November 30, 2009

It Is Later Than You Think

I had big fantasies about spending the Thanksgiving weekend writing blog posts galore.  In fact, in my planner I wrote, "Blog Posts Galore!"  It didn't happen.  I got too depressed.

My dinner was a fabulous success, at least in my opinion.  The turkey was moist and golden brown.  The gravy was rich and delicious.  The stuffing was flavorful and moist.  The potatoes were moist.  All right, I know, I'm using the word moist too much, but it is an adjective I haven't been able to use to describe a Thanksgiving meal in many years.  Grandma's buns turned out well, as did Other Grandma's pumpkin pie.  And the lemon tart was to die for. 

But I don't want to talk about dying, because poor Faux Ma is doing just that.  Not to make light of the situation, I'm just trying to make sense of my feelings about it all.  You know the saying, If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning?  Faux Ma is turning out to be the latter for me.  I have compassion for her and all, but really, is being terminal any reason to ruin a perfectly good holiday?

The entire day, all three hours of it, was centered around watching Faux Ma writhe in pain.  A shoulder/neck pain.  Bursitis, I think, nothing related to her cancer.  Anyway, she brought along her heating pad for comfort, but it obviously gave her none.  Boyfriend and Faux Pa would just watch her moan, sigh, and shift positions.  No one spoke.  I grew so terribly uncomfortable with the situation I asked her if she'd like to take one of my Vicodin, it would work a miracle.  She said she had already taken one.  Then I said, well then, maybe you'd like a glass of wine with that.  The humor was not appreciated. 

Faux Ma has an expiration date now.  I'm sure that circumstance is a difficult one to deal with.  The trouble I'm having relates to figuring out where I fit in.  On one hand I want to do everything I can to help make this stage of her life comfortable.  On the other hand I want her to quit her whining and resistance.  I want her to be gracious.  I want her to see the fucking light already.  Not that one people see when they're stepping over to the other side, but, you know, "the light."  I want to just tell her get a clue, tick-tock, your life is nearly over and you're still choosing to be the bitter passive-aggressive you've always been?  Doesn't really matter either way as this is a private family matter and I'm basically shut out. 

I guess being on the brink of death doesn't have the same effect on Faux Ma as it had on Scrooge.  Maybe Faux Ma doesn't care that she has indeed become a burden to deal with rather than a dying parent to nurture and soothe. 

Boyfriend has similar feelings to mine, although his feelings don't freak him out as much as mine freak me out.  I'm not used to this sort of thing.  I've seen people close to me die with dignity and grace.  I've seen people with terminal illnesses live their lives with vigor and determination and hope until the very end.  To watch this woman resist help yet complain about not being able to do the things she normally does is annoying to me.  To see she still holds grudges against other family members is perplexing to me.  To know the little voice inside her head is just begging people to pamper her and fall all over her in their grief over her imminent demise pisses me off because the voice I hear coming from her mouth tells me not to bother.

I want to do something even though I'm not truly welcome to.  I want to stay away because, well, frankly being around her is just a downer.  She's that terrible warning, an example of what I don't want to be when I'm dying.  I guess, even in her pitiful physical state and twisted emotional state, Faux Ma is an inspiration to me.  A reminder that just because I'm dying doesn't guarantee love and affection.  A sign that truly as we sow, so shall we reap.

Boyfriend took his parents home after our delicious meal.  When he came back he found me in my comfy chair with a glass of wine beside me as I watched The Brady Bunch reruns on TV.  I spent a good part of the weekend in a state of shock and awe over what happened this Thanksgiving.  I realize I'm thankful for the good people in my life, the ones who support me and love me no matter how big an asshat I can be.  I'm also thankful for those who don't love me so much, for they are the ones who inspire me to be a better person to myself and all those who matter to me.

November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Do you like Thanksgiving?

For a long time I did, then for a long time I didn't. The concept of a holiday centered around nothing but huge quantities of food appeals to me. Growing up Thanksgiving was indeed a feast put on by my grandma. When the Thanksgiving torch was passed to her daughters, my mother and Her Sister, things didn’t seem as grandiose. To spare you the details of how things went horribly wrong, let me just say Thanksgiving went from a well-orchestrated and perfectly executed meal put on by my grandmother to a disjointed pot-luck attempt at a feast between four cooks. The food was plentiful, but it just didn’t seem right coming from so many different cooks. Some may think a variety of cooks would make for a diverse and delicious meal. I thought it was a mishmash of culinary styles that led to a relatively unremarkable, albeit large meal.

