Tag Archives: Catholic

Miss Kona: Pride Parade Adventure

Check that off the list: Marching in a Pride Parade.

A friend of mine called and asked if I was interested. Well, let me see….
It’s fun.
I can be silly.
I’ve never been in a Pride Parade.
I get to ride in a trolley.
Yes! I’ll do it!

For the weeks leading up to the event, I was pondering what I would say to the spectators. You see, we were going to be on a big trolley and handing out Hawaiian leis. So the possibilities are endless, but generally came back to the one comment, “I wanna lei you.” Terrible. But funny.

I, however, can’t say it with a straight face.

Three nights before the event my friend calls. “What are you dressing up as for the parade?”

What?

“Aren’t you dressing up for the parade? You did all those Wearable Art Shows….you have to dress up.”

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Wearable Art Show 2011.

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Wearable Art Show 2011.

Well shit. I didn’t think about it. Then it smacks me in the forehead, like a mosquito, this is a perfect excuse to dress up! How could I have not realized this? I love to dress up! What the hell am I going to do? I can’t believe I almost went as a normal person!

I pressed the urgent button. Must. Get. The. Creative. Juices. Flowing.

Now, I don’t have months to prepare, I only have two nights. This is going to be a mess.

We’re doing leis, so Hawaiian would be good. That’s a no-brainer. What kind of Hawaiian stuff do I have on hand? Nothing. Not a floral shirt. Not a lei. Flip flops. I have flip flops. Well that’s not very Hawaiian.

Where are my wigs? In the storage closet. UGH. I don’t have time. Do I even have a long black wig? No. Eyelashes! Has anyone seen my eyelashes? I know the little box they’re in….but where is that box? I’ll worry about that later.

To the drawing board I go….which in this case, is the party supply store.

Lo and behold, they have a big selection of left over Halloween items. Thank you! First I pick up a cool mask, with giant beak and feathers out of the top. I find different colored table cloths to match the feathers. Then I look and say to myself….THIS is NOT Hawaiian themed. This isn’t going to work.

I put everything back…then stumble into the Hawaiian section.

Two grass skirts.

Four pretty silk flower leis.

No, they had NO coconut bra tops. Trust me – I was looking. I did flirt with the idea of using real coconuts but the thought of trying to successfully crack it open and then drill holes for a string to hold it together….was too much comedy of errors for me.

And on the way out…one last pass through the Halloween section. YES! A long black wig. They call it a fashion wig, I’m thinking…seriously? Whatever, it’s long and black. When I check out the cashier advises me there is no returns on the wig. Okay, she doesn’t know me, but I NEVER return a wig. Miss Kona Supplies

Next stop. The Dollar Store. Yep. I hit the jackpot! Pink flamingo plastic table cloth, fishing nets, sequined butterfly things and clip on flowers.

I go home and assemble the costume.

The next night I realize, I didn’t have a headpiece. You always need a headpiece! So using a headband, some shells and glitter…I fastened together a sea princess crown.

I also realize I can’t find my eyelash box. Yes, besides wigs, I have an assortment of eyelashes. I look in the obvious places. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Then, literally, while I”m on my hands and knees looking under the bed….(side note, we just moved into this little place…which causes me to still not remember where things ended up. It is plausible the eyelashes ended up under the bed, not likely, but possible.)

Yes, I’m on my hands and knees when I break out my Catholic education and say a prayer to St. Anthony.

“St. Anthony, please can you help me locate my eyelashes? Thank you. You know it’s in that plastic box. Please help me find them.” St. Anthony never fails me. Whenever you lose something – pray to St. Anthony.

Tah-dah! Try the bottom dresser drawer.

I did and under a bunch of other stuff….there’s my eyelash box! YAHOO!

Now that I have my outfit assembled, I fall to sleep as a big day is coming tomorrow!

Rise and shine at 7:00AM. I have to be at the trolley by 10:00AM. I’ll be driving into Boston, parking at work and then taking the subway to where the trolley is staged at the Copley Center. I’ve written down my subway directions…..have them in my pocket. I’m ready to go.

I put on the top of my outfit, which consists of a white flimsy tank top blouse thing, aqua colored bra and sequined butterflies. My eyelashes are on. Big glittery eye make up is on. Lip stain is on. Body glitter is on….of course!

