided to try and give Turtle live fish; little comets you can get from the pet store. I bought three of them and put them in the tank. Turtle didn’t seem interested at first and then a few days later two disappeared. The last one stuck around for months! My husband named the fish Philip and I’m sitting here like don’t name the fish. Turtle needs to eat him! Philip grew and grew and I panicked because I did not want a pet fish. I tried starving turtle out for months but, I learned, turtles hibernate! One day though we did look in the tank and Philip was gone….

Back to turtles hibernating! Turtles can hibernate! This means they give their owners heart attacks because they stay underwater for days and look dead! I remember walking over to the tank and he was just sitting on the bottom. I didn’t think anything of it at first until he was still doing it the next day. I freaked out and yelled at my husband to reach in the tank and make sure Turtle was alive! I just couldn’t do it. He reached in there like a good gentleman, and gave me the same look Turtle did like “can’t a man nap in peace??” I found out later that not only can painted turtles hold their breath for an extended period of time but that when they hibernate, their metabolism slows way down to the point where they truly look dead but they are able to absorb and process oxygen from the water through their skin!

Now, I did have one other incident where Turtle gave me a heart attack. I woke up one morning to see this floating in the tank:

Once again, I could not bring myself to look into the tank for fear I’d see a dead turtle. I screamed for my husband, “I’VE DONE IT FOR REAL THIS TIME! TURTLE IS DEAD! I KILLED HIM!” I was perilously close to tears. I thought maybe a big rock or something fell on turtle and crushed his shell somehow off of him. I’m not logical when I’m panicking. My husband comes to scope the situation and just starts laughing at me. He tells me to look in the tank. I’m in denial of course so I’m begging him to just tell me and he’s enjoying my hysterics so he just keeps repeating that I should look in the tank.

There was turtle. Alive and well. I freaked out for nothing. Turns out turtles can shed. When they shed pieces of their shell, they’re called scutes. I guess it’s rare for a turtle to shed a whole scute so I had to grab him and check out his shell and make sure it wasn’t soft because it could be a sign of metabolic bone disease. Turtle was not amused and tried to bite my finger off, which btw, turtle bites hurt!

To end this longer-than-I-thought post, I want to say that Turtle did have an original name. It was MichaelAngela because an old roommate of mine insisted Turtle is a girl but that and “she” is too many syllables so its Turtle and he.

 

 

Story Inspired By

It was a strange sight, that truck drowned in overgrown grass. At least cover it up with some dirt, man. If you’ve got enough time to dig up a hole for a truck, what’s stopping you from covering it up? This was my thought process every time I walked down the street on my way to work, wondering at how lazy someone must be to half-bury a truck. The morning I shouted “holy moly”, I was thinking the same thing passing by. Was this a millennial who had done this, what with their short attention spans? And then I shouted, “Holy moly!”

via Fantastical Friday: Trucks and Trucklets — The Nash Tray

This is a first and awesome for me! My post inspired a fantastical continuation by the lovely Nashra. 😀 Check out the story and her entire blog while your there because who doesn’t love fantastical Fridays??

What’s in Your Name?

Have you ever thought about why your parents named you what they named you? Have you ever asked?

Most people are named after a family relative, you know to be a Jr. or grandma’s first name is your middle name. It’s a way to remember them by or perhaps your parents felt your ancestors were honorable so they wanted you to share that honor because you looked like a future, successful, honorable baby!

I don’t know what I’m saying. For the record, I do not have children (yet).

I asked my mother where my name came from. If you’ve been following this blog, you probably know by now that my full name is Chanel. So, why Chanel? Even my middle name is uncommon. Not that I want to be common but most middle names are Marie, Elizabeth, Ann; you know normal.

So I asked her one time. She said she thought about naming me Victoria. I do NOT look like a Victoria. I started thinking of all the nicknames; Vickie, Tory, Vicks (as in vaporub??) Definitely not a Victoria. I guess I’m grateful she didn’t named me after Game of Thrones characters like most people do nowadays (Not that Khaleessi (Daenarys) isn’t a badass name. Hell, even Cercie is a ruthless name!) I get distracted easily. Can you tell?

Anyway, my mother told me the reason my name came about is because when she was pregnant with me, Chanel No. 5 was the only perfume she could wear that would not make her vomit (cause you know I was doing a good job inducing that).

Nowadays its fun to tell that story and listen to people screw my name up. I have an imaginary T (Chantel), rhymed names (Janel, Michelle, Sherrell) and the closest word (channel) when people do not know how to pronounce it. I roll with them all, believe it or not, because usually people are being so nice that I don’t have the heart to tell them they’re butchering my name!

Do you have a name that has a unique story behind it? How about a name that people always mess up when they say it?  You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to but feel free to share your story in the comments below! 🙂