So much time has passed…

It’s been too long since I posted.  I have many updates, but I am too lazy to go into all of them.  I’ll only post about the biggest one.  My grandmother on my mom’s side (who I have mentioned in other blog posts) passed away in July of last year.  My grandfather had already passed away (also mentioned in blog posts), so her passing meant both of them were gone.  Which was a significant blow.  And still hard to believe.

I am too tired right now to make the effort of linking to the other posts mentioned above.  Go look through my blog.  Be an active reader and put a little effort into it, why don’t ya’?

Things have been surreal.  I have moments of sadness, moments of forgetting they’re gone (the most surreal), and mostly I just regret all the things we regret when someone is gone and we did not cherish them every single second.  Which is everyone, everywhere.  We’re human.

Sadly, my grandmother’s passing has brought on family drama having to do with “the estate”.  I don’t even want to go into it right now, except to say that my mother’s brother is a giant hunk of shit covered in shit sauce served next to a shit sandwich inside a shit roll.  Enough said.

Rather than blather on, I am including a writing piece I’ve been working on.  I might continue it, I might not.  The point was the writing, rather than the result.  But I hope it gives you a sense of what I want to say.

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The House in Fryeburg

Both of my grandparents on my mom’s side are gone now.  Their absence renders a gaping hole in my life.  Not necessarily one in the present, nor the future.  But it is a hole in my past.  It is a void in my foundation.  It is difficult to reconcile who I am, or adequately describe who I am to anyone else who has not met them, now that they are gone.  They had larger than life roles in my world.  For this, I am lucky.

I could recount many stories about who they were: as grandparents, as people.  I could illustrate how my grandmother was unforgivingly judgmental, yet equally as firmly supportive to those she loved.  I could tell tales of my grandfather’s rampant prejudices, and just as many tales of his faith in humanity.  These are real characters; human, flawed, and whole.  These stories could easily be told.  And I might do that some day.

Lately, however, all I can think about is their house.  There were two that they lived in during my life, and I remember both well.  I focus mostly on the one that they were living in when they passed away (two years apart).  I believe these memories of their home stay with me, not because of my age or impressionable times, but because of how my grandparents inhabited it.  Imbued with their personas, this house felt like an extension of my relationship with them.  It was not just a place, but an experience.  Another character in the story.

After my grandmother died (two years after my grandfather), I went to the house.  It still had all of their things:  appliances, furniture, clothes, photo albums, books, magazines, tools, dishes, forks, knives, and so on.  But it felt empty.  So very empty.  Empty like it had never felt at any other time, because, when they died, so did that house.
Currently, the house is being fixed up to be sold.  I have been told it looks great.  Worn linoleum is gone.  Floorboards are polished.  Steps have been fixed.  Yet, I have no desire to see it.  I have such a clear and vivid memory of that house – their home – that I cannot bear to tarnish it with a new improved version of something that is already perfect to me.

Memories come in flashes sometimes.  I see flashes of the way the sunlight hit the wooden floor in the dining room – playing up the golden brown, while casting tiny shadows in the nicks.  Nicks that were caused by a dropped utensil or a scrambling dog claw.  I can recall the sound of oil sizzling in a pan.  It might be cooking bacon or it might be frying up green tomatoes, or smelt.  The tomatoes may have come from the garden in front of the house, where lazy buzzing bees do not scare my very allergic grandfather.

Also flashing in my mind are seasons.  I made iced tea from the canister of powdered sweetened tea on the counter, while marveling at the way my grandparents kept their house cool simply by timing the opening and closing of drapes to coincide perfectly with the sunlight and breezes.  I can picture my grandfather carefully picking his way across the snowy driveway to throw birdseed on the ground by the large tree at the top of their driveway.

We’d watch the birds eating that seed while sitting at the kitchen table – a table with years of wear, scratches, and marks from the positioning of a meat grinder clamp.  My grandmother would leave her toast on the top of the toaster to stay warm, only taking it down when it was time for my grandfather to make his own toast.  I can hear the scrape of his chair on that old worn linoleum as he got up to tend to eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, you name it.

There was a step roughly halfway up the stairway that creaked.  As a child, when I heard this step, I breathed a little easier because it meant someone else was coming upstairs to go to bed.  As a teenager, I remembered to avoid it when I finally went to bed.

