Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Big Money

I found a penny in the grocery store parking lot. I saw it as soon as I got out of the car, and just like that I was one cent richer! The Thursday before last I found 4 pennies, separately, on my walk home. Just the night before I found a quarter AND a penny in the yoga changing room.


I haven't kept a running total, but it amounts to more than a few bucks. I netted $1.22 during a 10 day trip to the Rockies. I, very literally, found a penny on top of a mountain. There it was. Sunning itself on the top of Mt. Elbert. A whole dollar came at the laundromat the next day.

But back to the grocery store. I needed quarters for laundry and I failed to get cash back at check out. I rolled the dice and went to customer service, hoping they'd just let me use them like an ATM. I did find a penny in the parking lot, maybe it was my lucky day?

"No ma'am, you have to buy something, at least $1 worth."


"Like a Powerball or Scratchers ticket."

"OH?????? Yes please! I DID just find a penny in the parking lot. Who knows, maybe I will win big and can buy my own washer and dryer!" And some way to get the hookups into my 2nd floor apartment. "I'll take a scratchers and a roll of quarters, then."

"There you go! Good Luck!"

I head to my car and FIND ANOTHER PENNY on my way out. Do people just throw them away???? I get to my car and scratch the shit out of that ticket.

I matched the first two numbers, and then three and after a flurry of metallic shavings were cleared away, I realized I had matched all 5!

I WON $10!!!!!!!

That's a lot of pennies. Thanks Universe. I appreciate ALL the money you send my way. Even the ones stuck in the cement.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I got what I paid for

I bought a Groupon for a facial. Cause, dammit, it was my birthday: Happy birthday to me. And my face. The location was in my neighborhood, which was a bonus. I set the appointment on my Birthday and arrived 10 minutes early.

After about 5 minutes wandering around a very expansive, maze like and sterile office building hallway I seriously begin to fear that I had bought a Groupon for Dexter to kill me. Did this stop me from going into Suite 226? Nope.

The esthetician was ill-prepared for my arrival. In fact, I got there 5 minutes before she did. She came into the spa with a few bags and a pile of hastily folded linens.

"Just have a seat and I'll go get the room ready."

I sit. I wait. The overhead light, kept on by motion sensor, goes out. I stand up.

My "room" is ready not long after then. I am escorted into a large, empty room with a massage table,  lots of face products and a facial steamer waiting in the far corner.

Holy shit. I am going to be sliced by this woman. 

But do Serial Killers really go so far as to set up a legit business only to then run a Groupon and kill people? Do they??? I continue to undress my upper body. At her CD player she takes no less than 4 full minutes to figure out how to work it.

Dying ON your birthday, that's kinda poetic. Right?

But alas, she was no serial killer. I am only going off the fact that she didn't kill me. The facial was OK, she was awkward and her spa had all the charm and comfort of an empty tin can. With bad fluorescent lighting. You're gonna need to put something a little heavier than a cotton ball on your clients eyes before turning on those lights after AN HOUR IN THE PITCH DARK.

Please use your Groupon money and invest in some mood lighting. Or at least some candles.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chemical Warfare

I did not need another reason for Homeland Security to keep tabs on me. But after this past weekend I may have inadvertently done just that. An upgrade from Terrorist to Bio-Terrorist. While doing a deep clean of my bathroom I accidentally made a batch of mustard gas. 

It was easier that you might think.

I used bleach to clean my shower. I had done a pretty good spray down and the smell was pretty strong. It smelled, frankly, like I was trying to clean up a murder. I poured some bleach in my toilet bowl and then, for good measure and extra "cleanliness," I put toilet bowl cleaner around the upper ring. It turned a yellow-y orange color and started to fizz.

Not taking any clue from the smell or the obvious chemical reaction, I just closed the toilet bowl lid to let it sit and began to clean the mirrors. Breathing was a little difficult and my throat was beginning to get really scratchy. I'll just breath through a towel. 

Then I started coughing. A lot. And by then I was done with the mirrors and figured it was time to scrub the totally safe and non toxic toilet. The mere act of sticking the brush into the bowl created even MORE bubbles and fizzies. No red flags have gone up. After a thorough cleansing I flushed and then Dan (in the other room) put 2 and 2 together.

"We need to evacuate the premises. You mixed bleach and ammonia."

We opened all the windows. I grabbed Sammy and Dan grabbed the computer. Once outside in the "fresh air" he googled "mixing bleach and ammonia" and according to the interwebs doing that creates mustard gas. Straight-up-will-kill-you-no-joke mustard gas.

I felt terrible. But I also felt like a dumb ass. It took almost 2 fulls days for me to feel close to back to normal and Sammy had a little cough and that just made me feel like shit too.

