live to serve

I had this problem where I felt like writing a blog post but I couldn’t figure out what to write about. So I decided to present you an arbitrary collection of anecdotes instead.

Congratulations, I’m sorry.1

  • I was entering expenses into Quicken and when I typed “D-O” it autofilled to “Dodge City Gun Shop ATM.” Which sounds like the start of a good short story that ends very badly.
  • Apparently Hootie & the Blowfish are bonafide country music stars now. So that’s a thing. That is happening. And I don’t think it can be unhappened.
  • I once got very tipsy and emailed former NHL goaltender-turned-commentator Kevin Weekes a semi-coherent message about how “awesome” he is. He never wrote me back. Now every time he’s on Hockey Night in Canada or NHL on the Fly, I feel kind of embarrassed, like he’s going to recognize me through the screen and then we’ll have to have one of those terrible conversations where we pretend like neither of us remember what I did but we totally both know, like Oh hey how’s it going pretty cool great to see you still doin’ that one thing right on catch you later dude all right man peace.
  • Last weekend I was watching my friend’s band play at a bar and the dude behind me kept complaining that the Dead Kennedys stole his drum kit. Which had me ruefully wishing the Dead Kennedys had stolen something from me so that I could have an interesting story to tell at all the hipster cocktail parties I attend in my mind. And then he added that before the drum kit went missing the band had asked him to try out to be their drummer, and he’d politely declined because he was worried about what his mother would think. And friends, it took all I had not to whirl around and shout, “SOMEONE NEEDS TO REVOKE YOUR PUNK ROCK CARD, SIR.”
  • I was a wedding photographer, once, when I was 20 years old. It was the second wedding for a couple who was friends with my art school classmate’s cousin. I used my dad’s old Canon from the 1980s with a boxy flash unit jammed in the hot shoe. I hadn’t the faintest idea what I was doing. I think at one point I asked the bride to rest her hand over the groom’s so I could get a picture of their rings, because I’d seen that same shot in my parents’ wedding album from the 1970s. At the end of the night I gave the couple 12 rolls of film and they wrote me a check for $180. Which I then proceeded to lose, and I freaked out and had to the call the couple while they were on honeymoon and ask them to cancel the check and send a new one. Yep. I was effectively the worst wedding vendor on the face of the planet.
  • In the hours immediately following Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt’s private doctor treated him for a sinus infection by administering cocaine to his nasal membranes via cotton swab.
  • That’s a fact I learned on the History Channel.
  • Did you know the History Channel still occasionally airs history programs, and not just reality shows about men hunting alligators or running pawn shops? I was totally unaware.
  • I feel like “Hey, remember when the History channel showed, like, history and stuff?” is the new “Man, remember when MTV showed, like, actual music videos?”
  • Did anyone ever see Soap? Comedy Central ran the series in syndication sometime in the 1990s and I watched it every day after school. At least I think that happened, because I’ve never met anyone else who has any idea what the hell this show is. I’m left prodding strangers to recall Soap storylines with me, voice rising incredulously in pitch until I’m shaking them by the shoulders, screaming, “Remember? Remember it was the Campbells and the Tates? And Burt got abducted by aliens? And Jessica was captured by Communists? And BILLY CRYSTAL, do you remember BILLY CRYSTAL fell in love with the football player and nearly underwent a sex change operation!?” Someone out there has to know what I’m talking about. Anyone?
  • Comedy Central also used to air Earth Girls Are Easy quite regularly, back in the 90s.
  • I watched a lot of television in the 1990s because I had no friends. Thanks, frequent moving and cripplingly low self-esteem!
  • Do you remember in college when you could go down to the Union Hall on Wednesdays and get a $5 medium Dominos pizza? Do you remember when you thrived on rice, noodles, canned beans, cheese sandwiches, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray, Little Debbie snack cakes, and Apple Jacks cereal scooped right from the box by the fistfuls? Remember you’d wait until the offbrand fat-free whipped topping went on sale for $0.99 and you’d take it home and put it in your freezer until it had the consistency of ice cream and then you’d eat the entire tub in one sitting? Remember when you never bought meat because it was too expensive but you always had room in your budget for Diet Coke? Remember when you’d never heard the word “organic” used outside of science class and the base of your food pyramid was made of Red 40? DO YOU REMEMBER THAT?
  • No, really. That wasn’t just me, was it?

JETZT BIST DU DRAN. Now it’s your turn. Tell me something. Anything. Tell me about the stupid thing your coworker said, or about how your uncle had that run-in with the law.

Or tell me something you want me to write about. Or ask me a question. Any question.

I’m here to serve you.

1 Not as good of an album as New Miserable Experience, in my opinion.

33 Responses to “live to serve”

  1. (A post from Lyn always makes my day. Or night when I am up working.)

