It’s a Pterodactyl! No, Wait! It’s a Cow! (Photos Included)

Once upon a time, there was this girl woman. She was a disorganized, procrastinating, train-wreck of a human being, but otherwise generally likable (unless you didn’t like her). She loved coffee, and tortilla chips with salsa, and fitting into her jeans (although at the time of our story, she did not fit into her jeans). She liked telling stories, but doubted her ability to do it well. Sometimes this doubt kept her from telling stories. Sometimes she bucked up and did it anyway.

Our story really begins with the day she did that. The bucking-up. On that day she bucked up and wrote down this little story.

That was the 18th of June, which just so happens to be two weeks ago today.

The story included this photo:

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And that, my friends, was how it all began.

The very next day, this happened:

She shared the happy news on Facebook. There was much joy and great celebration!

The next day, the girl woman continued her habit of opening the door, slipping out, and snapping a quick shot before rushing behind the safety of the door, all the while thinking of Audrey Hepburn.

Leaning against the closed door, she looked at the photo. Something strange had happened in the night.

The happy little nest had become a den of iniquity. Or a science fiction movie set. Facebook was abuzz, trying to figure out the mystery. Was it a pterodactyl egg? Was it a cow egg? Was someone messing with her mind?? The girl woman and her Facebook people held their collective breath and waited for the next day’s photo.

What would happen? Would the day bring a purple egg? A striped egg? A velociraptor egg?

Facebook was enthralled. Was this a genetic mutation or a mutant takeover? So great was the excitement (notably, the majority of the excitement came from a safe distance), that our intrepid photographer braved snapping a midday picture.

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The pterodactyl egg had moved! But eggs can’t move! This was looking more and more like a science fiction movie set, or possibly a cruel joke. Despite her growing apprehension, our heroine steeled herself and set up camp on the curb. She needed to know who or what exactly was the mother of the mismatched eggs.

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She was a shady character, to be sure. What kind of bird can outmaneuver the skills of so fine a photographer? Without real answers, our brave heroine was left with no choice but to…leave town. All week long, from the safety of the west coast, she wondered about that speckled egg. Google had been uncharacteristically unhelpful, unable to pinpoint even an approximation of the gestation period for a pterodactyl egg. She hadn’t the slightest clue what she was up against here. Should she have warned her neighbors? Called the National Guard?

She held her breath.

And got a pedicure.

And ate her body weight in freshly picked raspberries.

And bungee jumped

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And when she got home, instead of Jurassic Park, she found this:

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The pterodactyl egg had grown! But eggs don’t grow! (Um, eggs don’t grow, right?) This could not be her husband messing with her (as she had suspected all along). This was downright freaky.

The next morning, she found this:

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At which point someone on Facebook suggested that the pterodactyl egg might actually be the egg of a cowbird (for real, there are cowbirds). The thread disintegrated from there. There was “brood parasitism” and Decepticons(!) and the not-so veiled suggestion that Herr Speckled Egg be voted off the island.

It was all just too much for our tender-hearted heroine to take in. Because she simply could not imagine tossing that poor, innocent egg from the nest, she decided to do nothing under the guise of waiting for her husband to take care of it.

By the time he came home she had forgotten all about it and she served him his gourmet, three-course dinner, rubbed his feet, and fetched his slippers and pipe, the situation had changed drastically, and changed for the worse.

It was, to be frank, the worst case scenario (well, barring the National Guard scenario, of course)…

 

 

20140701_201500If our kind, brave, tender-hearted heroine couldn’t bear to do away with an egg, how on earth could she see to offing a beady-eyed, open-beaked, silent-screeching, decidedly-non-pterodactyl BIRD???

She did what anyone would do. She took the matter to her Facebook people. Her Facebook people could solve any problem! Except..

They couldn’t tell what the picture was showing. They wanted her to go BACK OUT THERE. Without the slightest bit of concern for her safety, they went so far as to REQUEST A LIVE-FEED VIDEO.

