Sunday, October 24, 2010

For the Man Who Has Everything

Meet Wookie
(AKA John Kapron) 

Jayson and Wookie met at the start of their Army careers.  They were inseparable and maybe should have married each other.  (But then I swooped in and stole the whole marriage thing - see 10-10-10 post.)

Wookie was.....Well, Wookie was Wookie.  He was THE MOST original, carefree, childlike, independent, creative, loyal, crazy person I've EVER met.  And, all of that was what made him who he was.  In the Dictionary, if you look up "inner child", you'll find the definition to be "Wookie".  (And, if YOUR Dictionary doesn't say that, then you have an incomplete Dictionary.  Go get a new one.)

Remember how Jayson and I decided to get married?  While sitting around drinking with another couple....we thought it would be fun....Well, the other couple was Wookie and his "girl".  I actually think the whole let's-get-married-for-the-money-I-mean-FUN-idea was HIS.  So, we did.  The four of us got married at the police station, promptly got kicked out of the barracks, and rented a house together in Fayetteville, NC.  Jayson and I had the master bedroom, Angie (Wookie's "girl") had the last room on the right, and Wookie had the 1st room on the right.  Yes, separate rooms.  It's kind of awkward to hook-up with a girl, take her back to "your place", and find your wife asleep in your bed. 

So, life was pretty normal at our place. 

The boys played with chainsaws in the garage, our ferret played with the cat in the living room, and the two mystery dogs in the backyard played with each other.  (I have no idea where the dogs came from.)  We had a TV with a plug that wasn't compatible with the outlet, so the boys took turns electrocuting themselves....many times over.  Our house was like an orphanage for all of the guys still stuck in the barracks.  They'd come to our house to drink....and fall asleep on the couch with a teddy bear and a kitten.  (I'm serious.  There are pictures.)

Ok....back to Wookie.  This story really does have a point.  I promise.

Wookie drove a minivan - because the sliding door on a minivan made for quick getaways.  Like...when you were stealing firewood from the people around the corner, or holiday decorations from the neighbors, or patio furniture from the store.  Whatever he needed, he could toss it in the minivan, dive in after it, slide the door closed, and be gone in a flash. 

Wookie and Jayson would go for nightly joyrides in the Minivan (I think the vehicle deserves to be capitalized at this point.)  In between recon missions for free furniture and decorations, they would spray people with windshield washer fluid.  Pretty simple concept, really.  You just turn the little squirty things on the hood of your vehicle until they are no longer pointed at YOU.  Then, with enough practice, you can squirt people thru their open car windows, tag kids at the bus stop, and clean the guy in the crosswalk.  Solid entertainment.

New Year's Eve 1997...A keg and a couple of cases of beer later, this is the conversation that Jayson and I hear from down the hall:
Some Guy:  "Hey!  Boxing gloves!"
Wookie:  "Sweet!  I bet you can't break my jaw with them."
Some Guy:  "Ok."
Boxing Glove:  "SMACK!"
Wookie:  "Owwwwwww.  Hahahahahaha.  OwwwwwwwHahahahahahahaOwwwwwwww.  Hahahahaha."

We found Wookie in the bathroom, checking out his mouth in the mirror.  I was no doctor, but I decided I should probably take him to the ER.  I just didn't think you should be able to stick your tongue thru your two different places.  Wookie, however, thought it was pretty damn cool.  Needless to say, Wookie spent the next month or so with a jaw that was wired shut.  Funny, he thought THAT was cool, too.  Cuz that meant pizza, chips, Hamburger Helper, burritos, eggs, cereal, tacos, and cookies...all blended together in the blender.  How fun.  (Wookie had a thing for blenders, anyway.  The first time I met him, he was standing in his kitchen...blending up a rat.)

What's my point, you ask?  Well, it was nearly impossible to impress Wookie.  Nothing you could think of was something that he hadn't already done (or convinced someone else to do).  The guy didn't like the "conventional".  And, that made him a pain in the ass at Christmas time.  What in the hell do you get a guy like Wookie for Christmas??!!