    The History Channel doesn’t show shows about history much?

    Ah college food. For me, it’s cheese toast. AND YES – THERE IS ALWAYS MONEY FOR DIET COKE. There has to be, or I would go crazy.

    Love the Dead Kennedys story. Did you see the picture of Jon Stewart dancing to them on twitter this last week? So great.

    When you and I finally hang out I will share some of my worst wedding vendor stories. They’re pretty great.

  2. My mom used to watch Soap all the time. I’ve seen episodes, but they didn’t really stick. I do know it exists though, so that’s something.

    Random tidbit: my husband was at the All Stars game in Ottawa this weekend and he bought his ticket for the game from Tyler Seguin’s dad. Sitting a few seats away at the game was Elisha Cuthburt. They chatted briefly.

    While he was doing this, I had dinner with my mother. In Calgary. We know who won the Awesome Weekend competition…

    • Dude, WHAT. HE WAS IN OTTAWA? And Elisha Cuthbert was there? That is the best story ever.

      • Yeah, he went to Raleigh last year too. Said the party was way better this year.

        Elisha mentioned that she still cheers for the Flames, but also now for the Leafs. As you do, if you’re dating the captain.

        Actually, when Dion was in Calgary, we saw both of them at the Home Depot. We acted all cool and didn’t approach them, but it was pretty neat.

        Hockey! 🙂

  3. I watched Soap. When it originally aired. Yes, I am THAT old.

    In college, I used to get a bagel with Havarti cheese, then proceed to make a vegetarian sandwich out of the free condiments and ate ramen for dinner. Which is how I lived off of $2 per day and got sick from drinking too much water (that is actually a thing, which I discovered by drinking too much water in place of food).

    • SARAH. You are not even that old. You must have been a wee child when you watched that show.

      • Ah, but I AM that old. It aired from 1977 to 1981, and I did indeed watch it in first-run on the tube-television that my dad built from a kit. We also watched Welcome Back, Kotter, WKRP in Cincinatti, M*A*S*H, and Barney Miller. I was not allowed to watch Three’s Company or Laverne & Shirley because my mom said those shows would make my brain turn to mush.

        • I have (vague) memories of both Three’s Company and Laverne and Shirley. I remember the beginning of Laverne and Shirley with all the bottles, which I thought were coke bottles as a kid, but I saw the clip a few years ago and was totally surprised to see that they worked in a BEER factory. Haha.

  4. Freshman year college, I worked in the dining hall so I could get a free meal plan. Worst. Job. Ever.

    Until a family of rats broke into that particular box in the basement of my parents’ house, the tshirt I had to wear to that job still smelled of stale fried things. I wasn’t sure that shirt could get more gross, but the rats proved me wrong.

    • Oh, I worked in the dining hall my sophomore year! I was usually on the dishwashing line, but still. I think I had to burn those clothes. *shakes head*

  5. On Sunday, the Beagle and I went grocery shopping. We were halfway through Target when I had a minor temper tantrum and demanded to be taken home. We never got to the regular grocery store so I’m not sure what we will eat for the rest of the week. When I got home, I slept for like 3 1/2 hours. And then proceeded to be a crankypuss until Downton Abbey came on.

    Hey, you wanted a story. But you didn’t say it had to be a good one.

    • I want all the stories, woman. I could tell you many embarrassing crankypuss stories about me. I hope your day improved with Downton.

  6. Sophomore year, I lived primarily off pasta we got from this friend of a friend who worked for the Monterey Pasta Company. So I ate a lot of lobster ravioli, interspersed with peanut butter sandwiches, ramen, and canned soup. And then one night, Tim made gnocchi while we were both wasted, and he totally f*cked it up, and it was terrible, but we were starving so we ate it anyway. To this day, I cannot eat gnocchi, even though I’m assured it’s quite good when prepared by someone sober.

    • Dude, even when you’re sober it’s easy to eff it up. GLAGH. I can just imagine you two spooning gloppy dough in your mouths.

      I didn’t know about the Monterey Pasta thing, though. What an excellent hook-up.

  7. He he, loving this post 🙂 The Dead Kennedys story is brilliant – he prob would have told his mum if you’d said that to him 😉 Oh dear to the calling while on honeymoon… bet it’s a funny memory for them now!

  8. I just gotta say, I love my sign.

  9. So, this weekend we went out with a few friends to do a kind of birthday-celebration-*thing.* And, after about 5 hours into the *thing* I had had… some… cocktails, and at one point I wanted to make an elaborate point about a story I was telling, (which I don’t even remember). And to punctuate a very important (but forgotten) point, I picked up my beer glass and threw it at the ground. SMASH! Woot! Everyone in the bar went Ooooohhh and the music got quiet (that part might have been in my mind) and Craig was…annoyed, and I got glass in my own shoe.

