Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Elvis Wasn't Real."

In the car, heading home from school yesterday...

Luke: "Elvis wasn't real."

Me: "Yes, he was."

Luke: "Not according to my book, Do Not Open (by John Farndon, available on Amazon). He was born real, but he had implants at age 16 to have his brain and heart removed."

(At this point, I had to explain the definition of an implant versus an extract or transplant. Just so's we're clear.)

Me: "Elvis Presley was real, he was born in Tupelo, MS, and was one of the most famous singers of the 20th century, and they nicknamed him 'The King of Rock n Roll.'"

Me: "Why did they remove Elvis' heart and brain anyway?"

Luke: "To make him look better."

(Huh? Sing better? Possibly. Dance better? You never know. Never mind that Luke's probable re-telling of whatever Elvis urban myth is actually IN this book is muddied, or how ridiculous the notion is to remove one's internal organs in order to improve one's external appearance. My knee jerk reaction is "Puhleeze! Like anyone could improve on Elvis' looks??"

Luke: "Is Elvis dead?"

Me: "Yes."

Luke: "No, he isn't."

Me (so totally not wanting to open THAT can of worms): "So, how was school today?"


The Anxiety Dreams continue to saturate my periods of rest. Without going into extensive detail, I will say that the cast of characters, locations and seemingly unsolvable problems change from time to time, but the underlying vexation remains constant. The trade off is, I suppose, better than continuing to pickle my liver with alcohol, but kingdom for a REM sequence where I get to play strip poker with Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes and Linus Roache.

A mild version of the Anxiety Dream was a few nights ago, during which I was at my local gas station buying cigarettes and pulled out a $50 bill with which to pay. (I'm on a first name basis with most of the staff at this gas station because, well, I buy a lot of cigarettes. But the clerk behind the counter in the dream was the middle-aged, unfriendly, grumpy lady I don't like and avoid at all costs.)

Me: "Two packs of Camel #9 100's, Pink Box, please."

(Grumpy Lady turns around to fetch my cigarettes.)

GL: "$12.65."

I hand over a crisp $50 bill. Grumpy Lady takes the Magic "Is It Counterfeit?" marker thing to it, and instead of one swift line across the bill to verify it's authenticity, she starts writing all over it, "FAKE!"

GL: "This bill is fake."

Me: "No, it isn't. I got it from my ex-husband who got it from the bank."

GL: "Can you come back here in 20 minutes?"

Me: "No, why?"

GL: "Because I'll have the police here to arrest you."

Oh sure, most criminals are more than happy to return to the scene of a crime at a time more convenient for the victim and authorities. Heaven forbid Grumpy Lady didn't get all of her prosecutorial ducks in a row.

Me: "No, and fuck you. The bill is real."

Blah blah blah, then I drove away with my Nana (my deceased Polish grandma) in the car and we dodged flooded streets in order to get home. End of dream.

The next day, I was reading the Park Ridge Journal-Advocate, the local newspaper covering the Stepford-esque suburb in which I was raised, where my mother and ex-husband still reside. The Police Blotter headlined with:

"Counterfeit Currency

Someone used a counterfeit $50 to pay an invoice at Park Ridge City Hall, 505 Butler Place. City staff learned of the counterfeit currency after being contacted by JP Morgan Chase Bank on May 21. The bill was turned over to the Secret Service."

Ack! It sure as hell wasn't me, people, but it wouldn't hurt to question the Grumpy Lady at the Minuteman on Cumberland or the Anatomically Altered Elvis.

And if the Secret Service is "secret," how would you know when they came to confiscate it?


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No Bones About It: A Car Conversation with Lucas

Luke: "Daddy and Grandma and I are going to bury Grandpa Gordon's ashes in Colorado this summer."

Me: "Yeah, I heard. That should be interesting."

Luke: "It's so gross that Grandpa is ashes in a container. There are body parts and stuff in it."

Me: "Grandpa doesn't really care much at this point."

Luke: "But who would want their body parts burned when they die?"

Me: "Lots of people. I do when I die. Again, you don't care what happens to your body parts if you're already dead."

Luke: "I want to be put in a tomb."

Me: "Then tell your wife and your children at the appropriate time."

Luke: "Bones aren't solids."

Me: "Yes, they are."

Luke: "No, they're powder held together with some sticky stuff."

Me: "Um, no, they're porous, made of calcium and phosphorous, and fibers and In fact, after your body decomposes, all that's left is the bone of the skeleton."

Luke: "I pooted."

Come In, Major Stupid Ass! Do You Copy?

Bagel slicers are a top-selling kitchen contraption, which makes sense, as bagel-slicing injuries are swiftly becoming the bane of the middle class and one of the most popular reasons to visit an ER on any given weekend morning.

