The Thing You Find When Packing Pt. 3

During my senior year of college, I decided that Tom and I should make a customized game of Trivial Pursuit. We would use the board and the pie pieces from the regular game, but would write questions of our own.

Being that it was my idea and I was still in school, and, thus, since I was a bad student, had lots of time on my hands, I got my questions written. Tom, who had a job and I’m not sure even agreed to the idea, never wrote his.

And, so, these set of questions, which are in and of themselves a kind of time capsule, have traveled with us on our many moves. I find these things every time we move, and every time, I get farther away from the knowledge, both personal and trivial, I held in my mind when I wrote them.

I’m not 100% sure what the categories are, my best guess is: W (no clue, maybe Wildcard), MP (Motion Pictures), CT (Carrie and Tom), S (Stories – the TV shows we watched), F (Friends and Family), R (Random – basically my opinions). Here are some example questions and answers:

Q: According to the man on The Learning Channel, what is bigfoot NOT like?
A: Hollywood Neanderthals

Q: Where did I give you the heart attack punch?*
A: At the Main Street intersection on the way to El Rodeo’s

Q: What lie did my sister once tell her teacher about me?
A: That I was hearing impaired.

Q: What does it mean if it’s green?**
A: You have a sinus infection.

Q: Who deserves an Oscar more, Glenn Close or Morgan Freeman?
A: Morgan Freeman (he has since won an Oscar – I was right!)

Q: When do you know it’s about to stop snowing? ***
A: When the flakes get bigger.

And now, they will be packed away again, so that the next time they are found, I better be A. fucking 30 years older or B. dead, and my children and/or nieces and nephews are going through my stuff, cursing me for keeping crap like this. Sorry, future grown children.

*Tom made some joke at my expense that was worthy of being punched, and I punched him kind of up under the ribs and he had to take a moment because his heart hurt. I’ve yet to be able to re-create it.

**”It” is snot. This is something my mom taught me. She is not a doctor.

***As far as I can tell, this is an urban legend that began and ended in the cul-de-sac I grew up on. If anyone else held the belief that when the flakes get big and fat, it will stop snowing, please let me know.


The Things You Find When Packing Pt. 2

Alternate title: I’m glad I’m not a teenager.

There’s an endless amount of reasons why I’m happy I’m no longer a teenager. While packing and rifling through stuff, we found two of those reasons in a box of papers.

The first is a treasured relic from the Art Department of the high school Tom and I went to:

This is a Bathroom Buck. It was given to students by a teacher named Mr. Downing, who wanted total control and had a lot of rules in his class, but had no air of authority whatsoever. He was openly mocked and I’m not sure if he either knew it and pretended otherwise, or if he just really didn’t pick up on it. I’m sure the Bathroom Buck was developed because one too many teens blatantly wandered away from his class. He taught photography, and for photography projects, we were really only allowed in the small area right outside the classroom, which was a huge concrete-covered area with railings and stairs. The number of photographs of sullen introspective teenagers sitting on or standing under stairs is probably in the thousands.

I know this is Tom’s Bathroom Buck, because I’m sure I used all of mine.  Notice that it says “void if presented at an inappropriate moment.” You see what I mean? Lots of rules with no air of authority.

As an adult who has grown accustomed to a certain level of being able to use the bathroom whenever she wants, the sight of this Bathroom Buck fills me with dread. While I’m sure plenty of high school students did plenty of bad and naughty stuff under the guise of a bathroom break, to teenagers like me, who actually had to use the bathroom, the constant outside control of my bladder was really nerve wracking.

This leads me to the second treasure. In the grand scheme of things, I was a pretty good teenager. I didn’t do drugs, didn’t drink, etc, probably 60% because I wasn’t interested and 40% because I was always grounded due to being a crappy student, which was my major teenager-y flaw. As I’ve written about before, my personality type is pretty straight-laced, so as far as getting into trouble, I wasn’t that bad. I was, however, moody (still am, unfortunately). Even girls who are Myers-Briggs Thinking (as opposed to Feeling) get the Teenage Mope. Here’s a picture of me at Christmas, I was probably 16 at the time:

This picture fills me with all sorts of feelings, but the the main one is hilarity, which I’m declaring a feeling for the purpose of this sentence. There I am, poor teenage Carrie, at my aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas, surrounded by family who love me after probably receiving a gift I asked for. And the thing that I really like about the whole thing is that I bet my dad took this picture because he thought it was funny. Why else would you take a picture of that pile of teenage self-pity?

