TBT to When My Dad Almost Put Me in a Mental Institution

Lounging in boy shorts has been a pastime of mine for some time now. For those of you who’ve been reading this blog, it’s no secret that pants and I have made a “conscientious uncoupling”.  As it turns out, my lack of enthusiasm for pants could be considered a genetic trait, if you will.

Rewind 8 years ago, (8 years?!!) to my senior year in high school, my life was good. Being the overachiever that I was, my last semester allowed me to take only 4 classes since I had already acquired 8 units of college courses through playing in several university orchestras and some math classes at the local JC (I got shit done back then). Since my plate was full, I opted to just go home everyday at lunch, hit the gym, take a nap (I discovered the gloriousness of naps),  and then go my rehearsals at UC Riverside in the evening. As I said, life was swell. I had a taste for independence and managed to pseudo-achieve it at 17 (or so I thought). My schedule rocked and I could not have been happier. That is, until one day, my dad had gotten sick and stayed home.

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Due to my modified schedule, and the fact that both my parents had careers, I was free to roam at home by myself most days. Kobe and I would have our afternoon nap post-gym and I went about the rest of my tasks for the day. One fine spring’s day, I came home as I would any other day, I came home to one of the most awkward situations since Robin Thicke’s pathetic attempt to get his wife back (yes, it was

I unlocked the door, and went through the kitchen only to find my dear ol’ Dad in the kitchen making a sandwich, naked as the day he was born. To add insult to injury, this dude was on the phone talking business! Our eyes met and he looked like a child getting caught trying to sneak some cookies from the jar. I’ll never forget the look on his face as long as I’ll live. Now fortunately for me, the good Lord intervened and saw to it that the cutting board had been pulled out so I would not be scarred for life.

After a quick nano-second, I roared,Dad!!! What the hell are you doing?!!!” Not even missing a beat, he replied, “I’m making a sandwich, what are you doing home?” (He was/is terrible with remembering details and schedules). I then reminded him that I only went to school for 4 periods and went on to say how creepy it is to make sandwiches in the nude while talking on the phone. To make matters even worse, the bay windows were open shining heaps of light.

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After the brief weird encounter, I grumbled off, got ready for the gym, and went about the rest of my day. To this day, my dad and I laugh about it, and thank God that the cutting board had been where it was, otherwise I would not be the girl behind this laptop you read about today. Had that event taken the unfortunate turn that it could’ve, I have no doubt that I would be in a room with padded walls, unable to cope with the real world. Welp, I guess my love of no pants had to come from somewhere. Who else has had an unfortunate encounter with a family member?

Breaking Bad: Airplane Edition

I never thought I’d be directly affected by meth. I don’t know anyone immediately who does it (to my knowledge that is), but there I was on a Sunday night on an airplane with the stark reality that meth had become like  a stick caught in the bicycle spokes that is my life (I have a flair for the dramatic). I’ve flown many times. I’ve never been scared to fly nor have I had any weird/scary situations arise during flights.

After having a great birthday weekend visiting my parents in Monterey, I was at the airport waiting for my flight. They were about an hour late boarding but I wasn’t going to sweat the small stuff, so I just went with it. Finally once we boarded, it literally took them a half hour to start the taking off process. In the aisle across from me, there was a weird oily dude sitting with an oddly shaped green duffle bag. I didn’t really think too much of him initially, now I’ll never forget him.

So this guy leaves for the bathroom and leaves his bag just sitting on the floor. He’d been in the bathroom for over 20 minutes, and I could tell the flight attendants were getting concerned. My initial thought was that there was something sketchy (a bomb perhaps) in his bag which was why he had left it so conspicuously out in the open. Well, I suppose I should stop and explain how my crazy little brain works. I have very polarized ways of dealing with everything. It’s literally hot or cold, yes or no with me (I’m trying to change). There is no middle ground. I’m either thinking everything is super duper dandy and great, or the sky is falling and the world will soon end (I’m not bipolar, I swear). This case was no different. So I’m in my seat calm and silently sending a prayer to the Big Guy Upstairs to let me in, because my life as I knew it was practically over (I told you, I’m dramatic).

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, this dude comes back to his chair. This time he had like a black soot/ash on his cheeks. Now my experience with spotting drugs and people on them is severely limited, but I thought it was odd. About 10 minutes go by and then the police board the plane. A flight attendant goes behind the dude and signals him to the cops. Now, at this time he (drugged out idiot) is skittish as all get out. He’s fidgeting with a brush in his hair, looking around erratically, and just can’t sit still. Finally, I stop thinking about my impending afterlife and realize that this moron had been doing drugs in the bathroom. The cops ask him to get off the plane and come with them. To add insult to injury, this idiot had the gull to ask the officers if there was a problem (don’t do drugs kids).

