Monday, October 31, 2011

Reason #43

Here is reason #43 that my parents are awesome.

Part of reason 43 is that my mom, a long time lover of opera and classical music, asked me to put some new stuff on her iPod. Her library lives on my computer. I don't even want to think about what would happen, what kind of life of silence would ensue, if I made her manage her own library. She once tried to play a DVD by putting the whole DVD box into the machine.

I told her I didn't have a lot of her kind of music, and she told me I should just put on stuff I thought she would like. I did not go for the easy laugh and put on Rob's Megadeath, but I did add 130 songs that I thought she would like, and then, when I was done, she asked me, "Did you put any Amy Winehouse on there?" Now, I'm sure she actually got the name wrong, but the point is that my 73 year-old mom wanted some Amy Winehouse on her iPod, and I just dig that in a grandma.

She was very excited when it was all done, so we blasted her new playlist in the kitchen while I gave her a manicure. While Obladi-Oblada was on (you know, the Beatles) My mom was dancing around her small kitchen with her freshly painted nails, and then my dad came in, and they were both dancing, and hugging and kissing each other and dancing some more. I wish I'd had my camera; you'd have seen that my dad was wearing a parka because he was so cold.

I just love that my parents like to dance and kiss and have a nice time together. We should all be so lucky.

And that is reason #43.

Reason #44 is that my mom pronounces 'Adirondack' 'A-dear-a-dack'.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So, unless you are interested in what's going on with the school variety show, or where all my electrical wires and light switches are going, or unless you want to know about the absolutely wonderful pizza that I had today for lunch, I got nothin'.

I went to the storage unit today to get my winter clothes. It is so freakin' freezing in my mom's house, and she refuses, on principal, to turn the heat on until November. Then, when the heat is finally on, all the vents in the bedroom part of the house are painted shut because, by her logic, if you're in the bedroom, your under the covers asleep, or engaging in some other heat producing activity, so why do you need the heat on?

Never mind that I have a child who is sleeping next to two single paned windows, never mind that the condensation dripping from the skylight in our room just dripped its dirty little droplets all over my duvet, and never mind that I made sure to find my husband's fingerless gloves in the storage unit because my hands freeze to death at noon when its seventy degrees outside. Just never mind all that: just don't you turn the heater on until November, and don't you expect any heat in your bedroom when you get up at dark o'clock. Don't expect your towels to dry, ever, either.

I put a sweater on my dog this morning because I was cold.

And now it is all I can do to keep my mitts off the leftover pizza in the kitchen. Its not in the refrigerator because its cold enough in the kitchen...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Your New Favorite Song

I think I've been a little hard on my mom this week. So now let me tell you why she is awesome.

I've already told you that she's in her 70s, is crazy fit, hikes at least 10 miles once a week, has traveled the world (and by "the world" I include Antarctica and Africa twice) and although she's not game to turn lights on when it starts to get dark, and she's definitely not game to have too much stuff in her refrigerator (my grocery bill has plummeted) she is game for all sorts of other things.

She also reads the local paper, and by "reads" I mean she squeezes every last word out of it, and that includes all the events calendars. A few months ago, she says to me, "K.D. Lang is coming to town, do you want to go with me?" My dad isn't game for much, so I am often her companion to things, which is fine with me, especially when its something like this. So I say, sure, and get the tickets.

It was at The Fillmore in San Francisco, a place I can't really imagine my mom going, but it was her idea, so we went on Wednesday.

Let me just say, that even if you don't think you are a fan of K.D. Lang, you should go see her if she's coming to town. Even if you've never heard of her, you should go see her. She sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at the opening of the Olympic Games in Canada in 2010, and that is the only reason my mom knows who she is. I have seen and heard many versions of that song, and till now I was partial to the Jeff Buckley version, but K.D. just knocked me right outa my sneakers.

So, my mom skipped Piers Morgan in favor of rockin' out at the Fillmore, and that is reason 112 that she is awesome.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DVR Where art Thou?

Remember when I canceled cable? That was a hoot.

I don't know if I've ever missed anything as much as I miss my TV and my DVR right now. I once had to convalesce from an illness for a long time, and I didn't miss walking as much as I miss my TV right now. You know how when you have a really bad cold and you can't breathe through your nose and you think to yourself "I will never take breathing for granted again!" I miss my TV more than breathing. God, I'm a shit head.

Tonight, after dinner, we all settled in to watch some TV. We started with the end of 60 Minutes. Fine. Then, I clicked on the guide, and scrolled through the options. There was nothing but crap. My mom kept saying, "You're going too fast!" but my feeling is, if you're driving past a steaming pile of skunk, fast is the way to go. My parents have a lot of QVC and public access channels right in the middle of their line up; there's no mystery there.

