Saturday, December 27, 2008
THE CHRONICLES: “Tony Arriveth”
A big thing happened this year. Yes, indeed! Oh, the human family members have done passably well this past year: no arrests, one tattoo, piercings holding steady—more about all of that later. However, as I’m sure you each recall vividly, our cherished miniature Schnauzer, Cleo, passed away in Dec. 2007. Obviously, we have suffered much greater human loss, but we loved that little Devil. So we got Tony: as in Tony Bennett. Anthony: as in Antony and Cleopatra. Pretty clever, eh. Tony is a miniature Schnauzer as well, but with a pleasant disposition. Who knew they came in that flavor.
This Season’s Greeting letter should conclude right here. The highlight of the year has been revealed. It’s all downhill now. But, Gloria won’t “Let It Be”, so (in alphabetical order):
Kimberly: As part of the two-headed “kimybrian”, Kimberly traveled to Peru and Bolivia in the winter-spring of ’08. She volunteered with a non-profit (what else), teaching Spanish and English, and generally improving the world. The Brian part of “kimybrian” pushed Kimberly to high altitudes in Bolivia (no drug jokes), optically deceiving salt flats, and other cold places that made for great pictures and adventure. He also undertook humanitarian work. Unlike my band, The Beatles, “kimybrian” play on. NEWS FLASH: Kimberly accepted a for profit job in Dec. ’08. She is paid (a little) and receives benefits. She is a sell-out, but her parents are prideful!
Lizzie: Elizabeth embraced adventure, wilderness, and a return to the Bennett roots. She rented her house, loaded up the truck and moved to Missoula, MT. Montana that is: outdoor streams, cowboys and Griz football. It was a good experience. Then, the economic collapse: the company went from 16 employees to five by Thanksgiving. In early December, it went to four employees: the two owners and two others. Lizzie went to the front of the soup line. Welcome home, Lizzie! As part of my on-going plot to acquire Jackson, the team’s star Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Elizabeth has been encouraged to join the Peace Corps (I feel like George Steinbrenner). A posting to Africa would be nice. We shall see.
Will: Remember turning 21, drinking too much, getting a tattoo, and guiding white-water rafting trips? Me neither. But, Will has added this line-up to his growing resume. Youthful exuberance—what more can we say. Will is still a collegian at the U of W. Nursing is his idea for future employment, probably an idea generated by observation of his parents’ degenerating condition.
John, Gloria and Jose: Life’s good. Our friends keep plugging along with us, and we manage a little leisure here and there. Jose has been stockpiling kitty kibble since the financial collapse, but I think it is an over-reaction. He could afford to lose a couple of pounds anyway. In sum, we go to bed earlier and remember less, but we are happy to be sending out this letter. Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Eleven harrowing hours later (it actually wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be), a bout of car sickness, a burger at the famous Husdon's in Coueur d' Alene and a few stops for the dogs, I surprised my parents with the best gift of all: ME. Unfortunately, my sister got stuck in Chicago with her boyfriend and his family, but she'll be back tomorrow and I'l sure we'll do Christmas all over again.
Regardless, my Christmas Eve consisted of the following:
- Cooking Prime Rib with my mom, dad and brother
- Drinking lots of champagne
- Opening a bottle of French red wine my dad was given when my brother was born (21 years ago)
- Opening another bottle of red wine because that one just wasn't...quite...right...
- Talking about politics, religion, homosexuality, marriage and whether or not I should sell my eggs to make money
- Making a fire and drinking hot chocolate with 100 proof peppermint schnapps
- Watching WALL-E and tearing up at least 10 times
- Watching my tipsy father fall over trying to let the cat in the house
I hope everyone had a wonderful day with their families and friends. Can't wait to see what the New Year brings! Happy, happy Holidays from Jackson and Lizzie.
Monday, December 22, 2008
So our group obviously gathered a large amount of tickets. At least 10 baskets went by without us winning when one came up: 17386. We were 17387. Of course, I screamed out (much too loudly): SON OF A B*TCH!!! Well, three baskets after that, we WON!! And this is what was included in the basket:
- One stuffed teddy bear
- Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey
- A Ranier Beer Gold Towel
- A fifth of Ruppelminze
- A liter of Jamieson whiskey
- Travel size Black Velvet
- A candy cane full of M&Ms
- Travel size of Gordon's Vodka
- A liter of Seagrams 7
- A liter of Evan Willaims Kentucky Bourbon
- Travel sive Mr. Boston Peppermint Schnapps
- Montana Griz Nike baseball hat
- Last, but not least, a liter of Jose Cuervo
And it all came in a huge Dasani beverage cooler:
Two notable things happened after this:
1. We had an adorable boy offer to scrape off our windshield. Um, okay... go right ahead.
2. We watched "A Walk in the Clouds" and Paige made this comment about the movie: "It's a glorious life... he's old, he has limitless alcohol, he has a band, a mexican poncho and stirs up trouble. What could be better?
