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Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Only Have Two Words For This Day


The girls falling to their knees in anguish as the Ducks lose to Florida.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mickey Mouse is Cursed

About a week ago I wrote some about my troubles in finding Mickey Mouse paraphernalia for my daughter's birthday party. It was my original belief that perhaps there was a weird boycott going on that prevented the selling of any and all things Mickey Mouse.

It was so bad that all my daughter's Mickey Mouse favors were bought at the Dollar Tree.

Anyway, the day of my daughter's birthday party arrives and I have a pretty full morning schedule, but I also have a plan. Chris is going to come over and watch the girls while I go to my Doctor appointment, pick up the cake, and go to the Pizza place to decorate. I've loaded everything into the car either the night before or just prior to her arrival and I'm off.

First stop is the Doctor office, which takes a little bit longer than I had hoped for, but since I love my Doctor I was okay with that. Besides, it wouldn't take me that long to decorate, I thought. The appointment went... as to be expected... and I left with a new meter in hand. (Yea!)

Next was a stop to get a Mickey balloon (at the Dollar Tree), then I stopped to get the cake. I'm now running 10 minutes later than what I had budgeted, but still feeling optimistic.

I arrive at the Pizza place and start pulling out the first round of items to be taken inside to start the decorating process. I walk up to the door, grab the handle, and... kathunk. I shake it. Kathunk, kathunk, kathunk. O-kay...

I readjust the stuff I'm holding and walk over to the other door. Same thing. The doors seem to be locked, which is odd since, yep, yep, I look at the sign, they open at 11am.

It's now 11:10.

I had called the day before to place the order for the pizza and just make sure that someone would be there to hook up the DVD player to the big tv so that we could watch Mickey movies, so I know that they know I'm coming... with 25 of my daughter's closest friends. So, what now?
The girls are at home and the time is creeping toward the 11:20 mark. I have to drive the 15 minutes to get them and then 15 minutes back and they are not dressed in their party clothes yet. People will be there in 40 minutes and I'm starting to panic. Where is everyone?!

A lone car drives into the driveway and parks. "Oh thank goodness", I think, but the relief is short lived. She doesn't have a key. Luckily, she has a cell phone and she starts dialing, but she's not able to get ahold of anyone! It takes 5 minutes to reach anyone with a key and that person is 10 minutes, at best, from being at the building. I can't wait that long because I have to be back before the party starts at noon.

The girl offers to bring the stuff I've pulled from the car inside and start decorating for me once the building is unlocked. So, after pulling the cake from my car, because the girls wouldn't fit if it was in there (not to mention that toddlers and a cake probably don't mix well), and setting that on the bench outside, and then giving all of my trust to this lonely person outside the building, I'm off to get the girls.

Drive home. Grab girls and put in car. Request Chris stop and get me COFFEE!!! And we are OFF!

I make it back in record time, but there are already people (mainly my dad) in the parking lot. That's odd, I think. The doors should be unlocked by now.

My dad gets out of the car and tells me that he thinks they are not open yet since the doors are still locked. I'm pulling the kids from the car and preparing to go inside when the girl that was there earlier runs outside to tell me that the person that drove down with the keys did not unlock the front doors for some odd reason and asks us to come in the back door. I say okay and grab the girls' party clothes and turn around... to see the same girl from the pizza place walk around the corner and tell me that the back door locked behind her.

We're locked out again.

With no choice but to change the girls outside, I give my niece to my dad along with her clothes and hoist the short person up onto the car to change her... as three more cars for the party arrive.

And it starts to rain.

And my daughter starts sobbing.

Oui Vey.

There hits a point where you have to accept the unexpected and realize that your perfectly prepared, four weeks in the making, plans are not going to be anything near what you expected. There comes a point where you say, "Okay. Whatever happens, happens. It's all about the people and about making sure my daughter has fun." This was that moment.

At 12:05, the owners and about 20 employees they picked up along the way, drove into the parking lot and let us in. I went against my own "You are the guest, sit and enjoy yourself" rule and put people to work helping to decorate. The employees busted butt to get everything ready and...

I think the party turned out great. Chaotic. Loud. But wonderful. Definitely one for the books and for this blog.

But I swear, Mickey Mouse is cursed. I didn't even get the invitations in the mail! They are all still sitting in my briefcase at home. Thank goodness for email-- although... LMAO... even that was its own funny story since I used a font no one could read on the emailed invitation.

