Thursday, November 22, 2012

Menus were better to think about.

I wanted to have a party. I had the date picked out (Dec 29) and the theme (ugly holiday sweater) and I was on pinterest collecting recipes and decorations and even a party game (stick famous names on peoples' backs as they came in and make them ask around for clues to who they were). And I was dead set on having this party. I had guest lists, I had my outfit picked out, I had a friend all set to loan me hor d'oeuvre plates. And then my mom died. And now I can't imagine having a party. I can't imagine piping sour cream onto mini latkes, or trying to make the nurse at my doctor's office guess Henry Winkler, or trying to find a non-racist way to make candy corn into a Kwanzaa representation (Hey, the term holiday party implies inclusiveness). And when I think back to my imagined and over-planned party, it seems like such a simpler time. A time when a Christmas tree shaped cheese plate was my biggest concern, when a hot cocoa station seemed like a good way to occupy my mind. A time when my mother was alive.

She's dead now. And when I knew she was going to die, I never thought past that. I thought about her dying, about who would watch the boys when hospice called me to come quick, about how I wanted to be there so she didn't have to die alone, but I never thought of her being dead. And now I live in a world she's not in and I can't get out of it. I can't get back into the world where she's up at her house and I can pop in and say hi. And I can't get the image of her dead out of my mind. I've never seen a dead body before, not without make up and embalming and a coffin. And while I am so glad she didn't die alone, I wish so much that I hadn't seen her dead. She didn't look like she was sleeping, or at peace. She just looked gone, and empty, and dead. And I wish I could push that image to the back of the file and put another one up front to take it's place. I wish I could go back to planning my party.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I hope they have a ping pong table

So I've decided what to bring to Thanksgiving tomorrow. And if they think popcorn and jelly beans and pretzel sticks don't fit the Thanksgiving theme, I'm going to ask them how the hell pilgrims made scalloped corn. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for what?

We were going to have Thanksgiving dinner here at the house, with my mother and her friend over. Now that Mom's gone and her friend is back in Florida, we're going to the in-laws' for dinner. I like the in-laws well enough, but I'm sad that things had to change at all and, frankly, I like the food here better. Tom makes these lumpy garlic mashed potatoes with little pieces of potato skin in them, and I saute green beans on the stove rather than make that casserole with the canned beans, and I fry my own onions, too, rather than buy the can of hard ones. And my favorite is the Brussel sprouts. I cut them in half and coat them in olive oil and salt and then roast them in the oven. They're so good! And I can maybe bring the green beans up to Thanksgiving but there's no chance I can do that with Brussel sprouts. It's not the kind of dish you can drive half an hour to dinner, and you can't really show up at somebody's house with the most unpopular food in the world and say "I'm going to cook this in your oven and make your whole house smell like Brussel sprouts." And my mom won't be there, and I sort of suspect that all these other little complaints are just covering up that big complaint.
And then after Thanksgiving we always decorate for Xmas, but this year I don't want to. How can I get into Xmas when I'm just so miserable? What's the point? I always love Xmas, the tree and the lights and the Menorah and the gifts, but this year it won't be happy.
And now I'm crying so I have to stop typing. Maybe I'll bring the beans up to the in-laws'. But still, cold soggy beans off the stove doesn't sound too appetizing. Not that much does, these days.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The visitation

