Shit You Should Know

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Ain't Skeered!

Don't worry.  You're children are safe.
This agnostic mom goes on a lot of adventures and I manage to get myself into some awkward spots.  The latest adventure involves me agreeing to be a co-leader to my daughter’s Brownie Girl Scout troop.

Yeah, I’ll pause so you can soak that in and say a prayer, light a candle or do whatever it is that you people do when you want to save a child’s soul.

Over the weekend, I was able to go on an excursion to Oklahoma City for an overnight training session.  I knew ahead of time I would be staying at the Catholic Pastoral Center.  I joked with my friend, Julia that I’d probably be struck by lightning or something.

We were assigned to our room.  It was still daylight but the hallway was sparsely lit even with the glass exit door and sidelights at the end of the way.  The room had two twin size beds with white linens and your grandma’s quilt.  There was a small desk with a set of towels and a few bars of soap.  In one corner was am old sink with a mirror above it.  In the other corner was a closet with a hideous metal chest of drawers inside of it.  Between those two was a doorway that led to the bathroom that we shared with the other room.  The highlight of the room was the depressing crucifix on the wall.
I'm sure under that white paint is some pea soup stains.
Yes, I said it.  Crucifixes ARE freaking depressing.  Why on earth would anyone want to look at that gruesome image all day long?  I suppose that the symbol is to remind the flock of the sacrifice that Jesus made but c’mon.  Isn’t that picture of him looking all pretty just as good?  Doesn’t the faith remind you of what he did every Sunday?  Or at the very least the cross itself minus the dead guy seems like it would get the point across.

I get it.  Some people believe he died for them but the dead guy image is still just a tad disturbing.  If a mother died in childbirth, how appropriate would it be for her child to mount something on the wall of the dead mother all sweaty and bloody in a hospital bed.  Or should said child just wear a golden uterus? 
I’m convinced religion makes you weird.  Period.

To prepare myself for this adventure, I watched The Exorcist, Rite, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and The Last Exorcism.  I told Julia it was just in case she got possessed and I needed to be able to exorcise her.   I believe in being prepared.
Anyway, back to the retreat…

Before everything started, Julia and I made a sweep of the building taking mental notes of which hallways looked the creepiest.  It seemed that the wing we were in was the oldest.  It had a musty mildew smell that crept into your nose and then Chuck Norrised you in the throat.  As we trekked down hallways, we found a room full of books for the clergy such marriage, marriage counseling, being married to a homosexual, and many more interesting topics.  I looked for one on exorcism.  No luck.

There was a wine tasting.  We were limited to two taste tickets which resulted in me trying to hustle more from anyone who would listen.  Eventually I just bought a bottle of Pinot Noir from the wine vendor and proceeded to create my own evening itinerary in my head.
What?  I was thirsty.

The first day wasn’t too bad.  Dinner was catered.  It was decent, nothing fancy.  We attended a class that was roughly two hours long and we got Girl Scout “swag”.  I love free shit and the majority was actually useful.  We were able to have our room switched to one on the upper floor in a different wing where we had our own bathroom instead of having to share with the room next door. 
Ok.  Maybe I was zapped by some lightning in the ass.  I guess I've got so much cushion, I didn't even notice.

Later, we had a meeting with other ladies in our area in one of their rooms.  She managed to snag herself a suite complete with a sitting area.  Wine bottles were uncorked making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It was nice.  It made my surroundings more tolerable.  After the hen house party dissipated and we went to our rooms, Julia and I decided it was time to be…

Wait for it…

Ghost hunters.  Yes, bad ass mamma jamma ghost hunters!  So we roamed the hallways with our cameras snapping pictures of dark hallways,
This was snapped with no flash.  Many of the hallways looked like this.
old lady furniture,
This decor was scary all by itself.  All it's missing is a bowl of hard candy from 1952.

creepy staircases,
This was with the flash.  Apprently, they were conserving energy by turning off most of the lights.

and each other acting like total morons. 
I ain't skeered!

At least I'm not the only one not afraid to make an ass of myself for the sake of fun.
All the while I was humming the 007 theme music.  Our mission was to go down to the basement which ended up being completely disappointing because it looked just like the rest of the place only the mildew reeked more than the upper floors. 
See?  Rain.
Outside it was storming making the dark hallways all the more delightful many times reminding me of scenes from the movie Gothika. 

We were lucky enough to learn that a few days after us the Legion of Mary Ass would be using the facility.  We found the letter “M” for “mass” on the floor under the board.  I snapped a picture and Julia fixed it. 
There's a legion in there.  Poor lady.
It seems my interesting humor does not go unnoticed because the next day I found out that everyone in our group assumed it was me that made it that way in the first place.  I’m shocked.  Blame the heathen. 

