Interstellar Adventures

July 17, 2006

Room Makeover

Filed under: Interstellar Casa — by InterstellarLass @ 9:39 am

We’re knee deep in home projects at the moment. There’s crown moulding on my living room floor, Zed’s room has no bed, and yesterday I was spraying noxious fumes in my den, fixing cracks in the wall. Plus, all the other rooms in the house are suffering from being ignored in favor of projects. We thought it was a good time to do projects since the kids are out of the house. They spent the weekend with us, so one room in the house is ‘put together’.

Here are some “before” pictures of Elle’s room. Note the ugly wallpaper. I’m mad that I forgot to take pictures at the “real” start because there was a really ugly light fixture in there.



I still have a couple of things to do, like hang some shelves, and I bought some memo strips that I’m going to use above her bed since that wall is very bare. Oh, and the bed really needs a skirt. But, I have to report that she loved the room. I took her in with her eyes closed, then Nick and I yelled “Surprise!”. She took a look around the room and then screamed and jumped up and down. I am SO proud of how it turned out! The stripe around the room wasn’t in the original plan, but the main wall color, Mermaid Song, was so intense, I felt like it needed to be broken up somehow. And here’s a tip: if you buy a laser level, buy a good one. The one that’s $10 at Wal-Mart at 10 pm isn’t worth crap.

The den, and then Zed’s room are next on the list. I think I’m going to be on a permanent high from paint fumes!

July 14, 2006

Ever Dance Naked in the Pale Moonlight?

Filed under: Adventures — by InterstellarLass @ 1:11 pm

There’s a certain thrill in danger; in doing something outside of the expected. Some people can push that limit, test the boundaries, slip into the wild side.

I’m usually a spectator to those people. A thousand times I’ve thought of a response to someone’s comment but didn’t dare say it. I’ve been tempted to stand up in the middle of a restaurant and yell, just to see how people reacted. A part of me wants to do the unexpected so that people can never take me for granted.

Most people mellow with age. That youthful desire for going beyond limits leaves them and they grow comfortable with routine and conformity. I think I’m experiencing the opposite. My mom ingrained in me: Do the right thing. Don’t let other people down. Do what’s expected of you at all times. Don’t disturb the waters. And I always tried to. And I was always so disappointed in myself if I let others down or chose the unexpected.

And now, I think I’m becoming more daring. How so you ask? The other night, Nick and I were on the front porch, talking. It was dark. Very late. Our street is very quiet after dark. I’d had a couple of beers. The liquid courage combined with something inside me, and I did it.

I took off my shirt. And my pants. And my bra. And I danced in my front yard. Under the moon. Yes, I did. And I felt free.

July 13, 2006

Have You Been Drinking Tonight?

Filed under: Blast from the Past — by InterstellarLass @ 9:09 am

Back when I was a younger Lass, during college, I had transferred to a different University after my Freshman year. A friend I worked with was returning to school, and she knew I wanted to leave the school I was attending. She needed a roommate, and the University she was attending was a good school. So, we moved.

The three times I went to the campus, my roommate drove, and all three visits were during the day. So, the first time I drove on the campus, I had no idea where I was going. Plus it was at night. I was looking for the dorm of a friend, and after circling the area many times, I was thoroughly lost. I cut through a parking lot to get back to the street I was just on. Then the flashing lights came on behind me.

Crap. What did I do? I pulled over and the campus police officer pulled in behind me. I provided him with my license and registration, and he informed me I’d gone the wrong way down a one-way street. I explained to him that I wasn’t familiar with the campus, and I didn’t see the one-way sign on the street I had turned down.

Officer: Have you had anything to drink tonight?
Lass: No officer, I haven’t.
Officer: Are you sure you haven’t been drinking tonight?
Lass: No officer, I haven’t. I’m not of age to drink.

He studies my license, returns to his patrol car, and runs my plates. I’m totally confused about why he’s asking me if I’ve been drinking. The officer then returns to my window.

