Friday, June 22, 2012

Hashbrowns and Hobos

Alternative Title: That Time We Got Married
(True story)

As a forewarning, this blog has no drawings, sorry!

        The door of the Waffle House swings shut behind me, the air whooshing past expelling me forward.  I should have rented a mustang.  Laughing I look back only to see my newly wed wife, head on the table, resting next to a plate of hash browns piled high.  I see the scantily clad waitress (name tag pinned to the spaghetti strap of her definitely 2 sizes too small shirt) place a hand on her shoulder and comfortingly, with as much sympathy as she could muster, say what looked to be, "Would you like some coffee honey?  It's on the house."  My wife looks up at the proffered cup, I can imagine her thoughts, "Irish?"  Instead she just nods her head.  I can't help but chuckle at the interaction I just witnessed between the strip service waffle waitress (don't quit your day job honey) and my beautiful wife; our first meal as husband and wife, hash browns and coffee, how romantic… Ahhh (I can already see it now, our auto diographical book -- Our Life and Waffle House). 
I turn and start walking back to our car, parked in a parking lot 2 miles away. My wife wanted me to go and get our computers from the car.  Right after pushing it into a spot and setting our parking break on the car, sweat still on my brow, a homeless man on a bicycle came up and said, "Excuse me sir, my name is John Brown." "Hi John, I'm Lark." "Well Clark you know today is my birthday.  How are you?"  "Well John I'm great."  "That's good, I'm not doing too well, my dog actually died yesterday but I've also been clean for 3 years as of today."  Eyes wide and lips chapped make me doubt that, let alone the fact that he is asking money from a guy who just pushed his multicolored car, the words 'just married' still caked on the back window, into a parking spot.  I guess I am wearing a suit, but seriously John?  "Sure John here's a quarter.  Happy 4th."  "God bless you sir."  "You too John.  You too."  As I walk back towards the car, hoping that I will not find John using our quarter to somehow jimmy the door, I think how we got here.
Badump badump badump badump.  "Sorry! I'm just feeling so tired.  It was hot today."  "Better not get too tired mister we've got a good ways to- "  Izzy stops short, "- What's happening to the radio?"  This was the first sign of trouble, "Nothing, I bet we're just in the boonies."  'Carry on my wayward soooo krshchhhhhhh ere'll be hope krschhhhhhh.'  We have fun filling in the gaps but I realize there is about to be trouble; wanting to distract my wife I come up with the single best smoke screen, "CANDY BARS!!"  
We pull over at a gas station and she runs inside following the alluring call of coke cans and gummy bears drawn in by their sweet siren's song.  I watch the heads turn as she walks by.  Boonie bumpkins looking to lure her in with their F Ford - 450s and yellow crooked tooth smiles, wads of dip resembling lip tumors the size of Madagascar.  I get out of the car and put the gas pump into the tank, setting the handle to pump automatically, I slide my card… "Zipcode please." … 79601 … "You are a long way from home, Bob.  Receipt?" … No… "Your car is going to break down, Bob, at least it could look nice.  Carwash?"… No and shut up my name isn't Bob… "Please select gas type -- Bob."  Selected, the gas starts pumping.  I pop the hood and take a look inside.  Does anyone know why we do this?  I know I won't have anymore of an idea of how to fix my car let alone know what is wrong with it just by staring at a dirty engine, but I always look anyways secretly hoping that Greasy, the less known 8th dwarf, will have placed large well lit arrows pointing from Point A to Point B, making it as simple as plugging in a refrigerator or lighting a pilot light, my wife would come back, the obnoxious talking pump would give us gas for free ("Your welcome Bob."), the car would start, and we'd ride off into the sunset singing, "Wouldn't it be nice if we…" by the Beach Boys.  But the sun has already set, it is dark, and even if I could see my engine I would still have no idea what I was doing.  Hood closed, gas pumped, engine started, and most importantly candy acquired, we start driving.
Distracted by the gummy bear villagers ("No please don't eat me!" "Take red he's fatter.") my wife doesn't notice the speedometer which is fluctuating wildly between 0 and 100 even though, judging by the surrounding traffic, we are going a steady 60.  "Oh no."  I accidentally say, letting a silent prayer run through my mind, now my mantra.  "What is it?"  Izzy asks, two mauled 'gladiator gummies' in her open hand.  I recover quickly, "I forgot to ask for directions at the gas station."  "Okay!  I'll look it up on your phone!" 
Over the next 60 miles of dark tree lined highway our radio would finally die completely, the rpm, gas tank, and speedometer would all start gesticulating violently as if to say, "HEY!  Something is not right!"  And every single one of our, 'this crap is broken,' lights would come on.  Thankfully our dash is deep set so my wife couldn't see them.  A mere 3 miles from our hotel, at a stoplight, all of these signs finally paid out their death blow. 


