Thursday, January 14, 2010

For the record

In this whole Leno v. Conan bullshit, I'm rooting for Conan. I think he and his staff are a bunch of comic geniuses. I'm not really anti-Leno because I think he's getting screwed in all this too. I guess I'm mostly anti-NBC because they're the ones doing the screwing. It's sad, really.

I read an interview with Conan about 10 years ago. In it, he talked about how he watched the Tonight Show and other shows like it and knew he wanted to be an entertainer. The one thing he noticed about entertainers was that they could all tap dance, so he asked his parents for tap dancing lessons. I wish I could remember where I read that. I love that guy.

For a while I fancied that I would marry Conan on account of a giant crush I had on him. Then he married someone else. I read the news on the Internet and was really quite sad about it. I didn't think I was actually going to marry him or anything, but it was nice to think about sometimes. I didn't cry or anything. In any case, as soon as I read it, my phone rang. It was my mother. She asked me if I was sitting down because she had some bad news for me. Then she said, "Conan got married."

**Updated on Jan. 15, 2010 to add**
We stayed up late last night to watch Leno and Conan. I'm hella tired today, I'll tell you what. But what I saw was Leno acting desperate. His jokes were not funny; they were angry and painful to watch. Conan, on the other hand, was a class act. He addressed the issue, but then said that he was just an entertainer, and while all this bullshit was going on, there were real issues in the world. Then he talked about Haiti and what people could do to help. And then he went on and had a great show. He was totally hilarious.

I can't help thinking of old King Solomon at a time like this. Who does this Tonight Show baby belong to? I can't help thinking it's the mother who does NOT want to cut the baby in half is all I'm saying.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

The sincerest form of flattery.

My elderly aunt, No-legs' sister, is really sick right now, but nowhere near as sick as No-legs was. Still, she's in a bad way, so my mother and sister picked me up after work on Thursday and we took a car trip to see her in a hospital in Connecticut.

I never see my mother or my sister without other people around anymore. It kind of sucks because I really like them one on one. It's when it's everyone all together that I start moving myself slowly (and then more quickly) towards the door. I'm a delicate flower. Also, I think my whole family, when together, brings out the worst in each other.

But just the three of us together was really nice. And even though our mission was pretty depressing (visiting a sick old lady), we ended up having a glorious time. Oh, the laughter! Oh, the tears from laughter!

One of the things that drives me the craziest about my mother is that it seems like she thinks everyone around her is a moron ; she's constantly explaining things to people - or maybe it's just to her kids - that they know already. I don't know how to explain this well, but it's maddening and it's been going on since I was very young. I've had actual fights with her that have included me shouting, "Why do you assume I'm a moron!? I am NOT a moron!"

And it's funny how my mother explaining something to me like that will turn me almost instantly into a raging lunatic. Everything will be fine and then I'll be ready to resort to fisticuffs, like, thatfast.

We were in my mother's new car. Tesia was driving, I was the passenger due to my tendency towards carsickness and my mother was riding in the back seat. Tesia asked me if I knew that bastard is a really bad swearword. "It's as bad as asshole," she said. I said, "No way. Maybe it's the same as ass, but it's nowhere near as bad as asshole." She said, "I had no idea it was a bad word until, like, five years ago." I said, "I still don't think it's that bad."

My mother chimed in, "It just means a child born to an unmarried mother."

My sister and I instantly were all, "Yeah. We know what it really means, Ma. Gimme a break!" and etc.

In our family hierarchy, I'm the sister who makes fun of people, so when my sister turned to me and said, all casual-like, "You know, Jennifer, your asshole is just a hole. It's in your ass." I came unglued. We were all laughing and laughing. Tesia and I were crying. My mother was laughing and also seemed miffed at the same time. Tesia was laugh-shouting, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" And I said, in a mocking way, "Yes, I'm so sorry that I'm laughing at my mother that I can't stop laughing at my mother!" Oh and that just kept it going.

When my mother doesn't like something going on, she'll start talking in a higher-than-her-own-voice sort of voice, and she always starts with, "Well..."

For example, "Well...I didn't know you felt that way and I guess I'll just ..." whatever.

I do a dramatic interpretation of it that I think is dead on. It makes Tesia laugh really hard. Scott says it sounds like Cartman.

I came home and relayed the whole story to Scott. We laughed and laughed.

For this next part of the story, you should know a few things. One is that I talk in my sleep. A lot. I complain about Scott snoring and everything, but I snore too. My snoring doesn't keep him awake (or me, incidentally), though there have been times when I've woken him up and asked him to roll over because his snoring has woken me up and he has and I've fallen back to sleep and started snoring like a chainsaw before he's fallen back to sleep. Why does this guy live with me? In any case, now I sleep with earplugs. Also, I drool like a faucet. But the talking is the thing that wakes Scott up.

Last night, he woke up because I was talking in my sleep, but I wasn't talking in my real voice. I was talking in the voice I use to imitate my mother. On and on I went, imitating my mother in my sleep. So Scott had to wake me up to get me to stop.

