Thursday, October 16, 2014

'Old' Faithful? [rated R for language]

" said 'Geezer', not 'Geyser'?"

Am I becoming a crotchety old person who has no patience for much of anything anymore? Wait...did I just refer to myself as old? Geez. It's been on my mind lately because a few days ago I was asked by a college student if she could interview me on the subject of aging for one of her classes. Aging? Me? Why me? The nerve. 

“What are you researching?” I asked. She wanted to see if people 'my age' become curmudgeonly as they get older. “Based on how you answer these questions, we can assess how far you have trodden down that road to crotchety.” Reluctantly, I agreed to be her subject. I had to prove to myself that I was not one of those blue-haired old ladies who you see portrayed smacking people with their cane or purse. Although, in my mind I wanted to rip the bitch's head off, so it makes one wonder. 

Q: Is there always at least one…[or two…or multiple] things that bug the shit out of you about someone?
A: Are you f**king kidding me? Of course there are. I'm lucky if it's only one...and if so, then I consider that person my greatest friend ever. So basically...I have no friends.

Q: Do people, in your opinion, just get dumber?
A: Duh. I've become the smartest person I know. And I ain't no Einstein...So what does that tell you?

Q: Does poor grammar bother you, even on texts?
A: Ya think? It always has though; so that's not something new that has come with age. But poor grammar on a text doesn't bother me. See how non-crotchety that is?

Q: Do young adults who don't show respect to you, like you showed adults when you were younger, bother you?
A: Yes! When did that generational gap close? I mean I love being friends with my kids friends, but I'm still the parent...and although we are 'buds' there is still that fine line between respect and disrespect. But then I think...’Ugh...I sound like my parents generation. Times have changed, Jaime....C'mon’...and then I think again...'Nah...I deserve the respect. I earned the respect. And dammit...
Don’t call me ‘Dude!’ 

Q: You're/your, there/they're/their, to/too...need I ask?
A: NOPE, you do not.

Q: Does it bother you when people are walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, and don't move out of your way?
A: Absolutely...especially when I'm doing my daily speed walking. Where the hell do they think they are...f**king England? So I shove them off to the side into the bushes as I walk by.

Q: When you're sitting in an empty movie theater and people sit right in front of that ok?
A: NO! Are you kidding me? I don't get it. There are 100+ seats...why do they have to sit directly in front of me, or next to me, or even in the 3 rows right around me? Makes no sense. And it's even ruder when the person is tall. I always check who is behind me before I sit down if I have a choice of other seats. It's called common courtesy. If those are the only seats they have to choose from then I'll give them a pass and not talk shit about them. [Although it's rare that I don't find a multitude of other things to talk shit about.]

Q: What about talking and eating in the theater?
A: Let's not go there...but just to be clear...I don't even like when people are talking during the's like 'Shut the hell up already. Did you not see each other and talk for the last hour prior to the film rolling? Take it outside, motormouth.' Again...common courtesy. And if I hear their lips smack more than twice while eating...I start throwing things at them. There was a guy once who didn't appreciate my shoe making contact with his head. 

Q: How do you feel about people talking with food in their mouths?
A: I could puke! Maybe what I should do is also talk with food in my mouth and let it spew from my lips at them. That may leave a lasting impression so that the next time they eat...they'll think twice about sharing the visual of the masticated food with their meal companions. I tend not to tell those people they have green stuff stuck in their teeth after they’re done eating.

Q: How much does it bother you when people are speaking so loudly to someone else, that you can't continue your own conversation because it's too distracting?
A: I understand that some people's voices carry louder than others...but I'm sure at some point in their lives, someone had to have told them how loud they are. Adjust your volume you want everyone to hear your conversation? I always feel like they want to be noticed. Shut up! Lower your frickin' voice or go talk in a padded cell somewhere in a straight jacket. Does that sound a little angry? Maybe a straight jacket is going too far.

Q: How about when you're lying on the beach and people walk by close enough for you to touch their feet?
A: Do people not know spatial courtesy? There are miles of beach around them, but they have to walk two inches from my head. I also love when they are walking in flip-flops and kicking up sand in my face. Oblivion is the new planet we’ve inhabited.

Q: do you handle them?
A: I've tried to pull a sort of Seinfeld...I've called them back to see how they like being bothered, but it goes directly to a recording saying that number is not a working I'm actually pissed off twice at the same thing.

Q: When doctors make you wait for over 30 minutes...are you understanding?
A: What makes their time so much more precious than mine? Believe me...I appreciate all they do. But aside from their life savings skills and treatment of all sorts of diseases, and blah, blah, time is still precious to ME. We should start charging them a fee when they have to cancel our appointments because they are called into emergency surgery. So, no, I'm not very understanding. Maybe when I AM blue-haired and have too much time on my hands, I won't mind the reprieve from the assisted living place my kids are going to throw me into. Damn those kids. How could they?

Q: When you're in the middle of a conversation with someone and you see that they are not listening anymore, because they are preoccupied by someone else or a does that make you feel?
A: Can I tell you how unbelievably disrespectful that is? At least say, "Can you hold that thought while I so rudely pay attention to something else I feel is more important than you are?" 'Yeah...sure you can...go f**k yourself.'

Q: Does the same apply when you're on a phone call and that person puts you on hold to take another call?
A: Absolutely...I don't understand why the other person's call is more important than mine...make them wait and leave a message and call them back. Do NOT put me on hold. Let it go to voice mail. So I let them answer their other call and then I hang up and don't answer when they call back.

