And the award for “Best Mother…”

…will not be making an appearance in my trophy case.

The Girl and i are pretty comfortable getting on the phone and yakking a couple times a week.  She’ll also send me text messages at 5am, asking for a 9 am wake up call. 

The Boy and i, however, communicate frequently by text message.  He says he just doesn’t like talking to people, and prefers the cold, impersonal nature of text messaging.

So i adapt…

daisyfae:  i deposited more cash into your rent account

The Boy: thanks but there was enough there to cover the month

daisyfae: ok.  go buy yourself a hooker i guess…

The Boy: said and done

daisyfae: that was quick.  you keeping one in the closet, or did the widow lady downstairs get entrepreneurial?

The Boy: the one in the closet died.  who knew they need food?

daisyfae:  Truce!  i quit!  you win – i’m sending you off to live with upset waitress*

The Boy: do waitresses need food?

daisyfae: i think they can get by on scraps from the kitchen floor

The Boy: then that might work, as long as she likes four day old pizza crusts

daisyfae:  don’t you have homework or something? 

The Boy: no, class was cancelled so i’ll study when i feel like it.  damn, woman, get off my back.

daisyfae: don’t get smart with me, nimrod.  i can take that money back outta the account…

The Boy: if you do i’ll start using crystal meth.  yeah.  that’s what i’ll do…

daisyfae:  fine.  cheaper than your fucking tuition.

The Boy: touche.  you win this round.

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* The Boy thinks the upset waitress is brilliant, and is quite smitten with her…

The other side of global cooperation

On the outside chance you are not already a rabid fan of kyknoord, International Man of Mystery please drop by the other side of the mountain for a visit. 

He graciously invited me to provide the plot for todays post…. And for enquiring minds, the plot is based on actual events from my workplace, when i was a silly young trollop*.

It’s my hope that such cultural exchanges can someday lead to world peace.  Or at least collective giggles.  Baby steps…

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* yes.  as opposed to now when i am a silly old trollop…

Bitches and roses…

i don’t want to get in the habit of just “ranting”, although it’s fun and relieves stress.  Since i spent most of the day in The Park, taking Mom to the cardiologist, it would be easy to drop into “rant only” mode – so the ground rules for tonight are “at least one positive thing for every negative thing”, but i can earn extra “rants” as needed by spending an additional 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer tonight.

Here goes… i’ll start with a bitch.*

Bitch:  Alarmist local media – waking up at 0500 to get Mom to the doc by 0900, the first bit of weather news was dire: Frozen Highways of DEATH!  Major Rush Hour Disaster Looming! Only the crazy should venture out!  Knowing that the trip to The Park today was mandatory (due to potentially serious medical issues for Mom), i had to steel myself for an awful drive.  The reality of it was – roads were fucking fine…  bastards… but hey, i got there in time for a cup of Mom’s Homebrewed Decaffeinated Sludge…

Rose:  Dr. M, the cardiologist of my dreams (see footnote about Dr. M here) was absolutely brilliant as she handled stressful news.  Mom will need additional diagnostics, to include extensive heart catheterization.  Dr. M was patient, attentive and communicated the issues effectively to Mom – minimizing worries about the impending procedure.  All medical personnel should be so considerate and genuine…

Bitch: Returning to Mom’s house after the doc appt, i needed to shovel the 4″ of snow in the driveway.  I had to walk next door to get the snow shovel from DQ’s house.  It was past noon, and both DQ and BJs cars were in the driveway – both home sleeping in on a weekday.  Neither had bothered to get up to take care of the chore at hand, or get Mom’s trash to the curb.  Or change 3 burnt out lightbulbs in the house….

Rose:  When discussing possible venues for the angiogram, we had the option to choose a hospital – either the ‘downtown’ hospital, known for exquisite cardiac care, or the suburban hospital, more convenient to The Park.  i asked Dr. M about prospects for more serious issues arising, such as the need for bypass, and if she would be comfortable working at the suburban venue.  She said “The Chief Surgeon there is Dr. B, and he’s very good. No concerns.”  I said “Wait a minute… i think Dr. B was Dad’s thoracic surgeon… is he tall, salt-and-peppr hair, and, um, and really hot?”.   And the lovely Dr. M replied “He’s ok… i mean, if i were eating a sandwich i’m not sure i’d look up if he walked by…”.  (i’m wondering if this isn’t worth two roses…)

Bitch:  Getting old…  We’re all circling the drain, man.  Whether it’s Mom quietly acknowledging that she’s not just in the fourth quarter, but at the two minute warning… Or me realizing that my life and plans must take a back seat to caring for Mom for the forseeable future – for both of us, it’s gonna suck.