Well, after driving past it for a few weeks, Jayson and I finally made up our mind.  We knew just what to get Wookie for Christmas. 

A cat.

A dead, frozen cat.

I held the giant black trash bag while Jayson pried the poor thing off of the frosty ground with a shovel.  I don't remember if I gagged.  I don't remember if Jayson gagged.  But we certainly both should have.  Especially when we tossed the shovel and the cat-filled trash bag into the back seat of my Ford Escort....and drove home.

The look on Wookie's face was priceless as he untied the bag....and pulled the cat out with his bare hands.  It was love at first sight.  He played with that cat for hours (as we watched in horror).  He was attached, and this was all our fault.  He was keeping the cat.  Wookie was keeping the dead, frozen cat. 

Dead-Frozen-Cat now had a new home - right on our front steps.

Wookie left the cat on our steps all thru the holidays.  The mailman told us that our cat looked sick.  The FedEx lady refused to come to our door - she knocked on our bedroom window, told us we had a package, and said our cat creeped her out.  The UPS guy asked us if our cat was dead.  We told him yes.  He handed us our package and walked away.  Most of the guys who came over just thought it was cool that we could get our cat to drink out of a McDonald's cup.

After a few weeks, we finally convinced Wookie that it was time for Dead-Frozen-Cat to move on.  Maybe bury him?  Throw him in the trash?  Put him back where we found him?  Nah.  Wookie just flung him across the street and left him where he landed...on the neighbors front porch. 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jaycob and His Locker

Yes, THAT is Jaycob's new backpack.  And, yes, THAT is Scotch Tape holding the bottom closed.  This may look like a bad thing, but it's really not.  In fact, coming home to this was actually a good sign......

Jaycob started Middle School this year.  Funny, when I think back to starting Middle School, I remember worrying about what to wear (Should I go with the blue MC Hammer pants or the neon pink ones?), how to find my 6 different classes, whether or not my teachers would like me, and if the older kids would think I was cool.  (Wow!  I had some serious self-confidence issues, huh??  Maybe I should address that...Later.) 

Ummmm, yeah.....NONE of the above even crossed Jaycob's mind.  He had one concern, and one concern only.....

"Mom, how will I remember my locker combination??!!!!"

And, as it turned out, this was a REAL issue.  I wish you could have heard our daily conversation after school....

WEEKS 1 & 2
Me:  "Jaycob, did you get in your locker today?"
Jaycob:  "No."
Me:  "Dude, you have got to get that figured out!"
Jaycob:  "I know.  I know.  I will try again tomorrow."
**I should probably mention here that I was of no help whatsoever.  Jaycob called Jayson and told him about it.  In turn, Jayson told me to help Jaycob practice on one of our locks.  Uhhhhhhhhh....I didn't know how.  Now you know where Jaycob gets it from.**

WEEKS 3 & 4
Me:  "Jaycob, how did things turn out with your locker today?
Jaycob:  "Not bad.  Every time I went to the bathroom, I also went to my locker and practiced my combination.  I actually got it open a few times!"

In case you haven't been doing the math on this......
My son spent the first FOUR weeks of Middle School NOT being able to open his locker. 

At the end of Week 5, I came home to an upside down backpack that had been taped and stapled.

Me:  "Jaycob, what the fuck heck happened to your backpack??!!"
Jaycob:  "I shut my locker on it."

That could only mean one thing.......SUCCESS!!!!!!!  Yes!!!!  FINALLY!  I mean, you can't shut your locker on your backpack without having opened your locker in the first place, right??


Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Shop of Horrors

INTRODUCING.............. VEENY [pronounced Vee-Knee]


He/she/it is the newest addition to our family.  (Not the fly - the plant.) 

Jaycob has been asking me for a Venus Fly Trap for as long as I can remember (literally, years).  I'm not sure why I've said no in the past, but last weekend I finally said yes.  And, boy, was it worth it!!!

That thing really does eat bugs!!!  The only other experience I've ever had with a Carnivorous Plant was when I was a kid and watched Little Shop of Horrors over and over again.  At the age of 10, I soooo wanted to believe that the movie had some truth to it, but I just couldn't get to that point of total belief.  I mean, seriously, a plant that has a mouth and eats animals???!!!  Nooooo.  Not possible.  Venus Fly Traps were right up there with unicorns and leprechauns on my list of NOT REAL ITEMS.