Q: Do you lose patience with people when they're late or when they don't answer your texts and emails promptly?
A: You have no first husband was late for our very first date. He called to say he was going to be late, which, at the time, I thought was so sweet and thoughtful. That should have been my first hint of things to come. Over, and over, and over. I should learn to tell these people to arrive much earlier than is needed, but I don’t like to lie. And those who know me well enough would know I was lying and would be late anyway…so why bother. I always say I'm going to do that back to them so they can see how it feels, but I just can't bring myself to be late, or procrastinate answering someone's email or text. Sometimes it's just a burden being so perfect.

Q: How about people who drive too slowly? Either those you are with in the car, or those on the road in front of you.
A: Let's just say I'm surprised I haven't attempted road rage [mostly because I'm too chicken to suffer the consequences.] Ok...maybe a little road rage. But more in my own head than outwardly apparent. Ok...maybe a little apparent. A little tailgating; a little flashing the brights; a little flip of the bird; a swear word here and there. But I've never gotten out of my car and started screaming at anyone. Not that I can remember. I don't think.

Q: When people cancel plans at the last does it make you feel?
A: It depends on if it's a pattern or if it's an infrequent thing with that particular person. I can tell you I've stopped making plans with those who have done that more often than not. It's annoying and disrespectful and usually it's people who are not the most truthful. But mostly because.......I don't have enough people as back up to make other last minute plans with...(refer to my answer to the first question above.)

Q: Where do people who lie fit into your tolerance level?
A: There is no tolerance level.

Q: Does it piss you off when someone doesn’t thank you for doing a random act of kindness? Or for any favor you do?
A: You’re damn right it does…and the amount of times they thank you depends on what the act of kindness is. I'm not looking for accolades for anything I do, but, for instance, if you’re just letting someone in front of you while driving…they should thank you when you first let them in, then thank you again with the high wave, so you can see them in their rear window. If you take someone to dinner…minimum 3 thank yous. Maybe during dinner… “Thank you for having me,” and again right after dinner, as you’re walking out, “Thank you again,” and then as you hug good-bye, “Again…thank you so much. I had a great time.” And if someone doesn’t…make sure they know you noticed. " the're welcome [shithead]."

Q: When someone is in the crosswalk taking their time walking to the other side…do you wait patiently?
A: Yeah, of course I do. I mean I would rather shoot an arrow up their ass to speed up the process…but prison has never been on my bucket list.

Q: Does it annoy you when people stare at you?
A: I can't tell you how much. I start getting all paranoid like I have schmutz all over my face, or in my teeth; or that my hair is sticking straight up or out or all over the place. My mom and my dog do it all the time. When I call my mom out on it...she claims to not be staring at me, but through me while she's pondering the universe. When I tell my dog to stop, she cocks her head like she has no idea what I'm talking about. Yeah...sure she doesn't. So I walk away but she just follows me and keeps staring. When strangers do it, I pull out my can of mace and squirt them in the eye. [At least in my mind that's what I'm doing.]

Q: How does it make you feel when you see someone on a daily basis, while walking your dog, for instance, and they never acknowledge you?
A: Invisible. Then I do something similar, like I do to those who walk on the wrong side; I shove them into the street and yell out, “Do you see me now?” Hopefully the oncoming traffic sees them.

Q: Every person claims to have the worst memory as they age; and they all seem to want to outdo the other in how much they forget. How frustrating is it when you can’t recall things?
A: It’s horrible. I’m sorry…what was the question?

When the test was done I was thinking, 'So...not too bad, right? I still have a pretty high tolerance level for ignorant, self-centered, disrespectful, narcissistic, rude assholes...don't you think?' 

And then I looked up at her face...

I think I got my answer.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Who You Calling Fugly?

I miss my girls now that we don’t live together. Well...I miss certain things about them. What I don’t miss: the empty bank account, the dishes left in the sink, the clothes strewn in places I didn’t know existed, not knowing where they are in the middle of the night if they forget to call, that ‘time of the month’ when I wasn't sure exactly which personality I was dealing with…theirs or Satan. You get my drift. So wait…then why do I miss them? Oh yeah…

I miss seeing their faces every day and knowing what's going on in their lives on a minute by minute basis; which I’m sure they just loved anyway. I miss knowing how they feel at all times. I miss being their mommy. I’m still their mom...but I’m not their mommy anymore. They don't 'need' me to fix a boo-boo or feed them, or all those other things mommies do. I never in a million years thought I would want that role. I had sworn I was never having kids. I hate kids. Maybe hate is too strong a word. I really don't hate anything. Except lima beans. I hate lima beans. I could throw up every time I see a lima bean. You may as well give me a spoonful of vomit. But I digress. I extremely dislike other people's kids. I love my own kids, but not others. Unless they just kind of ignore me. Then I’m ok with them and can tolerate them. But don't let those little rug rats whine, or scream, or talk to me. Ick. I wonder how I’ll feel when I have grandchildren. I sure hope I feel differently about them than I do about those non-blood related kids.

When I was little I never said or thought, 'Oh...when I grow up I want to be a mommy.' Never. I was going to be a singer or dancer...although I could do neither. I just assumed I would be great at both when I became an adult. I’m not sure why I thought that…the innocence of youth I guess; but boy was I wrong. I mean...I have rhythm and can carry a tune...but that doesn't qualify me to star in my own one-woman show. [Although……maybe....] Oops…off track again. But wanting to be a mom? No way. Even when I was little, I didn't like littler kids. They were annoying. I don't think I was annoying as a little kid although my family may feel otherwise. 
Nah...I doubt it. I was pretty frickin' adorable. [click on video below]

I did figure I would get married when I grew up, but that was never a must either. So I decided to try it twice to be sure it wasn't for me. It wasn't.

