We're trying to sell our house, and our realtor sends out Christmas cards like realtors and mortgage originators do. I learned this after we bought a house, that realtors and mortgage originators, once they have your, your name it doesn't matter if you've already bought a house, they will continue to send you Christmas and birthday cards for, like, ever, apparently. Well, ei- eight years anyhow! So she, she sent us a Christmas card and it had a lottery ticket in it. And we, we are not -- I, I have never -- I don't think I've ever played a lottery ticket before. Like, every time it gets really big, I think about it. It's like, "Hmm, oh," but, but then yeah, I don't -- it's like, eh, eh, let somebody else have it, like, cuz I'm not going to win it anyway, and I feel -- we -- it's like, gambling addiction's a thing, and I feel bad participating in that, but I was not the one who gave the money in this instance. And so I looked up -- I had to look up on the Internet how to play the lottery card. It was like some Christmas related one. It's called Partridge in a Pear Tree. And I was like, "Am I supposed to scratch up all of em? Am I only supposed to scratch off certain ones?" Like, "Is there any actual element of play in this, or is this literally just you receive it and you scratch it off to get somebody to have more of a dopamine release?" Like, if you actively do something instead of just looking at a card, like, the dopamine... It turns out it's the dopamine thing because yeah, you were supposed to scratch off all of them. So I scratched off all of em. Didn't win a dang thing, which is not really a surprise. I was hoping. I was hoping. But then I was reflecting. I was like, this is kind of a mixed message, cuz we're going to be trying to sell our house in the next year. Well, the next like six months or so, maybe even, we -- we're hoping to have it on the market in like, four months. So I was kind of like, "Is this a message from our realtor?" Like, "Here's a lottery card. You're gonna need it."
In Krakow at the train station, the chocolate was probably the worst chocolate I'd eaten in all of Europe. No matter which of this little cart -- chocolate carts you went to, they all sold the exact same product. It was cubes of chocolate covered in cocoa dust. Awful. Meanwhile, several stalls down, was the ice cream vendors and this one cart was selling ice cream cones. [In a] communist country you cannot get different flavors. It comes in one flavor: vanilla. There's not even other types of ice cream you can get. It is just a vanilla ice cream cone. That's all you can get. No sprinkles. No toppings. No chocolate chip. Nothing. But there was a long line there, and ice cream cones were 10 cents, and it was the most delicious ice cream I've had in all of Europe, except for Selfridges in London. The ice cream was so -- was so good that after eating it, I got back to the end of the line and waited. I just went to the back of the line and waited til I came to the front again. And I think I did this four times. I think I had four ice cream cones. They were that -- it was that delicious. But I wasn't the only person doing it. The other people in line were doing the same thing because the ice cream tasted so good. I just noticed we were all just getting back in line, eating our ice cream cone while we waited to get to the front again.
Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. [Meow!] Oh my gosh, my cat. Hello. [Meow!] So, [Meow!] he is carrying around [Meow!] a stuffed turkey. Like, it looks like a roast turkey. He's carrying it around in his mouth and yowling like he's worried about it, which is a thing [Meow!] that he picked up from a cat [Meow!] that I was fostering, [Meow!] and he particularly likes to bring it over to Thea, my other cat, and yowl really loudly at her as if she's causing some kind of problem. And she's completely innocent of any problem with that thing. He just -- he's just manufacturing drama. It is the weirdest thing, and we owned him for years without him doing this, and it wasn't until [Meow!] like I said, my other cat -- the cat I was fostering did this, and he watched her do it and I'll be d***ed if he didn't pick it up himself. He used to only do it at night, but now he does it [Meow!] whenever he feels like it. Oh for Pete's sake, would you settle down over there? The stuffed turkey cat toy is pretty cute, I must say.