    And since I am not the throwing-things or breaking-things to prove a point type, I got very excited about this event, and proceeded to remind everyone of it for the rest of the evening. “Did you see me throw that glass!? Oh, that glass on the ground? That’s because of me, and how strongly I feel about (the thing I can’t remember now). Happy Birthday, to ME.”


  10. In college I spent an entire summer living off of ramen and whatever leftovers my roommates didn’t want. Actually, looking back, I think one of the roommates purposefully made extra food to help feed my poor, starving ass.

  11. Hi Lyn!

    So, last year (!) I got married in early December, and went on a really long honeymoon, and I just got back yesterday. And guess what was waiting for me at the post office! A super fun parcel of joy with YOUR NAME ON IT. Thankyou so much Lyn – a perfectly chosen gift. Viva Nosy Bitches!

  12. You are so hilarious. I wasn’t kidding when I said I sit in front of my computer screen all day hitting refresh, waiting impatiently for another post from you. And this post is just one reason (of the many) why.

    So, yeah…when I was on campus the week before starting my freshman year, I went to the MSC (our “Union Hall,” I guess?) and checked out all the booths during orientation. Lots of RUSH stuff abounded. I nonchalantly mosey up to the two very attractive BMOCs sitting in front of some cool signs, beer, and pizza, and figure I better ask for information. “On pledging?” they ask, after looking me up and down, puzzled, and trying (not very well) not to laugh. “Um, sure” I say all confident, although I have no clue what pledging or rush means…or, apparently, the difference between a SORORITY and a FRATERNITY.

    And, that is the story of why I am GDI to this day (goddamn independent), tyvm.

    Moar, please. 😉

  13. My best college pizza eating story:
    Some girl friends and I went to a jock-frat party at a nearby school (that was very smart and very nerdy and our school didn’t have greek life, so if we wanted to get our fix of foam parties, we had to go elsewhere. — does anyone actually want foam parties?!) One of my friends found a list on the floor somewhere with all of the pledges, their phone numbers and their corresponding special rush nicknames. She pocketed the goods, thinking there was some magic to be made.

    Later that week, after much deliberation on how we could use this list to our own advantage, we decided we wanted a pizza. Delivered to our dorm. By a shirtless pledge. Wearing a sombrero.

    We called some poor kid on the list and in an uber creepy voice, we made the ridiculous demands and lo and behold, some poor SOB came to our dorm, shirtless, wearing a sombrero, with a pizza and delivered it to a gaggle of laughing young women.

    It was delicious.

    Also, this story is neither recent, nor really relevant, but it’s up there with the midget story, so it needed to be shared.

  14. Do you remember the Psychic Helpline? Do they still have it? Well I called it once when I was maybe 14. Old enough to know better, but I thought I’d give it a shot just incase. I got in SO MUCH TROUBLE. But luckily when my mom called to rectify the situation they accidentally connected her with a phone sex line, so she used her moral outrage to get them to drop all of the fees.

  15. The last time I crossed the Canada-US border by car, I was on my way to Michigan to help my very pregnant friend pack up her family’s apartment while her husband was working crazy-person hours. By the time I reached the border, I was so hypnotized by the sheer vast emptiness of western Ontario that I had been rendered completely incapable of human conversation, and also I’d kind of forgotten where I was going and why. The convo with the border guard went something like this.

    Guard: “Where are you headed?”
    Me: “… Michigan. Ann Arbor.”
    Guard: “And what is the purpose of your trip?”
    Me: “Uhhhhh … to visit. A friend.”
    Guard: “Miss, are you carrying any prescription drugs over the border with you?”
    Me: ::nervous laugh:: “No! No, definitely not.”
    Guard: ::annoyed glare:: “Miss, please pull your vehicle over into the search area.”

    My car was then searched top to bottom for illegal Canadian prescription drugs. Moral of the story: do not laugh when the border guard asks you if you are a drug mule. S/he does not find this to be a humorous matter.

    For the record, the Canadian border guard who let me and my suspicious vehicle back into Canada gave me a smile and a cheery “welcome back!” before waving me through.


      And OMG. I had a similar experience at the Port Huron crossing, except backwards. What happened was, my friend and I drove into western Ontario to get some Canadian Coca Cola. You know, because it’s made with actual sugar instead of corn syrup. I LOVED that stuff in college. The Canadians waved us in all nice-like. I even joked with the guard about our mission. “OHH, yeah,” he said. We get people down from Indiana that come up here for that Coke.” But when we were coming back into the States later that same day, something about our suspicious rental vehicle, our giddy smiles, or the fact that my friend is half-Honduran tipped the US guards off, and before you know it we were being ushered off to sit in a room to be monitored while the car was searched top to bottom.

      I’m just glad the US border patrol didn’t drink any of our precious Coke.

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