However, when I met my first husband and saw him around other children, I thought he would make a great dad. He told me he wanted kids, and I loved him, so I wanted to give him a child or two. And since I loved him, I thought maybe I would want to be a mother to his children. And if I didn't like least I knew they would have one parent who loved them and enjoyed being their parent, and he could do all the work. [Ha!] There was a lot of rationalizing before becoming pregnant. But maternal instinct? Cinderella’s stepmother was more suited than I was.

After 2 years of marriage we decided to try to get pregnant. I don't know if I should even use the word 'try' because when I decided I wanted to, I did on the first attempt. Both times. I knew my body so well that as soon as I knew I was ovulating it was like, "Ok...bedroom...NOW!" (I think I said that way more times during the month other than when I was ovulating...but he's a naturally he happily went along with the obvious charade.) When we 'did it' on the actual ovulating day, I laid [lay?] on my back afterwards, for about 10 more minutes, with my legs up on the wall, so all his active, little spermies would swim on down to meet my eagerly awaiting eggs and boom! A production was in the making, and I was pregnant.

I was an emotional mess during the pregnancy, worrying that I wasn't going to love my baby. It was the easiest pregnancy, too...except for the 28 f**king hours of labor I endured...but the nine months leading up to those 28 f**king hours of labor were a breeze as far as pregnancies go. I was a little nauseated during the first trimester, but never threw up or had any problems. [Good thing no one put lima beans in front of me.] Of course, saltines were my best friend and I only gained 21 pounds, so I should have been thrilled about the whole journey. But what if I hated my child? I mean I hated kids. Oops...I mean I extremely disliked kids. What if I didn't love my child? It would make sense that since I didn't like kids I wouldn't like my own. How horrible would that be? So for nine months I was in panic mode that I was going to be the worst example of a mother ever. I was going to be written up in some magazine as number one on the top 10 list of not famous, worst moms. [Unless I ended up having that one-woman show…then I would be on the top 10 list of famous, worst moms.] 

But when that peanut of a child erupted from my body to make her grand entrance into the world [after 28 f**king hours]...that was it. I was in love. There was no doubt in my mind that this girl had me in her clutches. That should have been my first indication as to what the rest of my life would be with her. She manipulated me from the minute she was born. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Well...maybe a little bit other way. But she was the best baby…never cried, happy, and absolutely beautiful. 

My second pregnancy was totally the opposite. Thank god I didn't go through that one first or I never would have had a second. But I knew I wanted this child having known how much in love I was with my first. The pregnancy was the worst....I threw up for the entire nine months every single day. It was awful. And not at any particular time of wasn't morning sickness with her, it was 24 hour sickness without one god damn day of reprieve. The only decent thing was I gained very little weight with her, too. Probably because I was too sick to eat much. No cravings with this one like my Italian craving during the first. I had a calzone every day for lunch and some other Italian dish for dinner. You would have thought my baby would come out singing the score to La Traviata. 

The only craving I had with my second was to feel good. That’s all I wanted, but I think I had a better relationship with the Ty-D-Bol man than I did with my husband. In spite of that, I knew once she came out I would feel better and be totally in love for a second time.

My labor was only 6 hours, so although the first nine months were a nightmare, she was making labor much easier this time around. Don’t get me wrong...6 hours is like an eternity in labor hours...but compared to the 28 f**king hours with the first...six hours was a walk in the park. Well...not really. I still wanted to tear the f**king head off my husband, rip out his heart, and shove this baby up his ass. But all in all, it was much easier than my first one. I couldn't wait to see her.

And then..........holy shit. I almost passed out. Was that MY baby? No way...she was frickin' ugly. I had an ugly baby. I was devastated. How can I have an ugly baby? Impossible. 

They must have switched it while I wasn't looking. [Obviously she took after her dad’s side.] I can't bond with a freakishly ugly baby. I thought all parents were blinded by their love and thought their baby was cute even though they could have a Shrek baby. Why wasn't I one of those parents who was in denial about how ugly their baby was?

How could this happen? I thought she would grow on me but she screamed her head off from the minute she was born for the next two years; mostly at night when I wanted to sleep, but still...for two straight years she got me up 3 times a night for two hours at a time. And I was a single mom because we divorced when she was nine months old. I probably should have rethought that one and waited until she stopped having screaming fits before filing for divorce.

For the first 6 months I had a hard time bonding with her. Probably from her crying and being sorta ugly. She was getting less ugly month by month but not less enough to make up for the temper that only a crotchety old man should have. She was the female version of a baby Walter Matthau. 

But then she hit that 6 month mark when her adorable personality kicked in and she charmed me with her dimpled smile, and I was smitten. I fell in love for the 2nd time with a child. Who knew?

So aside from giving birth to Rosemary’s baby, motherhood is everything I never knew it could be. Do I miss those glory days of their youth? Absolutely. Would I want to go back and relive their childhood years? You have got to be f**king kidding me. I’m happy just the way we are. Except for that part about missing them...that will never change. Although, on second thought...I could just move in with them......... 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Many Sisters Does It Take To........