Well, my list has changed. 

You should have seen Jaycob and I yesterday...sprawled out on the floor by the front door, thanking the fly for his service while we cheered on Veeny.  It was AMAZING.  If I would have known I could be that entertained by a plant, I would have paid waaaaay more than five bucks for it at Lowe's.  Hell, I might have even forked over a whole ten dollars for this kind of show.

Mouth open.  (I know it's not called a "mouth".  Back off.)
Fly in.
Mouth closed - SNAP.
And we were hooked!

For at least 30 minutes, Jaycob and I watched in awe as the fly twitched, it's eyeball popped out, and maggots squirmed out of it's butt.  (Did that just ruin it for you? I don't care.  Think what you want.  It was AWESOME!!!) 


Eventually, the action died down.  Veeny had had his fill and spit the fly out (minus one leg and an eyeball).  So, we kept ourselves occupied for another 15 minutes by tickling the other mouths with sticks until they all snapped closed.  I'll admit, I was tempted to stick my pinky finger in....just to see what would happen.  But then I'd have to let Jaycob do it, too, and I wasn't willing to share.  I'll just wait until one day when he's not here.  Please don't tell him.

The only real letdown to the whole event was that Veeny wasn't saying "Feed Me!  Feed Me!  Feed Me!", like in the movie.  That kinda sucked.  Cuz now that I know that plants really do eat animals, I thought for sure that they could talk, too.  Apparently not.  Whatever.  At least I know that Little Shop of Horrors wasn't a complete lie.

On a side note, I should probably mention how the fly made it to Veeny's mouth in the first place....

Jaycob paralyzed it with our glow-in-the-dark electric fly swatter (another one of our AWESOME five dollar purchases) and dropped it into Veeny's mouth.  Does that make it cheating?  I think not.  If the fly had been outside my house, rather than inside, it wouldn't have met such a fun awful death.  It's not like we were traipsing around the backyard with the glow-in-the-dark electric fly swatter hunting down anything that moved.  (THAT was last week, and it was a moth that we were trying to catch.)  Actually, I think this should be a good lesson for any other fly who might be considering my home as a pitstop.....


If your kid asks you to buy him a Venus Fly Trap, DO IT. 
Don't think about it.  Don't question it. 
Just DO IT. 
Trust me on this. 

Who knew maggots and bulging eyeballs could be THIS friggin' cool??!!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The World of Jayson






and a plethora of other
(and I quote) 
"cool gear that makes everyday life easier...This stuff is just so nice and FUN."
(Yes, that's what he said.)

The above shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us.  We knew before Jayson even left that there was a "really friggin' cool Tactical Store" at Camp Shelby.  I expected the occasional an extra ammo pouch, maybe some goggles, or, hell, even a new knife (I think that would give him a total of 9).  What I didn't expect, however, was for $500 to be sucked out of his account at the speed of light, while I sat at home wondering what in the hell he needed suspenders for.  (I am currently awaiting a hand-written Thank You card from the "really friggin' cool Tactical Store".....)
Let me give you a recap......

Week 1: 

"Hey, Babe.  I went and got some comfort items today."

That was not a joke.  He really said "comfort items".  What the fuck heck are comfort items??!!  Do those two words even go together??  I'll give you a moment to laugh.
"No, really, Babe.  Just a few things to make life easier.  Like a rug - so my little footsies don't have to touch the cold, hard, cement floor when I'm getting ready for bed.  And a fan.  Oh, and a little pink teddy bear with the cutest little button nose to help me sleep at night."

Ok.  Fine.  He didn't say "footsies".

And he didn't buy a little pink teddy bear.  At least, not that he told me about, anyway.

Week 2:

(This is an actual email from Jayson.)

I know you told me not to, but I have been doing it anyway. There is just so much cool gear that makes everyday life easier, and yes I have been buying the hell out of it. I hope that I am close to being done. This stuff is just so nice and FUN.