(Aside: Earlier in our relationship Scott tried to engage my sleeping self in conversation, but I never went for it. I woke up and became embarrassed by my sleep-talking, not realizing he was trying to egg me on.)

I called my mother to tell her about it. She said, "Oh, well, you must have been dreaming about me." I said, "Not about you, about imitating you!"

Well, you know what they say about imitation.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Can it be three whole weeks since my last post?

That's it. I'm fired!

Okay, not really.

So much has been going on, most of which is not blog fodder, so I must abstain. But here are a few things that are worth sharing.

First, I did several hours of yard work today and if I didn't know I did it, I wouldn't notice I did it. There are many parts of home ownership that suck. This is one of them.

While I was working on the yard, I applied some sunscreen so I could try to avoid premature death. I bought some sunscreen at the Greenfields Market that is all-natural, so it's not as bad for the environment or anything (because some of them are pretty bad). It was made with zinc oxide, so it made me sort of white and pasty (or should I say, "whiter and pastier"?) than normal. When I was finally done being outside, I went into the shower to return to my normal human state, and I could not wash that stuff off. It took a ton of soap and water and actual, factual scrubbing and carrying on, and the water was still beading up on my skin like I had been freshly waxed. It was like tar.

(Aside: Remember Actual Factual Bear?)

Part of what I did was clean up some leaves that were leftover from fall. I found a whole bunch of them in my brassierre when I took a shower. Awesome!

This week was the best week I've ever had at work, ever. I got nominated by my peers for an important and prestigious award - and then I won it. And all of this happened without anyone spilling the beans to me, so that when they announced it in front of everyone in my division (100 or so people), I was so surprsed that I instantly started weeping and walking around in a daze like Miss America.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Jennifer always cries. And it's partially true, but I really try to keep the out-loud-and-in-public weeping to the minimalest minimum at work. They don't smile kindly on ladies in career separates getting their weep on in earnest 'round about my corporatey-corporate workplace. But I did it. And it was on a teleconference too! I was pretty embarrassed. But afterwards, everyone was coming up and hugging me and congratulating me and it basically didn't matter at all. In fact, my old bossidy-boss came up to me later to tell me how touched he was that I was so surprised and happy about the award.

My crying brought people together! Even so, I'm going to try not to do that again.

In the bastard plantar fasciitis news, it went away for about a week, then came back again, but I'm confident I can get it to go away again. It's so frustrating. But I've been taking short walks and basically giving it a giant middle finger, so that helps. In a related story, I bought another pair of shoes in an effort to fit my foot and my orthotic into a shoe at the same time. Upon wearing the shoe for one work day, I discovered it doesn't actually fit me. Fucking yeah!

I had a membership to Planet Fitness. A few weeks ago, Scott helped me face the reality that I never go. Not just seldom. Never. So he drove me over there and I cancelled my membership easy-peasy. It was nothing. But I wouldn't have gone over there without his urging. And because he was there, I didn't get caught up in feeling like a loser for quitting the gym. Honestly, I couldn't stand it in there. It was a lowest-common-denominator playground, as far as I could tell. When I was going regularly for a while there, there was a series of nutso people basically parading around me the whole time. This one insane mother in particular screaming at her son for about a thousand hours while I was just trying to exercise for about 30 minutes set me into a bit of, oh, I don't know. If it weren't so goddamned funny, I might have had the panic. When did mothers start screaming at their kids like dogs in public? My mother always had the courtesy to whisper-shout at us through gritted teeth. If you weren't right next to her feeling the anger radiate off her like thermo-nuclear waves and experiencing her death grip sear your arm fat while her growly whisper-shout singed the extra-fine cilia in your inner ear, you might not even know she was angry. (I'm not sure I've adequately thanked her for keeping the public mortification to a minimum.) In any case, the number of people working out in their pajamas was basically stunning. Also, teenagers getting their pose on in earnest. It was madness is all I'm saying.

You might be thinking, "Jennifer, the common denominator in all this is you." And indeed you may be right. But no self-respecting establishment purporting to be a health and fitness gymnasium should have a weekly all-you-can-eat pizza night. Just sayin'.

This morning, my mother called my very popular radio program to put on Grandpa No-legs's Bass Boat. It was sold within a very short time, which gratified me to no end. In any event, there was a glorious moment while we were on the air when I asked my mother what the boat was made of, aluminum or fiberglass. She approximately replied, "Whatever Bass Boats are made of." I approximately said, "They can be made of either." I only know this because of the show that I host. We talk about these things. She approximately said, "People who know Bass Boats know what they're made of," like she was some kind of person who knew Bass Boats, which she couldn't be because she didn't know what it was made of. I approximately said, "Yes, of course, ma, either aluminum or fiberglass." I added "approximately" in there because I didn't record it. I only wish I had so I could get those quotes exactly and so I could listen to it in perpetuity and laugh and laugh. We raised the curtain on our relationship to the listening public. When it was over, my bossman at the station popped into the studio and said, "You've gotta have your mother call in more often." I said, "I wasn't sure if that was funny to outside people or not." He said, "Oh, it was."