The car, dying, made it through the stop light on dreams alone, at this point all of the lights on our car were coming on and off in no way in unison with one another.

We looked ridiculous.

"Lark! What is happening?"
"I don't know honey, I think the car is dying."
"That's obvious, is this why the radio was coming on and off?"
(Did you know this was happening is really what she was asking.)
Incredulous eyebrows raised, I know what's coming next don't you?
Having seen numerous sitcoms on such a subject and having watched my own parents in such situations I brace myself for the storm.
She sighs, and says,
"Why didn't you tell me.  It's okay, I love you, let's get off this road."
I remember why I married her six hours ago.
"Okay darling."
Pushing the car down an empty sidestreet towards a deserted parking lot, I in my white linen wedding suit, streamers now limp, trail of cans scraping and scuttling along the concrete, we are truly a sad sight.  An ambulance stops and helps us (I can imagine the EMS nurse saying to the gunshot victim inside, "You can wait.  Just apply pressure here.").

In the parking spot (a little off center, I decide not to straighten it out), waving goodbye to our EMS friends, "Happy 4th."  We prepare to walk to the hotel, the bright yellow Waffle House sign glowing in the distance, calling us to it, welcoming us to a hot cup of coffee and a piled plate of hash browns.  How strange life is.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hey Look! We be famous!

...but not really.

*click to make it bigger*

I'd be glad to autograph something anyways for anyone out there though. Just mail me something to sign, along with a stamped return envelope, and 20 bucks for my time, and I'll try to make the time.

I feel like most American's have been on TV, in the newspaper, or something of the sort at least once. In the neighborhood that we live in,  you're most likely to be on COPS. What's your fake "claim to fame"?

Side Note:


*You see this Interweb?! It's super wide!*

I found this in our local United SuperMarket. I was so excited I started doing a little mutant-banana-happy-dance on the spot.

*You see this Interweb?! It has TWO ends!!!*

In a giant bin that used to be full of bananas, this was one of two bananas left. HOW?! I can't imagine how many people must have seen the mutant banana and decided NOT to buy it! What is happening to the world?

As you can see, it was looking a little old when I got it, but I decided that just in case eating mutant bananas is anything like being exposed to radiation or getting dropped in a vat of toxic waste and creates super powers, I took a bite. It wasn't half bad. Just a little bit extra squooshy.

Still waiting on the super powers.

*It's almost two bananas, people!!! TWO BANANAS!!!*

I'll let you know.

Love you all,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Don't think of our car as messy..."

"Think of it as a treasure trove. The further you dig, the more you're pleasantly surprised."

Thanks Lark.

*Can you find the baby? 15 points if you do!*

*My new perspective*

Incidentally, that collection of "treasure" in our car was built from the bottom up. You're just seeing the top soil layer right now.There's an abundance of treasure that you can't even see!!!

We've been doing so much traveling lately (tripping to our family, China trip orientation, Lark's high school reunion, etc.) that we've been pretty much living out of cars. I say cars because ours is not reliable enough right now for some of our uber trips, so we've been swapping our treasure into rentals off and on (a blog post on our unreliable car coming soon).

*We carry our treasure in a pirate car. 
What, you don't have one? Hmm. *

It's pretty sad looking. Not only because walking by and looking in you'd assume that at the end of the day we just lean back our seats and retire for the night, in-vehicle, but a good amount of our luggage is trashbags currently because, dang it, they're just easy, and we're just like that.

They're the nice big black trashbags with ties though, none of those recycled Walmart bags filling up our car. Us vagabonds gotta stay classy.

Lovers you all,

Friday, June 15, 2012

The First Time I Broke My Arm

A new blog tradition starts today at The Adventures of Tootie and Izzy:



*pause for clapping to end*

Thank you.
You may be thinking to yourself, "Why Friday? What's so special or story-y about Friday?"

Well..nothing in particular really. Friday is just the day I chose. And this is my blog. So there.

This week's story stems from the fact that I have always been competitive. Absurdly so, in some cases.

*That's me on the left. I didn't always have short hair.*

When I was in first grade, I was on a little kids basketball team. We met once a week in my school's gymnasium where we practiced important skills like dribbling. 

One practice, coach lined us all up against the wall along one side of the gym and told us we were going to practice the advanced skill of dribbling WHILE running across the gym.

 Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, my competitive side showed up with a vengeance.

Coach's whistle shrieked, signifying the race was on and I kicked off and burned rubber, sprinting as fast as my shrimpy legs would take me.

I was doing it!! I was doing it!! I was in first place!!
Not that I was surprised by that or anything. I obviously was the fastest on the team.
How they could ever think to win a game without me was hard to believe. 
I mean really, I was pretty much carrying this team along all by myself. 
I'll bet coach goes home and tells his wife how awesome a basketball player I am.
I'll bet she wants to meet me.
I'll bet she wishes she had kids that were half as good at basketball as me..

