When I found out my dad was writing a book I knew it'd be selfish of me if I didn't share it with the world. He's probably the funniest/wittiest/well written person I know and I won't hate you if you never want to read my writing again after reading his!
Here is an excerpt from his book, Backstop.
I had a lot of hair back then. In 1972 hair was in and the more of it that you had, the better. Pre 1972 and pre pubescent, a lot of hair would have worked great for me. I had straight brown hair that would turn blonde in the summer, just like the cool guys in all the cool bands. Unfortunately 1972 was post pubescent for me and along with all the other stuff puberty brings it delivered to my head a coarse, wiry tumbleweed that made all those picture-day combs obsolete for me. Along with all the insecurities a kid brings to 7th grade, my hair was one of them.
Dippity Do ( “a little dab will do you”) was the only hair product of that era for men. Designed really only for a 50’s style “greaser” look my dad, who never threw anything away (a Depression Era thing), would pull this thick, green colored glob out of the jar and try to COMB it through my hair, yes I said COMB! I don’t know why, but for some reason he could not accept the fact that my hair was not straight like his and my oldest brother. He basically used the “it worked for me and my family when I was young” theory in every aspect of life. Do everything the same way EVERY time and do it as FAST and as rough as you could! I was on the bad end of that theory a lot as a kid. I’m not sure why my dad was so rough and in a hurry to do everything, my god just watching him attack his teeth with a toothbrush was barbaric. I don’t know how much stuff you can blame the Great Depression on, but what his teeth did to deserve that punishment was beyond my understanding. My teeth also suffered from his lumberjack sensitivity when it came time to pull a tooth. I cannot explain accurately the feeling I had in my gut when I would discover the tiny initial movement of a loose tooth.
He was not the guy to be dressing a 5 year old. When my mom was out of town he was trying to button and zip my jeans (Huskies) and in his "do it rough and fast" way he zipped my kindergarten penis up with the zipper. Of course if you zip a penis up you have to zip it down to get it out, no worries because my father was at the helm gently guiding the zipper with its gouging copper barbs down until my once unnoticed penis was free. I paid more attention to my penis afterwards and quickly learned to dress myself.
Okay, where was I, oh yeah Dippity Do, and if that was not bad enough for a confused boy with crazy hair, hand held hair dryers were not invented yet! My hair was at the mercy of the elements. A few drops of water were enough to send it into a frizzy frenzy. Swim day in gym was a cruel joke played on me by the straight haired gods, so was the fact that I had gym first hour which allowed me to parade this intruder on my head for the entire day. My body had turned on me and my hair was the biggest traitor of all. My 7th grade yearbook picture was a portrait of helpless confusion. I stared into the camera wearing a too tight shirt and wearing a tie that was of course handed down throughout the years. My eyes were pleading for help or at least an explanation. Looking back now, the obvious remedy would have been to shave my head. I have a perfectly shaped head. I know this because a brain surgeon told me this once. I also have one of the largest heads in the state, but it's shaped perfectly and a shaved head, or a burr as it was called back then, would have looked great. As fate would have it, this “look” was not in and the only boys wearing their hair burred were the hillbilly’s in Jenks. It was 1972 and I was rebellious and different. Well, not really….it was my brother Dicky who was 7 years older than me who was different and rebellious. The original hippy, he was selling grass (weed) before most kids had even tried it. I knew he was selling it because in 4th grade I helped him load the grass into small matchboxes that were sold for $5 each.
Anyway I was different and rebellious by proxy only. I never broke a rule, went to church and made excellent grades. My hair was the one truly rebellious act in my life, a “tyranny of hair” as one English teacher put it. Half way through 7th grade, my dad, who still used the picture-day combs, took matters into his own hands and forced me to go to a new type of barber called a “stylist.” The stylist was a bold new breed of barber who instead of asking you if you wanted a “regular” as my old barber would ask, would embark on giving you a “style” that was your own. They would also have (and would sell you) hair spray, not your mothers hair spray mind you but hair spray for men! Never was this heard of before.
