Monday, February 28, 2011

What I thought happened when we were pulled over by the police...

As some of you already know, I am a registered patient under Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act, owing to the fact that I have chronic pain caused by Fibromyalgia. I'm totally legit here, so I wasn't doing anything illegal. But on Saturday, I was well-medicated as Bronwyn Green, Jilly-O and I made our way to our friend Emily's baby shower.

Things started off well, though we were somewhat delayed leaving my house as I thought it was imperative that google for information on Bruce Willis's penis size. When the search turned up surprisingly little, we got in the car.

Now, since I live in a teensy rural town, and the shower was in another, slightly larger rural town and both were separated by a maze of country roads, Bronwyn needed my help to navigate. Which was why I got shotgun. In reality, they should have just thrown me in the backseat and let me sleep. But then we never would have had the experience we had.

Rather than tell you what actually happened, I'll just tell you what happened from my perspective.

One one of those little rural back roads, Bronwyn was going much faster than she should have been going. Like, fifteen or more miles over the speed limit. She was telling us a story about something that terror has now erased from my fractured short-term memory, when she suddenly said, "Aaaand I'm being pulled over. Okay."

My heart started to pound. Even though I was legally within my right to be, for all intents and purposes, stoned out of my gord, I looked at my red eyes in the visor mirror and knew I was going to jail. Legally, I'm allowed to carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. I had none. But I was going to go to jail. This was happening.

"Jill, hand me my purse," Bronwyn said, reaching over the seat.
"No!" I exclaimed, gripping the door handle and bracing myself as if for impact. "If you do that, he'll think you're hiding weed or you have a gun! You don't want the police to think you have a gun! If I was the police, and I saw you reach back there, I would think you had a gun!"

I don't know why I always think that the cops are going to shoot me. I'm a thirty-something white female who doesn't have visible meth sores. The cops and me should be fine. But when I meet a cop, whether it's socially or I'm being pulled over, I always say, "I don't have a gun!" In the latter situation, that brutal honesty is always met with, "Step out of the car, ma'am."

"I don't want this to be one of those times when they tell you to get out of the car, Jen," Bronwyn warned me. "Just don't say anything."

The cop came to the window and asked the usual questions. Why were you speeding, where are you going in such a hurry, etc. To which Bronwyn actually said, "I'm trying to get to a baby shower." Then, the cop asked her, "Where is the baby shower." I desperately bit my tongue to keep from snapping, "Why, are you gonna crash it?" In my head, all I hear is a litany of I never should have taken shotgun. I should have let Jill sit up here. I have too much access to this police officer. Today is the day I go to jail.

"Where is it, Jen?" Bronwyn asks, actually prompting me to speak in the presence of the law man. I mumbled something like, "Across from Perrigo," and after the officer had taken her information and gone back to his car, I shrieked, "Why did you tell him about the baby shower? You never TELL THEM YOU WERE INTENTIONALLY SPEEDING!"

Bronwyn, being the driver of the car and the person who was actually in some danger of legal reprecussions, bemoaned her luck and expressed her anxiety over the situation, to which Jill asked, "What, have you got priors?"

I laughed with them, but inside I was certain I was going to go to jail. For those of you who have never experienced the joys of my admittedly questionable pharmeceutical past, let me explain what it is like to be as high as I was. The moment I speculated on the outcome of this traffic stop, in my mind it had already happened. Let me stress again that I was doing absolutely nothing illegal, a fact that my rational mind should have taken comfort in. My rational mind had checked out for the evening. I looked out the passenger window. Beside us, the Plainwell airfield lay peacefully blanketed in new fallen snow. Somehow, and I didn't know exactly how, that airfield was my salvation.

I was going to make a run for it.

I unbuckled my seatbelt and sprang from the car in one smooth motion, rolling down the embankment like a motherfucking secret agent. I sprinted to the six-foot tall chain link fence and I climbed over that, the shouts of the policeman echoing over the sounds of traffic. I thought about those cars passing, and the people inside, who would go home to tell their families the fantastic story of the hero vigilante who stood up for the rights of the common man. The tale of my capture (for I would almost certainly be caught, either on this fateful day or one in the future, because folk antiheroes walk a fine line between bravery and recklessness) would echo in the hearts of the just forever.

