Happy Birthday, Dad

Today my dad would have been sixty-three years old. He died seven and a half years ago unexpectedly (what I hope will prove to be the suckiest thing to happen in my life). Allen Williford had a birthday three days after Christmas. I think most everyone knows someone with a near-Christmas birthday. He wasn’t a showy guy and the only way I knew he didn’t like “combo-presents” and such is because my mom told me. He was such a great person – the kind of person who should have had a birthday in the middle of nowhere on the calendar so that he could be showered with birthday-only affection and acknowledgments.

So, today, I just want to take a moment and tell the greatest dad in my world Happy Birthday and then also just a little shake of my fist in the universe’s general direction because I don’t get to tell him in person.

And so you can know him a little, here’s a moment I completely forgot about but was recently reminded of by my husband:

My dad, Tom, my mom, my sister, and I were all having lunch a little restaurant near my house (they had come down to Georgia to visit.) Out of nowhere, this kid (maybe about eighteen years old) comes up to my Dad and asks him if he knows how to tie a tie (he had one draped around his neck, pathetically waiting for a wise man to help out), and if so, would he tie his. My dad said, “I’ll do you one better, I’ll teach you how to tie a tie.” And so, my dad taught this complete stranger how to tie a tie in the middle of a restaurant.

This guy was with other people, also eating lunch. My dad was not wearing a tie. He chose my dad out of the entire restaurant. Why? Because, and I don’t know how else to put it, of course you would choose my dad out of the blue to help you tie your tie – he just had this aura that said, “I am a very capable person and can help you out.”

So Happy Birthday to my dad, who once taught a kid to tie a tie during lunchtime at a restaurant.

1978 – Me and my bald self with my dad.

I’m going to give you something because my blog is about 15 months old.

My blog turned one year old in September. I didn’t do anything about it because I’m just as bad about blog anniversaries as I am about other kinds of anniversaries. I kept thinking about needing to make a post about it and then I didn’t do it.

So now I’ve decided to celebrate that Cannibalistic Nerd is roughly 15 months old (I’m too lazy to actually figure it out). So much has happened over the last 15 months – I caught up on Downton Abbey, I’m pretty sure I had the biggest zit on my face ever (it had three levels), and I ate fried girl scout cookies for the first time. A bunch of other stuff happened but those are the real highlights.

Most importantly, though, I’ve met some great people and have enjoyed reading their blogs and conversing with them over Twitter and other such social media media.

While I write about a lot of stuff (ALL IMPORTANT), the thing I do every week is make fun of The Super Friends. While I’m pretty sure my deathbed regret will be that I spent so much time watching and writing about this show, for now, it’s what I do.

To commemorate 15 months of whatever the hell all of this is – I’m going to give two of you  something.  The first name I draw (from the comments) will get to pick one and then the second name is stuck with wins the other. If you are a grown adult who doesn’t like superhero memorabilia (weirdo), just say so and I will spare you.

One of the things is these magnets:

Notice they swapped out Aquaman and Robin for Flash and Green Lantern – why ever would they do that?

Wanting to display your enemy list on the fridge but don’t have a magnet to get the job done? Well, now’s your chance to strike fear in the heart of your enemies if you have them over to your house. They’ll see their name on the list, then see you have the help of a superhero to strike them down. Just in time for Christmas!

Or, are you a more private person and like to keep your enemy list in a discreet location? Then this mini-lunchbox is for you:

To enter to win one of these two groundbreaking prizes, all you have to do is leave a comment. You can make up a fake wonderful memory about me, or share what super power you would choose, or just type “farts;” pretty much anything other than telling me not to give you a prize will make you eligible to win.

And then, a week from today, I’ll draw the names, and two of you will have your lives changed forever because I remembered my blog has been around for over a year.

In conclusion, it’s been a fun 15 months – here’s to however many more months I feel up to it!

15 Thoughts While I Wait on Hold for Utility Service

1. It’s time for me to get my biannual haircut.

2. I’m currently on hold to switch the water bill/account back to us for a whole flippin’ month. The estimated wait time on the phone is 18 minutes. The water resources wait music follows the same proud tradition of the Georgia DMV – one minute clip of muzak repeated over and over and over. Don’t think I don’t know what you’re trying to do – drive me to go online. I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL. It’s what I was born to do – run errands without having to leave my house or speak to anyone. Unfortunately, your user experience is seriously lacking and I don’t want to have to start a whole new account if I don’t have to. SO HA HA HA, jokes on you, I’m going to sit here and suffer. Oh, wait.

