DAMAGE DOWN UNDAH

August 29, 2010

In February 2009 I took a trip to Australia. I have a close friend who lives there and decided it was time to visit her.

I absolutely fell in love with Australia! This is more of a sidenote, but I seriously cried for days after returning home from that trip. I started looking for jobs in Australia, as well as looked into selling my condo. I loved it there, and often daydream about going back.

My friend was born and raised in Australia. Aussie all the way (Oy, Oy, Oy!)! We traveled all around seeing as much as possible in 16 days. (For anyone thinking of going to Australia, seriously, give yourself at least a month.) One of our stops was in the Queensland Goldcoast area. Our first day there we decided to walk down the beach and figure out our day as we went along, as I often like to do while traveling. I’m more of a “wing it’ kind of person. As in buffalo, fried, sweet and sour…you name it (as long as I can dip it in ranch or blue cheese dressing).

As I sprawled out on the sand like a lubed up beached whale, I decided I couldn’t take the heat anymore and suggested to my friend that perhaps we should take a dip. The waves looked rather menacing and I’m an awful swimmer, but I ran and tumbled into the waves like a seasoned Jesse White Tumbler. As we frolicked in the salty surf we talked about taking surf lessons AND maybe renting boogie boards. We were positively giddy and although we were just standing there, in my mind when I reflect on that moment I felt like we were holding hands, jumping up and down and giggling like schoolgirls. Herman’s Hermits “I’m Into Something Good” may have even been blasting from a non-existent stereo. This is how life should be!

Then, all of a sudden, I felt a searing heat on my legs. It felt like someone had just branded me with a cattle prod. At the exact same time my friend and I both began shrieking, “What is this?” It felt like weeds around my legs, which I kicked off and ran out of the water. It was the most intense pain I remember feeling around both my calves and thighs. We ran to our towels very confused and jumping around in pain. Our conversation sounded a lot like this: “Owww. Ouch. What the hell? Ouch. Fuck. Ouch. This really fucking hurts. What the hell was that? Ouch. Fucking hurts. Ouch!”

We surmised that we had been stung by “stingers.” At a loss for what to do to end the pain, we decided to run to the nearby surf shop where we were greeted with tan, laid back surfers who did not seem at all concerned with our plight. “Why don’t you wee on each other” one smug bloke said with a smile. I think the perv just wanted to watch. I winked and handed him our room key, then we ran to the local McDonald’s (in our bare feet I might add – I have a VERY big problem being in public with bare feet – this is how much pain I was in). We asked for two big cups of ice and alternated rubbing ice on each other’s legs, cursing as well as laughing at our situation.

I’m pretty sure I also bought a cherry Icee. They are so delicious! And also…um…I hear…um…they help with jellyfish stings?

My friend had lived in Australia her entire life (26 years), swimming in the ocean HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of times and never once been stung by a “jelly.” The second I come into town, we are swarmed by them.

We decided to forego the beach for the rest of the day and instead went back to our hotel to swim and nurse our wounds. As we were walking back to the hotel we saw the no swimming signs dotting the sand, as well as hundreds of Blue Bottle jelly fish that had washed up on shore. Apparently the sign hander-outers had forgot to put a sign in the sand where our asses were planted. Great.

Our legs seriously were on fire for a good 24 hours. I figured two of those little fuckers had wrapped their 4-feet tentacles around my calves and thighs. I actually had a scar around my right calf for a few months.

Sober Contemplations:

I literally invite disaster wherever I go. My friend who LIVES in Australia had never been stung nor known anyone stung. Yet, I go swimming in the ocean for two minutes and like a magnet attract hundreds of the creatures to come frolic with me.

For anyone who is stung by a jellyfish in Australia, the only remedy I found was to go out and drink excessively, dance and hang out with some 18-year-old boys.

Yes, I am smiling creepily right now.

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BOW WOW

August 26, 2010

Cycling back to my Internet dating, my first “online” date was rather disastrous, and I’m surprised I did not pull the plug after it. Clearly I am ill equipped for these types of situations. It should have been one and done.