Holidays always felt right in their home.  The house kept the warmth and smells from holiday cooking and wrapped them around me.  I can picture the table set with good linens, and the good dishes, and my grandparents moving through all of this as expert travelers in their own realm.

When I look at their photos now, I still feel a sense of loss.  It is an ache that will not ever go away.  Nor should it.  But I also feel a rush of those images, and flashes of memories.  They don’t fill the hole, but they do color it in and decorate it and allow me to walk across the void now and then.

I got nothing. Pretend I am interesting.

On June 17, my blog got 64 views.  That is a record, by the way.

Not sure what happened that day.  I did not publish a post.  I did absolutely nothing (per usual) to promote traffic on this blog.  My best guess is that a group of students google searched the phrase “middle aged poop jokes vagina” and were led here.  And then, out of pure bewilderment, they kept checking back on it to see how they ended up with this site.

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Still job hunting.  I have now applied to 60 jobs.  Out of that number, I have only been asked to interview for 4.  FOUR.  That’s a 6% success rate.  And it’s not really a “success” rate since I didn’t get those jobs anyway.  And out of the rest, less than half bother to tell me “thanks but no thanks”.

Do you know what job hunting is like?  It’s totally like being rejected repeatedly by every guy you ever liked.  It’s bad enough to not have a relationship right now, but pretty much every business in a 50 mile radius DOES NOT LIKE ME EITHER.

It’s hard not to take it personally.

On the upside, I am looking forward to returning to a diet of ramen noodles.  The nostalgia associated with this brings tears to my eyes.

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I am going to start my sickly cat on a new diet.  I think.  All I know is my vet called me at 8:30 Friday night (as she is wont to do…oddly) and talked for 5 minutes and 14 seconds straight (I timed it on my phone).  And I mean a continuous stream of chatter.  I am not sure how she speaks for so long without breathing.  And whenever I have to sit and listen to someone talk in my ear that long without interruption, I feel like stabbing kittens.  In the face.  On an alter.  At Christmas.

Point being that I think I need to go pick up new food.  It was somewhere in her blathering spiel… blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah new food blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah .

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In other news that could potentially bore someone to tears: I switched my cell phone carrier back to Verizon.  I have been anxiously awaiting for over four years to do this.  Verizon takes care of it all too – cancelling your old account.  Which was slightly disappointing because I was sort of looking forward to calling up AT&T and screaming, “I AM FREE, MOTHERFUCKERS.”

I also added my mom to my plan.  Because nothing says “spinsterhood” like having a family plan at the age of 41 with your mom.

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In related news, I am officially addicted to at least two ABC Family Channel shows.

I think it’s high time I put my shawl on and just buckled down on making that quilt.

Shit.

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remember that time you spooned the ashes…?

So, do you all remember how my mother and I went a couple rounds about how to divvy up my grandfather’s ashes?

Well, she called me the other day to say she filled the tiny urns with my grandfather’s ashes.  Herself.  With a teaspoon.

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She said her nose has been stuffed up ever since.
I said, “…with Grampop??”
She said, “Well, now I don’t know but I was thinking I breathed in too deeply…”

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This is exactly why I didn’t want her to do it.  That’s just too fucked up to even comment on.

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Urethra of Steel

So, I am currently dealing with more health issues with my cat Don Vito.

It involves a UTI (something he will be susceptible to getting for the rest of his life due to the reconstructive surgery that sort of made him Don Evita) and giving him meds (akin to wrestling a small pig) and has me a bit worried.  Apparently, Don Vito’s infections are as hard core as they come.  I think they could use bacteria from his genitourinary system in biological warfare.

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Now they need to culture his urine (to figure out what tenacious strain has got a hold of him).  To do this, they need a full bladder.

I will be dropping him off at 8:00am this Friday and if his bladder is not full, they need to keep him all day in order to get a full bladder.

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Here’s my problem:

Vito is a nervous little cat.  Very friendly, but nervous.  This is the cat that, when the heating guy was in my house all day doing an installation, retched repeatedly two feet away.  I feel like every time I take him to the vet he gets worse for the wear.

So, I called the vet’s office to find out if I could avoid a prolonged stay (and avoid Vito acting like an abused prisoner for days afterward).  They told me my only option (to make sure Vito had a full bladder at 8am) was to take away his litter box the night before.

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Um…

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I told them I have another cat.  They told me that I would then need to lock Vito in a room away from the other cat and the litter box.