The captain spoke over the intercom and said they were going to do a sweep in the bathroom to see if we’d still be able to go. We weren’t. The flight was cancelled and scheduled for the next evening. I felt bad because I had to call my parents to have them come pick me up again as I was stuck for another day. The plus side was that I got an extra relaxation day out of it; but the whole ordeal was incredibly inconvenient.

In my sick and cynical sense of humor, I teased some of the other passengers by saying, “If we had left on time maybe the junkie could’ve held on for the hour flight and done the drugs in Vegas, so thank you Allegiant Air!” (More on Allegiant Air in my next post). It got a few laughs, so I was satisfied. You’re probably wondering how in the hell does one get meth past those touchy little TSA people. Well, the Monterey airport is so small and antiquated that all they have is a metal detector. Bottom line, if you decide you want to reenact Breaking Bad, I’d advise you not to do it on an airplane, or at least not on a flight that I’m on.

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View from my window seat before we were deplaned

The Importance of a Grocery List

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I’ve freely embraced that I am incredibly disorganized. I tend to go about life in a “stream of consciousness” way (unless I have a crush on you, but that’s a different story for a different day). As much as i hate to admit it, I have my head in the clouds quite a bit so it’s important that I write things down; otherwise to my whimsical little brain, it does not exist.  So you’d think by now I’ve known myself to be forgetful, I’d master the task of making lists, in this particular instance a grocery list.

More often than not, when I’m at any store, I usually remember to write down what I need otherwise that leaves me at the mercy of my “wants”. Meaning, I am vulnerable to purchase whatever looks good at the moment I see it (Check out http://wp.me/p3BPLc-4l to get more understanding to the method rather lack thereof to my madness). That, and I forget what I went to the store for in the first place.

Today was a day that I did not bring such list. I remember distinctly thinking “Crap! I don’t have a shopping list. Eh, I can wing it”. With said false hope I proceeded to get the items that I needed. As I went to the checkout line, I remembered feeling proud that I got everything I needed. I thought to myself, “See, I don’t need a stinkin’ list after all”. So I went home, unloaded my groceries, and carried them to my apartment.

As I was putting my items away (proudly I might add), I prepared to make myself a steak. As I got my seasonings out, I realized that I’d forgotten the foil. Face palm, “ugh”, I thought to myself I forgot something. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I decided to forego the steak and opt for a sandwich. I got those items out, then realized that I forgot the mayo. Was I batting a thousand or what? So moral of the story A: I am not above needing a list, for literally everything, B: I am a forgetful putz, and C: I am now very hungry with a fridge full of ingredients that are missing their counterparts. Time to order delivery.

My First Coffee Experience

My first introduction to drinking coffee came about when I was a mere 12 years old. I was away at a weekend camp that my school attended every year. This year, I was a mentor to the 6 graders (Because in 7th grade you’ve acquired enlightenment). As a mentor, it was clear that I’d reached the epitome of maturity.

At this camp there was a gift shop in which they sold iced coffees. At 12, I thought that coffee was the drink of intellectuals; and since I considered myself to be highly intelligent, I just knew coffee was for me (In Laymen’s terms I thought I would seem cool and smart so I just had to partake in the ritual). So I went to the gift shop, forked over $3.25 (which was a lot for coffee back in 2001) and bought my very first coffee. I should also mention that my parents did not allow me to drink coffee (But when the cat’s away…). After recoiling from the cost of this forbidden beverage, I waited eagerly during its preparation. A few minutes (which seemed to be an eternity) passed by and I was handed my iced blended coffee.

With my other mentor buddies who also decided to join in on the coffee experience, I sipped my first induction into greatness. DISGUSTING!!! This was the thought that was screaming in my head. The bitter icy sludge that I was ingesting seemed to be more a form of torture than a rite of passage. Of course to save face, I nonchalantly hid my displeasure from the group and casually kept sipping as if all was right in the world.

I did not finish my drink that day. I remember thinking to myself, “Who on earth would drink that crap?!” I was confused, dismayed, and discouraged. All this while, I believed the path to enlightenment rested on this nectar called coffee, a beverage that I did not like! To add insult to injury, everyone else seemed to love it! (I would later find out that all of my friends hated it and just wanted to be “cool” too). So to get over my disappointment of not enjoying coffee right away, I decided to put my quest for enlightenment on hold. It would be a few years before Starbucks entered my world, but, for anyone who would listen, I was an avid coffee drinker from that day on. 😉

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Victim of a Good Sale

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I absolutely love a good sale. All rational thoughts cease to exist from my mind once I come across a good deal. I will sometimes (almost always) even buy things I don’t really need just because they are priced right. Fortunately, my mother knows me very well and she usually talks me off the ledge.

