Eyewitness Report: Redneck Wedding

In 2006, our Trailer Park family got to experience one of those magical adventures known as ‘The Wedding’.  DQ and BJ tied the knot in a hoedown to end all  marital hoedowns.  Striking just the right balance between “glamour” and “comfort”, they pulled together a wedding in their own style – and worked hard to keep costs down, doing much of the legwork on their own. 

The bridesmaids gowns were made from about a thousand yards* of brown satin.  They wore matching sequined flip flop sandals.  Brown.  “Why Brown?” you ask?  Well, that was the only color that could be coordinated with the “Mossy Oak” tuxedo vests. 

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Since i was meeting The Girl halfway around the world, i was unable to attend.  But, thanks to the wonders of technology, my sister, T, was able to give me an electronic summary while i lounged poolside at a 4-star hotel in Bangkok.  Here, gently modified to protect me from the innocent, is her “Scores and Highlights” from the reception.  It was held in a “party barn” and was a “bring your own booze” event…
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Fear of flying

I am not a white knuckle flier – in fact, i enjoy it!  Whether it’s in a small plane, buzzing corn mazes in the autumn or in a jet-powered thermos tube traveling at ridiculous speeds from 6 miles up, i always have a “Hey, wow!  I’m flying!” moment along the way.

Not being a pilot (yet), i don’t know intricacies of modern flight, but i know enough not to worry.  Whether it’s my awareness of non-destructive evaluation, flight-line maintenance, “design for redundancy” or a basic understanding of air traffic control procedures, i am generally not nervous on an airplane.  It’s a chance to read, listen to tunes and nap while defying gravity.

Logically, i know statistically that my chances of dying in a plane crash are much lower than dying in the car on the way to the airport.

Despite this knowledge, i have one pre-flight ritual that i simply can’t shake.  i’ve been doing this for over a decade.  Whenever i’m headed to an airport i make sure that my bra and panties match exactly.  Not just ‘blue and blue’, or ‘leather and leather’ but the exact make, model and color from the manufacturer.

If my parts need reassembly after an air disaster, it might be helpful if Top A matches Bottom B…

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And with that, i’m off on another business trip… Surf’s up!

Ouch

I knew better.  But i did it anyway…  Completely unprepared, i managed to stumble my way across 3.1 miles of pavement.  Just last October, i managed to do that plus 10 more in the half-marathon.  C’mon.  Shouldn’t be so hard….

It was a beautiful day, warmish weather, and i finished without humiliation.  No land speed records were broken, but neither were any body parts broken*, so it was a success…

Rather than beat myself up about my lousy condition, i am considering it the start of my training season.  Planning to get the bike out, and get my ass moving as the weather improves.  Running brings me no joy, but i’m committed to losing another 20 lbs before i head to Spain in late June… 3 lbs down, 17 lbs to go.  This pavement pounding thing is the most efficient way to do it.  So i shall run…

On the bright side, when doing these “fun run” events, there’s always a swag bag that you get on race day.  For a mere $15, i got to pound myself silly and picked up some consolation prizes!  The swag for today was lovely – although a big ass bar of dark chocolate would have sweetened the deal…

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In addition to the event T-shirt, were the standard water bottle, memo pads, pens, refrigerator magnets and the like.  But my favorite bit of “Colon Bling” was the roll of toilet paper, with the “Wipe Out Colon Cancer” banner wrapped around it…

Almost worth the pain.  Almost…

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* mine or those of innocent bystanders…

Color me important…

Today included a mad dash of preparation for the preparatory meeting for the cosmic Alignment of Executives, scheduled to take place next week.

In the midst of preparations, a friend* sent an e-mail with a link to the Executive Coloring Book.

i’ve decided to use this image in my “read-ahead” materials, to be sent early next week.  We’ll learn once and for all if our Executive Directors read the material we send in advance…

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THIS IS ME!  I am an executive.  Executives are important.  They go to important offices and do important things.  Color my underwear important.

