My Brush With Death (or something less dramatic, but what fun would that be?)

On my way home from work at about 1 am last week some creepy guy followed me.

I’m not sure when this guy got in behind me, I know it was on the freeway but I’m not sure if he followed me all the way from 201 on to 215 and then off at the 35th south exit or if he picked me up somewhere on 215.  But he was definitely behind me on 215, and on the off ramp, and behind me at the light, and on the frontage road, and on 37th.  That I noticed.  How could I not, he was riding so close I was wondering if he was trying to borrow my lighter (a joke that worked a lot better when cars had lighters rather than electrical ports).  He also turned onto my street right behind me.

Now, I’m not the most aware driver in the world, my driving record clearly shows that, but when some guy’s sitting on your tailgate close enough that you can’t see his lights at 1 am you notice when he turns in to your very small neighborhood.  The question is what do you do about it?  It was 1:15, I was tired, I wanted to get home and get into bed.  And yet… well, I didn’t want this guy to know where I live.  So I passed right by my house.  I took a right at the end of my street and another at the next street, at which point it became clear that he did not just happen to be another resident of the neighborhood heading home.  By that time I had taken a route through the neighborhood that no one who knows the neighborhood would take.  This was getting weirder.

Now what?

I pulled over.  I was still in my residential neighbor hood and I pulled over in front of whatever house I happened to be near.  And he pulled over right behind me.  I didn’t turn off the car or the lights or anything, I just sat a waited to see what he would do.  It was possible that he wanted to tell me that I had a brake light out or a low tire or something after all, farfetched but possible.  Except that he didn’t do anything either.  He didn’t get out to talk to me, he didn’t honk or wave, he just sat there for a minute behind me.  And then he flashed his lights at me.  I still have no idea what that was supposed to mean.  And then he turned his lights off completely and backed away from my car.

Weird.

He backed to the end of the street and around the corner so that he could get out of the neighborhood.

At which point my curiosity was definitely piqued not to mention I was getting a little bit mad.

So I followed him.

He headed down 27th west, a road I drive several times a day, and then turned at a light headed west and then took the first right.  I’ve lived int his neighborhood for 8 years, I knew where he was going to end up.  And so, because I watch far too much television, I took another route and sure enough, he came out just where I thought he would.  So I followed him some more.  He headed down the street and then pulled over to the side of the road, turned off his lights and looked like he was parking.

Until I pulled up beside him.

I rolled down my window to confront him, he looked over, saw me, and tore out of there like he was on fire.  Huh, interesting.

Luckily when he pulled past me he was close enough for long enough that I got his license plate number.  I had also gotten a look at him.

I followed him for another minute or so but it was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to let me talk to him so I let him go (and went to the police station which was on my way home and despite the fact that the doors were open and lights on I was able to locate any people so I gave up) and went home to call the cops.

The dispatcher said that they’d drive around and look for him and with the plate info, contact the owner of the vehicle and see where he was and if it was him or whatever but… *shrug*

What I want to know is what was his plan?  If I hadn’t noticed him, if I had gone ahead and pulled into my carport was he going to come up behind me, knock me out and drag me away?  That seems like an awfully caveman move to make.  What was he play?

I guess I’ll never know.

That’s probably a good thing.

Look What I Got!!!!

Happy Christmas everyone. How was your day?  Mine was fantastic!  It started the night before with a special gift from my husband (that is none of your business) and then we had a great Christmas in which none of my kids cried because they didn’t get what they wanted.  They did not cry because what their brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, or random stranger got was better than what they got.  They didn’t cry because they didn’t get the thing they’ve always wanted (never mind the fact that they didn’t bother to put it on any list anywhere an only bothered to mention it to their mother at 6:30 on Christmas eve.  They didn’t even cry because it was someone else’s turn to open presents.  (There may have been one incidence of crying related to some hitting and a disagreement over a toy gun but really folks, that’s nothing.)  See, look at the joy:

The Princess (Yes, they’re all wearing the same pajamas, because I made them.  How cute is that?!)

Now I know that we’re supposed to focus on what we gave and on the time spent with family blah blah blah, but I got the coolest gift for Christmas and right now that’s what I’d prefer to focus on.

See, I got my book.  Published.

It turns out that my father and my brother are crazy (I understand that my sister may have been in on it as well)  and they decided to publish my book for me.  So they edited and formatted and designed a cover and all the other stuff that you do when you’re publishing a book (with the exception of notifying and getting input from the author for obvious reasons) and then they published it.  Look how cool it looks:

Only, you know, with a lot less glare.

But COME ON, you have to admit, that’s a cool gift.

