A collection of grievances, memories, occasional musings, and everyday happenings

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AOL Instant Messenger

I.M., A.I.M, or simply, Aim, took over my social life, and took over it fast.  I remember having a miniature debate with my Dad when I was 12 about whether or not I was ready to become a member of this online society.  “But Megan has one!  And so does Meredith, AND Garrett!  AND David!”  My parents were never really up for the whole “everyone else has one so I should too” gig, so my argument didn’t exactly take much of a flight.  Eventually though, I found myself standing behind the black leather computer chair, watching my Dad scroll through AIM instructions.  Picking a screen name for my brand new account was tough, especially since all the girls I knew were using up each and every description word they could find in order for every teenage boy to better know just who he was talking to – Hottiechik24, Sexygurl546, qtCheerbabe7657.  I would throw out names along those lines to my Dad, whose fingers refused to move in any direction on the keyboard until I thought of an appropriate name to go by.  Finally, I landed on sunshinegal2458 – a safe, yet respectfully adorable screen name I could use that would not cause me any real embarrassment among my gal pals.

I don’t remember using AIM all that much during the end of my 6th grade year.  The need to have a screen name was more of just a need to have it than to actually use it.  From 7th grade on, however, AIM proved to be much more influential than I would have ever guessed.  There came a time for me in 8th grade – a pivotal point in the year where I found myself teetering in between my original friend group, and a possible future friend group who successfully showed me on down the road how very right I was to stay with my original crew.  But for a little while, to be 13 and on the brink of popularity was quite the temptation – so much so that I, embarrassingly enough, developed the same AIM lingo as the girls who were constantly dangling 8th grade fame in my face.

AIM lingo?  You mean there was more to it than ‘LOL’ and ‘brb’?

Heavens yes.

In order for one to be deemed AIM worthy, one had to uproot the true use of vowels and mix it all up.  One also had to change the consonants to be different than their originals as well as use the letter ‘Z’ in place of each and every ‘S’ (you know, where it makes sense).  ‘H’s were a must as a way of lengthening words that I guess were too short to be liked by the popular crowd, and if one was daring and cutsie enough, one could attempt to TyPe LiKe SoOoO.  This grammatical logic HAD to be seen in one’s profile – a way of proving true AIM-awesomeness.

So sunshinegal2458 and I dumbed down our proper English, and with the use of a light yellow Bold Georgia font against a periwinkle background, we came up the what seemed to be the “it” profile, describing us as the person and screen name we were:

Hey yall!  MuH nAmE iz Holly!  I’m 13 an LUV liFe!  I lyKe 2 rUn x-cOuNtRy an I luV 2 pLaY volleybalL!  SHOUT OUT 2 ALL MAH VBALL GURLZ!  LYLAS!  Srsly!  LOLZ!   I have muZiC pLaYiN aAaAaAll the tiMe so tHaT gEtZ mEh tHrU sKoOl!  Yuk!  LOL!  I LUV Coke, itZ mAh FAV drink!  So iF u eVa waNNa taLk u sHuld bRiNg mEh 1!  I waNna giVe a sHoUt out 2 mAh gUrl Jennifer 4 aLwaYz beiN sUcH a gOoD friEnD ALL the tiMe!  LYLAS!  BFF4EVA!  sHoUt out 2 Forrest 4 bEiN sO funny aLL the tiMe!  Ur sO aWsum!  sHouT out 2 mAh gUrL Ashley 4 ALWAYZ gettin mAh baCk in vball!  sHouT ouT 2 mah boyz Billy, Will, an Taylor cUz track class wUld be soOoOoO boRing w/o u theRe!  LOL!  IM mEh if u waNNa talk!  TTYL!

It was perfect.

What’s sad about this serious punishment I was putting myself through didn’t even occur to me until someone else pointed it out.  I would occasionally edit my profile (changing some vowels and adding some h’s) and in doing so, would skim over my writing and grimace slightly.  I had an A in English for a reason, and I certainly wasn’t doing it any justice.  But my AIM popularity grew a little every day, so I kept up my AIM façade until finally a guy friend of mine IMed me, all grammatically correct:

WhisperingWarrior: Holly.  Your profile actually makes no sense.

Sunshinegal2458: wut?

WhisperingWarrior: OMG.  No.  It’s ‘what’.  WHAT.

Sunshinegal2458:  Yeah… I know.

WhisperingWarrior: Why are you writing like you’ve never spoken the English language in your entire life?

Sunshinegal2458:  Bc the other girls write like that.

WhisperingWarrior:  They’re dumb.

Sunshinegal2458: They just write like that.

WhisperingWarrior: Yeah I know.  It’s dumb.