My stylist was Nelson. A tiny tiny man of about 5’3” who was incredibly effeminate and married with two kids. Back then a man could wear a dress and lipstick to work but if he was married AND had kids he obviously was not a homosexual. Nelson was entertaining and told me stories that were so nasty my dad would fall right off Plymouth Rock, where all good Pilgrims sit, if he were to hear one tenth of the stories I was told. Nelson also disfigured my already disfigured hair so badly that not even the 3 bottles of hair spray, men’s hair spray, that he sold my dad could repair the carnage wrought by the shears held by the tiny tiny hands of Nelson. Even my dad, who had no style and relied on my mom to lay out his clothes everyday, recognized that what had happened on my head that day was a travesty and I was never forced to cut my hair again.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Sometimes it’s nice to flashback to a simpler time. A time where you could get away with calling your fat “baby fat” with the hope you would “grow out of it.” A time where your mouth was so full of metal it looked like the orthodontist was conducting a clinical study. Today, I will reflect on one of my shining moments from those so called simpler times. With that, I give you -
Toga Throw Down: A Tale by Sixth Grade Cory
During a quarter in 6th grade our whole “pod” studied the Roman Empire. Every day in history class we prepped for our big Roman Bowl we would have at the end of the unit. As you know from my previous blog, I love a good game show. The year before, I single handedly won the Geography Bowl so I was a pretty big name in the Bowl world. I hadn’t come to the realization yet that being smart wasn’t super cool in junior high, so I was PUMPED for this competition. A fun addition to the day – you
got to wear a toga. Thin sheets adorning awkward 6th grader’s chubby
bodies. I could NOT wait! I am a quarter Greek and who better to wear a toga
than a legit Greek goddess? I had it all planned out. I would curl my hair and
pin it up perfectly, letting the curls fall gently down from the tussled up-do.
I was going to look so ethereal and all of the boys would fall in love with me.
Just call me Aphrodite. If you are thinking I must have looked drop dead
gorgeous, I have included a picture to better your judgment.
The night before I couldn’t sleep due to the anticipation. Not only because I was going to transform into the hottest thing the school had ever seen, but I was going to kill that competition. The morning of, my mom helped me with my
toga. She placed the pins perfectly so there would be no Janet Jackson moments,
or so we thought. I literally rode the bus in a toga, walked around school in a
toga, and had never been more confident.
The Gold Pod assembled upstairs in a large conference room where the Roman Bowl would commence. Food stations lined the room along with uncomfortable 6th grade kids dressed in their bed sheets they had slept on the night before.
My team was up first to compete. There were 6 of us on the team and honestly I can only remember one, my crush, who I just knew I was going to marry (definitely did not – no regrets!). Pretty sure he was totally checking out my toga the whole time and probably loved my two curled tendrils that fell nicely on either side of my face.
The buzzers laid in front of us and we were ready. I think I literally scored every point. My team was ecstatic! The boy of my dreams picked me up
threw out his back, twirled me around and kissed me! THE END.
PSYCHE! They surprisingly weren’t as competitive as I was and didn’t really care. My mom warned me to stop getting so many questions right and let other people have a try. UH what???!! I just won the first round for my team and you tell me to back off the buzzer?! Jana, I am going for the GOLD!!
A few more teams competed while we waited for the semi’s to start. My team started pressuring me, “Cory, we didn’t study” they tell me. “You HAVE to win this for us, you’re our only hope”. I now know the pressure of Obi One- If you don’t understand Star Wars references I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but R2 ain’t one.
I reassured my team, “Guys! I got this! Did you not see how I dominated?? Don’t you know I’m a quarter Greek??” Roman/Greek, Potato/Potahto. They were confident and I started to get a little in over my head, trash talking to the other teams and such. Yep, trash talking over a SIXTH GRADE history competition. I was the coolest.
Semis were up and I was more than ready. I sat in front of my buzzer and Mr. Travelstead, my amazing history teacher, read the first question. I looked over to my mom and she spoke to me through her eyes. “Don’t even think about touching that buzzer, give the other kids a shot.” Mom. You don’t understand! This is my time! I could be the hero! Everyone would love me and all the boys would be fighting over me! I think the toga was giving me a little too much confidence.
telepathy thinking went by and someone had
already buzzed in and answered. Fine. I will give them ONE answer. During every
question I couldn’t get my mom out of my head. Yoda Mom, out of my head you must get!!