Okay, so there’s a couple things wrong with this:

1) I think this is actually going to be physically painful for him.  He tries to pee a lot and I think, if he cannot even try, it will hurt.

2) I am pretty sure my cat is not above peeing on the floor.

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Oh, and did I mention yet?  He is a nervous wreck.

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So, I told the vet’s office I’d see but…I doubt I can pull that off.  I then asked them how they get a full bladder when they have him all day.  I said, “What do you do?  Make sure he drinks water and then not let him pee?”

Her reply: “Well, he’s in a crate.  Not like a carrier, where he is enclosed, it’s a crate that’s open.  And it’s open on the bottom so that if he does pee…Um… Well, he’s monitored constantly.”

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I chose to ignore the fact that she did not answer the question.

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Then I asked what the vet (she was not the vet, btw – my vet is not this dim) expected to find.  You know, did he have an aim in mind for what he was going to culture?

Her reply: “Well, it’s hard to say…”

Me: “Okay, do you guys do the culture right there in house?”

Her: “Well, we did it in house last time you were here.”

Me: “No, last time I was there you just did a urinalysis.”

Her: “Right.  Well, if we don’t do it here, you will get results within 24 hours.”

* sigh *

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So, I guess what I am getting at is that this call was a waste of my time.  And if you got this far, then this blog post was probably a waste of your time.  You can thank Don Vito for that.

Did someone say "party"? *barf-gak-barf*

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Crazy is as crazy does.

I am going to preface this post with this:  I love my mother.  She is the best.  She sacrificed a lot for me.  I’d die for her.

Okay.  You needed to read that so that when I tell you I almost punched her in the face you won’t think I am an awful person.

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Last year, for my 40th (yes, I’m that old) birthday, I had planned to get another tattoo.  Since I have my favorite flower on my right ankle, I asked my mom what her favorite flower was so that I could put that on my other ankle.  In honor of her.

She said it was an African Violet.

Uh…

I immediately said, “What’s your second favorite?”  I mean, what the hell?  Bo-ring.

See for yourself:

Look at me, I am dull.

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But…I gave it some thought and I figured if that was it, that was it.  I knew a girl who was an artist and I asked her if she could design something.  So, she did.  I showed it to my mom, asked this girl to make an adjustment, and then paid her for the design.

Then, as is the way sometimes, shit happened.  Bills to pay.  Blah blah.  And I did not get the tattoo done.

GOOD THING.

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So, this year I decided to finally get it done and I called my mom to tell her I was making the appointment.

Here’s the conversation that ensued:

Me: “So, I am going to get that tattoo finally!  Of your favorite flower!  African Violet.”

Mom: “No, my favorite flowers are pansies.”

Me: “What?  I thought it was African Violet.”

Mom: “No, it’s pansies.”

Me: “Well, that’s very different than an African Violet, and when I asked you over a year ago that’s what you told me it was.”

Mom: “I never would have said that.  Because it’s not.  It’s pansies.”

Me: “Mother.  That is what you told me a year ago.”

Mom: “Whatever.”

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I.  Will.  Choke.  A.  Bitch.

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I got my tattoo done and I love it.  It’s very bright and colorful PANSIES.  I am glad.

And I may not have actually wanted to punch my mother if it was not for this…

I went up to see her over Thanksgiving (and showed her my new tattoo of her FAVORITE flower).  I started to explain this tale to her boyfriend and when I got to the part where I stated she had originally told me “African Violet”, she bent over me where I was seated as if I was 6 years old, put her hands on her hips and loudly said, “I DID NOT”.

Punchpunchpunch (in my mind – lest you think I actually started pummeling her).

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At this point, her boyfriend started jumping up and down saying, “she does this to me all the time!”

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Only after I said I had proof (in an email where I told the artist girl who did the useless African Violet tattoo design that “my mother would like it to be darker”) did my mother finally calm down and say, “ok, I sort of recall that”.

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But JESUS.  I get that she may have genuinely forgot.  But why would she think I’d make that up????

Nevertheless, she is now immortalized on my body.  Christ almighty.

Not a motherfucking African Violet.

Emily Post ain’t got nothing on my ma.

Some of you may recall that in this post (towards the end) I illustrated the quirkiness of conversations with my mother.  She definitely has a unique take on things.

Here’s yesterday’s conversation:

Me: You do remember I am away this weekend for the wedding, right?