Today's prompt was, "When have you ever had to hide in the basement for a storm?" It wasn't a storm, but it was a tornado warning. So, back in an old state where I lived, there were a lot of tornado warnings and stuff like that because there were like all types of natural disasters. The only thing we didn't have was probably hurricanes. So, we got a tornado warning. We've actually gotten it like, maybe three to four times the amount of time I was there. But, so we went down to the, uh, basement. We had a pretty nice basement. It had like a couch and all that stuff. It was really cold though, but we didn't go into the cold areas. It was like a furnished, finished basement, and then half of it was unfinished, but it was more of like a hallway thing. We used to put all our old toys there and like stuff. We even had this little like, mirror with a few candles. I remember trying to summon Bloody Mary once, but like not actually because I was like, genuinely concerned that she would like, come out and you know, eat me or something. So back to the tornado story. So, we had a tornado warning and so my aunt ushered me, my sister, and my three -- two or three cousins downstairs. My brother wasn't born yet at this time, so he wasn't there, I think. Yeah. And so after that, um, we went downstairs and we were waiting for the tornado drill to be over. We brought down some chocolate milk because, you know, we don't really know how long we're gonna be there. And while we're down there, my aunt realizes that she forgot the binky for one of my younger cousins, and so she tells my sister to go upstairs and go get it, and at this time I was like, probably eight? Like, five to eight. I wasn't exactly the smartest or sharpest tool in the shed, and so I was like, "Oh my gosh, she's sending my sister into the line of fire." Like I'm pretty sure the tornado was nowhere near us, but I was like, "Oh my gosh, how could you do this, auntie?" Yeah, she was fine. It literally took like two seconds to go up and get a binky and come back down…
In my line of work specifically with students, there's like single bedrooms and shared bedrooms. And sometimes those shareds are called doubles and no matter which way you put it people just don't seem to understand what it means. And so when you say, "This is a shared bedroom," they're like, "Oh so they have like four roommates in the suite, but they'll have their own bedroom." "Nope, it's a shared bedroom." And they'll be like "Well, well, I don't understand, like, we thought they were all singles." And I said, "Well no, if you look at the title, it says double. It's a double shared, like two people." And it's like these words just mean nothing, um, and it causes a lot of havoc. And so when I was saying earlier like when they get here that's more stressful than when they're leaving. It's honestly because they just don't read and if they do read they still don't try to understand what they're reading. Another student, she's currently in a double shared space. Her roommate is leaving and she wanted to buy it out as a single, which we do allow. So I said "Sure I'll do it." And she responds back, "Okay, so since now it is a single I would assume you're gonna take out the furniture." And I said, "Nope. It's still a double space. We're just letting you buy it out financially as a single so that we won't put anybody in the second bed." "Right but you're gonna take away the furniture." "Nope. Our website says that all doubles remain doubles, you know, sometimes you have the option to buy out, but if you don't take the option or if the option is not offered to you, you'll get a roommate. Like the furniture has to stay." And she went around and around with me that just bec- -- like if she's paying a single price, she expects a single room, and I said, "Well, you're not in a single room technically. You're in a double. I'm just letting you buy it out so that you don't have to share it." And so buy out was also a very confusing thought process for her. Her dad got it, which was really fun. He understood the entire thought process that we have like moving all the furniture out for people that buy out doubles to…
I, I normally, you know, try to enjoy the process of knitting, and I normally do, but it was like, between the cursed yarn, the knitting with double pointed needles that I didn't want to do, the mistake — I just wanted to be done with them. And I did finish them. They looked great. They fit her well, but I brought them to this get together. And we were walking up as they pulled up, and I had gotten my uncle some baked goods. So I was like, "Hey, I’ll just drop these in the car", you know, "there's no point bringing them into the restaurant." And my aunt made some comment about, "Oh, do you also have the IOUs from last year?" And I was like, "What did I IOU you from last year? I don't remember." And one of the things were these mittens. I'm like, "Oh my god." At this point they'd grown to such epic proportions in my brain that I was like, you know, "These are the main gift that I'm giving you this year. And apparently I said I'd, you know, give them to you last year." So anyway, maybe not a big deal to most people. It was just very stressful and definitely felt like that whole day went down the drain.
The really first and longest time that I had a communal bathroom was in college, in a dorm. I remember not really being thrilled with that idea when I started there, and, and knew that that was the situation. We -- So, I grew up in Michigan and I ended up going to undergrad in California, about an hour-ish from where my aunt and uncle live. And so when I moved out there, they picked me up at the airport and took me shopping for the things that I couldn't bring with me on the airplane. And I remember we went to a department store -- I don't know which department store it was. I guess it could have just been Target, maybe, I don't know. But my aunt doesn't really shop at Target, so it could have been, like it was probably like Macy's or Nordstrom or something sort of ridiculous. Um, she's -- she likes to shop at those places, which is fine, but they just are too expensive for, for me. But we got a bathrobe there because she knew that I was going to need a bathrobe because I would be in the dorm, and I would want to have a bathrobe that I could either just walk down to the, the bathroom in or that I could take with me and, and walk back in. Whatever. And I still have that bathrobe. It's at my parents' house and it's -- I still use it when I take a shower at my parents house. I, I leave it -- leave it in the bathroom there. It hangs on a hook like behind the door, and every time I take a shower, I put it on and I think of buying it before I went to undergrad in 2001. So, that was 22 years ago. And it's a white bathrobe, and it still is white. Like, it's held up really well, probably because it came from an expensive store and was actually, you know, of good quality. Um, and it has frogs on it, which I'm not the biggest fan of frogs, so I don't know if there was no other option or if that's just what I decided at the time that I liked. I'm not really sure, but I do remember using it in college.
