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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dead People Dementia = Odd

I can never remember if the following people are dead:

Richard Harris
Peter O'Toole
Richard Burton
Oliver Reed
Dick Van Dyke
Omar Sharif
Bonnie Franklin (oops wrong list, thought this was People I Wish Were Dead list)
John Tesh (oops wrong list, thought this was People I Have Tried To Make Dead list)

Don't Turn Me In,
MC Hammer

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gratitude and Thanks, Various

If Cooper could talk he'd for sure thank us for letting him lick his butt so close to our faces when we're snuggling in bed.

If Christina Aguillera could talk she'd say thanks for not noticing that her lipstick is the color of your worst nightmare.

If the person who designed the parking lot at Trader Joe's could talk he'd say thanks for not coming to his house and stuffing him into his dishwasher.

If that lady next to me in line at Ross could talk she'd say thank you for not pointing out to everyone else in line that she farted regardless of the fact that it was obvious only to me that it was her but to others, not so much.

If that morbidly obese guy that sits on the bus stop all day every day at the corner could talk he'd say thanks to me and Cooper and Eric for not running, screaming in terror because we (okay, I) think he's a serial killer but instead letting Cooper be all puppy lovey and jump on him, therefore making him smile (and take his mind off wanting to murder us.)

If my husband could talk he'd say thanks for letting him be the one who gets to check that the front door is, indeed, locked when I don't think it is as we're just about to fall asleep.

If poodles could talk they'd say (obviously) thank you for NOTHING. You are all unworthy and we spit on your feet.

If the guys at the car wash could talk they'd say thanks for letting us smear AmourAll over the dirt and sand and dust in your car so that now it's filth but with an oily sheen.

If the Channel 4 weather lady's gigantic boobs could talk they'd say thanks for allowing us into your home every morning even though there is not enough space for us.

Until next time,
Mother Gratitude

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Helen, Phillip, Jamie, Bill = Odd

Have you ever really taken a moment to look at the performances in the movie Twister? If you haven't I suggest that you do. And then after you do, I suggest that you go stand in front of the mirror and stare at yourself for several minutes and when you find yourself grounded enough I recommend that you utter these words:
1. "WHY?"

Then, if you're trousers are still fresh, drive to your nearest Rite-Aid, walk straight to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for the medicine that will wash the images of Helen Hunt and Jamie Gertz out of your mind.

If you want to rid your psyche of Bill Paxton's corny expression that lasts into all eternity and Cary Elwes menacing giant fleet of black Suburbans or if you're desiring to rationalize Phillip Seymour Hoffman's presence in the movie as you say your prayers at night you will have to pack your bags and head south of the border.

Good luck with that then,
Professor of It Doesn't Look So Good

And Furthermore, Things I'm Terrified Of = True

6. Home invasion robbery
7. Female Pattern Balding
8. Not pooping in the morning before I go to work
9. Catching a gang banger tagging our house or the house next to us in the middle of the night when I take Cooper out for his 3:00 AM pee.
10. That my dad didn't know we were there when he was dying
11. Mom jeans
12. Flesh eating bacteria
13. Being trapped in the bathroom when an ex-employee goes postal
14. Bears
15. Getting old
16. Nuclear war
17. Russell Crowe's paunch
18. Bears that Brangelina might adopt
19. Scary little men who drive souped up Nissan Sentras that are 2 inches off the ground and sound like revved up chihuahuas with music blasting so loud that my husband screams from the living room, "Did you say something, lovey?" when they drive by
20. Being homeless
21. Overly friendly waiters and waitresses who say "Hi, my name is Tiffany and I'll be taking care of you this afternoon." (describing Arctic Char = extra terrifyscary)
22. Splinters, hangnails, paper cuts, ear wax build-up
23. Axl Rose
24. 3rd Street Promenade: insane kamikazi birds, weirdo giant silver men who don't move, aggressive hungover pseudo homeless surfers who smile one minute and act like Crazy Killer punching persons the next, jean size at American Eagle.
24. Standard Poodles, obviously

