Just another night out…

As if my recent “Awards Banquet” evening didn’t have enough twists and turns, there was an “after banquet” event that stayed in my head…

Although we were ridiculously over-dressed, a friend an i decided to keep drinking hang out after the awards banquet.  Considering options, we agreed on a local watering hole – known for being friendly, rowdy, and on a Thursday night, full of twenty-something party dawgs.  Undeterred, we arrived – me in a cocktail dress, and him looking edible in a tux.

Other than a little flirty chatter about my outfit with the doorman, i’m pretty sure no one batted an eye when we arrived.  Snagged a gin and tonic and a table, while my “date”* was chatted up by a young lovely at the bar who insisted on buying him a beer.  Sheesh.  i had to buy my own…

Taking in the “scene”, i noted packs of youngish “ruffian” boys – perhaps drinking after a Thursday night softball game.  College-aged girls – decked out in party gear, sporting muffin-tops and wearing too much make up – arriving to feast on the sweaty ruffians.  The juke box played everything from country ballads to hip hop to classic rock.  A typical night at a suburban pub.

Completely out of place – at the end of the bar – sat a middle-aged man.  Wavy gray pompadour, glued into shape and polished to a soft glow.  Suspenders.  Dress slacks – a bit on the short side – with light colored socks and loafers.  Thick glasses.  Drinking what appeared to be ice water from a red plastic tumbler.  On the bar in front of him was a “day planner” or notebook.  At nearly 10 pm on a Thursday night, he just didn’t seem to fit…

With Pretty Boy being chatted up by a starry-eyed brunette at the bar, my character study was disrupted by new arrivals.  Two young women arrived.  One wearing a shiny metallic blue bicycle helmet.  She was sort of plain, but cute and animated in her conversation with the doorman.  With much flapping and gesticulating, while her silent friend watched eagerly, the doorman finally waved her inside…  As she walked by, i noticed she was carrying a unicycle**.  The bar is on a four lane commercial highway.  Riding a unicycle to get there?  At night?

As she met up with some of the ruffians, a few of them playfully pounded her on the helmet, and after a couple minutes, she returned to the door, thanked the doorman and was on her way.  With Adonis the Wonder Date now being virtually dry-humped by his gal pal, i walked to the door to inquire about the incident.

daisyfae:  Did a helmeted girl with a unicycle just walk through here?

doorman:  Yep.  Here most Thursdays…

daisyfae:  Thanks.  Just wanted to make sure someone hadn’t slipped hallucinogens into my gin and tonic.

doorman:  One of the Rugby Girls. 

daisyfae:  And most certainly a virgin.  i’m sure her mother is proud…

Returning to the table, Pretty Boy was back – having missed the entire incident.  He questioned my sanity, and we went on to talk about “Old Joe” at the bar, speculating on his “Story”… Addled?  Molester?  Clueless?  Lost?  Dropping back into office-related gossip, and comparing dating horror stories, we eventually lost interest in Old Joe.

When the karaoke started a few minutes later, the first song was a Sinatra number.  None other than Old Joe, singing his heart out!  Not a horrible voice, but a little shaky…  Turns out it wasn’t a calendar he had on the bar in front of him, but a CD case – he’d brought his own karaoke CDs.  Sign of a karaoke whore professional. When he finished, the Rugby Ruffians cheered him on, then went back to their ass-grabbing and beer-swilling.

The whole thing just made me smile… There’s a natural rhythm to humanity sometimes.  People drop in and out, catching up with the step of the moment.  New dancers featured for a solo, then dropping back into the chorus.  But when the harmonies come together, too?  Magic…

_______

* Very, very pretty friend.  He looks about 30 years old, and leaves a trail of drooling girlies everywhere he goes.  Marginally oblivious to it, which makes it very fun to watch!