How do you make your birthday special and memorable? Make it a family event. Never a dull moment. At least not with my sisters. They were generous enough to take me away for one of my major milestones. We hadn't been away together since our 20's, so believe me; it was a long, overdue trip. The last time we were away together we went on a Club Med vacation at a time when we all were pretty wild. It was the era of drugs, sex and rock and roll, and we took full advantage of that. It was before we knew as much as we do now about STD's. Need I say more? This time was just a tad different though, but the fun factor was still there. It usually is when we're all together.

Let me just give you a quick glimpse into who we are. Both of my sisters are extremely successful business owners, and I have a successful career in advertising. But we are each on different levels of the economic ladder...and let's just say...I'm on the bottom rung of theirs. They need to extend their arms WAY down to reach me. But the positive side of that is I'm afraid of heights, so it’s a good thing I'm not up at the top near where they are. [Yeah...sure it is.] They are quite used to a lifestyle I will most likely never know as normal in my lifetime. [Although…at what age are you too old for a sugar daddy? Maybe there’s time!] When it comes to blue collar/middle class's a foreign language to them, whereas I'm just your average white collar, middle class person who can afford the necessities in life, with enough to enjoy the journey, but in a whole other stratosphere than they are. I've also lived in middle class, blue collar areas over the course of my adult life. They have not. I'm comfortable there as well as being comfortable in an upper middle class area. They would not be. It would be like living in a third world country to them where no English was spoken. See where I'm going with this?

They had asked me where I wanted to go for my birthday. 'Anywhere in the world...just pick a place.' How many times are you offered an incredible opportunity like that? So let’s see…Italy? France? Greece? Nope…San Diego. A place I have been to way too many times to even count and I lived there for a year. Why did I choose that, you ask? Because of my dog. My dog is on a restricted diet, takes quite a few meds and needs to be monitored, and I just couldn't leave her or entrust anyone with her. So I needed to go to a place that took dogs and was close enough where I wouldn't need to hop on a plane. The resort in San Diego allowed dogs and my sisters both have been there and liked the place, so off we went. (Am I crazy or just the best dog mom in the world? I'd like to think the latter.)

The first day we arrived, we checked in, had a late lunch, and went for massages. I've written about my massage experiences before so I won't get into details, but it was great. I could hardly move I measured that as successful. The worse you feel, the better the masseuse. We showered and decided we would skip dinner and go to the movies.

Going to the movies with my one sister is an experience unto itself. Having gone with her quite often, I knew better than to sit next to her, so I let my other sister have the pleasure of sitting in the middle. When you do sit next to her she constantly whispers in your ear asking questions as if you’re not seeing the movie for the first time also. I wish I was as smart and intuitive as she thinks I am while watching a film I've never seen. Half the time I have no clue what's going on and wing it, hoping it will come together at the end. What I don’t do is constantly bug the shit out of the person next to me, so that they can’t enjoy the film because they are missing out on most of the dialogue because someone’s voice and breath are permeating their ear canal.

The closest theater we found was a Cinepolis...which none of us had ever been to and didn't know it was a different kind of theater. But when the admission ticket alone is $20, it had better be more than just a regular theater. If you've never been to one, you have to try it at least once. It's definitely the way to go if you can afford it. It's like watching in your living room, sitting in a luxurious Barcalounger [is that an oxymoron?] and being waited on. Except, of course, your dollar output is quite extraordinary. You have your own personal waiter and can order from a full menu and bar. The sequence of seats is two together, then an end table and another two seats, etc. My sisters sat together and I sat on the other side of the end table; which I came to find out made no difference. The movie started and I could hardly hear the dialogue on screen because of the outbursts coming from the peanut gallery next to me. My sister has to be the most animated viewer and the greatest audience member ever. Her reactions are as if the scene on screen is happening in real life and real time and she is witnessing a murder from across the street. Her gasps, her exclamations, her "OH NOOOOO's" are like listening to a child who doesn't know reality from make believe. She is truly a great audience. But for those of us sitting next to her? All I can say is my brother-in-law must be a saint. [But she is a crack up.]

The following evening was a whole new experience. Not for me as much as for my sisters. I think the reactions from them were the highlight of my trip. One of my sisters was driving and the other was navigating by WAZE. My driving sister has a great sense of direction. My navigating sister is exactly like I am...we can't find our way out of a bathroom without directions, so she won't deviate from WAZE's directions, nor would I. The driving sister had looked up the directions to the restaurant before we left and knew how to go by her internal compass and by memorizing them. That, in itself, is a feat I can no longer accomplish. My navigating sister wanted to follow WAZE. It was two against one so my sister relented and went with WAZE directions. We were searching for a recommended 5-star restaurant on the beach. I can't tell you how many U-turns we made trying to get to the street WAZE told us we were looking for. Once on led us down a narrow road towards the beach. We knew we were headed in the right direction because we were parallel to the ocean, only a few feet away, although the fact that it was more a dirt path than road was a little suspicious. Then, when we started seeing old RV's and campsites on either side of us, we were thinking that may not be exactly where we wanted to be. But WAZE insisted we were on the right path. 

Long-haired, toothless, tatted up guys; a beer in each hand or hands down their pants, were walking along the side of the road. My sisters were dying and I was cracking up. It was a picture out of Deliverance. They didn't know what to make of it and the further down the road we got, the better the sights and quite entertaining [for me.] It should have been titled, 'WalMart shoppers go camping.'