So true, Paige. So true. These are the moments that make me sad to leave Missoula...
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sorry, that was rambling, but my brain is in a weird place these days. I'm officially moving back to Portland on January 4th so I've been packing the house. I HATE packing. But my biggest concern right now, is what am I going to call the blog?? I can't be Montana Lizzie if I don't live in Montana! Anyone have any suggestions?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I just found out he died of heart failure in May of 2007. Unemployment and divorce don't seem so bad anymore. Hug everyone you love.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Paige, constantly trying to deny our alcholism, only brought home one bottle. So, after we ate and the bottle was gone, we decide to head to the gas station to get a few more. On our way back into the house, Paige turns to me with a bottle of Cooks in each hand and says, "you know when you're unemployed and getting a divorce when..."
So here's our list:
10. You downgrade from Frexinet to Cooks
9. You start to think something called "Island Lime Tequila" is a more economical way to drink than just buying tequila and limes.
8. You hold your dog a little too tight at night (and get jealous when he tries to sleep with your new roommate).
7. Your big dining experience for the week consists of meeting at the Triple Dragon chinese restaurant (that's connected to the Red Lion Inn) for the "Happy Times Lunch Special."
6. You run out of dog food and consider feeding your dog stale cereal.
5. You get a little too emotionally involved in the TLC show, Jon & Kate + 8.
4. To keep yourself occupied during the day, you're currently reading two stellar novels: The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World's Greatest Human, and My Horizontal Life: True Life Tales of One Night Stands.
3. You move in with your unemployed best friend while she's out of town, microwave some seriously sketchy shrimp, decide english muffins and Coca Cola Cherry Zero are the only safe way to go, and still don't pay rent.
2. You have honest conversations about selling drugs and whether or not you could feasibly lose enough weight to become strippers.
1. You call eachother every hour, on the hour, just to make sure the other one is in a stable state of mind (aka suicide watch).
Good times, people. Good times:
So when some douchey little - and I do mean little - architect man tells me I'm too tall to date when I am looking AMAZING, I decided to say a big f you him and went in the exact opposite direction. Which is what led to these:
5" heels. I thought I could handle them. I can't. I wore them last night and was holding onto tables in order to walk to the bathroom. If I hadn't had friends to hold my hand while I was walking down the stairs, who knows where I'd be today.
Don't get me wrong - the outfit was awesome and the shoes are glorious. But I don't think being unemployed is the best time to break an ankle and end up on the emergency room.
On the bright side, Jackson seems to love the shoes:
But Jackson is also loving me being unemployed, so he's not really the best judge...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I'm 28 and having to consider moving back in with my parents, which makes you really re-think your life. Am I really thinking about moving back in with my parents the same time my 21 year old brother is dropping out of school and moving home? Not okay. So that makes you think about options you never would have considered before.
The awesome thing is I have amazing friends who have offered rooms for me to stay in after my inevitable move back to Portland. But that's almost worse. I am a very experienced and marketable PR professional. And I'm considering living in in E's spare room? It's mildly tempting because I love her and it would be a throw back to the sorority and I could go back to the days of making her uncomfortable by walking naked in front of her and rubbing my boobs on her (see Hooters Is Awesome). But really, is that what I want?
Bottom line is I don't know what I want. Well, really I do: I want to move to Mexico, do marketing for a large hotel, get super skinny and tan and drink tequila and eat guacamole all day, every day.
But that's not likely to happen, is it?
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Living here has given me unbridled access to young college kids (MAN, that sounds creepy! See why I need the intervention?). It kind of started as a joke and then it started to become kind of real. Like I went out with a 22 year old college SOPHOMORE on more than one date (that is, until he saw me fall through a gate I thought was a railing and land directly on my face... but that's another story). After going out with him, I noticed the guys I was attracted to when we went out were getting younger and younger. Like I considered asking a few of them if they were using fake IDs.
So even after all this, I wasn't really worried. It was all just in good fun. But there have been two new developments that have me worried:
1. My friends are starting to not only accept my cougarness as normal, but are starting to coug out themselves. I mean, one of us prowling around town is dangerous enough. And it was truly eye opening when I found myself being JEALOUS when my friend met and started talking to a 22 year old college kid she met at the U. Whhhhaaaaaaa??
2. My cougar ways have extended outside of Missoula and made their way into my Portland life. A good friend of mine set me up on a date with her boyfriend's best friend, who happens to be 22 and just out of college. He's very attractive, has a job with a future, a good family and seems to be generally normal and not a complete tool (which, let's be clear, really puts him ahead of the game). After some champagne he asked me if I thought us dating could work out and I said maybe, if he could get over me being 6 years older. Then he said something that really made me think: "Really? I thought it would have to be you getting over the fact that I was 22." Huh. Yes, that makes sense. I've become so concerned with how OLD I am, I'm forgetting how YOUNG they are.