So how as your Christmas? Did you get what you wanted?  What you didn’t even know you wanted?  Because if not, I’m told that there are a few copies left from the big first printing run (of ten copies) I could probably even get the author to sign it for you.  Heck, I think I’m going to buy one.

Well, What Did You Expect?

A while ago my brother posted on his blog about expectations and potential, specifically his own.  For those of you who aren’t going to follow the links he said basically that most of his life he’s been told that he has so much potential and only recently was he ever told that he had actually met that potential and that just by one person.

And it got me thinking, I’m a fairly smart girl, I grew up with most of the advantages that can be expected (no, my parents did not spend millions on my sweet 16.  Heck , they didn’t even buy me a car, but I had one at my disposal and I went to college and … you know, the usual non-Hollywood advantages.)  And here I am 15 years after graduating from high school still without a bachelor’s degree, I have a job that I like but doesn’t pay all that well, a small home in a crappy neighborhood (sorry, if you happen to live by me but, I’m just sayin’) my house is always a mess, my kids are occasionally really badly behaved, and I’m regularly told how amazing I am, what a great job I’ve done, that I do so much, that I’m impressive and fantastic and inspirational and all that rot.

Now, far be it from me to say that those who are calling me great are wrong, in fact I think they’re right on the money, but it seems weird to me that my brother who was raised in the same environment and has ended up in a similar situation, small house, low paying job, etc… (although he does have a bachelor’s, and eight kids) has not lived up to his potential and I have.  Doesn’t that just seem weird?

And then we were talking to my sisters about it and they said the same thing, they’re regularly told how great they are and what a great job they’ve done with their lives.  And they are great, and they have all done fantastic things (a heck of a lot better then me, but then I set the bar pretty low.) but why are they commended for that so regularly while our brother isn’t?

So we’re wondering, is it a male/female thing?  Has my brother not met his amazing potential because he’s a guy and he’s not running a fortune 500 company and I have because I’m a girl and I work full time with a smile on my face? (Let’s face it, the smile is just because working gets me away from the kids anyway.)  If I were running a fortune 500 company but I had no kids would I still be meeting my potential?  And seriously, the man has 8 kids and he knows ALL of their names, how is that not meeting your potential?!?  What do you people want anyway?

I’m not really one to rail on about the evil patriarchal society in which we live but I think the bar may be set a little lower for girls than it is for boys.  I manage to get up in the morning, I even sometimes get dressed, I birthed and have manged not to kill any of my four children so anything I do above and beyond that it just exceeding expectations.

Chris, my brother, does not run a fortune 500 company but he does run 2 small businesses (at last count) he’s active in the community, having been the president of his rotary club, a member of the chamber of commerce and working with several other small business groups, he has 8 children all of whom know and like him, he grows an enormous garden every year, and then he gives a lo of it away to neighbors, to friends, to family, to whoever wants or needs it.  In fact he’ll give anything he has to anyone who needs it.  He once gave me a car.  Yes, he GAVE me a CAR.  He’ll house you, feed you, clothe you, give you a car, or a job, or you know, whatever you need, no questions asked, no strings attached.  If that guy hasn’t met his potential no one has.

Well, Here’s Something

Despite the dearth of posts over here I’m guest posting elsewhere today.

That’s right, I am the featured poster over at Mormon Women.

I was going to leave it at that because I  know that a lot of my readers also read Cheryl and Janelle so they know all about the Mormon Women site.  But it occurs to me that some of you actually don’t read those gals (although, why that would be I have no idea) so you might not know about it and you might be interested (I’m talking to you, Lisa (although you do read Annette so you may know about it after all and…) whatever).

Anyway, Mormon Women is a website put together by an amazing group of women who (oddly enough) all happen to be Mormon.  The point of the whole thing is to get the word out that we’re not all freaks and weirdos and crazies.  That there are a lot of LDS women out there who live their religion and love their religion and who are perfectly content.  Unfortunately contentment breeds complacency so a lot of us don’t really think about writing about the things that we’re perfectly happy about. (I know that for me a post is hardly a post if I haven’t gotten in at least one good complaint.) But that needs to change.  You need to write about your experiences, your thoughts, etc, and submit them over there.

The post of mine that’s up there today is actually a re-post, my faithful readers will recognize it from here a few months ago, but I have another original post that’s mostly formed in my head that I’ll be submitting soon so you’ll need to hang out over there if you want to see it.  And while you’re over there you can comment, and even submit something of your own.  We’ve been asked to take our religious discussions on-line, let’s make sure that the only folks doing so aren’t those with an ax to grind.