People were sitting around picnic tables, barbequing, laughing and having a good ol' time. Lights strung up at their campsites created a lovely ambience for dining under the stars at their aluminum picnic tables. Tatted up women who were wearing halters and shorts that should have never been squeezed into; their butt cracks showing and back boobs hanging over the halter; were walking around with babies attached to their hips. I think it's something my sisters have only seen in movies. I'm not sure they've ever seen an RV up close either...only on TV. One of my sisters said, “Let’s ask them if they know where it is.” OMG...seriously?? I was like, “You’re kidding, right? We are looking for a 5-star restaurant. What are the odds?” At the end of the road, no restaurant in sight. The WAZE woman then announced, "You have arrived at your destination." I was looking for the RV where Billy Bob and Mary Sue were standing outside with the welcome sign and a can of Spam. We U-turned again, stopped to call for directions, and eventually got there. Fortunately, dinner was worth the detour.

My birthday arrived the next day and I was doing something to make it as special and as memorable as possible. And again, we ended up on a road to nowhere. [I'm starting to question the validity of WAZE.] This time we were on a road comprised of junkyards containing smooshed up, compacted cars and automobile parts. You would think my sister had lived in an opaque bubble the last 30 years by her reaction to the automobile cemeteries. She was in awe. I swear…it’s like taking a little kid to the circus for the very first time. She was in shock that these places existed. I thought she was going to get out and see if she could purchase a large pile to use as art on her front lawn.

Again, after numerous U-turns, we called the place and got directions that actually took us to our destination. And there it was...heaven's gate. I dug out the email with the code they gave me to punch in to open the gate, and I did, and shockingly enough, it didn't open. Duh. You would think with 3 relatively intelligent women attempting to figure out how to open a gate, it wouldn't have taken us 15 minutes, but it did. My sister, who was reading the numbers to me, didn't realize that the pound sign was part of the code. In fact, she didn't know what a pound sign was. She just thought the number sign was telling you that they were numbers to punch in. [Because we wouldn't know that 1-2-3 were numbers without the # sign before them.] We're like the female version of Moe, Larry and Curly. Or Abbott and Costello plus one. Lucy and Ethyl with Mrs. McGillicuddy? Whoever we were...we couldn't get anything done on the first attempt. The majority of our vacation was spent figuring things out. Maybe we're not as smart as we thought we were.

I was so excited to be there I didn't care. We were there...and there was the plane. It was teenier than the one I jumped out of 40 years ago, but it would do the trick. My heart was pounding with anticipation and excitement all the while my sisters were trying to talk me out of it. After I signed all the waivers and disclaimers, (because you love thinking about that right before jumping out of a plane), I met my skydiving partner, Luke, who was a big, muscular hunk and then I knew I was in good hands. I was so glad I was going tandem and didn't need to think about anything but enjoying the jump. All I had to do was make sure HE knew the directions and could reach our target destination. And Luke knew the way. He was my hero for the day. He did give me the roller coaster version of parachuting, but I loved every minute of it. Especially when he got the directions right the first time out. [Whew!]

Could you imagine if my sisters and I were jumping together? We’d probably be somewhere in North Dakota 
dangling from some rock formation, still trying to get directions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Road to Perdition?

Have you ever had a stomach ache and hunger pains at the same time? (Or is it hunger pangs? Tomato, tomaaato.) I can never decide which to take care of first; however, the stomach ache usually wins out. After ingesting a few antacids, then a dozen more, I realize my efforts are futile, so it’s time to satisfy the hunger pains and hopefully the stomach ache will succumb. But here’s the problem that compounds it…almost everything I eat upsets my tummy. So satisfying the hunger only prolongs the pain. See where I’m in conflict?

But that’s not really what this is about. It’s about what I did the other day in an effort to resolve the problem, only to exacerbate it. I decided to let my daughter drive us to the restaurant. And I’m using ‘drive’ in the loosest of terms. ‘Drive’ shouldn’t even be in the same sentence. I decided to let her demolition derby us to our destination. Not only does she drive fast, she maneuvers the car like we’re in a high speed chase with sirens raging behind us, and she’s on the lam. She snakes her way in and out of lanes whether we are on the freeway or side streets, without a care in the world about who’s in her way. I’m not sure what her hurry is, but she always seems to be in one when she’s in the driver’s seat. [Sure wish she'd apply that to all other aspects of her life instead, if you catch my drift.]

I don’t know if you remember teaching your kids how to drive, but to this day, when they drive, I cover my eyes and avoid ever looking straight ahead at the road in front of me. I used to have to let their dad teach them to drive. When I would get in the car with them, I immediately lost patience. I’m not sure why, but we had barely left the driveway and I was already getting pissed off for something they hadn’t even done yet. I think my nerves were getting the better of me before they should’ve gotten the better of me. The anticipation of what they could do with a 3500 pound machine was too much for me to handle. We would be driving maybe 50 feet from home and I was yelling at them to slow down (from the 5 mph they were going) and telling them there was a stop sign ahead. As we approached the stop sign, I was yelling to ease their foot off the accelerator and we were still 25 feet away. I admit…I was the worst teacher ever, but was smart enough to bow out of teaching them. I probably should never be anyone’s passenger, either.

I have yet to mention my state of mind prior to the start of our long journey to hell. Upon approaching the car, I didn't even realize it was hers because the color was unrecognizable with the amount of dirt and dust covering it. It was a sort of grayish brown hue masking the maroon it actually was. The view out of the windshield was...well, there really wasn't a view. It was as if we were looking through glass blocks. You could see shapes, but nothing too clearly. Fortunately, headlights would shine through. At least I think that's what was shining through. Although…maybe it was heaven opening up to guide me through that very difficult time.