Absurd.

Being of saintly character, she went out and took a video (which you can view on Facebook), but the creepy sweet little bird had exhausted itself, what with all the silent screeching, and was still largely undecipherable. She spelled it out.

IT’S THE PTERODACTYL!

Thus ensued a 50 comment, exceedingly entertaining thread, at some indeterminate point during which our heroine’s fine husband finished his pipe, tucked his newspaper under his arm, and took care of the problem.

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THE END.

(Well, until another egg hatches.)

 

 

 

Any Given Story (A Lesson on Perspective)

I was out and about today, doing fun things like emissions testing, and filling tanks with gas. I was thinking about posting something on Facebook. Something like..

<happy font> Just filled the tank on the Wonder Hub’s birthday present! Best wife EVAH! </happy font>

when the yahoo (say it like this: yay-hoo) in front of me came to a complete.freaking.stop in the dead-center of a traffic circle, very nearly causing a multi-vehicle chain-reaction of disaster which would have significantly impacted the celebration of my beloved’s birth.

My brain instantly wrote another Facebook post (and then edited it for profanity).

<pissy font> AMERICANS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR TRAFFIC CIRCLES! </pissy font>

My brain went on to tell Facebook (because, you know, Facebook cares) about the time, less than one month after our return to America from Germany (where drivers are actually taught how to navigate a traffic circle), we were clobbered by an indignant late-model dude in his late-model Cadillac. A man who, despite having exited into our vehicle from the inside lane, went on to SUE US (unsuccessfully. HA.).

I continued my pissy internal Facebook rant about idiot drivers and idiots in general until I pulled into the driveway at home.

As I wandered up the front walk, my brain switched gears (squirrel, anyone?). Oohhh! I remembered the picture I had taken this morning!

<happy font> Look at what I found next to the front door! </happy font>

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Is there anything more hopeful than teeny, tiny eggs in a freshly made nest? The joy! The wonder!

All of a sudden, the mommy (daddy?) bird flew from the alcove, zipped around my head in an angry rush, and made me scream like a wee little girl.

(I hate screaming like a wee little girl.)

<hyperbole font> STUPID, STUPID, GEOGRAPHY-CHALLENGED BIRD JUST MADE ME PEE MY PANTS! WHO BUILDS A NEST RIGHT NEXT TO SOMEONE’S FRONT DOOR! </hyperbole font>

 

The lesson?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Karen vs. Crafting: Upholstery Edition

It all started with one tiny, innocent question.

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One tiny, innocent question which led to a veritable firestorm of advice and admonishment.

(p.s. I get a kick out of admonishment)

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FYI: @bigkb01 is my realtor. What she says goes.
@bobbigaukel is my graphic artist (she designed my blog banner!). What she says goes.

Sigh.

Also: Color story? Who knew?

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@mimyselfani chimes in (sigh), but I manage to distract the naysayers with homemade pizza. Score one point for me! Maybe, just maybe, I can get someone over here to do this thing for me..

 

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Or maybe not.

Shot down by @marydene1 and her cough tough love cough, I retreat to my pouting corner to stew on things. I could totally do this. I’ll show them!

But I don’t wannnnnna do the crafty thing. I’m not crafty. (insert foot stomp) I’m not. I’m not. I’m not!

But I could. I totally could. Some fabric and a staple gun is all it would take…

But picking out the fabric. Ugh. And cutting it (correctly). And stapling it on the chairs in a non-wonky fashion…

You crafty people just don’t understand. The opportunities for me to screw this up are nearly boundless. You just have no idea what it’s like to be me. You have no idea..the agony, the misery, the suffering…

Oh the suffering!

And then it hit me. I can do this! I can so totally conquer this bad boy. Oh, yes I can.

Just watch me.

 

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Ta-da!

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How’s that for color story??

Ha!

