Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Scene In Which I Get Shit On

Sometimes, I wonder if we as a society lessen the impact of certain words, when we use them to mean things they don't actually mean. Today's word is SHIT. So many possibilites.

That's shit. As in literally, there's some stuff on the ground there, and it's shit.

That's shit. As in, that's sucky. Which is just another example, really.

You're shitting me. A la Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama."
"Are you shitting me?"
"You know, I've never actually understood that expression, but no. I am not shitting you."

You're shitting me. As in....actually, you can put your own literal description there.

And then my favorite, and the reason for posting today.

I got shit on.

Sometimes, dears, this can mean innocuous things. My boss called me out. My girlfriend found someone else. My best friend is dating my girlfriend.

And then it can be literal.

Ohhhhhh can it be literal.

You see, recently I hung a bird feeder from a low branch of my cherry tree. The National Wildlife Federation has this amazing program where, if you meet a certain amount of requirements, you can have your yard certified as an official animal sanctuary. Being somewhat of a conservation geek, this appeals to me. So when I landscaped last year, I chose a variety of Indiana native plants that would be easy to care for, and I chose plants that would provide habitats and food for native animals. The NWF requires at least two feeding sources (cherry tree and coneflower plants, check) but also notes that you can supplement feeding with things like bird feeders. Since the coneflower won't bloom for awhile, I decided to go that route.

And it has been fantastic. I've got all kinds of birds and even some squirrels now. They've gotten used to me (and figured out that Finn is pretty much blind and won't chase them) and they will fly to the feeder in the cherry tree when I'm sitting on the porch swing.

But then today, I leashed up Finn, plus the two dogs staying with us this week, grabbed the necessary bags (back to "That's Shit" example), and headed out. And Then. It. Happened.

I got shit on.

The strangest part was, as startling it was and as gross as it was, it didn't really change the course of life all that much for me. To be honest, and this may be a little TMI, I wiped my arm (shit-site) on my yard-work-dirtied-jeans, made a face, and moved on with my life. Yes, life doesn't always go the way we've planned, and sometimes the beautiful songbirds that enrich my life otherwise are going to startle from the tree and shit on my arm. Sometimes I'm not going to agree with my boss, or my coworkers. Sometimes I'm going to screw up and get called out on it. Sometimes things aren't going to go as planned. The point is, I can't let those things slow me down. I'm not going to let a single shitcident keep me from enjoying the cardinal's song.

After all....

Shit happens.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Scene In Which I Spilled My Starbucks and Started a Blog

It started with a Starbucks.

Up until that particular moment during a drive back to Indianapolis, I'd just sort of been peacefully floating along - sipping on my grande white mocha, listening to Eric & Kathy on the Mix (man, I miss that station here in Indy!), and contemplating the weekend to come and the fact that my dear friend, Emilee, was at the same moment driving AWAY from Indianapolis to begin her post-graduate school life in Portland.

In an interesting but not-quite-yet related aside, Emilee has been after me to blog life's little funny turns of events for the past several years. She insists that stories of having to break into one's own home, the vast contemplation that can be had when deciding whether a fish is too big for a post-mortem flush, and the other random bits of unscripted moments are worthy of sharing. I've politely disagreed, on many occasions.

Back to the drive.

I reached for the Starbucks.

Suddenly, time stood still.

The coffee was inexplicably airborne.

And then it wasn't. It was on my lap, on my silk blouse, soaking my jeans, soaking the seat of the car, and rapidly invading some pretty personal locations.

I've mentioned I was on the highway going about 70, right?

Maintaining a degree of level-headedness I pride myself on, I take stock. Step one, remove empty cup from lap. Check. Step two, find nearest exit. Thankfully, one was coming up. Great! It was the exit for Fair Oaks Farms, a place I've been eager to visit for years but have never made it to. Well, seemed like as good a place as any to change out of my Starbucks-soaked clothes, so I pulled into the parking lot.

Rapidly, I deduced three things. First, there were approximately, um, 19 school buses in the parking lot. Secondly, I would likely encounter all the passengers of said school buses inside the farm. Thirdly, it kind of looked like I had peed my pants. A lot.

Hence, the "better" decision to change in the parking lot- which, by the way, was completely unshielded from the highway by any sort of trees, shrubbery, or even a fence. Thanks. I'll spare you the visual, but suffice it to say that while changing into a cotton dress is fairly easy to do "in car," it's REALLY important to make sure you adequately tug down the back of the dress, not just the front, before you stand up and let your mocha-soaked jeans fall to the ground.

Especially if your jeans are wet enough to tug your underwear with them.

Just sayin'.

When I got back on the highway, I realized that maybe the Starbucks incident was kind of a metaphor for my life at the moment. You see, I've sort of been floating peacefully through life for awhile now, but I've got a feeling that there are a couple mocha-moments coming ahead to shake things up for me. I also realized that while you can have a path in mind, sometimes life throws you little detours and you get to see things you might not have seen otherwise- even if that's just the parking lot of Fair Oaks Farms. Finally, I realized that Emilee might just be right. From flushing fish to spilling Starbucks, life is a series of hilarious moments that may as well just be shared. So in honor of her departure, and as a way to keep each other posted on all life throws at us, Emilee, this blog's for you ;)