All of this I learned first hand (Ha! I made a pun!) on Sunday, during my ritualistic compliation of these yummy bagel sandwiches I routinely make for my boyfriend and myself, consisting of sprouts, fresh veggies, turkey bacon and cheese atop a carefully-severed and toasted bagel.

Typically, I can slice and scathe through a bagel sans incident, particularly if the bagel retains it's round and fluffy shape during baking and I keep my fingertips out of immediate danger. But the bagel that contributed to my weekend artery nicking was close to flat and oddly asymmetrical (damn Asiago cheese!), and so I laid it on the cutting board and committed the huge, ridiculously sharp bread knife to it going sideways, stabilizing it with my right hand and cutting with the left.

Like a dumbass.

With a shrieking decibel level of "OWWWWWW!" and the kitchen quickly redecorated in splatters of A Positive, I ran my middle finger under cold water, which served only to a) burn like hell and b) make the dangling flap of skin wave back and forth, as if to say, "Yoo-Hoo? Up there? Idiot!" The pressure I applied soaked through fresh layer upon fresh layer of Bounty, the Quicker Picker Upper, and refused to slow down.

Rather than spend my Memorial Day weekend waiting in an overcrowded ER, I called 3 different hospitals as I gushed to see which had the shortest wait time, barring any incoming gunshot wounds, et al, and ended up back at St. Joe's, where I was last seen with a .375 alcohol level and an admission to detox.

Chronically skeptical of doctors' competency as I am, I disagreed with the attending physician's decision not to stitch or glue my finger back together, and felt gyped that I walked out with merely a residual fever, a tetanus booster and a gauze-packed and wrapped appendage, jonesing for sutures since it's been, oh like 3 weeks since I've had any. But the caveat was that flipping people off would now be immediate and effortless.

This afternoon I get to see the plastic surgeon for whom my mom works for a wound check, hoping to gauge when the nerves might recover and I will once again have feeling in my middle finger and possibly a discernable fingerprint.

Other than the bagel incident, the long weekend was enjoyable...I drummed, finally got my Free! Panties! from Victoria's Secret, got to see a bolt of lightning strike the John Hancock building (after I got to see the first of Navy Pier's summertime weekend fireworks displays), enjoyed "Iron Man" and sleepily decided late last night to nickname my breasts "Cagney and Lacey."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Panties, A Machete and "American Idol"

Panties, a machete and "American Idol"
Current mood: adventurous
Category: Life

Luke and I performed our Tuesday night ritual of taking our municipal Chicago garbage cans out to the street last night since garbage pickup is today. Said time is also when I typically remember to take a gander at the incoming US mail in the broken-off mailbox which sits atop the front porch stairs. (Lest we forget that the Chicago Police ripped the box off the siding whilst breaking down the front door to bust the downstairs crack dealers last fall.)

In an effort to further perpetuate the notion that I must live in a really, really, really rough neighborhood, I offer the transcript of the following exchange betwixt my son and myself:

Luke: "Mom, is that a machete on our lawn?"

Me: "Yes!"

Luke: "Is it real?"

Me: "Yes! And really rusty!"

Luke: "What's it doing there?"

Me: "I have no idea (said as I carefully picked it up by the edge of the blade, so's not to ruin any incriminating fingerprints on the handle)."

Luke: "Does it belong to the drug people?"

Me: "Probably, or someone else they've pissed off."

Luke: "Our life is turning into Law & Order SVU."

Me: "Um......"

We hemmed and hawed over calling the non-emergency police number to report the machete, but logic ruled out realizing that in all liklihood, the cops weren't going to send over a forensic crime scene investigation team to dust it for prints, so into the garbage can it went.

I did the same thing a few months back with the bent up golf club that some other random, disgruntled hoodlums used to break the windows of the black Oldsmobile in the front of the driveway that did belong to the drug dealers downstairs, and shudder to think what the garbage men on our route must think of what goes on at our address.

Luke wondered if the machete was used to cut our grass, since we have neither a mower or a landlord, nor a landscaping service. Though the visual of someone cutting down our weeds and dandelions as if they were rice fields in rural Cambodia reeked of adventure, I'm not totally thinking that was the case.

After we went back inside, we eagerly watched the first night of the finals on this season's "American Idol," which I can't believe I've lowered myself to watch and find it disturbing that I give a damn about. Alas, desperate times call for desperate television viewing choices when a household is sans cable for close to an entire TV season. We're rooting for David Cook, only the less weenie-ish of the two Davids (Archuletta being the opponent) and please don't blab to my son that I didn't really call in my vote last night after the show (which I effectively pretended to, while we watched Chef Ramsey fling undercooked beef tenderloins at his staff on "Hell's Kitchen").

My mom keeps receiving cards in the mail entitling her to a pair of free panties at Victoria's Secret. She's 64 and no longer into shaking what her mama gave her undergarment-wise, so she's been passing the rewards along to me, not that I shop at Victoria's Secret either. My panty of choice is the Hanes Cotton Hipster (are you writing this down?) and they don't sell the steel-reinforced-underwire bras required to hold up my pair of girls. Still, I'm happy to roll my scrawny ass cheeks over there to claim my free! panties! Unfortunately, I keep forgetting...that is, except when the latest VS commercial is aired (during "American Idol," for example).

Me: "Remind me to go get my Free! Panties!"

Luke: "Stop that."

Me: "But I keep forgetting."

Luke: "But WHY do you say that EVERY time the commercial comes on?"

Me: "So I remember to go get them."

Luke: "You're disgusting me."

The Wizards of Idiocy known as Comcast are (fingers crossed) coming today between 10am-1pm to wave their magic wants over my cable and internet at home, hopefully putting an end to my reliance on broadcast channel entertainment and the need to use my mom's or boyfriend's computers for internet access. Let's hope.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ground Control To Major Stupid Ass...

Ground Control to Major Stupid Ass...
Current mood: embarrassed
Category: Life


Amazing how I can be so clever and resourceful sometimes and simulatenously the dumbest dumbshit on Planet Flightiness.

Where to start, where to start...

I was super dumb on Thursday. As a result, I vomited fiercely four times in a row. NO, I WASN'T DRINKING. (By the way, I'm 15 weeks sober.) Moving on.

Let's continue with something that doesn't make me look like one of the cousins who played the banjos in "Deliverance." I've been farting around for the past week trying to eradicate a nasty computer trojan wormy virus malware fucking thing from my mom's computer. Despite the (count em!) 7 different anti-virus blah blah programs I've run dozens of times, the problem persisted, resulting in my not-so-computer literate Mom tearing her hair out as she sat at her system attempting to "x" out of 43 pop up ads at one time.

She's using my old Dell, circa 2000, which is sort of dinosaurish. For reasons unknown, it wasn't grooving to accept a CD-R (yes, dorks, I formatted it properly first) with which I planned to backup her data/pics/music et al, dump Windows and start from scratch. I wondered if the drive itself was problematic, or if I should waste more dough buying every other conceivable form of recordable media, whatever, when I got the good idea to buy a USB Flash Drive and save her data to it. Yippee, that worked!!!! Happy Dance!

Unfortunately, when Luke and I left the house this afternoon to head to Target and get the USB Flash Drive, Dumbshit Me walked out of the house with my cell phone, my cigarettes, my son and NO KEYS. I keep my keys, my money and my ID's/cards all on and in my Louis Vuitton 6-key holder, so it wasn't like I could jimmy the back door lock with that, nor did I particularly feel that paying a locksmith $200 was in my best economic interest. My mom, who may or may not have an extra key to Camp Swanky, was in Joliet for the day (about an hour away from Chicago).

Today's lockout was way more fun than last spring's, when a drunken late night phone argument led to me locking myself out, using forcible entry to get back in at 1:30 am and resulted in having Rob, The Studly Carpenter Who Hates Me fix my broken jamb.

Fortunately, it was (WAS) warm out late this afternoon, and I'd left the 2 west living room windows about a quarter of the way open. Plus, Luke and I didn't freeze our keisters off. After calling my boyfriend, my ex-husband, several off-duty Chicago cops and Goldilocks Locksmiths in Norridge, Luke and I put our heads together and found a 3' piece of PVC piping with which we slid the screen of one of the windows open, and then I slid the window itself open. Next trick was to figure out how to hoist the 100lb Luke up into and through the window from the narrow wooden stairs without killing us both so he could unlock the door.

My boyfriend was off in the burbs at a family thingy, my ex was busy cleaning his bathroom, Goldilocks was MIA (eating porridge in Norridge, presumably), and the on-duty Chicago cops only offered to break my door down if a small child was trapped alone inside. "No," I said, "The small child is outside with me. What I need is someone to get him in, not out." All that got me was an unsympathetic "Sorry, ma'am."

The guitarist from my band, Bob, kindly stopped by on his way home from Lowe's to give either Luke or myself a hoist into the window (Bob's a Chicago cop but not so good at lock picking), at the same time Craig, in his mercy (hey, it started to drizzle) left his bathroom cleaning project to perform the "slide-the-credit-card-through-the-lock" magic, which was ultimately how we regained entry into Camp Swanky about 45 minutes later.

Since I no longer felt the desire to cook dinner, Luke and I settled on two Speed Racer Happy Meals from McDonald's. Not the healthiest choice, but it's been a helluva long while and dude, this week's toy was a wind-up Mach 6 (the revamped Mach 5). I couldn't resist.

An amusing Car Conversation With Luke, for those of you who've been missing our Chuckles in the Chrysler Moments:

Luke: "I am the Son of God."

Me: "Um, no you're not."

Luke: "I'm a child of God."

Me: "Yes."

Luke: "I'm a SYNOGOGUE."

Me: "Ok."

Monday, May 12, 2008

This Root Beer is BIG DADDY SIZED!

This Root Beer is "Big Daddy Size."
Current mood: tested
Category: Life

My mom had a 38 oz bottle of root beer for me to consume in her refrigerator. 38 oz seems like an odd size for a bottle of pop, but what was more interesting was that it was labeled as being "BIG DADDY SIZE." It's taken me roughly 4 visits to my mother's house to finish said "BIG DADDY SIZE" root beer, which affirms that in no way am I anywhere close to being a "BIG DADDY." Not that the threat of such a moniker has been keeping me up at night, mind you...

Yesterday, I had the gleeful opportunity to make friends with 2 adorable baby bunnies whose hole was in the little garden plot right outside my mom's back door. I was sitting on the stoop having a smoke when they saw me with their wide, innocent eyes, and instead of burying themselves back in their cozy home, they came outside, tame as can be, and proceeded to scamper and nibble, until one, who I affectionately coined "Foo-Foo" sat right by my foot. I let him smell my hand, which he did, and life was good. Soon after, they returned to their hole, their mommy already most likely gone, until I came out for another smoke, and they came back to visit. By this time, the whole family was "awwing" and "ooohing" and the bunnies showed nary a smidge of fear.

This nary a smidge of fear probably was their downfall, for this morning, I received a teary phone call from my mom that both of the baby bunnies had been killed (and worse, mangled) overnight. It fell upon me today to clean up their tiny remains and deduce that it was all a part of nature, though if I get my hands on the squirrel who was probably responsible, I'll show him why it's dangerous to play in the street. My mom neglected to mention that one of the baby bunnies WAS MISSING IT'S HEAD this morning, which made the bunny burial all the more disturbing. R.I.P., Foo Foo.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Very St. Paul Dream...

A Very St Paul Dream
Current mood: breezy
Category: Life

Now that I've graduated from my outpatient rehab program (sober for 10 weeks!), I can resume spending my mornings blogging and, well, finding a job. Yes, finding a job. That's the priority.

This Luna bar I had for breakfast says it's 70% organic. I've concluded that the remaining 30% is composed of congealing raw sewage.

Anyway, the dream right before I woke up today was centered around St Paul Lutheran. At least it was, for the most part, comical, and not a re-hashing of the anxiety dream that I've been having since I got sober.

Keep in mind, most of this dream will only seem amusing or interesting to the folks here on myspace who were at St. Paul with me during grammar school, so be forewarned.

It was the last day of 8th grade and the scene was the chaotic parking lot full of parents and students about to depart for summer vacation.

Patti came running up to me clutching a hot lunch menu, and was screaming and flailing her arms about with excitement, as evidently, she'd never seen a hot lunch menu before. She was eager to circle the various menu choices for the month that she looked forward to eating. Too bad I took the wind out of her sails and pointed out that the menu was for the month that had just passed, and probably called her a "dumbshit" in the process.

Mrs. Moeller, the 6th grade teacher we all hated in reality, gave us all A's in Religion because she was dying (which she did in reality some years later). Yay, us!

Cathy approached me in the parking lot looking for her 2 kids, which was strange since she was in grammar school, and I marveled at the fact that she wasn't wearing any eye makeup.

Mr. Rittmueller, our 8th grade teacher, made each of us a tin mobile that had tiny pictures of everyone who's ever been in Menudo hanging from the aluminum strips. SCORE!

My mom and Patti's mom came to find us to take us home. I shooed my mother away and told her that she's always negative, mean and I didn't want to be seen in public with her. (Not far from how I felt at 14, actually!)

Besides, my mom was mad that I'd gotten 10% off on my English paper because in one paragraph, I'd mixed verb tenses in one of the paragraphs. While it sounded fine when read aloud as vernacular, and I was employing license, my mother scolded me for having an English degree and not being able to properly construct a paragaph. "But that's what I do when I blog!," I told her.

(So interesting in dreams that portions of our true, real adult lives are weaved into our characters in the dream, i.e. Cathy having children or me having an English degree, or my mom being grumpy.)

Amy T. went around showing everyone the big white stuffed autographable fabric bear that she wanted everyone except me to sign. Thanks for nothing, bitch!!! :)

Now hopefully, Luke's experience of "School's Out Summer 2008" will be less dramatic, Menudo won't remotely be involved, and his grades will be better than mine.