Friday, November 26, 2010

Truck Nutz and Turkey

I haven't done one of these in quite a while. And because he's still around, making noise and providing laughs, I think it's about time.


I think I have mentioned before that my Uncle Ronnie has a little bit of a hearing problem. To say that he's deaf as a stone is an insult to stones. Many years behind a pneumatic drill have rendered his ears as little more than decoration for his head.

Recently, Ronnie bought himself a new truck. And not just your average truck, a fire engine red, big jammer with all the bells and whistles that one might expect in a loaded 2011 pick up - IPod Dock "I don't know what to do with it." CD Player 'I can't play nothin since all my CD's burned up in the old truck." Sirius/XM Radio "I cancelled it. See no use for it." Digital odometer - '"Can't seem to get my mileage to display." And the biggest feature of all, its mammoth size. So mammoth in fact that I think he has had a problem parking it, because it has a couple of dents and dings. We keep asking where the damage is coming from and he keeps laughing it off and not answering. Typical Ronnie.

When Thanksgiving rolled around, Ronnie was with us at my brother's house in his Sunday-best flannel shirt. As we sat in the living room enjoying some pre-dinner noshes, the talk or perhaps what is best described as screaming, turned to Ronnie's truck. My brother, who was sitting directly across from Ronnie was yelling questions at him about how he liked the truck and Ronnie was answering. He gave us the run down of the sizable list of features in the truck that he doesn't use and he told us how much he liked the truck, overall. I was sitting to his left and tried to ask him a couple of questions that he could not hear. He kept staring straight ahead, eating chips and dips as if I had never said a word.  I guess if he's not looking at you to read your screaming lips, he can't make out what you're saying. So I proceed to have a discussion with my brother about how I am going to buy a pair of truck nuts and sling them around his trailer hitch when he's not looking. Then we can take bets around how long it will take him to realize that there is a scrotum hanging from his truck. He never heard a word of it as he proceeded to completely disrespect the layered Mexican dip in front of him.

After dinner we were passing around my sister-in-law's IPad and showing him pictures of our family, including one of him and I from 1967. One thing I can say is that his vision is as good as his hearing is bad. He took one look at the picture from 1967 and said "My hair looks the same." never pausing to mention the adorable three year old at his knee. Then we showed him a video of my son playing acoustic guitar and singing Me and Bobby McGee and he immediately dismissed it as "Oh, that's not for me, that modern music." A comment that had all of us doubled over in fits of hysterical laughter. But what can you expect from someone whose CD collection consisted of Eddie Arnold and John Phillip Sousa. That's it. For Ronnie, the music industry is frozen in carbonite as of 1948.

At the end of the evening, as we were cleaning off the table and packing him a to go container full of turkey, he turned to my husband and and asked "Do you have a record player in your car?" After an evening of classic quotes and talk of truck nuts, I was done in and had to dash to the bathroom to prevent myself from peeing my pants. And that is one thing that our Uncle Ronnie has provided for us throughout our entire lives; pants-pissing hilarious moments, some intentional, most unintentional.  The man is a treasure and someone to be thankful for at this time of the year and all year round. Boy, I can't wait to order those truck nuts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Go eat some turkey!  But first, watch this

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Leftovers by the Hair of My Chinny, Chin, Chin

Hey everyone.  Some of you may have noticed that I have not posted in over a week.   I don't think this has ever happened before without me giving some sort of "we're on vacation this week" warning.  Unfortunately, it's work and not world travel that has me away from my computer and all other forms of merrymaking. As I had mentioned in this post, it's my busy season at work AND some people have faces like a cat's ass.  If you missed this educational post, please check in on it.

For today,  rather than let the drought continue, I am going to heat up some leftovers for you.  The post below was featured as a guest post on Speaking From the Crib, one year ago.  It's a fave because it's a totally true story and something that I am still battling today (though I am winning the war).  Enjoy.  And I hope to be back to visit all of your blogs soon!

Look, nobody said that getting older was glamorous, but chin hair? Really? For about five years now, I have been doing battle with a foe so evil, so vile, that I live in a constant state of alert for its reappearance. I’m talking about my chin hair and it’s a doozie. Yes, I said chin hair. Singular.

Now some of you are going to read this and say “Be-yotch, have you lost your damn mind complaining about one little chin hair? I sit up in this electrolysis chair weekly with some angry hermaphrodite zapping me with rads or whatever and you are complaining about one lonely chin hair? “And you would be justified to say that, except, this is no ordinary hair. This is a super hair.