** No.  Not THE unicycle.  Although the girl was nearly a ringer for the cute kid that bought mine…

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i have achieved…

“Slumlord” status…

My house shall have tenants, effective 1 October.  Not bad, since it only went on the market a month earlier.  i have to hand it to my hired gun property manager – he as much promised me he’d have it occupied within a month or two.  My month of scrambling to get it repaired, painted, de-dog-ified and shiny-spanking clean paid off.

Relief.

i’m a little surprised that there are no sappy, sentimental feelings about it.  Despite the fact that it was my home for twenty years.  The place i raised (and in the case of The Boy, conceived) my children.  The home where i shared uncounted laughs, shed a few tears, and scratched my bits while looking out the front window in the morning.  Threw a few parties.  Cleaned up a lotta party shrapnel. 

Bottom line:  i’m not raking up over 40 bags of leaves this fall.  YEE-FUCKING-HAW!

The new tenants – mercifully signing a 20 month lease – are moving to the area due to a job transfer.  And have a dog – which was one of the things i wanted for the house.  There have been smelly hound dogs in that place for a long time.  Seems to give it good karma, feng shui, or whatever…

Perhaps making this transition less challenging is the fact that i’m paying a professional to “manage” the property.  For a mere 10% of the rent each month, he will manage the paperwork, do background/credit checks on tenants, handle all midnight emergency calls, arrange repairs, collect rent, initiate eviction if necessary and in general – do all of the shit work i do not wish to perform.  A good deal any way you slice it. 

Since i’ve got a henchman, i’m an evil slumlord in name only…

When A Candidate Says “Change”…

Take a drink…

Yep.  That’s about the best way to get through a Presidential Debate.  Last night, had a couple friends over to watch John McCain and his jowls debate issues with Barack Obama.  Expecting not much more than “talking points” and practiced oratory, it seemed appropriate to turn the debate into a drinking game*.

Starting rules:

    – Drink whenever a candidate uses that “knuckle point thingie”

    – Drink when John McCain says “Maverick” or “POW”

    – Drink when either candidate says “synergy”

    – Triple tequila shots if either candidate says “Moosehunter”, “Caribou Barbie” or “Bullwinkle Must Die”

We managed to stay reasonably sober, but have some new “drinking triggers” for the next round (Note:  Suggestions Welcome!).  The rules shall be refined.  Seems the ol’ “knuckle point thing” is out of favor.  Mr. Obama uses an odd “finger pinch”, while Mr. McCain gesticulates with open hands.  If we’d done shots for every use of the word “change” or “economy”, we’d still be passed out… 

Bonus points to Mr. Obama for working the word “orgy” into the debate.  In addition to being a very smart man, he is incredibly sexy – not that my vote will be influenced by that in the least.  As my friend said “Yes We Would!”**  Very glad Mr. McCain didn’t use that word – the visual would have left me clawing my eyes out…

Thursday night, we’ll get together again to watch Ms. Palin take stupidity to a new low debate the infinitely blow-hardy Mr. Biden.  We’ll have to work on the game rules for that – but i will be doing shots everytime she says “I’ll get back to ya on that one” and “I can see Russia from my house!”

Regarding content – Star of the evening:  Jim Lehrer was a great moderator.  Dragged them back to the original questions, attempted to pin them down.  Nice.  There was good clarity on differences in foreign policy.  Unfortunately, however, i realized that i am already horribly biased.  Mr. McCain came across to me as a doddering, rambling and bitter man***.  Attacking, smirking and failing on nearly every occasion to answer the questions at hand Spewing prepared factoids, rehashing old infomation and worst of all – misrepresenting the stinky realities of the legislative process – implying that Mr. Obama voted “against our troops” when he’d voted against an unchecked war. 

Mr. Obama?  i heard this crazy thing that sounded a bit like “vision”.  Not an inexperienced rookie, but a deeply intelligent man.  Much more articulate, less bitter, and not prone to the pandering, emotional appeal (McCain’s “Look at this bracelet given to me by the mother of a dead soldier” bit was just pathetic…).