And as the veil lifted, I realized I was sitting in a stark white and dirty beige apartment on a seriously gross couch, staring at walls covered in college football paraphernalia with a boy my brother's age.
If that doesn't scare the crap out of all of you and make you want to get on the next plane to Missoula to save me, I don't know what will.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
L: I can't believe you don't want to go to this with me.
P: Bitch please, you know I would have starved myself to lose weight and worn the skankiest gear, fake eyelashes and makeup to the nines just to get a fraction closer to Justin Timberlake!!! Britney, now she's another story...
L: She's slept with him. That's like sleeping with God. She's worth seeing.
I'm going to hell.
I don't know if I COULD be in a relationship again. I've been single and living alone since January 2004 and the thought of sharing my space, my friends, my dog and my LIFE kind of repulses me a bit. And so I'm having a hard time coming to terms with very conflicting feelings. On the one hand, I've always wanted to get married. ALWAYS. I had the grand plan in high school: engaged at 24, married at 26, baby at 28. Obviously that didn't work out, but I still want the plan - just on a later timetable (okay, except the kids part. Turn "baby" into "another dog" and it's a possibility...).
But now my want/need to get married and be a part of something bigger is kind of being drowned out by my ridiculously selfish personality. I want to live alone, I don't want to share the TV, no you can't eat three of my Lean Cuisine pizzas for lunch, GET ON YOUR SIDE OF THE BED, peeing on the toilet seat and not doing anything about it is disgusting, yes my makeup needs to be on the counter, yes $300 shoes are necessary, 5:00pm does not mean 5:45pm - it means 4:45pm, and YES it is absolutely necessary for me to have three Girls Nights a week because you are constantly annoying me and in my space.
So has the person who was left in a trillion little pieces all those years ago become extremely cynical and pessimistic and way too set in her ways? Have I constantly sabotaged myself and invested way too much energy in douchey guys for four years? It appears so.
But maybe all is not completely lost... I still occasionally find people who make me laugh and listen to my problems and who I genuinely care about. They're not perfect and definitely not boyfriends (or future husbands for that matter), but they make me happy nonetheless and give me a small inkling of hope that there are still good guys out there and that one day I'll be pieced back together enough to appreciate them.
Then there came some situations where a drink was kind of necessary. Then some where 5 drinks were necessary. And THEN some serious shit went down and now I'm back to consuming ulcer-inducing amounts of booze. I'm kind of at a loss as how to solve this problem. I'm drinking because I'm stressed out, but stress and drinking cause ulcers. Ulcers give me more stress so I drink. See the never ending cycle? And it's the holidays. Who doesn't drink during the holidays?
Today is a new day and I've only been back on the drinking wagon for four days or so. I could totally start the trip to Sober City again. I cooouuullllldddddd... I think I need to talk myself into this...
Pros of not drinking:
1. I'll lose 10 pounds in like a week
2. Ulcers might successfully heal
3. I get to watch the hilarious things my friends do with full clarity
4. I'll save money
5. I can be sober driver for my friends
6. I'll have a lot less bruises
7. I won't have any more moments like the one where I tried to kiss this random guy named Carl at the Iron Horse who seemed kind of into me after I'd had like 20 drinks because I thought I lost my job and then he just awkwardly turned his head and I kissed his cheek and Paige pulled me away quickly before I could do something even worse.
We all know what the con is: Boring Lizzie. And being Boring Lizzie might outweigh all the pros...
Monday, November 24, 2008
This Saturday was the Griz/Cat game - like the Civil War of Montana. Missoula filled up with Griz and Cat fans alike from across the state and beyond, which let to some crazy crowded bars. I had the odd opportunity to view this entire display completely sober due to the fact that I'm not currently drinking (much to my dismay). I got to watch crazy tailgates where one guy chugged an ENTIRE FIFTH of Jim Beam and kids were dancing on top of motor homes. I watched several people stumble and weave down very treacherous stairwells and at half time got the pleasure of watching while paramedics wheeled a college student out on a stretcher while he continued to vomit in a bucket they put in front of him. Then there was this sitting in front of us:
Now that takes creativity. My favorite sweatshirt of the game read, "What's the Difference Between a Bobcat and a Dollar?" and on the back it said, "A Dollar is Good for Four Quarters." Ha.
Anyways, we had fantastic seats again courtesy of Ken and had a great view of the Griz completely stomping the Cats 35-3. And the Griz wore their old orange and yellow uniforms, which everyone seemed to absolutely love (I'm personally happy with the new colors):
The weather, while cold, could have been a lot worse. We bundled up, had sun during the tailgate and it was snowing when we left. That's Montana for you.