See, You Just Have to Start Thinking About Something Else

Last week I celebrated the my 29th birthday.  Again.  It’s funny how those keep coming around.  Anyway, I was hoping that my brother would post about my favorite topic, me, on his blog, as he has posted about  each of my other sisters on their birthdays (with the exception of Elizabeth, just wanted to remind you her birthday’s in June, Chris) but he didn’t.  So I found other things to post about.  But really, EYELASHES? talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.

So today, when I was all ready to post about something else (word nerds, come back Wednesday) I see that he’s done it!  Finally!  So here it is, everything you wanted to know about me written by someone else, so you know that it’s true (except the part about height, I am the tallest of my sisters).

Enjoy.  Oh and he uses my real, actual (maiden) name in that post (I’ll bet you didn’t know that my name isn’t actually Alison Wonderland.  I mean, um, Wonderland is my name, it’s my married name.  Shoot, moving on…) and he even spells it correctly, which I can’t do because this was already taken (notice the most recent post date), but don’t tell anyone, you’ll blow the witness protection thing I have going here.

Yay! and Grumble Grumble Grumble

I’ve been given this award:

This blog invests and believes, the proximity. [meaning, that blogging makes us ‘close’ -being close through proxy]. They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate? Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to 8 bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.

And the thing that’s even more cool about it is that it was Madhousewife who gave it to me and I didn’t think she even really liked me.  (I’m tempted here to do the Sally Fields but I just don’t have it in me this morning.)  I am delighted by the award but I’m not going to pass it on to the 8 friends that I’m supposed to because I’m hemorrhaging and I don’t feel like it.

And now, lest you are overwhelmed by my gushing, I have something to complain about.  Have you seen this? (There is a little bit of language for any of you who are a little squeamish, mom.)

I find it tiresome.  Aside from the celebrity propagandizing which I hate but I’m not going to go into this morning, I hate what they’re trying to do.  I hate the idea of a bunch of kids who saw Jennifer Aniston tell them to vote, registering and voting.  If you have to have Ellen tell you to vote, tell you that you need to register in order to vote, then obviously you have no idea what you ought to be voting for.

Sure, healthcare for everyone who needs it regardless of their ability to pay sounds wonderful.  But I work in a hospital and believe you me the hospital and the doctors are going to need to get some money from somewhere.  Lower taxes?  Great absolutely, sign me up.  But what does that mean?  Where is the government going to cut that money out of the budget?  And then there’s the war and the economy and abortion and stem cell research and energy and the environment and…  It takes a lot of work, a lot of study.  First to find out where you stand and then to suss out where exactly the nominees stand (and they’ll make you work for that information).

Call me elitist (no seriously, come over to my house, look at my hood and call me elitist) but I believe in a democracy run by people who actually find out about, and form opinions on, issues.  I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t done nearly as much of that work as I ought but I at least know that I need to.  Did you watch it?  They’re talking to people who don’t even know that they need to register first!  Do you really want someone who can’t figure that out on their own being a part of the decision making process concerning where this country is going?

I don’t want to rock the vote.  If you just want to vote because Leonardo DiCaprio told you to then please, don’t vote!

Accolades

See, I told you I was going to take over the world.  Lisa over at Away From it All gave me an award for having such a pretty layout and being so great.  She’s great too and you ought to check her out.  And she lives in Poland so if you become her bloggy friend then you can feel very international, or cosmopolitan, or sex and the city or something.  Anyway she’s really cool even if her widget doesn’t work (sorry, Lisa I’ve been meaning to tell you, your “I’m way ahead of you” widget doesn’t work.  It just tells me what time it is here and I don’t think that’s what you’re going for (I guess I should have just emailed you or something because posting it here’s a little bit like standing up in front of a room full of people and announcing that Lisa has her fly down.)  It’s a good thing you already gave me the award and now I have it and you can’t take it back.)   So as I was saying, Lisa gave me this award, see:

and it’s going on my sidebar just as soon as someone tells me how to put it there. (Haha!  I figured it out mostly all by myself)

And apparently this is an award that I’m supposed to give out to my favorite blogs so here goes.

I love Annie over at Tintletown

and I love Bythelbs over at (surprisingly enough) Bythelbs.

I love Melanie J at Write Stuff. (Who’s not my sister, although I have a sister whose name is Melanie and her last name used to start with a J.  But this Melanie J is sort of quasi related to me but I assure you that she did not win the prestigious award through nepotism. )

And I love my brother, Chris at the Chris Jones Group.  (He may have won through nepotism but his last three posts are fantastic so he deserves it too.)

There are plenty of other blogs that I love so if I didn’t tag you it really doesn’t mean that I don’t love your blog.  Really, you gotta believe that with all I have to do if I read you regularly, I must like you.

PS. Yes I know blog awards are dumb but I can’t get past the affirmation of it.  Admit it, you want one too.

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