As disenchanted as I was over the fact that my grandma had to die and end all of that Thanksgiving wonderfulness, I have to say the pot-luck thing we had going was much better than what I was in for when I began having Thanksgiving dinner with Boyfriend’s parents, Faux Ma and Faux Pa.

Faux Ma always pleased the men in her life with her cooking. As an outsider I didn’t know stuffing was supposed to be so dry it crumbled off the table spoon from which it was served. I didn’t know green beans were to be served with relish tongs. I didn’t know there was such a thing as tomato jello, otherwise known as aspic. Ass pick. Opaque red jello-like salad containing brown flecks of something served on a bed of lettuce, which also had to be eaten up because one must not waste food even though it’s really meant to be a garnish. I didn’t know mashed potatoes were supposed to crack when you put your fork into them. I didn’t know a Thanksgiving meal could be served without pumpkin pie with pumpkin fluff as a substitute - a pumpkin-flavored Cool Whip dessert so vile it made the dusty turkey seem delicious. I didn’t know the saving grace to Thanksgiving dinner was gravy, the only form of moisture in the entire meal.

Suffice it to say I grew to miss the pot-luck meal my family made tradition.

It’s easy to criticize another’s attempt to put on a holiday meal, even though I don’t exaggerate in the least in my description of Faux Ma’s meal. Now I must put my money where my mouth is. This year Faux Ma is too sick and feeble to put on the meal, so the burden of delectable lies with me. Of course I’m nervous. It’s not that I feel pressure to please my guests because obviously they’re perfectly happy with ass pick and pumpkin fluff. What makes me nervous is measuring up to my own expectations.

So I’ve decided to channel my dead grandma. Thursday morning I’ll meditate and concentrate and do all those other things people do to channel the dead. She’ll inhabit my body and guide me to cooking the best Thanksgiving meal I’ve had in years. There will be real pumpkin pie and no fleck-laden gelatined tomato soup. The potatoes, stuffing, and turkey will be moist and delicious. For a good measure I’ll channel my other dead grandma and make her sweet, buttery dinner rolls. Being so possessed by these grandmothers I’ll dance around the kitchen singing Everything Is Beautiful and end every sentence with the question “and-so?” I can’t go wrong with my two grandmas in the kitchen with me, inhabiting my very essence.

Wish me luck. With my channeling skills I’ll probably come up with Colonel Sanders and Orville Redenbacher and serve nothing but extra crispy popcorn.

Oh well, better than ass pick.

November 20, 2009


Help!  I'm having a flashback to junior high gym class, and yet, this is so unlike that.  When did square dancing trade do-si-do with "arrow?"  What's with the weird holding-the-face-and-rocking-back-and-forth thing?  Is it that 7th graders can alamande left better than 70-year-olds?  Since when do we square dance to The Black Eyed Peas?  It's all just so wrong.  I think it's an evil plot to make old people look foolish under the guise of dance and exercise.  When I'm old, I'm just going to sit in a chair and look out the window like I'm supposed to.

November 17, 2009

Bite Me Barnabas

Coming soon is a new movie in the Twilight series. New Moon, I think it’s called. People are going mental over this whole vampire thing. I’m laughing, because I’ve had a vampire thing for, well, decades. What I don’t understand is, what took everyone else so long? Another thing, this Twilight vampire guy is totally not the one.

I started having the hots for vampires way back in grade school. I didn’t realize then what I was experiencing was “the hots,” but looking back I clearly had romantic feelings. It was back in the '60s, and I would run home from school to watch the horror soap opera, Dark Shadows. Barnabas Collins was the beginning of what would turn out to be a life-long love for the blood-sucking undead. He wasn’t attractive to look at by any means, but he had a certain je nais c'est quoi. In fact a couple of years ago Boyfriend bought for me, from the estate section of Bockstruck’s Jewelers, a Barnabas Collins ring. It’s an oval black onyx stone and fits perfectly on my right pointer finger, just like Barnabas wore his. Next on the list is the walking stick with a sterling silver wolf head handle, but that’s almost too much to hope for.

The story of Dracula is, of course, the ultimate in vampire stories, as Dracula is, of course, the ultimate vampire. I loved Bela Lugosi in Dracula. He made an insect-eating lunatic out of Renfield, and who could resist that “Transylvanian” accent? Plus, I always loved that band of lighting across Dracula’s eyes.