Now I'm sure you're thinking, "what could top such a fantastic Saturday?" I'll tell you what: VAMPIRE SUNDAY. Twilight was better than I ever could have hoped for and I'm fully committed to finding myself a hot vampire. I now understand all those girls who were scratching their necks and posing for pictures of Robert Pattison aka vampire Edward Cullen. I'm with you now, ladies. We've decided to throw one of the Twilight parties I was making fun of last week for the video release. You're all invited and you KNOW you want to come...
Thanksgiving in three days!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Anyway, this obsession has been taken to a whole new level recently with the introduction of the HBO show True Blood. All HBO shows are wonderful and since the Big Love season ended, I was VERY excited to learn about the addition of a new show about vampires that's set in the south and examines the moral and social ramifications of race and sexism in today's society (see? More than just a show about vampires!). True Blood takes place in a small Louisiana town where the integration of vampires, who now have legal rights and buy Japanese-made synthetic blood (True Blood), causes quite a stir. See the HBO trailer here:
Just as I used to enjoy weekly Mormon Monday dinner parties with Alyson and Amy in Portland for Big Love, we now have Vampire Sundays here in Missoula where we have dinner and drink red wine while watching True Blood. This Sunday is the season finale of True Blood and I'm pretty sure a main character dies so we're all very excited. This show is full of vampires (good and bad), shape shifters, mind readers, werewolves, exorcisms and some kind of weird pig lady so you really never know what's going to happen.
This Sunday we're also going to see the movie Twilight (which was written by a Mormon - see how all my obsessions are connected??), which is the story of a vampire falling in love with a human. It also has these weird abstinence messages embedded in the storyline, but I mean come on - it was written by a Mormon. The movie has sparked this weird international phenomenon and theaters are selling out like crazy so I already have our tickets:
From there we're putting together a vampire-themed dinner complete with blood and guts (baked pasta), seared flesh with blood dipping sauce (beef tips with BBQ sauce) and, of course, straight human blood for drinking (Bloody Mary's and red wine). So it's really just a big awesome vampire Sunday. And just because I'm going to take it to the next level and use the vampire bite mark tattoo Paige gave me doesn't mean I'm crazy. Just a VERY DEVOTED FAN.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Brittany from one of my favorite blogs, Barefoot Foodie, recently blogged about how she found herself waiting outside Chipotle at 10:45am like a woman out of one of those old Mervyn's commercials... "open, open, open.." - you know the ones. Having ALSO found myself outside Chipotle before they opened more times than I can count (until finally they felt bad for us and started letting us in early), it was an odd feeling yesterday to be considering doing the same thing at Red Robin. Once I got it in my head, it's all I could think about ALL DAY.
Finally, 5pm rolled around, I literally RAN to my car, sped home, let Jackson out, drove to the mall (yes, it's at the mall. Don't judge), illegally parked and pushed my way through the already overly crowded entry way to put our names on the list. Thank God I have friends who were excited about this as I was...
Anyway, once there, several things went wrong:
1. I see this crazy hot man walk by. Seriously, just my type: tall, thin, all his hair, nice teeth, fitted pants, jacket, and HOT cowboy boots. Perfect amount of cowboy and metrosexual. I look at Christy and Kristi as he walks by and go, "OH MY GOD, did you just see that amazingly hot guy??" and Christy goes, "Oh! It's Christian!" Ya. Christian is Christy's gay friend who was meeting us for dinner. And we wonder why I don't date... CLASSIC.
2. We, of course, asked for fries before our burgers come. It's just what you do. Well, they end up coming after we get our meals. I understand it's opening day but shouldn't you be MASS PRODUCING those things??
3. My meal, which consisted of a chicken sandwich and a Corona, cost me almost $20. Ummmm... there is no way we would have eaten there so much if it cost that much in high school. I think the Dirty Bird might be ripping me off...
But, since they fully sucked me in with all their new menu items and the way they call chicken strips "Clucks & Fries" (I love that!), I will be back. I'm going to give them some time to pull it all together and then - mark my words - those servers will know me by name.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Beyond that, Christy, Paige and I braved the passes for a girl’s weekend in
If that doesn't keep you from making a trip to Spokane, I don't know what will.
Anyway, coming back to
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I had the honor on Tuesday to call myself a Montanan in the closest presidential race the state has ever seen. Montana is a red state. Guns, fishing, land usage rights, and hillbilly back country mountain men (think the unibomber) have kept this state veeerrrryyyy Republican. But this year was different. I strong grassroots effort, four visit from Obama and ZERO vists from McCain all helped Montana become a "tossup state." Whhhhaattttt? We're not light pink or red anymore?? No, in the end Montana was one of three states that was "too close to call." In the end, the state did go red, with 50% of people voting for McCain and 48% voting for Obama, but I was still SO PROUD that a state no one would ever think would vote Democratic gave those Republicans a run for their money.