Made the mistake of listening to the “Post Game Wrap Up”.  To hear the “spinners” jabber about “who won” afterwards, i wasn’t sure i’d watched the same event.  Mr. McCain “held his own”?  Huh?  Did i go pee during that part?  Were these people watching a different debate in a parallel universe? 

Only about a month to go.  Thankfully.  i just want to fast forward to see how it turns out… Drinking my way through the debates is just a symptom…

_________

* When i found my son and his friends turning an awful game of video golf into a drinking game, i then realized ANYTHING can be turned into a drinking game… An acoholic epiphany! 

** The Obama Campaign has embraced the phrase “Yes We Can!”….  Oh, we totally would… right there.  on the floor.  with everyone else watching!

*** NOTHING CLOSE to the man who campaigned a few years back and had my attention as a better-than-average candidate.  He choked early in the primary process, but seemed a different man before he sold out to the religious right…

The Award for ‘Pathetic and Desperate’ Goes To…

Awards.  Recognition for achievement.  For goodness.  For professional and community accomplishments.  For being a “good animal”.

Awards Banquets.  Rubber chicken and peas.  Cash bars.  Enthusiasm for deserving friends and colleagues.  Casual adults awkwardly formalized for a special event.  

Last week, a friend was recognized with a prestigious organizational honor – Technical Fellow.  Wanting to cheer him on, i was happy to buy my ticket to show my enthusiastic support!  Despite the glitches getting out the door, i arrived on time.  Right at the start of the cocktail reception.  i’ve found it’s always best to drink a bit at these things…

Hoping to block a table for our cheering squad, i was surprised to find “assigned” seating.  Crap.  i went to my table – Lucky 16 – and tossed a napkin over the back of the seat to nail down the best seat, closest to the bar.  And proceeded to wander off, congratulate the winner and his family, and grab a drink…

The venue filled.  Tongues were loosened, backs were slapped, and festive gossip exchanged.  Time to sit down – and my first chance to meet my table mates for the evening.  Je-aysoos Ke-rist on a Podium!  On my right?  A annoying former colleague with his third wife.  His second wife was a pretty good friend, and i hadn’t realized they divorced.  Awkward.  On my left?  Our organizational corporate development officer (CDO), who was physically wrapped around her apparent date for the evening – the Operations Chief from Organization Y.

Looking over at the next table, i noticed my office folks – people i truly enjoy!  A Redneck PhD who is our division Tech Director.  Snarky, direct and big fun!  Oooh – an empty seat next to him!  On the other side of the vacant seat?  The Big Man!  PhD Physicist from Alabama – who is always a delight!  DOUBLE CRAP!  Too rude at this point for me to get up and move…

The formalities began, and it wasn’t until the invocation that i caught my tactical error.  During the prayer, while others had their heads bowed, i was staring blankly into space, humming a Joe Cocker tune, and thinking through my “to do” list for the next day*.  And noticed that i was at Table 17.  Furtive glance to my right… That empty seat?  An abandoned blue napkin was perched on the back.  It was mine.  DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!  Stuck… Trapped, like a politician in an airport toilet stall…

The meal might have been pleasant.  Colleague to my right was fine – we talked about past projects, his new wife seemed bright and engaging.  To my left?  Ms. CDO was incessantly groping her date – a tall ‘suit’, who couldn’t be a bigger professional zero if he were made of cellophane.  Ms. CDO?  Divorced mother of several.  Doesn’t just sweat desperation – it comes from every orifice, Ebola-like. 

We had one brief conversation about a year ago – regarding being single and mid-40’s.  i mentioned that i was having a good time dating many gentlemen and doing my own thing.  She wanted to meet for lunch – because she was having a hard time meeting men.  Tempting to tell her to stop bringing her living room furniture along on the second date and perhaps things would go a bit better…  Somehow never managed to get that lunch on my calendar…

Mid-way through dinner, i was compelled to send an e-mail to my friend, the goose-slayer.  “I paid $33 to watch CDO eat dinner with her arm wrapped around the thigh of your counterpart in Organization Y”.  His reply: “Ha!  I got that for free at a formal dinner last week”.