The interior? It was in there somewhere. I would get glimpses of it at when she would swerve or make those sharp turns and stuff would fall over or go flying. Then I could kind of see the seat or the floor, but that was really the only way, once I was able to peel away the clothes that flew in my face. I don't believe she has any clothes left in her closet or drawers because the inside of her car looked like she had just had a rummage sale for every article of clothing she owned. She really doesn't need to pay rent at her house since pretty much everything she has is inside her car. Do you think if she went to city hall, they would issue her an address for that thing she refers to as her car? I would say it's more of a hoarder's apartment on wheels.

Surprisingly, it had no odor. With all the shit that she had in there, why it didn't reek was beyond me. It's not like there weren’t hundreds of old In-n-Out Burger wrappers or anything. There were plenty of those and every other fast food chain represented within the confines of her vehicle. Skepticism about entering her car was only a small percentage of the thoughts and feelings permeating through my body. I was hoping she had a hazmat suit buried in there somewhere. 

I will never understand why people tear ass from a stop, speeding up to 60 mph, knowing there is another stop sign coming up in 300 feet, but there she went, flooring it, only to have to brake 5 seconds later. My heart? I believe it still resides in my chest, although it may have relocated to the other side. I had no idea it was able to pump that fast as it pushed its way up into my throat forcing me to spew out more swear words than I even knew I knew.

My knuckles were white holding on for dear life and all I heard going into my left ear was, “Mom, it’s fine. I know what I’m doing.” Yeah…sure you do, Destructo Woman. My right foot was cramping from pressing on the imaginary brake as she sped full force ahead and my hand was in a permanent clutching position, as if rigor mortis set in. I should have invested in a driver’s ed car so I could have master control from the passenger’s seat.

The sign would say:

And this is what she would see:

As we would drive by people she knew, she thought nothing of sticking her head out the window to yell to them, removing her eyeballs from watching the road in front of her. Helllloooooo....whole other world to focus on in the view out your windshield...which is directly at a zero degree angle. Turn your head back. I felt like going on Google maps and clicking the 'show traffic' link to point out just what was ahead of her. That would've given her a better idea than she was getting in person.

Since my eyes were constantly diverted to the right so as not to see what she was almost running into, I hadn't noticed that she was looking down at her iPod to look for another song to play. Can't you just turn on the radio like a normal human being? If I don't have permanent heart damage, I'll be shocked. [Not to mention ruptured eardrums and vocal chord nodules from yelling over the extraordinarily loud music.]

You would never know we were in the car by the way she was window shopping. "Look mom...will you buy me that dress?" Seriously? You're shopping while driving. First of can you even see that far and…WHAT?? You’re SHOPPING WHILE DRIVING?? Who the hell is at the helm then? Apparently, she thought we were in one of those concept cars that drives itself. I certainly would've felt safer. I'll tell you what I WILL buy you...a bus pass.

I’m always happy when there’s traffic while she's at the wheel. That way I know she can’t exceed the speed limit [too much]. However, with traffic comes tailgating, and with tailgating comes heart failure. We should have just had the car in front of us hook us up to the back of their car. We all would have been safer that way. Why she’s never encountered road rage is beyond my understanding.

I was going to refrain from mentioning the 4 tickets she received within 6 weeks of each other but it’s just too unbelievable to omit, along with the fact that every time I see our car insurance bill, I go into cardiac arrest…but here are the facts:

Ticket #1: November 2013 – 56 mph in a 40 zone
Ticket #2: November 2013 [one week later] – 94 mph in a 65 zone…on the freeway to Vegas…what were the odds?
Ticket #3: December 2013 – again…56 mph in a 40 zone
Ticket #4: January 2014 – talking on her cell

There are now signs posted on those streets in her honor:

Well, we did finally arrive at our destination, and as she sped into a parking space, barely missing the cars on either side, the cramping in my stomach, legs, biceps, triceps, quads, and any other body part that stiffened during the ride, finally subsided as she came to an abrupt halt. I arrived in one piece without flat lining. Hallelujah! But I have to say...that was the longest four blocks I've ever experienced.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Last on the List...Heaven

I think it’s ridiculous that we only have a finite amount of time on this earth. I have way too many things to do still, in too short a period of time left in this limited life span.

For instance…I’d love to sit down with a President. I don’t want to discuss politics since I’m politically ignorant...but I’d love to just talk about life. His/her life. My life. Life itself…over a bowl of Life...and double chocolate chip brownies. Then once the sugar high hits, a little karaoke and a disco dance-off.

I’ve yet to meet the man of my dreams. He’s supposedly out there. Just once I’d like to meet who Mr. Right is. That soul mate I’ve never found. Even if we don’t end up together…I’d love to just see who he is and decide if I agree with whoever said he’s my match made in heaven. Oh wait…maybe that’s what I have to wait for…heaven. Ahhhh…makes so much sense now why he’s nowhere to be found on earth.

Speaking of Earth. I’d love to take a trip to Pluto, see if anyone lives there, play a game of badminton with a Plutonian, then come back down to earth and declare Pluto a full size planet again. Can you imagine being 76 years old and finding out you’re not who you thought you were all those years? How humiliating for Pluto to get demoted. [I think ‘come back down to earth’ may be a significant phrase in this blog.]

I’d like to stop shaving and see how long the hair on my legs and armpits would get. It would be gross; but it would be interesting.