- Jayson Geisler

(By the way......The subject line of the above email said "Ha".  As in, "Hahahahahaha, I'm buying shit that I don't really need.  Neener Neener Ha Ha".)

Now for the list of stuff he has bought.....

-  Suspenders.  Yes, suspenders.  Think Santa camo.  He swears they keep his pants up when he's wearing body armor.  But, I bet he just thinks they look cool.

-  Helmet Flashlight.  Because owning 12 flashlights just isn't enough.  I don't get why he can't just Duct Tape one of his other 12 flashlights to his freaking head.

-  ShamWow Bath Towel.  Yes.  You heard me.  My husband now owns a ShamWow Towel that's the size of him.  "Babe!  It is so cool!  It's like a chamois for my body!  I can dry myself like a car.  Plus, I'll be spot-free!"

-  A new chin strap for his helmet.  Because, apparently, it's hard to kick in doors and punch babies (not my saying - his) when your Kevlar helmet is covering your eyes.  Go figure.

-  A weapons sling mount.  I have no clue what that is, so I can't even make fun of it.  Unless, of course, he could have just used one of my old bras instead.  Would that work??

-  A butt stock case.  Again, I have no clue what that is, but my mind is already going in a very bad direction.  He said "butt".  I can't help myself.  Sorry.  Please forgive me.

-  A fan.  I'm going to guess he means, like, a box fan to keep his sweat to a slow drizzle rather than a steady rain????

-  A poncho liner.  He thinks this is pretty fucking special.  Not sure why, tho, since we've owned like 2 million of them in our 13 years of military life.  I mean, come on......Even our kids have one.  He could have just asked one of them to loan it to him for a year.

-  A little, blue blankie to keep him warm and snugly at night.

-  A CamelBak..............OH MY FUCKING GOD..............are you kidding me??????  In just ONE closet here at our house, we currently have FOUR OF THOSE!!!!!!  What in the FUCK hell world did he need another one for???  Are CamelBaks like guns now?  One on your hip, one on your chest, and one strapped to your ankle??  That "really friggin' cool Tactical Store" owes me a lot more than a stupid Thank You card.

-  A rug.  Probably a nice, plush one like I've been wanting for our bathroom for years now.  God forbid his precious little dainty feet have to touch the cold, hard concrete.  His feet are beautiful....we wouldn't want them messed up.  I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Sydni should send him some of her nail polish.  Which color goes best with camo?  Grey, green, hot pink, maybe??

-  A whole lotta junk.  48 bottles of Gatorade, 72 bottles of water (I guess those are to fill his ankle strap CamelBak), 9 pizzas, 8 buffalo chicken sandwiches, and 3 large bags of Reeses Pieces.  You know, the healthy necessities...."comfort items", remember??  I wonder if this was a one day supply or two.

-  And, most recently, a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our anniversary, complete with a card that said "Happy 12th Anniversary". 
Jayson got a big kick out of calling that order in. 
The Flower Lady asked him what he wanted on the card. 
He said, "Well, it's our 13th anniversary, so let's put Happy 12th."
Flower Lady:  "You mean, 13th?"
Jayson:  "No, put 12th.  She wouldn't expect anything different."

So, while the 3 of us sit here in the dark (to save money) with the heater off (to save money) and eat our $0.39 Top Ramen (to save money), our thoughts go out to poor, poor Jayson who is probably, at this very moment, trying to choose which of the 400+ movies to watch on his laptop.  Or, maybe, he's struggling to beat that final level on his newest Ipod Touch game.  Or, even worse, what if it's Lights-Out and he is frantically searching for his blankie and teddy bear and, in the mass hysteria, has tripped on his new plush rug??!!  Oh my!  The poor, poor guy!  I need to get a Care Package sent to him STAT!

P.S.  Dear "Really Friggin' Cool Tactical Store" Owner,
Jayson is no longer allowed in your store.  Nor are you allowed to provide him with website info for "really friggin' cool tactical gear" that you don't currently have in-stock.  He doesn't need anything else.  His wall locker is only so big, and our bank account is only so small.


