I remember getting woke up in the middle of the night by a huge crash - this was a few years back. And I remember thinking "What the heck?" And I thought "Oh, it's just gotta be one of the cats." And I kinda let it go, and I started falling back to sleep, and then I thought "It sounded like a splash, too!" And I got up and thank goodness I did, because the cat pushed over the goldfish bowl onto the floor. She was literally sitting there, smacking the goldfish around, watching it flop around. Luckily I was able to get him back into a thing of water and save him. Ugh! But that was crazy. I was like, "Really?"
I'm grateful for my girlfriend and... She's also become my go-to Scrabble partner. Around the year 2005 or so when I was a broke college student, I just went into a Toys R Us one day, just for funsies, when Toys R Us still existed, and I saw they were having a deal for board games. It was like, two for $20 or something and $20 was a lot for me back then. It's still not a drop in the bucket today, but the deal seemed so great that I felt like I had to cash that in. So, I bought a Trivial Pursuit, like a modern one, and I bought the Deluxe Scrabble that comes with the turntable and the nice wooden pieces and, you know, the actual Scrabble board has kind of like - it's grooved. So the letters stay exactly where they need to stay. And so that's been my most prized college-aged purchases in my life, but it's been sitting in the closet for 10 years. Probably more, maybe 15. But because I'm sitting here on crutches and broadly immobile in many ways, we decided to dive back into Scrabble and it's been so much fun. I feel like I'm 80 years old because we have a routine now, which is basically dinner and then Scrabble on the back deck which - whatever. I love it. And in turn, what we've done is we've kind of dived into Scrabble Theory. You know, before when I bought it, it was just kind of whatever. We'll play on the fly and we'll decide what works as we go. But she and I have been diving into eligible plays in Scrabble such as - like a big, a big strategy to help you get over the top in Scrabble is to be very familiar with all of the playable two-letter words. And it turns out, there's tons of two-letter words in Scrabble that you just wouldn't imagine actually flying, ones that would probably get called out by your friends. But anyway, yeah that's been a pretty fun way to pass the time honestly, this week.
Once in college, I was studying at Reeds Lake and uh, I was laying on my stomach like, with my books in front of me and I was eating pretzels and I, uh... had my arms crossed in front of me. I was leaning on my arms, you know, and so I had a pretzel in my hand, but my arm was tucked underneath me. And all of sudden, I felt someone yank the pretzel out of my hand and I turned around really fast thinking it would be, like, a guy messing with me or something and it was a duck! Who, who was being very sneaky and snuck up behind me 'cuz he saw this pretzel in my fingers and just snatched it right out of my hand, and other people had seen it approaching and were laughing and thought it was really funny, but that was very mischievous.
I can remember, like, sitting in this meeting or getting ready to -- the meeting to start or whatever and it was the beginning of the day and I was sitting there, you know, with my friends. And I didn't really notice it, like it wasn't a conscious noticing but it was just like a -- I saw the one friend kinda lean over to the other friend and whisper something but I wasn't thinking anything of it. I wasn't thinking it was like about me or whatever. And so the friend that got whispered to turned and looked at me and she said, "Oh," like to me, she said, "Oh! Hold on, you have something, you know, in your hair," because it was the beginning of the day, and maybe it was fall or whatever, I had a leaf in my hair and I didn't realize it. And I know the friend who did the whispering is kind of catty and kind of talks about other friends behind their backs and stuff. And I had asked the friend who took the leaf out of my hair, "Oh, thanks. How did you notice?" And she said, like, "Oh actually, you know the other friend -- " I'm not using names or whatever, but she said, "She kinda turned to me and told me like, 'She looks like an idiot with that leaf in her hair.' " And so I kind of thought that that was an admirable quality in a friend. One, she didn't -- the girl who took the leaf out of my hair didn't, like, say to the other friend "Yeah, what an idiot" or, like, didn't say anything. She actually, like, stopped the conversation and turned to me to fix the problem. And I thought that that was a great friendship. So anytime after that, I have tried to model my life to be -- you know, don't talk about your other friends -- don't talk about anybody, really, in a negative manner to someone else.
So I grew up in the country and we often had barn cats. People would drive by and drop animals at our house or our neighbor's house. So there was one summer I think someone dropped seven cats off. That same summer, someone dropped a dog off. And one summer when I was pretty young we had an indoor/outdoor cat that was not totally domesticated – was gonna say civilized, which also applies, but domesticated, and it would pee in the house which we didn't realize right away. But my brothers were furious at me one day because I really liked animals and for the most part if we had a cat inside it was cause I was playing with it. But this cat had peed on their N64 video games and, like, ruined one of them and that was the seminal moment when we realized like "Oh this cat is peeing all over the house, we can't have it inside anymore." But they were so angry and they blamed me and they held me down while one of them was playing Mario on N64 -- I think it was N64, and there -- well in one of the games you can hatch a baby Yoshi and like hang out with it and ride it and then it like grows up and whatever. And I loved Baby Yoshi. And so one brother held me down while the other one kept going to that part in the game, hatching the baby Yoshi, and then running it off a cliff because I found it so distressing. So I was wailing and they were -- I don't know if they were even laughing, they were just -- this is what I -- they felt like this is what I deserved because I allowed a cat to pee on their video games.
Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. Uh, I'm gonna talk about my cat, Waffle, who lived for 12 years, so there are quite a lot of stories, ‘cuz I had him since he was, like, five or six weeks old. Lot of stories from him, but one in particular I just think is the most ridiculous thing ever. So he loved to eat plastic, and I'm not talking about licking plastic or biting plastic, I'm talking about ingesting plastic. Like, this dude thought that trash bag handles were a delicacy. I don't know where this came from. So my cat liked to eat plastic. And there was this one time I was babysitting my baby cousin. I think she must have been one and a half or something, I don't know. Like, where, where you can, like, leave them alone in a play -- I say "alone”, but you can leave them within eyesight in a playpen while you're cleaning stuff up or whatever. So what ended up happening -- so I had to change her diaper, so I did that, and I left it balled up on the countertop where I changed her and then I got her all set and I put her in her playpen. And I’m -- I turn around after doing all that, ‘cuz, you know, you gotta put their clothes back on, make sure she's got, like, the toys that she likes and all that, you know, all that kind of stuff. Turn around, and Waffle's on the counter ripping off the tape of this diaper, this used diaper. And I don't know, somehow he got a piece of it off and started running away with it. So I had to chase him down and get that out of his mouth -- ‘cuz, you know, it can cause blockages, and you’d have to take him to the vet, and all that, all that fun stuff, get that out of his mouth and go back, and I'm just looking at this, like -- ‘cuz, obviously, it'd been a few years this point since I got him, and I already knew he ate plastic. So I had done, like, the best job ever. I was so practiced at hiding anything remotely like cellophane. So this guy got so desperate to chew on that sweet, delicious plastic…
My dad has this awful horsing around story – actually he has a couple. So this didn't happen to me, but one – but so this one happened when he was in high school, I think, and it was actually his friend that was doing the horsing around. But they were like, collecting cans or something like to recycle. Well, I don't know if they were recycling but they were empty cans anyway. And so like, the friend was throwing the can to my dad, and my dad then would like put it in a bag or whatever. So, they're throwing the cans put in the bag, throwing a can, put it in the bag. And then like to be funny, the friend then threw a full can but like, you know, my dad went to catch it as if it were empty. It just flew right through his hands and like hit him in the face and he had to get stitches. Um and then another time – again I don’t remember this I've just – this is a story told in our family. Is that when my sister was a baby, my dad was like, goofing around with her and like, he was on his back and holding her up above him, like she was, you know, playing that little airplane game, like she was a little airplane. And, you know, I'm sure, saying things you say to a baby when you're playing with them, whatever. And his, so awful, his mouth was open, you know, probably cooing at her or something and she threw up in his mouth or spit up or something. And it's like uck, that just sounds so horrifying.
Yeah, I've been to Disney World, so, oh yeah! I remember one time, it was a big deal. But I had gone off to the bathroom or something and all my family – I only wanted a picture with, I think it was like Piglet or Ti- Tigger, I don’t remember which one I really wanted a picture with. And I happen to go to the bathroom or whatever, and then like they came to our table finally, but I wasn't there for the one second. So I guess this goes into the- the unlucky thing. But, um, I suppose like, – and then, and then I came back to the table and I was just like, “Are you, are you kidding me? Like that's the only creature I wanted like, a picture with today.” And I was like for some reason crying about this. I don't know. I think because my family made such a big deal about it too and like, “Oh.” My dad was like rubbing it in ‘cause my dad’s just a jerk sometimes like, “Oh, hahaha, you didn't get a picture,” and then it was like ruining the whole meal and everything of just making me feel awful. ‘Cause I feel like overall I didn't care and then when someone constantly it's just like, like rubbing it into you're just like, “Okay. Well now I just feel upset. But that's the whole dinner conversation is how I miss down on this thing that all of you got to have and I couldn't have, like, now I'm upset.” And so then when I was crying and stuff they're like, “Oh, well, we have to get Tigger back here or whatever, to take this photo.” And then when I finally got the photo, I had just been crying this whole time and I was just pissed off. And so, like, I remember in the photo I don't even look happy.
Something that used to terrify me when I was little that doesn't anymore… I am not as scared of spiders as I used to be. Like, I'm not gonna choose to have one crawl on me, don't get me wrong. But there's a whole bunch that are around in our basement and like, that's where my bike is and I live harmoniously with them. Like we've had a couple that are very big and creep me out from afar. I'm not gonna go near them. But I also don't cry or scream like I used to and that makes me sound terrible but like I've been startled by spiders. There was one night -- or one morning, I was waking up and I went to the restroom and as I'm sitting there something falls down from the sky – or the ceiling. And it was a very black, big spider and he crawled underneath the door out into our bedroom and I never saw him again. And that's a little um, scary to think about. But then again like he's more terrified of me than I am of him. And I think my 30s has brought me that true realization that when my mom said that, she meant it. I have yet to see a spider that's like, "Hey girl!" or aggressively coming at me like, they're all trying to get away. And now that I've taken up gardening, I really recognize how much they are our friends and they keep the really creepy things away from my flowers and they do good things. And so, I don't go for – like I don't ever try to actively kill a spider. Now if it's in my space, I will do it and like, they don't jump. I can definitely take a big wad of toilet paper and take care of them now, like I'm an adult. But I'm hoping my kids are not as scared because I'm not gonna love having to do what my mom used to have to do, which is kill them. Because like I would scan my bedroom walls, it was like a part of my ritual. Before I turned off the night light. I would look at all – or the light – I would look at all the corners of my room and I would look at all the parts of my wall and…