Just once…I’d love to make a million dollars…in one lump sum. I mean, I would take more if I could, but a million would do.

I want to go to a town of 25,000 people and see how long it would take to meet each person who lives there. I would prefer it be in Italy, but I would take any town in the USA if I had to. Maybe I should start with 10,000 people. That’s probably more attainable.

I want to have the ultimate orgasm. Whatever that is…I wanna have it. Multiple times.

I want to be a guest speaker at a college commencement and motivate graduates. I’d like to do that without shitting in my pants from fear of speaking in front of people.

I’d like to quarterback a pro-football team. [What’s more unlikely than me ever quarterbacking…is L.A. getting a home team; but that’s a whole other fantasy.] So the closest would be the Chargers. And I can’t get sacked. Or tackled. Or hurt in any way whatsoever.

I’d like to grace the cover of a magazine. It may be AARP but still…it’s a cover. I’d like to see if/what professionals would do to my hair and make-up to change my look and then how much would get photo-shopped.

Along those lines…I’d like to see what I would look like as a blonde, but I don’t want to dye my hair because I don’t want to wait for it to grow out when I don’t like it. You’re probably saying to yourself…”Why doesn’t she try a wig?” And my answer would be because it’s gross. The thought of putting on a wig that others have tried on creeps me out. Thoughts of lice come to mind. And believe me…having two girls with long hair down to their waists, who went to camp and caught lice every summer for 5 years…it’s not a memory I cherish. In fact…that’s something I’d like to find out in this lifetime…how the hell do those little suckers jump to someone else’s head and attach their eggs or nits or whatever the hell they’re called…to the root of someone’s hair and make it impossible to pick off. It’s absolutely mind boggling and repulsive…especially if they’ve hatched. Ok…reminiscing rant done. [I'd like to think this is what I would look like as a blonde, body included]

Overcoming my fears is something I’d like to do before I leave this earth. Of course, I’d like to overcome them without actually having to perform them in order to overcome them.

I would like to master the art of walking down the stairs in flip-flops without sounding like the Ohio State Marching Band just invaded my house.

I have a few discoveries I’d like to make. Like the phenomenon of traffic. If there’s no accident, how is there traffic? I understand one car driving slowly to cause traffic in one lane…but all the lanes at the same time? C’mon.

I want to figure out how bugs get into the globes that cover light bulbs in the ceiling.

I’d like to invent a substitute food for all animals to eat instead of them killing each other for sustenance. Something like baco bits…on a larger scale. Life-size bits. Maybe buffalo. That should stop that damn circle of life crap.

My bucket list has always consisted of going on an African safari. Maybe I could take those Buff bits I created and take them over there to spread around. Ok…quite unrealistic, but the safari part isn’t. Of course I couldn’t afford it until I get that million dollars.

I’ve pondered over the unknown quite often…on large and small scales…like how many blades of grass are on someone’s lawn. [I’ve thought about the whole planet but that was also, not too realistic.] Or how many strands of hair are on my head. Although that’s forever changing because…as of late…I think there’s more on the floor and in my brush than attached to my head.

When does a freckle appear? When I’m sleeping? Just all of a sudden it’s there? How did I not see it forming?

If you use a washcloth with soap, why do you have to wash a washcloth?

What's up with Europeans and their teeth?

And where are those f**king silver fish coming from? We see other bugs outside and know they come in through open doors or windows. But you never see a silver fish outside so how do they just appear? They’re disgusting.

I have yet to go hot air ballooning. I attempted to go twice. The first time the winds were too strong so they sent us home. The second time I was pregnant and they wouldn’t let me in the bucket. Apparently, delivering a baby on board wasn’t part of their duties. And along those lines of being airborne…zip-lining. That’s a definite one I’m doing. I just hope my limitations with my shoulders, neck, back and fear of heights don’t get in the way of me soaring across some jungle-like terrain 80 gazillion feet in the air. I think that’s where that ‘overcoming my fears’ thing would come in handy.

I would’ve liked to have met Sinatra and sang a duet with him, but I missed that opportunity. Although…you never know. Maybe…just maybe…he’s that match made in heaven I was referring to. And just maybe…he’s there at the bar hanging out with Ed McMahon, who’s been holding on to my million dollars all these years. But I think that discovery will remain last on my list.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Did You Swallow A Kardashian?

I have a new pet peeve that absolutely drives me's called ‘Vocal Fry.’ I can't believe I was able to describe it on Google well enough to get the exact technical term right away. Probably because millions are also wondering what the f**k it is. [I SO love Google] It's got to be the most irritating sound ever, although I’m sure I’ve complained about plenty of other irritating sounds that have bugged the shit out me; but this is the latest. In fact, it’s been around a couple of years already, so I guess it's not so new. You only hear it in 20 and 30 somethings; and only girls (I can't even call them women...real women don't talk like that.) It's that raspy, low, vibrating sound that comes out of their annoying little mouths when they're talking. It makes you wanna squeeze the shit out of their necks to bring the sound up and out of their throats, shoot it right past your ears without invading your aural senses, and be gone forever. I believe that's called strangling...which is exactly what I want to do to them whenever I hear them speak. I want to hold their vocal chords in place so tightly that they can't vibrate. Actually, holding them so they can't vocalize at all would be the best case scenario. That comes with the strangling motion, so a ‘2 for 1’...what a deal. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want to go so far as to murder them…I just want to stop them from speaking while they’re in my presence.