The guy I met out was a few years older and lived in a suburb nearby where I grew up. We had some common interests, and he seemed mature and funny, so I was open to meeting him in person. He was recently divorced and had a young daughter, but, wanting kids myself one day, I was perfectly okay with that setup.

I was just keeping my fingers crossed that he was perfectly okay with alcoholics.

We decided to meet for dinner in the city. The weather was not so great, so he took the train downtown to meet me. I work near the train station, so we agreed to meet there and grab a bite to eat somewhere close by.

Well, unfortunately he missed the train, which I find out somewhat late. At a loss for what to do on a Friday night at 6 p.m., I could only think of one thing: Drink.

I sat down in the train station bar and began downing drinks. Again, this was my first Internet date, so I will use the nervous excuse again. I told myself I would only drink one or two, but I believe that I actually had more like four.

Four Captain and Diets. Sigh.

When his train finally arrived, I was feeling rather giddy. We went on to dinner, and I am having an absolute blast. However, I honestly think I would have had an absolute blast with a tranquilized monkey. Much of the conversation from the date is blurry, but after tossing some wine flights on top of the Captain and me only nibbling my food, this is rather understandable.

Keep in mind that this guy was a father and rather new to the dating world. I do NOT think I was a good introduction to what type of girl was out there.

What I do remember VERY clearly is that he was very intent on getting a train home. And by intent, I mean we RAN back to the train station. Seriously, full-out running. Not power walking or a light jog. I worked up a sweat. The reason he gave for being so intent on getting back to Arlington Heights? Because he (and I quote) “had to feed his dog.”

For real.

I was somewhat embarrassed, but figured it was an improvement from my other drunk first date debacle. Although I had “accidentally” gotten pretty drunk on the date, at least I stayed away from naughty topics! I actually wished I had talked about some inappropriate things just to see the shocked look on his face. I definitely should have had a little more fun with this guy. Insert the topics of beastiality, incest, or just general discussions on violence and murder.

Dating Rule:

Do not use needing to feed your dog as an excuse to leave a date. I’m no vet, but I think Mr. Bojangles will survive a few hours with no food. Especially because my date worked from home and was with his dog all day!

I may be a drunk, but I’m no idiot.

I know I can come on pretty strong and possibly inappropriate but loosen up, and you just may find yourself having a good, albeit strangely interesting, time.

I’m pretty sure the real reason he wanted to go home early was to go beg his ex-wife to take him back.

If I’m who is left out there … SCARY!

DORM ROOM BANDIT

August 22, 2010

My freshman year in college I lived with two of my best friends from high school in the “six pack” at the University of Illinois. We were incredibly lucky to be given a room the size of a study lounge. We were coined “the triple.” Not to say we were famous or anything, but we definitely had a problem with paparazzi. People were always wanting us to sign autographs as well. It was a mess.

Fine.

The only people wanting to take my picture were at the police station and I believe it’s called a mug shot. And autographs consisted of signing off on “confessions.” Since when is it illegal to commission prostitutes for a “good time?” And then beat them with a pipe to show them who is boss?

The dorms we picked were a pretty popular place to live. Which was good and bad. Bad because sometimes my one roommate and I would give fake names to guys we met for unknown reasons. This backfired when we would run into them in the cafeteria. I was always a tad taken aback when some frantic guy came running over yelling, “Kat!!! Ivy!!!” Being too embarrassed to admit we lied, we would have to go along with it. I’m not sure why I always chose Katarina as my fake name. I am clearly not Russian (I always said my parents were Russian immigrants), nor do I enjoy playing with balls of yarn or licking myself clean (though if I could reach…).

This really has nothing to do with anything. I digress.

So we were out partying and returned to the dorms to hang out in our friend’s room. The dorm we lived in had an L-shaped hallway for girls, then the other L-shaped hallway was for guys. I’m not sure who thought of this idea, but it made it very easy for pirates like me to rape and pillage.