The Short Person Enjoying a Slice of Pizza at Her Party. Since it was a Mickey Mouse party, everyone got mouse noses and whiskers painted on and a pair of mouse ears-- which my daughter would not wear. LOL

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Toilet of Terror

I think my horoscope may have had a point yesterday when it said, "Today, you have bitten off more than you can chew."

From the moment that I picked up the girls from the sitter's I knew I was in for a night. It was constant screaming, bickering, and "Mom, she's looking at me!".

We got home and I proceeded to make dinner-- and attempt to settle arguments in the interim, feed the girls, and then get them ready for bed. In between the feeding and the bedtime, the bickering and screaming got so bad that I decided to sit them at the table and let them paint for awhile. This, unfortunately, did not go as smoothly as planned. For one thing, I'd forgotten that a two-year-old likes to taste-test every new substance put in front of them.

Once I'd finished eating my dinner (thankfully the quiet lasted that long), I went back to see what they were doing trying not to look at the paint on the tables, walls, and sent them straight to the bedroom so that I could get in there and take a baby wipe to their painted faces, hands, and hair. While they were walking down the hall, I hurried and picked up the paint, water dishes and brushes and moved the wet paintings to newspaper to dry.

It was about this time that I noticed that things had gotten unusually quiet. Quiet and toddlers is NOT a good thing when that quiet is not a direct response to something you've had control over. But my wait for answers was not long in coming as the tiny one showed up in front of me covered in toilet paper and water.

"What the hell?" I murmured, looking across the room at my husband who was lying on the couch, but he was oblivious to everything but the UCLA game.

Following the trail of water droplets down the hall and toward the short person's bedroom, I found my daughter standing just outside the bathroom instead, dripping wet with wads of wet toilet paper in her hands.

"What... is going on here?" I asked, putting a lid on my short-fused temper. I peered into the bathroom and groaned. "Were you playing in the toilet?!"

"Uh-huh. We were trying to fix it." The short person replied.

I can, unfortunately, tell that she has recently used it and forgotten or refused to flush it and I feel the roots of my hair stand on end. My face turns red and I wait for that feeling of my head lifting and spinning around a few times to take place. Once it does and I can once again breathe normally, I look at her.

"What... exactly... needed to be fixed?"


"You know you are not supposed to play in the toilet, right?"

"Well... She did it first, Mom."

I look at her, trying to assess whether she is pulling my leg and trying to get out of what she must have know was a world of trouble.

It was one of those parenting moments where you are sure that other people have been through this before and yet there are no crib notes on how to proceed. I stood there, looking at her, trying to figure out how to simultaneously get through her skull all the things that could happen because of toilet germs and keep the "I'm really mad" facade going. Sighing, I make a decision.

"Even if she started it, it does not mean that you need to jump ship too. YOU knew it was wrong and you still chose to do this, so what do you think your punishment should be? A time-out or spanking?" I've now gotten the really mad point across because she's crying now.

"I need a hug, Mom."

I hug her and tell her to sit down in the bathroom floor. "What do you think your punishment should be?"

"I don't want a spanking." She's crying.

Since I'm not all that mad anymore, just resigned, I start in. "You cannot play in the toilet. There are germs in there that will make you really sick. You will need to go to the Doctor and stay in the hospital. I love you and I don't want that to happen to you." I look at her and she's looking at me.

"Okay, Mom."

"So, I still need to know how we should proceed. What's a good punishment."

She's looking at me miserably and I'm thinking. Since I don't have the energy for a 10 minute scream fest when I put her in time-out, and I don't believe in spanking without at the very least a warning that the action taken is a spanking offense, I make a decision.

"You said that tiny person started this first and was involved, right?"

The short person nods.

"Okay. Sit there, I'll be right back." I go into the living room and retrieve the other culprit in this disaster and bring her back into the bathroom. Since tiny person hasn't heard the lecture, I give her a brief run-down. "There will be no more playing in the toilet. It will make you very sick if you do. The next time, you will both be spanked. THIS is a spanking offense and that will be your consequence."

Both girls are now looking at me with the "Wow, she really means business" expression and I nod to make sure they know I'm the mean mommy right now. "Your punishment for this time will be to clean up the floor."