At least it didn't come down to Montana as the deciding state. You know, with our 3 whole electoral votes... As I'm sure many of you were, I was proud and honored to watch what unfolded on Tuesday night and have nothing but hope and faith for the future of our country. And can't wait to watch Montana turn blue in 2012... :)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Why do you keep prescription pills in your car, you ask? Well, you never know when you might need some anti-nausea medicine. My tooth might get infected and I need some amoxicillin. Maybe I get a debilitating neck cramp and need some muscle relaxers. Or I could just be really bored driving all the way back from Portland and need some Ultram to make things a little more interesting. You never know and, as Justin has warned us all lately, it's best to be prepared.
Bottom line, whoever did this not only violated my personal property, but was TOTALLY judging me and my pill-popping ways in the process. Awesome.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Yesterday marked my very first Spiker Meat Day. Every year Wes and Chris Spiker buy livestock from the local 4H kids. These kids have spent an entire year hand feeding these animals to make them fat, happy, beautiful and ready for slaughter. This is a horrifying concept to me considering that one summer at the Condon County Fair, I fell in love with a 4H goat, named it Slobber, fed it Tootsie Pops for a few weeks (okay, I shared them with him…) and then forced my parents to buy him so no one would kill him and eat him (lots of tears. Begging and pleading were involved). Oddly, I have no recollection of what happened to Slobber…
Years later, while living with my oldest friend Jeff in his Peace Corps village in Morocco, I gained a new appreciation for the raising and eventual slaughter of animals. I mean, if we didn’t kill that chicken I would have had to go on eating cous cous and sugary, sludgey coffee every day. But my love of goats stayed strong. There were little baby goats running around everywhere and I named my favorite ones Ice Man and Maverick. I made Jeff promise not to tell me what happened to them after I left…
But back to Meat Day. Montanans love their meat and I’m really used to it now. Go hunt and shoot innocent animals. I don’t care. BUT I don’t want to see the dead, bloody deer hanging out of the back of your truck. Take it to the butcher and bring it to me in nice, white paper packages. This year, the Spikers bought two pigs. Pictures of those pigs have been hanging on the company bulletin board for two weeks now. Happy little kids holding on to their lovely, prize winning swine:
Yesterday, those pigs were delivered to Spiker in the form of pork sausage, baked ham, pork chops, bacon, pork shoulder and more. It’s like a national holiday. People bring bags, boxes and coolers and are literally waiting with shining eyes at the door at 4:30pm. In typical Lizzie fashion, I forgot it was Meat Day but someone was nice enough to give me a bag. At 4:30pm exactly, we were let loose on dozens of boxes full of meat.
Now, I’m not much of a pork eater, but who am I to say no to free food? Especially award-winning pork?? I managed to get about 12 pork chops, one ham, some pork sausage and a few packages of bacon. Most of this is for Paige and Justin, but I’m sure I’ll get to it some time.
I’m currently researching delicious pork chop recipes. One more reason for you all to visit Montana: I now have a freezer full of delicious pork meat. Woo hoo for Meat Day!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
First of all, as a guest blogger,’ I feel it my duty to defend my actions since the inception of this blog. I read Lizzie’s blog religiously and never comment. The reason for this is that my work has some pretty intense firewalls and I don’t have internet access at home. When I check my email at Lizzie’s house…. I feel silly commenting to a person’s blog who is sitting right next to me. So Lizzie, ever desperate to get me involved has asked me to guest blog. So here goes…
Lizzie has already blogged about a mere fraction of our homecoming adventure that was last weekend. The portion that I would like to cover in more detail is the Logger football game that we attended. But first, a little history on me and my relationships with sports and spectators…
I am a high school athlete, 6’1” and tremendously uncoordinated. I played varsity volleyball and basketball and was literally the 3rd tallest person in my school…. Yes that would include boys as well. I overcame my lack of coordination by working my ass off and practicing 3-4 hours a day and playing to my strengths. I only played front row in volleyball because I was the number 1 blocker in the state of Colorado, but I averaged 3 out of 10 serves going over the net and couldn’t get low enough to play defense. I wasn’t allowed to dribble in basketball. You all think I exaggerate, but I would literally have to run sprints if I dribbled… and for good reason because I would typically lose the ball. However, I was the 3rd ranked rebounder in the state. You get the picture…
I have a lot of empathy for athletes because I got a lot of crap from 28-55 year old men in my small town wearing their high school letterman’s jackets cornering me and asking me why I “screwed up that play”, “missed that shot”, “tripped over my feet”…I felt like screaming at them that I did not intend to do these things…. If I had my way I would have glided down the court like a gazelle and made every basket....
My husband, Justin, teases me because I get upset at him when he yells at people for their screw-ups. He loves to tell the story about when I looked over at him with a look of pure rage and screamed at him, “Why don’t you get out on the field you jackass if you feel you can do it so much better!”