I come to rest on the second half of the Dick Van Dyke Show, which will be followed by M*A*S*H. Then my mom goes, "What's on 56?" I'd seen it in the line up: Larry King was coming back from the grave to interview Johnny Depp about his new movie, followed by... Piers Morgan. We agree, mercifully, that we don't really care what Johnny Depp has to say about anything. My dad says, "Check 32." and there's some old black and white version of Little Shop of Horrors. We go back to Dick Van Dyke. Then, after 4 seconds, my mom says, "Do we really want to watch this?" and we're all quiet, trying to ignore her, and just watch Laura Petrie do her thing. 10 seconds later, she says again, "Are we really watching this?" and my arm flies from its place at my side and I shoot her the remote and say, "clearly, you don't. So here you go, you decide."

She changes the channel to 2, and goes one by one through all the channels, the jewelry sales, the local education channel, Jersey Shore, and, lo and behold, there's nothing on. We travel to the channels beyond the Dick Van Dyke Show, and land on a channel that is playing Grumpier Old Men. There are commercials on, though, so we watch the commercials. One after the other, commercials. I am looking at my husband who is glued to his iPhone playing Words With Friends, and my dad who is watching the commercials, and no one will look at my face and confirm my disbelief that a Geico commercial is better than Dick Van Dyke.

Finally I say, "Why are we watching commercials?" and I'm informed that we are waiting for Grumpier Old Men. We couldn't wait the ten minutes through Dick Van Dyke to get to M*A*S*H*, but ten minutes of commercials are fine.

I retire to the bedroom, where I am now, writing this. I love my parents. Truly. But I do not love watching TV with them. There is only one queen of the remote, and it is I, and twas ever thus.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Oh my God. Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God.

Remember how I told you that I am the laziest person who ever walked the face of the earth in my mother's eyes? Forget about trust fund babies, or royalty, or children who couldn't hit a hamper with a pair of dirty undies if their lives depended on it. No, in case you ever wondered, I am the laziest person, ever. I have made peace with this, mostly. It is still irritating, and insulting, but I know it comes from love, and my mom is a great lady who I adore, and I'm living in her house, so I'm willing to let it slide.

As I am writing this, it is Sunday night. SUNDAY. Day of rest. Tomorrow, I will go back to a three hour variety show rehearsal, a meeting with my contractor, answering work emails, walking the dog, shuttling the child to and fro, and probably collapsing into bed at 8:30. I started today by reading in bed, my second favorite morning activity. Then, I had to work for a few hours. SUNDAY. Then I got a big bag of the good rolls from the place in the city, after having a delicious lunch with my husband and daughter, and we came home. I read in the backyard, and, when it got too hot, I took a nap on my bed inside.

WHILE I WAS ASLEEP, the decision was made that we would make hamburgers, and that Rob (or Poor Rob, I should call him) would go to the store and get all the stuff. I eschewed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in favor of continuing to read* and when I went into the kitchen to help, it was too crowded in there, so I went to the family room and flipped through a magazine. We were called to dinner. My mother made it very clear to me, without needing many words at all, that I had been lounging around long enough, and I would clean up after. That's completely fine, I don't mind, but insulting because I can feel her judgment wash over me, and I know immediately the stock she's taken in my day: I neglected to walk my dog. I went to lunch again, I read for a long time and took a nap. But most of all, my husband went to the grocery store and formed patties. Fuck me, I thought it was SUNDAY.

The magic of this, is that no one can see and feel what I see and feel when it comes to my mom. If I mentioned this to my husband, he might think I was crazy, and say, "so what?" and he would be correct on both counts. Luckily, my dad plied me with red wine.

I keep telling myself over and over: It doesn't matter. You'll never, ever win. In the game of housewife, you are, and forever will be, the ultimate loser. Relax. Take a deep breath. It comes from love. It comes from love. It comes from fucking love!!!"
Serenity now...

* I'm reading Rob Lowe's autobiography. It's a little over written in some parts (he uses the word zeitgeist a little too often, but otherwise pretty good. I recommend it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Signs of Life

I'm still here! I'm still alive! Just barely, but I am!

Did I happen to mention that I'm also in the middle of doing the school variety show again? I didn't have enough going on with my house looking like this

so I thought, "what the hell!"

My goal is to catch you up next week. I have lots of stuff to tell you. Like, I want to ask you all a question about tampons, and tell you how my mom is coaching me to be a better person, and about how the universe is toying with me.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I just want to say, quietly and without fanfare, that it is really amazing what happens when you reach out to people and ask for help. People will totally have your back if you can just ask for help. And I hate the word 'amazing'. Its the most overused word in the English language.

Did I just jinx things?