I look like a drag queen stuck in a disco ball.

Before I leave, I decide I better wear a zip up hoodie. I’m taking the subway after all. I grab my sunglasses, tote bag with various paraphernalia and my grass skirts in a big trash bag.

Okay, now I look like a hobo in a disco ball.

The transportation adventure begins. I zip right into Boston – SWEET! Every day should be 20 minutes.Park the car and walk to the first subway stop, which is three blocks from my office.

Silver Line to South Station….I’ve done this lots of times. No sweat.

South Station, I hop over to the Red Line going to Alewife. Okay, got this. I’ve been to South Station lots of times. Just have to look for the sign for this particular line. Easy. I get to the platform 1 minute before the Red Line arrives.

Next, I get off at Park Street and have to transfer to the Green Line. Well, this is an experience. Never been on the green line. And I need to find the C Berth for the train that goes to Connelly Circle. That’s what it said on the website for the transit system. A berth? That’s for cruise ships. Why not call it a platform? A berth? Okay, whatever. C Berth.

I still have my sunglasses on and hoodie zipped up.

I arrive at the Park Street station and feel like I’m wandering through purgatory. Dark, old, hot and fierce. At any moment I fully expect to see an elevator that says Hell? With an arrow pointing down. The signs here say C berth is also track 1. I’m at track 4. Well where the hell is track 1? I see a little old man walking across the tracks and I’m thinking, “that’s not the smartest thing to be doing….”

Then I see a sign that says C with an arrow down. There’s more layers? Or is this the elevator to hell I’ve been expecting to see here?

I hit the elevator button and wait. Nothing.
It finally arrives and the door opens. Apparently, lions have been using the elevator as their litter box. The smell curls my eyelashes even more. I turn around and look for stairs.

Down I go, along this hallway that could have been in a hospital horror flick from the 50’s. Then another sign says to go up for my berth. I truly am a mouse in this labyrinth.

I pop up and there I am on the opposite side of where I started. Four tracks, yellowing light and stale air. Big industrial floor fans running to try and keep people cool. It’s old. Old. Old. Some of the lines coming through are only 2 cars. People run and push to get on the car.

Dear lord. Please don’t let this be a long wait.

I see on the transit map I could take lines C, D, E to get where I’m going. However I stick solidly to my C plan as all these tiny cars….and I’m hoping C is multiple cars.

People are coming in obviously going to the parade, which makes me happy to know. I’m not lost.

Unfortunately, I’m sweating like a banshee. I don’t know, do banshees sweat? I’m still wearing my glasses and zip up hoodie. I’m dying. I can imagine the tank top is plastered to my back. Sweat is breaking out on my upper lip. This guy in front of me won’t stop pacing….like a caged animal. Okay. Enough.

I unzip my jacket and put my glasses on top of my head. AIR. Sort of.

Within a minute a big guy comes over and asks, “How did you get your eyelashes to do that?”
They’re fake.
“Oh. Are you with him?” (There is a young guy with a pull cart filled with signs about gay rights standing next to me.)
No, but we’re going to the same place obviously.
Then guy then says something and more about his wife….not sure what he was saying…as the noise from trains, fans and people were deafening in this crowded subway pit.

Another train comes in and he walks away to get on one of the two cars.

I put my glasses back on and patiently wait.

Hark! A train on my track! It says Connelly Circle! Thats’s the one I need. Whoop Whoop! AND it has a bunch of cars! I jump on the first one and get a seat. I sit down and immediately want to hug the conductor….the A/C is on high and I feel like I’ve walked into an ice box. Thank you, sweet fairy godmother of the subway system. And whoever invented A/C.

Three stops later, I hop off and continue to wander the lackluster white tiled subway….(which note, some people actually put this tile in their house….why?) I continue to follow signs that say, “Exit. Street.” I climb the stairs and pop out into the sunshine, like a mole who has been underground too long. To my surprise, I am actually where I should be. I didn’t get lost!

I walk 1 block and there’s my trolley, waiting in line with all the other vehicles, for the parade to start. Yahoo! It’s a small miracle I didn’t get lost. Or loose my patience and hop in a cab. Yeah me – high five!