One moment in particular was about 2 years ago when I was in Arizona for college. I was at home in Cali with my family and decided to make a trip to Target, one of my greatest weaknesses. Target has this college line that encompasses, furniture, linens, and just stuff for collegiate needs. Since my hometown does not really have a university nearby a lot of the items were drastically reduced in price because of lack of demand.

So, hoping to get a bargain, I stumbled across the bed sheets section and to my delight there was treasure to be had. There were several really cute bed spreads priced to sell! I seriously was like a kid in a candy store. So many amazing things all at once. My brain could barely process what was going on. Gluttony was starting to set in. Should I buy one set? Two? Three? Four?! I just could not get over my good fortune of finding such a phenomenal sale! To even sweeten the pot, this sale was going on for another 5 days.

In a very brief moment of clarity, I decided to walk away, think about it, and return tomorrow once I’ve had a chance to calm down. That night I told my mom and dad about how crazy amazing the bed sheet sale at Target was. Like I said, this lady knows me all too well and tried to reason with me. She was quick to remind me that I already had 4 sets of sheets back at my house in AZ and that I really didn’t need anymore. But, I thought to myself, “It’s such a good deal!”.

The next day, after my eye appointment, I found myself meandering the aisles of Target back at the very same spot I was at yesterday; looking at the sheets. I had my cart ready. Screw logic, it was a good deal! Just as I was about to load my cart with an obscene amount of sheets, my phone rang. For a second my depraved ravenous need to take advantage of the sale momentarily subsided as I picked up my phone to answer it. It was my mother.

She casually called to ask about my eye appointment. I quickly bragged about how my optometrist was baffled by my dramatic improvement in eyesight (My astigmatism of 8 years suddenly vanished as well as my prescription cut in half). She was thrilled for me as was I. She then asked me when I was coming home and if she should save lunch for me. I casually mentioned that I stopped by a store (clever, right?) and quickly attempted to change the subject. For a moment, there was silence. I will never forget the next sentence my mother told me as long as I’ll live.

“Taryn, step away from the sheets, get in your car, and drive home.” She knew! I was caught in the act. I’m sure if anyone could see my face, I looked like a 5 year old kid caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing. So, being the good daughter (for the most part) that I am, I walked out of the store, got in my car, and drove home. I still laugh at that memory to this day as I really did not need those sheets. Like I said, I am a sucker for a good sale. I am just glad I have a mother who seemingly has a sixth sense of my habits to ensure that I stay on the straight and narrow; and I will forever love her for that.

I Now Pronounce You, Adult

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I often wonder, how does a person know when they’re an “adult”? Is there a feeling and you just know? Or do you go through an experience where you face trials and tribulations and you come out on the other side a full blown adult? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ceremony that officially makes you an adult? There would be a specific time and place where you stand before God and all your peers in front of some qualified individual (possibly Morgan Freeman) who anoints you into adulthood.

Currently I find myself in limbo. It’s like that awful Britney Spears song “Not a girl not yet a woman”. Ok, terrible analogy but there is some truth behind it. From a tangible aspect, I am an adult. I pay taxes, pay bills, go to work, etc. Emotionally on the other hand is a different story. Whenever I am talking to an older adult, I always feel like a kid. Now this has nothing to do with the other person and how they are talking to me. It’s just a feeling that someone older and with more “authority” is talking to me.

Recently I had to assert my “adultness” to get a point across. There was a dispute with one of my findings at work which was being called into question. I then had to use my authority and my knowledge on the subject at hand to prove a point. Now as I was in the midst of the situation, I remember thinking to myself, “oh jeez, there’s no way they’re going to listen to some kid just out of college”. To my shock and chagrin, my point came across loud and clear and was respected. Why, because at that moment I realized that I am an adult and my peers see me that way as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t feel like the “real deal” by any means. There are still moments (quite a few) that I lean on my parents for emotional support. I know I’m spoiled to have 2 people in this world who give me the assurance that I don’t need to have all the answers at this stage in my life. They definitely bring me back to earth when I go on my “I’m not on the right path” tangents. I suppose that in then end, it is a process that everyone goes through at their own rate. It is most certainly not a “one size fits all” endeavor.