On this particular night I guess I informed everyone I was going to “go for a walk.” Apparently what I meant when I said “walk” was try EVERY one of the doors on the boys’ side to see if they were open.

Some were open.

My friend later found me in some stranger’s room. The person was sleeping, but I had crawled up into his bunk bed and in a very evil voice was saying I loved him and then giggling and licking his face. My friend was pretty sure he was fake sleeping.

And was very scared.

We made our way back to our room, went to sleep and that was that.

However, I must have woken up in the night and decided I had not yet had my fill of raping and pillaging. For when we awoke the next day our room was filled with all sorts of treasures, including a music stand, a Bob Marley poster, and some various jerseys/clothes.

I was mortified! I had no idea what rooms I had taken these items from or how I would ever return them! We chose to do a covert mission. We checked to make sure the boys’ hallway was clear and left the items sitting in the middle of the hall so the owners could claim them.

That’s what you get for leaving your door unlocked when you know there is a pirate residing in “the triple.” Did the peg leg and parrot not give it away?!

Arrrggghhh.

Moral of the Story:

For those who design dorm room layouts: It may not be the best idea to intermix 18-year-old drunk guys and girls in the same living space. As I’m sure all of us who have lived in a dorm know, lots of strange stuff happens.

For anyone designing living space for the likes of me, locks on the OUTSIDE of the doors are most likely necessary. If you don’t, you are at risk of me stealing your belongings, then your soul.

JAMBOREE

August 20, 2010

I’m trying to expand my storytelling to include experiences that do NOT involve me being a total alcoholic. You should know that I actually hold down a full-time professional job and have numerous hobbies. I mean, I actually read. Like books and stuff. It’s crazy, I know. This noggin is more than just a hat rack, people!

However, I do tend to invite strange things into my life. Odd people talk to me about odd things and I do not know why. I must have an inviting look (glassy eyed, drooling, slumped over with dried vomit on my shirt).

I also am a complete klutz, and the two coupled together make for some interesting stories. If I had a camera following me around, it would look an awful lot like a creepier version of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Except instead of some little kid swinging a bat into my nuts, I’d somehow be using a homeless midget as a nunchuck and smack myself in the face with “Person I’m Barely Taller Than.”

Back to the story. Something I have always loved is music. I may have a horrible memory, so I will not be able to recite to you the names of songs, albums, year they were produced, etc., not even to some of my favorite bands. Regardless, whether at work or at home, music is usually always playing. I love going to concerts and discovering new bands.

My love of music started at a rather young age. In high school I went to numerous concerts, although truth be told this usually involved getting drunk or high beforehand and trying to not get arrested. My junior year I attended a “Battle of the Bands” at a CHURCH drunk AND high. My boyfriend at the time had to hold me up, as I couldn’t walk.

At a church.

I managed to not get hit by lightening that night, but I’m pretty sure that is the reason I hear a clap of thunder anytime I step within 50 feet of a church. It’s a warning sign. I’m afraid my invitation has been revoked.

So a large group of us attended a jamboree of different bands put on by a local radio station. This was the late 90s, so it was mostly grunge rock. I had my normal costume on of oversized thrift store clothes and pigtails. The cherry on top was my construction worker boots. My friend used to call me “Alternative Grungemaster Leigh.” I certainly dressed the part that night.

At this Jamboree I am stone cold sober. Being the little shit that I am, I eagerly agreed to “go up” to crowd surf. While multiple man hands were grabbing at my teenage crotch and chest, I felt someone tug on my shoe. Then my foot felt lighter. Someone stole my shoe!

Gravity eventually brought me back to dry land, and I really had no choice but to walk around the rest of the night with one shoe. A few minutes went by and my 5’2” frame was trying to not get trampled by the sweaty giants surrounding me. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! I got kicked in the face by someone crowd surfing, which caused a bloody nose explosion.

I clamped my hands on my face and began running with ONE SHOE to the nearest washroom. I have to go through masses of people and it took some time. My friend helped me stop the bleeding, but unfortunately my shirt was already covered in blood. My face essentially looked like it had just given birth. In the meantime, my white sock was now turning a strange shade of brown.

