My husband would be an awesome serial killer

My husband would be an awesome serial killer

Many of you have heard my tale of how I almost shot Daniel. It all started when I heard scary noises on the roof, and ended with me pointing a loaded gun at my husband. Afterward, he told me that the noise was probably raccoons – we live near a wooded area and they apparently enjoy trees. I don’t know; I don’t really know much about raccoons. Except that they make good hats.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago, where I woke Daniel up in the middle of the night (which is hilarious to witness, by the way. I highly recommend it. He’s a flailer.) after I heard some scraping sounds on the roof. I’m no ‘coon expert but these footsteps were heavy and seemed to be in the attic space above our ceiling. Raccoons would likely be on the actual roof. The attic space is used by the complex and is padlocked shut; we can’t use it. I was convinced that a tiny little person (or a tall person who didn’t mind rolling around up there) was living in our attic, waiting for us to leave during the day so he could steal our things and eat our cookies. But when Daniel checked the attic space, the padlock was closed and from the looks of things, no one had been there in quite some time (thanks for all that maintenance, apartment complex). Curiouser and curiouser.

Keep fast-forwarding to tonight. Daniel and I were sitting on our respective couches when we both heard a scraping sound above us. I jumped up and shouted “SEE I TOLD YOU IT’S A PERSON THEY MUST BE LIVING THERE WE’RE GONNA DIE WHY DIDN’T YOU LISTEN TO ME AHHHHHHHHHH” and then literally jumped up and down for a second in anticipation of running for my life. I was wearing my zebra-striped fuzzy boots again so I was totally ready.

Daniel goes and loads the pistol, finds the flashlight, and goes out to our porch. I was instructed to stay inside and guard the cat, which I later realized was code for “Kristen is bad at being sneaky.” It’s true. I am the least sneaky person ever. My four-year-old nephew is sneakier than me. So Daniel is out on the porch, moving around like a ninja, ducking and weaving and matrix-ing and at some points moonwalking. I am inside, my face pressed to the glass, and Batman beside me with his face on the glass. He likes glass. He started licking it. I didn’t lick it but I did draw a little smiley face in the fog my breath left.

After nothing happens for a minute, Daniel says loudly, “Must be nothing, I’ll come inside.” Being the extra-helpful person I am, I flipped on the porch light, opened the door, and asked why he was coming in. If he hadn’t had a gun in his hand I’m sure he would have facepalmed – he was apparently trying to trick the unseen robber into showing himself. Oops. In my defense, Daniel knew I wasn’t sneaky when he married me – I was always very open about that.

So now he has to sneak back onto the porch, and I see him unload the gun, then load it back really loudly – this, I discovered later, was to strike fear in the robber’s heart. Then Daniel looks at me, points to his eyes, points to me, points to the left, and points up. I thought he was having some sort of attack, so I just stared at him from the other side of the glass door. He motioned again. I stared some more. He motioned so wildly I thought he might fall off the porch, and then it hit me – he wanted me to go over to the window and see if I saw someone on the roof. Ohhhhhhhh. I couldn’t see anyone from the window, so I made my own crazy gestures back – I waved my arms real wide and shook my head, like I was begging a plane to not come in for landing. He got the message and I went back to the porch where I could see better.

Finally, we were ready to give up – and then I heard the noise again. I made the airplane motion and pointed to the ceiling, and I could tell Daniel heard it, too. He looked at the roof and jumped (like he was scared, not off of the porch). I also jumped and stepped on the cat. My bad. I should join the CIA.

Daniel called me outside and told me to look at the roof. I looked at the top of the roof – nothing there. He then told me to look underneath the roof, in the rafters. And sitting there, looking ever so slightly chagrined but not really all that sorry, was a masked… raccoon. A raccoon. A raccoon who had figured out how to get into our rafters and subsequently into the attic space. A raccoon who had then invited his friends and had commenced partying over our heads for the last month.

So it turns out no tiny people are living in the attic. Which is a relief. I guess if I had to choose between a dwarf robber and Roscoe (the raccoon – I named him after my great-grandfather!), I would pick Roscoe. He’s kind of cute. In a creepy, please don’t dig through the ceiling and jump on me in the night kind of way.

But the most important lesson learned is this: Daniel is a flippin’ ninja. I dare you to rob us. No – I double-dog dare you. NO. I TRIPLE-DOG DARE YOU. But be warned, though you may not see it coming, though you may never hear the footsteps of the one responsible for your demise, though you may think your crimes will go unnoticed, heed my words: Daniel and Roscoe are watching.