I pull out two of the Lysol wipes and hand one to each girl and they set off cleaning the floor while I do the toilet. The short person is complaining that I'm doing her job and I reiterate that the toilet can make her sick and only Mommies and Daddies can clean them.

After about five minutes of cleaning, and they did a really good job of it too, my daughter says the funniest thing to me.

"This is SO MUCH FUN, Mom!"

I looked at her, somewhat disgruntled, and reply, "This is punishment... it's not supposed to be fun!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mel and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

(For this particular blog a day = 24 hours.)

Mel went grocery shopping and when she got home realized that she had left one bag at the checkout station and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
While putting away the groceries she felt dizzy and had an upset tummy and sore throat and knew that her husband had given her his cold and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Then, also while putting away the groceries, her husband told her that he found a letter written to her by a friend 15 YEARS AGO that played with the idea that she may have had multiple partners way back when and then didn't believe her when she tried to explain that it was a joke, and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

When all the groceries were put away, she logged on to her message center to find a note from a friend that seemed to suggest that she had "scared" him a little with how flamboyant she is and Mel knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Mel tried to go to bed at midnight only to find a dog made yucky blanket in her spot and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Then she had to sleep on the couch where her 3-year old daughter came and slept on top of her so that she could not move all night and didn't get any good sleep and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

When she got up to get the kids ready and out the door she found that one of them had completely soaked herself through the night and needed to be changed because she was covered in peepee and Mel knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Then, once the kids were safely in the car and she came back inside to put the diaper wipes and baby powder away she picked them up and realized that the outside of the containers were wet and that it was because the dog peed on them and she knew it was going to be a TERRIBLE, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Then when she tried to take pictures of some things she was going to put on Ebay before work, her camera batteries expired three times until she finally found two that would work and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

She went to download them onto the computer and it took 30 minutes to start, restart, and open all the pages and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

When she got out of the shower she realized that the only pair of pants left clean to wear was the one with the button missing that made her tummy look like Mrs. Clause's and she knew it was going to be a terrible, HORRIBLE, no good, very bad day.

Because of the aforementioned she was running very late, which meant no coffee from her favorite coffee place and she knew that this meant that it would be a terrible, horrible, no good, VERY BAD DAY!!!

The very second she walked though the office door she was bombarded with stupid questions and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY!!!!!!!

Then, when lunch finally rolled around and she went to go get her groceries back (since they found them, thank goodness!) she purchased a CD visor for her car... and spent 10 minutes in the parking lot trying to figure out how to install it... and another 5 minutes while they made her lunchtime coffee... until she GAVE UP and she knew it was going to be a terrible, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When she finally made it back to work she was completely sick, frustrated with her car, unable to concentrate, sick to her stomach, and she knew... IT WAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How to know March Madness has gotten the best of you

So, it probably will not come as a surprise to many of you that I have a few brackets going for the NCAA Tourney. One was sort of an error-- something went wildly wrong and I couldn't change some of my picks before they locked it. It kept kicking me out. The other is what I hope will happen. In other words the Oregon Ducks are sweeping this whole freaking thing and NOT taking names!

Go Ducks!

Anyway, since the games started on Thursday, I've pretty much been eating and breathing basketball and brackets and I think it has gotten the best of me.

This morning the short person crawled into bed with us. It stirred me awake a little, but not enough to leave la-la land and completely join the world. Short person asks me a question and my own voice jars me awake. I don't remember what her question was, but I remember that my answer was...

"I don't know, Honey. She's going to have to fill out her bracket first before I can figure that out."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Subway Stripper, Part 2 / I don’t like hot dogs!!

The girls are all wearing name tags and have with them carry-on totes, the kind with wheels. I've noticed this prior to the black guy's arrival, but believed that they were fellow scrapbookers. Large totes of paper, stickers, and scissors is... hell, a prerequisite for any serious scrapbooker. I remember that two of the girls were named Kelli. Kelli B and Kelli G.

We've been on the train for maybe 5 minutes and were making out way through downtown Portland. Somewhere near Pioneer Courthouse Square, we stop and the elderly lady sitting in the seat next to Anj gets up and leaves and a black guy with a green sweatshirt, jeans, and a green and white striped shirt gets on.

I notice him right away because he has the hood on the sweatshirt up, which strikes me as odd on a day when it is actually not raining in Oregon. As a matter of fact, we'd been getting sunbreaks all day. The hood up usually gives a clear signal of "Don't mess with me, I'm scary."