Sunshinegal2458: You say dumb too much.

WhisperingWarrior:  Sorry.  I’ll stop if you make your profile something worth reading.

Sunshinegal2458:  Ok.

WhisperingWarrior: THANK YOU.

I behaved after that, mainly because he later became my first boyfriend, but still, he had a point.

I did, however, have one last AIM mishap.

A song titled “Milkshake” by Kelis hit the charts.  It was huge, and everyone knew the words.  I knew the words, and I didn’t even like the song.  Unfortunately for me, I was extremely naïve – a bit of an Amelia Bedelia if you catch my drift.  Instead of looking for the dirty hidden meaning beneath the lines of Pop songs like most kids, I took the lyrics literally, something I wouldn’t especially recommend.

I was looking at my AIM profile one afternoon after school, trying to think of something cool and refreshing to add to my masterpiece of personal description, when it hit me – I knew exactly what to write.  I smiled, proud of myself for thinking up something so new and popular to have written on my profile.  I stretched my fingers and quickly typed under the “About Me” section:

My milkshake brings all the boys 2 the yard!

And that was all my profile said.  Just that statement, and quite the statement it was, only I had no idea what I was actually claiming.  How could I when the music video itself showed Kelis handing out milkshakes to the boys who were standing in her yard??  Such trickery!

Luckily an orchestra pal of mine IMed me close to 3 minutes after I had posted the lyric with, “Do you know what that means?”  Afraid to look foolish, I smirked and wrote back, “Uhhh yah…” He LOLed at me, which I took to be a bad sign and immediately erased my profile, admitting to myself that I knew nothing about Kelis, her milkshakes and why they were bringing all the boys to the yard for any reason other than having a milkshake.


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To Air Grievances: Behind the Title

Welcome to newness!  I am as pleased as punch to inform you my Writer’s Block has been blasted, the blog is brand new, and I got my eyebrows waxed this afternoon.

I am incredibly excited about the blog’s revamp, mainly because it has taken me months to come up with a new title (it came to me in the shower) as well as an actual goal for my blog, which I will now explain.

The title, as you can see, reads COMEDIC GRIEVANCES – Complaining Comedically.  Not just ‘GRIEVANCES’, because that would imply I want to spend all my time and energy pouring out my heart and soul about what’s wrong in the every day life of Holly…Elizabeth…Kooi… siiiigh.  And the tagline does not read just ‘Complaining’, because that would imply I strive to do nothing but complain about whatever there is to complain about.  This is not my plan.  (And there’s too many who do that anyway.  Shhh…)

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve noticed that the majority of my posts are stories – stories about my childhood, my marriage, my times with friends, my many many many mishaps… (See Archive for: Quite the daughter (in-law) and We Still Love You).  My blog title, to me, embraces those stories and embraces the amusing fallbacks that occur.  So, I shall write those stories (to air), which frequently include some type of hardship (grievances), but each and every story will be told in a light-hearted and enjoyable fashion (comedic).  And while every post will be focused on a different grievance (complaining), it is my goal to always depict each grievance to be amusing (comedically)!

I do hope you understood that last paragraph, seeing as it very much resembled one of those awful mathematical word problems.  But I can assure you that you’ll never be grieved after reading a post – only amused.  And if you’re not amused, well then you can read this as a fallback: Non-Visible Art Sells for $10,000


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To Air Grievances: Vehicles

Roxie, my companion for many years, is melting.

Manuel, Will’s companion for many years, is… Well it’s not doing so hot either.

Roxie is a green 2001 Toyota Camry, bought for me at the age of 16.  Her interior was mostly fine with a few scratches here and rips there, but now she’s reached an entirely new level.  Roxie’s seats are not leather – I don’t know what the material is, actually.  But I do know that when it’s summer time, the seats BURN.  And the steering wheel BURNS.   The seats are so hot, that when you sit on one, your very first inclination is to jump off because your thighs are getting a 3rddegree burn, but you can’t because you’ve already closed the door; so your next inclination is to grab the steering wheel to hold yourself up above the seat until it cools down, but when you grab the steering wheel you yell out in pain because it has just successfully destroyed both of your hands, causing you to let go of the steering wheel and land back on the seat, which burns your poor thighs once again, so you use what power you have left in your legs to lift yourself above the seat in order to hover, but in doing so you command the power from your legs too fast and hit your head on the roof.

It’s a whole Tom-and-Jerry situation, the car acting as both Tom and Jerry.  It’s a cruel pattern.

