Sunday, February 28, 2016

Flashback

Arizona, circa 1988. Quite possibly the best haircut of my life- a standard bowl cut with a mullet in the back. 

My dress is on backwards. 

My tongue is sticking out of my mouth as I dance to "Kokomo", by The Beach Boys. 




I will never again be this cool. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fishing for Trouser Trout

I spent a week in Michigan with my parents back in September. They had just gotten a puppy and I was itching to meet her, but the real reason for the trip stemmed from a conversation I had with my Dad the month before.

Dad: "So, you know I'm 60."
Me: "Yes."
Dad: "And we see each other what, maybe twice a year?"
Me: "Yes..."
Dad: "So at this rate, if I live to be 80 that means we'll see each other 40 more times. And that's it."
Me: "OH JESUS CHRIST DAD."

His not so subtle guilt trip worked, and I bought a plane ticket home. It was a great trip, I had breakfast in Grand Rapids, went antique shopping and played dress up with my cousin Shelby, shared a few meals with old friends, stuffed myself with pie from Grand Traverse, put Bailey's in my coffee each morning, spoiled the puppy rotten, forced my Dad to play board games with my Mom and I, and spent my last day relaxing on the boat with my parents. Before we left for the lake I asked my Dad if I could borrow a hat. I chose a green and brown suede tipped baseball cap that said "River Keep Lodge, Labrador" on it. I really liked the hat, and the next morning as I was packing up and getting ready to head to the airport I asked to borrow it again. Actually, I said something to the effect of,

"You have 300 hats. I'm taking this one". 

He thwarted my efforts, telling me I could have my choice of any hat except for that one, as apparently it was his favorite. I chose a slightly lopsided navy blue baseball cap with an embroidered fish on the front instead. I was going for a rustic outdoorsy look. Something that said, 

I can build a fire. I hunt and fish and know how to tell the direction by the sun. I never get lost and I like to camp.

The slightly lopsided embroidered fish hat said just that.

We were about halfway to Detroit Metro before I really looked at it, seeing its reflection in the car window. I noticed the words "Trouser Trout" embroidered around the fish. Perplexed, I asked

"Dad, when we would fish up in Naubinway for opening weekend of trout season, did we ever catch any trouser trout?"

He just looked at me.

"Or was that just rainbow trout?"

Here's to 40 more conversations just as ridiculous as this one.



Monday, May 26, 2014

The Unprepared Beauty Queen

In 1996 I participated in something called Miss Michigan Pre-Teen. (I would like to point out that while this sounds like a beauty pageant, it was not. It was a scholarship program.)

I made it all the way to the semi-finals, but it turns out I wasn't Pre-Teen Sr. Queen material, which is a bummer because that trophy was bitchin'. I was however, the most talented little scholarship contestant,  and I proved this by winning the talent portion of the competition.

For my talent, I tumbled out onto the stage with a roundoff two backhandsprings, sat down at the piano positioned in the corner, and played a little Beethoven. Not to toot my own horn, but they would have had to have been deaf, dumb, and blind not to crown me the winner.

I hadn't thought about this in over 10 years, until recently when I dreamt I was in a similar situation as an adult. Backstage, I was presented with two options: either put together a gymnastics floor routine, or play a long forgotten piano piece from memory. I was given three minutes to decide and then sent out onto the stage. I awoke with feelings of unpreparedness and dread that were almost palpable.

Which makes me wonder, what is my subconscious trying to tell me? What am I dreading and unprepared for? Whatever the case, I'm sure I'll prevail. I am after all, Miss Michigan Pre-Teen 1996 talent division champion.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Important Things

I was fortunate enough to be living in Chicago in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as the United States' first ever African American President. I, along with three of my Northwestern University frisbee frat cohorts and an estimated 240,000 fellow Chicagoans headed down to Grant park to hear his victory speech. Politics aside, it was one of the most important things I've ever witnessed.

Another important thing witnessed that evening: My terrible hairdo.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Cheesy cheezy cheese. I have goosebumps. 

We found a spot nestled near the back, and once Obama finally took the stage he was just a small distant blob who I assumed must be Obama. But he's not important. The speech he gave wasn't important. The camaraderie and energy of the crowd wasn't important. 

This was important:

It's a fuzzy picture taken on a shitty camera phone, but you get the point. This American flag waving ten year old girl gets to grow up in a world where it's possible for her to aspire to whatever she's willing to work for. That's what the night was about. Possibilities. Important possibilities. Even thinking about it now gives me that ooey gooey feeling.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hank's Weddings & the Storage Facility for Dildos

Growing up, my grandparents spent winters in Arizona and summers in Michigan at a mobile home park for retirees nestled on the northwest corner of Lake Chemung. 