All For Now,
Grumpy Grumperson

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today Show Questions

1. Since leaving, do you think Katie Couric has become a closet alcoholic or a closet binge eater?
2. When they planned that thing called Four Corners Of The World or whatever, do you think they decided that Al would have to go to Iceland because he is too fat to wear a bathing suit in Mexico and would probably have had a heart attack trying to climb Kilimanjaro? And how come Anne Curry doesn't get to go to the Olympics or something. She is unbelieveable.
3. Why does Meredith INSIST on trying to create that We're-A-Cute-Old-Bickering-Married-Couple thing with Matt? She will NOT leave him alone with the inane teasing. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the banter and the back and forth jabs every once in a while but it's like she stays up nights thinking of teasy things to say. Matt will say, "And now we're going to Natalie who is covering the snowstorm in Butte, Montana." and Meredith will blurt out, "BUTT! You said BUTT!! HA HA HA!! I'll tell ya one thing Matt. You're BUTT IS BIG!! HA!" And everyone just stares.
4. Will someone tell Willard Scott to shut-up? The whole insane "It's Fun To Be 900 Years Old" is very bad marketing and I see a lawsuit coming.

Thank you,
Mrs. What Is A Crawfish?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pretzel Moments = True

My 9 year old niece just called me to get some advice on something she was writing. She said the assignment was called "Small Moments" and what sprang to her mind was the time my father (her grandfather)got angry at my sister (her mother) because she (my niece) was watching cartoons in his room.

"I'm thinking I'll write about the time that Grandpa said 'Can't they watch that crap somewhere else?'" she said, and then added, "But that wasn't my small moment, that was my mom's small moment."

I remember hearing about this moment when it happened. It was a huge moment because my dad always made way for the Cartoon Network when my niece and nephew visited. I don't care WHAT was on CNN (my dad's favorite channel and lifeline) when my niece and nephew came over it was straight to Sponge Bob. It was also the only time my father had ever lost his temper in any way when it came to my niece and nephew. It was about three days before he died although we all thought he would make a full recovery. The reality was he was suffering so severely. It was hard for him to eat and sleep and sit and he had to go to the bathroom in a commode next to his bed. I don't know which was worse. Watching the horror on his face when he realized that he actually couldn't make it to the bathroom on his own or hearing him apologize for putting us through anything that made us uncomfortable.

As I talk on the phone with my niece I drift back two years to that time, leading up to my dad's death, when our small family became smaller. "There's one less of us." I remember thinking over and over.

I tell my niece that I remember hearing about that moment when her Grandpa snapped at her mom and I remember that it was so out of character for him and my sister and I had realized, that day, that he was so sick he might not make it. He had never ever said a cross word to my niece and nephew but as he neared his last days when he couldn't breathe or walk or eat, well, he became cranky. My sister told me that he apologized instantly after he realized what he said. I think the main reason this moment stuck with my niece is because she had never known my father to be anything other than totally kind. It confused her. She barely remembered it. She knows her mom told her about it and on the phone we talked about the clear vague feeling she had about it. It has definitely stuck with her and, I told her, that's important---the things that stick with you are worthy of reflection.

My niece and I agreed that the point is that sometimes someone else's small moment can become your own and that there are moments, big and small, that stick with us forever. And talking about them and remembering them and figuring out how to put them on paper even though you might not exactly remember---that's what it's about. Because reading about someone else's description of their small moment leads to that moment of recognition "Hey---I've felt the exact same way" and that is the whole point.

Take tonight's phone call. Have you ever been having an evening of relative non-eventfulness and then gotten a phone call and heard the sweetest voice on the other end go "Auntie? It's me, Chloe. Do you have a moment to talk?"

Primary Ambassador of Small Moments

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great Day = Good

What a good thing to have a nice day. Nothing special or out of the ordinary, really but just smooth sailing inside and out.

I love the days that seem to move forward in a way that doesn't require any significant notice or push or tending to in any way that makes me lose my hair or further develop my degree in Co-Dependency.

I'm trying to think about what happens during these types of good days and I think one of the common threads is that when I start the day without Road Ragers that's really nice. It sets the day for niceness when I can get to work and still have faith in people I don't know. People that don't honk at older drivers going slow or people that hold the elevator for complete strangers. If I start the day out noticing goodness, it's a pretty good start. From there, I just think "things are gonna be smooth today." and I anticipate more niceness.

I have, however, noticed that if I simply focus on making my spine and heart and ears and knees turn to jelly when I'm tempted to judge or loathe or take someone else's Freakness personally, it makes things a whole hell of a lot better. But that's the Oprah-Gayle King part of me and that part isn't 100% set in place yet. But I'm working on it and in 2009 I have made a promise to myself that no matter what surly is coming my way I will deflect it with kindness and rubbery letting go. I promise to remind myself that I know nothing and nothing knows me, in a good way.