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Go Bay-ack

Go Bay-ack

There is a ride at Six Flags called the Monster Plantation. Most of you have probably ridden it, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?? Run, be free. I’ll wait. And whatever anyone tells you, I am not scared of that ride. And if I was it would be a perfectly reasonable fear of the dark and weird, jerky puppets that sing to you without moving their mouths.

Aaaaaanyway, on that ride, you’re supposed to be on a nice, happy tour of the plantation when suddenly you see the “sheriff” of the town waving his arms at you, telling you to go to the right, not to the left! “Go bay-ack,” he says (he is supposed to be Southern, hence the two syllables for the word “back”), but since you have no control over the ride, you have no choice but to wave at him sadly and turn into the scary monster forest.

My dad loves the “go bay-ack” so much that it has become a staple in our household. Walk up and say that to any member of my family and they will know what you are talking about immediately. And my dad loves to say it when he thinks we’re about to do something dumb/have already done something dumb and are telling him about it/when he wants to go to Six Flags, so it always pops into my head when I make less than sound decisions. So, as I regale you with this tale of my bad decision-making skills, try to picture a big, furry monster puppet with a sheriff’s hat on and waving his arms at you to get the full effect, okay?

We recently bought a car back in May. Many of you have heard my adventures with the previous car, the Integra, and if you haven’t just picture me screaming for a long time and then something breaking off a car, and you’re basically caught up. But now I get to drive the new car! The new car and I get along very well, and the only major difference was that the gas light in the Integra (its one good quality being its infinite gas mileage), was more of a suggestion than a warning. And so far in the new Caliber, the few times the gas light had come on, I had gotten gas the same day and it wasn’t an issue.

This brings us to Thursday morning, a morning where I had a choice to make: stop and get gas, or stop and get Starbucks. I only had time for one. I chose Starbucks (cue the first Go Bay-ack), thinking I could just get gas on my lunch break. So I get my S’bucks, drive to work, and almost make it to the light when I notice the car is slowing down. Hmm. That probably isn’t normal. Now it’s slowing down a lot. Now the steering wheel isn’t so much with the turning. I manage to wrestle the car into the Zaxby’s parking lot next to my work, but I don’t make it into a parking space before the car shuts down completely. Oops.

Okay, no big deal – someone at Zaxby’s can probably help. I ran to the door and pulled on it – locked. They don’t open until 10:30. Go Bay-ack. Well, that’s okay. I can… um… I got nothin’. It’s also important to know this about me: I can do CPR, face blood and guts, and clean up vomit like a champion. But in situations that don’t allow me to use pre-arranged steps, I don’t think so good. So I run into work and see my boss in the hallway. Since I have sprinted there, I tell him in between breaths about the situation and that I planned on just walking to the nearby gas station, and I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I was a fast runner. Smooth. He pointed out that asking someone if they had a gas can might be a better first step. I asked a couple of people – no luck with the gas can. Go Bay-ack.

My friend LeeAnn kindly offered to drive me to the gas station, so off we went, me babbling the entire time about how this has never happened to me and I thought I had more gas and blah blee bloo blah. We get the gas can, fill it, and then come back to my car, still in the middle of the Zaxby’s parking lot. I noticed my hazard lights were no longer flashing, but I didn’t really care. Go Bay-ack. After a long time spent on trial and error, LeeAnn figures out how the little gas can works and I start to pour it into my car. Then I feel a little liquid on my leg and shoes. Either I’ve just added incontinence to my list of problems, or I’ve spilled gas on myself. It was the gas. Go Bay-ack. Erghhhhh. Fine. That’s fine. It’s all fine.

The gas finished… gassing, or whatever it does, so I get into the car to start it. I turn the key and am greeted with click click click click. The battery had died. In the five minutes it took me to run inside, get to the gas station, and fill up the car, the freaking battery had DIED. Go Bay-ack. I make the trek back to my work again. It actually wasn’t that far of a walk but it sounds more dramatic if I say “trek” instead of “quick jaunt.” My friend Gino offered to jump my battery, so off we go. The battery is jumped, the car is on, and the villagers were saved. As Gino is driving off, I looked at my dash just in time to see the little gas can light up, accompanied by the cheerful little Ding! that lets me know when I’m screwed. Of course. So I got more gas, and finally wandered into work sometime around 10 – just an hour late. Sheesh. The first thing several helpful people said to me was “Uh – you smell like gas.” I had forgotten that I’d spilled gas all over myself. Go Bay-ack.

I’m sure my coworkers were all very enthused about the prospect of spending an entire day trying to stay conscious, but unfortunately for them, I got sick, had to go home, and wasn’t able to come into work the next day, either. Nothing like an illness to really round off a crappy day, all before lunch time.