Mom: Oh, yes.  Tell [the bride] I said hello.  (Pause)  But don’t tell her congratulations.  You’re not supposed to say that to the bride.  You’re supposed to say “best wishes”.

Me: Really?

Mom: You can say it to the groom.  Congratulations because he “caught” the woman.

Me: But you don’t say it to the bride?

Mom: No.  Because it implies “congratulations, you finally caught yourself a man”.

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And now, I feel like, if I ever get married, there will be loads of people congratulating me.

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And the potty mouth continues…

I have wicked potty mouth, as evidenced by my recent camping trip.

I also have friends with wicked potty mouth.  And sometimes we wickedly spew nasty words at each other.  I love my friends.

Today’s email conversation between me and my two friends (let’s call them M and H)….

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Me (referring to my new glasses):  What you can’t see is the sides.  And they are pink inside!
 
H:  I could say something raunchy here…
 
Me:  Something raunchy?  Like something about my vag?  The pink?  What?
 
H:  Yep.  But I didn’t.  You said vag.  Haha haha haha
 
M:  oh dear…
 
Me:  Dude, the word “pink” made you think of a vag?
That’s effed up.
 
M:  LMAO
 
H:  Your face is f’d up
 
M:  LMAO…again
 
Me:  My face might be f’d up, but your face looks like a vag.
 
M:  LMAO!!!!!!  again and again!!
 
H:  I’m going to pass out into my keyboard.  Wouldn’t that be funny if I actually did… and then slept like that for a half-hour or so and woke up with keyboard imprints on my face??!!
 
H:  Must be my voluptuous lips that remind you of the vulva.  Euwww… that even grossed me out.
 
M:  OMG
 
Me:  Lips are the LABIA.  Idiot.
 
Me:  You’re not really an idiot…………………………………………………………Except when it comes to vag’s.
 
M:  I am going to pee my pants
 
(Long Pause)
 
Me:  Uh oh.  H is gone.
Maybe she did fall asleep on her keyboard.  People will walk by and be like, “why is there a big ole vag on that keyboard?”
 
M:  OMG……wheezing laugh (because I am trying to be quiet)
omg, omg, omg……LOL
 
(Really Long Pause)
 
H:  So. Could today drag on any more slowly?
 
Me
:  I bet it could, Vag-Face.
 
 
M:  LOL
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Things I Learned This Past Weekend Camping

  1. In a campground, one small child can be heard for miles.
  2. Plastic bags are not an appropriate resolution to noise pollution (see #1 above).
  3. “moose knuckle”
  4. Martinis are delicious. (fair nuff…already knew that one)
  5. When signs tell you the hike is 3 miles, it is really 47.  I mean, 470.
  6. Most people ignore danger signs.  (So, why haven’t we weeded out all the idiots yet?)
  7. Don’t save time by buying pre-packaged mango spears – unless you really like eating cement-like blocks of fruit.
  8. The only thing funnier than the oddly named incense “wet panties” is accidentally calling it another p-word.
  9. Swearing is an art form.
  10. Camping is the most fun ever. (ok, knew that one too, but still…)

Here I am in all my suckiness…

I stole that blog title from my friend Amanda.  It was her declaration of pride at utterly and miserably failing at something.

It’s sort of like saying, “Look at how bad I am at this!  I revel in it.  Join me in the revelry of my failure.”

I used to say something similar when smacked in the face with my bad choices in relationships: “I am basking in my dysfunction.”

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I just posted the following on google+:

I made orzo. Which was not bad, but called for white wine (which I just ran out of) and so I substituted diluted vinegar (like they tell you to do all over the internets) but it was still very tart with the vinegar, but it was nothing that some salt and more parmesan cheese wouldn’t cure, and…who needs low blood pressure anyway?

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That just goes to show that there is no failure some salt and cheese can’t cure.

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And when you make a joke online that no one gets, just laugh to yourself and know that you are reveling in your suckiness.  Stand proud.

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Macabre family humor part 2…

So, part 1 of this story started in my blog post about cremation, my grandfather’s ashes, and how my mom has it in her head she is going to spoon the ashes into tiny keepsake urns.

The tiny keepsake urns were delivered to me and I am mailing those today to my mom – along with some sandals I bought for her.

I am sending a card with it, and I’d be lying if I said that writing out this card did not make me fall off my chair from laughing:

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