Tonight was my mother's visitation, and by tonight I mean all damn day because somebody (and I'm not naming names but it was me) decided to have the thing from 1:00 to 5:00 so it was too early to do things before and too late to do things after so it was effectively all day long. And there were people who RSVPed, who actually said  "I'll see you there" and then they never showed up. Friends of my mom's, people who I would totally expect to show up, just didn't. And you know how you always say it doesn't matter if people come and it's not mandatory? Well it turns out that when it's your mom, and you've spent days burning CDs of her music and printing out photos of her and picking out her jewelry to wear and stuff, it turns out that it's totally mandatory. I mean, these are people who knew her for years and worked with her and spent time with her socially and then they just didn't come by or anything. WTF.
But then some people came by whom I hadn't seen in years. Friends who couldn't afford to sent flowers. People with no link to my mother came by just to comfort me. Family members I'd never met, from my father's side, came just to let me know that the family was thinking of me. It was a really surprising outpouring.
But now it's over. And now all the little detail work that's been distracting me is over. And now there's nothing left to do but go through her stuff and clear out her house and settle her affairs and generally think about her being dead and that prospect scares the holy fuck out of me.
And Tom has been awesome through all of this. He's let me sleep in every day because the only thing that keeps me from thinking about her being gone is an absolute loss of consciousness, and he's been going through her bills and making lists of what I have to do and who I need to call and who needs copies of the death certificate, and he's been looking up things on line to see what we might be able to split between my brother and I and what we'd have to sell and then split the money from, and he's been getting Tommy off to school every day and he bought the food for Tommy to bring to his class Thanksgiving Feast (and then totally forgot to actually send the food, or the kid, to the Thanksgiving Feast) and I couldn't have gotten through this without him, which is why Tom now has to make all his own arrangements before he dies.
Any my parting advice to all of you, my 3 lonely readers, is this: Don't wear heels to a visitation. Four hours on your feet will kill them. My feet hurt so bad now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The last update

When your aunt comes into the hospice room and sets down her soda to sit with your dying mother in the middle of the night, and casually mentions that she didn't take the time to brush her teeth before driving over, do not offer her a Mentos before reading her soda can. I think I about exploded my mom's only sister by not noticing that she was drinking a Diet Coke. Somehow, I think Mom would have found that funny. She passed about 4 hours later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Ouch!" say the genitals

Some lessons you have to relearn every couple of years. Today I stumbled upon one. I learned, again, the importance of making sure that the adhesive side of the panty liner is against the underwear. It seems like a silly thing to worry about, but those things come folded into thirds and if a third of it is flipped over on itself, you have a surprise bikini wax in the ladies' room to look forward to. It's just not fun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Things I've recently been told aren't normal

Being petrified to walk in a room where everyone else is sitting, because they'll all notice if I stumble and they may laugh at me for it.

Being scared to walk in heels for the same reason.

Not inviting people over because when I look at it from a guest's perspective, my house suddenly gets much messier and absolutely filthy.

Rambling like a lunatic when confronted with anyone I want to make a good impression on.

Naming bugs we find in the house to make them less frightening. "Don't touch Eduardo; he may be venomous!"

Giving up on teaching your child proper prioritizing skills and instead teaching him to blame his quirks on OCD.

Hiding Nicolas Cage faces around the house just to creep out your husband. (How can this not be normal? I got the idea from pinterest.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Do you know what smoking looks like? It looks like a bald head. It looks like a huge bulbous swollen double chin from the steroids they give you because tumors grow great in brain tissue and the extra pressure in your skull gives you headaches. It looks like paralyzation because of the tumor wrapped around your brain stem. It looks like bad breath because you breathe through your mouth because you don't have the muscle control to hold your jaw closed. And it looks like a doctor telling your kids that you could actually live for two whole weeks in hospice because the water retention from the steroid bloat could compensate for the lack of a feeding tube or IV. And why no feeding tube or IV? Because they'd only keep you alive long enough to get to the really painful part of dying. So next time you light up a cigarette and say you know you really need to quit, think of that. Next time you say you're such an addict and shrug it off, think of that. Next time you talk about the side effects you heard of that keep you from asking about Chantix, think of that.  Think of the people afraid to have a beer because they may get the call any minute to rush to hospice and don't want to be too drunk to drive. Think of your kids, really picture them, wiping wet sponges around your mouth because you've lost the ability to swallow and your mouth is dry and sticky. Think of a room full of loved ones, all looking away and up at the ceiling, because nurses are rolling you over to prevent bed sores and your ass is hanging out because you can't wear underwear with a catheter and you've lost control of your bladder. And the whole time, you're conscious and aware of it all. Think of that and then answer the question, "Why is that a better reality than throwing away that pack of cigarettes?"  Why is that panicky feeling in your chest worse than the panicky feeling in your kid's chest as they scramble to find the SIX THOUSAND dollar deposit on the hospice room because without it, you may literally be discharged onto a bench in the hospital parking lot.

