A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life

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Our Odyssey Has Ended

Nearly 13 years ago, my husband and myself — 6 months pregnant at the time — strolled into the local Honda dealer. We were ready to upgrade his (piece of shit) Grand Am to the more family-friendly Honda Odyssey minivan.

At the time, the revamped Honda entry in the minivan category was all the rage. Unfortunately all the rage translated into “no deals, suckas, cuz we can’t keep these bitches in stock”.  So pretty much full price later, we walked away with the only model they had on the lot that was not already claimed.

The minivan was really good to us. It has hauled around kids, strollers, dogs, groceries, suitcases, sports equipment, trash, lawn chairs, coolers, book bags, drunk wives, and a surprising number of well-past-the-expiration-date packs of peanut butter crackers.

A few weeks ago, I noticed this as we exited Target and thought to myself, perhaps this is a sign:

Odyssey label losing it's grip (but aren't my bright yellow tennis shoes in the reflection fab?)

The Odyssey label is losing it’s grip (but aren’t my bright yellow tennis shoes in the reflection fab?)

You don’t think of a car as holding amazing memories. Unless you are a 17 year old whose second-hand Camero got him a glimpse of  his 16 year old girlfriend’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light“, one boozy Summer night.

But our mini-van helped us make a bunch of memories. I won’t share the sappy ones … like when we brought our oldest son Alex home from the hospital after he was born. Or when his younger brother Nick made his appearance less than 15 months after his older brother, and we had two bundles of joy (and double the baby crap) to cart around. Or the journey we made back from the cemetery in horrendous traffic on December 23, after my mother-in-law’s funeral, when I drove as my husband passed out in the back after a week-long (very little sleep) vigil at his mom’s bedside after she was diagnosed with and suddenly died from cancer.

Or the less sappy memories of trips to baseball, football, and lacrosse fields with all that damn gear, coolers, lawn chairs, and other crap you have to haul around. And people wonder why basketball (you only need shoes and a ball, people) is so appealing.

Smells like pre-teen spirit.

Smells like pre-teen spirit.

Nope. More like these memories:

  • Our first trip to Do I Hear Banjo Music? Charleston, WV to visit my husband’s father and his wife for Thanksgiving.
  • The time we drove back from my parents house and the wheel almost came off the car. Turns out the mechanic who had recently put on new tires had forgotten to tighten the lug nuts completely. I would have loved a chance to tighten his lug nuts as a thank you for that terrifying experience. And not tighten his lug nuts in the good way, if you know what I mean.
  • The wacky conversation I had with my sons and husband in the minivan one afternoon.


So, thanks for the memories. And the 180,000+ miles, dear Odyssey.

180,873 miles to be exact

180,873 miles to be exact

I hope our new car Pilots us in the same fun, amazing, and delightful direction.



I See London, I See France….

Those who read my blog — I think I may be up to three now! — know that I bear witness during my daily work commute to some of the strangest crap that humans say and do. I was convinced that my experience was unique to the Washington, D.C.-area modes of transportation I use (commuter bus, commuter train and metro), but I was wrong about that. Oh so terribly wrong.

Last week, I visited the Connecticut office of my new employer. The trip required an Amtrak train to Stamford and then a switch to the Metro North Railroad to take the local commuter train.

I’m pleased to report that crazy does not relegate itself to the D.C. area, because this is what I witnessed and heard:

  • a woman at the little store in the Amtrak station, haranguing the poor ESOL clerk over the fact that “this issue of People is like TWO weeks old. Don’t you know that Jen’s engaged to Justin and there is a picture of her new ring. I MUST SEE THAT RING”.
  • a man on the train in the seat in front of me who explained very loudly to his travelling buddy exactly how many medications he currently takes, for his five different medical conditions and his doctor’s advice moving forward, as he wolfed down a breakfast burrito with extra cheese and bacon. He accomplished all this before the train even left the station.
  • the not very clever — or very stealth — creep in the seat behind me who kept making a strange sound as he coughed. Until I realized that every time he coughed, it started smelling like farts. Hey, Einstein – the sound of your cough may cover the sound of you farting. But nothing covers the smell.
  • the overly perfumed woman in the 5″ heels who made her way through the quiet car in a very less than quiet fashion, as she attempted to seduce one of the business men on the train into buying her a drink. No takers, doll baby? Gonna have to pay for that Miller Lite yourself, I guess. Cu-lass-ee.
  • the guy who looked at the container of homemade cookies that I was taking to my new co-workers and then said to me “I would give you money for one of those cookies. I’ll bet it’s homemade – my wife is no good in the kitchen. Does your husband really appreciate that you bake? I would definitely show my wife some serious appreciation if she was baking homemade cookies, if you know what I mean”.
  • me, rolling my eyes — in very much the same way as when I ride the D.C.-area transportation systems

