Monthly Archives: March 2014

the time I became an infectious disease hazard.

Well, that’s weird.

I don’t know how or why I noticed the spot on my abdomen, but I do remember thinking that it wasn’t there when I went to bed the night before. As I got dressed, I noticed another peculiarity: a strange blister on my hand, between two fingers.

The weird blister warranted attention from my mother. She took one glance and knew immediately:

chicken pox.

The memory is still pretty clear. I was 8 years old. It was July, or August. August, I think. The summer before third grade. The ‘pox was going around the neighborhood; the family across the street was spreading it amongst their four offspring and my Mom had (wisely) sent me over there to play with them every. single. day, and every. single. day when I came over Mrs. T sat me down and took my temperature – marveling that I was not yet running a fever, even after days upon days of exposure.

Until that morning.

I don’t remember feeling particularly ill; I simply noticed a weirdness on my body that was not there previously. Actually, I felt great, because that day my Dad and I had tickets to a Cardinals game.

In case you’re wondering, this is the point of this story.

I remember standing in my parents’ bedroom – I distinctly remember facing their four-drawer dresser as my Mom and Dad conferenced: Should she go? Should she stay home? She feels fine. They’re not all over yet.

In the end, it was decided that I – we – would go.

I was under strict orders not to show anyone at the game the Weird Thing on my hand, and to hide any other new Weird Things I noticed on my person. I think I was told at that point that I finally had chicken pox, but I sure don’t remember feeling any different.

Well after we returned home from the game, the whole thing turned into a super-shitty time. Fever and itching and chicken pox down my fucking throat. I laid in bed, absolutely miserable, while my mom sat in a chair and told me ridiculous made-up stories.

But before that, all of that, I got to go to a baseball game.



EDIT: It just dawned on me: do children even get chicken pox any more? Or will I reminisce to my children about chicken pox the way my parents talk about measles and mumps?


spring fever

Good morning!

Wanna see something cool?

Too bad, I’m showing you anyway:


It’s my laundry hamper. And it’s empty!

I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen this sight (hence the picture…for posterity).  There is always, alwaysalways at least one random towel, washcloth, pillowcase, pair of socks or other random item in the bottom of that thing. “Oh, I don’t have enough room in this load for another towel, I’ll just throw it in the next one” usually happens over and over until it becomes “Guess I’m washing a load of towels now” several days, weeks or months later.

For me, the empty hamper is indicative of something Bigger: finally getting around to all the little odds-and-ends that have been stacking up around me. If I can finally wash my damn towels, I might as well vacuum. And once I’m done vacuuming, I might as well wipe down the patio furniture. And once I do that, well, I guess I should do my damn taxes.

Whoa there, Julie! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

But no, for serious: Wait, wait. Did I have a point here? I’m sure that I did, and I’m certain that point wasn’t “Let’s find a reason to post a picture of my bathroom on the Internet.”

Oh, that’s right. Playing catch up. What have I been doing for the past month, anyway? Aside from neglecting my laundry? Now that spring is about to be sprung, I’m starting to go stir-crazy. My to-do lists are increasing in length by the minute. I’ve got an intense itch to do some travelin’. I desperately want my excuse for a messy apartment to be “I’ve been doing other stuff” and not “I’ve been working a lot of overtime.”

And, shit, now that my towels are clean nothing’s holding me back.

Julie and the Laundry Machine From Space.

I know a little bit about many things, and a lot about some things. Overall, though, Mama didn’t raise no idjit; I’m well aware of the extent of my expertise, and for me, my knowledge rarely ventures into the realm of Technology. Specifically: anything electronic.

It’s just how I was raised, I think: living in a farmhouse in the middle of the prairie, where we wore bonnets and slaughtered our own chickens and died of tuberculosis. A house with no video games, no computer, not even a cordless phone. None of this makes my childhood all that special, I know. But I also didn’t really spend much time with people who had these things, either. My cousins had an Atari, but it was kept in their basement, which was dark and scary (and painted orange? Why do I remember it being painted orange? Surely that isn’t true) so nope! Not going down there!

I also had a friend with a Nintendo, but the only game we ever played was Duck Hunt. And that was cool and all, but I only have maybe two memories of playing it. Because she also had a fucking trampoline, and who the hell wants to play Duck Hunt WHEN THERE IS A TRAMPOLINE NOT 50 YARDS AWAY?!

Later, another friend got a computer, and I was like HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU THE JETSONS? We spent time trying to draw pictures in Paint (or whatever), but using the mouse was suuuuuuuper frustrating – SO HARD! – and my attempts to “paint” a picture of her Golden Retriever ended up looking like I’d dropped acid first.

Plenty of people I know grew up the same way and became, like, computer engi-program-neers. For whatever reason, though, I just never took to any of it. ANY of it.

Once, only a few years ago, I was trying to be helpful and offered to start a load of laundry at a friend’s place, because I was an adult, and capable of doing fucking laundry. Right? Wrong! Turns out this friend didn’t own a washing machine; he owned a fucking spaceship that also somehow cleaned clothes. I stared at the thing, then started pushing buttons until it started lighting up and beeping at me, probably Spaceship Laundry Machine-language for do you even know what the hell you’re doing? until I had to call for backup and my Good Deed ended up being much more trouble than it was worth.

I once had a job that unfortunately required me to make many copies, and the office copy machine was also spaceship-like so I usually ended up just delegating Copying Duties to one of my staff members because I mean, I was technically the boss and I told myself these kids needed to learn Life Skills like copying something on both sides of one piece of paper, or printing something on letterhead so that the letterhead part is on TOP, which is something I fucked up every. single. time.

Now, at work, I sometimes use a two-way radio thing that’s kind of like a cell phone, but not? I don’t know what it is, to be quite honest. I know how to “chirp” the person I need to talk at, and that is all. I have a tendency to accidentally call them, and then they’re all like “What? What do you want? Seriously, QUIT CALLING ME.”*

I wonder what “it” is that makes (allows? enables?) someone to take to technology more than another. I always assumed whatever “it” was, I don’t have it.

Or do I not want it?

See how I described myself as some innocent bystander, humbled and awed by the Innovation surrounding her? Yeah, not quite. While those stories are true, they don’t paint a complete picture. Because – most of the time – that’s just the role in which I put myself. It fits, and feels comfortable. While I get frustrated and throw things when I can’t figure out how something works, most of the time I’m content to fake-bitch about how oh the world is so confusing! Please explain how these new-fangled things work! I’m so simple and confused! Just take me home to the prairie, please. I miss my bonnet!

But not the tuberculosis.



Yeah, it’s pretty, but I think it also controls wormholes.


*No, no one’s actually said that to me. Yet. Actually, I get accidentally-called a lot too, so nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah.