Monday, May 18, 2009

A Hot Minute

So it's been a hot minute since I've blogged. Had to finish up the school year which was more nightmare-ish than I thought. Freaking undergrads were getting on my last nerve. But it's finally done and over with.

Sadly, it's gonna be another hot minute until I blog again. I am leaving for Africa today and won't be back until June 9th. It is unlikely that I will have internet access during the trip so no blogging for me! I'm sure I'll have lots of stories when I get back!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ange Udall

So you know the movie As Good As It Gets? Jack Nicholson stars as Melvin Udall who is an extremely eccentric obsessive-compulsive germ-a-phobe who drives everyone around him crazy, but in the end is really endearing. Well I'm dating the local, female version of Melvin Udall. Ange is a germ-a-phobe in a major way. Of course, the irony of it all is that she not only works in the healthcare industry, but she works in a hospital. A HOSPITAL DRIPPING IN GERMS.

Right after we first started dating Ange got the nastiest ickiest flu (which she later passed on to me). She was sick in bed for days feeling like crap and this is where I first got to see the loveliness that is my hypochondriac spazzo girlfriend. As I was trying to feed her Jell-o and soup, she started her moaning on about how horrible she felt when all of a sudden she decided that she might be suffering from sepsis from the screws she had in her foot (that she broke a few months before). Now, she didn't get the screws put in her foot by the local handyman or anything, she got it done in a hospital by an orthopedic surgeon. But still, she thought she had sepsis and should probably go to the ER. Luckily I was able to talk her out of it. I should have known then what was in store for me!

Ok, so now that she works at the hospital she has gotten an ever more heightened paranoia about germs. Everyday she comes home from work and immediately gets in the shower and scalds the skin off of her body with boiling hot water. She loves to tell me about how the hospital is teeming with MRSA and can't stop thinking about how it's invading every pore of her body. She is also worried about TB, Lice, Scabies, and any other germ she is exposed to during her 8 hour shifts.

But...she is mostly obsessed with MRSA. I probably hear the word "MRSA" at least 5 times a day. So the other night we were laying in bed and I realized that we hadn't set the alarm for the morning. Her phone is the only approved method of alarm clock. She hates the sound of her actual alarm and my phone has to be plugged in waaaaaaaaaay across the room, so her's is the only choice. So I casually say "Honey, can you set the alarm on your phone for 7:15?" Her response is "ARE YOU KIDDING? THERE IS MRSA IS ALL OVER MY PHONE!!!" Seriously? So we banter back and forth about our various options (none of which satisfied my lovely germ queen) and then she reaches over plucks out some tissues from the box next to the bed and PICKS UP THE PHONE with them. I was cracking up at this point and she's all like "WHAT???" And I told her she was just like Melvin Udall.

Even funnier, in her exaggerated protest to that comment and the phone slips out of her kleenexed hands and hits her right in her nude chest. Of course she freaks out in a sputter of MRSA! MRSA! which just makes me laugh more and more.

SO if you ever feel the need to freak Ange out, just think of something germ-y to do to her and you're golden.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hilary's Graduation

So as I mentioned in my previous post about our new tattoos, my baby sister Hilary graduated from college on Saturday. Of course we all expected nothing less from her (or any Briggs girl) but it is still nice to celebrate such an accomplishment, especially since she is the last to do so. Although we will still have several more graduations to PhD, my mom's PhD, Hilary's graduation from Vet School, and eventually Leslie's Master's Degree. However, it was a nice to celebrate Hilary's initial accomplishment.

Hilary graduated from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, IN. St. Joe is a very small Catholic college, to which we were always teasing Hilary for choosing. Mostly because it's Catholic and of all the sisters Hilary was the one who had the least exposure to religion in her life. I had the most, but as we grew and moved and the family fell apart (hahaha) we moved farther and farther away from "our" religion. So the irony of the fact that Hilary was the one to go to a Catholic school was just funny for us.

When Hilary was little she posed for EVERY picture looking like she was Richard Nixon. We don't know where she got this, but seriously, if you look at pictures when we were kids you always see the double peace signs extended wide. In times of silliness we like to either impersonate her, or make her throw up the deuces for nostalgia's sake. So of course, on her graduation day we needed to see them:

As St. Joe is a Catholic school, they had the "privilege" of having the Bishop of Lafayette attend their ceremony. He did the invocation as well as the keynote this year. Really the only interesting thing was his looooong luxurious cape that mom and I instantly decided would be one of the only benefits of being a Bishop. Dale cracked a joke about small boys and capes, but I'll save you all from feeling like you might be smited by God by sparing you the details. However, do take a look at his bad mama-jamma cape:

Like the rest of the nation, St. Joe was FREAKING OUT about swine flu. They had signs all over the place about washing hands, avoiding the pig flu, and bottles of sanitizer. They even set up a sanitizing station at the edge of the stage so students could sanitize before crossing the stage to get their diploma. They also had the option of not shaking hands as well. I didn't see anyone take this option:

However, we were pretty sure the lady in front of us had swine flu, since she spent the whole time coughing into her wadded up paper towel. I had to get a shot for proof in case I became violently ill:

I then decided to capture some random moments of my family at graduation. Lucky for me they did not fail me and posed in their most natural states...