So of course, he chooses to sit in the middle of an estrogen field of fifteen girls. There are three next to him, four across from him, Anj and I standing in the car connection, and another six or so in seats beyond us.

He takes down his hood and looks around. "Kelli B. and Kelli G! Hey now, why are you all wearing name tags?" He grins with an I'm as charming as they come smile and waits for an answer.

The girls, who had been having individual, quiet conversations up to this point, hesitate for a moment. The expression of "scary black dude at 12:00" clearly written on their faces.

"I bet I know. You're all here to go clubbing, eh? One of those other clubs. Those not so straight clubs. Those clubs to the... left."

The girls are all saying "Hey, hey, hey... woa." with an equally horrified expression on their faces, but the guy is still grinning at them with the whole, "I'm more charming than snot" pose. Clearly teasing.

One of the girls hesitantly replies, "We're here for a bachelorette party."

"Yeah, the bride didn't even know we were all coming. We surprised her." Came from another voice somewhere across from him and to the right.

"It's actually all of us." another voice said, pointing to the six girls beyond Anj and I, all of whom were wearing the same sort name tag.

"Get back! Really? That's cool. That's cool." He thought for a moment, looking at them. "I bet I can guess which one the Bride is." Nodding his head for emphasis.

The girls exchanged a look of "hey, why not" and replied, "Okay... go ahead!"

I'm eavesdropping on the conversation. Anj and I had been having one, but at some point-- probably the whole "to the left" thing-- I got distracted. So I've heard the challenge get dropped. Keep in mind we are on a train that likes to jostle you around a bit, so what I expected was that the guy would simply stay in his seat while looking the girls over and making his determination.

That's not what happened.

The guy bounces out of his seat and to the front of the rows of girls and puts his hand to his chin in classic Thinker's pose. "Hmmm..." At which point, a flood of hearty laughter fills the car and I realize that this little conversation has had a larger impact than just the immediate audience.

Proceeding to walk the aisle way more gracefully than a cat on the prowl he takes a moment to look each of the girls over trying to ascertain which of them looked like the most likely party. It could not have been easy since, at this point, he had the complete attention of all of them and they in turn were grinning at him like Cheshire cats.

Stopping about midway, he looks at one girl and says "It's you, isn't it. It's you."


"Now wait, I didn't say 'final answer'. I was just thinking out loud. It's not you."

Another round of hearty laughter fills the MAX train and he prowls some more.

"Hmmm... maybe it's you. Nah..."

He does this for about two minutes before sitting down and looking at the girl sitting behind me. She looks as though she's had the flu for about two weeks and has dragged herself out of bed based solely on the fact that she wasn't going to miss this party for anything. Death be damned.

"It's YOU! Final answer. You have that sick to your stomach, 'Oh God, I'm getting married!' look about you. It's you."

The girl, who apparently had been sick for the past few days, had a completely shocked look on her face. "No... it's not me..."

The other girls, who were having trouble containing their chuckles and giggles at his choice, piped up. "You know, you're missing a very important way of telling which one of us it is."

"Right! It's green. I'm wearing green, so it has to be someone who is wearing green."

Confused looks were exchanged and more laughter is echoing around the train car.

"No. You forgot to see who was already married!" Immediately, thirteen sets of hands buried themselves beyond view.

"Rings! I forgot to look at rings!" He gets up again and begins prowling once more, attempting to find hands and fingers vacant of ring, then sits back down and points at another girl. "It's you! No ring on your hand."

The girls are laughing, giggling, and chuckling, and the woman who has been chosen looks like she just swallowed a frog. "Uh, no... it's not me." She holds up a hand to show him the rings.

"Well... yeah, but those are on the wrong hand! It's you. I know it's you."

More giggles and a voice pipes up to say, "No. She hates men. She's 'been there, done that'."


He ponders his decision, chatting with the girls, for a few more minutes until his eyes fall on one last victim. The only girl without a name tag, without a suitcase, and without a ring. "Ah-ha! It's you!"

The girls all grin and a round of "yep, it's her" echoes through the air.

"Yeah. I knew it was her. She's wearing green and I'm psychically connected to everything green."