Officer: Well Lass, your plates came back clear. But, I’m going to ask you again, and I want you to be honest with me. Have you had anything to drink tonight?
Lass: No Sir, no I haven’t.
Officer: Well, then what are those cans there in your back seat?

I went still, then turned around to see four Keystone tall-boys on the floorboard of my back seat. Shit.

Lass: Sir, earlier this evening, my roommate, her boyfriend, and I went to Billy Bob’s. I drove and my roommate and her boyfriend sat in the back. He was drinking those beers. I asked him to remove them when he got out, but I didn’t realize he hadn’t.
Officer: Please step out of the car, young lady.

Crap Crappity Crap Crap. I immediately saw the vision of my death before my eyes…after my parents came to bail me out of jail. I would be in such deep shit.

The officer proceeded to give me the battery of field sobriety tests. My knees were shaking, my hands were trembling, and I was sweating bullets. I was so scared. I hadn’t had anything to drink!

Fortunately I passed the tests. The officer put me back in my car and gave me directions to where I was going. Then he told me I needed to pay extra attention to the street signs on the campus, because there were many one-way streets.

My friend’s dorm was just around the corner. I parked and found her door. She and some other friends were inside laughing. I asked what they were laughing about. They said they had just seen some poor kid get pulled over by the campus police and tested for drunk driving.

Um. That was me.

They looked at me and then they laughed harder.

July 11, 2006

The Verdict Is In

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 9:55 pm

I’m out of court, fingers and toes all accounted for. The case wrapped up today, at the very end of the day, and our verdict is rendered, so now I can share the details with you.

The case I was selected for was a DWI. After waiting almost half the morning on the prosecution and the defense arguing legal technicalities, the 20-person jury pool came in for the voir dire and the case type was displayed on a projection screen. I immediately thought that I would, for sure, get struck from the jury pool.

Right off, two guys were dismissed for the jury. One for his mother-in-law having surgery that day (I call BS) and the other for a family funeral today. Then the prosecutor spoke first, explaining the burden of proof that the state would have to meet, and to determine if we felt we could be fair jurors. After several questions, she then asked us all if we ourselves, family members or others we knew had any experience with DWI. Starting with Juror 1, who had herself been convicted of DWI, and then me. My Ex had two DWI’s while we were married. Several others in the pool had also either had spouses convicted or arrested, or some other manner of experience with DWI. One woman was especially upset, as her husband had been convicted the previous year, and she felt he hadn’t been given fair treatment.

Then the defense attorney got up. True to stereotype, he was a good ‘ol boy, named Tex, a disabled Vietnam vet, and lawyer for 32 years. He explained more things, asked more questions, and again, I thought I would be struck from the pool, probably by the prosecution, because I’ve been through the battery of field sobriety tests. I’ll have to tell you that story tomorrow.

After over an hour of questioning, we were released while the prosecutors and defense made their selections. The judge had said, barring either side striking us from the pool, the first six jurors seated in the pool were the jury that would be selected for trial. I was juror 5. I had a chance.

We waited another 15-20 minutes before we were called back in. My name was the third called. I was on the panel. Then, as soon as the six of us were sat, we were dismissed for lunch.

After lunch, we listened to the arresting officer’s testimony, followed by an hour-long video of the traffic stop, field tests, arrest, drive to the station, and the intoxilizer room. Part of the audio in the tape had been muted so I knew some of the evidence had been blanked out. At the end of the day, I was pretty sure that I was going to go for a not-guilty verdict, based on the testimony that had been presented. But, I had pieced together based on other parts of the tape that she had probably taken a prescription anxiety drug in addition to drinking. I had also pieced together that it was the lead prosecutor’s first trial.