The drive took about thirty minutes from my home, included 7 turns, and I can say confidently that from the age of six I could navigate to and from with my eyes closed, in the dark, blindfolded, walking up hill both ways, etc. etc. etc. It is a route I took often, was very familiar with, and that I drove for years. 


Perhaps familiarity was the problem.


Around the third or fourth turn, on the corner of Burkhart Road and Grand River Avenue, was a run down grey cinderblock building with a sign out front that said Hank's Weddings. I wasn't able to find a website for Hank or a clear photograph of the building, but this Google Maps image gives you a pretty good idea of the overall atmosphere of the location.


From the looks of the building I imagined its occupant to be bearded and stained. A flannel-wearing fellow who, regardless of the time of day, sported both a Budweiser can and a cigarette. Whether or not Hank planned the weddings or officiated over them on location was never clear to me, but you're correct in thinking that this is depressing as shit. I imagined the type of people who got married at Hank's. How desperate and dirty would you have to be to get married by a smelly drunk guy in flannel?

The whole thing just never sat well with me, and for good reason.


As a card carrying member of the "I saw Father of the Bride more times than I can count" club, I can assert with confidence that Hank does not meet the standard requirements for wedding planners.


Franck Eggelhoffer, now there's a wedding planner.

I don't remember exactly when it was that I saw the "L". I'm pretty sure I was in my late teens or early twenties. One little letter... One sneaky little letter.


Hank did not plan weddings. Hank, was a welder.


Flash forward ten years, now living in Florida I'm on my way home from work heading to Applebees to pick up a salad, when a sign for a storage facility caught my attention. 


WHAT KIND OF A PERSON HAS SO MANY SEX TOYS THAT THAT THEY HAVE TO RENT A LOCKER FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE SPACE?!!? HOW IS THIS EVEN A PROFITABLE BUSINESS!?

It was only after looking up the company online that I realized that "adult toys" meant boats and RVs.


I have learned nothing from Hank. Absolutely nothing. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

That Time David Sedaris Called Me Controlling

I probably don't need to start out by telling you that I met David Sedaris. It's pretty evident by the title. But I did. I met him. I met David Sedaris. 

He came to Melbourne's Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts two weeks ago, which is only about an hour drive from Orlando. He was exactly how I imagined he'd be. Short, gayer than a three dollar bill sporting European sneakers and a $200 tie. He also had on pants. And a shirt. And a blazer. They weren't as notable. 

Well, the blazer was pretty nice I guess.

I went to the event alone, arriving twenty minutes early, my copy of Me Talk Pretty One Day tucked under one arm. I have never in my life felt whiter than I did standing in the lobby of that auditorium waiting to take my seat. A sea of white, upper middle class, NPR listening, gay liberals surrounded me. It was fabulous. It was safe. It was very, very well dressed.

He read a few essays to promote his latest book, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls,  but mostly the hour and half that he spoke consisted of an assortment of stories and quips I hadn't already heard; from diary entries and observations, to an essay about his sister's suicide published in this month's New Yorker, titled Now We Are Five. 

The last ten minutes were spent answering questions from the audience, and once he was finished we all filed back into the lobby, those of us who wanted books signed pushing our way through the crowd to get in line. I've never been to a book signing before, and until it was announced at the completion of the Q&A, I wasn't even sure he would be doing one, which explains why I was so unprepared, and evidently controlling.

I'm a pretty good pusher, which landed me near the front of the line, and by the time things settled down, I could see that I was only seven or eight people back. I was handed a piece of paper by a security personnel and instructed to write my name on it. I took out a pen from my purse and wrote Adie Putrow. Satisfied with this, I looked up to find my fellow pushers still writing. They must have really long names, I thought to myself. But as I looked ahead at the gentleman standing in front of me, wondering if his parents were asshole enough to give him a name like Sebastian Fernando Alabaster III , I saw written instead, For Bill, with love. Keep writing my friend!

For Bill, with love? Keep writing, my friend?! Why hadn't I thought to write a personalized message? Not to mention the fact that I had included my last name, which in hindsight seemed really awkward. Not wanting to be left out of the personalized messages party I began to panic. With love was just creepy. There was no way I was writing that. And even if I wanted to, keep writing, my friend wouldn't work because I was behind the guy in line and it would be obvious that I had copied him. Besides, having never read any of my writing, how would David Sedaris know if I should keep it up? Especially now that I was exposed as a copy cat, perhaps I'd be better suited for a career in copyediting, or as a transcriber. 

