Husban-dito and I have always wanted a classic car and, if all goes well with the mechanical inspection this week, we will be the gleeful owners of a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood!  It has plenty of room for groceries or for a quick trip to IKEA, and we can’t wait to take it over to Sonic for Lime Slushies!

This vehicle really suits us–it’s totally quirky, a little spooky, a bit weird, and definitely a conversation starter!  Here she is:

Want to take a ride with us???

Don’t worry, we won’t make you ride in the back…

Unless you’re absolutely dying to!

Could you take a gander at this Sony Walkman?

I had that exact Walkman during my teen years and used it to effectively block out my parents’ endless prattle during car trips and family vacations.  It was the iPod of my day, and I was hot stuff with this Walkman.

Not only was my cassette player a Sony, but it was YELLOW!  I festooned my portable tape player with stickers and took it everywhere.  I always carried spare batteries (remember those days?!?!) and had a collection of mixed tapes for every mood and occasion.  Who needed play lists back in the 80s?  Not me!

Now here’s the sad part of my fond recollection.  I had this Walkman up until a few short years ago–I vividly remember examining the stickers and showing it to Husban-dito–but when I went to find it a few months back, it was GONE.  The weird thing is that I usually am pretty good with my belongings.  I can count on one hand the items of value I’ve lost in my lifetime.

How did I lose this Walkman?  I managed to hold onto it during my teen years and beyond only to lose it as an adult.  The irony doesn’t escape me, but I still want my yellow Walkman to turn up.  Maybe if I stop looking for it, it will pop up in an unlikely place.

Have you ever lost anything that you’d love to be reunited with (minds, money, and youth not withstanding)?

It’s a good thing I have no desire to shoot heroin because my veins just wouldn’t be down with that little hobby.  My veins are hard to find and if a phlebotomist is lucky enough to snag one, it’s guaranteed to collapse within seconds, leaving my arms bruised and mottled for days.  But did that stop me from trying to donate blood? Heck no!

My veins were recently called into service to donate blood for an immediate family member who is undergoing serious medical treatment.  I had already flunked to be a donor for another treatment she needed, so the least I could do was pony up some blood.

But in true CWG form, this was easier said than done.

Anyone who has ever donated blood is familiar with the bevy of questions they ask to determine your eligibility.  I sailed through the questionnaire, passing even the more taxing questions like Have you ever taken money for sex? or Do you partake in sexual congress with animals?–to which I asked wild or domesticated? Ha.

I was excited to donate, having failed a previous attempt in the 90s.  The women at the blood donation center of the hospital were so nice and promised me cookies and juice just for trying.  Can I be bought for a packet of Lorna Doones and a cranberry juice? You betcha.

It took almost 15 minutes for the phlebotomist to find a vein that would be even half-way serviceable.  It was on the top of my left arm, near my elbow.  I suggested that a butterfly needle, one that is often used for infants or children, would be the best approach, and she laughed at me.

The needle necessary for donating blood is roughly the size of a garden hose; they can’t use anything smaller because it would damage the blood cells.  A sinking feeling settled over me as she advanced with the sharpened hose.  The elastic band was tight on my upper arm and I was frantically squeezing a stress ball with my hand to help my one, lonely vein stand out.

She told me to keep my head turned away, but I couldn’t resist sneaking a peek.  Imagine my shock when she tapped the vein on the first shot!  And it didn’t collapse!  Bonus!  She covered the needle and hose with gauze and told me to relax and watch television.

Instead, I watched my blood course through the tube and into a GIANT bag that was resting on a see-saw type of machine.  It took seven minutes to pump the requisite amount of blood–a pint? a gallon? a metric ton?–and the promised cookies and juice were in sight.

As I made a move to sit up, a wave of nausea washed over me and a bell started clanging in my ears.  I felt the color drain from my face and was suddenly surrounded by a swarm of nurses and vampires. And then, blackness.

artist's rendering of me fainting...lol

The next thing I remember was the strong smell of ammonia and a buzz of voices.

Yes, friends, I FAINTED AFTER GIVING BLOOD.  How cliche is that?

After I came to, the nurses kept me in a recumbent position, bicycling my legs in the air, answering inane questions, and drinking juice to keep me conscious.  I remained in the blood center for well beyond the hour I told my family member I’d be gone.

The kicker to the whole saga?  Just as I was finally getting up to have cookies, I got a text message from my relative who was (impatiently) waiting for me to get back upstairs to her room.  This is what it said:

not my actual phone, but that was the message...

my dad and my nephew

There are still goosebumps on my arms and my pulse hasn’t returned to normal quite yet.  I was downstairs in the dungeon doing some laundry–because who doesn’t do laundry at 1am the night before leaving on a weekend trip–when sudden movement caught my eye.

Bending down to grab some towels, a GIANT–and by that I mean HUGE–mutant monster cricket/spider/demon bug hybrid lunged at me!!!  I recoiled in sheer terror, a shriek escaping my lips.  I have never, and I mean never, seen a bug of this magnitude before.  This bug must have traveled from a foreign land to get to my basement.  I’ve lived in Jersey for almost 36 years and have never seen a creature like this.

While attempting to keep an eye on the Franken-Bug, who was menacing me, I casted about for something with which to smite it.  My mouth was dry, and I heard a loud clanging in my ears.  Where the hell was Husban-dito when I needed him?!

In desperation, I threw a towel over the bug.  And then I tossed a heavier towel on top of the first and then another for good measure.  I can only hope that the weight of the towels will prevent this monstrosity from boinging up two flights of stairs and bouncing down the hallway into my bedroom to attack me as I slumber.

Shaking, I sprinted from the dungeon to my office, immediately parked myself at the computer, and Googled “horrifying spider cricket mutant bug’.  I was greeted with the image of the EXACT bug that is now resting under several layers of beach towels:

I'm STILL shaking from the encounter with this mutant bug.

And here’s small sampling of what Wiki had to say:

  • To avoid starvation, they have been known to devour their own extremities, even though they cannot regenerate limbs(Now that’s appetizing…)
  • Given their limited vision, cave crickets will often jump towards any perceived threat in an attempt to frighten it away. (ROGER THAT!) Their large hind legs allow them to jump high and far. (NO SHIT!!!)
  • Cave and camel crickets (also known as spider crickets) are of little economic importance except as a nuisance in buildings and homes, especially basements. They are usually “accidental invaders” (From where, praytell?  HELL?!?!) that wander in by mistake from adjacent areas. They generally do not reproduce indoors, except in situations that provide continuous dark, moist conditions, such as a basement shower or laundry area, as well as organic debris to serve as food.
  • Although they appear intimidating, they are harmless to humans. (Right.  Except for inducing myocardial infarction in 30-something bloggers.)
  • Their long legs have caused them to be more commonly referred to as “sprickets” or “spickets”, a blending of “spiders” (whose legs they resemble) and “crickets”.

Tomorrow, I’m going to tell Husban-dito I left a present for him under some towels in the basement.  I’ll let him wrangle this monster bug because I’m DONE.  D-O-N-E.  Now could someone please pass me a Valium?

Enjoy the weekend!

Boy, was that sushi not my cup of tea.  :)  I’m sticking with mac and cheese* from here on out.

*And by mac and cheese I mean the blue box brand.  No other mac and cheese can hold a candle to that fake cheese taste!  Yum.

Please use your talents and powers to guess which of the following statements is TRUE:

1.  While on a school trip to Niagara Falls, I went over Bridal Falls in a barrel.

2.  Husban-dito and I have finally! crossed to the dark side and on or around November 11, 2010, we will henceforth be known as Daddy and Mommy.

3.  I ate sushi.


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