Today, we got an “expert witness” along with a learned treatise. The medical examiner came in to read from a book about the effects of Xanax on the body. Then we got to watch the evidence video again, with all the audio intact. I came to find out later that unless the State was able to present an expert witness to explain the effects, the Xanax evidence would have been inadmissable. The defense also presented an expert witness to counter some of the State’s Expert’s opinions, along with poking holes in the arresting officer’s administration of the field sobriety tests.

After another break for lunch, the State cross-examined the defense witness, then the charge was drawn up (uh-pre-planning people, would have saved some time), we were sent to discuss a person’s fate.

The evidence: The officer pulled her over for speeding, failing to indicate a lane change, and having a broken license plate light. He then smelled alcohol on her breath and administered the field sobriety tests. He determined that she failed two of the three. She then refused the breathalyzer and was immediately arrested. She was observed in the intoxilyzer room, while the officer completed paperwork and questioned her further.

The defendant had worked a 12+ hour shift at a restaurant opening. At 7 pm she had taken a prescribed Xanax, .5 ml, the lowest dose. At 10 pm she had 1 glass of champagne. At 1:40 am she was pulled over, and shortly thereafter arrested. On the video, we couldn’t determine the eye test results as the camera was in the police car. She passed the one-leg stand test with flying colors. The walk-and-turn test was borderline. In the intoxilyzer room she was stable, steady, answered all questions, never wavered, and was never confused.

At the end of it all, I felt sure that the drug and alcohol was all out of her system, that she smelled of alcohol after having tended bar all night, and that even if she had a drink right before she left work, her actions on the video were those of a normal person with no intoxicating effects.

My vote was not guilty still. One guy on the jury thought she was guilty at first, but after discussion, he too came to the same conclusion. We were all in agreement.

My first time through was definitely not as exciting as I would have imagined. The lawyers were very cut-and-dry, but the defense attorney did get a little excited at the end. For her first time, the lead prosecutor did alright, but she definitely needs to work on her delivery of her opening and closing statements. Much of what she said didn’t make sense. Also, both sides mis-stated facts throughout the case. I was disappointed that they weren’t a litte more spot-on with their information. I liked serving jury duty, and I feel like I’ve contributed to my fellow citizens. I will gladly serve again if selected. I hope I did right based on the evidence that I saw and how I interpreted, but I feel fairly certain, as five others came to the same conclusion. It was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and we would get sent back to the jury room for legal wrangling away from our ears. I think it was a fair trial. Just got with a good book if you ever get picked.

July 10, 2006

Civic Duty

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:03 pm

For the first time ever, I got called to Jury Duty. And yes, lucky me! I got picked! This morning was a lot of ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ while this and that was decided before the panel was selected. So, it was pretty late before I was ‘in’ and we only listened to a little bit of testimony today. I get to go back tomorrow and hopefully the case will be done by the end of the day. I can’t talk about any of the details of the case until it’s decided. It’s all very hush-hush.

Have you ever been selected for jury duty? What kind of case did you get? Do you try to ‘get out’ of serving when you’re called?

July 7, 2006

Did you know?

Filed under: Blast from the Past — by InterstellarLass @ 10:03 am

I don’t think I’ve ever told you, but I used to be a dancer. And not that kind that collects dollar bills in the g-strings. Nope, I real, honest to goodness, classically trained ballet dancer. Would you have guessed?

I started taking lessons when I was five. My grandfather took me to see my first ballet. I’m not sure what it was, but I’m fairly certain it was either Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty. I remember the dress that my grandparents bought me. It was cream colored, and the material was so soft. I had cream tights and shoes to go with it.

I watched the entire ballet, entranced by the dance and the music. At intermission I told my grandparents I want to learn how to do that.

In my first recital, I was a bear. We had little gold tutus with a brown fuzzy oval trimmed in gold sequins in the middle of our tummies. We had headbands with little fuzzy bear-ears. The whole dance school was doing a fairy-tale theme, with the oldest students doing a Hansel and Gretel excerpt. Out of all the little girls in my class, I was the only one who remembered the steps for our piece of the show. I guess everyone else got stage fright. But I was there, front and center, ready for the show. I guided the other girls through the dance moves, moved them around on the stage where they were supposed to go, and I was the only one who managed to exit the stage at the right time. I had to go back out for the rest of the girls.