In the end I scrapped the whole personalized message thing altogether and settled on Adie. Just Adie. 

As for For Bill, with love, I noticed as he left the signing table just moments after I had scribbled out my last name, that instead of a personalized message, inside his copy of When You Are Engulfed in Flames was a drawing of a knife with blood dripping off the tip. I found this highly amusing, not to mention ironic, and was immediately jealous. Insanely jealous. I wanted a hand drawn David Sedaris weapon. No. I needed a hand drawn David Sedaris weapon. 

"Have we met before?" he asked, as I stepped up to the table, eying his to-go salad and chunky tomato dressing. 

Wendy's. I'm totally getting Wendy's on my drive home tonight, I thought. 

"No. No I don't think we have." I replied. 

"How are you?" he asked.

"I'm good thanks. Hey, so I noticed that you drew a knife for that guy, is there any way that you could draw me a grenade? Or maybe, I don't know... a handgun?" I asked.

"Are you always this controlling?" he replied.

Pause.

"Yes, yes I guess I am... Now. About that grenade..."

In the end, I got a pair of bloody scissors. It's not a grenade or a handgun, but I really couldn't be happier. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Ten Years Later

My ten year high school reunion was last weekend. I learned a few things I'd like to share with the class.

1. People get fat. Those people also it seems, get really good at hiding said fat in their Facebook profile pictures.

2. I've turned into a beer snob. (And upon reflection of the previously listed fat observation, perhaps a bit of a general snob as well.)

3. When you break up with someone and make out with their cousin a few weeks later, said someone's circle of friends will still hate you ten years later. 

4. People with kids are boring.

5. I spend entirely too much time on Facebook.

6. Picking "Free Bird" for a class song in 2003 is still just as ridiculous ten years later. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Adulthood: The Full Life Crisis

Sitting in PF Changs Sunday afternoon, I was talking to my friend Tim over an oblong plate of crab rangoon. We were discussing cars, specifically the difference between leasing and buying, and he was explaining the benefits and drawbacks of both. The whole conversation was prompted by my CEL coming on, for the third time in as many months, and after already spending a cool two thousand dollars on repairs in the past year alone I was weighing my options. With Tim being my designated “car-guy” friend, I turned to him for advice. Since meeting him just over a year ago, I’ve seen him buy and trade 4 different vehicles. It’s his hobby (his words, not mine.) Just knowing that I would have someone to go with me in the event that I needed to purchase a new car who not only knew what they were talking about, but who genuinely enjoyed the whole process made me feel better. That’s not to say that I wasn’t still totally freaking out. 

"I feel like the contents of my life are all jammed inside of a coke bottle,"  I said, making a shaking motion, and gesturing with my left hand. "All of my options and possible life directions are being violently mixed up and slammed together. I’ve got work, my car, my writing and relationships all pulling me in different directions. There are so many variables to consider. If the issue with my car is something major, do I get a new one, or finally make the move to a city where I can walk and bike everywhere? If it’s a cheap fix, how long do I stay in FL, and how the hell am I going to pay for all of this if things keep going wrong? How am I going to pay for a new car? I know the cap has to be unscrewed eventually, and I’m just waiting to see what direction it will all spew in." And with that, I finished off the demonstration by using both hands to make an over-dramatic spewing motion.

Tim just stared at me.

"I just did an over zealous jack-off motion in the middle of a crowded restaurant, didn’t I?" I asked, replaying the last ten seconds in my mind from the perspective of an onlooker.    

"Yeah pretty much," he replied. 

In a way, the whole thing is a perfect metaphor for my life. Here I am, trying desperately to get my point across, to get my shit together, to navigate this whole adulthood thing, and instead I end up jacking off the air in public. 

I have no idea what I’m doing. 

Does anybody know what they're doing? Do people my age actually have their shit together? Jesus, do people with children know what they're doing!? 



Photo Credit: Red Bubble

Speaking of children, last week I tried to explain what a quadriplegic is to a group of 8-year-olds. At the time I honestly thought it’d help illustrate that the quadriceps are made up of four different muscles. I’ve used the same analogy with “tricycle” or “triangle” to describe the "tripod" technique applied to doing a headstand, but the only quad association I could think of was a quadriplegic. Only in hindsight do I see that this was perhaps, not the best comparison... Thankfully I was cut off before I could make a complete ass of myself. Using total paralysis to describe a physiology concept to a group of young gymnasts. Brilliant.  

Gold star, Adie. Gold star. 

I'm bumbling around like an idiot. I don't have a clue. I mean not even a little bit. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step, but what about the second step? Nobody ever talks about the second step! I’m beginning to suspect that this whole quarter life crisis gig will leak right into a midlife crisis, and by the time they both resolve themselves I’ll be dead. My whole entire life will be spent in crises.  