There is muffled laughter coming from everywhere on this one, mostly because I think many people-- including me-- couldn't tell if he really thought he was serious, but the muffles turned into full force hearty laughter when the first girl, we'll call her Sickly, piped up and said, "Yeah... that's why he chose me first."

Not a spec of green anywhere on her.

Now that the show was over, or so we thought, we turned back to our conversation, but about 90 seconds later turned back-- just in time to see the funniest damn thing I can remember about the ride.

The guy and the girls had obviously been having a conversation about the Bachelorette party and whether or not there would be a stripper there. I deduced this because the guy was now slowly and seductively trying to peel his green sweatshirt away from his chest. All while humming the cheesy music you find only in porn movies. He did this sitting down for a minute, but then stood up and proceeded to go into full act using the end poles from one of the seats to complete his act.

The full car was in uproarious laughter once more.

"I know, we're going to call you The Subway Stripper!" yelled one of the girls. After this comment, there was a bit of back and forth about whether they could use that title since we were technically on a lightrail, but I think the name stuck.

There was a round of picture taking with the guy and the bride, who was blushing as expected.
"Ho, wow! Is that digital? Oh great. Let me see the picture. I need to make sure I look cute enough for her, otherwise you'll have to take a few more."

The girl who had been taking the picture obliged and showed him the results.

"Okay, I guess I'm cute enough."

The Subway Stripper.

After this, he broke out into a lusty rendition of the song "Lean on Me" with a few of the girls singing along.

All in all, it was the most interesting train ride I've had in awhile. The unexpected making for a memorable day.

Once I got back to my car my head was pounding from lack of food and coffee, but I was going to be late picking up the girls if I stopped so I forged on. When I finally got to TJ's house, my head was killing me and I couldn't do much more than wince whenever I moved so I didn't have time to ask any questions about how their day had been.

But once in the car, Short Person wasted no time filling me in.

"Mom, you need to tell TJ I don't like HOT DOGS!"

"Hot dogs? Honey, I didn't pack you hot dogs."


"How was your day. Did you have fun?"


"Did you get into trouble?"

"Yeah. They said I had to have one more bite or no Popsicle. Mom, you need to tell TJ I DON'T LIKE HOTDOGS!"

"Hot dogs?"

"I DON'T LIKE THEM! and they said 'one more bite!' "

Clearly, she's upset. But I hadn't packed hotdogs. I'd packed mac and cheese, which I knew they had eaten because I had brought two and one was given back to me.

LOL... She told me to tell TJ about three more times after that, including that I needed to do it before she went over the next time so that TJ would remember. I didn't know what to say, so I went ahead and did as requested via email.

Guess what? Apparently, they did have hotdogs.

I cracked up laughing. We now all know how she feels about hot dogs and I'm impressed as a loon at how well the short person did communicating with me.

The ending to a very long, very odd, day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Subway Stripper

I have sat down at this computer, to write about life over the last several weeks, many, many times... obviously to no avail. Life, it would seem, has chosen me for the busy buzzy bee role. The biggest highlight of which was the temporary adoption of one more toddler in the household.

Since I believe in the total immersion program ("Hello child, I'm going to pretend that you've been in our house for the last three years so that I can potentially trick myself into believing that I can do this and have been doing this all along.") I have rearranged our house to accommodate another toddler bed, stocked enough groceries to feed seven very hungry two-year-olds, and supplied my coffee addiction until my pupils are dilated to unnatural orbs. While this method seems to be working-- my house is actually still clean, the laundry is done, and I'm cooking dinner-- it has left me dizzy with tired. Bedtime: 1 a.m.

In addition to that I have work, my daughter's quickly approaching birthday, a remodel of our bedroom, and an assortment of personal things I want to get done-- including the final edits on THREE stories.

Life is crazy.

But, not without humor.

Last Friday seems to have been the pinnacle of what could happen when one just lets life hand them the unexpected.

It started with my getting both girls ready to go to a different babysitter than normal. The person that usually watched the short person had another commitment and I felt it would be easier if she didn't have them. So, that morning, I set out to get them dressed and fed and to TJ's house.

Now, I should start by explaining that I don't normally do this as you may expect that I would. My husband usually drives them to the babysitter's very early in the morning where they go back to bed for a couple hours making dressing in play clothes and breakfast unnecessary.

