Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You look like I need another drink

I remember the first time I looked into his steel blue eyes, that crazy blonde hair and those perfectly sculpted cheeks. That was it, that first glance and there was nothing I could do about it. He knew it to, that very first second; he knew I would forever be his.  We could lay next to each other for hours, just taking in each others expressions. I wanted to take in his every breath and memorize his every expression.  I fell deeply, madly in love the first time I laid my eyes upon him.  I knew my time with him would be too short, I knew it would seem like an instant and I'd be left to wonder how it happened so quickly and so I had to cherish it all. There would be many wonderful days, there would be some hard days, but most of all, enjoyment and pure fulfillment. The first time I brought him home to meet my family, they quickly fell for him as I had. He was intoxicating and beautiful and perfect. He was always a charmer, always engaging, even then.
His older brother loved him also, they would spend hours together, laughing, fighting and sharing. He was the second born of three boys.  Three boys who were obviously adored by their mother, three boys who would cause havoc, raise holy hell and charm the pants off a nun. They were very different from each other in many ways, yet exactly the same in many more ways. Three boys, My three boys.  Watching them grow together was the single most fascinating thing I have ever experienced in life.  My three boys, the musketeers, all aptly named after cowboy outlaws.  They were experienced tricksters and wicked spoiled.  I remember days of kool-aid stands, countless football games, school plays, lego's and matchbox cars strewn about strategically placed to trip up even the most skilled of mothers and fathers.
I remember the fighting between brothers, and the alliance of brothers against adversaries. I remember coming home from work one day and discovering that the big purple dinosaur; Barney had been replaced by bodies draped over chairs with cords attached from the television to the video game controllers their hands held.   I wondered how everything had changed so quickly. I remember bike rides and homework and days floating on the river. I remember longing for the days when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rocked and girls had cooties.  I remember the horrid, tumultuous teenage years, the rules broken, the laws broken; in some cases, and the girlfriends that were suddenly awesome. I remember triumphs of overcoming issues and obstacles. I remember it all like it was yesterday. It was yesterday.
Today I am praying that the child who was so very small in my arms one day, who means the world to me, who taught me so much, is really ready for the decisions he faces and actions he will be facing.  Today, my middle son, who has grown, in the blink of an eye, is in the process of being sworn into the United States military. Today, as I look into those steel blue eyes, I say, Son, I am proud and humbled at what you have become and today, just today, you look like I need another drink.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seek Therapy immediately....

Mom gave me life, the beach gives me sanity and Vodka keeps me from killing people.

Wow, Happy Monday readers,
Ok, that statement was highly contradictory. Mondays and happiness are not usually associated, and this one is no different. After spending a good bit of the weekend, well, away, it's hard to be amongst the madness again.

Thursday I had the delicious pleasure of a day of pampering from my friends over at the Spa. I was treated with Swedish massage, face-lift massage, pedicure, haircut, color and highlights all while sipping cocktails. Did I mention massage? And cocktails too! Positively fabulush! Not to mention my new do is awesome! I was treated with a product called Caribbean Therapy, which is some sort of concoction made of sugar cane extract and massaged with several AVEDA body oils. Fantastic! I have been told on occasion throughout life I should seek therapy, I had no idea how great this would be. I may need to see my therapist weekly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Rehabulous Life

This past weekend the Vodka supplier and I had a little mini-vacation from reality. We had the pleasure of staying in a beautiful condo overlooking the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. This was an especially rehabulous occasion because this was also the weekend of the 38th Annual National Shrimp Festival.  Let me just say, the Gulf Coast can throw some parties ya'll. We have festivals and parades and other high-fallutin celebrations on regular occasion. Whether it be "Fat Tuesday", the Festival of Flowers, Bayfest, The Seafood Festival, the Sausage Festival, yes we really have a festival for sausage, this is the south folks, or my personal favorite, the Bush-Wacker Festival, and let's not forget "insert your name here" Fest, which is a month long celebration of your birthday, we have something for everyone. Whatever the occasion, we just look for a reason to party. And party we do.

Each year the "Shrimp Fest" as us local riff-raff refer to it, draws in over 300,000 people to the Gulf Shores area. The festival is said to have originated as a "Blessing of the Boats" but has migrated into a celebration of the King of Crustaceans. There's fried shrimp, cocktail shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp on a stick and, well, you get the picture. Aside from shrimp there are over 300 vendors comprised of Art, arts and crafts, a retail marketplace and tons and tons of food. I love the smell of a beer tent blended with the salty sea air. The best thing about the parties we throw, Free Admission. Sweeeet. The festival also has two stages for musical entertainment and many local musicians perform as well as some well known musicians.