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* Life’s Eclectic Wanderer, who also knows my habit of surfing the web on my blackberry when i’m tapped for ideas during meetings and brainstorming sessions…

The genetic connection

“We were born of the same parents, raised in the same environment, but if you put us in the same room, we simply couldn’t be any more different…”

A paraphrased comment about four siblings, uttered by a friend as we drank some beer, plotted organizational anarchy, and reflected on The Trailer Park Experience*. 

I’ve occasionally wondered how my three siblings and i could have been from the same genes, let alone species.  There is one obvious variable – my oldest sister and brother have different paternal genes.  Although i didn’t know this for many years, Mom had been married before, and the older siblings were, in fact, my half-brother and half-sister.

To apply controls to my observations, i should only look at my sister with the full compliment of shared genetics.  She is two years older, and left town after earning her PhD in Business – escaping to not only a warmer climate, but one that is about 2 hours by commercial air travel away from our hometown.  Smart.  She always was very smart…

T, my sister and fellow Trailer Park Refugee, is of my genes, but different.  She is accomplished – being a senior professional at a major university in the U.S. She demonstrated good instincts with her move 1,000 miles away to “escape the long arms of The Park”.  A diagnosed bipolar lesbian**, she is generally level for 75% of the time, but about once every 4 years, i am called upon to “deal with” nonlinear issues***.

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Totally boss…

My boss is great – functional, perceptive, ethical and smart.  Most remarkably, he also has a great sense of humor*.  On the job for just over a year, he has started to figure out what that unpredictable hippy-chick on his staff actually does.  So far, i have apparently passed his initial ROI “pain vs performance” assessment, and i have not been sacked**.

But has he learned to read between the lines?

Boss:  The Director has asked for a Status Update on the Collaboration Workshop.  Have you been able to schedule a meeting with him?  Including the Equivalent Director Across the Street?

daisyfae:  The Equivalent Director has been elusive.  My colleague Across the Street has had great difficulty scheduling meetings.  We’re working it…

Translation:  i haven’t done shit with this since it happened – when the fuck did we do this?  October?  November?  Not only that, but i’ve completely forgotten why we did it in the first place, and suspect that if i spend a few hours rooting around in my e-mail graveyard i can resurrect some message traffic that will provide a necessary clue… without having to ask you to send me something from last year, thus revealing the magnitude of my ineptitude.

Needless to say, my colleagues Across the Street got the call today to provide a “Pre-‘Status Update’ Update” for the Equivalent Director, to bring him up to speed for a meeting that is resting comfortably on two executive calendars for a lunch hour next week. 

Stereo Rectal Extractions In Progress…

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* To understand someone, one of the first things i do is figure out what makes him laugh.  The boss passed this test with flying colors – covering the full spectrum from stupid potty humor to toss-off comments requiring intellect and agility to comprehend.  While he doesn’t directly make fun of members of our geek brigade, he has been known to stifle a snort should he overhear a “freak bashing” tirade.

** In any large organization, it can be difficult to fire someone.  Having done time as a supervisor, i am intimately familiar with the process.  It is difficult, can take years, and sucks for all involved.  As part of my professional therapy, i have often explored behaviors and scenarios which would get me fired on the spot.  Screwing a goat by the communal coffee pot?  Not on the list.  i’d simply be sent to counseling.  Probably with the goat….

How evolved are you?

Aggravating.  Very, very aggravating…

1. While sitting, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw number ‘6’ in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change directions.

3. Shake your head, decide that you’ll do better if you’re really concentrating, and attempt it again.

4. Swear.  Curse your dinosaur brain and the fact that we are much less evolved than we believe ourselves to be…

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While we’re on the topic of evolution…

If you really want to have fun with a newborn infant — short of annoying the parents by playing a game of “catch the baby” — try this:  Take your finger and place it gently at the base of the little newborn toes.  Watch as the reflex to grip your fingers kicks in.  Isn’t this beautiful?  It’s that “hanging in a tree” response – salvation for our tree-dwelling  ancestors… 

Typically, this response remains for a couple months post-uterus… This reflex, and the Moro Reflex, hint at our primate ancestry – if you consider the behavior of a baby monkey flailing and grasping to hang onto parental backhair, it seems pretty strong evidence supporting that pesky “theory” of evolution.