I was looking hot.

So as my friend and I made our way down the stairs back to the mass of people, I totally wiped out on my ass down the stairs. We are talking legs in the air with me flying right behind on my well-endowed ass. I was wearing one shoe, my shirt was covered in blood and I wiped out on the stairs.

This all happened within about ten minutes.

As I dusted myself off and made sure all of my appendages were in place, an usher pulled my friend over to ask if I was drunk and perhaps should be escorted out.

I was sober. Unfortunately.

Sober Contemplations:

So in one night I managed to lose a shoe, get kicked in the face (causing a massive nose bleed) and then top it all off with a banana peel-esque tumble on concrete stairs.

All in one night…while sober.

Do you people now understand why I drink? At least if I’m drunk I don’t remember the incredulous looks of judgment and pity I get from strangers and friends alike.

What would you think if you saw a 16-year-old girl running around a concert in oversized clothes picked from the garbage, in pigtails, with ONE construction worker boot, shirt covered in blood and using the stairs as her own personal slip n’ slide?

Yeah. You’d drink too if you were me.

HIP HIP HOORAY

August 17, 2010

Some exciting news for all you faithful followers: It’s Not That Complicated now has its own Facebook page!

I know you all have been dreaming about this day for weeks/months/years. Ask and you shall receive!

Be sure to “like” (there is no “I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHIT” button) the page and post comments or stories of your own.

Thanks for reading!

DADDY WARBUCKS

August 16, 2010

Yet another issue I seem to have is that I tend to attract foreigners. Sometimes it’s men visiting who live outside of the United States. Most of the time it’s men who just live out of state. And then there are the guys I meet from exotic places like Kankakee or Dwight, IL. It’s almost like another country, right? (Who knew Dwight had an annual Bassett Waddle…sign me up!!)

I met a guy who was living in South Bend, IN, which I figured was close enough. He frequented Chicago often, and a date was planned. He suggested getting wine, so we decided to meet for some wine flights at Bin 36. Things started off pretty well, actually!

And by pretty well, I mean REALLY well. On top of getting wine, he suggested getting a cheese flight.

CHEESE flight. A flight of cheese. CHEESE.

I almost fainted, came to and immediately removed my underwear. This guy hit the jackpot!

Conversation was going well, although I picked up on the fact that he clearly had money and very clearly wanted me to know about it. I chalked it up to nerves and just wanting to impress me. Perhaps the girls he usually dated were impressed by this? I am one of the strange people who is not. Hard worker? Passionate? Impressive. Knows how to line dance? Ability to rock a sweat band and knee socks? Also impressive. Makes tons of money to flash in people’s faces? Meh.

After I finished licking the cheese plate and inhaling all the bread crumbs, he suggested we get dinner. I took this as a good sign, as I know how the game is played. Drinks are suggested, but you only get the green light for dinner if you’re really having fun. I was actually quite full from the 5 lbs. of cheese I had just consumed, so I agreed to dinner but suggested something light like sushi.

He suggested a very swanky sushi place nearby. Even though it was within walking distance, he was adamant about driving. At first I thought he was being gentlemanly so I wouldn’t get cold. I soon realized he just wanted me to know he was driving a brand new Mercedes Benz SUV. I was even lucky enough to hear all about this new purchase, including the motor type as well as the fact that he paid cash for it.

I don’t even pay cash when I buy a pack of gum. Literally, I have charged $1.24 before. Seriously, if you have to charge $1.24, can it wait? Do you REALLY need that US Weekly magazine to feed your gossip addiction RIGHT NOW?

So anyway, dinner was delicious. I almost felt like I was in another world. I do not think I had ever been wined and dined in this fashion! (Do I spot a Bassett waddling???)

After dinner, as we walked to the coat check, he noticed his car was parked right out front. He then got really excited about the valet’s placement of his car. He kept repeating (and I quote): “I can’t believe I’m THAT guy. I’m the guy where the valet parks his Benz right out in front.”