Wish me luck.

Yours Truly,
Public Relations Manager For Tom Cruise's Creepy Grin

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Winner = Good

Barack Obama is on 60 Minutes right now. He's the President Elect. On January 20th he'll be sworn in as 44th President of the United States.

I have never ever felt so connected to a political figure in my life. I don't even think of him as a political figure REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT HE IS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT. Usually I just hate our presidents. With every press conference, or Rose Garden whatever, I just want to barf. Hissing at the radio or sneering at the T.V. I've spent the last 8 years going "THEY'RE ALL SUCH FUCKERS!"

Now, I swoon and grin and think about how I can help when I see Michelle and Barack and I don't have a thought about how much more screwed up it's going to get. I just think it's all going to get better.

It's bizarre.

Mrs. I Can't Wait To See What Happens

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Can Happen = Odd

I'm minding my own business. Then I read this:

Photos Show Planets Outside Our Solar System
posted: 7 HOURS 32 MINUTES AGO
Earth seems to have its first fuzzy photos of alien planets (HELP ME.)outside our solar system, images captured by two teams of astronomers. The pictures show four likely planets that appear as specks of white, nearly indecipherable except to the most eagle-eyed experts. All are trillions of miles away — three of them orbiting the same star, and the fourth circling a different star.
None of the four giant gaseous planets (ARE YOU SURE YOU'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT ME, COOPER, ERIC AND OUR CROCK POT?) are remotely habitable (LIKE SAUGUS?)or remotely like Earth. But they raise the possibility of others more hospitable.

Then my head explodes.

Take Care,
Professor What The Hell Is Going On

Friday, November 14, 2008

10 Things = Good

1. Proseco
2. The smell of Nag Champa
3. The turn on General's Highway when you officialy enter the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park and everything gets about 8 million times quieter
4. Jeff Tweedy
5. Couples Therapy
6. When people in line at Von's aren't mean to the people at checkout trying to use coupons
7. Tone soap
8. Barack Obama
9. Carmelized red onions
10. A good pair of slippers

VP of the Question:
Why Is That Guy In Every Commercial?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stomach Ache Thoughts, 1 thru 5 = Odd, True

1. Feeling it is awful. Reading it is magical, cool.
2. I go looking, searching for those sentences that are similar to what I have thought and when I find them, I sink into weird angst
3. Half the time, I can't tell the difference between crystal clarity and jagged confusion
4. I try too hard to not try
5. When I die I want all of you to come with me and have us be exactly like we are now

Mrs. Nervous

Stop Sign, The Musical = True

There are times when I'm sitting at a stop sign and it seems like there might be a chance for World Peace. For example, tonight, I came swooping down the hill at 4th and Rose and came to a screeching halt at the stop sign at the bottom of the incline. Very dramatic. All at once, three other cars appeared to the right, left and in front of me. Without thinking, the two cars on my right and left shot across the intersection in front of me like Lippazon stallions in all their glory and right on cue my partner across the way and I stepped on it and screeched through our respective crosswalks.

No injuries. No arguments. Just quick grace and cooperation. This happens all day long everywhere in the city, just like Bob Fosse choreographed it, so don't tell me we don't know how to get along.

The Grumbler

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 Things I'm Terrifed Of = True

1. Tapeworms
2. Tidal Waves
3. Flesh Eating Bacteria
4. Water on the brain
5. People who like Danielle Steel novels

Connie Confused

Sunday, November 9, 2008

B.O. Is Watching = True

This evening when I took Cooper the Wonder Dog for a walk he exhibited his usual insane person behavior---frantically scouring the neighborhood for other dog's poop and having a heart attack every time a paper bag blew by. Very hard for him to concentrate on making his evening doodie.

He's pretty regular with his poop scheudule, so if the evening rolls around and he hasn't pooped my husband and I get nervous because we live in mortal fear that he'll take a big stinky crap in our living room. He has done this once, when people were over, so we chalked it up to him being excited (because we always poop when we get excited) but the thing about Cooper's poop is that it is THE STINKIEST poop on the planet so the Sudden Poop Incident left us traumatized.