Friday, November 09, 2012

This is messed up, and strangely expensive for the demand there should be

There's a picture of a kangaroo embossed on a coin purse made out of a kangaroo scrotum. Think about that. If some species made coin purses out of human scrotums, would they emboss a stick figure man onto it? It's a completely stupid comparison, though, because the stick man would curl up into a ball like a 1950s bomb drill every time you took your purse out in the cold. But hey, if you kept your coin purse in your front pocket, would it count as bestiality? Or necrophilia? Or probably some hybrid of both, I'd think.

You know what these are? I mean, aside from fashionable earrings? They're slices of oosik. They're walrus penis bone earrings! I can only assume, based on the weird holes in the middle, that the walrus had osteoporosis. Probably why it was too slow to keep from getting dong-snatched by violent jewelers.

This is a basket made out of baleen and ivory. Baleen it the filter on the roof of a whale's mouth that catches fish and lets water through. Kind of like the way nose hairs filter dust and let air through. And like hair, it's made of keratin, not bone.  Ivory is what tusks are made of. Tusks are more like teeth than anything else.  This is a basket made out of whale nose hair and (probably) walrus teeth.

See, I've given you a wonderful way to accessorize with weird animal parts. You're welcome.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A facebook status, because I'm totally phoning it in today.

The boys like to pull up the floor grate in their room and throw each other's toys "into the basement" but this time it got left open and the cat got in. Just wandering through the ductwork, having an adventure, while we humans crouch over the vent-hole, impotently calling "here kittykitty!" like morons. And people think Saturday nights lose their excitement after you have kids.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I bet Psy thinks our videos are just as stupid

Me: Oh my god, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwear did the horsey dance at the CMAs.
Tom: What's the horsey dance?
Me: From Gangnam Style.
Tom: What's Gangwhatever Style?
Me: The video all over the internet?
Tom: (blank stare)
Me: It's internationally famous?
Tom: (blank stare)
Me: Well it's where the horsey dance comes from. And Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwear did it at the CMAs.
Tom: Well what's it look like?
Me: What? The horsey dance?
Tom: Yeah.
Me: Um, like this. (and then I tried to do the horsey dance but it didn't work due to equal parts inability and embarrassment, and then I just looked up the video on youtube.
And then two seconds into it...
Tom: Who's that?
Me: That's Psy. (blank stare) The guy who sings Gangnam Style? (blank stare) The song the video is for that has the horsey dance!
Tom : Oh. Whatever. Where's the dance?

And then the dance came on and he was equal parts flabbergasted by its stupidity and enthralled with the fact that Tommy and Danny already knew how to do it and were dancing around the living room Because that's how we live when he's not here. We live Gangnam Style!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Another pet peeve, I guess

Rape is not sex. But it does, in all honesty, mimic the physical act of sex, albeit in a traumatizing and violent way. I just hate to hear people calling it sex. "He drugged her and then had sex with her." "He had sex with her against her will." No one is doing anything with anyone in a rape. They're doing it to someone, or at someone, but not with someone. To do something with someone, they kind of need to be doing it,too. Or at least, the phrase implies it. Rape victims aren't having sex, they're being assaulted.
So I hereby move that we stop saying that rapists are having sex with their victims and instead start saying that they have sex on their victims. CeeLo Green is accused of slipping a girl drugs in a club and then raping her. The articles say he gave her E and then had sex with her. I say he gave her E and then had sex on her. He did it to her, not with her, and the vernacular should reflect that.

pills and pain

This morning I threw my back out putting Danny in his car seat. There, that's your back story for this phone conversation with Tom two and a half hours later. Also, I take lots of pills for my crazy.

Tom: Is your back better?
Me: Not really. I can move without audibly yelping now, though, which is an improvement over how it was.
Tom: Did you take some Tylenol or Aleve?
Me: No.
Tom: Why not?
Me: Because they're too high for me to reach without stretching and I can't stretch and also because my breakfast already consists of four pills and a cup of coffee and I just didn't want to add more pills to it. I mean, I wanted to get better but I didn't know I'd have to take the AIDS cocktail to do it.
(Tom erupts into fits of giggles)
Me: Why are you laughing.
Tom: (still giggling) You said cock.