It is with great joy that I tell you:

Karen 2: Crafting 1

 

What’s in the Box, Karen?

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I’m keeping it at a distance, because it’s a wee bit overwhelming. A tad scary. A smidgen paralyzing, if truth be told.

It weighs 25 pounds, for Pete’s sake.

So, what is in that there box?

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I don’t know! I’m too scared to open it!

(Keepin’ it real note: check out the dust on my dang wood floors.)

Okay, really. The box contains…

(drum roll?)

(No?)

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The box contains books.

BOOKS!

The books were sent to me by the East West School of Planetary Herbology. As soon as I muster up the guts to open the box, I will begin a three-year endeavor to earn certification as an East West Clinical Herbalist.

And you know what? I’m skeered.

But I’m also really, really excited.

Easily Distracted

So I’m making dinner, which consists of warming up leftover (homemade, I want credit for that) Asian meatballs, and roasting broccoli with garlic, when Molly Sue begins barking her fool head off. I recognize the bark, so I grab my camera.

DSC_0009 It’s always the young bucks who get nose-to-nose with my girl, and this goes on for some time. When he gets bored,

DSC_0010 she lets him wander a few steps before resuming her mad dog bark and rushing the fence.

DSC_0013 And then they do it all over again.

Meanwhile..

DSC_0004 I catch the eye of this shaggy little lover.

DSC_0005 Who whispers to her friend, “Watch your back, the crazy camera lady is at it again!”

DSC_0007 And we stare each other down, until the incessant nagging of the oven timer brings me back to the real world…

DSC_0017 and to this. The real world sucks. The End

Karen vs. Crafting: Valentine’s Day Door

I’ll be honest. The Craft Wars are largely driven by three things:

1. We currently live in a rental. It needs all the help it can get.

2. I am too cheap to actually buy many of the things that constitute ‘help’.

3. My rebellious side continues to think: if you can do it, so can I.

Yeah. So. Here we are.

Karen 1: Crafts 0

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and my front door is ugly like you read about. I do a little etsy.com search for Valentine’s wreaths, with the idea of supporting a budding artist rather than torturing myself. I find this. Which is perfect! And $78.00.

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Etsy.com The September Tree

$78.00! I can totally do this myself. It’s a ribbon, for Pete’s sake, with sticks and burlap. I have burlap leftover from the previous Craft War. What could be easier?

I go and buy a $3.00 roll of ribbon. To prevent procrastination, I tape it to the front door. (How smart am I?)

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A week goes by. No worries, though, there’s still time. I tell myself that the neighbors (and my brother-in-law, who walked in and asked me why the front door was gift-wrapped in February) will be so impressed at the big reveal.

February 7: Molly and I go out in search of sticks. We bring some home and place them by the front door.

February 8: The Wonder Hub throws them in the trash. I dig them back out.

February 9: The Princess of Crafting comes over, arms full of intricately designed, personalized, glittery valentines. She can’t stay, but I recruit her for my project. If anyone can get me to craft, it’s my niece.

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February 11: She comes back over. We bake cookies. We build snow forts. We go swimming. She asks repeatedly about our project, but there’s just not time. We’re having fun!

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February 14: It’s perfect! What better day for the big reveal? I dig out the burlap and scissors, only to find Mimi coloring. She invites me to join her.

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February 15: I admit defeat.

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Sigh.

Until next time. Karen 1: Crafting 1

Karen vs. Crafting

I bought some burlap on December 5, with plans to make one of these, and also three of these.

I know some of you are on the floor right now. Those of you who spent years trying to get me to be crafty with you (Julie)..and possibly those of you who attended church lady craft nights during which I sipped coffee and ate goodies and talked my lips off but refused to even acknowledge that craftiness was taking place. I know it’s shocking. Karen? Crafting? What?? All I can tell you is this:

I have no idea.