I think we say "Did he poop?" or "When's the last time he pooped?" about 67 times a day. That, or "He pooped!" and then the other one grins from ear to ear. YAY! HE POOPED! THAT MUCH LESS CHANCE FOR POOP IN OUR HOUSE!

So, this evening, when it seemed that all hope was lost and Cooper would never do his business I was gleeful when he finally did. And when I couldn't find the poop because it was so dark and I almost didn't pick it up I thought, "If Barack Obama were here he'd pick up the poop. Do the right thing." And I picked up the poop.

Don't think that global change is not afoot.

Very truly yours,
Brad, The Poodle

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sky's Bluer = True

Okay so I woke up this morning feeling bleary eyed and in those first moments when I was laying in bed in that in between time of drool and coffee I thought, THE WORLD IS PERFECT AND THOSE ASSHOLE WHITE MEN FINALLY LOST, and then I turned the T.V. on to make sure that what I thought happened last night really happened. And it did. Matt Laurer said it happened.

And the sun shining in the window seemed just that much crisper. It was not my imagination.

So, now we move forward into this new tunnel of hopefulness where we will discover (or remember) who we truly are, unencumbered by the false reflection of all those bastards who tried to squash our spirit. It's like the entire planet took flight last night and we're floating above ourselves, just for a moment, looking down in amazement. WE DID IT. I CAN'T BELIEVE WE DID IT. I'M SO HAPPY WE DID IT. FINALLY. AT LAST. That's what I heard today.

But mostly, I felt it on the most miniscule, personal level. Like when I was about to turn left at a stop sign and I had to slam on my brakes because a woman rushed her stop sign and as she whooshed by me we caught each other's eyes --- right in the eyes and I swear to you we spoke to each other and what we said was: The petty stuff at the stop signs? Not so much. The visionary who raised us up above hate and toward all that we were meant to be? Ummm, YEAH.

All I know is I am filled with a "HOW CAN I HELP?" feeling. A sense of confused satisfaction has girded my loins, if you will. I'm just not used to feeling like EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Right? You know the feeling. Being at a dinner party and realizing you're the only person who doesn't think MediCal is pure evil and you have to pretend to go along with the freaks who think we spend more on Public Housing than THE WAR. It's embarrasing how many times I have held my tongue. But, after last night I don't feel like I need to. I don't even know why. I just know that everything feels different and filled with hope and on the road toward right.

Yours In Weepy Wonder,
Voter #80 Billion

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Love B.O. = True, Good

It looks like it's going to happen. I don't know who I love more. Everyone or all of them. Could it be that there is going to be a sea change of such monumental proportions that I'll finally wake up the morning after the election and feel PROUD and HAPPY? I think so.

I've lived my whole life voting for losers, mostly. Losers with values I admire. Losers who want to look out for others and who want to prevent malice and greed and oppresion.

It rained last night. This morning the sky was sparkle big blue and I swear it seemed like the clouds were trying to tell me something. And that something was good. By good I mean, trajectory changing good. B.O. good. Barack Obama good.

You know what? It's all gonna be ok. It's all gonna start to change. And we did it. That's good.

Councilwoman Hope

Saturday, November 1, 2008

His Grandfather's Pup = True

When my dad was dying, during what turned out to be his last hospital stay, he started to exhibit very weird behavior every night as late afternoon turned into evening. He'd have a pretty lucid, alert day; acting like himself but as soon as the 5 o'clock news came he'd start acting like a loon.

Often times, he'd start by muttering to himself and leering out of the corner of his eye, looking past me. I remember thinking he looked like Snagglepuss as his personality morphed. But in a really un-fun way.

It turns out that my dad was what is called A Sundowner. A sundowner is an old person who starts to go bonkers when the sun goes down. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. I don't even remember how we learned this. Either my sister found out from one of the 25 doctors and two nurses at the hospital or I read it online. All I know is I've never felt the same about dusk since then.

Until Cooper.

Cooper is our new puppy who is the friendliest, most well-behaved ambassador of goodwill you could possibly imagine. Until the sun goes down. When it starts getting dark and shadows look like over sized retrievers Cooper gets jittery and crazed.

"Looks like we got a sundowner on our hands," my husband and I say to each other, remembering those long, challenging nights sleeping in the 2 foot wide bed next to my dear dad.

But we're learning how to cope. Why, just tonight, when Cooper was able to concentrate enough to take a poop after the sun had set, I thought, MY DAD WOULD BE SO PROUD.

Be good,
Private So and So