It is a radio program on public air waves, so my mother can certainly call in whenever she wishes to do so.

I think we're all caught up now.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The latest

Well, we had our house inspection on Friday, and it all went off without a hitch. There are a few plugs with reverse polarity and a couple other small issues that we'll deal with after we close. It's happening in earnest.

I had a total meltdown - like total - on Wednesday night. Instead of celebrating our love, I spent the night crying out loud. The stress of the house buying just blew up over a very stupid request from the bank granting our mortgage. I got a raise on April 1 and they wanted me to submit a written statement explaining why it happened gradually over two paychecks. It happened gradually because it was effective on April 1, but April 1 was in the middle of a pay period, so one paycheck was partially my old rate and partially my new rate. My telling them this was not enough. I had to write a statement about it.

I don't know why this made me insane, but it totally did. I was actually howling from it.

It was, I guess, the last straw. I have given those people just about everything they could possibly want from me short of a blood sample. They took copies of my tax returns, pay stubs, then even more pay stubs. I signed forms, then more forms, then even more forms. I wanted to shout at them, "This raise means I will have more money to pay you back. What's wrong with you people?" Instead, I shouted and cried out loud. Scott lost patience with me for a little while, which scared me because he generally has an unending well of patience, but in retrospect, I can see why. I was completely out of my goddamned mind.

The good news is that I'm back in my mind. The other good news is that I ran into an acquaintance who recently went through a very similar situation and told me that she lost her mind for a while too. This gave me great comfort.

Scott and I both took the whole day off on Friday for the inspection and I'm glad we did. We were both so exhausted from all the recent madness that we came home after the inspection and slept all afternoon.

I've also gotten a lot of bad news lately. It seems like people are dropping like flies. Generally speaking, I'm not surrounded by death or disease, but lately people are falling ill or dropping dead. It's been taking a toll on my outlook.

I don't know if I mentioned that the bastard plantar fasciitis is back, but it is. I stopped having pain of any kind, became too excited about it, went for a regular walk and was fine, and then went for a too-vigorous walk and was decidedly not fine. I saw the podiatrist and I'm sort of starting over, which is disheartening, but okay, I guess. This time I at least know what works and what doesn't. I should get over it much more quickly - and when I do, I'll be sure not to go for any vigorous walks and will opt instead for bike rides.

My massage therapist who I see for painful massages about the feet suggested that I consider having a regular full-body massage to help me cope with all the stress I'm under. At first I was kind of thinking that she was too smooth an operator and she was trying to capitalize on my stress (she is an extremely smooth operator), but then I realized it was a good idea. I called her today and she had an opening and now I'm a little bit slimy, but I feel much better.

I'm off to pick up a Mother's Day present for a lady who deserves more presents than I can give her. My mother has been dealing with about a thousand more stressful things that I have PLUS she's been hauling around No-legs, who, incidentally, is a bigger asshole than he's ever been. I wish there was some kind of putting-up-with-more-bullshit-than-anyone-else award because that lady would win it in spades. That he's still alive defies modern science; that my mother puts up with his bullshit proves she's got more compassion than just about anyone alive. She'd give the Dalai Llama a run for his money.

Anyway, that's about as meandering as an update could be. We've covered a number of topics and I think we're done.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy crap. It's happening!

So we went this morning and talked with our realtor and filled out the form to make a counter offer. Because the seller is still out of the country (and will be until mid-April), we assumed that it would take us a week again to hear back from her.

No, indeed.

We heard back from her just now. She's accepted the offer. If everything continues to go our way, we will soon call a beautiful 1890's Philidelphia-style row house home.

It's all I can do not to start barfing immediately.

I guess it's time to start packing, like, for real.

Holy hell.

I called my mother and told her the good news. She said, "Holyoke? Are you sure you want to live in Holyoke?"

I said, "C'mon, Ma. Are we going to go through this again?"

She said, "It's just that, like, five houses down from you looks like it could be a crackhouse."

I didn't want to tell her that she was looking at the wrong house. Because, in fact, it's right next door that looks like it could be a crackhouse.

Crackhouse, sweet crackhouse.

I'm really excited. We're really excited.

Now it's time to start collecting appliances. If you know anyone selling a washer and dryer, gas range or refrigerator, send them my way.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hot, steamy goodness

My mother drinks mint tea. I used to think it tasted like hot mouthwash. Suddenly, I'm hooked. What happened?

It's just so refreshing, and it makes my insides sort of tingly, kind of like Selsun Blue, but not on my head. Is that weird?

Tonight at the Stop & Shop (a.k.a. the blop), I bought two boxes of straight-ahead peppermint (one for work and one for home) and one box of green mint.

In more I'm-turning-into-my-mother news, I plucked a chin hair last month, and I'm developing these strange clear moles that all the ladies in Grandpa No-legs's family get right above their eyebrows.

I am not Athena. My father is not Zeus. I did not spring from his head. My mother was definitely involved.

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