Since Roxie is able to get that fiery hot, her interior has started to melt, and fast.  The fancy plastics around my radio are coming unglued; the cup holders stick when they are pushed up or pushed down; the seats sweat from the hot, hot Oklahoma sun beating down on them day after day.  And now the heat has gone and done it:

The driver’s side door handle has melted off.

When this happened, I thought I was trapped inside my car, so for an entire day I entered and exited my car through the passenger’s side door, which is not something I would wish for anyone to experience.  People look at you funny as they watch you clamber out through the wrong door, trying to exit like a lady but failing miserably.  Lucky for me, my husband is much smarter than I am and he suggested I roll down my window and open the door using the outside handle.  He’s brilliant. This has been working for the past few weeks, but with many fallbacks.  One, I always forget to leave the car running so I can roll the window back up.  Two, I have left my window down twice, thankfully not for very long.  Three, I look like Will’s servant whenever he drives, and I could not be more serious about this.  Picture this:  You’re in a grocery store parking lot, minding your business and packing your trunk with newly bought groceries when you see a car pull into the parking space behind you.  The couple inside sits in there for a moment, then the little girl, who you assume must be the wife (you better), gets out first, but her husband stays inside the car.  At first you don’t think anything of it, until you see the wife walk around to the other side of the car, open the car door for her husband, and stand there until he gets out, and shut the door for him.  He says thank you, and the two head toward the store.

You’re either thinking one of two things at this point:

1) She is super nice to open the door for him!

2) Umm….

I can tell that most people are thinking Option 2, which of course, Will loves.  So until further notice, I am to be Will’s butler  maid servant.

Manuel is a small black truck – still alive, but is definitely in his old age.  The driver’s side door won’t shut unless it’s slammed, the passenger’s side seat can no longer move up or move back, the entire truck shakes once it reaches 60, and, Manuel has started making…noises.  It’s one thing to be driving on I-35, well aware of Manuel’s wheezing and sputtering in the midst of traffic.  It’s another to be driving around in your dream neighborhood during one of these truck-style asthma attacks.  A few weeks ago Will and I went driving through a neighborhood we someday hope to call our home.  It’s filled with trees, green grass, historic houses, dogs, families… It’s marvelous.  We went on a Thursday night, before the Hot Hot Humid Heat of Summer 2011 struck Oklahoma City, so we were able to drive around with our windows down to better admire the setting.  Then Manuel had his attack.  The wheezing, the sputtering, the long-winded squeaking – it all happened at once.  We quickly went from peaceful admirers to family-time ruiners.  We continued on, determined to see every house in the neighborhood, but I apologized quietly to everyone we passed.  “Ooooh look Will!  Parents and their little bab- Oh gosh.. Sorry!  So sorry…  WILL!  Look at that house!  And the family is on the porch playing games!  How precious- Shoot.  They’ve noticed us.  Sorry!!  Sorry-sorry-sorry…Sorry.”

And so, I air grievances with our vehicles.  They have served us well and continue to get us to and fro, and it’s only time before they just won’t go.


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I Saw My Daughter

I’m serious.

My dreams have always been insanely vivid (Will is beginning to learn this).  Most mornings, I can remember every scene, every word, every person, every detail.  Occasionally my dreams wake Will up – twice I have scared him awake by laughing in my sleep, and most recently, he woke up to see me sitting up, claiming I could smell blueberries.

I don’t even like blueberries. (I’m trying to, though.)

Anyway, there are three dreams that are recurring, and have stayed with me for years and years.

One: The Look Down Dream

This dream does not allow me to look up.  In most of my dreams, I can see myself talking, walking, etc.  In this dream, it’s from my perspective, only I can never see anything past a certain level.  The only way I can explain it is like this: Sit up/Stand up and look down at your shoes (bend your neck all the way down).  Then without moving your head, move your eyes as far up as you can without causing them to actually roll any further than is natural.  Now imagine walking around and trying to carry on a full conversation in this way.  That’s what it’s like!  Often times these dreams are filled with what seems to be an overwhelming amount of sunlight – a good reason to prevent me from looking up.  But other times, I’m in “normal” light, and still can’t look up.  I know who I’m talking to, but I don’t know who I’m talking to.  And when it’s over, I usually wake up with a headache.