I am also an avid football fan. I’ve never really been loyal to one team because I was raised by my step dad who is a sports-a-holic and only loyal to the Dodgers Baseball team. Every Sunday, Clint and I would retire to the living room to watch football to our hearts content. Clint, having played football in college, taught me about the game and I still have a passion for watching football. In my years since I have moved out of the house, I have found that I miss watching football and long for the days on my family’s couch getting the play-by-play from my step dad.
So last year, Justin went to three or four Griz games and we decided this year that we are going to be fans…. And by fans I mean we invested in ‘griz gear,’ will do almost anything to get a ticket to the game, and plan BBQ’s around every away game. I thoroughly enjoy my new passion for the Griz. The games are fantastic, the tailgates are a blast, the fans are very supportive (not crazy like my previous High School interactions) and Justin is an alumni and so I feel like I fit in at least a little bit.
In visiting UPS, I noticed a few key differences between Griz Homecoming and Logger Homecoming:
1. U of M had a huge parade that lasted hours and went through the whole downtown area while UPS had a sign up booth for alumni in their student center.
2. U of M has a literal gauntlet of tailgaters. They come with their RV’s and rope off fields upon fields to tailgate, which involves burgers, hotdogs, classic rock music, beer and whiskey beginning in the wee small hours of the morning. U of M also has a school bus that picks up people from sports bars downtown who have been drinking since 8AM so they don’t get a DUI while UPS has an annual homecoming brunch. This brunch is alcohol free with a Jazz band that plays softly for attendees. It’s an extremely quiet and classy affair.
3. U of M has a huge stadium, ticket scalpers and sets records for attendance while UPS has one set of small bleachers and seats are always available.
4. U of M has a huge halftime show with a marching band, they shoot off a cannon every time a touchdown is made and they literally shoot souvenirs into the stand with a rocket gun while UPS has their halftime show on the track that surrounds the field and you can barely hear it.
5. The Griz team plays extremely clean and I can follow the game very easily while the Loggers are sloppy and fall all over themselves and the other team, making the game hard to follow.
6. Finally, the Griz win, while the Loggers typically do not as they lost their homecoming game 60-7.
I feel like I have the best of both worlds being a current Griz Fan as well as a Logger Alumni. I wouldn’t trade my time at UPS for the world. There were plenty of “ups and downs” I grant you, but I met some of my best friends in the world, got a killer education, a lot of individual attention, tons of financial aid (thank God) and got to live in a beautiful area for four years. And… as an empathetic sports viewer, the Loggers gave it their best and if I was out there, I know I couldn’t do any better. I played flag football on Thanksgiving 2006 and I was sore for a whole week! How times have changed since I was in High School…
Paige and I got on the road Thursday about 12:30pm and chit-chatted our way through Montana and Idaho. Soon enough we’re cruising through Spokane and excited to have 3 hours of the 8 hour trip under our belts. All of a sudden we’re being pulled over. FANTASTIC. Now, we’re driving in the left hand lane and we have JUST seen a motorcycle cop pull someone over on the left side of the freeway. Paige has never been pulled over on the freeway so she just starts easing over to the left-hand shoulder. The officer pulls up beside us and starts motioning violently for us to pull over onto the right shoulder. Fine.
Since I’m in the passenger seat and he approaches us from my side, I try to put on a happy face and be all cute and charming. He’s not having it. Ginger-haired Officer Spencer, who approached us in an overly tight uniform, complete with Lieutenant Dangle moustache and Oakley sunglasses, was rude from moment one.
Officer Spencer: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
Paige: “Well, no…”
OS: “I clocked you going 71 in a 60. Is there a reason you felt the need to go that fast?”
P: “Well, the speed limit is 75 in Montana and I…”
OS: “Well we’re not in Montana anymore, are we? No. Licence and registration please.”
Pause while he goes to check us out and OBVIOUSLY write us a ticket. I take this time to mildly freak out and finish an entire bag of Chili Picante Corn Nuts I found in the glove box while frantically searching for proof of insurance. Then he’s back.
OS: “So, do you go by Paige?”
P: “Um, yes…”
OS: “Well, Paige, why did you feel it would be appropriate to pull over on the left side of the freeway?”
P: “Well I’ve never been pulled over and we had just seen -”
OS: “Stop. What did you learn in traffic school? Left or right?”
P: “Well it’s been 13 years…”
OS: “Left or right, Paige? LEFT OR RIGHT?!”
P: “Right! Right! I’m supposed to pull off to the right!”
OS: “Good. I didn’t cite you for it THIS TIME but it’s definitely a warning. Did you know 25 Spokane police officers died last year? Two drowned, one was shot and 22 were KILLED on the side of the freeway because someone pulled off on the left. Do you think I want to be hit by a car and die? No, I do not.”