A full life crisis. 

But then as I was folding laundry last night I surprised myself by thinking, "Perhaps it's time to invest in some new towels."   

Now how adult is that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

Slow Learner

Sometimes I feel completely unequipped at navigating the adult world.

In most cultures, being 27 years old and living on your own automatically qualifies you for full fledged adult status. Yet, this morning I sat down for the first time ever and wrote out a budget. It has columns and everything.  

I feel like it shouldn't have taken me 27 years to finally get around to doing this. I feel like real adults have been doing this for years.

From 1, 213 miles away, I can hear my parents shouting,
 
 GODDAMMITADRIENNEHOWMANYTIMESHAVEWETOLDYOUTHIS?????!!!!

[insert head explosions here]

I'm a slow learner. I do things at my own speed, on my own time, and I hardly ever listen to anyone's advice. These are things I'm not necessarily proud of, but if I'm being honest, hey.
 
This is what happens when you Google slow learner. Amazing things. Amazing things happen.

Photo Credit: Cutest Paw

My complete lack of budgeting ability is what I get for taking AP Calculus instead of Math Life Skills back in high school. And it's not as though Calculus was exactly worth it. I can't tell a cosine from a tangent from my left nostril... 

I'd like to think that if I had opted for the real world math class instead of the fancy-pants College preparatory class, I'd be a budgeting goddess by now. I would sit in my money room, surrounded by the mounds and mounds of money I accumulated due to all that budgeting know-how, and I would throw the piles up in the air, letting my fortune rain down on me while maniacally cackling in a fit of greedy insanity. 

I think my impression of rich people is pretty spot on, don't you?

Actually, you know what? I did learn something in Calculus. I take it all back. Vocabulary. I learned vocabulary in Calculus. 

Here are some examples.

As in,  

I loathe my friend Joey for doing better than me on this test in spite of the fact that he showed up drunk to class this morning.

And,
 
As in, 

Hey guys, isn't it ironic that our teacher is the only Jew in a fifty mile radius and her name is Ms. Israel?! 

Silver lining. There it is, I found it. Boom.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weight Loss

For the past six years, a friend of mine has held a film festival to celebrate his birthday. Instead of presents, attendees are asked to create a film- no more than twenty minutes long- or to bring some kind of prize for the filmmakers.

This was my first year attending, and I submitted the following film. It took an entire day to brainstorm, shoot, and edit, and it's not even two minutes long. 

And apparently, it makes my butt look big.

I have a new found appreciation for filmmakers. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You guys. I built a teepee.

I know. How Native American hipster of me.

It was a six month endeavor that should have taken no more than two days, but my complete disregard for geometry and pattern following put a damper on the project. Let's just say that if I were a  member of a Native American tribe I would NOT be in charge of teepee construction.

All that aside, I'm pretty proud of the damn thing.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Special Maker Strikes Again

Every year following Thanksgiving, I inevitably get a phone call that goes something like this:

Momma: Hiya Daught.
Me: Hi Mary!
Momma: I'm not doing Christmas this year.
Me: Okay.
Momma: I mean, I just want to go away somewhere. I'm sick of celebrating Christmas. I'm done. I'm not doing it. I'm sick of making it special. I'm sick of being the Special Maker. I'm not going to do it. I'm just not, okay?
Me: Okay Momma, that's fine. Whatever you want.
Momma: I mean, it's not like you've given me any Grandbabies or anything.
Me: I know, Momma. I know.
Momma: So just don't expect Christmas to be all special this year, okay?
Me: Okay, I won't.
Momma: So what exactly are you expecting then?
Me: I want to take Buddy for a walk, play some board games, and have booze in my coffee each morning. The end.
Momma: Okay. We can probably do that.

And then I walk in the door Saturday to find this:

Christmas blankets! Cookies! Stuffed animals of the Rudolf and Santa-Bear variety! Wreathes! Christmas vignettes! Garland! A decked out silver and red gorgeously decorated tree! Candles! Lights strung on both fireplaces! Cookies! Sprinkles! And best of all, those candies with the gooey stuff in the middle. 

God lover her, despite her best efforts to not do Christmas, the Special Maker just couldn't help herself... 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful Special Maker Momma. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

I FOUND MY DANCE DOUBLE

...and he is a middle aged black man.




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weekends in St. Augustine [...my cup runneth over]

"Some weeks are more about doing poetry than writing it. Having it? Living it? Sponging it up and sitting in it?" -Tanya Davis