My friend is waiting for me at the trolley and I think may be surprised I made it as well! I’m thinking, I needed a shot after that. Not a vodka shot but a tetanus. And I didn’t bring any handiwipes!

I pull up my glasses and SURPRISE! Hope it’s okay that I’m planning to dress up!

Then I start to pull my outfit together. Skirt on. Wig on. Crown on.

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Tah-dah! Two people, that I’ve met before, didn’t recognize me. It was great!

One of the guys looks up my Hawaiian name online. Apparently it’s Kona. Okay then call me Miss Kona.

I walk off the bus and a lady approaches me, “Are you going to do the hula on top of the trolley today?”

Ahhh no, but thank you.

If I had a dollar for every time someone took my photo, I’d have enough to buy a round of drinks in the bar. I walked down the street before the parade to see the floats and people were stopping me left and right. I didn’t think my outfit was that amazing, but apparently it was different enough.

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The parade starts and our music on the trolley was the best. We were literally dancing in the street. I spent most of the time walking in front of the trolley, which was great, so I couldn’t loose the trolley. And they couldn’t loose me! Win-win on that one. We were handing out leis to anyone who wanted them. Must have handed out thousands. I decided to aim for kids and people in wheelchairs along the route. I also asked many, many police officers if they wanted one – all but 6 declined. Those who did take them, gave them to the people next to them. Of course, when someone mentioned that was a Congressman in the suit standing over there, I immediately ran over. He didn’t want a lei either. Well, I tried.

One lady, who obviously was a parade organizer, due to the enormous headset she was wearing and clip board she was carrying…said to me, “You better move over to the sidewalk, there is a trolley behind you. You don’t want to get hit.” I told her I was with the trolley and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to run me down.

What a great time. Miss Kona had a hoot. I was exhausted and slightly sunburned when I got home. The energy of the crowd, the excitement of being in a parade and running from side to side wore me out….and a 4 hour nap was enjoyed when I got home.

Let’s do this again next year! Game on!

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Live Life Like Your Favorite Panties.

I’m one of those people – at the worst possible moment I’m going to be the one that can’t help herself and will burst out laughing.   It won’t be one of those dainty Miss Manner’s kind of laugh either.  We’re talking full on cackle call, tear fueling and breath gasping type of laughter that leads to getting your self into trouble with the nearest authority figure.

I was always in trouble in school for talking….laughing.  Detentions and study halls.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

It……was…..funny!

The worse time, was always church for me.  I grew up Catholic.  I know.  Say no more.  The whole seriousness of the visit got me.  Perhaps it was the lecture we got before even going into the church got me going.  Yes, see I went to a Catholic school, so by default we had regular church services.  Before we even left the classroom and right before we entered the church we’d get the same lecture by the Sister.

“DO NOT embarrass me!”

Anyone that says to me, “DO NOT __________”  Well, that’s not so much an ultimatum as it is a challenge in my book.  I get it and I respect it but my goodness.

I

can’t

help

myself.

Lighten up a bit.  Something would just catch in my crawl and next thing I know I wouldn’t be able to contain myself.  I’d have myself and those either unlucky or lucky enough around me in fits.

No.  My mouth is NOT big enough to stuff my fist inside.  I’ve tried on numerous occasions to stifle the giggles.  Oy.  Once I start I can’t stop.  It’s terrible.

So today when a friend called me and mentioned about a meeting she had to go through at work I suggested she wear these goofy eye glasses I bought her for Christmas.  Everyone needs a lighter moment or two in life.  She thought I was nuts.  I kept telling her the same thing:

THEY PROBABLY WON’T NOTICE!  TRY IT!

We talked later in the day and guess what?

She did it!

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I was most excited to hear she had actually done the challenge and the best yet – they LAUGHED.  Shut the door!  Good god, people laughed!  The horror and yet they SURVIVED!

So worth the giggles.

We all get so wrapped in being so serious and working.   Lighten the load and take a breath once in a while people.  It’s good for you.

Just like wearing your favorite pair of panties.  You know the pair.  I bet you have several pairs.  I do.  Why be miserable and wear a pair that going to be pinching or chafing you all day long?  It’s not worth it.  Wear the pair that makes you happy.