P: “Alright, if anyone ever asks me to pull off to the left, I’ll tell them Officer Spencer from Spokane told me not to.”
OS: “Exactly. Now where are you headed?”
P: “Seattle… do you think you could help us merge back onto the freeway?”
OS: “No. Good luck.”
ARE YOU JOKING?? Heads back to the car while I’m literally stress-licking chili picante off my palms and leaves us on the side of I-90 to merge into speeding traffic on our own. IN A PRIUS.
Finally, with a little teamwork, we get back on the road and immediately start reliving the INSANE encounter we just had with Spokane’s finest. All of a sudden I hear a weird thrumming noise.
Lizzie: “What is that noise?”
Paige: “What noise?”
L: “The weird thrumming. It sounds like a motorcycle but I don’t see one.”
P: “Oh, it’s nothing. The Prius is just a big spaceship.”
L: “Okay but that’s really -”
P: “ OH MY GOD! What is going on?!”
L: “It’s the tire, it’s the tire!”
I lean over to her while the car weaves all over the left lane of I-90 West.
L: “You’re doing great! You’re doing great!” (literally petting her hair at this point) “Just get to the side of the road.”
P: “But I’m not supposed to pull over on the left hand side of the road!!”
L: “Just do it! It’ll be fine!”
So Paige masterfully pulls her spaceship over to the left hand side and we both start freaking out. We are BARELY off the road and semi-trucks are whizzing by at amazing speeds. We have just been verbally bitch slapped by Officer Spencer for pulling off on the left and warned about all the people who die because they do it. I get so nervous that I climb into the back seat so I’m not on the right hand side of the car. Wouldn’t have mattered in the end, but it made me feel better. And I was out of Corn Nuts…
So Paige calls 911, I call AAA and soon enough we’re pulled off into the center median and a nice man from AAA is putting the little doughnut tire on the car. At the same time we’re being berated by various sources (Justin, Kim, State Troopers, a random good Samaritan) for not knowing how to change our own tire.
1. Situations like this are WHY I have AAA. Please.
2. Even if I DID know how to change my own tire, I wasn’t about to get out of the car on I-90 to take care of it. Even when we were pulled off safely, you never know what might happen. An errant drunk driver could come flying off the road and POOF! You’re road kill. STAY IN THE CAR PEOPLE. I even tried to stay in the car while the AAA guy was jacking it up. Paige just looked at me all judgmentally and said she doubted if he needed an extra 160 pounds to lift. Fine. So I hid on the other side of the car just in case.
So, two and half hours, one $113 ticket and two brand new rear tires later, we’re back on the road. Turns out something punctured the tire when Officer Spencer pulled us over. You can guarantee OS will be getting a hefty bill for our troubles…
We tried to get a flight from the Spokane airport so we could go drown our anxiety at an airport bar but no luck. All sold out. 5 tense hours down the road we finally see the lights of Seattle and are ready to start our Homecoming weekend. But that’s a story for later… just writing about this has stressed me out again. That, and that fact that Paige just called to remind me that the Jetta has a tire that’s low. And no, I won’t be changing it myself...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
However, this love of Facebook stalking has recently backfired on me…
Remember the days when you had to have your photos printed and you could rip up negatives of anything incriminating? Or when people had pagers and would text you with codes like 143 (I love you) or 18 (my personal code :)). Now everyone with a phone, PDA, iPod or camera can take photos of you and upload them to the internet within seconds. Now I have entire conversations with people via text and hardly ever actually talk on my phone (especially since I got a BlackBerry). For example, before, if my Stupid Ex had a new girlfriend I might not know about it for months. I probably wouldn’t find out until a mutual friend let it slip or I caught them making out at a bar. NOW I would know within hours!! First, pictures of the two of them would show up on Facebook. My home page will nicely tell me Stupid Ex has been tagged in new pictures. I would go look at said pictures and start to get suspicious. Soon enough, Stupid Ex would change his relationship status to “in a relationship.” Really? Well who might you be in a relationship with, Stupid Ex?? Oh, THANK YOU, Facebook! How nice of you to provide me with that information! Stupid New Girl, you say?? Wonderful. Now I’ll waste another half day stalking her and all her lovely, make-me-want-to-barf new pictures of her with Stupid Ex.
