Tuesday, May 29, 2012

They're Coming

This weekend, while you and I were barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs, a naked man was gnawing on another naked man’s face under a bridge in Florida. If that sentence doesn’t scare the you-know-what out of you, you should know that after the police shot the offender, the offender turned, growled, and kept on eating.

Where is the public outcry? The quarantines? The national guard? The ban on travel? I simply don’t understand. LSD my foot. My friends, we are on the brink of the zombie apocalypse and no one seems to care. I, on the other hand, am digging a moat around my house. Because I don’t think zombies can swim. And if they tried, I believe all their rotting parts would just sort of fall off, rendering them somewhat incapacitated. If the zombie apocalypse doesn’t occur, the moat will serve as a makeshift pool of sorts to stay cool in this summer. Because, man, it’s hot , and I’m not even on LSD.

Aside from being anxious about the impending zombie apocalypse, I’ve been lobbying hard for central air. Let me tell you, it’s hard to lobby a lobbyist. The man is resolute. I may have to resort to unfair tactics, like complaining publicly on my blog or systematically shutting down operations at Camp Jennings. And that would be bad, because nothing looks worse than a half-completed moat.

I should mention what is truly on my mind- aside from missing my dog, worrying about zombies, and strategizing ways to get me some central air: my grandmother is moving to Rochester.

Grandma is 88 and has lived up in the Adirondacks for- 88 years. Yes, that’s about right. She has decided to leave the house she’s lived in for 50+ years to come live closer to my mom.

There are some things Rochestarians should know about Grandma:

Grandma just recently quit volunteering at her local nursing home.

Grandma walks in circles in her basement to keep in shape.

Grandma doesn’t suffer fools.

Grandma hates lawyers.

This makes Grandma's relationship with John very interesting.

Grandma doesn’t believe in football on Thanksgiving, dirty feet, or onions.

Grandma doesn’t abide smut on TV.

Grandma wears sneakers with her skirts.

Grandma likes her Sunday sermon short and to the point.

Grandma makes a mean jello salad.

Grandma loves my kids.

Grandma’s a sucker for animals.

I’m really afraid of zombies.

I’m more afraid of Grandma.

Grandma’s ETA: End of June. Time to purge my house of dirt, lawyers, and onions.

I can’t wait.

Monday, May 21, 2012


For months, Ella has been telling me she wants long hair, like her friend Riley’s. “I want a bun at dance class,” she said. Yesterday, I put it in two little piggy-tails for church. Later that day, Ella took kitchen shears and hacked off those piggy-tails. You can imagine how baffled I am at her 1)desire for long hair and 2) this rather violent action. My friend-the-amazing-hairdresser fixed it the best she could, and we both agreed Ella looks like a chemo patient. Her preschool graduation pictures are going to be precious.

Upstairs in her room, I picked up long blond tresses to throw away in the garbage. The day before, I went around the living room picking up tufts of black and grey Kiah hair. Kiah was shedding, and clumps of her hair would roll through the kitchen like tumbleweed. We’d spent a lot of time brushing her recently, ogling the amount of hair that we threw away. How is it that hair on the dog is sleek and beautiful, but the moment it comes off the dog, it’s just gross?

We lost Kiah on Saturday. I don’t want to get into the details. Earlier that morning, she was bounding around our backyard throwing her Angry Bird stuffed animal into the air and catching it, and that afternoon, she was rushed off to the emergency vet care. It was an accident- nobody’s fault. That night, we told the kids she wasn’t coming home. Outside, neighbors congregated at a barbecue, purple flowers bloomed atop the chives in my garden, the phone rang, and my children wept. I wept. We stared into the empty backyard and our hearts hurt at the sight of a bone in the corner of the living room, her crate in the library, those tufts of hair in corners and between cushions on the couch, her paw prints on the sliding glass doors, her nose smudges on the windows, a leash coiled at the bottom of the stairs.

God, she was such a pain in the ass! She was a jumper. She liked to run into my bathtub and just stand there, smirking at me: “Yeah, I’m in your tub, and I’m going to leave my hair in it and maybe some mud. And I’ll probably do it again tomorrow, too.” She ruined my carpets, my hanging blinds, the window screens, and my sanity. She stole my kids’ stuffed animals and ripped them to shreds. She ate off the table and licked water out of the sink. She chewed the furniture. She had diarrhea all over the laundry room floor. She could clear the entire couch with one swift jump. She pulled on her leash during walks. She dug up my tulips. She had horrible breath and she got poop stuck in her butt fur.

Yet, I don’t know that I’ll ever meet anyone again in my whole life that will be as happy to see me when I walk through the door. She loved me even after I stuck her in her crate. She played well with others and was content just to lie on top of our picnic table and stare at me through the window.

I look out the window and there’s nothing there. Just an unkempt lawn and my tearstained reflection in the glass.

We’ll be fine- it will take some time. Please pray for us. This- this is really, really hard.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Holy Toledo

There's a stack of papers a foot high I've been weeding through- my kids school folders threw up all over my floor.  I think we should reinstitute the slate tablet in schools.  A lot less paper waste.  Most of what my kids lug home is garbage, with intermittent notes to remind me to send in a permission slip or a special snack or some extra glue sticks.  Glue sticks are an integral part of the first-grade experience. 

This is one of many reasons I haven't been blogging. 

If I may be honest, I've kind of checked out of life for the past month or so.  I emerge from the hovel I live in to deliver kids to school, to stock up on basic necessities, and... that's about it.  I've been ignoring phone calls, e-mails, get-togethers of most types and text messages.  The ignoring of text messages is not purposeful; I have a new phone, and I'm not actually sure how to access text messages.  It's a very complicated device.  When I finally learn how to use it, I will essentially have a medical license and an engineering degree.  I will build myself a skyscraper where I will perform brain surgeries, thanks to this phone.  

Instead of being a responsible adult, I have been either a) sleeping or b) watching the movie Paul on HBO.  That's about it.  John has been so pleased.

Two days ago, I lifted papers from atop the answering machine (I prefer the old-fashioned answering machine to voice mail.  I tried voice mail for a while.  I found it tedious.)  The machine had been blinking red for weeks.  With great trepidation, I pressed "play."  The thing spoke to me. 

"You have 78 messages," it said.

"Holy Toledo," I said.

"What's a Toledo?" Dan asked.

"It's a city in Ohio," I said.

"Can you eat it?" Dan asked.

I ended the conversation there.  It wasn't going anywhere.

I was, however, incredibly impressed by my answering machine's storage capacity.  Sometimes, a phrase like "You have 78 messages" is just the thing one needs to hear to check back into life.   Also, I think my new meds are kicking in.  There has been a lot less sleeping and a lot more vacuuming of dog hair from the furniture. 

Today, I may even venture to Rite Aid to buy some glue sticks.  Heck, I might start blogging again.

You never know.