Like I want to spend 1/3 of my day adjusting my ass?  Panties riding up my butt.  Have to adjust.   Now they’re creeping to the side.   I don’t have the patience or the time for this.  Why be miserable?  And these people, men and women, who think they are casually picking their roos out of their ass – aren’t fooling anyone!

SURPRISE!  I SEE YOU!

It’s like the people who come into each day being miserable.  It’s not worth it.  You create your day from the moment you open your eyes.  Are you wearing grandma panties or a thong?  Be happy, be comfortable – go with what moves you.  Why be miserable all the time?  It’s not worth the aggregation.  Trust me.  It doesn’t do you any good and nobody around you enjoys your negativity either.

Oh wait, let me guess, you’re wearing your underware backwards?  That would explain a lot actually.

Maybe you prefer the granny panties – fine.  Then get rid of those fucking thongs cause you’re attitude sucks when you wear them.

If boy shorts are your thing – excellent.

Boxer or brief – yahoo.

Free balling – that’s fantastic!

However, if you are the kind of person who rips the elastic out of their panties and you know who you are – that isn’t cool.  You have an issue.  We need to get you in touch with some special therapist and get you turned around.

Garter belts with stockings – yes.

Suspenders with panties – no.

NOTE:  Unless you’re PeeWee Herman and have some type of weird fetish happenings then we could discuss with Boy George in Group Sessions.

Go with the flow.  Enjoy the laughter.  Relax a bit and know it’s okay to share a grin or two.  Life is too short to be mean and miserable like the Grinch.  Besides, it’s not good for wrinkles….and nobody wants wrinkles.  Unless you’re a Shar Pei dog….they want wrinkles.

For example….my kinder half is gone starting tomorrow for a week.  Some people would be annoyed and upset.  Not me – I get the entire bed to myself!  I get to eat whatever I want!  Maybe I will go to the movies! AND I may choose to spend all day Saturday on the beach!  Perhaps I will adopt a pygmy goat!  The possibilities are endless.

The point is…..laugh.  Laugh a lot.  Even when it’s not the “right time” to laugh – do it any ways.  There’s a lot of worse things you can do in this life….seriously!  Laughing during inopportune moments truly isn’t one of them.  Take the risk.  Roll the dice.  LAUGH.

Be silly.

Choose to be happy – like your panties!

Elevator, How I Love You.

The building I work in has three elevators.  I swear, the elevators are pulled up and down by a team of anemic squirrels wearing Cottonelle toilette paper on their feet.  These are some of the slowest elevators known to exist.

Grass grows faster.

Paint dries quicker.

The Karate Kid finished waxing the car faster.

Than these elevators move a total of 6 floors.  You would think these squirrels were having to move the cars 60 floors.  Nope.  Just 6.

You press the button and wait.

You wait so long The Fonz leather jacket has come back into style along with poodle skirts.  If you’re not watching these doors like a hawk, the doors will open.  Close.  Continue to next floor without you even being aware.

Why?

2/3 of them don’t have bells.  Or buzzers.  No ringers.  Forget it.  There’s no chime to be had when the car arrives at your floor.  These elevators are the silent, agony inducing, mechanical jokers of our work day.   Silently cursing you should you miss their arrival, departing every so silently with a hushed sigh of the door closing.

There you are with your hands full either with your lunch tray (Who actually goes to lunch anymore?  Oh yeah, first graders and Palm Beach housewives.)  or your work survival kit for the day:  laptop bag, purse, lunch bag, umbrella and mega-mega sized coffee.   You’re watching for the arrow to light up.  Just like the red or green light outside a Catholic Church confessional box.  Red = Not so fast.  Green = confess your sins you sloth.

Side note:  What a flash back.  I grew up Catholic.  I think nearly everyone who went to Catholic school has been traumatized in one way or another.  I can still remember standing in line waiting for the confessional.  I’d rest my head against the cool marble wall, wishing the earth would swallow me trying to think of what sins I had that week.  Come on people, how much trouble can a 5th grader get into?  I’m sure the priests were just jumping for joy when their schedule read:  Hear Sister Marie’s 5th Grade confessions 10:00AM.  I’d spit out a list of “sins” and then end with “I lied” only to cover the fact half of what I just said was a big, old, fat, LIE!