Not this day. No, this day it was my responsibility and... somewhere between dressing and breakfast all hell broke loose. A chore that probably should have taken a half hour took two-- and the pancakes turned out more like Frisbees, not helping the situation. But finally, I managed to get them out the door, stuffed animals, lunch, and all. Late, but in one piece.

I dropped the girls off, talked for too long, and then hopped in my car to go driving all over the western part of the state looking for Mickey Mouse paraphernalia, planning to grab my coffee on the way through town. I forgot, which turned out to be only one of my beginning troubles.

The first store I planned to try was the Disney Store at the mall 45 minutes away. Since there was also a KB Toy store there, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. I arrived at the mall, parked the car relatively close to a door, and wandered in.

The first thing I discovered is that the KB Toy store has apparently gone out of business because they are no longer there, which is not good because now I need to add one more stop to the long list of stops so that I can pick up my daughter's birthday presents. Resigned, I found the map listing the location of the stores and ventured down the corridor to Disney.

Now, you'd expect that they would have Mickey Mouse everything, yes? Mickey Mouse shirts, stuffed animals, plates... you name it, Mickey should be a large presence. After all, Disney was formed on the very little mouse that I sought. I needed party invitations and Mickey Mouse ears, and I hoped a t-shirt for my daughter to wear at her Mickey Mouse party.

Okay folks, there must be a Mickey Mouse boycott that I don't know about because there was NOTHING!

I take that back. I found some little Mickey ear shaped containers and a cup and a t-shirt that I didn't like. But that... was... it.

I circled the store in disbelief for about 30 minutes unable to accept what my eyes were not seeing before deciding to leave, adding a few more stores to the list I had going of where I needed to stop.

On my way back to my car, I decided to go upstairs in Sears and look for clothes for our newly, temporarily, adopted daughter. Most of the shirts that had been packed for her were getting a little small and I wanted to check out the clearance racks. Nothing. I found nothing for her, but a ton for my daughter-- who has more clothes than... jeez, Jennifer Lopez maybe. I talk myself out of all but one thing (and for the life of me, I can't remember what that was).

Finally, I'm back to the car, but I've recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that would like to go with me to the scrapbooking convention in town. I have 45 minutes to make the next stop-- the Current outlet, which is 15 minutes away-- and get to the lightrail station to meet her.
I get to where the outlet store is only to find out that they too have gone out of business. 30 minutes to go.

Now that I've discovered that this store is also no longer, I look around to see what stores there are and discover a JoAnn's fabrics and a Dollar Tree. Since I thought that I might be able to MAKE a Mickey t-shirt for my daughter, it was JoAnn's fabrics first where I did actually find ONE Mickey Mouse applique. Okay, if all else fails, I at least have something. I purchase it and make my way to Dollar Tree. Luckily, they too had Mickey Mouse items. Coloring books to be exact, and crayons. Not much, but a start in the whole party favor idea thing. I've spent the entire time looking through all the coloring books (roughly 1000 of them) and now only have two minutes left.

I met my friend and we made our way to the Convention Center. It is now nearly 1 p.m. and I'm beginning to feel the effects of no coffee or food since lunch the day before. But, there's no time to ponder that since we only had an hour and a half to cruise through 100 vendors all selling scrapbookware.

But not before I witness my first drug deal on the train.

Anyway, at the Convention Center we went through what was the fastest hour and a half of my life and by the time we got done I was dizzy. DIZZY dizzy. Bought some cute stuff though and am looking forward to using it :)

It should be mentioned that while I have a ton of experience riding the MAX, the choice of whom we sit next to is usually a decision that my youngest sister makes. She will board the train, find the absolutely scariest person in the car, and sit next to them.

And there have been some doozies.

The one I remember best was missing half his teeth, black, and about the size of Shaq.

My sister will strike up conversations with these odd people and talk the whole ride. Her theory is that by choosing the person who looks most likely to kill you, you are possibly saving yourself by attempting to ingrain them as a friend. Me, I just try to ignore... all of it. Yes, you could say the words "Chicken Shit" apply.

On this particular ride I tried to stay with that motto-- eyes down, don't look at them, they won't notice you. I tried, but I failed.

We got back on the lightrail and found ourselves standing in the middle of a group of gals in town for a bachelorette party. But it is about 5 minutes before we find this out, and we only find this out because 5 minutes into the ride a 20-something black man boarded the train and sat down smack in the middle of us and the girls.

***To be continued***