So. My bag of burlap sat on the bench in the front entry. It sat on the floor in the corner of the dining room. It sat on the dining table next to the unopened sewing machine. In each of these places, it stared me down like a schoolyard bully.

I mostly ignored it.

I did have a deadline, though. I wanted the house decorated before the big boys arrived. When that deadline passed, I knew I wanted the table runner done before Mel and Pat arrived. When that deadline passed, I knew it had to be done before December 29, when Chris brought her new beau over for dinner.

When Chris brought her new beau over for dinner, I took the dang burlap out of its dang bag and folded it in half. Then I laid it on the table with the extra burlap trailing off the far end (and into a burlap puddle on the floor) where I hoped nobody would notice it. I added another, narrow, Christmas-y runner and a large Polish Pottery plate with candles, red placemats with napkins, and called it a day.

It was, if I do say so myself, ridiculous.

And then. Sometime after the dawn of the New Year, I found something with a higher procrastination priority (maybe packing up the Christmas decor?), and I got down to business. And I did it!

I, Karen Klasi, crafted.

Really.

 

Ready??

 

 

 

 

 

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Isn’t it pretty? It mostly hides the military-and-kid induced scratches and dents. It’s not frilly or girly or otherwise un-Karen. It’s kind of wrinkly (like me!) as it is nearly impossible (with my attention span) to iron burlap completely flat.

It’s got the fringy stuff on the edges, which I dig.

 

 

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(For the record, those pictures are no longer on the floor.)

I will admit to a little struggle with the photographs, based on the facts that, a) I missed the great light that transforms this room in the early afternoon, and b) I was too lazy to change camera lenses so, c) had to back myself up the first landing of stairs and then get on my stomach to take these shots.

 

 

 

 

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I was very into it, this photographing of my most excellent accomplishment. I wanted to show you what I’d done, how I’d conquered, all I’d overcome. In the end, I must have taken over two dozen shots. Of a table runner. What can I say? I was absorbed. I was engrossed, perhaps even consumed.

I was, apparently, not meeting someone’s needs..

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The end.

 

Tutorial: The Fine Art of the Birthday Month

I wish I could remember just how long I have been celebrating my Birthday Month. I do know that since the advent of email I have not failed to send Mel the following reminder:

Today is the first day of my Birthday Month. Please act accordingly.

Facebook makes it all the more fun, because while Mel generally ignores my reminders, many of my friends are happy to take up the cause and celebrate with me. This year, though, I’ve noticed some confusion in regard to my Birthday Month. I’d like to set things straight.

Birthday Month Tutorial

1. If you were born in my Birthday Month, it is also your Birthday Month. Make no mistake, my friends. I am not a celebration-hoarder. There is plenty to go around, and the more we celebrate, the better life will be.

(Now that we’ve cleared up that little misunderstanding, let me help you make the most of your Birthday Month.)

2. It is best to announce your Birthday Month ahead of time. You may need to do this more than once. People are busy; they appreciate the reminder. Start at least ten days out with a little note posted on your social media medium of choice. Something like:

PSA: There are ten shopping days remaining until the start of my Birthday Month!

Like I said, your people will love this.

3. Don’t forget the all-important day-of reminder. Mine always, always ends with “Please act accordingly.” It frees up people to lavish you with attention, gifts, caffeinated beverages. When it comes right down to it, it’s just good form.

And who doesn’t love good form?

4. Now I would like to address your responsibilities during the month-long commemoration of the day of your birth. Because so many of you are visual by nature, I’ve developed a little picture show of sorts to help you grasp this crucial concept.

Ready?

Okay. It works like this:

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Let’s say your true love brings you a steaming cup of hot coffee. Even though the slight possibility exists that the message he’s trying to send is something like, “Put down that book and come join the real world, for Pete’s sake!” the message you receive is, “Happy random Saturday of your Birthday Month!”

See? It’s Birthday Month coffee!

