Saturday, September 17, 2005

The End of an Era

I was lying in bed after my long shift at work when I heard her come in the door at quarter to twelve. It was a common Saturday night occurrence. The 25-year-old tenant lying in bed alone, after a dateless evening, while the 80 year old cruises in after her weekly date with her 82-year-old boyfriend Benny. “He is no Mel,” she said, “but he drives a Cadillac, buys me dinner every Saturday night and takes me dancing too.”

True he was not the love of her life like her husband had been for several decades before he passed away, but Benny sure liked her. As the door slammed, I could hear them arguing in the kitchen. The door slammed again and Benny was gone. About three minutes later I heard a knock at the back door. But what happened next you could not make up.

“Ann, I just want a little love,” Benny said with a whine.

“You get out of here. GET OUT OF HERE!” she said.

Then came the crash of the furniture and the sound of him chasing her around the kitchen table.

She told us later that he was trying to feel her up. As I recounted the story, obtaining the perfect reaction from her horrified middle-aged children at a family gathering, one asked me if I had contemplated going downstairs to help her.

“Hell, no. Would you get between your mother and a good fight? She is a 5 foot nothing Italian grandmother that could kick your ass to Timbuktu and back. She knew that there was a ‘no boys in the house’ rule. That and I was having too much fun listening to her.”

For three years I lived with her. She used to give me crap about store bought spaghetti sauce and for dressing like, and I quote, “a hobo.” Once she even called me a “sporty girl,” whatever the hell that meant. She wanted me to dress more like my best friend, her granddaughter B. I told her that I didn’t have that amount of class. She used to laugh.

When I got engaged to Derek and she met him for the first time, I caught her flirting with him like he was a flyboy home from WWII. I overheard her asking him if he knew how crazy I was. He replied that he did and that he loved me anyway. She then regaled him with stories of every stupid thing I ever did while living at her house, to include her favorite story of me falling down the stairs while carrying a mattress.

I loved her like she was my own. She leaves behind a son, two daughters, her very favorite granddaughter and five grandchildren. But now she is with Mel. She threatened us for over a decade that she wouldn’t make it another year without him and she finally made good on her promise.

You will be forever missed, Ann, and the void you leave behind will never be filled.

Rest in peace.

Friday, September 16, 2005

It's all about the presentation

Barrrrrrrrrrrring! Barrrrrrrrring!

There it was on caller I.D. The number of my spineless, lazyass, "I-have-9-months-to-retirement-so-don't-give-me-any-trouble," "I-don't-know-what-you-are-talking-about-but-you-can't-work-part-time-now-and-you-have-to-come-back-full-time-as-of-next-Monday" second in command of yet another worthless governmental entity formerly known as my employer before I got the huge shaft.

K: Hello?
SL: Hey, Kristen. It's Spineless Lazyass. How are you doing?
K: I'm doing well. How are you? (getting excited because I'm sure he is calling to grovel)
SL: Well, we were thinking that you have the manuals that you were working on updating before you left and we hope to get them from you.
K: (thinking that the depth of his daftness had exceeded my every expectation) Of course I brought the manuals back on my last day of work.
SL: Well, bipolar, pathological liar, "Is-it-OK-to-purchase-anti-depressants-from-those-emails-that-I-get-even-though-I-run-a-law-enforcement-department," "what-are-you-talking-about-I-never-would-have-told-you-that-you-could-work-part-time-after-you-had-your-child-even-though-you-left-a-better-job-to-come-here-because-of-my-false-promise," bigoted ex-boss of yours looked on the shelf and didn't see them.
K: Wow! Let me guess. She took three seconds to look for them on one shelf and then called it an 8-hour day. Tell her she can find the manuals where she left her integrity. Oh, that's right. She never had any. You are giving me a hard time because of that comment I made that the only thing that would make her and the job tolerable would be to have Prozac put in the water cooler. Funny that you got rid of me because you needed the work done in a short period of time and couldn't afford to let me work part-time and you haven't touched the project in five months.

What a piece of crap! It's crap like this that earns the government all its lawsuits. I hope he got hit by a bus on the way home from work. Nothing terminal. Just something to ruin the weekend.

What is that banging?

Disclaimer: For those readers that don't have kids, I am so sorry that you have to be subjected daily to the neurotic workings at Chateau Cookie. I remember when I didn't have kids and I hung out with those people that had kids and I thought, "for God's sake, could you please find something else to talk about other than how the sweet potatoes looked running down Princess's face. Get a life or at least start drinking more." I would KILL for a life right now. A job which would provide me with an escape from the black hole in which I find my self spiraling downward... And I promised my mother I would stop referring to E as "the Monster" or "Satan" or "the Evil One." She thinks it could, like, harm his psyche or something. At least I'm not calling him an "f-er" behind his back like SOMEONE I know.