So, fair warning here. In the future, if I see bad behavior during my commute to Connecticut, I’m gonna snap your photo and upload it to facebook, like this poor schmuck who fell asleep (passed out?) on the Metro North Railroad with his underwear hanging out:


Uttered Nonsense

If you’d ridden in my car this week on my drive to the Metro station, you would have heard these spontaneous utterances. Some louder than others. And some more profanity-laced than others.

So we need to raise some revenue for the state of Maryland? Well, plant a few trooper here on 270 northbound during HOV lane hours and pull over all the under-the-passenger-limit cheaters flying past my law-abiding ass. Then write them all a damn mega-fine ticket.

If I drive slow enough, I wonder if my husband will get home first and start dinner.

I’ll tell you what your cutie-pie family decal should say. It should say the ‘Ass Family – Jack, Wise, Smart, and Dumb’. And the dog decal should be ‘Licks My’.

Do you really think coming to a complete #$%*-ing stop in the middle of the road where three exits from the parking garage converge at once was brillance on your part? Thanks for the impromtu brake test, you #$%*-er!

More freakin’ rain? I should be piloting an ark instead of driving a minivan.

That sign that says 15 is not the speed limit. It’s the route number for this dual lane highway you’re bringing to a total standstill in rush hour traffic, ass jacket!

Born Right the First Time. Oh, I bet the Tea Party loves that bumper sticker.

I mean, has the quality control division in the license plate review department at the Virginia Motor Vehichle Administration totally given the ‘eff up?


Say What?

When it comes to the commuting population, perhaps it’s just narcissitic egoism. Maybe it’s just sheer stupidity. Or – benefit of the doubt here – perhaps they were dropped on their head as a baby. In any case, I overhear/see the darnest things on my way to and from work. My commute is ripe with comedy gold.

Most of the time, I post an account of the conversation or episode on my facebook page right away. I really wish I was making it all up. But there are way too many freaks out there — and I seem to commute with all of them.

I’m sharing with my faithful readers (both of you!) the Top 10 Things I Have Overheard on My Commute in the Past 6 Months.

So, without further ado….

10. “We’ve been divorced 8 years now. And he’s only been out of jail 9 months since that time. And not 9 consecutive months, either”. [one commuter sitting in front of me, to another commuter]

9. “Yeah, I know what the doctor said, but it’s not as itchy any more and since the pus has dried up I’m going to stop taking the antibiotic”. [cell phone conversation]

8. “Don’t admit to anything. If you have records of all your communications about this problem, make copies now. They can’t fire you without just cause, and as your attorney, it’s my job to protect you. OK. See you for dinner tonight mom”. [cell phone conversation]

7. “Everything is in my girls’ names when it comes to my will. I mean, I love my husband and all, but men come and go. As I learned so expensively with my first husband”. [one commuter sitting behind me, to another commuter]

6. “This house is the first new thing I’ve ever owned in my life. My cars, my condo – hell, even my ex-wife I got used”. [one commuter sitting behind me, to another commuter]

5. “But I need bail money for him. I don’t know why are are being such a bitch about it. It’s not like he stole the money out of your savings account. This time”. [cell phone conversation]

4. “Look lady, I’m not crazy. It’s my job to pick up the trash you riders leave behind. Find somebody else to *@$# with this morning.” [ Metro worker to a woman complaining about the trash he was picking up]

3. “Well, unless you can produce a ticket for that suitcase, you need to get it off of the seat so that my ass – which did purchase a ticket – can have it”. [one very unhappy commuter to another very rude commuter]

2. “Oh, I’m sorry. Is my fleshy mid-section getting in the way of your boney elbow, which you refuse to move from my side of the seat because I had the nerve to sit next to you when the bus was full?” [me to a commuter who huffed and puffed when I asked to sit in the empty seat next to her when the bus was full]

And the #1 Top Thing (not spoken, but seen on a t-shirt) is: Call me when your baby momma goes to work. Extra tramp points for the script being in silver glitter and the shirt being 2 sizes too small.