So, that's how I accidentally waged chemical warfare on everyone in my apartment. I hope I can't accidentally make anything else lethal out of household cleaning products. Baking soda and kitty litter doesn't make anthrax, does it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Any Guesses???

I saw this written on my kitchen dry erase board.

Any guesses on who wrote it? (hint:: it wasn't Sammy)

Any guesses on what the heck it means? 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sammy Davis Jr VS The Boyfriend

I've been mum about it here, but to those that don't know I am happy to blognouce that I have a boyfriend. Honest to goodness a flesh and bone boyfriend. Depending on how you calculate it, we've been dating anywhere from 9 to 12 months. His name is Dan and he's the cutest thing since LOLZ cat.

And speaking of cats, Dan LOVES Sammy Davis Jr. Well, he loves all animals but he thinks SDJ is pretty special. Without fail Dan will give Sammy treats and LOTS of loving every time he's over to visit. It's unfortunate that Dan is allergic to cats and therefore will get red, puffy, oozy eyes after a certain amount of time. And sometimes he'll get this red, bumpy hive looking thing on his skin too.

But like I said, he loves the little guy.

Then I started to think about it. Dan and Sammy have a lot in common. Both of them came into my life at exactly the right moment, when I was ready for their love and ready to be a responsible pet-rent/girlfriend. Each have taught me a lot about what it means to care for another living thing and with that they both have shown me the reward of fearlessly opening my heart to a new adventure.

But the similarities to do not there! Here are some quantifiable ways in which my two guys are alike:

1. They both love to cuddle. 
Sammy is special because he ALWAYS wants your attention and if you're sitting or laying down somewhere then he wants a piece of the action and will come lay down by you. Dan is the same way. He feels the world would be a much better place if there was a mandatory cuddle hour every day. And I agree.

2. Both are biters. 
If I'm petting Sammy and he isn't into HOW I'm petting him or if I stop all together, he'll bite me. Now, since he's 19 and missing a few teeth, it doesn't hurt all that bad but he still gets his point across, which is "Pet me MOAR." Dan, on the other hand, bites me because he's a little kinky. ::eyebrow wiggle::

3. Sammy is blind in his left eye and Dan is deaf in his right ear. 
Not the same thing, but still...

4. Both got hit by huge moving vehicles and lived to tell the tale. 
When Sammy was living with my grandma, many years ago, he got hit by a car. Poor guy needed a plate in his left hip and had to have his mouth wired shut because his jaw broke. A few of his whiskers are also missing and his right eye (the one that isn't sightless) is a little wonky.

Dan has a similar story. 11 years ago,  he was struck by a tram. I don't want to glaze over this harrowing and terrifying event, but it is truly a miracle that he's alive, let alone functioning at a normal level. This is how he lost hearing in his right ear.

So those are my guys. My Cuddly, Biting, Miraculous guys.

One thing they don't share is that Dan DOESN'T have a problem keeping his tongue in his mouth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is a Dweeb

I, like most suburban pre-teen girls, had a few baby sitting gigs when I was younger. There was one in particular that was prime because they had a stocked fridge. But THOSE stories are only told at my Over-Eaters Anonymous meetings.

My charges were 2 girls and a boy. None were in diapers and all were expected to listen to and obey authority. It was easy money. One night, while watching The Ten Commandments for the only-Moses-knows-how-many-eth time,  I left them arguing why the Tornado Warning on screen wasn't anything to worry about.
"It was there when mom recorded it."

"But why would it be there now if there isn't a tornado now?"

"Because it was there when we recorded it on tv"

"But why is it on the tv now?????"
Almost done with "making" (slicing apples) their snack - the argument died down and there was quiet. Then Ashley comes running up the stairs, "Tasha, two police officers are here."

What the shit?

I go downstairs and see two uniformed police officers standing at the door. One looked kinda like Tom Cruise and the other like Porky Pig. Tom Cruise Cop tell me they received a call about an intruder in the house and they came to investigate.

"I'm pretty sure it's just me and the kids here."
"Ma'am we received a call that a neighbor saw someone upstairs."

"That was me - in the kitchen."

"Who are you?"

"The babysitter."

"Can we come inside to investigate?" He moves toward to door, I block him.

I ask: "Do you have a search warrant?"

Earlier in the week my Civics class (8th grade Civics class, mind you) had gone over the limits of the police and how they could not enter a private residence without a search warrant. I have an uneasiness around police or any sort of authority figure and I was NOT comfortable letting 2 "police men" into the house. 

Porky Pig Cop laughs.

"No, we don't. But we want to make sure you guys are safe."

"Well, it's my job to keep these kids safe and I don't feel comfortable letting you in the house and since you don't have a warrant I don't have to let you in." I called the mom on the cordless phone and had the officers talk to her (outside) just to appease them.