This particular year, we decided to partake in Saturday nights festivities. The featured band was Foghat. Remember, "Slow Ride" or "I just want to make love to you"? Good Stuff indeed. The second bandstand had a local band, I can't quite remember the name, but they were comprised of one member wearing what looked like a sumo wrestlers suit with a mullet and a second in a sequined tank top adorning an afro. They did mostly a funky rendition of cover music from the 80's. The attire was entertaining alone. Anyway, we were so busily consumed in the fantastic taste of a beautifully made Cosmo, although lacking in presentation, as it was in a giant plastic cup, that we made it over to the Main bandstand just as the last song was played. We could have stayed and waited in line for autographs from the members of the band, however a signed Foghat poster hanging on my bedroom wall is not going to have the same feel as say...never ago.  I didn't have one morsel of shrimp, not a bite of the world famous, Cajun Pistol and didn't purchase one single "I like it Dirty" Martini tank top. And damn I wanted that. However, the Cosmo's' Too. Die. For.  The view from the condo, spectacular...the Sunday nap on the beach to cure Saturdays festivities...fabulous, and the entire night away from the nuthouse... superb. All in all, we had a rehabulous time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dryer Incident

Laundry is really not an interesting topic, especially, in my household. As you recall, I’ve mentioned the large quantities of occupants I dwell with, so the sound of a continual washing machine is commonplace around here. Last night, the dryer broke. It just stopped. No more bellowing out the sounds of shoes thudding inside or a zipper clanking. Just call a repair man and have it fixed, you say. End. of. story.

I wish it were that simple.

My Father, "The Bishop" is quite worthy of repairing many things. He has decided he will repair the dryer.
I'm quietly doing some research in another part of the house when I am summoned to the Laundry room. Upon my arrival, I find the dryer is completely disassembled. There is a giant hollow tube in the middle of the room that looks something like a metal barrel without ends on it. This is obviously the spinning device used to circulate the clothes. Even I can asses this. There is also two sides and a bottom of what once looked like a dryer. My father is standing behind the shell of what is left  holding a small black box with some sort of gauge on it and wires extending from it to the dryer. This is a multi-meter I am told. Something to do with measuring voltage or ohms or something. Anyway, he is testing the dryer and needs me to push the button, his hands are full. We determine whatever he is testing is working just fine. He informs me he will be moving the dryer and all of its remaining pieces into the garage, (with the spare refrigerator, I mind you) to continue his exploratory surgery and since "Gadget" has moved in, we can use his dryer until ours is back in service. He'll bring it in from the garage. Great. Case closed.
This afternoon, I walk out into the garage and find "the bishop" hunched over sandpapering his dolly. (a two-wheeled device used to move heavy objects). Without word, I look around and the garage has been transformed into what appears to be a surgical room for a junkyard.

Against my better judgment, I ask, "what are you doing, dad"

“What does it look like I'm doing!  I'm sandpapering rust spots off my dolly.”

“What about the dryer?”

“The dolly has to be painted before It can be used to move the dryer.” 

Again against my better judgment, Why?

“Well. because. it. looks. bad.”

(This is where I really show my stupidty).

"So does the dryer, now."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Absence makes the Vodka Sweeter

Dear Vodka,
Please be in my soup tonight.
Love, Me

The key to a happy marriage …Separation. Ok, ok, settle down, I’m not talking about divorce . I’m talking more along the lines of say… golfing, catching a game or stopping by Bob’s for some beer and fishing with the boys. My vodka supplier found himself with the day off today. Of which I replied, “Where’d the vodka bottle go?” "That’s great honey!" It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time with the vodka supplier; it’s just that I had so many things I wanted to accomplish today. Alone. Such as not hearing anyone talk.

It has been unscientifically proven that we I have more interest in our my spouse if we spend time apart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, you say. This just means that the time away from your Vodka supplier, makes you love that Vodka supplier even more. It's proven, birth rates increase after veterans of war have returned home, and there is reason for celebratory vodka drinking when sailors return from sea. Now, I'm not suggesting the vodka supplier run off and join the military, like Stu. I'm just saying spending to much time together can cause you to feel like holding a pillow over your sleeping spouse's head smothered. Separation gives us time to work on ourselves, drink vodka with friends and do things that interest us and also makes us more interesting as people and that, in turn, makes drinking vodka together also more interesting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No you can't push Great Grandma in the pool, she's my mother, let me help....