As I grew older Dracula and vampires in general became more of a fantasy than mere fascination. Anne Rice wrote the vampire trilogy (which of course grew into more than a trilogy, but then she found God and things got kind of boring and all about her). Casting Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the movie version of Interview With A Vampire was a tragic mistake.  While somewhat attractive, these guys lack character. I disregarded the film versions of her books, but the books themselves, delicious.

One of the most intriguing portrayals of Dracula was by Gary Oldman in Dracula. Yow. And yum. I mean, really, what’s better, the skinny boy with the pasty skin or the suave European with the top hat and ever-so-cool blue glasses? There’s no contest.

To go full circle and to arouse my fantasies even further is the upcoming remake of Dark Shadows on the big screen. And who could play the alluring vampire better than anyone in the entire universe, especially for those of us with definite submission-to-the-undead tendencies? Oh…my…God.

Twilight guy, you’re an amateur. And all you young girls out there, grow up. You can do a lot better.

November 11, 2009

Just Peachy, That's Me

Boyfriend read my last post and got all disgusted with me for being so hard on myself.  So to cancel out any negative feelings I expressed/have about myself I'm making a list of positive things about me.  This will place me in the neutral range regarding my self esteem.  Neutral is better than loathing.

1.  I know good food and eat it well.

2.  My hair is very curly with lots of character.

3.  I've never been more than five pounds overweight, except for that time I went on antidepressants which compelled me to eat M&Ms by the truckload.

4.  I'm unafraid to laugh out loud at really stupid things, blowing milk out of my nose if necessary.

5.  When I get an idea in my head I execute it immediately, despite the fact that I could fail miserably.  This could be construed as a negative trait, but I choose to believe it is a good quality, because I'm a positive person.

6.  I know what the word homomorphism means - it has nothing to do with turning gay.

7.  I'm a good liar.  Again, this could be construed as a negative trait, but it's really good when you lie to spare someone hurt feelings.  Like if someone asks how I like their new outfit and I think it looks like something my great-grandmother would wear while she was picking potatoes in the Old Country.  I would never actually say that.  OK, maybe I should rephrase the positive statement to say, I can twist my words to project good feelings onto someone rather than saying what I really think.  I guess that's still lying, but whatever.

8.  I'm a very considerate and humble roulette player.  And I tip the croupier.

9.  I respond to e-mails promptly, except for those Viagra ones. 

10.  I don't smell like pee...yet.

So there you have it.  Boyfriend has been quite bored with all my negative talk these past few weeks, so I hope he's happy that yes, I do think I have some good qualities.  I'm not a loser, I'm a winner!

November 10, 2009

I'm A Loser Baby, So Why Don't You Kill Me*

OK, you two people out there who are reading this blog, I’m back at it, at least for one boring post. Boring because I have absolutely nothing to offer. Nothing. I’m an empty vessel. I’m a shell. I’m a big, fat loser.

I found out today that one of my best friends made it to the top. Her life has been one miraculous happening after another. She married the man of her dreams. She bore four children who are about the cutest things alive. She’s smart enough to home school these kids. She’s a wonderful cook. She’s a fabulous photographer. And to top all that off, she blogs every single day. More than once. Her blog has different tabs! Big deal, you say. OK, the blogging thing isn’t really the top of the success list. She wrote a cookbook that is now on the New York Times best seller list at…#1.

Now you two people who are reading this know I don’t actually have a best friend who achieved all this. But that’s what  religiously reading blogs has done to me. I’ve been reading this chick’s blog for a long time now, and I feel like I know her. Never mind how blogs aren’t necessarily a true reflection on one’s real life, she’s telling a story and sticking to it, so as far as I’m concerned I know this girl as well as if I had grown up with her.

She’s traveling around the country on a big book signing tour, getting all sorts of praise and worship from her thousands of fans. I also found out she’ll be in my town for a signing. I thought about seeing her at that venue but then I realized the truth of the matter. I would buy her book and stand in line for hours waiting for her signature. Not only would she ask my name, when I tell it to her she wouldn’t blink. She wouldn’t recognize it from all the comments I’ve left on her blog. She’d be better off identifying one cow in a heard of eleventy thousand than she would me. What a crushing blow that would be.

