As I began writing this week’s post, I was transported back to a musical time of my youth. One I remember fondly, and much to my kids chagrin, still play constantly.
Please enjoy the 80’s while you meet Crystal Firsdon as she discloses things you probably don’t know about her and, of course, tells us all about her new release…
What was one of your music preferences in high school?
I loved, what back then was called, Alternative music.
Yikes! You are speaking my language. I love, love, loved everything you’ve listed, so… I’ve given everyone videos to enjoy the sounds of the 80’s. Ahh, flashback!
Siousxie and the Banshees.
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This was my big sister’s influence since I was the furthest thing from alternative. I did all the school musicals, sang in varsity choir and performed in the show choir (cue jazz hands), and cheered all through high school. Clearly, not alternative.
But I sure thought I was alternative-rocker cool. Remember how Ally Sheedy’s character in The Breakfast Club danced? She just kinda hopped around and closed her eyes and let her head roll around.
I actually danced like that at Cheerleading camp! And Show choir camp! (I was all about the camps.)
One of my favorite movies, just indoctrinated my kids a couple of years ago…they loved it too, even years and years and years later. 🙂
Do you have a pet?
What?! That’s crazy. You’re a parent, get your kids a dang pet!
I do not have any pets. Here’s why . . .
The day I finally got to deal with my—and only my—poop, well, that was one of the greatest days of my life.
I had pets growing up, but didn’t really do the poop-scooping. I grew up, moved out, and got married. I thought, Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a pet again?
Then I had kids. And had to deal with poop that wasn’t mine. It was then that I realized there was no way on earth I would ever get an animal that poops. There are very few things about parenting that I don’t enjoy, but top on that list was wiping butts. Hear me, folks: Poop that isn’t mine . . . <can’t finish sentence due to gagging>
My kids began asking for a dog a couple of years ago.
Them: Mom, can we get a dog?
Me: You know you’ll have to follow a dog around and clean up its poop, don’t you? No matter how hot or cold it is outside, you’ll have to walk that dog and pick up its poop with only a bag over your hand.
Them: Ewwwww! No way!
Me: I know, right. What do you guys want for dinner?
Now my kids are a little older and beg for a dog. They swear they’ll follow it around and clean up its poop. Early in the morning? No big deal, they say. Frigid temps, steaming hot? We’ll still do it, they promise. I don’t believe them. I tell them to go play with our neighbors’ dogs. There’s lots to choose from.
So, until a dog learns to do this:
immediately after conducting business, I can’t. I just can’t. Sorry, kids.
What is one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to you?
Picture this: A ninth grade economics class. A twenty-three year old student teacher—me. An overhead projector. (Remember those? This was before SmartBoards and a lot of the fancy technology you see in classrooms today.)
I was teaching a lesson on supply and demand. This includes graphing, which is best demonstrated on a big screen, hence the overhead projector. I had the grease pen in my hand. Of course the cap was off because I was explaining and graphing at the same time.
Then my face itched. Caught up in the moment, and stupidly forgetting the cap wasn’t on, I itched my face with the grease pen. In other words, I scribbled all over my cheek in front of a bunch of a bunch of fourteen and fifteen year olds. This wasn’t just a quick up and down with the grease pen. This was a holy-crap-my-cheek-really-itches-just-let-me-rub-the-pen-over-my-entire-cheek-for-a-good-long-time type of itch. The whole class burst out in gut-wrenching laughter at the same time I wondered why my cheek suddenly felt wet.
It gets better (for you, the reader. Worse for me.) The teacher whose class I was student teaching in had a doctor’s appointment for the afternoon of that lesson. Instead of paying for a half-day substitute, who would do nothing more than sit there since I did all the teaching at that point, the principal decided he would sit in the class in place of the teacher.
That’s right, I drew on my face in the middle of a lesson while the principal sat in the back of the class. There was supposed to be a retirement in the Social Studies department at the end of the year, and I was gunning for that job. Well, hey. At least the principal would remember me.