I was letting my team down. My buzzer stopped working and I knew it had to have been another Jedi mind trick. My mom was sabotaging me, but really saving me from TOTAL Loserville (I was only a visitor not a resident). The game was over and my team had been defeated. I let them down and I just knew I would never hear the end of it. I turned to apologize but they were already stuffing their faces with Roman delicacies (Lunchables). Did they not even care?! Ugh, 12 year olds.
The school bell rang and the day was over. I had been conquered and my title of Bowl Champion was stripped from me. I walked somberly to my bus, thinking that this day could not get any worse. I stepped outside and felt the cool breeze hit my stomach… MY STOMACH?! One by one the safety pins had popped. I looked down to find my white sheet lying over someone’s shoes that were not mine. I slowly raised my head to find none other than my
future husband crush standing right in front of me. “IM NAKED!!!!!!” I screamed.
Okay, I didn’t scream that and I actually wasn’t naked, but I might as well have
been! Dressing that morning I thought I should wear something tight under the
toga just so it wasn’t see through, because no one would ever see it, right??!! I wore my shortest tightest shorts and a
TIGHT white t-shirt. I apologize for the visual. Sadly, this wasn’t my most
embarrassing moment in junior high. I called off the wedding before he had a
chance to, grabbed my sheet, mummified myself, and hopped on the bus to
Monday, November 16, 2015
Sometimes it's fun to switch it up a bit. And sometimes I'm just lazy and would rather have my sister write. So here I give you, my first guest blogger, Bailie Land.
Sometimes it's fun to switch it up a bit. And sometimes I'm just lazy and would rather have my sister write. So here I give you, my first guest blogger, Bailie Land.
The object of my
Do the words: ER, Grease, Lois and Clark, Remington Steele, Star Wars, books, running, Shang (from Mulan, duh), liquid tights, S’well bottles, Zumba, (the list goes on) mean anything to you? #probznot. You’re looking at a short list of some of my past and current obsessions.
Let’s face it, we all have our things that we love. Sure, you see a movie that’s really good and tell some of your friends, maybe even go a step further and give it a nice rating on Rotten Tomatoes…but then you go along living life.
Or, you get a new water bottle (that keeps liquid cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 – um MAGIC) and just go about your day.
Or, you see a character in, let’s say, a Disney movie about a young girl who needs to bring honor to her family and dresses as a solider to fight the Huns (so vague) and think, that Shang guy was pretty cool. And then YOU LEAVE IT AT THAT.
I’m not a specialist, but I think those are pretty normal reactions.
Cue the Broadway music, hit the lights and ever-present dance moves…
Enter, yours truly.
**DISCLAIMER: I am not Swim Fan, so just stop that thinking right now…seriously, STOP**
- I can’t wait for a movie to end so that I can Wikipedia the heck out of it for all of the facts. Um, seriously – how fun is it to Wikipedia old movie stars and then click on other stars related to them and then the movies they were in and then their kids…… oh, that’s not fun?
- I openly tell people that I am a S’well bottle ambassador. (PS> that’s not a thing) But I feel like it is my mission in life to bring awareness to how amazing these things are! THEY KEEP YOUR LIQUIDS COLD FOR 24 HOURS!!!!!!
- I became incredibly obsessed with ER while in junior high…to the point that I wore one of my dad’s white button up shirts and called it my doctor’s coat. Oh, and nbd, but I taped and labeled every single episode (thanks, TNT for the throwbacks) and might have cried when Cory taped over one.
- Speaking of taping things, who else was totally in to The Adventures of Lois and Clark? I bet you figured out how to set the VCR in your condo in Florida to tape it, too. #Knewit.
- But guys, we can’t forget the ever-popular, Remington Steele! Aka Pierce Brosnan’s greatest work! You may ask, “Uh, have you seen James Bond??” and I will say, “But, have you SEEN Remington Steele?
- I saw Hairspray 10 (ten, T-E-N, 5+5) times in theaters. Like, by the time Zac Effron and Nikki Blonsky were doing the twist to You Can’t Stop The Beat…my heart was ready for another round of the movie. [Side note: Zach took me to my 5th viewing of Hairspray for our first date…see, the movie is magical]
- I broke my VHS of Grease because I watched it too much. Um, I’m sorry I wanted to rewind the dance-off over and over to make sure I was doing the right moves when I performed it for my class in junior high school.