_______

* i’ve already conceded eternity in hell.  why fake it?

Too many late nights…

Outbound on a short-notice trip, i carefully packed my rolling briefcase for a few days on the road.  With absolutely no interest in repeating my forgetful and expensive mistake from the last trip, i made sure i had all essentials.  Chargers, travel toiletries baggie, electronics, reading material… Check, Check, Check, Check… and DOUBLE CHECK.

Leaving the house at 0-dark-thirty for a morning flight, i even carefully checked my wallet to assure drivers license, credit cards, and cash were secure.  Carefully putting both the travel bag and my purse in the back seat.  Staring at them.  Knowing that there was NO WAY i was going to forget them this time.

Hopped in the car, backed out of the driveway and was about a quarter mile down the street when i realized i was barefoot.

Ummm…  close.  so very close…

If you don’t want the answer…

A reasonably active recreational bicyclist, i am quite comfortable with rules on the bike path.  Ride on the right, except to pass.  Signal (ie: say “on your left”) when overtaking others.  Bicyclists yield right of way to all others.

There’s also an informal set of “etiquette” guidelines.  A key frustration occurs when encountering oncoming cyclists – riding two by two.  Etiquette (if not safety) says that given the relatively narrow path, it is wise to drop into single file until clear of oncoming cyclists, and it’s safe to ride two abreast again.  Not everyone does this, and i am often found playing a gentle game of “chicken” with the cyclist failing to yield… moving out toward the center to drive them to do what is right!  Perhaps teaching them a valuable lesson.  Generally, the lesson falls mute to the asphalt, leaving me grumpy and ready to clothesline the next “violator”…

But that’s not my rant du jour…

There is also another informal rule.  When encountering other cyclists, either oncoming or from behind, it’s polite to say “Good Morning”, or “Good Day” or just “Hi”.  As a minimum, a nod of the head….  Yesterday, all was going according to the natiural order until i encountered a goober who asked the dreaded “rhetorical question in passing” – “How are you?”.

Not the fastest cyclist in the world, i was still clipping along at at 15 mph.  Does he really expect me to answer?  Am i supposed to shout a reply?  Share information about my latest gynecological issues?  An update on the “boy toy” situation?”  Let him know about Mom’s bypass surgery?

Feeling a bit crotchety, i was tempted to make a u-turn, wheel along beside him, and start telling him about my week… in graphic detail.  It’s bad enough when you pass one of these goombahs in the hallway at work, but on a BIKE?

Look, Nimrod… unless you are genuinely interested in the answer, don’t ask how i’m doing.  You’re liable to get a lot more information that you want, not to mention a swift sandal up your pasty little nerd-ass…

Birdbrains – A Fugue In Three Parts

Birdbrain 1:  Got home from work yesterday afternoon a little early to begin preparations to attend an office-related awards banquet.  Mr. Pickles the Wonder Dog was happy to see me – as always –  and I’d noticed that I’d left the door to my deck open.  i remembered opening it at lunchtime, and must have forgotten to close it before fluttering back to the office.  No harm – doggie was fine, hadn’t leaped 10 feet to his death.  Other than the possibility that he’d been barking the afternoon away and annoying the neighbors… but i am convinced that my nearest neighbor is deaf* so even this was no trouble.  Still, not a good plan to leave the back door open when I’m gone – if for no other reason, every bug on the planet will invade my bedroom, hide in my underwear drawer until dark, and then feast on my flesh and blood once I go to bed.

Birdbrain 2: I set about getting ready for the dinner.  Stripping down to my undies, i started piling my hair up on my head for the semi-formal dinner event.  Although i couldn’t quite identify the sound, i kept hearing something that sounded like a wood-chipper, or generator, outside**.  Went to the front of the condo to look out the window, but couldn’t pinpoint the noise.  Strange.  Walking back to my bathroom, i successfully geolocated the sound – looking up to find a hummingbird beating itself to death against one of my skylights.  About 20 feet over my head.  This is a deep well skylight – and standing there in my underwear, I was at a complete loss as to how to get a small bird out of my house when it’s stuck in a skylight. 