Now, we all know the above is a hypothetical for me since all my stupid exes are either married or smart enough not to be on Facebook (but if they were, the above would totally be a possibility). But I did have a few instances recently where I learned things about people I TOTALLY didn’t want or need to know. But I have no choice! There it is staring me in the face, a nice new little tidbit from my informative friend Mr. Facebook. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW THESE THINGS BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP. *Help!*
* I'm calling Amy Kerr out here, specifically, because Facebook has informed me of all her new Salem friends and I have long-distance friend jealousy :)
Monday, September 22, 2008
As with anything having to do the U of M and the Grizzlies, Missoula went all out this weekend with a huge parade down Higgins, crazy tailgates and a very close game against UC Davis (Missoula 29, UC Davis 24). I didn’t have tickets to this week’s game, but our friend Cori let us watch the parade from her condo in the Wilma and we watched the game from the Press Box, a big sports bar here. While I still liked watching the game, it’s much more fun watching it in person…
Now, despite my newfound love of football, I am not really looking forward to watching the Loggers (yes, my college mascot is a bearded man wearing flannel and holding an axe…) play this weekend. I maybe went to two games while I was in school there and wasn’t even sure if we still had a football team anymore. Apparently we do. While I loved my time at UPS, I haven’t had a strong desire to go back and visit since I graduated in 2003. But, this year happens to be our 5-year reunion so Lauren, Paige and I are all biting the bullet and making the trip.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, I’ve avoided this whole Homecoming thing because the best things I took away from college (friends), I still have in my life. Going back, while nostalgic, is also going to put me in danger of several things I have tried very hard to avoid: ex-boyfriends (and their wives), Alpha Phi (and the bitchy girls that come with it), making conversation with people you know you should know, but don’t really remember at all and who seem to really remember you and the one (okay 20) nights you did something incredibly stupid in public.
On the other hand, I loved my college campus, am excited to see all our old houses and apartments and can’t WAIT to eat/drink at the following establishments:
That little convenience store across the street from Jeremy's old apartment where we used to get all our booze
The SUB (school cafeteria)
The Melting Pot
Queen Anne Grocery
The only problem with this plan is that 1. We’ll probably be drinking at every one of these place, as booze will help me deal with the above-mentioned things I desperately want to avoid. And don’t worry, Stacy and Gena, we’ll pour one out for you at each bar so you'll be woth us in spirit... 2. We’ll only technically be in Tacoma for 6 meals. I have a feeling we might be starting with breakfast at the SUB at 8am and eating our way into the 2am hour with crack-filled cheese sticks from Pizza Time.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We ended up coasting into the K Mart parking lot and getting out to push the car into an actual parking spot. After a few more unsuccessful tries to start the car, we both come to the realization that not only are we stranded in the K Mart parking lot wearing what amounts to pajamas, but neither of us have any money, cards or phones. Woooowwwww. It's 6:45 am, nothing is open and we're walking down Brooks like street vagrants looking for someone to give us money or a ride home. If I had photos of this glorious scene, I would definitely have posted one here.
So Missoula has a TON of casinos and, luckily, they're open 24 hours. I had never realized that there are people who really do gamble 24 hours a day, but as Paige and I mosied up to the Best Bet Casino, the parking lot was full and old women were flowing in the door. We got inside, looked around the dark, dingy, SMELLY casino (quickly noticing the ironic sign advertising a $300 gas card), and called Justin. Justin, unfortunately, starts work at 5am these days and couldn't pick us up but gave us the phone numbers for a few of our friends, one of whom mercifully agreed to come pick us up. We must have been quite the picture standing out on Brooks street (like the Burnside of Missoula), sharing my jacket and holding eachother for warmth...
We ended up getting a gas can, putting a gallon of gas in the car and getting me to a gas station. The whole thing reminded me how dependent we are on debit cards and cell phones. It also reminded me not to be so lazy and put gas in my car.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday was a lovely day for a football game. Clear skies and about 80 degrees. The Grizzlies were playing the Southern Utah T-Birds. Our friend Ken, who works for Budweiser, got us some AMAZING tickets, 5 rows up on the northern end zone. But before we even got to those seats, we got to walk the gauntlet of serious tailgating parties. These people take this stuff veeerrrryyyy seriously. You can’t drink in the stadium, so people drink HARD before the game and during half-time. I had only managed to get two Bud Lights down by the time we were going in so everyone decided we should all shotgun a beer. PLEASE. Who are you talking to?? I’ve never shotgunned a beer in my life. But, when in Rome…
Thursday, September 11, 2008
BUT, after all that, we're essentially the same person: opinionated, driven, argumentative, social, self-indulgent, SLIGHTY judgmental (okay, totally judgey but I'm working on it). My dad used to tear into my school pepers with a red pen until they were unrecognizable. I took that editing knowledge and applied it to the tutoring center at UPS. I was soon asked to leave since I circled a portion of some kid's paper and wrote, "This is just stupid." I guess not everyone appreciates the straight-forward John Bennett style like I do.
But another important thing that ties the two of us together was pointed out to me recently. Look at the two photos below and tell me what you see that makes us even more alike:
Could it be we're always the only one in photos holding alcohol?? Ah yes, us Bennetts have our priorities. I love you, Dad, and don't worry, Mom gave me some quirks, too :).