I began to wonder how far behind the other kids were from me. 

It probably would be hard to make them out, since they had to be so so far back, but I decided to check anyways.

And then I ran out of gym.

I got to sit the rest of practice on the sidelines, watching the other kids do drills waaaay slower than I would have done them while cradling my arm and trying not to cry.

Professional basketball players who are bffs with the coach's wife don't cry.

After a couple days of me complaining about my arm still hurting, my mom took me to get some X-rays done, and low and behold, I had broken my arm. My right arm just above the wrist. By running into a wall. 

I didn't let it get me down though. I got a pretty, new, attention grabbing, bright pink accessory out of the deal and a big swiss cheese looking foam pillow to rest my arm on while watching tv. I was living the life.

On a side note, the only person I allowed to sign my cast was my piano teacher. Why I was still meeting with my piano teacher when one of my hands was not working, I do not know. I do know that I felt it was too rude to refuse a grownup asking to sign my cast though, so I let her.

I then pouted for the rest of the day.

and then walked around for the duration of my cast time looking like the only friend I had was my piano teacher. 

Moral of the story: Only play basketball outdoors.

Love you all!
Check back soon for a new post!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I'm slow about posting anything and everything, so here is an unorganized, illustrated list of stuff we've been up to since I posted last:

*Lark is all big and old and graduated from college! Whaaaat?!!!

Photo by Steven Hamm .

Big Lark was actually the one who graduated, but who could resist posting that picture?! What a cutie-patootie.

Lark's lovely parents flew in from New York for the ceremony.

Photo by Steven Hamm.

Aren't they cute?! They threw him a kick butt graduation party. Lark's mom actually transported a whole roasted duck from New York in a bag for the occasion. That's true motherly dedication and love. They are both suuuper fun and really sweet! Like the duck. It was tasty. (Can't wait to see you guys in August!)

*Lark's really good buddy from high school, Andrew Forsthoefel came and visited us for a week....on foot. He is walking across America right now. No, really. He is. You can check out his blog here. He's a real sweetheart who has dedicated 9 months of his life, so far, to walking across the nation to hear tons of different peoples stories.

(He tried to steal our baby.
 Check it out in the video section of his blog)

*Our house got fleas. It's been awful. Evidently this past winter in Texas didn't get cold enough to kill any of the bugs or the bug eggs or something and then Elmo brought them in. Either way, there's lots of bugs. Lots of bugs IN our house. Even though we vacuumed and sprayed and put down powder and anything else we could think of. We went on a trip after doing all that, thinking they would be gone when we got back. Haha! Silly us. They were still there. Just waiting.

We're staying in hotel right now while setting off loads of flea bombs. Those buggers better DIE DIE DIE!

The culprit. He looks so sad.

*Lark got his braces off!!! AAaaaand he has a mouthful of b-e-a-utiful teeth.

 We haven't taken a real picture yet.

*We went on a road trip to Phoenix, Arizona.

What can I say? He's an advanced little baby.

IT WAS AAAAWESOME!!! We stopped at fun little small town restaurants,

a museum with lots of Native American artifacts,

and explored Carlsbad Caverns. It was a biiit out of the way, but well worth the trip.

While we were in Phoenix, we got to hang out with Lark's Aunt Carla, and Matt, and his [grandpa] Phil. (I recently did a painting of him. Check it out in the Art section of our blog).

Little Larkin got to ride Aunt Carla's pony, Yark  (with a just a little assistance from us). We went to the Musical Instrument Musuem and got to play on and just check out a whole lot of instruments from all over the place. We got to see Aunt Carla do a Shaman ceremony (I'm sure I'm using the wrong terms here. Sorry!). Phil took us out to dinner at Super Dragon (So good!) and we just had a general blast hanging out with his family. 

It was so nice getting to spend more time with you all and get to know you a little bit better. Thank you for having us!

For some reason that I can't explain, we have no pictures of our time in Phoenix with Lark's family. Super bummer. So here's what we looked like the whole time:

I labeled it in case you couldn't guess. And yeah, we pretty much walked around like this the whole time. People couldn't pass us on the sidewalk. Cars had to swerve. It was crazy. Crazy cool!

*I finally finished a website that I started making about three years ago as a networking tool to use if I wanted to make connections for myself outside of what my agency was doing for me. Aaaand now that I'm done I'm convinced that's it's all together too slow and am just generally not that into it. I'm thinking about not buying the URL or getting rid of the ads and just starting over. We'll see.

                                                             Check It Here.

I'm working on a little travel video right now of all our exploits and a new cartoon (that I actually put some time into!) that I'll hopefully get up in a couple of days.

Ta ta!
Love you all!

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