These baby books are crap. "At so-and-so age, your child will start to exhibit the following characteristics: ..."

Where the hell is the part that explains that the sounds you hear emanating from the room are the entire contents of the crib being thrown across the room and hitting the door. Don't get me wrong. The kid is clearly destined for Little League. I'm on it. But he is 7 months old, for heaven's sake. Why did I think that he would be an infant until he was 1? You know, one of those kids that coos and cuddles and plays quietly in the corner. Maybe even keeps his clothing clean and smiles at the camera occasionally. I know I should be happy that he has the attention span to weather several increments of the Senate Confirmation Hearings on a daily basis and that he can heckle with the best of them. I know, where else in America is a baby being forced to watch the hearings? Hey, he was born into this family so he is just going to have to put up with us--lock, stock and Glock barrel.

On the bright side, I spoke to my friend Becca yesterday and she is 37 weeks pregnant. I asked her if she was contemplating killing herself yet and she said yes. As bad as my life is now, I'm am sure glad I am not 37 weeks pregnant. THAT was the worst. I think I would rather have the entire contents of my house thrown down the stairs than feel that way again.

So Becca, good luck. Just think "Ben and Jerry's." The only two men that never talk back and will truly know how to make you happy for the rest of your life...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Male logic

I have taken lots of hits over the years for my inability to obtain a logical conclusion to any process. "Just because" suits me just fine. I don't need to really, really understand why something should naturally occur as a result of action A. When I decided to go to law school and was getting ready for the LSAT, I realized to my dismay that the entire test is a logic test. My ex-boyfriend, with whom I was still speaking, thought it was just HILARIOUS that I was going to do this.

"How exactly does a person void of logic take a logic test?" said he.

Well, I learned how to come up with the right answer by studying the patterns of the questions. I have absolutely no idea Betty seat should be next if Billy, Susie and Tom are seated first. I just figured it out somehow.

So after all these years of getting crap, I am at a loss for how male logic, or lack thereof, is more logical.

Matt called the other day to tell us that he will drop Zinni's sister Blue off on Thursday night so we can watch her while he goes on vacation to Colorado and Wyoming for a long weekend. Remember Matt? When I asked what his plans were for his trip, he mentioned that he was going to run a half marathon with some of his friends. He also mentioned that he anticipated that this may prove difficult since he tore his Achilles tendon a few weeks ago.

K: Excuse me? You tore your Achilles tendon?
M: Yeah, it's been kind of hard to train.
K: You think? And you are going to run a half marathon on it now?
M: I have to.
K: (thinking all men truly are morons) And why do you have to?
M: I have to cause I paid $40 for the race.
K: Are you an idiot? You are going to run with this injury because you paid $40? I've seen you have bigger bar bills. Do you need the $40? Do you want me to write you a check for $40 cause you need the money that bad?
M: Nah, that's alright.
K: So you are going to risk doing long term damage to your foot by running 13 1/2 miles on it because you paid $40?
M: Yep.

Thanks for reminding me that all men are exactly the same person.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

When will the chewing stop?

He's driving me nuts. Phone cords (I know, who the hell still has a phone with a cord), power cords, briefcases, the dog bowl, dog toys, baby toys commandeered by the dog and recommandeered by E upon rediscovery, rubberbands, Tums containers, stray utensils, Microeconomics by Pindyck, clothes, the dog's ear, the vacuum, shoes, toes, homework ("I'm sorry but my baby ate your homework, class"), laptops, dog beds, dvd cases, kitchen tiles, napkins, the television, furniture, the dog's stick, the side of the kiddie pool, grass, and, of course, SAND.

Do you know how bad it is that when you have your friend watch you child, you have to apologize in advance that your son will probably spend the better part of the morning chewing on the legs of her dining room table.

He's not all bad. I should be happy because he did watch about 10 minutes of the Roberts confirmation hearing today and yelled at Ted Kennedy. I was so proud.

But the chewing has to stop. Ever mindful that the baby is frighteningly like the dog (the dog that was included in the "for better or worse," I asked Derek about the similarities.

K: So how long did the dog chew on everything when he was a puppy?
D: Until he was about 6 months old. I saw a marked drop in the chewing between 6 and 12 months.
K: So there is hope for us?
D: Well, in the people/dog years conversion, that means E's chewing should start to wind down at around 3 1/2.
K: Shit.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm guessing he's playing me for a sucka

To my husband, who has perfected the "golly-gee-I-guess-I-can't-find-it-maybe-you-could-help-me" syndrome, also known as the "can't-find-my-ass-with-both-hands" technique, you had no problem finding that ham and cheese croissant I hid in the fridge last night behind the cottage cheese and beer.

The croissant that I thought about for 24 minutes before finally dragging my ass down the stairs to discover, to my dismay, that you suddenly can find missing items when it means the difference between eating Puffins cereal or the best croissant this side of the Eiffel.

You suck.