So, in conclusion: Don’t ignore the gas light, kids. And always Go Bay-ack.

Being Ugly

Being Ugly

When I was about 7, I played soccer. I can wait here for a moment if you want to recover from the shock of that sentence, but it’s true – I played soccer voluntarily and I have the awkward pictures to prove it. My favorite year was when I on the Purple Cobras team – besides having an awesome name, we were actually pretty decent. We were going to be able to go to the playoffs/championships/whatever happens in soccer if we won just one more game. We tried our best, but we could only tie, and in the end the other team had had a better season so they got to go to the next round (for the love of all that is holy, someone please tell me what it’s called in soccer).

We were so disappointed, and I remember some of the girls on the other team had not been the most gracious winners. This prompted a time-honored tradition: a bunch of girls talking smack about the girls that wronged them. The highlights of the conversation were how the other team had obviously cheated and how they had probably only won because they had stupid ponytails.

I was getting a few good insults in when my mother broke away from the group she was talking to, pulled me aside, and said only, “You are being ugly.” Before you call retro-active DFACS, my mother was not commenting on the rockin’ shade of purple we got to wear that year, or the matching, perfectly round purple glasses I was sporting. She wasn’t even talking about my giant hairbow, which I think would have been acceptable because that thing was pretty gross-looking. That was my mom’s way of telling my siblings and me that we were being mean or rude, and that we were to stop it.

I grew up with that phrase being said so often that it never occurred to me to think about it – it always equated in my head with “Don’t be mean” and that was that. But I think there’s more to it than that. Or less, depending on how you look at it.

When I am mean, I am ugly. When I disrespect my parents, I am ugly. When I cut someone off in traffic or gossip about them or break a promise to them, I am ugly. When I judge someone and silently thank God that I am obviously so much better off, I am ugly. When I am doing anything but living for Jesus, I am ugly. I am ugly and there is no way to hide it. We all hear that beauty comes from the inside. I think the same goes for ugliness. Because it doesn’t matter how many great things we’ve done in a day, or how often we deign to be nice to someone we don’t really thinks deserve it – without Jesus, we are ugly. Even with Jesus, we can be ugly (see soccer story above…) when we forget to show His love to others. And it seems almost silly to say, because even as I’m writing this it just seems so obvious. But for something so obvious, I sure do have trouble living it. Being ugly is easy. Being pretty is hard. But I think it’s worth the effort.

Anyway. I just wanted to share that. And to, you know, call you ugly.

PS Shout-out to Miss Thelma, who is definitely not ugly and who a) called me perfect today and b) told me she actually reads this… thanks, Miss Thelma! If any of you see her at church, give her a high-five and some candy.

How I almost shot the sheriff

How I almost shot the sheriff

Okay, I didn’t almost shoot the sheriff. I don’t even know who the sheriff is. But I got you here, didn’t I? And I did almost shoot someone, so don’t leave. I have candy…

So, a few background details. I have a cold. To combat this cold, I have been taking cold medicine. Genius, right? Cold medicine has a weird effect on me recently – I get a liiiiiittle loopy. Not like I think my elbow is my new best friend Henry kind of loopy; more like I probably am not making the soundest decisions kind of loopy.

The next important detail is that Daniel got a new gun recently. It’s one I can use easily and since there have been a few burglaries in our hood (don’t tell my mom! Mom, if you read this, I’m just kiiiiidding) I made sure I was really familiar with it. Don’t cross me.

That brings us to Saturday night. I had taken the cold medicine, and Daniel went to go get dinner as it was getting dark. There had been roofers on our roof earlier in the day. So there I was, watching TV – not Dr. Quinn, thankyouverymuch – when I heard some scraping noises on the roof and on the walls outside. I figured it was the roofers and turned up the TV. When I heard it again, I realized that roofers probably don’t work at night, and maybe it was the cat. The cat was sitting next to me. Hmm. Then I saw police lights on the road outside, and from there it took me .328 seconds to decide we were being robbed… from our wall and roof, two stories off the ground. I warned you about the bad decision-making.

I called Daniel and heard the glorious ringtone I chose for him go off in our room – he had left his phone at home. Okay, no problem. I decided I need a plan of action. First, I put on a jacket, then figured I should get some shoes I could run in. I chose my zebra-striped fuzzy boots/house shoes with the pink trim. No reason to look like a bum while I’m escaping, right? Then I got the gun, and went to our deck door. I shouted “WHO’S THERE” in my most menacing tone (which I realized later probably sounded like a very scared, possibly drunk child). No answer. So I threw back the blinds and opened the door while preparing myself to bring somebody DOWN if I had to.