We've all heard of coke bottle glasses right? The big thick lenses with thick black frames; well, forget the coke bottles, I'll have enough empty vodka bottles by noon, and I’ll be able to take over Lenscrafters.
I touched a little on the colorful people in my life in yesterdays post. I mentioned the dysfunction dynamics that makes up my family. Today I’d like to elaborate a bit more on some of that. My Parents. Super good people, Love Love Love them to pieces. At times, little, tiny, crunched up, squished pieces. But none the less, I adore the shit out of them. They spent a lifetime giving me and my sisters everything we needed, wanted and often shouldn't have gotten. They loved us, nurtured us, taught us, wiped our asses, feed and clothed us.
It was a trick. PAYBACK .

Exhibit 1. I am in the yard, I am in the process of hooking up the pool vacuum. My mother, hmmm what shall we name her for future reference, How bout Queen. OK, so Queen comes out, stands at the pool edge and proclaims “the pool needs to be vacuumed” I look at her shocked.
My grandson, whom is two, sneaks over and puts his hand behind her as if to teasingly push her in the pool, first instinct…Let me help! Reaction... no baby you can’t push Great- Grandma in the pool. Thought racing through my mind…only I get that pleasure. Now this may sound mean and spiteful at first glance, but let me first introduce…

Exhibit 2. A warm sunny afternoon, birds are chirping, sun is shining and all that, I walk in the house, Queen and hmmmm, what to call Dad, Bishop. Anyway, Queen and Bishop are eating some ice cream and strawberries with my visiting sister. I sit down to visit as well, and my sister, whom we can call Mrs. Martini, grabs a bowl off the counter to give me some ice cream and berries as well. So nice right? Anyway after I finish, the queens smirks and says that was the bowl I gave my dog ice cream from. This is when I hear the sound of a needle screeching across a record. What!?!? Rewind, why are you disclosing this NOW?!?! Well, he licked it so clean I didn’t know, Mrs. Martini claims. You had already taken a bite and my mouth was full my mother says. This brings us back to exhibit 1. Understand???

Exhibit 3. My sister’s neighbors are two sweet little old ladies. They are in fact, sisters. Said sisters are in the middle of a foreclosure and would like to sell their refrigerator before they move. My mother decides she wants to purchase it as an additional refrigerator so we have some extra space for holidays and what not. Not a bad idea. We do have half of the county residing with us at this point.

The new refrigerator…. Thanks old ladies next door! This morning, our father is measuring several different spots around the 18 inch by 18 inch room we call the laundry/pantry. This said mammoth refrigerator will not fit, I mean it will, if it's never, ever opened and no one wishes to ever carry a load of laundry through the room again. My suggestion, how bout put it in garage, it’s right outside said laundry room. “Nope, Nope, no”, that won’t work my father insists. Why? I ask. “Well, it won’t get used for one thing.” Keep in mind, the garage is maybe 20 feet from the existing refrigerator we use in the actual kitchen. Now I’m no expert on distance, but it doesn’t appear to be all that far. Ok, Dad, well there’s always the option of duct taping it to the ceiling and doing a dash by opening of it, allowing the contents to drop to the floor each time you want some left over green beans. He scowls. An angry scowl I might add. “But hey, call me crazy, I'd rather not eat them off the floor that no one can walk on because there's no room.” So on to Dad’s next idea, how bout we put wheels on it and attach it to the door that goes into the garage, if you want to go out the door, you just turn the door knob and the door opens with the entire said mammoth refrigerator attached. I can't believe I didn't come up with this brilliant idea myself. How revolutionary. Again, I had the stupidest idea ever, how bout put it 6 inches farther which places it just OUTSIDE the door in the garage. Wellllll, silly girl of lesser intelligence, that won't work because no one will use it and it will cost more to have it IN the garage. Apparently, I hadn’t been clued in on the secret fact that electric companies charge more for outlets used in a garage rather than a house. I'm going out on a limb here and making a broad spectrum statement to all of the world, if you can't effin walk an extra 3 steps to the refrigerator, then really you don't need to eat from it in the first effin place. God help us all, I'm going to teach my Grand babies to be very, very careful of what they do to piss off their parents, because one day, ONE DAY, the sneaky fuckers WILL get them back. No more diapers kids, pee in the toilet from birth, trust me on this, you'll thank me one day!

In all seriousness folks, dealing with aging parents can be very trying and will require patience and large quantities of Vodka. It can be a challenging responsibility and it's very important to develop good observation and communication skills and to allow them to make as many decisions as possible to make them feel in control and give them a sense of value. Keep your eyes open and pay attention to any changes in their ability to make decisions, attentiveness, attitude and demeanor.

This is exactly why I highly recommend looking at life through the bottom of a vodka bottle. Things are much clearer now.

The AARP has some extremely helpful information on this subject at