I tried not to roll my eyes as he repeated these lines several times. I can’t believe I’m THAT girl who is out with THAT guy who would actually say THOSE words.

Daddy Warbucks was kind enough to offer to drive me home, which was nice considering the winter weather and that his hotel was only a few blocks from dinner while I lived a few miles away. He then proceeded to take a detour to Lakeshore Drive, opting to first drive me by the building he “was going to buy,” outlining the details of the place. He noticed the bathroom lights on in one of the windows, smiled at me and said, “That could be us! That could be us getting ready together for bed!”

All I heard was a record scratching. What you talkin’ ‘bout Willis? I mean, I did remove my underwear during drinks but that’s just because I like cheese – don’t get any ideas!

Next, he swung by an art gallery so he could point out the painting in the window that he was going to purchase for $5,000. Honestly, buddy, I get it, you have a lot of money, you know a lot of people. My ears are bleeding. Please stop.

The timing worked out well for me on this one, as it was right around Christmas. With the holidays, things eventually fizzled out on their own. I still randomly get text messages when he is in town, which I’m sure is out of boredom.

That or Daddy Warbucks wants to return the underwear I left in his brand new Benz.

Dating Rule:
Having money is a good thing! Especially when you work hard to get it. But if you are used to dating women who are impressed by the car you drive, or the job you have, or the things you own…do you really think these women are into YOU? Or just what you can offer them?

I refuse to get all philosophical (I can barely spell it, let alone do it). But any woman who is worth something is not going to be impressed by how much money you spend on a wall adornment.

Now, if you want to spend $5K buying me cheese for life? Well, that’s a different story. Throw in some crackers and/or bread and I think we could definitely work something out!

PUDDIN’ POPS

August 13, 2010

Last summer I played on a softball team on Friday nights. Leave it to me to find a team more focused on drinking than playing. As team MVP (aka, catcher or right fielder), I played a key role not only during the game, but also at the after party.

Before one game mid-season, I told myself to “keep it together,” as I was leaving the next day for a family reunion and had to be at my family’s house in the suburbs pretty early. I tried, I really did! But the combination of not eating dinner and downing multiple vodka sodas dictated otherwise.

I woke up the next day, looked at the clock and freaked out when I realized it was the time I was supposed to be at my parent’s house! There went helping them pack up the coolers and car, let alone packing my own bag.

As I quickly scampered out of bed, I noticed that I was not alone. I spent the night with my smooth, sweet, chocolate lover….

Yes, you guessed it. A cup of pudding. From what I could gather from the crime scene, I opened up said pudding and promptly passed out. It. Was. Everywhere. On me, on my sheets, on my teddy bear…um, what? I mean, not my teddy bear. I’m not a 31-year-old grown woman with a teddy bear! Please!

I quickly (while still drunk, I might add) started throwing clothes in a bag. I called my Mom, who asked: “Are you close to the house?”

“I will be there real soon!”

I made an educated (read: drunk) decision to wipe down my arms and face vs. take a shower to “save time,” threw my sheets in the hamper and started making my way to the suburbs.

When I arrived I was greeted with some pretty angry campers, who I very sweetly ignored and instead demanded breakfast. Mom then squinted at me and gasped, “What is on your arm?!?”

I looked down and saw some crusted chocolate love, saving itself for later. I leaned down to lick it off and professed, “It’s pudding!!!!”

My family quickly figured out the reason for my lateness and drew straws to determine whose car I would ride in. My brother drew the short straw.

SUCKA!!!

Moral of the Story:

Of the many things I like to do while drunk, passing out while eating is not one of them. I’m either going to pass out or I’m going to eat. The combination does not end well, apparently.

This was the only time I have done this. It was obviously slim pickin’s at my house. Who eats sugar-free pudding after a night at the bars?

From here on out, feel free to call me Bill Cosby. (Because of the pudding, not the “alleged” sexual abuse. If anyone asks, I thought he was 18.)