3. In related news, we got an offer on our house! Hooray! This is why I have to activate the water, gas, and electricity for exactly one month – the time between renters and new owners. If everything keeps moving forward smoothly (like the smooth jazz I’m currently listening to), we’ll close on December 31st.

4. My call is very important to them.

5. I’m sincerely starting to worry that I will have forgotten what I called about, panic, tell them to have a nice day, hang up, and have to start again.

6. Tom is currently making lunch while I’m here on hold. I’d like some lunch. Or maybe I’ve never had lunch before. My sense of self is slowly being replaced by this one minute of smooth jazz.

7. “We hear you want some water, some water, waaatteeer, want some water” is the lyrics to the song I’m listening to. I wrote these lyrics, they are copyrighted so don’t even think about it, Gwinnett County Water Resources.

8. I’ve had the thought – “maybe we don’t really NEED to have the water on for the next month.” But then I thought – “what if someone breaks in, notices there’s no water, so they take a shit on the carpet instead of in the toilet.” My second thought was about how the water needs to be on so that the plumber can properly fix a couple of leaky faucets.

9. I’m on the phone with the lady and she’s typing away so I’m going to type too. Typing twins!

10. Now I have to call the gas company. Their hold muzak is more generic Eric Clapton than smooth jazzy jazz.

11. Do not giggle and report a gas leak that you noticed shortly after eating a burrito. Do not giggle and report a gas leak that you noticed shortly after eating a burrito. Do not….

I’ve added a picture of gum.

12. This lady is chewing gum. I hope it brings her a little pleasure during her day of having to talk to idiots like me.

13. Now I have to listen to a robot explain the terms and conditions. Let me get my pen and paper! I’m just kidding robot, I’m not listening.

14. “To end this call, please hang up.” I actually sat through the message long enough to be told that.

15. I thank you for reaching the end of this post, you as a reader are important to me. Be-ba-di-do-wop-a-diddly-doo.


This post was inspired by: Studio30Plus‘ writing prompt, me needing something to do while on hold, and seriously extensive writer’s block.


It’s a Dog Eat Carrie World

My dog is weird. Ed has plenty of strange quirks that have revealed themselves over the six years he’s been with us. He has a bb lodged in the top of his head, so that tells you that 1. he had a tough life before he got to us and 2. he possibly has brain damage (only half-kidding on that one).

He doesn’t like popping sounds – fireworks, spontaneous hand claps, etc. Totally understandable. He also doesn’t like storm drains and is a bit of a pain in the ass on walks (walks he goes on because we spent a long time teaching him to walk on a leash, which he hated at first). That doesn’t  have anything to do with the bb, I’m just expanding on my proof of his being weird.

Because everyone knows the middle of the street is the safest place to be.

I could go on, and I know it sounds like we just aren’t training him. To that I say: yeah, that’s kind of true. But, on the other hand, dog ownership is just as much an adjustment of what you will tolerate as it is trying to get the perfect pet. He is neurotic and weird, but so am I, so I kind of get him, and we don’t really have many issues – his quirks fit in fine with our life.

Earlier today, about an hour ago, being the graceful, perfectly organized person I am, I set a completely full mug of hot tea down on the coffee table, a pile of mail, and the corner of a wallet. Physics was like, “bitch please,” and so the whole mug emptied out onto the table, several magazines, my pants, and the carpet. It was a grand ol’ time.

The coffee table is wood with a glass top. I had to take everything off the table and move the glass so I could clean between the layers. While I was wiping the glass of with the paper towel, it was making that sound – you know the sound. “EEEEEEEEEEEE!” The sound of squeaking from glass, liquid and towel. Apparently, this sound is like The Manchurian Candidate’s Queen of Diamonds and it activated Ed.

He jumped down from the couch, trotted over, and bit me. He bit through my jeans and caused and ugly small shallow skin puncture and bruise. I don’t know if he was playing – he hopped to get up to my knee and maybe literally bit off more than he could chew – or if the noise made him snap, but it was a shock. He’s never, ever bitten me or even entertained the thought (uh, that I know of).

It was quick and simple – he hopped up, bit my knee, I yelled, “ED WHAT THE FUCK!?” And then he looked at me like “What? Oh, snap, you didn’t like that?” He seemed genuinely confused, then got submissive with the ears back and the tiny tail wags.