No one was there. Were they hiding? Had they heard me shout my scary words and decided not to mess with this? That was probably it, but just in case, I looked extra-dangerous as I locked the doors and told Batman not to worry.

That’s when I heard the footsteps. If there were a soundtrack to this story, this would be the DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN track.

Now if you heard someone pounding up your steps in a seemingly angry/robbery fashion after all this, would you think it was your husband returning home with dinner or an evil bad guy who had narrowly escaped your clutches on the porch and was now back for revenge? Exactly. So I did what any reasonable and slightly inebriated person would do – I hid behind our loveseat with the gun in my hand. As I heard the lock turn, I thought It’s weird how the robber found a key. Then as the door opened, I popped up, heart pounding, bravery churning, ready to run as fast as my zebra boots would take me, only to come face-to-face with… Daniel. Most of you probably saw that coming so I had to add the extra tension.

To Daniel’s credit, when he walked in the door to find his wife pointing a gun at him, he didn’t flip out. He just stepped to the side, walked over to me, and after I told him what had brought me to this situation, nodded and said, “Good job – I’m glad you were prepared,” and we went about our business as if it was totally normal for one of us to think the other one was going to steal our worldly possessions and worthy of pointing a loaded gun at. Eh. Just another day in the life for the Elevelds.

Interestingly enough, today when I was cleaning – okay, looking for my pajamas – I didn’t see the gun. Daniel must have moved it. OR WE WERE ROBBED. DUN. DUN. DUNNNNNNN…

Holy Weirdness, Batman

Holy Weirdness, Batman

Batman is currently licking our floor. No particular reason. Just thinks wood is tasty, I guess. Or maybe I should say “wood” since I don’t think our craptastic apartment complex sprang for the expensive stuff.

In case you don’t know (and I really hope you don’t, because it makes the first sentence so much better), Daniel and I recently adopted a stray kitten. We named it Betty, and after the vet educated us on girls and boys, we renamed him Batman. Yes, I know that I am writing a post about my cat, and how sad that is. Give me a break; at least it isn’t about Dr. Quinn this time. That one is for tomorrow.

I don’t like cats. I have never liked cats. I never saw the point. With a dog, a monkey, a ferret, you get to play with them and take them on walks (yes, ferrets can go on walks – and check out that picture on the right…) and they are so excited to see you. With cats, they sit there while you sit there, and then they walk on your computer and scratch you for having the audacity to uncross your legs.

But when I saw little Batman, all by his lonesome on our deck and just wanting someone to wuv him, I had to help him. I told my husband about him and he said I could feed it, just not near our house so the cat wouldn’t hang around. I forgot that pretty quick and the cat started hanging around. Then Daniel said don’t pet it because I would get attached. I accidentally petted it. Then he begged me not to pick it up because there would be no going back. You can guess where this story ends. Us with a mystery-gendered cat, trying to figure out how to put everything in our tiny apartment onto a really high, really non-existent ledge.

Now, though, I love Batman. Still hate cats. But this one is okay. Except… I think he might have some emotional/mental issues. This is the strangest cat I’ve ever encountered. We have a spray bottle that we use when he climbs onto the table. It works great. But after I spray him and set the bottle down, the little weirdo sidles up to the bottle as if he is seducing it, then cuddles with it and starts to purr. If I set the bottle on the table, he stares at it as though it is the Holy Grail of Kittens. I don’t know if the bottle is an old flame or just reminds him of the thrill of getting in trouble. To each his own, right?

He also likes to lie in wait under our bed, wait for us to get all cozy under the covers, and then launch himself onto our comforter, taking delight in my screams while Daniel does a remarkable impression of someone being hit with a flamethrower. Since he’s all black, we can’t see him… until it’s too late. I can’t even tell if he’s facing toward me or away from me when the lights are off. But I’m pretty sure his head spins all the way around anyway so it probably doesn’t matter.

“The darkness pleases me.”

Today, Batman become less of a man and more of a Pat. He has done pretty well, except he is as high as a kite, which we’re finding to be enjoyable. He kind of ambles around, listing to one side, and every so often he tries to jump up onto the couch but soon gives up – the carpet is pretty comfy, anyway. But the funniest thing is that he really isn’t all that different than usual, except for the random snacking of cardboard boxes and the inability to escape from them:

First attempt to get out…

…ehhh, who wants to leave a box anyway, right?

Daniel took mercy on him and helped him out… then Batman started eating the box. 

But, hey, he’s cute, right? That gets him pretty far. You can always acquire skills but cuteness is paramount to getting ahead in this crazy, mixed-up world. We get to give him more drugs again in 33 minutes… I’m excited.