Some Chick in Idaho who is Contemplating a Personal Visit to Your "really friggin' cool tactical store"


13 Years Ago.....

Thirteen years ago today, I married a complete stranger.

Gotcha, didn't I? 

YOU thought I was gonna say, "Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend."  Ha!  That would have been a load of crap.  I can't say that - it would make me a liar.  And lying is wrong, unless, of course, it's necessary.

So, yes, thirteen years ago, I married a complete stranger.  Wanna hear the story??  Of course you do. 

PVT Geisler (I think it's fun to call him Private. Plus, I'm pretty sure that I outranked him at this point in our lives.  Actually, I still outrank him.  I'm the Chief of Staff/Colonel/Command Sergeant Major/Boss of the World.) and I met in the barracks at Fort Bragg, N.C. in the summer of 1997. (He says we met on the steps outside, but I say he's wrong.) We had both arrived there over the 4th of July weekend and were eventually assigned to the same unit and the same barracks.

The Barracks...Picture a really old hotel...or a jail...whichever.  My room was at the very end on the right. PVT Geisler's room was two doors before mine, on the right. His room was painted all kinds of girly colors - mine was not. His room had bunkbeds - mine did not. (Apparently, PVT Geisler and his roommate, PVT Finney, preferred to sleep one on top of the other.) My room had a fridge full of water and coffee and fruit and yogurt. His room had a fridge full of beer and beer and beer. My room had a lava lamp - his room had a 40 oz Mickey's beer bottle full of pee. (God forbid they walk down the hall in the middle of the night to use a TOILET.) My room smelled like soap and flowers and incense - his room, ummmmmmm, did not.

But, for some reason, I was drawn to his room. Every a magnet. So amazing and just plain meant-to-be. Like there was this special aura between us.


It wasn't magic. It was Jayson PVT Geisler. In his baggy jeans and no shirt, he would stand in his doorway and wait for me to pass. He'd say HI to me as I headed out for a run in my boxers and sports bra (What in the hell was I thinking??). On my way back, he'd offer a ginormous beer, that I would kindly take....and leave in my fridge until he ran out and needed one. Needless to say, he was hitting on me, and I was clueless. I had a boyfriend - why would someone be hitting on a girl who already has a boyfriend?? THAT made no sense to me. (I was just barely 18, had never dated, and had Demi Moore-short hair, so give me a break for not knowing he wanted me.)
Every day, this shirt-less guy would try to lure me into his room with a 40 oz bottle of beer. (I hated beer at that point in my life.)  The only actual words I can remember him ever saying were in reference to my boyfriend - "Don't say Boyfriend."  Apparently, guys who hit on girls don't like for the girl to talk about her boyfriend.  Go figure.  The guy, however, is allowed to talk about the boyfriend.  As in, "He's cheating on you." and "What a douche." and "What could you possibly see in that idiot?!" 

Fast forward a few weeks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Boyfriend was cheating on me...With his ex-girlfriend. 

He showed up at my room one night, drunk beyond living, told me all about it, and proceeded to pass out on my bed.  I left.  And went down the hall to find Jayson PVT Geisler.

I found him.  We watched a movie and talked about our feelings.

Just kidding - I don't talk about feelings.  We just watched a movie.

Jayson's PVT Geisler's version of this story is just a tad bit different.  If you ask him, he says we did it like rabbits.  He's wrong.  I'm right.  We watched a movie.

This is where it gets super duper romantic.....

About a week later, Jayson PVT Geisler rode a bus home to New Mexico and slept with his ex-girlfriend - repeatedly.  (I hope he suffered severely on his million-hour bus ride.)  Actually, now that I write this, I wonder if he confused this experience with the one mentioned above (where I say we watched a movie).  Duh.  The whole "did-it-like-rabbits" experience was with Ex-Girlfriend.  Now that makes a whole lot more sense.  Moving on.....

Jayson PVT Geisler came back to Fort Bragg two weeks later, and life carried on.  Just the usual dating scene.  Hanging out with friends, playing pool, watching TV, and, a week later, coming up with the great idea of getting married.