Here’s the things with dogs – it’s all about the moment, and it’s all about context. I don’t know why Ed bit me, or even if he meant to. He could have been asleep, and the sound could have triggered him, waking him and setting him into action before he actually knew what he was doing. He could have done it to get me to stop that awful fucking noise (he genuinely dislikes it, I now know). Or, like I said, he could have been trying to play. I just don’t know. Since he’s never bitten me before, and he was in my peripheral vision, I can’t assume what happened exactly.

Other than being on the lookout for any additional strange behavior, having his eyesight and blood work looked at during his next check-up, and making a mental note to not clean glass within earshot of Ed, there’s nothing else to do about the bite. Dogs aren’t people, something I’m thankful for 90% of the time. Every once in a while, though, they remind you that your ancestors domesticated and developed them from their ancestors (wild wilderness animals) – and sometimes, that means yelling “what the fuck” at them after they give you a little bite for an unknown mysterious reason.

He can’t speak English (if he did I’d be in my castle eating gold or whatever super rich people do), but he can speak dog, and I have sense enough to know that he’s told me, “sorry about that – can you see my ears are pinned against my head and I have a sad tucked wagging tail?” And for now, you little weirdo, that’s good enough.

By the way, please nobody tell my mom about the spilled tea.

I was a child of the 1980s (commercialism).

I was over at Studio30 Plus looking at their writing prompts, and one was “share a favorite childhood memory.” I thought to myself, “I had a childhood! I have memories! I can do this!”

So, I decided to flip through my childhood photo albums for inspiration and to maybe jog my weird memory organ (brain) into remembering something that would make for an interesting post. You know, a great story about how a day with my grandpa fishing at the lake taught me a lesson about always looking both ways before you cross the street. Something fun and relatable and narrative-y.

No. What happened was I flipped through the photo albums, soaking in the 1980s goodness, and forgot about that special memory I was supposed to be pulling from them. In and of itself, basking in the neon glow of the 1980s is in fact a favorite childhood memory. So, come with me on a journey through the Me Decade by looking at pictures of, well, me.

I was born in 1977, so the ages of 3-13, the real meaty part of childhood, were all in the 80s. And, you can tell. I’m not sure I could be more of an 80s kid:

This is my fourth birthday party. It was Super Friends-themed. I still have a great fondness for the Super Friends but in a more sarcastic smart ass way than when I was a kid. I adored Wonder Woman. You can see the cake back there on the table.

There’s several pictures of me opening gifts at this birthday party, all 80s-licious. This one is my favorite – here’s me with some Star Wars underoos. Underoos were the best.

Here I am opening my stocking on Christmas. I’ve just pulled out a Hot Wheels General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. I LOVED The Dukes of Hazzard. My mom plays dumb these days and claims she doesn’t remember me ever watching the show. My mom is not senile, so she’s lying. Mom, you’re a liar! I watched it every week and you know it. P.S. I had no idea about the Confederate flag back then. I kinda had to un-learn that it was a decoration on the top of the Duke boys’ car. I almost want to say that it’s too bad that The Dukes of Hazzard is sullied by the inclusion of the Confederate flag in the series, but that’s implying that it otherwise would be some kind of masterpiece. I’m getting way off topic now. Moving on.

Up through age four, I really loved a variety of things. Then, I became more lame and embraced more girly stuff that I was supposed to. I mean, not that I didn’t love stuff like Strawberry Shortcake, because I did, because hello? look at that birthday cake, but I look back on this stuff and think it’s funny that I liked so much “girl stuff” considering I have really never been and am not “girly.” Having said that, I was all about Strawberry Shortcake for a year or two.

Then, it was Care Bears. Good God I loved Care Bears. I think it has a lot to do with categorization – this bear is this color, has this on it’s tummy, and represents this “thing.” So easy! I also have a real “collect them all” problem, too, and Care Bears is custom built for that weakness. My sister is the cutie on the right.

Rainbow Brite, yo. I don’t have much to say about Rainbow Brite, I just wanted to show this picture because I think my sister’s expression is funny. My theory is that she’s making that face because that’s actually HER Rainbow Brite doll I’m holding up for a picture (this was later confirmed by my sister).

Last but not least, here’s one of my most favorite possessions of all time. My Walkman. An introvert’s best friend. So. many. tapes. Tapes and tapes and tapes. Mix tapes, storybook tapes (at the sound of the tone, turn the page), pop music, oh it was just the best. And I probably ruined my hearing with it. Worth it.

What were your favorite possessions from childhood?