Super in what way? Well I’ll tell you. Besides having a sweet-ass CD collection and a vacation condo in Aruba, this is one BIG freaking hair. It is not so much a hair as it is a tree, lovingly planted on my chin by the hands of time. Let me tell you the story of how we met . . .

About five years ago, I was laid off from the company where I had worked for eighteen years.Suddenly, I was thrust out into the uncomfortable world of job interviews (aka brown nosing and groveling) without any real practice. One morning I rolled up on an Eyeglass Manufacturer who was looking for a Business Analyst for their manufacturing system. Dressed in my best ugly interview suit, I did a quick rearview mirror check for spinach in the teeth and what do I see in the harsh glare of the afternoon sun? A half inch long chin hair. Cripes man! It was just waving in the wind. How did I not ever see this before? Giving its length, it had to be cultivating for a while and someone was force feeding it Miracle Gro.

Utterly unprepared for the cosmetic challenge I had before me, I tried to pull the hair out with my fingers. Let me just say that without the laser beam precision and gripping power of a tweezers, this is no easy feat. I pulled and tugged and pinched and yanked, but it kept slipping out of my grip. Finally after about 10 minutes of wrestling with it, it came out, PAINFULLY. This thing had more roots than Pam Anderson between touch-ups. Double checking the mirror, I could see that there was no longer a hair there, but there was a nickel sized circle of angry red skin from all my pulling. Undaunted, I marched into that interview and gave my best dog and pony show.

Did I get the job? No, but I did get what was to be the beginning of a five year war with the hair on my chin. Let me tell you a little something about chin hair . . . it’s mutable. It will change its texture, color, length on a whim. Back then, it was fine in texture and a soft brown color. Today, it is a big, wide tree stump of a hair, but it has grayed (bonus!), so I don’t see it as easily, I have to rely on feeling. If I run my hand over my chin and sustain a flesh wound, it’s time to pluck. Pretty, I know.

There is an upside to this story and that is that it never brought any more friends to the party. It is a solitary hair and does not wish to share the real estate with anyone else. And I am truly thankful for its greedy, anti-social behavior.

As a delightful post script to this story, I found out through the grapevine that the girl that got the job at the eyewear manufacturer was a former coworker of mine. Her last name? Chin. I wish I were kidding. I’m not.

Friday, November 12, 2010

International Love Letters

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog posting to bring you this important news from overseas:



What? You don't read Chinese? 

Are you kidding?

Ok, ok, I'.ll translate. 

Dear Diary,
Why are you so full of the awesome?
When I cook General Tso's Chicken, I am reminded of how not awesome it is, compared to you.
Your skin is like fine porcelain. So fine, in fact, that I can see all your veins. 
Your hair is like rarest amber, with a brown stripe down the middle, 'cause your roots girl? Damn.
Your energy level is so high that you can actually beat the all the Sr Citizens at assisted living center at the pole vault, but only by the very narrowest of margins.  And your kindness can only be bested by the average Mc Donalds employee.

Stay awesome and come to China real soon.

Yours truly,
The Ghost of Chairman Mao

If you think this is hot, you shold read the love letters I get from Nikita Kruschev.  Smokin!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

News Schmooze

At some point, I'm not sure when, my mother became obsessed with the news and weather.  This was a radical departure for her as I did not grow up in a household where I got covered in layers of clothing and was sent out looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as soon as the first cold wind of the season blew.  No, we were looser and more free-form than that.  I was trusted to coat and glove up as I saw fit and if I was cold, then it was my own damn fault.

However, somewhere around my early 30's, my mother started to obsess over the weather, just in time to question my choices around the way that I suited up my kids to battle the elements.   I had gotten a piece of advice from my pediatrician that said "If you're comfortable, they're comfortable", so I followed my own clothing guidelines with them, choosing not to layer then in so many snowsuits, blankets and hats and mittens, that their bucket became a Flavor Wave Oven.  I really didn't want to have to Mr T with me everywhere with him saying things like "MMMMMM, that roasting baby smells good. Quit your jibber jabber woman, gimme some of that baby!".

Somewhere around the same time, my mom became obsessed with the news.  I couldn't walk into a room without seeing her with her reading glasses perched on her nose, thumbing through the newspaper with CNN blaring in the background.  Ultimately, she would try to engage me in discussion about local politics or other current events and I would lapse into my Forrest Gump voice and tell her "Mama, I am not a smart woman, but I know what over saturation of media is.".  An then I would scamper off and anesthetize my brain with pop-culture info and other junk food for the brain.  I couldn't name all the 9/11 hijackers, but I had a firm grip on the romantic history of Brad Pitt.