Oh wait, he already remembered me because he was a teacher at my junior high school in a different district. I failed one class in junior high—Drafting. (In my defense, I just cannot draw or make stuff with my hands. At all. Seriously, take a look at my last attempt at making a cake for one of my kid’s birthday party.
That . . . thing was supposed to be a Transformers cake. I decided not to embarrass my child so I grabbed a fork and dug in. Then my mom called and convinced me to send her a picture of my failure so she could laugh at my expense.
Anyhoo, guess who my Drafting teacher was. Yup, the now principal who watched me make a doofus of myself.
Luckily, I laughed at myself along with the students (and principal). It took a few minutes, but everyone eventually got back on track and I finished the lesson.
First chance I got, I went to the bathroom and scrubbed my cheek until it was practically raw. The marks didn’t come off all the way, but they were faint. I took a deep breath and made my way back to the classroom. The principal passed me in the hallway, stopped in his tracks, and said, “What? I don’t see anything on your face.” Then he just walked off.
LOL, that is sooo funny!
And now I bring you…
BACK COVER BLURB
1 creep. 2 bodyguards. 3 men who change Molly’s life forever.
Guitar player Molly Davis is taunted with disturbing gifts by some creep she hopes like heck is a harmless, misguided fan. The owner of the bar where her band plays isn’t taking any chances, however, and hires Gabe Cooper and Caleb “Ram” Ramsey to stand guard over Molly and the rest of the band.
Cooper is all business and doesn’t mess with Molly’s emotions. She can handle that. Ram is a different story. He’s gorgeous, has a good heart, and is sometimes infuriating. He doesn’t take Molly’s crap, giving him the potential to be the first man to shove his way through her stubbornness and into her life.
But a violent attack proves the creep isn’t going away. And that almost wrecks everything.
I unplugged my guitar and set it in its case, then grabbed the towel I always brought and wiped the sweat off my face and neck. Some guy yelled out a semi-lewd yet oddly flattering comment about my ass as I stood up, so I cracked a smile and half-waved. If I wasn’t already so hot I’m sure they would’ve seen my face turn red. The air conditioning in Brett’s Bar was fighting a losing battle thanks to August’s high heat and humidity and the couple hundred customers, many of whom had been dancing.
Since turning the big three-oh a couple weeks earlier, vocal appreciation of my backside didn’t bother me like it did ten years ago, but it still made me blush.It was nice to know that all the hours I’d put into running, yoga, lifting weights, and dancing wasn’t wasted.
But man, good thing whoever yelled that couldn’t smell me.
“The Song Wreckers, baby, yeah!”
I smiled bigger. Song Wreckers fans were the best. They had to have been roasting hot, and we were done playing our three sets, but they still cheered for us as if it were starting—rather than quitting—time.
“Good Lord,” Katie, my best friend and lead singer said, “It’s hotter ‘n hell in here.”
Fanning my face with my hand, I asked the rest of the band, “You guys wanna sit outside for a few before packing up?”
I needed fresh air and a cool breeze, but wasn’t going to stand in the back alley by myself while everyone else did all the work.
Courtney set down her violin case. “I could use a few minutes outside.” She looked at her husband, Josh. “You coming?”
“Yeah. I’ll grab some waters.” Josh set his drum sticks across his snare and headed toward the bar, while Katie yanked the curtain aside that ran along the back of the stage so we could hop down.
Once off the stage we took the few steps to open the door that led into the back alley where we all parked. Our footsteps crunched on the gravel as we each found a spot against the wall to lean, away from the Dumpster and our cars. The humidity was high, but the breeze was strong enough to feel somewhat refreshing, even with the smell of garbage twenty feet away. I lifted my ponytail to let the air cool my neck.
None of us four girls talked. After being in a loud bar for the past few hours, the quiet was a welcome change.
Josh walked out and handed each of us a cold bottled water. I rubbed mine on the front and back of my neck before opening it and guzzling half the bottle.