 

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And here. You’ve just swept the wood floors when your pup comes in, having enthusiastically rolled yet again in the grass out back. You reach for your phone so that you can record the fact that she has (ever so thoughtfully, I might add) brought you Birthday Month gifts from the great outdoors.

Is it starting to make sense?

 

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This. This is a Birthday Month gift, hand-delivered by the UPS dude, posing as a down comforter you ordered to replace the violently odiferous one on a teenager’s bed.

It’s all about perspective, people.

 

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This. This takes the cake. This is a sweet (and sassy!) little piggy, ready to take you for your first-ever Build-A-Bear experience. Birthday Month celebrations don’t get any better than this.

 

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And finally. This encapsulates so many things about the Birthday Month experience. This is a Birthday Month hike with some of your people and your good dog. This is drowning your senses in the glories of God’s creation. This is the inaugural outing of your brand-new Birthday Month camera lens. This is good.

5. And so. In summary:

Your Birthday Month

-There is plenty to go around.

-Share the month, share the love.

-Announce it to the world.

-Announce it to the world again!

-Celebrate every little thing, because

-You deserve it!

Happy Birthday Month, my friends!

 

 

Resolution: WORD!

I knew my word instantly. I tried to think, and think hard, because perhaps this wasn’t really my word. Maybe there was another, easier word. This one had been coming on for some time, placed at the forefront of my brain again and again and again as an imperative that must be heeded if I am to survive.

But still. I scrolled through the One Word resolutions of others, and tried on each one like a garment. I was looking for a fleecy, comfortable thing. Like a jacket I could slip on, one arm at a time. A word I could snuggle up with effortlessly. A word I could call on much like a small child nurses her pacifier; an amenity for the inevitable trials of life.

The word, my One Word, is more of a weapon than an amenity. Rather than snuggling up in its fleeciness, it will call me to hit the cold, hard floor. Early, no doubt, and repeatedly. On my knees, even.

Get it? My One Word is:

Pray.

Will you join me?

What’s your One Word?

I (Have) Never

Watched

-a single episode of any of the Real Housewives shows.

-any show with “Jersey” in its title.

-reality shows about truckers, or fishermen, or loggers, or any other ridiculously dangerous occupation.

-reality shows (and yes, I am using the term loosely) about child models, or child dancers, or child actresses and their wacko mothers.

-any of the scary movie franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Saw, Scary Movie), with the exception of one or two of the Freddy Krueger movies, which scarred me for life. For life!
Psycho, Jaws, Deliverance, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shining, Hellraiser, Cujo.

I just can’t take it. I can think of three times in my childhood (one as late as junior high (that’s middle school to you youngsters)) that I had to fake stomachaches and beg the resident mom call my mom to come get me from sleepovers where scary movies were being watched. The junior high incident involved the Drew Barrymore movie Firestarter, which isn’t even technically a scary movie.

Did I mention that I just can’t take it?

Dallas, either the original or the current show. I wasn’t allowed to watch it as a child, but I don’t remember minding. I had no idea who J.R. was, and therefore no sorrow over his having been shot. I do remember that hearing about it on the playground became tedious. As in, C’mon! Shut up and shoot some marbles, people! Check out my new cat’s eye! As a result, years later I was the only of my (underaged, ahem) friends at the Boot Hill Saloon who was not too starstruck to go chat it up with Larry Hagman, who was in town for the Sturgis Bike Rally. He was a really nice guy. He bought me a Miller Lite and autographed my coaster. It’s true! It’s up in the garage rafters in a box, along with my college-era scrapbooks (which the children must never, ever see. Seriously, promise to come destroy them if something happens to the WH and me), and the snapshots of me with Colin Powell and Garth Brooks and the touring crew for Alabama.

They wanted me to run away with them, that touring crew. It’s true. I was serving Guinness (chilled to the recommended 37-42 degrees) to a variety of locals and tourists sitting at small, wrought-iron tables under the red awning on the 6th Street sidewalk outside Paddy O’Neill’s Irish Pub at the Hotel Alex Johnson when the tour bus, ALABAMA emblazoned on its side, rolled up.