At this point, to my mind, I no longer looked like this:

But like this:

But then, as I ran with a cheetah's speed and a gazelle's grace across that open field, something happened. We were pulling away from the shoulder. I had never actually gotten out of the car. And Bronwyn didn't get a ticket (which is the true miracle of this story). I settled back into my seat, adrenaline releasing its hold on my clenched muscles. I related my tale of heroics to Bronwyn and Jill. "I was running," I told them, my gaze drifting over the passing (now at the correct speed) landscape. "I was just... running."

If you'd like to read what really happened when we were pulled over, visit Bronwyn's blog for the whole scoop.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hey, do you know what tomorrow is?

Tomorrow is the release date for AMERICAN VAMPIRE.

People are saying good stuff about this book. I wouldn't want you to miss out on it. So you should probably hop on over to Amazon and order it. Look, here is a link that I have generously provided.

So, yeah. You should probably buy this book and read it, and then tell other people to buy this book and read it. That's how I can afford to keep sporadically blogging. My writing career feeds my true passion, which is telling you stories about my dog and posting pictures of snails.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Naked John Lithgow Early Warning System

As many readers of my blog know, I dig older guys. I don't know why, but guys over fifty turn my crank in a big way. Guys over forty-five, let's say, because James May is only in his forties, and he's like, my number one dreamy older guy. But I digress.

I like a lot of older guys, but just being over the proverbial hill isn't the defining quality that makes me think, "Huh, I would like to get on that, albeit carefully, as he isn't as young as he used to be." One famous older man who I absolutely adore, but not in a "Yeah, I'd do him," kind of way is John Lithgow.

John Lithgow is awesome. He wrote a children's book about a squirrel, and it's so cool, you just have to read it for yourself. In fact, he's written a lot of really cool books for kids. He was also in the most freaking awesome show ever, 3rd Rock From The Sun. And he played a serial killer on Dexter. And that's where my story takes a horrible turn.

I started watching Dexter at the urging of two of my friends, Scott and Jill, and once I started, I was hooked. It's one of the best shows on television, as far as I'm concerned, but then again I don't really watch tv. Anyway, it's awesome, and I busted through three seasons in four days.

And then I got to season four. Let me set the scene. I'm watching Season four on my laptop. I'm working on three concurrent writing projects for Abigail right now, so I'm doing double duty, writing and watching Dexter. I look up, and there's man butt. Actually, not bad man butt. My interest is piqued.

And then I notice it's John Lithgow.

Now, I'm faced with a conundrum. John Lithgow has an awesome booty. How do I reconcile this knowledge with the kindly face of my favorite alien on 3rd Rock? How do I read Micawber to my children without thinking of what a nice butt the author has?

This is why there needs to be some kind of nudity early warning system. When I watched Boardwalk Empire, I was fully aware that yes, it's an HBO series, I was probably going to see Steve Buscemi nude. But there are some celebrities you just don't expect to see naked, especially in the four season of a show that has relatively little nudity.

Granted, it wasn't sexual nudity. But now I know he has a nice ass, I have to put John Lithgow on my "I'd hit that" list, which is already pretty long. Now, I'm going to have to reorder my list, figure out some kind of filing system, and it's going to fuck my whole day up.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My dog is the Forrest Gump of dogs, if Forrest Gump had been a little dumber.

I have two dogs. Both of them have an internal monologue that can be summed up as "duuuuur," but one is definitely smarter than the other. The smarter dog, an English Springer Spaniel called Tucker, won't remember that he has a head and will often ram said head into stationary objects, then act surprised and affronted at the pain his lack of consideration has caused. However, he's intellectually leaps and bounds above our younger dog, Sampson, a Beagle mix.

Sampson is... special. His hobbies are licking fabric (anything from the pants you're wearing to the furniture to the dirty laundry) and being hopelessly in love with me. When I'm gone for "too long", a period of time determined not by any chronological common sense but measured by Sampson's desire to be near me and anxiety that I will never return, he eats my clothing or tissues I've blown my nose in or pens off my desk. When he's not busy worrying over whether I'll ever return, he's either sleeping on or near me, or just sitting at my feet and gazing up at me longingly. As you might guess, I don't generally get a lot of alone time. A real problem arises when Sampson is in a different room than I am, and notices it. And this is the topic of my story today.