This is often what Leslie looks like. Yes, she often even looks blurry:

This is what Clint looks like a most formal events...especially while attending with his in-laws:

This is typical of my father and step-mother. My step-mom is goofy like us, and my dad is usually giving a "what the hell" expression:

Again, typical parentals. My mom being goofy and Dale trying to stifle giggles:

By the way, the weather man totally screwed us. We woke up thinking it would be a nice day in the neighborhood only to see gray skies and have the weather man that Rensselaer would only be hitting a high of 59 degrees. This ruined both Leslie and my plan to wear cute sundresses. Instead we wore dress pants and sweaters. Of course we got to Rensselaer and it was like 75 and sunny and we were annoyed. Then we went into the graduation area which turned out to be the sweaty ass fieldhouse. It was, as my aunt loves to say, "hotter than the blue blazes!"So hot in fact, that I had to peel off my trouser socks and take off my shoes while we were sitting. Classy, I know:

Dale was fanning himself and my mother and me like crazy. We pretty much were about to faint...thank god we had Bishop capes and other weird people to distract us:

Finally it was over! Hilary was a graduate! Here she is when we made her stand akwardly by a tree for the photo shoot:
A nice picture of the sisters, pre-tattoo:

The requisite shot of the sisters all throwing up the peace signs:

And finally, the whole family...pretending to be an "unbroken family." Bwahahaha:

Congratulations Hilary Diane "Brm Brm" Briggs! You did it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

An(i) Epiphany

So last Wednesday my love and I went to the Ani DiFranco concert. Of course, she totally rocked the house...not that we expected any different. Given that it was an Ani concert, of course at least half the crowd was lesbian (and of course since half the crowd was lesbian, my girlfriend knew half of the half, and dated half of that half...). And given that I think waaaaaay to much, and am prone to introspection when there are an overwhelming amount of "things" going on at once, I had an epiphany in the middle of the concert. This is not rare, as A. epiphany is one of my favorite words and B. I really like to think about the world in themetic ways. (Sidenote, this is what makes me a good researcher)

So you know the joke about lesbians that goes something like "Know what lesbians bring on the second date?" and the answer is "A U-Haul!" For those of you NOT in the know...lesbians are well-known for moving at lightening speed in their relationships. Typical lesbian relationships happen like this: girl meets girl, they fall in love, they move in together, they acquire animals together, and they're rarely seen in public again because they are too busy being domestic with their animals and rarely leave their couch. Details differ, but basically that's the format.

One of the rare times that they do leave their couch and come out is for the random, once a year "Girls Night Out" type event. Usually someone's birthday, or sadly, to celebrate a couple's break up (we're so melodramatic). Another popular time for an outing is when any quasi-queer music event is going on. Think Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Lillith Fair, Tori Amos or Ani DiFranco. There are others, but these are the main ones. So we fully expected it to be super lesbian night at the Murat for Ani. We were not disappointed.

As we were sitting in our 8th row seats (yay me for stalking LiveNation for tickets!) we did a lot of looking around and observing. The two girls sitting in front of us where something else. They were both wearing cut off sweatpant shorts (totally not shitting you), hiking sandals complete with socks (still not shitting you), ratty looking t-shirts and bandanas on their shaved heads. I swear to you, they looked like they had been working in the yard all day, all of sudden remember that they had Ani tickets and RAN out the door so they wouldn't miss her. One half of the Hideous Twins spent the ENTIRE concert rocking back and forth like a pendulum. I swear I could have set my watch to her. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Most people were kind of alternating between swaying to the music, doing random bursts of dancing and some chilling. Not this chick. BACK AND FORTH THE ENTIRE CONCERT. At some point in the middle she added a little hip hook so she looked more like the agitator of a washing machine, but that only lasted a few songs. Then back to the pendulum. She was getting on my last nerves. First it was distracting because it was like I see Ani, Now I don't, I see Ani, Now I don't, I see Ani, Now I don't, I see Ani, Now I don't...and so on. I knew I could not watch the entire concert like that so I had to shift into an uncomfortable position so I could just see Ani all the time. Of course she was still in my field of vision and I fought the urge to just grab her shoulders and hold her still the entire concert.