- My parents grounded me from watching my box set of Star Wars movies (the OGs – let’s not talk ep 1 right now, I’m having a pretty good day) one summer, because I started to talk about painting my room black and was talking to my life-size cutout of Han Solo. But seriously, Han was the U-L-T-I-M-A-T-E! But even more, I mailed in an application to be in the Star Wars fan club… haven’t heard back, but I’m claiming membership.
- So, yes, I had a MAJOR crush on Shang from Mulan (I was young, people!!!!) His performance of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” was amazing. [Side note: Years later, I found out that Donny Osmond was actually Shang, and that pretty much cast a shadow over that brief period of my life]
- I’ve been reading so much that for a brief moment, I thought I was the character in my book. But that’s totes norms, right? That wasn’t this week or anything. Shout out to all my readers- HOLLA!
Actually, as I type this, I realize that these aren’t really confessions, because if you are around me enough – I have talked about all of these things because, hello –
Basically, when I get into something, I go all in. Who wants to be so nonchalant about things anyway? And seriously, who wants to drink out of a water bottle that only keeps your water cold for 10 minutes?
Monday, November 9, 2015
People who think not having a job is the greatest thing ever- you’re wrong. Going to the gym, cooking, cleaning, doing whatever you want! You’re wrong. All of these things cost money (so I had convinced myself) and when you don’t have a job you don’t have NO money! Thus being the case, surely I could not cook, clean, go to the gym or do whatever I wanted.
I like to think I am a fairly creative person so this whole “no job thing” should be fun! I thought. Three days in and I was going CRAZY! Crazy, until I discovered the beauty of the Game Show Network. Try not to leave work right after reading this and go cozy up on the couch to the smooth sounds of Steve Harvey. Seriously, I’m sorry for the temptation. Yes, the Game Show Network was my best friend. Family Feud was my weapon of choice and let me tell you- I would kill on that show. I would make fast money my B. When I was 15 I actually signed up to be on the show. No call back. They have no idea what they missed out on…
When I resigned from my job in May, a job I really did love, I knew it was the right thing to do for me and something I was supposed to do, but I didn’t know what I was actually going to do – other than win big money on a game show! I started making plans of everything I would do with all of my extra time. Clean! Cook! Work out! Get Skinny - sorry for the spoiler alert but we all know how that turned out. Please refer to the below post. These plans went to…crap. If you think cussing would make this blog funnier, which I do, sorry but I have a 26 year no cussing streak I’m trying to maintain. It’s a competition. Who am I competing against? My favorite competitor, myself.
Back to jobless Cory.
Cooking just didn’t seem as much fun as fast food was to eat- instant
heartburn gratification and no clean up required!
Going to the gym- that’s like three miles away, and you know, I should really conserve gas – or save the money I would spend on gas for my junk food! Brilliant.
Cleaning- well one day (out of the 5 months of unemployment) I organized our guest room! Then it went to … crap, again. The thing about cleaning is - I hate it. This isn’t an exaggeration, I really just do not like to clean. I’m not one of those girls (my sister in law) that lives for cleaning or can’t go to sleep with a messy house. Heck, I probably sleep better with a messy house! Now, don’t start to think I live in a TLC reality show mashup of My 600lb Life and Buried Alive. I keep it clean I’m just not obsessive – let me live my life!
So as I lied on my couch, in my semi clean apartment, eating my fast food, and watching television magic, Family Feud, I told myself “one day this will all be over, and you will have a job that requires you to wear pants and a bra and you don’t get a 2-4 nap.” I shuddered at the thought. You see, some days I got really down on myself. I felt worthless. I felt like I wasn’t contributing to my household. I have had a job since I was 13 and now I was lying around all day Pinteresting what I could make out of sugar, bread, and mustard because that’s all we had in the house and I was
too lazy to go to
the store conserving gas. When I
started to get down on myself I thought about how I would never get this time
back, and to enjoy myself! And to eat more QT donuts!!
So I leave you with this:
5 to do/not do’s while unemployed:
1. When you have already seen every Family Feud episode twice, watch every season of Friday Night Lights at least twice through. Clear eyes. Full hearts. CAN’T LOSE.