It had to be tired – hummingbirds have to eat constantly to sustain energy to flap their wings like, well, hummingbirds.  Having no idea how long it had been there, I was concerned that the damn thing would just fall to the carpet.  The white carpet.  And then be eaten, shredded and splattered everywhere in a mass of feathers, bone and blood by my dog.  Somehow, i had to rescue the white carpet bird before leaving for the dinner event…  Grabbing a washcloth, I balled it up, and threw it toward the bird – hoping to drive it 5 feet downward, out of the skylight well, and back toward freedom…  I managed to hit it a few times, but this only served to freak it out – making it more frantic.

“Shit.  Now what?”  Went back to the bathroom, and began working the face paint, while continuing to munch over options.  Cripes!  How do you get a hummingbird out of your house?  Who do you call?  How big of a mess would Mr. P make of a tired hummingbird?  Will eating a bird make him sick?  Give him the shits?  What do you use to get bird blood out of a white carpet?  Dog poo containing bird blood?

Birdbrain 3:  Just then, i hear a ‘thud’ behind me.  The bird had apparently dropped from the well, followed me toward the bathroom, and smacked into a closet door directly behind me.  About 3 feet in front of my lounging dog, who barely moved… He looked up, groaned a groan of tired annoyance, rearranged his dulaps***, and went back to his nap.  The bird looked pretty seriously dead.  Grabbing a hand towel, i covered the bird – and felt him still moving.  i also discovered that hummingbirds have a nice little chirp – so he wasn’t quite dead yet.  Racing for the deck****, i opened the towel figuring I’d set him on the deck, allowing recovery without the “canine assist”.  The damn thing looked at me – i swear he sighed – and then took off.  Walking back to the bathroom, i finished getting ready – and wondered what the hell kind of watchdog i’ve got.  He’ll bark randomly in the middle of the night when receiving a signal from the dog planet, and yet a bird can fly past his nose inside the house and he barely moves.  

Which is why i continue to sleep next to a 24″ blade, and have a wooden baseball bat tucked securely under my bed….

__________

* No complaints yet about noise, and there have been some seriously noisy things going on at my place.  All related to “moving in”, of course…

** Not uncommon at the moment – still lots of folks with no power.  And i ain’t just talking about the Democrats at the moment…

*** A “dulap” – at least as i recall – is what you call those hanging lip thingies on a dog snout that they are so fond of rearranging.  For hours.  All night long when you are trying to get to sleep.  A quick bit of net research led me to an alternate definition – which makes the story funnier…

**** Yes.  Still in my underwear, but sporting a nice “up” do with the hair…

Digging out and wandering around…

Odds and ends from a marginally disrupted daisyfae…

– Power was back on at my new place by noon on Monday (storm was through our area Sunday afternoon/evening).  i was lucky.  Four days later there are still hundreds of thousands of people in the region in the dark. 

– My old house is still seriously dead.  Since that neighborhood is on well water, no electricity means no water.  Which means i’ve invited a few of my old neighbors over to my new place to shower*…  And there’s a potential impact to the repairs on the old place – can’t really install a new chimney if there’s no water for mortar.

– Cable TV Dependency:  More than just “Project Runway” withdrawal…  Those of us who have “bundled service” (cable tv, landline phone and internet connectivity) are fucked.  There was apparently much damage to the infrastructure, and restoration of service has been slow.  At first i was pissed off at my neighbor**, and was tempted to knock on his door to tell him to reboot his fucking system, but then realized that there is simply no internet connectivity.  Ugh.

– Television stations are annoying as all fuck.  No one has power.  Stations are constantly broadcasting “tune in for storm recovery updates”.  Better yet?  They are sending people to their website for information.  Hello?  If we ain’t got power, we ain’t got the TV-tubes.  And even if we DO have power, we’re all roaming the city, seeking active WiFi connections… Because regional cable/internet is wounded.