Anyhow.

The elevator doors open at the first floor and obviously, people have to get off first.  Logical.  Then the herd of us going up can get on and go.  Go.  GO!

This is what kills me about the elevator.

How many times have you been waiting for the elevator on the ground floor?

The doors open.

You see there are people inside so you patiently wait for them to unload. They look at you.  And it’s apparent….

Everyone inside is waiting for a personal invitation to get off the car.

Or, you’re inside the elevator and it arrives to your floor.  The doors open and the people waiting to get on obvsiously had their noses pressed up again the door.  They actually have to side step to let you off.  I don’t fucking get this.  When did the elevator become your own private transportation service?  Could you move over so I can get off?  If you try to run me down as I am getting off, I will hip check you into the door.

I

AM

NOT

KIDDING.

Or, they don’t move one inch AND they’re annoyed because obviously you are in their in their way.  Hello.  You were waiting on me to arrive.  You must wait for me to get out of the way so you can get on.  If anything, I am pissed you’re in MY WAY.  Now fucking move over.

I’ve been standing, waiting in the hallway for an elevator, when one of these elevator obsessed, I must be first over everyone, junkies has also been waiting for the arrival of the electrical beast.  They plant themselves square in the middle of the crease where the doors will part.  The only thing separating them from the cool slick metal is a small exhale of coffee breath.  It’s as if they’re expecting money to come shooting out that little crack and they want to be there to catch it.

Doors open.

They make a good ol’ college try to charge into the elevator as the doors are slowly opening….but alas,  Melvin was fierce and bolts out of the car like a bull in a rodeo competition.

I’ve also had the pleasure of being inside the elevator when another person gets on and they stand nose to  crack.  Now, I’d understand it should the car have been full.  When it’s just the two of us, I don’t get it.  I’m pretty sure I don’t smell and I definitely am not muttering to myself or carrying a hack saw….so I don’t know what the deal is.  Damn, that close you can’t even see what floor you’re passing.

There’s also the silent gratification when you see someone running for the closing elevator door.  Oh no!  They’re late!

For a very brief moment, a moment that passed quicker than a duck fart…. you actually consider holding the door for them.  In fact, you give them a grimaced look and frantically try and find the “Hold Doors Open” button.  The last thing they hear is a muffled, “sor.”

Opps.  You accidentally hit the “Close Doors Quick Cause That Guy is Coming Who Always Smells Like Burned Popcorn” button.  So sorry, you lose.  Better luck next time.  Thanks for playing, popcorn dude.

Elevators.

People want to ride them.

Want to get in them.

Watch them open and close, like a silent mechanical Jaws plying the air of the building.

Taking one but not another.

Sneaking up on you.

Teasing you.

It’s like muskrat love – but different.

Aftermath of Growing Up Catholic

I grew up Catholic.

When my parents got divorced mom packed up the car and we moved back to Philadelphia, where her side of the family lived. My Aunt had her daughter in the local Catholic school and so Mom sent me there too. To be honest, I was relived when I heard I’d be required to wear a uniform. My thought, to be exact, was: “At least I won’t have to worry about what to wear.”

I was in third grade.

Enter: Saint You Be Damned and Take the Elevator Straight to Hell Parish and School. Although I loved the ease of the uniform, where the only decision was which pair of shoes to wear….Penny Loafers or Saddle Shoes, the organization was enough to terrify a small kid.

It’s compatible to working with The Mob.

Boy, do I have stories. Between the nuns, gym tyrant, bullies and various liturgical performances ….I’ve got stories. However, I want to reflect on the mark the church mob has left on me.

Starting catholic school in third grade, I realized this was a mistake.

Starting for me in third grade was a monthly trip over to the church to go to confession. Kids would be kicking and screaming. Determined nuns holding the confessional door shut. Sinners….repent! Avoid damnation to the fiery gates of hell! Confess your evils, small children!

Since we were all little sinners, on the direct bus to hell, they’d line us up in the massive marble entombed church where we’d nervously wait our turn to talk to one of the priests. Each one of us was turning to the person behind us and asking, “what are you saying?”