I have talked to friends that are around my age and they all say the same thing, once their mothers hit retirement age, they developed an unnatural obsession with Willard Scott and his morning raisin brigade and with all things news.  To this, I respond "NEVER!".  I am so determined not to have a picture in picture of CNN and MSNBC running simultaneously that I have made a pact with my besties:  They are approved to call Kevorkian, as soon as exhibit any combination of two or more of the following:

1) Watch the news and weather obsessively
2) Wear holiday themed sweaters
3) Stuff tissues up my sleeve
4) Wear rubber bands around my wrist
5) Break wind with every step that I take
6) Save wrapping paper from opened gifts (yes, yes, it's green, it's also "grandma")
7) Develop a love-jones for Keith Olberman ,Sean Hannity or Glen Beck (or any other controversial, talking head)
8) Save my bacon grease in a coffee can

Oh, and did someone say Mr . T?  Well I pity the fool. . . .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Season of the Bitch OR The Effect of Group Dynamics on the Anus of a Cat

 My son comes into the kitchen the other day, dancing and clapping his hands.  He stops, squints at me and asks "What's good?". Entertained, but slightly distracted, I replied "Not much bro-ski". It was an honest answer, given that this is the season of the bitch.

I work in a business that has a pretty well defined busy season and for whatever reason, that busy season lands right around the holidays. I also work in the type of job where you have to work in large teams of people. Working with a large group of people, increases your chances for working with people that have personalities that have more in common with a festering bunghole than a decent human being.  The upside of this is that for every difficult person, there are twenty awesome people that are committed to offering their skills and expertise, without the side order of bitterness,hate and childishnes that bungholio contributes.

This is nothing that I can't handle, because I feel that people who behave like this, offer self-fulfilling punishment by way of their own embarrassing behavior.  There is nothing that I could do or say that is more humiliating than to let these people flaunt their bad attitudes and lack of cooperation.  Score!   Unfortunately, they become an inconvenience when fighting the clock, as their foot dragging petulance can occasionally slow progress.

As I often say, these are not "real world problems".  Real world problems are when someone you love is sick or when you don't have a job to bitch about.  And while I might be too busy to cook and bake this Thanksgiving, I can still order a pie and pick up a pre-made shrimp platter, so that I don't have to show up empty-handed at my brother's house.   And I will adjust my Martha Stewart on crack attitude and be thankful to be there with the ones that I love, store bought baked goods and all.


OK, chill.  I'm not about to steal anybodies good time.

Owing to my OWN childishness. . .

There is a person that I work with that is so foul and so bitter that I want to name them Marie.   Why Marie?  Because as my daughter informed me, the meaning of the name Marie in some cultures is "Sea of Bitterness",   and there couldn't be a more perfect description for this person than that.   " But what about the anus, Diary?", you might ask.

OK, OK, I'm getting to it.

When we were in Italy, we went to this Tuscan hillside restaurant where no one spoke English. We were greeted in the outdoor courtyard by a brown, curly haired dog at our feet and a black and white cat, sitting on the roof of the restaurant. The owner came out and thanks to the one (in 17) Italian speaking member of our party, it was agreed that we would eat outside.

We assembled around a long, L shaped table and with the help of our Italian speaking friend, we ordered a metric crap-ton of food and wine.  As I have mentioned in prior trip reports about Italy,  dinner is an all night affair, with course after course of deliciousness, stretched out over several hours.

Just around the time that our entrees came out, the sun was just going down and the festive patio lights and candles on the table were lit.  This was also about the time that the cat came down off the roof and started to prowl around the guests, looking for scraps.  Seeing the cat on the ground, close up, it was evident that he was either not well, very old or both.  He was skinny and rickety and he moved a little slowly.  It wasn't until he walked away from our table that I saw what was really going on.  His rear end area was bulging out and it had a strange green hue.  It looked like he was smuggling grapes in his ass and someone had spray painted the area for emphasis.  It was at that moment that my son exclaimed "Look at that cat! He has a knotted anus!".

It was such a astute observation, that it became the unofficial battle cry of our week in Tuscany.  Every cat that we saw after that, we would simply point and say "knotted anus".    So now, when I look across the conference table at a particularly bitter and uncooperative coworker, with their lips pursed in pruney discontent,  I am reminded of that unfortunate cat's backside and I giggle, on the inside.  Hey, I'm a professional here.  A professional child, but a professional, none the less.

And there's your anus. Have a fabulous weekend and be sure to let me know about anyone that you know whose face reminds you of a diseased cat butt.
Probably has a knoted anus.

DEFINITELY has a knotted anus!