Two: The Secret Garden Dream

I both love and hate this dream.  I love it because it always takes place in what looks to be a massive, elegantly old, Southern mansion – Victorian Style.  I love Victorian Style.  The place is surrounded with greenery, and sits all alone on a plantation, which has fully blossomed in colors of red, pink, rose, and yellow.  This dream is also enjoyable because I’m on a search for this absolutely gorgeous in-home garden, located upstairs.  The problem is, I’m not actually allowed to see the garden, says the scary Southern woman who invites me in to her home.  It always begins in the same way: A Southern woman opens her front door and begins talking to me about afternoon tea – a clear distraction to keep me away from going up her marble-columned staircase.  She turns and walks down her dark hallway, still going on about tea, treats, and what so-and-so said the other day at breakfast.  I stop listening because my gaze is totally focused on the top of the winding staircase.  The woman disappears into the kitchen, and I make a silent run for it.  I speedily tip-toe all the way up to the top, and make a left.  There are rooms everywhere.  Each room begins with a pale white wooden door with a rusty knob.  Behind each door are rich, hand carved couches, chairs, armoires, and coffee tables; handmade rugs, plentiful amounts of fine china, and shades hanging from windows that only let a little sunshine peek through onto the floor.  Though dark, the rooms are still magnificent.  Then trouble strikes.  She knows I’m looking for the garden.  Luckily, each room is connected to the other, so I dart from room to room, hiding underneath beds, holding my breath up against walls, praying she doesn’t find me.  She never says one word the entire time she’s looking for me, though she does make quite a bit of racket with her heels.  I hate this dream because I always get very close to the garden, but very rarely do I sleep long enough to make it inside.  Since this dream began, I’ve made it into the garden twice, but have never had any time to admire it.  What does the garden look like then?  Imagine the most beautiful garden you’ve ever seen, then triple its looks.  That’s my secret garden.

Three: The Pregnancy Dream

It is beyond me why pregnancy has haunted my sleep for so many years, but it has – and always along the same story line:

Someone or something arrives to deliver the news “Holly, you’re going to have a baby”.  The catch is, I know I did nothing to.. er… become pregnant.  Because I know this, but no one else knows other than the person/creature who told me, I spend the rest of the dream frantically trying to decide how on earth I’m going to tell my family, and most especially my father, that I’m pregnant, but not guilty of the act of baby making.  It’s an extremely stressful dream.  My absolute favorite one though (yes, I do have a favorite), takes place in the driveway of my Georgia home.  I walk outside of the garage to find a black limo.  Its engine is off, and there’s no movement coming from inside.  I very slowly walk up to the passenger side window, and gasp at what I see.  Inside are two skeletons, a man skeleton and lady skeleton.  It appears that they have just been married since the man skeleton is wearing a tux, and the lady skeleton is wearing a wedding dress.  Both remain motionless and look forward as if I’m not there.  Then they both slowly look over at me, and the passenger window rolls down.  The man skeleton says, “Holly, we’ve been sent here to tell you that you are going to have a baby.  You’re pregnant”.  Naturally, I freak out.  ”What?  No I’m not.  I don’t even have a boyfriend!  I’m not married!  I haven’t done anything to become pregnant!”  The dream ends with them slowly backing out of my driveway, leaving me to ponder my fate.

Every time I have told this dream to somebody, the response is, “Oh so you have a Virgin Mary complex, hm?”

No.  I don’t.

Now I usually have a pregnancy dream (with someone other than skeletons informing me of my future child) every 6 to 8 months.  This last one (Monday) came right on schedule, only this one was completely different.  This time, I was already at the hospital, and it was a nurse who informed me of my pregnancy, which again was a complete surprise to me since my stomach looked like it always does, and I’ve been so good with taking my birth control every day.  The nurse took me into the delivery room, and the next thing I knew, I was holding a baby.  My baby.  A girl.  She looked just like I did as a baby, only smaller.  She had brown eyes, brown hair, the tiniest little nose… She was so cute!  And then I named her.  I named her the very name that Will and I have talked about when we we’ve come up with names before, and I shall not tell you this name because you might steal it!  (See: The Seven – Seinfeld)

After having the baby, I was apparently in great shape and allowed to go home that night.  Since no one knew I was pregnant, no one threw me a Baby Shower, meaning I had no carrier of any kind, so I took my baby home in a plastic tub, complete with a plastic handle.  I made it home, put the baby on our bed (in the center with squishy pillows), grabbed my phone and texted my boss saying, “Hey, you’ll never guess what happened to me!  I had a baby!  Is it okay if I don’t come to work for a little while?”, and went to find Will to let him know his newborn daughter was in our bedroom. 

Isn’t that wild??  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I HELD her and NAMED her.  And when I woke up the next morning, the first thing Will heard was, “I… I… I had… I had our baby…”

He was confused.

I also had to check the texts on my phone because I really thought I had sleep-texted my boss.

I don’t know what any of my dreams mean, why they follow me and keep me restless, or why they seem so real, but I certainly didn’t mind that last one (unless of course I have a boy first, then I will officially give up on trying to dissect the meaning of my dreams).

Happy dreaming!