What I don't get is how they make it happen. It can't be something they consciously make themselves do to sound like that on purpose, can it? They're not smart enough to know how because if they were smart enough, they wouldn't want to sound like that. No one could do that all day long, every time they speak. It’s just not natural. They'd be so busy concentrating on how to sound like that, that they wouldn't be able to concentrate on what they're talking about. AHA...that's exactly it...that's why they sound so f**king dumb. It’s all coming together. 

How does something like this just emerge? And why is it now THE way to speak? I don't get it. I understand how fashion trends get introduced. I may not like all the styles I see people wearing but at least I know how and why fads like that start. I understand how words and phrases catch on. The media enables that. None of that impacts my life. But guttural sounds? You can't just all of a sudden start changing how your vocal chords work, right? I know when you sing you can manipulate your voice...but that's just for the duration of the song. But in every day speech? How is that possible? And why would you? It’s so frickin’ annoying. Especially when it's in combo with the "UM" interjected after every other phrase.

You’re probably thinking this should not have any impact on my life either...but au contraire. It absolutely does. I have to listen to people talk like this all day long since my industry is comprised of many 20 something girls and they have adopted this new vocal speech pattern. could puke.

I find a lot of these vocal fry adoptees have also invaded the morning news shows; not the anchors so much, but the interviewees. I guess I could change the channel but it seems like most of these young ‘experts’ talk like this now, so even if I changed the station, I’d probably find the same thing on the others. And there are some topics I want to hear about, so I sit through their discussions while being tortured by their raspy hoarsey obnoxious voices....thinking 'hurry up, disseminate the information, and then shut the f**k up already. And you’re not a frickin' expert so stop thinking you are.’

And isn’t that a laugh in itself…experts…at the age of 28 or so. Everyone's an expert. They haven’t lived long enough to be experts, but they DO know everything. Just ask them. I think if they didn’t talk in this new ‘hip’ irritatingly disgusting voice, I wouldn’t give them such a bad rap. I’d allow them to think they are the experts.

I don't remember where I first noticed someone speaking like this...but now? I can't ever NOT hear it when it's there. And then I can't concentrate on anything BUT the way they're talking. Forget listening to the content of what they're saying. I’m screwed when I really need to absorb the information. Same thing when I hear someone constantly say 'UM'...O. M. F**KING. G. I may as well just leave the conversation because I will get just as much out of it as if I was never there. Well…technically, I do leave the conversation…in my head. I may physically be there but if they were really paying attention and looked deep into my eyes…they would see a blank look. And behind that blank look would be Mohammed Ali shadow boxing in my eye balls, gloves on, waiting to beat the shit out of whomever is in front of me aiming their vibrating, annoying, never ending, vocal fry in my direction.

Have you noticed another big trend that people have been using? They start every sentence with the word “So.” It doesn’t matter whether it should be there or not…that’s how they start every single sentence.

Can you tell me how that works, Moonshadow?” (Moonshadow is a 20 something who was born to some actors who have to name their kids a ridiculous name in order to get the recognition of all their fans and the acting community.) And Moonshadow’s response…“So you take the blah blah blah and put it on the such and such, but I don’t really know how because I have ‘people’ who do that for me.

And how much does that cost, NorthStarWest?” “So it will cost you an arm and a leg…but that’s ok, because it’s worth every cent, [and I’m a trust fund baby who can afford pretty much anything I want anyway].

Can you start a sentence without using the word ‘So’, Mango-Tangerine?” “So I don’t think I can, but that’s ok, right?

Did I mention while they are starting their sentences with the word ‘So’, they are also speaking with a vocal fry voice? My nerves are being severely tested.

SO back to the 'UM' users. Holy shit. Talk about being distractingly annoying. I end up sitting in meetings counting the number of 'UM's' one uses, as opposed to listening to what they're talking about. I think I got up to 67 'UM's' in one presentation that lasted only about 7 minutes. Can I tell you how f**king insufferable that is? I'd love to stick a pin in their most sensitive spot each time they say it so they experience the Pavlov (or should I say Perlov) conditioning. Eventually, after they have been poked enough, they'll learn to stop. (Or bodily fluids will start leaking out all the holes and they'll be so weak they won't be able to talk. Either way works for me.)

Tell me…how do you ‘wrap your head around’ something? Or your brain? I can wrap my arms around something, but as hard as I’ve tried to wrap my brain around something...just short of performing a lobotomy on myself...I believe that may be impossible. And how does someone come up with that visual to begin with, to mean what it means? They probably were on drugs when that phrase came to mind. There’s really no other explanation.

And why does everyone say 'love you' to everyone now...even those they barely know? Do they REALLY love them? Do they? I think not. It’s taken away the entire meaning behind the real emotion of love we feel. I remember years ago, one of my daughter's friends said 'love you' to me as she walked out the front door to leave. I just said 'Bye so and so' to whomever it was. And my daughter said to me, 'Say you love her, too, mom." I told her I wouldn't. I don't say love you to people I don't love. I refuse. So if by chance I tell you I love excited…you'll know I mean it. Unless, of course, society said I’m supposed to feel love for you because of how you are related to me, but I don't, and I don't want you to know I don't. Then I may tell a little white lie.

So…to conclude…um…so I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this whole vocal fry craze, et al…but, um…I’m sure they will fade away. And, um, I’m sure there will be plenty of, um, other extremely irritating, um, trends that will materialize to take their place. Can't wait.

And lastly...I just want to say...I Love You all! I Love each and every single one of you, whoever you are.

This video will show you exactly how vocal fry sounds...if you don't see the video on this link: