Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone wants to be an astronaut; it's so overdone!

My mom took me to a child psychologist when I was 4 because my (childless) aunt thought I was too moody. Maybe I was, or maybe she knew nothing about little kids and I was just prone to crying fits. Either way, Mom took me to the shrink.  I went for a month or so until the guy wanted to meet my dad and my dad gave the whole "I aint goin to see no damn shrink and the kid don't need one either. She just needs to get her ass spanked when she won't quit bawlin," speech and then the bill came and dad saw it and we never went back.

I don't remember anything about the shrink except his name (Dr Houk, which I always thought was dumb because somehow I decided it was Hawk and he was just saying it wrong) and that his office was in a town an hour away and had a deli right by it. And every time we went my mom would take me to the deli if I behaved and talked to the guy. I loved that deli! I loved the high stools at the counter and the bagel and cream cheese she bought me. I felt so sophisticated and metropolitan. I felt Jewish.

See, when I was little all I wanted to be when I grew up was a New York Jew. Brick buildings with doormen, bright yellow taxi cabs, delicatessens, Yiddish in everyday conversation, cocktail parties. I wanted all of it! Apparently at some point I'd seen Annie Hall ( my parents never waited until bed to watch TV) and been profoundly influenced by it, which is probably the least damaging Woody Allen movie for a very young child to be profoundly influenced by. Which is why I loved the idea of being in therapy and of eating at a big city delicatessen. A bagel with just a shmear of cream cheese, please.  I didn't even know what Jewish meant; I thought it meant grown-up, or interesting. I was a preschooler and all I wanted to be was Woody Allen. Not Diane Keaton. Woody Allen. Which is actually a pretty great considering that by third grade I wanted to be a hooker.

Yep, a hooker, because all I knew about sex was that it was a beautiful thing for two people to do together and all I knew about hookers (did my parents never censor what they watched with the kids in the room?) was that they got paid to have sex. Seemed like a win-win to me at the time. Plus, hookers get to stay up all night!  When I found out it was illegal to be a hooker, I switched my career goals to private detective, because I liked Scooby Doo. I wanted to be Shaggy because he got to eat cake all the time and hang out with the cool talking dog. Fred and Daphne never actually did much, Velma couldn't ever keep her damn glasses on her face so she struck me as pretty useless, and so I picked Shaggy. That's right. My lofty childhood ambitions were to be Woody Allen, a hooker, and a half beatnik-half hippy who ate dog treats in exchange for going into the dark, monster-filled basement first.

Take that, ballerinas and firemen! My career day drawings were way more interesting (and disturbing during the hooker phase) than yours were.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For bolting Grandma to the table, of course

I just google imaged this. It's not my actual photo.

My mother had whole brain radiation when she first got sick. They mold a mesh mask to your head and bolt it to the table with you in it, to make sure you absolutely cannot move while they shoot laser beams into your brain. After the treatment was done, she let me have the mask, which I have on my wall as art, and which is the only way I can see or touch the curves on my mother's face.  But this story is not about my mother's death, or about the mask on my wall. This story is about the pins they use to hold those masks to the table. See them up there in that picture- the white plastic Ts? They came with the mask but I didn't need them so I set them on some table or something and they ended up on the floor and amongst the boys' toys and got thrown out one at a time for a couple weeks.

One day, a couple days after I'd gotten the mask from my mom, Ryan walked up to me and asked, with a curious yet deeply disturbed look on her face, just what that thing on the floor was. 
"Oh, that? It's for bolting your grandmother to a table. Why?"  
Then I had to explain the radiation to her and how it was done. And with a relieved look on her face, my 13 year old daughter said to me, "Oh thank god! I thought you'd lost your IUD."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh for fuck's sake, he's only four!

Me: Every toy you throw I will throw away. If you throw it, I will put it in the garbage!
10 seconds later
Tommy: (whispering) Don't throw it, Danny. Just drop it.
sound of toy hitting the floor
Tommy: Mo-om! Danny throwed it!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

How the hell did my senior year start 20 years ago?

Somebody on my facebook feed posted this link: it's a list of 29 albums that are now 20 years old.  Some of them I've never heard of, some of them I seem to remember coming out later than 1993 (probably the single I remember was released later), and some of them are pure nostalgia. 1993, now 20 years ago, was the year I moved out of my mom's and in with my dad. It was the year I went to a new school, the year I learned to play pool, the first year I had no curfew. 
I'd like to explain 1993 to Ryan. I think she would have liked it had she seen it. Had it not ended 2 months before I met her original father. But how to explain such a foreign concept? Libraries without computers, scrambling for coins for the pay phone, learning of new songs from the radio and then recording them onto cassette tapes. My old notes from class, the kind we wrote, not the kind we took down, almost looked like the iphone text messages. I wrote in blue pen and my handwriting and then my friend would write in green pen with her handwriting. Not a whale shaped little thought bubble but as close as our primitive cave painting allowed.
I miss those days. I miss the 90s the way my mother must have missed the 70s. I wonder if everyone gets nostalgic for their senior year and the decade it inhabited. If you do, tell me in the comments.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Introducing Ron Weasley

We got rid of our box turtle on Xmas day. My brother in law had a friend who wanted one for his son and our boys were too rough to really play with it here, so we gave it to the guy for his kid. We also found an inside home on a farm for our outside dog, Cheyenne. It was sad, but she needed a place with more attention and a house big enough for her. So, to dull the pain of loss a little bit, we got a new cat.  And by "we", I mean I brought it in the house when Tom wasn't looking. So now we have the 2 cats, our old ocicat Tat and our new black cat Ron Weasley. Mom's chihuahuas don't get along so well with the cats. Pupper doesn't care about them but Tripper barks at them constantly, not out of anger or hostility but because he wants them to play with him. They don't know this, however, so they hiss and their tails get bushy and they run into the basement.
At night, due to house training issues, the dogs are crated and the cats have the run of the house. I usually wake up at least twice in the night because Ron Weasley is trying to sleep on my face and purring at top volume.. Tat generally stays on the bed a few inches away from my head. I like cats more than dogs, I think. They use a litter box, which is a big selling point.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

It's like capitalism, but I'd do it wrong

I wish I could afford to rent a store. I want to open a store and sell cocoa and free books. I want to open a free book store with no goal of making money. And I want to sell cocoa at cost. And maybe wine on weekends, if it weren't for the damn insurance you have to get to serve alcohol. But I think a free book store is an awesome idea. Bring in your old books and take new books, and sit in comfy chairs and read them. No even exchange needed, no requirement that you bring in anything in order to take out anything. Just a place to duck in, have a cup of cocoa (I'll make it from scratch), and pick up some used books for free.