Then, I got up to a bit of mischief. During the Hansel and Gretel performance, I snuck out on stage behind the scenery. I hid behind the witch’s oven, and when the witch peered into the oven, I yelled “Boo!”. I think I scared the poor girl that was dancing the part of the witch. Then I scurried off the stage.

I continued to take ballet through high school. My last two years of dancing, I added in jazz, tap and modern dance classes. I wasn’t the best…I was the tallest, I had the biggest feet, and I was the only one with hips and boobs.

I knew I had no career in dance. I had known it for a long time. But I continued with the lessons because I loved it. I love to dance. I hear music and my toes start to tap. Get me out on the dance floor and you probably won’t get to see me again until the DJ goes home.

How about you? Won’t you share a secret with me?

July 6, 2006

On a Rant

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 9:23 am

I’m not usually bitchy, but I’ve seen some things over the last few days that really have got my dander up. So here I go.

Peeing on the toilet seat: Ladies, I know we all have public potty phobias. And I know some of you like to hover. But dammit, if you spray on the seat, wipe it off when you’re done! You hover because you’re afraid of what’s on the toilet seat, but then you leave your bodily fluids for the next person??? I mean really, there’s no sense in that. And before you say it’s just ‘flush spray’, a clear drop is flush spray, a yellow puddle is urine.

Monitoring your teens Part One: On the evening of the 4th, Nick and I stopped to buy a lottery ticket. As I was inside paying, I see a girl, who, had I not seen her get in the car and drive, I would have assumed was about 14. I’ll give her barely 16 though for the driving. She was all dressed up and ready to go out. In a micro-mini skirt, heels, and more makeup and jewelry than a Barbie doll. Why would a parent allow their child to dress so provocatively? I can’t figure it out, unless the parents weren’t home.

Monitoring your teens Part Two: Nick and I were at Starbucks last night, and three teenagers sat at a table next to us. Two boys and a girl. The first thing I hear out of the girls’ mouth is If a cop catches me with cigarettes I just tell them I’m detoxing from heroin and it’s part of my treatment. The next thing I heard out of her mouth was I steal all the time. Today I stole two pregancy tests. Then a continuous stream of profanity, more talk of stealing, drugs, sex and profanity. What the hell!?!? Again, the girl appeared to be around 15 or 16.

Wearing appropriate clothing for your body: I like to look just as hot and sexy as the next gal, but I know what I can and can’t wear. To the lady at Target last week: Seeing your belly roll over your jeans under your half-shirt was not attractive. To the lady at dinner last night: Seeing the bottom curve of your butt cheek under your skirt was not attractive. Please, please, please! Wear clothing that fits. Wear clothing that is flattering. You will look more attractive in something that is flattering and fits than if you’re wearing something that your body oozes out of.

Manage your children: I have kids. Mine are not allowed to get out of their seats and run around in restaurants. Mine are not allowed to pull items from shelves at the store. Mine are not allowed to scream at the top of their lungs the entire time that I’m shopping. Your children should not be allowed to do these things either. I don’t care if you can ignore them, I can’t. Come back later when they’ve had a nap and learned some manners.

Remember Customer Service?: Do not talk on your cell phone while you’re ringing up my purchases. Do not eat a candy bar while you’re ringing up my purchases. Do not talk to your friend at the other register while you’re ringing up my purchases. Do not sigh, roll your eyes, smack your gum, or check your nails while you’re ringing up my purchases. You can talk to your friends, eat and smack your gum while you’re on your break.

There. I’m done for now. Thank you for listening.