– Roving Bands of Wireless Pirates:  We’re starting to recognize each other.  The look.  Backpacks full of gear, desperation in our eyes.  Looking for a fix.  Going from cafe to bookstore to Starbucks… seeking connection.  Some of these people smelllook as though they haven’t showered for a couple days.  You’d think that would be a higher priority than the interweb.  Passing tips: “Panera is still dead, but i heard that Barnes and Noble is back up and wired…”.  Whining about having to pay $10 for a 24 hour pass at the local Starfucks***.

– Sad: As is always the case, the people who are the hardest hit?  The people who have the least options.  Those folks who have been squeaking by paycheck-to-paycheck are completely hosed.  Fewer resources mean fewer options for escape.  At least the state has offered to replace Food Stamps for those who have lost everything in their refrigerators and freezers due to power outages.  But it will take a week.  In the meantime?  The food banks are pretty bare…

– Resourcefulness:  A good reminder for me not to throw out my camping gear as i purge belongings.  i’ve got a gas powered generator, propane stove, non-electric can openers and all sorts of ‘gear’ that can come in handy in such circumstances.  And i can make a fire.  What i intend to add to the collection?  Chainsaw.  [grunt, scratch].  Bow saw just doesn’t cut it….

– Smells Like Disaster:  Driving through the old neighborhood, i was hit with a powerful smell.  Combination of wood chips, smoke and fresh autumn air.  Sounds?  The occasional generator humming in a back yard, chainsaws, wood chippers… If it weren’t such a pain in the ass…

– Usefulness:  A local church has been offering free hot meals every evening between 5pm – 7pm.  If that isn’t the most useful thing a church can do, then i don’t know what is.  Let’s hear it for the Methodists – and those lovely ladies who can whip up a jello-salad to feed hundreds!

Lucky: Yep.  That’s me.  This could have been SO MUCH WORSE – had we gotten the rain.  instead?  Gorgeous autumn weather!  High pressure blue skies, not a cloud to be seen…  If water had been pouring through all of those punctured homes?  Ouch. 

____________

* No.  Not like that.  We were close, but no exchanges of bodily fluids.

** The source of my bootlegged internet connection.  Mine had just been set up – but wasn’t quite operational yet when the power crashed.

*** Which is where i am now…  Annoyed to the point that i am refusing to buy their goddamned $5 coffee.

Blown away*…

Um… From the “What the fuck” files…

There was this hurricane thing.  Hit Texas?  You may have heard about it?  Well, Ike didn’t just beat up on Tina Turner… Quite literally, out of the fucking blue, wind picked up yesterday afternoon.  And right here in the middle of nowhere-near-a-coastline, we got Tropical Storm force winds – sustained about 40-50 mph, with gusts to 80mph (that’s Category I Hurricane, for those of you without access to The Weather Channel).

Needless to say, this is not a regular occurrence here in the midwest.  Six hours of big wind – thrust upon trees that have never been tested against such force – means “HOLY SHIT”.  The entire region is literally blown away.  Fortunately, very few casualties – trees falling on motorcyclists, heart attacks as people say “WHAT THE FUCK? I LIVE IN THE MIDWEST?  WE DON’T HAVE HURRICANES, FOR FUCKSAKE!” – and surprisingly no rain. I’m no meteorologist, but i think that’s because there is no ocean within about 1500 miles…

Down in The Park?  90% of the Cincinnati metropolitan area was without power this morning.  DQ and BJ** evacuated Mom late yesterday – a large tree came down in her back yard and freaked her out.  Didn’t hit anything important, but they thought it best to get her somewhere else – so she’s hanging out with BJ’s parents in an armored fortress with portable generators***.  Oh, and i’m guessing we’ll need to re-pimp Dad’s grave.  Ain’t no way that the silk arrangement withstood 80 mph gusts…

Headed out to run errands at my old house in the middle of the ‘blow’, and hadn’t realized how bad it was til i ran into the first massive tree trunk blocking a roadway.  Power lines down everywhere.  My power went out around 3:30PM.  Went over to my old house – and with all the old trees adjacent, expected the worst – and all was well.  A neighbor got a big ol’ branch through the roof, though.