My school has, um -- they decided to hold this like competition about this small paper figure called a nisse, N I S S E, which I think is pertaining to some sort of Christmas or holiday tradition from a country around the world. Cool, that's great, but I wasn't particularly interested in, in partaking in this activity. I do like fun things sometimes but just this day I wasn't feeling it, so I didn't know what was going on. And we have a teacher who works with kids who speak English as a second language. This teacher themselves, they also speak English as a second language. So there was a point -- and here's the rules of the game. Basically you have a, a paper figurine that you have in your pocket called a nisse and if another teacher asks you if you have a nisse throughout the day, you have to give them the nisse. And then by the end of the day, whoever has a nisse in their pocket wins a prize. That's what I was not partaking in on this particular day. And because I was not in the know of how this thing worked, this ESL teacher who speaks English as a second language, pretty thick accent, she asked me -- she stopped me in the hallway and she was like, "Do you have a nisse?" and -- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make her sound Italian. “Do you have a nisse?” She asked me if I had a nisse and, um, I instantly was like, "Oh, were you like visiting another school? I've heard there's someone with my last name over there," which she was very confused by and I was also confused. Like why are you asking me? Why were you at that other school? I heard there was someone with my unusual last name. And then she repeated, like, "No, do you have a -- do you have a nisse?" And I was like, "Well, yeah... I have, like, nephews and nieces. Sure. I'd -- like, did you meet one of them, or..?" And then, you know, eventually she's able to say ”I, I read the poster down the hallway and it talked about how today there's this competition,” and finally I was able to get it and we figured it out. Crisis averted. No, I did not have a nisse…
When I was a kid, we had one bathroom upstairs for the bedrooms and a half bathroom downstairs that didn't have a shower or a tub, and the bathroom upstairs was the one of course you used at night when you went to bed. And one night as we were getting ready to go to bed, my dad was the last one in the bathroom and I could hear -- you could hear him banging and doing things in there. And finally he comes and he slams the door and he says, "There's a big moth in there. I'm gonna get it before I go to sleep." This was back in the summer before we had air conditioning and all that kind of stuff. So my dad is in the bathroom. You can hear him slapping the towels, and slapping the walls trying to get this, this moth. So he finally gets it. He cleans it off the wall. He throws it -- you know, with a piece of toilet paper -- and he throws it in the toilet and flushes. He comes out and he goes, "I think I got it" and he goes, "Oh, I forgot to go to the bathroom." So he goes back in there. And evidently when he lifts the seat the ma- -- moth comes flying back out at him. The moth was not dead. And he is chasing that moth again. I don't know -- I, I laughed until I cried.
My first shared bathroom I ever used was down in West Virginia. I was 12 years old and my parents had taken the family down there to hang out with family members. And my aunt and uncle lived up a holler in, in West Virginia, and they had no running water. They had a pump at the sink that pumped cold water. They would have to heat their water. And of course they had an outhouse. And me being a city slicker girl never saw an outhouse, let alone used one. And being that that's all they had and I had to pee, I had to use the, the outhouse. So I went in there, and it was dark and dingy, and up in the holler in West Virginia, there's little -- I can't remember what they call them, but they're little lizards. And I'm sitting there with my pants around my ankles trying my best to pee and not cry. And I looked up at the corner and there was a, a lizard sticking his tongue out at me and I screamed. I'm crying. I ran out of the outhouse with my pants around my ankles, everybody looking at me. My mom came running. "What in the world?" She’s laughing at me. My dad's laughing at me. My mom helped me pull up my pants, which were now wet because I had peed all the way on them. Oh, it was just a nightmare trying to use that outhouse the very first time. Nobody had warned me about the lizards. I don't think it would have mattered had they warned me or not. I would have still ran out of the bathroom. I found out that another uncle who lived up the next holler had a bathroom. So I would hold it until we went to my other uncle's house and I would use his toilet. First time using a shared bathroom was not a success.