He walked toward his wife, and because he was wearing heavy boots, the crunch of gravel practically echoed.
“God, that’s a creepy sound,” I said. “Especially late at night with no one else around.”
Our bass player Heather hummed the “Doo-doot, doo-doot” of the Jaws theme song, then said, “Seriously, Molly. We’ve been parking in this alley for years. Nothing scary has ever happened back here.”
The Song Wreckers had been playing at Brett’s for almost a decade, but six months ago we struck a deal with Brett to play at his bar exclusively the first Friday and Saturday of every month, known as Wreckers Weekends. We were tired of traipsing our asses all over metro Detroit to play. A once a month set schedule, Brett’s makes a killing during Wreckers Weekends, total win-win.
“Hey, Mol. Speaking of scary,” Katie twanged. Her southern accent was always more pronounced when she was tired. “Can you believe this is the last Wreckers Weekend before the school year starts?”
We were both high school teachers and had to report back to work at the end of the month. “I just hope it cools down by then. Being in a room with thirty sweaty teenagers . . .” I took another drink. “Yuck.”
The back door opened and all our heads turned to see Brett poke his head out. “Good show, guys. As always. You need any help getting your stuff off the stage?”
He knew we never wanted help because it was faster and easier to set up and break down the equipment ourselves, but he was a good guy with a huge crush on Katie so I resisted rolling my eyes. “No thanks, we’re good. Just needed some fresh air. We’ll be back in soon.”
“Okay then. Uh, Katie, can I speak to you for a minute?” Brett asked.
I whipped my head toward Heather and Courtney. The lighting in the alley was crap, but it was just enough to see them smile. We all knew Katie had as big a crush on him as he did on her. Heather’s lips parted to speak, but she was close, so I put my hand over her mouth.
“Leave them alone,” I whispered to Heather. Katie stood up straighter and followed Brett inside. I tapped her arm for support as she passed me. “Do not ruin this for them.”
Heather pushed away my hand. “Dude. How long have we been waiting for him to make his move? I gotta say something.”
I glanced at the ground behind me to make sure there was nothing nasty, then sat in the gravel, legs out in front. “Better watch out, you may be a Wrecker, but that man is your boss.”
Heather was both Brett’s right hand girl at the bar and our bass player. She chuckled. “Dude, I can’t help it. Watching those two get all flustered with each other is funny.”
It was funny. If they started dating, I would miss it.
We spent another couple of minutes cooling off, then went inside to pack up our equipment. The crowd had finally settled down some, and the area around the bar wasn’t so clustered. Brett was nowhere to be seen, so he and Katie were probably in his office. God, I hoped he was finally going to ask her out.
I wound a cable from elbow to hand. Kyle hopped up and sat on the edge of the stage.
“Hey, what’s up?” I asked. “I’m surprised Midnight isn’t playing tonight.” Kyle plays bass for Crawling Home After Midnight, a damn good grunge band. He’d also played for The Song Wreckers between our original bass player and Heather.
He shrugged. “We play tomorrow night. Sorry about Adam earlier.”
I rolled my eyes. Ah, Adam. The kind of man who gave all men a bad name. He had a hard time taking “No!” for an answer, and carried himself as if he were God’s gift to everything. Adam was a great drummer, and I liked the rest of his band, but I preferred to steer clear of him.
Adam heckled us a bit tonight, but Katie put him in his place by dedicating our song “You Suck, Let Me Tell You Why” to him. He seemed to take it in good fun.
“Don’t sweat it. So where you guys playing tomorrow night?”
Kyle and I chatted about Midnight’s upcoming gigs, then Heather, Josh, Courtney and I set our equipment off the back of the stage in the hall by the back door, ready to be loaded into Josh and Courtney’s van.
Katie and Brett walked out of his office, Katie trying to suppress her excitement. We’ve been best friends since the first day of ninth grade, so I knew she was trying to play it cool but was really bursting inside.