Last night, I was in my office, like I usually am. My office is off the living room, and has large french doors with long windows in them. There's another door at the back of my office that leads to our back hall and connects to the kitchen and bathroom. For the purposes of this post, I've made a handy graphic outlining the floor plan of our ground floor:

As you can see, Sampson is in the living room, and I am in my office. Since the sound of the television in the living room is distracting to me, I had closed the french doors to my office. But my office, being the only room on the first floor that doesn't gravity feed to the upstairs, gets insanely hot if I don't leave the back door open. So, marked in red on the above graphic is the path Sampson would have to take to get into my office.

The first time this scenario took place, I gave Sampson some leeway. I'm sure it's a difficult concept for dogs: the thing you want is right there, and the most direct path is blocked. Trying to get beyond the initial dog-mind panic, "I want it! It's right there! Why can't I get it?" in order to overcome the obstacle takes time. For Tucker, it was simply a matter of looking through the french doors, seeing that the back door was open, and taking that path of red x's. For Sampson, it went somewhat differently.

At the time, my cousin D-Rock and I were sitting in my office. D-Rock said something to the effect of, "That dogs is so fucking stupid. He's never going to figure it out." I countered with, "No, he'll get it eventually. Probably take him a while, though." Sure enough, thirty minutes later, Sampson wandered away from the french doors and eventually made it through the back door. But D-Rock was unconvinced. "He probably just went into the kitchen and heard us talking from the hallway, and was like, 'Oh, what's this down here?' He didn't mean to actually get in this way."

I'm afraid she might be right, because last night, the same thing happened. So, there I was, sitting in my office, being generally awesome, and Sampson realizes that he's been separated from me. I'm pretty lazy, and once I get comfortable, that's it. I'm done. I'm not getting up for anything, unless the chair is on fire or something. I put up with Sampson's whining for a little bit, but eventually he decided to charge the glass. That was when something had to be done.

I tried to put my hand up to my mouth and whistle, directing the sound to the back door. Since dogs have such awesome hearing, I thought this would clue him in to the alternate route. No dice. I made direct eye contact and pointed at the open door. "See? Come in the back way!" I shouted through the glass. This just made Sampson more frantic. My son, thinking he could help the situation, went to the kitchen and called Sampson, then tried to direct him down the hall. Sampson just became confused and raced back to the living room, where he collided with the doors. My son decided to open the french doors and let him in.

Sampson was all settled in at my feet when my husband went to the kitchen to make dinner. The sound of food being exposed and touched and possibly dropped was too much for Sampson, who shot out the back door of my office, down the hall into the kitchen. But my husband shooed him out... into the dining room. Sampson wanted back in my office. So he ran to the french doors in the living room and we repeated the frantic whining. This time, though, my son wasn't there to let him in, and so he had to become more resourceful.

Sampson needed a plan. When my husband unhelpfully scolded him for trying to dig under the doors, Sampson revised his thinking somewhat. Hey, wasn't there a secondary way to access the office? Yes! It would be tricky, but he could manage it. He would get into my office and be with me and all would be well once more.

Unfortunately, his path to the office was not a straight one. First, he ran up the stairs. Then, he sniffed around the dining room. By the time he finally got into my office, I had gone through the french doors, into the living room, and closed them behind me. Our places were switched. And now, Sampson couldn't get out. Though he'd just entered the office through the back door, he could no longer remember its existence. Somehow, diabolical forces had trapped him in this hellish room, still separated from my by those infernal french doors.

Now, I'm not saying that dogs should be exactly as smart as humans. Dogs in general can only be "smart, for a dog". That doesn't make the dumb ones less worthy of love and good treatment. I'm just saying that if Sampson was a human, he would be your boss. And every night you'd go home and you'd wonder how he got to be your boss, when he's so stupid. And every night, when you left work, he would be wandering around the office, desperately trying to find his way out.