If you prefer to ignore science, you can always consider a visit to the Creation Museum – a mere stones throw from The Park.  Here you can learn about dinosaurs dwelling in the Garden of Eden just a few thousand years ago.  Seriously.  The universe was created in 6 days, and these folks can prove it…

(it’s no wonder he was “elected” twice…)

Two conversations with my father…

On the drive back from The Park last Friday, i was tired.  I’d been up late the night before at an awkward dinner event, then up before dawn in order to pick up Mom in time to make an 8:45 am appointment with the cardiologist.  Events of the morning were exhausting, but i was still facing an afternoon in the office after an hour-long drive.

After leaving Mom’s house, i had a powerful urge to visit my father’s grave – but i had an afternoon meeting, and couldn’t take the time.  Instead, i just had a chat with him in the car.  Something i’ve done before…  Typically the conversations start with “I’m trying… ” or “I’m really sorry…”.

Last Friday it was “Holy Fucking Shit!”*

A little background is in order.  While Dad was dying, we had time to talk.  No, not the actual “moment of death”**, but the four months leading up to his death.  There were several lengthy hospitalizations, and i spent many hours in his room, reading the paper while he slept, providing basic care, talking to doctors and nurses, or chatting when he was in the mood to talk.

During one of these conversations, we discussed his concerns about the inhabitants of The Park after he died.  When i was about 30 years old, prior to a trip to Europe, my parents made me executor of their estate.  I’m the youngest of four, but it had become clear that i was the only one with sufficient stability (not to mention CRZY MATH SKILZ) to handle the task.  During this particular conversation, Dad was pointing out that it was going to fall to me to look after the family when he was gone.

daisyfae:  But i’m the youngest!  It was in my contract that i’m supposed to skip through life responsibility-free!  i’m the carefree hippie…. the baby!

Dad:  Sorry.  You’re “Number One Son”.  You’re it…

daisyfae:  [sigh] Ok.  i promise i’ll look out for them…

And i have.  Well, at least i’ve tried.  Dad died in 2001.  The past 7 years have contained multiple moments of “you can’t be serious?” sprinkled with way too much “i could not possibly make this shit up”.  i haven’t even scratched the surface yet in my posts…

i have followed Kipling’s advice – “If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you” – to the best of my ability…

There is, however, a perfect storm brewing, and it’s testing the limits of my patience.  And my ability to keep the promise i made my Father.  As i spiral into menopause, no prospect of hormonal supplements because of that pesky breast cancer nugget last year, i have the potential to become highly nonlinear.  As the family faces “end of life” issues with Mom***, they have the potential to become highly nonlinear, not to mention, increasingly stupid.  Not a scenario for peace and harmony, that’s for sure….

Conjuring my Dad in the car that afternoon, i simply asked for a bit of clarification…

daisyfae:  Let’s take a look at that promise, shall we?  i said i’d “look out” for them.  Could that be interpreted as “Look out!  Here they come!”?

Dad:  [….]

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* It was Good Friday and all…

** Generally recognized as poor taste to talk about “stuff” when doctors are disconnecting life support, religious officials are attempting to officiate and the like.

*** Reference: The Lion King, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Mecchi & Roberts, 1994.

Park Logic

Yet another day in The Park taking Mom to her cardiologist, the lovely Dr. M.  Prior to determining next steps – double bypass or not – Mom will need additional tests done over the next couple weeks before meeting with a surgeon in April.

When we last left The Park, the heart catheterization revealed that Mom has a substantial blockage in her left main artery.  Although it wasn’t immediately life threatening, the doctor recommended that we move quickly to clear the blockage.  Mom is at a higher risk of heart attack, and due to the location of the blockage, the likelihood of fatality from a cardiac event is high.

Do the people who (in theory) share my genetics understand that this means Mom does not need additional stress or trauma?  Apparently not…

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