Two rows up and to the left were two girls who could not stay in one place and watch the concert for the life of them. And they also seemed intent on causing chaos every time they moved as well. One of them had a blue tooth headset on that blinked an irritating blue light the entire concert. Again, catching my eye and making me crazy. Her partner spent the night using her cell phone in various annoying ways. Alternating between using it to take pictures and videos of Ani performing, sending text messages and yes, even making calls. During the concert. Six rows from the front. Besides the fact that one typically goes to a concert to WATCH AND LISTEN to the artist, how in the hell can you talk on a phone when it's that loud? They also left and came back into the room like 85 times in 2 hours, spilled a cup of beer alllll over the aisle, and kept getting scolded by the security guard for standing in the aisle.

The point of telling you these two stories is to say, the reasons that lesbians find the one person that makes them happy and then never leave the house is because we all get on each others nerves and we're completely judgmental bitches that would end up clawing each others' eyes out if we spent more than a few nights a year out together.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


So my baby sister (Hilary) graduated from college on Saturday (more on this later). In honor of the third and final sister undergraduate graduation we decided to mark the occasion in a special way.

I have two tattoos already. I got one on my last day of school from high school. My good friend Amber and I got them together. I had that one for 8 years before I decided to touch it up and add a little pizazz to it. Hilary had always mentioned that she wanted one, but hadn't yet taken the plunge. I thought my other sister Leslie would never go for a tattoo. She wasn't a fan of mine when I first got them and just never seemed to be really interested in tattoos in general. However, last month Hilary and Leslie went to visit Michigan State's Vet School (where Hilary will be in the fall!) and on the trip they started talking about tattoos and thought it would be cool if we all got matching ones. We're pretty close so it just seemed like a cool idea.

So for the past month we've been thinking of ideas and emailing back and forth different pics. Leslie and I happened upon the same one and we all thought that we could agree on it. Funny side note, the original pic came from a funeral home. Ahahaha. We just thought that was hilarious. Here was the original pic:

We have several reasons why we chose this one, which I like. I never just get a random tattoo with no thought. My first tattoo had little thought, but did have some meaning. I've been more and more thoughtful as I've matured and decided that this tattoo would be layered and layered with meaning. So some explanation below:

1. Obviously there are three of us, so three was a common theme.
2. We are all pretty peace-loving people. Leslie really liked the idea of a dove (which is a symbol of peace) so we were looking at different representations of doves.
3. We all love, love, love Bob Marley's song "Three Little Birds"'s a great song and it also has a great message. The refrain of the song is "Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right" which is a mantra we all tend to live by.
4. Finally, the flying birds is kind of symbolic of the third and final sister graduating from college. You know the saying "flying the coop," well we have all flown the coop (symbolically anyway) now that we are all "adults" and on our own from our parents.

So we had been talking about it, and we decided to have a sister bonding time on Hilary's graduation day. So after we got home, unpacked the cars, ate dinner with the fam, we covertly sneaked out to get tattooed. We had to sneak because my dad does NOT like tattoos and has not wanted us to get EVER. In our entire lives. Too bad for him, we don't always listen to him. Once it is done, what can he do but accept it?

So we went to Artistic Skin Designs on the Westside. We chose this place because it is close to my house, I got my second tattoo there, and they were open late-ish. We headed over, negotiated a price, filled out the paperwork, and got started.

Unfortunately the original design had to be slightly altered. They thought it was too small in the original format, but in order to keep the size under control (which was only a concern because of the location) we changed it up a little.

Leslie has developed an anxiety issue over the past few years (I'm gonna have to blog about it's kind of funny), so we decided she would go first so she could not build up her anxiety watching us. Plus I could sit in there with her in case she did have an anxiety attack. She deals with them well, but it's helpful to have someone there to assure everyone else she is ok. And in true Hilary style, she forgot her ID so she had to run all the way home and get it and come back.

So here is Leslie getting started:

Here Leslie is trying to look brave and grin through the pain. The tattoo artist was talking to her to make sure she was ok and wasn't about to fall off the chair:

A good detail shot of Leslie's work:

Once Hilary got back from her ID run, she and I both got into our chairs. I took a pic from my chair before Leslie took the camera so I could focus on my tattoo.

Hilary's tattoo artist went by the name "Freak." No joke. It says it on his card. Here she is with Freak, grinning and bearing it.

Leslie came in to snap a pic of me right as I was finishing up. Sadly, the only shot she got was one where I looked like a completely loony toon, but oh well.

Here's my finished product:

And the final shot...all three sistos and their tattoos!