Hit a hardware store – operating on generator power, of course – and bought some shelving for the new place.  And proceeded to get drunk with a friend, while installing shelving in a closet.  Not the easiest thing to do by candlelight, but we were resourceful…

So i’m going to be a little bit ghostly in your ol’ comment boxes****.  Limited connectivity until my neighbor with the unsecured wireless access gets things up and running again.  Awaiting the plague of locusts, strontium showers and fires from the sky…  Gotta wonder if the Large Hadron Collider activity was responsible.  Damn Europeans…

__________

* “Hurricane” is perhaps one of the best love songs ever.  And certainly one of Neil Young’s best.

** BJ’s home, down to taking just tylenol for pain, and in a back brace.  He has been directed to stay mostly horizontal, but is doing well despite the crushed vertebrae.

*** God love those damn survivalist types!  Good to know someone with a bunker when the shit starts flyin’, isn’t it?

**** May or may not be a euphemism, depending on who you are!

“Pimp My Grave”*

Went to The Park Saturday to take Mom out to play for her birthday – just a day spent doing whatever she wanted or needed to do, hanging out and talking about life and the mysteries of the universe.  And every single bite of food she’s eaten for the past week…

First on her list?  Getting up to the cemetery to update the flowers on Dad’s grave.  Seems innocuous enough… perhaps a delicate silk arrangement, something small and tasteful?  Oh, no.  Not in my world…

To put this in context, i need to explain a regional phenomenon.  “Lawn Geese”.  As if us Midwestern Americans don’t earn get enough grief for being frivolous and disconnected from issues that matter, many of us (older women, in particular) will purchase concrete geese for the front porch, and then spend way too much time and money dressing them up.  Seasonal costumes?  Christmas and Patriotic Costumes are popular.  Special Events?  You bet!  Even a bride and groom if you want to present the most annoying wedding gift ever.

Mom suffers from “displaced lawn goose syndrome”, and has applied her compulsion to play dress up with the inanimate to my father’s grave.  She “dresses” it for the seasons.  Despite the fact that i promised my father on his death bed that i would not allow her to put plastic flowers** on his grave, i’ve not generally interfered with her need to decorate his headstone.  It brings her joy.  He really wouldn’t mind…

So rather than explain in much more detail, here are “before” and “after” pictures.

Summer colors fading

Summer colors fading

Autumn plumage on display

Autumn plumage on display

Nothing plastic.  All silk.  The tall posts on either side of the headstone are wrought iron stands – meant to hold hanging baskets of flowers.  i tried to put live plants here, but since there is no shade at the site, everything just bakes.  So Mom hangs small wind chimes on them, and wraps them in fake leaves, tinsel, fake ivy or other odds and ends picked up at the dollar store.

So it goes… 

But when we pimp Dad’s grave, i’m always reminded of discussions i had with him about the headstone he wanted.  Something big!  No little flat ground marker, he wanted a huge monument of some sort.  And we giggled ourselves silly at my suggestion of a giant black granite obelisk – maybe 12 feet tall – emblazoned with the word “Daddy” down the side…

_________

* There’s a very special show on MTV called “Pimp My Ride“.  Where a gang-banger wanna be can get a 1978 Ford Maverick converted into a throbbin’ and bitchin’ set of street wheels.  There was a show where some kid got an AMC Pacer pimped out.  Painful…

** As i’ve mentioned before, Mom is a pack rat.  One of the things she finds most difficult to throw out is artificial flowers.  Dad used to have nightmares – literally – about suffocating in his room under piles of dusty, faded and gnarly looking plastic flowers… Hence the promise…