The conversations would go like this:
(Mind you while trying not to get caught talking by Sister Whip Your Ass Fast)

: Mary, what are you going to say?
:: I’ve chewed gum in math class.
: Good one, I’m going to say I lied about my homework.

: Dude, what sins are you using?
:: Fighting with my brother.
: Cool. I’ve got stole my sister’s baseball.

Hands would be sweating. Hearts pounding. Stomachs churning. Kids would be trying to figure out if they could fake out the nuns and quickly return to the pew without having to go inside the little box or behind the privacy screen.

We’d be standing, some with our foreheads pressed against the cool marble wall, in line praying the same thing:

Dear Lord, don’t let me forget the words. What if I forget the words? I hate this. I hope I don’t forget the words. I have to pee. Don’t let me forget the words. What did I say I was going to say? Oh my god, I forgot my sins! Don’t let me forget the words. This is stupid. I hope I don’t get Father 3,000 Hail Marys today. Please Lord let me get Father Just Get Out of Here Kid today….

Options: screen in a box or face to face. Early version of Fear Factor. I always chose the privacy screen, inside the little box.

Once inside you knelt down and it was dark. Except for a little tiny pin prick of light that shone upon “the instruction” card. While waiting, you could hear the mumbling of the priest behind the fancy screen.

For me, it was always the same process:

1. Quickly read the instructions as I’m supposed to have all this stuff memorized.

2.. Remember this month’s sins.

3. Pondering would it be bad to pretend faint to get out of this situation? Of course, the confessional is so small I’d end up falling and cracking my head open on the marble floor.

Upon graduating 8th grade and moving into high school one theme came up again and again: No more forced confessions! Thank you! We are free at last. We were a lucky bunch, we survived it all. Thank you Jesus.

Enter 9th grade religion class. You can imagine my horror when surprise, surprise, our teacher announced we were going to the chapel for “confession.” CRAP! Eyes darted around the class, beads of sweat broke out on foreheads and I swear a couple kids fell out of their seats. WHAT?!

Up we go to the chapel….conveniently located inside the school. I still remember this day because as we sat in the chapel and the nun announced, “Father Get Your Act Together” is ready to hear your confessions. Not one person got out of their seat. You could have heard a mouse squeal with delight over a cheese crumb. We were in the collective mind set of: if you’re really still and quiet, she won’t see you. We were the hunted, finally out running the hunter. Sins be damned….we’re not going.

Needless to say, I haven’t been to confession since.

You can imagine my trepidation when my Better Half suggested we go to church – on a non-holiday Sunday. He grew up Baptist? Methodist? I can’t remember what he told me. Anyhow, the week before last, we decide to walk over to the non-denominational church, where a friend of ours attends. Honestly, our friend’s dad is the minister. They seem like a normal family so we thought we’d give it a whirl.

Better Half and I decide to wear nice jeans and sweaters (non-matching). Please note, I was not wearing jeans that required me to lay down to zip them up or paint them on…thank you. I wasn’t sure what to expect and as a grown Catholic, I was having flashbacks. I was pretty sure I was on the Hell Express wearing jeans.

As we walked over I continued to argue silently to myself:

What if we’re under-dressed?
At least we’re going.
Should I have worn heels?
Who cares!
Maybe I should have worn khakis?
Get over it Catholic school survivor!

We hit the parking lot and I’m now voicing my concerns out loud about my attire when I see it. A woman walking up to the front door in pajama pants. Yep. Full blown, cartoon character, fuzzy pajama pants with a blue sweatshirt. I look at my Better Half and smile. If God lets in with pajama pants then I’ll be okay in jeans. No, I wasn’t worried about Better Half wearing jeans as I’m 100% certain he didn’t grow up under the Catholic mob.

Of course, there’s more to say in regards to the service. Anything other than the usual: stand, sit, kneel, beat yourself into submission, we’re all doomed sinners….Catholic service is strange to me.

My Better Half, being the smart man he is, conveniently locked me into my seat by selecting a seat that required either I climb up over an elderly regular attending sinner or be restrained by him on the aisle side. As I sat and pondered my surroundings I thought silently to myself…I don’t see any confessionals. This is going to be interesting.