It turns out it was the crazy neighbor who saw me in the kitchen and called the police.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Aunt Sally

My Aunt Sally died one year ago. Her physical body was very sick and in a lot of pain, it couldn't go on and she passed away last May. She was my most favorite aunt and hard to believe she was never family by blood. Sally and her "roommate" Connie moved into the neighborhood when I was in the 5th grade. They had a pair of miniature collies and I had a pair of younger brothers who loved dogs. It didn't take long for our families to adopt one another.

In my naive little bubble, the "roommate" story was believed at face value. My parents never talked about it. My dad's ultra conservative culture doesn't allow for homosexuality. If you're found to be doing anything sexual with someone of the same sex they will straight up kill you. I am not kidding. So my dad never, in my presence, questioned their relationship. He had to believe it.

Years went by and with every birthday, holiday and family vacation I began to wonder.

Maybe Sally and Connie are gay? For each other!

This was a pretty big leap for me. I grew up in a community that was both Jesus zealous and old world Iranian (an interesting dichotomy in and of itself). Each one told me that being a lesbian would earn you the eternal damnation of a fiery hell.

They can't go to a fiery hell! I love them! They love me! 

This realization also coincided with Ellen's coming out on in 1997.

Ellen is so funny! I'm not so sure about this "gay people are sinners" thing. 

It would be many more years later for me to ask Sally about her sexuality. She and I were in her classroom (she was a professor) and I worked up the courage to ask. We talked for quite some time about LOTS of things. Our relationship was all of a sudden adult.

When the president signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), I was enraged. I wrote a letter telling the story of my beautiful aunts and their committed relationship. The loved they shared was no different then the loved that pulsed through other committed hearts. I could not and would NOT support DOMA.

Suffice it to say, Obama's words this week have bitter-sweetly marked this anniversary for me.

Sally - in both the physical and spiritual world, you have taught me much and more about love. I know that you feel no pain now and for that I am happy and find peace. So why does it hurt?

I miss you.

I love you more.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I stiiiiiiilllll got it

There's a good reason why I haven't been boring all of you with my bad, awkward and terrible date stories.

I gots me a man, y'all.

Honest! I don't see any dating stories in the near future and that is a very good thing. And since I like to think of myself as conscious to my reader's needs (Hi Megan), I shall transition to stories of my awkward, bad and terrible interactions in non-date situations.

That Time with Doug Frost
KC locals will know Doug Frost as the host of Check Please, KC! One random Wednesday night I was at a bar for a show and I noticed him and with liquid courage coursing through my liver, I walked over and chatted him up! I could tell he recognized that he should know me, but the he was clueless as to who the fuck I was. And I'm pretty sure it was just the hair he recognized. By the time the exchange was over, I never did give him my name but he did hear the time I accidentally spilt beer on his boss.

The Time with Randy Mason
Randy Mason is Doug Frost's boss, an executive director for KCPT. Russell's awesome and amazing Black House was performing and he was there... y'know, doing his job on being hip to Kansas City. He was literally 10 feet from me and the exchange went something like this:

Me: OH MY GOD! I'm a huge fan! ::extend hand to shake but in doing so I slop a good portion of the beer I am holding onto him.

Me: OH MY GOD! I'm so sorry.

The Time with My New NeighborI had gotten my bike out of storage and was doing quarter mile sprints around the neighborhood. I saw her car pull up when I was a couple houses away. I was SO excited to meet her AND I had just done 2 sprints. I don't need any help coming off slightly TOO excited about life and being out of breath did me no favors. "HI! ::inhale:: mynameisNatashaandI'msooooooooooooooooooo ::inhale:: excited to meet ::inhale:: YOU!"

"Bless your heart."

That was her actual to goodness response.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

If I'm not...

...already on some FBI/CIA/PTA watch list, I am now. I picked up 3 separate Farsi CD courses from the library last week and today my Iranian birth certificate arrived via FedEx! Woot! one step closer to my securing my Iranian passport. I'll be heading there next year, if all goes well.

And by "all goes well" I mean hopefully they don't try to blow up Israel.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Awareness FALE

Clover Noir has a show this Saturday. I put this flier in the break room at work.

A developer approached me later and said "I didn't know you played the violin! I thought you played the cello"

So I said "No Jon, I play the violin. I don't know how to play the cello."

Now. I've worked with this dude for over 2 years. For 6 months of those two years, we worked in the same friggin ROOM. A glorified conference room crammed full of computers, developers and me. There was also a singing bass on the wall, but that is irrelevant to this story.
Each week I bring my violin to work. Most times I go straight to rehearsals after work, I have it with me. And now with multiple projects, I sometimes bring it multiple times per week. The "tommy gun" jokes have gotten a little old. Thankfully people have stopped commenting.