When Tom found it, he held it up and said “awwwwww, look at sad Carrie.” And he did seem to genuinely feel bad for her. And a part of me does, too, because that Carrie really was sad at the time, but for the most part, it makes me laugh. This is why, if we develop time travel technology, I should never be allowed to visit my past selves.

Maybe she’s sad because she used all her Bathroom Bucks. And that’s how you tie together a blog post.

The Things You Find When Packing 1

I should really be packing right now. We’re at that stage where not everything is packed, but a lot of it is, so you reach this false sense of security while also being stressed out by the mess. I look around and marvel that anyone ever actually moves all their stuff from one place to another.

We’ve been going through junk drawers and boxes of paper. This has unearthed a few gems.

In the junk drawer in the kitchen, I found this IOU that Tom made me for my birthday several years ago. We often joke that I can get fixated on something and feel that one thing will set off a string of events that will then lead to me being a capable, responsible person (moving, coincidentally, is one of these things, as well). In the case of this IOU, that thing was a filter that attaches to a ceiling fan. Tom, as you already know, has an excellent sense of humor and luckily I have one about myself:

Time has passed, and I never ended up with the ceiling fan thingy, and I can’t exactly remember how it would have led to never-ending happiness, but I’m sure my case was airtight and we’ll never know for sure if I was right because I didn’t get one.

I was going to share everything I’ve found so far, but if I don’t start packing again, my generous sister and brother-in-law, who are coming to help us move, are going to slaughter me with my still-unpacked knives.

So, more uncovered gems to come.


Why didn’t you say something!?

Our house went off the market two weeks ago, and ever since then, the interest in buying  it has skyrocketed. Realtors have been calling Tom constantly wanting to “clarify some info” (nice try, but people who hate making phone calls as much as we do don’t fall for that crap). And, we got two letters in the mail from people who are interested in buying our house!

The first one was from a realtor who KNOWS SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BUY OUR HOUSE, OMG! They get points for: 1. typing the letter (very professional) and 2. the bright blue envelope, really catches the eye. Plus, she wishes us all the best, she really has our best interest at heart.

The second one was from sweet Tara, who, along with her husband, loved our house, but must have ran out of time before it was taken off the market, their future snatched away in the blink of an eye. This one gets points for: 1. hand written in red ink (adds a personal touch) 2. the dollar signs around the word “buy.” You don’t know if someone is serious unless they really spell it out for you, and the dollar signs showed they meant business.

I really don’t want to upset these people and tell them that we found renters for the house.  This means two people who would have probably handed us a suitcase filled with cash (more than asking price, obviously) are out of luck. Hopefully they’ll be able to get over the disappointment.

Elliott is the George Lucas of Domesticated Cats

My cat is a temperamental director in his own mind. He, like George Lucas, feels there’s always room for improvement, even for the classics. When I watch a movie or television show, this is the set up:

So, oftentimes, Elliott decides that what I’m trying to watch isn’t good enough so he jumps on to the coffee table to enhance my viewing experience. I don’t want to be the only person to benefit from his vision. Here, at long last, is the chance to view TV and movies in the way they are supposed to be seen.

First, the obvious choice: The Empire Strikes Back. In Elliott’s version, you can’t hear it since it’s a blog post, but instead of the recently Lucas-added “NOOOOOO!”, Darth Vader yells “MEOOOOOW.”

Gone with the Wind:

The Walking Dead

The Godfather (I didn’t really feel he added much and that it was an unnecessary change, but Elliott told me to “suck it.”)

It’s A Wonderful Life:

Game of Thrones:


Elliott told me to tell you “you’re welcome.”