2. Clean minimally. This means throw everything you own into the “guest bedroom” aka where junk goes to die.
3. Wear the same workout clothes every day. You can just tell people this is your “work outfit” – even if it’s a floral top and black skirt from lululemon and you clearly don’t look like you could work there. They’ll totally fall for it.
4. Put off everything you thought you would ever do with any free time you would have; Write your wedding thank you letters (Thank you so much to everyone who came and got us amazing presents, we love you soooo much!! Does this count??), learn how to speak a new language, get skinny…
5. Don’t ever make mustard sugar bread. Just don’t.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Do you know the exact time the Quik Trip truck comes to deliver the fresh donuts at night? I do! 10:30pm and no, I don’t work there. When you are eating your lunch, are you thinking about what you're going to have for dinner? Yep, I am! Are you out of breath just sitting at your desk? Hands raised over here!
Perhaps you thought I was going to go into some type of "If you answered yes to at least one of these, here's how I can help!" Nope! Just wanted you to feel my
I have now gotten to the point that if someone asks me if I’m pregnant (I'm not) I may say yes just so I’m not embarrassed by my rapid weight gain in the last 8 months. XXlbs (if my husband ever reads this I don't want him to vomit at the number) and I blame it ALL on Nathan. Just kidding I blame my fat…self. I totally would have cussed right there if I was a cusser.
I tell myself every night “Tomorrow, I’m not going to eat anything and I’m going to work out so hard!” Next morning: "Good morning, donut and breakfast pizza! How are you! I’ve missed you soooo much!" I didn’t eat for a good 6-8 hours while I was sleeping so I reallllly needed those 1500 calories to kick start my day!
I don’t know what has gotten into me! I’ve always been good about starting diets. Super strict and dropped weight really fast. Now every time I try and start, Nathan offers to go get sweets at 11 at night. See, it is his fault. I literally ate two donuts right before I went to sleep last night. Like, I don’t even remember eating them. Just kidding, I remember every bite of that chocolate long john and fresh sprinkle donut…..
So as I’m writing this I can see that I have an addiction…
I have fallen into gluttony and I HAVE to get out or I will become like the 600lb man that got kicked out of the hospital for ordering a pizza… I wonder what kind he got...wow I love pizza... NO, NO I DON’T!! I NEED TO HATE PIZZA!!! How are people anorexic? Who are these people that when they are stressed or depressed, don’t eat?? WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE??? I didn’t have a job for 5 months and instead of eating really clean and working out – I ate. And ate and ate and ate some more! Reasor’s cookies, Taco Bell, Bueno, Braums, EVERYTHING! Out of all of the clothes I have in my closet, maybe 7 things fit. SEVEN!!!! Thankfully, no one talks to me at work or notices me really at all so my wardrobe isn’t assessed every day, but still. Seven things.
Today is a new day. I have eaten a tuna packet, while everyone around me stared at me, hating me for the atrocious smell – at least someone looked at me today! I let myself have one cup of coffee (with a hot chocolate pouch) to warm myself up because it’s freaking cold up in this Williams igloo. I have had a total of 200 calories and I think I should be done for the day but am scared what I will talk myself into later...
The only positive thing I would’ve thought about weight gain would be a bigger chest. Whoever said having a big chest covers a multitude of sins- you’re a dirty liar. I’m looking down right now and no sins are covered. Now that I am fat I can truly tell you what the positive side to being large is - other than eating anything and everything. It's that the homeless people stop staring at you and stop thinking they could attack you on your way to your parking garage. "Don't jump the big girl!! She will eat you!" My fat is now better than any weapon I could ever buy.
I do NOT want sympathy. "Cory, you are not fat! I can't even tell you've gained weight!" Okay, you are either blind or you are insulting me. I also don't want you to agree with me. So let's just not say anything and put those judgy eyes away. I'm going to get it together. CORY YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT TOGETHER. One day you'll see my before and afters - ya I took those swimsuit pics and I literally gagged looking at them - and you will be like "dannnnnng I was so wrong,.. you WERE jumbo dumbo!"
So to all of the girls out there who have gained a lot of weight during your first year of marriage and think you are fat- you probably are. But so am I. Let's lose this ish.