"So you mean to tell me that the time I came to your concert to watch you, you weren't playing the cello?"

::blink:: "No."

"You mean I watched the wrong person that whole time?"

Seriously? I mean, I know it's slighty vain to think that he is THAT in tune with what size the instrument I'm lugging around is, but... c'mon. Our cello section is all guys and one old lady. Plus - yeah, I can't get over the size difference. Violin is to cello what fun size reeces cup is to regular size cups. Clearly noticable. AND THE HAIR! I KNOW for a fact that the size of this poof has made me discernable in a huge crowd, don't tell me you couldn't pick me out.

Was your inner monologue something lilke Hmmmm this sure is pretty music. But why does Natasha have gray hair and a bald spot? HEY! Look, there is someone else in the Orchestra that looks JUST like her - but - she's not playing some other... so... SQUIRREL!

ps - come to my show on Saturday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Planter who's a fuck it?"

My left foot is doing A LOT better but it was touch and go there for a few weeks. At the worst moment - some time mid January - as I was crawling around my apartment, refusing to cry, I had to remind myself that no one ever died from plantar fasciitis.

"Planter who's a fuck it?" you ask?

It's ok - I had no idea what it was either. I explained to someone why I was limping, she said it sounded like plantar fasciitis and when I responded "Planter who's a fuck it?" she said to google "my foot hurts."

At this point there had been a mild to moderate pain and stiffness in my foot that had not gotten better after two weeks of "walking out" the pain. Actually it had gotten worse. Go figure. I had an ace bandage that provided some relief but mostly the thing that made it feel better was not being the fuck on it.

So, I web-diagnosed myself and the verdict did, indeed, come back with the dreaded PF. After extensive research (I think I went to like 8 or 9 websites) I decided that I could recover without seeing a doctor. I just needed to wear supportive shoes, stretch the muscles and buy shoe inserts! I was as good as healed.

So I stretched. I stretched it EVERY way there was to stretch. Sitting stretches, standing stretches, walking stretches. There was relief. At first. Maybe I was over-zealous (who??  ME???) and I went bat-stretch crazy. When I heard (and felt) a loud "POP!" one afternoon, I didn't think too much of it. Then my foot started to hurt a little bit extra. And no amount of stretching was making it feel better. In fact, the stretching was now making it feel worse.

"Could it be broken?" Asked a co-worker. I assured him that I had gone to WebMD and was certain that it was Plantar Fasciitis. "You're lucky,' he said "every time the internet diagnoses me I have terminal cancer."

It was the next evening that I abandoned using my feet. Crawling was my mode of transport. My foot was so swollen and couldn't stand any... ANY sort of weight to be on it. I cried myself to sleep. It was pathetic. The next day, after confessing to Megan that my food looked a little pregnant, I went to see a doctor.

She confirmed the Planter who's a fuck it diagnosis but said that I also had a pretty bad sprain of my inside deltoids as well. I relived the POP I had heard a few days ago. I hadn't even sprained my ankle in a cool way. I sprained it STRETCHING. Least sexy injury ever. Maybe second to getting whiplash from a mega sneeze. The sprain had to fully heal first before I could get the PF any better. She gave me an air-cast and I borrowed a cane from a friend and I had a new lease on walking! I was still way slow and gimpy, but I could move!

My sprain is good and healed and my foot as a whole it doing a lot better. I still have to wear sneakers with support insoles. One of the most important things to heal properly is to stretch the foot (maybe a bit more gently this time). The Doc prescribed stretching every day and showed me a few stretches to do. "Also, write out the whole alphabet with your foot. That will be a great exercise."

You guys... and this is the whole point of my story... every time I start in on my foot-alphabet, I get to the  "K" and I start spelling my last name. And don't even notice for another 4 or 5 letters. EVERY. TIME. Somewhere around the "H I J K" I fall into auto-mode and start spelling "Derka Derka Muhammad Jihad Allah"

Surprised? Amused? Concerned? I haven't decided.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Clover Noir

So my "followers" increase by almost 20% when I DON'T blog? That's backwards math. Or just the internets telling me to keep my blog-hole closed. Hmmm...
Last April I was wrangled into a music project that has, surprisingly, thrilled, challenged and delighted me. A local singer/song writer was looking for a pair of violins to accompany him and enhance his songs. In artsy-fartsy speak "give it an interesting texture."

A couple weekends ago we had our performance debut (If you don't count the pair of open mic nites we went to). And to boot we got a % of the cover and a free pitcher of beer. I can get used to this rock and roll life style.

The groups name is Clover Noir and this song is called "Trust Me."