I watched Brett walk back behind the bar. Heather shoved the door open and we each grabbed a piece of equipment and brought it outside.
I shot Heather a don’t you dare look. “So?” I asked Katie with a huge smile.
She stopped walking toward the van and turned to me with an exited look. “He’s taking—” Her excitement turned to confusion. “Molly, what is that on your car?”
“I believe it’s called a large trash receptacle, known by its more socially accepted name, Dumpster. What happened with Brett? Come on, spill.”
“He’s taking me out to lunch tomorrow. Not by your car, on your car, idiot. That.” She pointed to the hood of my Jeep.
I spotted the . . . whatever is was the crap lighting couldn’t let me make out on my hood, and jogged over to it.
“Mol, stop! You don’t know what it is,” Katie yelled. “Let Josh get it.”
Josh hopped out of the van when he heard her. “What should you let me get?”
Katie pointed to it. “That thing on her hood.” The rest of the band walked over to my Jeep.
The lump was actually a big, brown teddy bear holding a heart with its hands. Cute, I guess. The heart was shiny red with an opening at the top where a mix of multi-colored roses stuck out. Crammed in with the flowers was a piece of paper with something written on it.
“It’s a teddy bear,” I announced. “Just another Wreckers fan with a crush.” Crushes were usually aimed toward Katie, though, and didn’t involve gifts left on anyone’s vehicle. More like business cards slid in our back pockets, or names with phone numbers scribbled on cocktail napkins and left on the stage.
Courtney took a step closer and craned her neck forward. “Is that a note in the heart? What does it say?”
I picked up the bear to read the note and noticed a stick, maybe six or eight inches long, protruding from its back. Someone had taken the time to rip a hole in the seam of its back to shove the stick into it. What the fuck? Not cute. I took out the note and had to turn to get in the beam of the alley’s one light to be able to make out what it said.
It also had a hand drawn smiley face.
“Good Lord,” Katie said next to me. “How did we not see that? We were just out here.”
I handed the bear to Courtney and she examined it, turning it all the way around. “Do any of you know anything about this?” she asked the others. Of course everyone said no.
“Dude. That is disturbing. Especially the smiley face,” Heather said. “Who the hell did this?”
No one with a crush, that’s for sure. “I don’t know.” I took the bear from Courtney and threw it in the Dumpster.
“Mol, you shouldn’t have done that. You should’ve taken it to the police station or something,” Katie insisted.
“For what?” I asked. “Listen, don’t make a big deal out of this. It’s someone trying to be funny. Let’s go.”
The Song Wreckers were a country band, but our fans were all types. Including creepy, disturbing freaks who liked to scare guitar players apparently.
Heather was right, a creepy ass bear left on my Jeep was disturbing and I drove home feeling uneasy. I don’t know if the stick in the back or being called a bitch bothered me more. The stick in the back was mildly threatening, sure, but I am not a bitch and I don’t like being called one. Maybe the bear from Hell was meant for Katie or Heather. Not that I wanted it to be meant for them, but they’re more likely a target for a creep. They’re the ones who go out in the crowd and party it up during our breaks, not me. I usually hang out in Brett’s office and read or stretch or rest my eyes. Most likely Katie or Heather flirted with a guy who became infatuated with one of them. And he obviously didn’t know whose vehicle was whose.
The whole thing was stupid. And somewhat upsetting and definitely annoying. This was probably orchestrated by some jerk trying to get a rise out of me or one of the other girls. After all, my name wasn’t on the thing.
I chose to ignore the creepy bear because most likely this was the end of it.
Right, and monkeys will fly out my ass.
Crystal Firsdon is a former high school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, turned part time substitute teacher and school volunteer.
Of course she loves to read, but any book she picks up must have romance! Crystal lives in Michigan with her husband and children.
You can visit Crystal at:
Thank you Crystal for being here!
Be sure to click over to Amazon and pick up Almost Wrecked for $2.99