Saturday, January 02, 2010

Photo of the day: Pick a Station

You have a choice of two.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Photo of the day: Waiting for the Train

Well see if I have better luck this year keeping up with my photo of the day.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Scenes from Silver Creek: My Mother the Bad-Ass

For most of my childhood the Police Chief of Silver Creek was Albert Dwyer. He was married to the biggest bitch I have ever met. Didi Dupont-Dwyer, she of the pretentious name and blue hair. She insisted on the “Dupont” part because she liked to tell people she was one of the Duponts. She wasn’t.

My mother hated Didi. OK, perhaps “hate” is too strong a word. Hate is something reserved for Klan meetings, not somebody’s whose curtains are nicer than yours. But, aside from lust, my mother felt all the Deadly Sins towards Didi. She envied Didi’s nice house and perfect yard. She coveted Didi’s blue Buick. My mother was always jealous of the fact that Didi’s house was impeccably clean and never smelled vaguely of Toni home perms.

The fact that Didi and Albert could afford a cleaning lady and a gardener, and only had two kids, never seemed to register with my mother. She was just upset that the house was nicer, there was never any clutter or weeds, and the sofas never had old sheets thrown over them to hide the Coke stains.

I hated the two Dwyer kids. In this case “hate” is not too strong a word. Barbara Dwyer played piano, had straight white teeth like picket fence, had an adorable wardrobe, and wore Avon perfume. Clayton Dwyer was a total snot. Even as an adult, when “snot” ceases to be a viable insult, Clayton was a snot. He was the kind of kid who used magnifying glasses to set ants on fire and always insisted on bringing his model steam engine to show-and-tell every year at school. I cannot tell you how many times we had to watch that frickin’ stupid steam engine with the frickin’ stupid pellets, spitting out frickin’ stupid steam.

In spite of the deep loathing my mother felt for Didi she would never (because of “Christian charity”) admit it. In fact my mother went to Didi’s house every Thursday for about 300 years to play gin rummy. And therein lies the tale.

Didi Dupont-Dwyer was a cheater. Everyone knew it. Everyone put up with it because nobody else wanted to host the gin games because they were all just slightly ashamed of how shabby their houses were compared to the Dwyer’s. But she cheated.

She would purposely inflate her score. She would get up for more punch and look at everyone’s cards. She would do everything possible to ensure that she won. And for 300 years nobody said anything. Not Mrs. Cleveland who eventually got so fed up that she invented gout, which prevented her from playing anymore. Not Mrs. Sanaletti who decided that gin was too close to gambling for her Catholicism and dropped out of the group. Not even Mrs. Klinger who also cheated, but was never as good at it as Didi.

But one day my mother, incensed by decades of crystal punch bowls, clean carpets, a Meyer lemon tree, and inflated points flat out accused Didi of cheating.

Now all of this is hearsay….bordering on urban legend, but I have it on good authority. (Mrs. Liebman, who was there.) Didi apparently laid down a hand with four Jacks. Unfortunately for her, mother also had a Jack. Mother, rather than calmly pointing out an overabundance of face cards decided that enough was enough and actually stood up and with a Biblical gesture that would have done Charleton Heston proud, pointed and shouted “cheater.” Pointed and shouted. My mother. The woman who let my father fill out her ballot every election, suddenly turned into Dirty Harry and accused the chief of police’s wife of being a card sharp.

There was yelling and denying. Punch was spilled on newly cleaned carpet. Didi’s hideously hideous yippy dog “Baby” ate a knocked over plate of cookies and puked on the sofa. Didi leapt from her seat and accidentally tripped over Mrs. Liebman’s discarded Dr. Scholls and fell into my mother. Both women went down and in the ensuing tangle mother poked Didi in the ear with her 5th Jack.

And Didi, being Didi, got up with great dignity, went to the phone, called her husband, and told him to come and arrest my mother for assault and defamation of character. He did not, but the gin game came to a sudden and permanent end.

Thanks to my mother, the bad-ass.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Safety FIrst
Dear fellow migraine sufferers (you know who you are).

Let's talk about Imitrex. Works great. At least for me. But my problem is how fucking hard it is to open.

It's not even in a child-guard bottle. It comes it a small cardboard envelope-type thing. You rip off this little piece of cardboard covering each individual pill and underneath is another little cardboard thing you have to sort of rip/pop/machete open. OK, it's paper and I am a sentient being with opposable thumbs. But when your head feels like it's being split open and your motor skills are are impaired, this is much harder than it sounds.

I frequently have to use some type of implement to get the second part done. Sometimes I have to push it in with a spoon (and a surprising amount of force) to break through the seal. At other times I have stupidly used a steak knife and the resulting loss of blood did not do much to improve the migraine.

The question of why comes to mind. It is not designed to protect children. It seems designed solely to annoy people in pain. Sometimes it's so hard to open that I have to get Husband to help me. "Excuse me Husband but I am so useless at the moment that I am being defeated by paper."

In other news....New Year's Eve.

Remember parties? Remember when New Year's Eve was a night when you got together with good friends and ate lots of food, had too much wine, and did crazy things?

Then all your friends started breeding, which put an end to all the parties. Or we all got into our 30s and 40s and decided that avoiding drunk drivers and not getting home until 2 am was overrated. So now your New Year's Eve plans involve staying home and maybe, if you're lucky, staying up until midnight.

Husband and I went to the grocery store today. We decided, in order to at least make a token celebration of NYE, we decided to spring for a very good bottle of champagne. Then we bought our regular weekly groceries including, in this case, a frozen pizza for those nights when neither of us feel like cooking. Se we're standing in line with a $6 frozen pizza and a $45 bottle of champagne. Because we're just that weird.