After we returned to our room, we were overcome with a craving for a slushy…a yummy, delicious, icy slushy.  I looked out the window over the rooftops at the pouring torrential rain and turned to Julia and said, “It’s just misting.”  I must have been pretty convincing because within minutes we were creeping downstairs.  We discovered the lobby gates were pulled down in the same fashion as a store in the mall would to protect its wares.  We found the nearest exit.  We were smart enough to check the door to make sure they didn’t lock behind us.  The downstairs door leading outside would have locked so we decided against our slushy adventure.  Boo!
How sad...

Before bed, we checked under each other’s bed…you know, just to be sure.  The beds were so much tinier than I am used to.   I had to be mindful so I didn’t fall out of it when I moved around in my sleep.  At one point during the night, I was tempted to flip the cross over just to freak Julia out in the morning but I decided against it.  Some people just don’t get my humor.  When it comes to religion people tend to get a little uptight.

6:30 in the morning is just an ungodly time for any sane person to be awake.  At least they fed us.
Breakfast of Champions!  Word!

What makes it even worse is sitting in a three hour lecture listening to shit that is basically common sense.  The speaker actually insisted on leading us through guided imagery.  I nearly fell asleep.  I thought it was a horrible, HORRIBLE idea considering she was attempting to take some people back to when they were eight.  There were actually women crying around me.  All I could think was someone is diving into some dark ass memories.  I’m not playing that game.
Do what you have to do to pass the time.
Sometime during all this mind numbing boringness, my partner in crime Julia says she is “going to the bathroom” which was code for “I am going to the other conference room so I can find out what next year’s mystery cookie is”.  A few moments later, I get picture mail from another lady in the next conference room asking if I’m missing someone.

Three hours!  That’s how long the first class lasted.  It was torture.  It felt like the part in the movie Zoolander when Derek Zoolander is held captive at the “day spa” by Mugatu who subjects him to extensive audio visual torture...only I wasn’t lucky enough to actually watch something.  I got to listen to some woman drone on and on like Ben Stien’s character from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only person bored stupid.  When I went to the bathroom at one point, I saw a girl on her laptop playing World of Warcraft.  Later an older lady tripped over the laptop cord causing a big scene.  Too bad it was AFTER we sat in there for most of the morning.  It would have been a welcomed diversion halfway through when I was on the verge of chewing off my own arm just to entertain myself.
You know it's bad when you can't get up.
We attended a few more sessions, which by comparison were only 30 minutes to an hour so they went by stupid fast.  When four o’clock rolled around, I was itching to leave.  The drive home was interesting.  Someone and I won’t name names (Julia) kept falling asleep.  Good thing I was driving or we may not have made it home. 
Now I’m back in my part of Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains just to ass rape my hair.  Let’s recap for my believer friends out there.  Everyone’s favorite agnostic mom stepped foot on holy ground and my feet didn’t sizzle.  I was not struck by lightning nor was an exorcism necessary.  Although there were a few times when I could have sworn some of the popes in the large portraits lining the hallways were totally checking me out.

In unrelated news, I should point out to my readers (and any potential readers out there) it’s summer.  Don’t expect too much from me.  My kids keep me busy and we got a lot of traveling in our future.  I’ll be around.  You've been warned.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Around...You Just Can't See Me

As most of you know already, Blogger and I are not getting along. My commenting is thrown all off whack. It’s not letting me log in to leave comments…even on my OWN blogs. I have to take the time to manually type my name and URL in yet I remain faceless. Some of your blogs won’t even let me do that much!

It’s also very finicky about when it allows me to make posts. Thank goodness I use Microsoft Word to write my posts or they’d be lost forever in Blogger limbo. When I hit “publish”, sometimes it takes me back to the log in page. It’s a big ol’ mess.  I had a lovely post for my anniversary on May 25 but Blogger was being a butt and after trying numerous times to post it I gave up.

Damn you, Blogger Demon!!

Rest assured though, I am around the blogosphere but I am silenced. I’m like a ninja all up on your page. I’ve actually been spending a lot of time hanging around this new blog collaboration which is named, simply ::snicker::, Fabulous Atypical Ramblings of Nuclear Cheese. If you clicked that link, I’m sorry but you can’t get those minutes you wasted back. They’re gone! Forever!
To answer everyone’s most pressing question, yes your votes made me number one in May Concours d' Cuisine but apparently there is another round to the contest. You guys know how I am when it comes to rules and shit. K over at Big K, Little a has final say over who wins. I am in the final three. Now I have to wait on K to make all three dishes to see which one tickles her taste buds more. In the meantime, I’m going to join the June contest but I’m not going to fight to be number one again…just final three.