No, you didn't skip a part of the story.  And, no, I didn't leave anything out. 

Let's re-cap:

Jayson PVT Geisler spends a few weeks trying to lure me with beer.
-  My boyfriend cheats on me, and Jayson PVT Geisler and I watch a movie.
One week later, Jayson PVT Geisler heads to New Mexico and spends a few weeks with his ex-girlfriend, doing it like rabbits.
A week after he returns to Bragg, we decide that getting married would be "FUN!"

So, what is that.....? 
A Few Weeks (of me w/ Boyfriend)
One Week (of me w/ Jayson PVT Geisler)
A Few Weeks (of Jayson PVT Geisler w/ Ex-Girlfriend)
A Week (of me w/ Jayson PVT Geisler)
Six Weeks of dating???? 
Can we even call it that?
I don't think so.

So, here we are, 6 weeks into our blissful life together.  We're sitting around, drinking beer (gross) with friends, and contemplating marriage.  Well, actually, it was our friends' idea.  We were just along for the ride.  How FUN!  The four of us getting married.  It would be like a double date.  Except for the date part.

The next day night....Our Wedding Day Night...

We piled into the car - sober girls in the front, drunk boys in the back - and headed to the police station.  (Yes, the police station.  Where else would one get married at the spur of the moment??)  Stopped at the gas station first, though, to pick up our rings.  (Again, it's night time....You really don't have many options for jewelry, other than purple and red RingPops.)

The police station was interesting.  We had to wait in line.  In front of us, we had some really classy people.  One was paying fines.  The other was bailing his buddy out of jail.  Next came US, in all of our fancy wedding glory.....jeans, tennis shoes, really ugly shirts, and RingPops.  And, while the Clerk watched baseball, we got married.  Simple as that.

Time to celebrate! 

Ever heard of Faces of Death?  Well, we went to the midnight showing of Faces of Death IV for our "reception".  I can vividly remember the clip of the man trapped beneath the car that he had been working on.  I'm pretty sure his legs were completely detached from the rest of his body.  Please don't be jealous because my wedding reception was better than yours.  You can always renew your vows and copy us.

Here's another twist to the story......None of our parents knew about any of this.  I was 18 and had just married a complete stranger.  Jayson PVT Geisler was 20 and had just married an 18 year old girl from Oregon.  No biggie.  I'm sure the parents wouldn't care, so why even bother them with the info??  They're busy people.

My dad learned the news of his daughter's marriage from a friend at the track.  As in, "Hey, Tom.  Congrats on Emily's marriage!"  It's amazing how fast news can travel from one side of the country to the other.

Jayson's PVT Geisler's mom got a call a few months later.  After spending October and November telling Valerie about his "friend" Emily, someone finally grew some balls and spilled the beans.  Let's just say that it took many, many years for Miss Valerie to like Miss Emily.  (I'm pretty sure the moment came in 2002 while we were chasing each other around the yard, calling each other names, and trying to rip the other's hair out.  Somehow, that helped us see eye-to-eye.)

My mom and Jayson's PVT Geisler's dad received calls from us with a whole lot of throat clearing and ummmmms and ahhhhs.  I mean, how in the hell are you supposed to start that conversation??  "Hey, Mom!  How's the weather??  It's hot & humid here.  I'm married.  There's a hurricane off the coast of Florida.  Might hit us tomorrow."

Of course, nobody thought we'd last more than a year.  We were in the Army, didn't know each other, and still liked to play Candyland.  Our idea of a fun night out involved stealing things from peoples' yards, gift-wrapping dead, frozen cats, and getting our drunk ferret to play with our kitten.

Funny thing....We made it past the first year.  And then 12 more.  And it's been one hell of an incredible journey.  The complete stranger that I married 13 years ago today is now my best friend, my hero, my rock, and the one person who truly understands me.

So, yes, unbeknownst to me.....Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend. 

Who knew that RingPops had such amazing powers?


See?  No shirt, big beer, girly walls, & bunkbeds.

The boy I married.  (Ask him what the towel was for.)

The girl he married.

The Super Romantic Ceremony
(Give me a call if you need help planning yours.)