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Posts tagged ‘dead’

Route 17 Road Trip

Day One

USS North Carolina Battleship, with Wilmington, NC

USS North Carolina Battleship, Wilmington, NC

When we set out from Oriental, North Carolina Friday morning, the first real stop on Route 17 was the USS North Carolina Battleship, across the water from downtown Wilmington.

In the little park outside the battleship, a monument was dedicated to “sailors on eternal patrol.” It was here a goose

Hissing Goose

Hissing Goose (I’m not sure which one hissed)

hissed at me and we were warned not to feed the alligators.


In the small town of Southport, we ate salads and happened upon a vegan bath and body shop. That’s where I got the lemongrass lotion, whipped from shea butter and other organic materials. I’ve been lathering it on my body ever since.

After dark, the Great Hotel Search commenced. Every person along the eastern seaboard was apparently stopping the night in Savannah. I believe we literally got the last room in the city. The pillows were bizarrely small, about half the size of regular pillows, but the bed had twice as many, so you really got the standard number of pillows.

In the room that night, we read what the internet had to offer about the crime in Savannah and were convinced we’d be murdered the minute we left the hotel. Whose stupid idea was it to come here?

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Grandpa and Kennedy

“Did you know Grandpa had something to do with bringing Kennedy’s body back?”  My sister asks me this as we’re walking from the Armory to the Metro after a roller derby bout.  It was the day after the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

As a child, 25 years after the assassination, I loved playing with my grandparents’ matryoshka doll whenever I visited.  In their living room, they sat in chairs on opposite sides of the couch.  While my grandma wrapped herself in a blanket in the corner, my grandpa was usually chewing tobacco in his recliner and spitting the juice in a styrofoam cup.  When I got older, I was surprised to hear people talk about how nasty and disgusting chewing tobacco is: nothing about my grandpa’s chewing repulsed me then, and, as I’ve gotten older, it has become a fond memory.

After my sister imparted the news about Grandpa and Kennedy, I turned to my father over Thanksgiving for the complete story.   Read more

My Uncle and the Snakes

It takes some mental acrobatics, but you can almost picture my uncle as a young child if you try.  Ditching school, jumping off the roof because he thinks he’s Superman, teaching relatives the hula: this cute kid today oozes cool through his “Yeah, man”s and clipped phone calls to unidentified people I’ve named Shorty.  One Christmas, years ago, he gave my sister and me two packages of CDs — one for each.  On the wrappings, he wrote something like this: “Jen/Jess/switch/swap/Tweedle-Dee/Tweedle-Dum/Booger1/Booger2/give/take/share/keep.”  Fifty years ago, I wonder if anyone thought he’d one day say to his niece (i.e., me), “Look, Tweedle-Dum, I thought you were supposed to be smart,” when she failed to grasp the finer points of Bridge during his five-minute explanation.

On Thanksgiving, I asked him about the snake problem I’d heard he’d been having over the summer.

He said that he’d had four under the fireplace in his house.

“How did you know?”

“I could hear them rustling.”

“How did you know there were four?  Did you count them?” Read more

Pests and Predators

I’m not sure when I started growing a bit more (than usual) worried about being attacked and murdered.  It was before the Ohio kidnapping and rescue story, although that gruesome reminder that some sack of shit men think they’re entitled to do whatever they want with girls and women didn’t help.  I usually carry pepper spray whenever I walk anywhere, and I have a rape whistle on my keychain, but it was around that time that I bought a tire thumper and more pepper spray for my bedside.  I actually did some searching on “best baseball bats for self-defense” and found spray that marks the attacker.  And when the items arrived, I hoped more than I hope about most everything that they were a total waste of money and I would never need to use them.

The home is the one place everyone should feel safe and comfortable, and whenever I hear about anything ranging in degree from mold growth to home invasions, I feel a little ache for the victims who, on top of whatever else, have lost a sense of security in their homes.
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When I found mouse droppings under my kitchen sink earlier this week, I quickly went through the initial stages of grief.  First, denial: those are “rust droppings,” I told myself, peering up at the underside of the sink, looking for evidence that it was falling apart, which I would have much preferred to the evidence of a mouse.  When I had to let the rust droppings (whatever those are) go, my denial turned to rage, and I burst into angry tears.  Now, I must be in bargaining, because if the whole mouse business will just go away, I promise to be nicer to people and to stop watching so much tv.
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