July 5, 2006

The Day We Met

Filed under: Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 9:12 am

A year ago today, I was just a girl, newly single, doing things single people do. Going to ballgames with my friends, playing hard on the trails, drinking martinis and putting my life back together. I was happy, but I wanted someone special in my life.

A year ago today, he was just a guy, happily content to sit in his recliner, read Bukowski, smoke his cigars and eat his QuikTrip sandwiches and write poetry into the night. He was happy, but his best gal pal decided he needed someone special in his life.

A year ago today, we had a date at Starbucks. I was a bit nervous, meeting someone new. Hoping that it would go better than the last couple of guys I’d met. He’d only wanted to meet for coffee. I was OK with this. I was available for exactly one hour. The hour between getting home from work and my kids getting home from dinner with their dad. I figured this would be enough time to establish if I wanted to go out with him again, and also be safe. A friend knew where I was, and the Ex would be looking for me if I wasn’t home. You know, just in case this guy turned out to be a serial killer.

He’d mentioned his favorite color was blue. So I wore a blue skirt and a black top, and my sassy new blue earrings. Yeah, it was just coffee, but I was also coming from work. And I wanted to look nice. One thing my mom taught me was to look nice. Granted, pajama pants would have been more comfortable, but not nearly as cute.

I walked in to the Starbucks, hoping I’d recognize him. I scanned around the store. He was there, standing at the back wall, looking at the espresso machines and coffee cups. His back was to me. Blue jeans, white shirt, sandals. Casual but cool. As I walked across the store to meet him, he scratched the back of his head and turned around. He saw me and made an awkward waving motion with the head-scratching hand. I giggled. Hi, I’m Nick. Hi, I’m Lass. Do you want something to drink? We’re here for coffee, right? Why yes, yes we are.

We stood awkwardly in line, waiting to order our overpriced hot beverages. I found a table, and he brought our drinks over. We chatted. Talked about lots of things. I specifically remember talking about my arch-nemesis, writing, movies, his family tree, and running a marathon. At the end of the hour, he asked me out again. So, uh, would you, uh, like to…I’m never good at this. I’m trying to think of a way to ask you if you’d like to go out with me again. Would you like to? Of course I did.

And in the last year, I’ve never been so happy.
He’s my Superman. My hero. My lover. My friend. My partner. He keeps me safe. He cares for me. He makes me laugh. He drives me crazy. He makes me happy when I am sad. He spoils me. He’s a romantic. He loves my kids. He makes our family complete. I love the sound of his voice. The warm touch of his hand. The peace that he brings to my life. I know that this man is going to be there for me always. He will forever be my constant friend and faithful partner.

I love you Nick. You are amazing to me. This last year has been the best year of my life, and I’m so thankful that you’ve been such a big part of it. Want to get a coffee later?

July 3, 2006

Empty Nest

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 9:43 am

For the month of July, the Interstellar Casa will house only myself and Nick. Elle and Zed are spending the month with their dad. So far, it’s borderline OK. The quiet is nice, but I miss my kids.

Zed left Friday night. He hasn’t called since. I mean, I know Colorado is nice and all, but I also know that they’re a modern state with all the latest technology. It’s not like he had to take along a tin can and a string. And he knows our home number. Zed, call me sweetie! Pretend that you at least miss me a little bit. For your mom’s sake. I hope he didn’t drown under all his luggage. He could be somewhere trapped under all his bags.

Elle was dropped off Saturday evening. Since her dad’s not real interested in going to her soccer games, I took her (it’s better than World Cup action I tell ya!) and then dropped her off. Maybe she was done with spending time with me, but I had to ask her to come back outside for a hug and a kiss. We has spent part of the afternoon in the nail salon, having matching manicures and pedicures done. I know she likes the nail art, so we had matching hearts added to our big toes.

She called last night, crying. Just 24 hours later, she missed Nick and I. We both talked to her for a few minutes. She calmed down and was reminded she would see us for dinner on Thursday.

I miss my kids.

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