I’ve said it a million times – we can’t really change the outcome, but we can influence the path.  Finding ways to help her feel better, so she can enjoy herself a bit, and have things to look forward to… That’s the best i can hope for…

Rose:  Looks like i’ll be spending more time with Dr. M** this year…

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* quote from one of my favorite rap songs, Dr Dre’s “bitches ain’t shit”… covered nicely by Ben Folds here.  Strong language warning…possibly every other word, in fact.

** I always admire women who are intelligent, competent and accomplished.  But whenever i run into such a creature and she is also gorgeous?  Instant crush…  what the hell is up with THAT?!?!?

Run, colon, run!

 

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I have become a slug-sicle.  Seeing brain-damaged dedicated runners out in freezing rain, snow, fog and ice was initially inspirational.  It became annoying. 

Until i got on the scale this morning {music of doom here}

There were signs that i had done a bit of backsliding.  In the shower last week i felt something on the back of my thigh.  It was my ass….

Time to pound some pavement.

As of this week, i am signed up for a 5k run to benefit colorectal cancer research.  I’m not sure what the offical name is, but it shall henceforth be called the Colon Run.  I started re-training yesterday – indoors, but it’s a start. 

The event is scheduled for 29 March, giving me sufficient time to avoid public humiliation injury.  After just two nights of light cardio, i find myself looking forward to the first ice-free saturday morning… it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.  i need fresh air… and i need to get my rear in gear.

Global, local… and really local…

As a newcomer to the blogosphere, i’ve been sucked into the breach in the time-space continuum known as ‘surfing’, and cannot account for several hours each day.  I’m doing better with this, but still have to track my time carefully…

A good friend* tipped me off that there may be medical reasons to pay attention to the clock.  I encourage all of you to listen and heed.  Especially for you blogger-gents out there.

And DaddyP?  Please tell us that you don’t use a laptop….  Oh, and for the love of all that is merciful, pleeeeeeeze refrain from sending photos if you do…

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*a brilliant, clever and exquisitely funny friend who should just get on with the blogging already!  i will continue to swipe your juicy morsels** until you come out here to play…

** absolutely a euphemism….

Tis the season…

Politics.  With the Ohio primary election lurking, the home phone has been ringing off the hook with state, local and national pleas for support.  Thank god for caller ID – although i’ve let calls* from Hillary and Barack go right to voicemail because i didn’t recognize the numbers…

Things are also interesting at the local level.  i spent about 4 hours yesterday afternoon preparing a 10,000 piece mailing for a local candidate, Bob.  This gentleman is running for county office, after serving as a city and township official for over a decade…

Most amusing to me?  He is a member of that party.  The one that bought our white house in the last two elections.  Yet there i sat for 4 hours, sticking labels on envelopes at breakneck speed – so fast that a junior team member had to supply water-cooling for my fingers.  i was that dedicated.   I’ve also ghost-written his campaign literature, and sent him draft ‘letters to the editor’ for others to send to local newspapers.

As a libertarian** at heart, this may seem strange.   All i know is that if it weren’t for the assistance of Bob a few years ago, there wouldn’t be a sk8park in our small city. 

Leading a rag-tag bunch of sk8r punks into the city council chambers on numerous occasions, i was getting nowhere.  Until Bob showed up at one of our planning meetings.  He was impressed with the tenacity of the group, and the fact that we came to the city planning to raise as much of our own money as possible.

With his support, lots of press releases, car washes, benefit concerts and generous donors, we did it.  Raised $25,000 on our own, and got the city to hack up the $100,000 to do it right…   So, to quote a wise and scraped-up eldersk8sman, “it’s very important that the youth of today has a controlled environment to hurt itself in”.

Couldn’t agree more.  And if Bob needs me to stuff his envelopes, then i shall continue to stuff his envelopes.  Guess that’s how politics works…

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* those damned recorded messages…  please, please, please don’t insult me and waste my bandwidth…

** key challenge with libertarians?  they disdain organizational structure.  hard to get their shit together, it is… so lately, i’m just an avowed “anti-wingnut”, and will generally vote in such a manner to maximize the chances we’ll get an administration in place that will stop with the egregious disregard for the constitution… oh, and stop invading other countries… 

Fourth and Park

Another blast from the past.  A Fourth of July Picnic in the Park – reconstructed from rabid e-mails discussions with friends as i processed the days events. 

DQ, my niece, lives next to Mom.   She divorced her first husband after he was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  At the age of 33, she had become engaged to a hardworking 19 year old man, BJ. 

BJ is a member of a wealthy construction family.  This is, of course, the sole reason my niece wriggled her way into his family – entrapping him and convincing him that she was the love of his life.*  He is a hardworking man, and has done wonders with their house.  He has also been a very good father for DQ’s 13 year old daughter, DQ, Jr. 