Before you go thinking how I’m being all selfish about this, and petty and jealous, let me just say that yes, I am small enough to be jealous about this and it is indeed all about me. I mean, there is no one in the world more worthy of fame and fortune than I am. I want it more than anyone and yet I have to sit back and watch little miss I-Didn’t-Even-Have-To-Try get it all.**

So I sit here with nothing to say except that I’ll never measure up to the blogging queen my best friend has become. I’ll never be able to capture the hearts of millions with pictures of my cute little offspring because, well, as you know I’m barren. I’ll never write a book that will make it to the New York Times best seller list, much less the number one spot because I’m so consumed with envy I’m left with a writer’s block worthy of a case of scotch, meaningless, tawdry sex with cabana boys in Key West, and a pistol with one bullet meant only to put me out of my misery. ***

Except that part about drunken sex with cabana boys isn't all bad, is it? 

* These are actual song lyrics; I don’t really want you to kill me.

** Upon a reread of this post I realize this sounds really snarky and mean. I don’t really hate her, I hate myself, and anyone who’s ever had a shred of psychology training would know that.

*** Again, I have no intention of harming myself or others, so call off the men in the white coats.

November 03, 2009

It Was So Good It Could Only Get Worse

I got up on Monday morning and freshened myself up for the day ahead of me. Mornings are a really bad time for me because, well, I have to stop sleeping. But I managed fairly well for a Monday, and as I approached the glass doors of the office building I noticed I was having an incredibly wonderful hair day.

After working for about ten minutes I had this horrible feeling. An urge. I couldn’t avoid it, even though it is the thing I loathe most to do in public. I had to poop. Ugh! So I went to the bathroom and took care of the situation as quickly as I could. As I washed my hands afterwards I looked in the mirror and admired my cute hair.

I had a meeting with my boss about an hour and a half into my day. It didn’t go so badly, I suppose, except for her way of looking at me as though I’m a freak of nature for wanting to actually serve the public ethically and legally like I’m supposed to. She continued her look at me for about forty-five minutes and our meeting was over.  I know she was envying my fabulous hair. She also pities me somewhat because it’s becoming clearer with every day my job will eventually be eliminated. When? No one knows. But it is inevitable.

Around 8:00 the construction workers came and started their work in our office space. They were tearing out a wall. Drills and saws and punching things. Loud power tools. Screeching dentist-office-like sounds. Pounding and pounding. And the dust. Oh the dust. This continued until noon when the workers took off for lunch, and of course resumed at 1:00 and nagged at me for the rest of the day.

There was also a point in the day when I dropped a gigantic case file because of a pain my elbow that has been bothering me slightly for about a week. That joint now remains in a constant state of ache and the case file needs to be reassembled…some day.

As the day wore on I started to feel agitated over all of the things I had to accomplish in the next couple of weeks in my personal life. The tasks and chores began whirling around in my head and suddenly I found my presence at the workplace to be a complete waste of time and why do I even bother to do a good job when A) I have too much to do outside of this loud, stinking rat hole and B) what’s the point of spending so much time out of my life to be rewarded with nothing more than the inevitable elimination of my job in the fairly near future?

The anxiety rose in me, and with that also came a second need to poop. Twice in one day? At work?! WTF?  When nature the mirror in the bathroom I caught a glimpse of that great hair, which put a shadow of a smile on my face.

Back at my desk I started thinking about my dead brother and actually began to cry. I hate crying at work more than anything, except pooping at work, but I couldn’t even help myself. I sat in my chair with that achy throat you get from trying to choke back sobs while dabbing the tears that forced their way down my cheeks and blowing gallons of snot out of my nasal passages.

I tried to cheer myself by reading one of my favorite blogs and was disheartened to see my comment of a previous post had been mocked by the author of the blog.

Finally it was time to go home. I crossed the windy street to the parking ramp and breathed a sigh of relief as my day in hell was nearing its end. As I merged onto the freeway I noticed an unbelievable number of cars. Could there have been more traffic? And they were all traveling at an ungodly slow speed. I forgot to tinkle before I left the office. At least I didn’t have to poop.

When I made it to the house I kicked off my shoes and saw I had pierced a hole in the toe of one of my good socks. Don’t go thinking I have talons at the end of my legs; a hole in the sock was just par for the course of the day. I went upstairs to change clothes and looked into the mirror. There it was. That hair. That wonderful hair had been blown by the wind on my way from the office to the parking ramp and turned into a mop of scraggly fur on the top of my head. The one bright spot in my day had been ruined by nothing more than a gust of wind.

What began as a perfectly wonderful hair day turned out to be one of the most miserable eighteen hours I’ve spent in a long time. I can only hope for the rest of the week I’ll be plagued with cowlicks and frizzies to spare me the emotional turmoil that comes with a good hair day.

November 01, 2009

I Remembered

Happy Birthyday Bob.  Wherever you are.