I had met the guys the previous night at the fairgrounds, using a backstage pass which was my sole compensation for a summer deejaying internship at the local (AM!) country radio station. I never did get to meet the actual band, but the roadies were fun! (And gentlemen, mom. They were total gentlemen.)

(Aside: I was a terrible deejay. We’re talking phenomenally bad. I wanted to do this thing, I was all about it–I had declared myself to be a Communications Major at the university–but the moment the record (and I do mean record, as in vinyl) stopped playing, I completely clammed up and was rendered unable to spit out a single word that was any kind of deejay cool.

Also, I got in big trouble there. I once played John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” a song I had loved as a child, only to have the cranky station manager come flying through the door of my little glass-walled booth, screeech the needle off the record, slam the button that sent the station to commercial break, and YELL AT ME about the fines the station would incur for playing un-released singles.

I had no idea what he was talking about.

The incident did nothing to make me more comfortable behind the microphone.

When I went back to school in the fall, I changed my major.)

The roadies. I so wanted to run off with them. I wanted to be the kind of girl who would throw caution to the wind and do something wild. I wanted to quit serving pints in exchange for measly tips; quit ingesting second-hand smoke; quit listening to the same people sing the same gosh-awful songs on Karaoke Wednesdays, and “Buffalo Soldiers” playing endlessly on the jukebox all other nights; quit making endless batches of orange-colored, overly-salted popcorn using a 10-gallon bucket of solid-at-room-temperature orange popcorn oil, and just go.

The open road was calling. I was twenty-one, and I longed for a life of adventure. I wanted to do something unprecedented, something wild. Only one thing stopped me: I was pretty certain I wasn’t allowed to take off in a tour bus with strange men, even if they did pull up–Pretty Woman-style–at my place of employment hoping to carry me off to a life of adventure.

Read

Harry Potter 

-Shades of Grey

-Twilight, save parts of the first book, which (I am ashamed to say) I skimmed in order to write an online newspaper article bashing it. That was almost five years ago, and that stupid article is still receiving hateful, nasty comments.

Life lesson? DON’T write a review bashing a book you have not thoroughly read. It’s bad, bad form. ALSO, watch out for Twilight Moms. Yikes.

To Kill a Mockingbird, until this week. How on earth did I earn a B.A. in English without reading this book? I love this book. I adore it. It is going on my Favorite Books bookshelf, right next to A Moveable Feast.

Done/Been

-to any concert of any kind at the Sturgis Bike Rally. I was not allowed. My mom is in Heaven, and I am certain that I’m still not allowed. Come to think of it, I have never been at the Sturgis Bike Rally after dark. I was, you know, not allowed. Even the year I worked in a food booth up there, at the Hog Heaven campground, I don’t remember being around after dark. What I do remember is this: the vast majority of the scruffy, unshaven, hungover bikers at the Hog Heaven campground were doctors, and lawyers, and accountants. And also that they chose, hands down, fried foods for breakfast. At the time (which was pre-college) I could not, for the life of me, understand why.

Do you know why I couldn’t figure it out? I couldn’t figure it out because my mom never allowed me to be at the Sturgis Bike Rally after dark. I was clueless, in the best possible way.

-Bungee jumping. I have a cervical fusion, people. No way am I going to be snapped in half while dangling off the end of a stretchy rope over a bridge, or a canyon, or anything. I am not going out that way.

-Sky diving. I have promised Bubba that I’ll do it with him for either his 18th birthday or his high school graduation. I made this promise knowing full-well that beginner skydivers must jump tandem with experienced skydivers, and knowing full-well that while I can talk a good game, when push comes to shove, someone will have to shove my behind out of that plane.

So there you have it. A short list of things I have never watched, read, or done. Now it’s your turn. G0!