DQ and BJ hosted their first 4th of July barbeque, bringing both families together in preparation for their September nuptials.** They worked hard to be good hosts.   BJ fussed over Mom, and kept her in Budweiser, bratwurst and clean ashtrays.  There were probably 30-40 people milling around.  I went to be polite and supportive, but given the choice, i’d have rather been handing out K-Y Jelly in a maximum security prison shower room….

Continue reading

getting really (c)old…

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Is it spring yet?

More snow and ice.  There was a magical moment this morning at 6:00 am – opening my tired eyes to watch the extensive list of closings on the morning news – and patiently waiting through over 200 listings to learn that we’d been granted a 2 hour delay in reporting to work!

Joy!  It felt like a “snow day” from school!  i re-set the alarm and snuggled back into the pillows for much needed sleep… An additional 4″ of snow fell overnight, coated with 1/4″ of freezing rain during the day.

As lovely as it looks from my front window – a skating rink made of vanilla frosting – i’m getting tired of the cold.  We usually have one ridiculously warm weekend in late February that drives me wild with Spring Fever.  That is the weekend where i am notorious for searching the classified ads for used motorcycles…

With March around the corner, maybe i’ve dodged my annual bike lust-a-thon and will drop right into my early spring ‘i neeeeeeeed a sailboat’ frenzy.  Yeah, it’s just ‘stuff’… but stuff that gets me out breathing and moving.  And after a winter of mostly sitting on my ass, i am hungry to play in the sunshine.  Palm Springs was such a tease…

Snow days are nice, but there’s no substitute for summer vacation!

Responsibilities vs Opportunities

Demographically, i’m a single, middle-aged empty-nester.  My baby chicks have flown the coop for college – but with fairly regular weekend drop-ins to spend quality time with me and the dog, and perhaps to take advantage of the laundry facilities*.

On paper, there is nothing keeping me in town, except a house that would be difficult to unload in a shitty housing market, friends, and the job.

Things are never that simple, though…

I have two opportunities for positions on the east coast – one more real than the other.  Sort of ‘open offers’, but the real one may have an expiration date.  It caught me a little off guard today, as i was dealing with an unbelievable stream of ‘you’ve got to be shitting me’ events**.

My response to the offer presented this afternoon? “I’d love to, thank you for the offer, but I’ll need some time to think it through”.  I was surprised by the hesitation – this one has the makings of a great alignment of circumstances.

First, i need time to weigh a move against impact on the kids – they know that this is part of my long term plan, and wouldn’t be surprised.  In fact, The Girl is holding out for me getting a position in Europe to provide better support to her travel habit. 

Second thought?  Mom.  Although i’m not involved in her daily care, i am still the ‘senior strategist’ for whatever happens in The Park.  And i worry that this year may be rough… and no, Dr. M’s hotness isn’t a factor.  Well, not a huge factor…

The biggest surprise?  I have a brain-damaged, attention-deficit-disordered dog.  He hasn’t adjusted to being at the kennel when i travel – coming home hoarse from continuous barking, scrawny from not eating, and tired from lack of sleep.  I’m exploring options for ‘pet sitters’ to see if i can manage travel with less trauma to the canine…

So what is it?  I just can’t see him living in the city… And besides, do i really want to be one of those people carrying a bag of warm dog shit while being dragged down a sidewalk by an NFL Fullback disguised as a labrador? 

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* we all agree that they don’t show up here for either the well-stocked pantry, or the fine home-cooked meals…unless jello shots count as a fine home-cooked meal…

** i was extremely tired because i didn’t get to bed last night until 2am after the car-sicle incident at the airport, couldn’t get the dog from the kennel this morning as planned because it was below freezing outside and he was still wet from his bath (apparently blow drying a 100lb dog isn’t an option at this kennel), 30 minutes of frustration attempting to just login to a required training site – all the while dealing with a stream of boneheaded colleagues intent on wasting my bandwidth.  I then had a flat tire on my way to a lunch appointment, with sub-freezing weather.  And then the day got messy…

In an airport…

Overheard while waiting at the gate in O’Hare Airport:

Gate Agent:  Paging passenger E. Guy and passenger D. Chowder to the podium.  Passengers Guy, Chowder, Gate B-22.

Bingo!  Talk about flying the friendly skies…. Gate agents demanding guy chowder?!?!?

________________

Travel Post Script:  My amusement at the gate at O’Hare was short-lived.  Returning home to sub-zero temperatures and 4″ of snow on my car – which covered about 1/8″ of solid ice – made for a happy landing.  First bit of fun was simply prying my car door open.  And remembering that i’d cleverly left my gloves and hat inside the car.  It took a full half hour to excavate the shitmobile.  My hands didn’t quite thaw out until i was almost home….  

Wouldn’t have felt quite so bad if i hadn’t been lounging poolside in sunny california, drinking fruity cocktails under the palm trees just the day before.  (sigh)