Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Which I Unearth A Shroud Of Asshatery (and other such birthday shite)

Okay, so first of all, Sunday was my birthday. It wasn't a zero or five year, so really it was no big whoop in my humble O. Meaning "opinion" (complete with unnecessary quotations) not the other Big O which, quite frankly, IS a big whoop.

"nice cupcakes you got there, ma'am"
(things i would like to hear on my b-day
from kyle chander for 200, alex)
special k chicas
mr. yuk sticker on key card cos the doors to hell are toxic, yo

Aaaaaanywho, it was a lovely couple of days. Facebook lit up with a crapton of ego-boosting birthday wishes; my Special K buds sang purposely off-key to me over Beets' flaming, homemade, delicious red velvet cupcakes; my steel drum compadres had beach rum punch and a snowman ice cream cake at the end of (and before) practice, and Geo showered me with Paul Frank's Julius monkey wear. All wonderful gestures to make this pinhead feel loved and appreciated on the anniversary of her birthing.

But let's backtrack to the morning of my actual birthday, shall we. The morning I swung open the shower curtain and found this bad boy glaring at me...

saftey first, grandma
I mean, c'mon! I know I've lived longer than I will and am firmly planted in AARP country and aren't nearly as agile as my former self, but... Jesus Christ!


A bath rail??!?

Next thing you know, I'll be ordering a side of glucosamine/chondroitin with my Pinot. Although that might not be a bad idea. Hmmmm...

After my initial outrage, I laughed my ASS OFF! When I finally remembered to bitch at question my ever-lovin' about the offending geriatric aide, he reminded me I'd mentioned the tub was a little slippery (or slippy, as we Burghers say n'at) earlier in the week. Nice timing, Geo, but if a shower chair shows up next year, I'm coming at you like a spider monkey hopped up on meth.

Moving on...

In related news...

So, yesterday I'm heading out to go to drum practice when I step on an icy patch, take flight Matrix slo-mo style, and do an epic face plant right into the snow bank of our flower bed.


Right there in our wee front yard, in front of God and everyone, which was no one, thankfully. Aaaah, but the legend lives on in this Snow Shroud of Asshatery.

you can see my glasses outlined
okay, i do. shut up.

now with googly eyes
when did my head turn into the Grinch?!??

When I realized I wasn't broken, I laughed my fucking arse off at the spectacle of my sticking the landing, so to speak. Dude, there was snow covering both the inside AND outside of my glasses. And it just clung there because it was sofa king COLD out. It would not come off. Seriously. I had to practically use a scraper to clean the shitz from my specs. And my song book... Oye. It had snow, ice, shards of small frozen wood nymphs jammed all up in there.

Besides a bag full of my shredded dignity, I did walk away with a lovely parting gift... A ginormous eight inch welt on my dainty thigh. At least the swelling is filling in the cellulite holes. Oh, and let's not forget the Asshat Shroud above that will remain a constant reminder until April because this is what Pittsburgh looks like now and the near future.

(okay, I just threw that shroud mention in again for an excuse to show these two photos, cuz DAAAAAMN! It's messed up around here.)

icy cooooooold muthafucka
and yes, the answer is it IS cold enough for me, MFer
(spectacular photo NOT taken by me)

the plumber's crack of pittsburgh
(spectacular ass crack shot taken by moi)

And now, JUST NOW, I stuck the rubber tip of my slipper into the carpet and nearly launched myself headlong into the computer cabinet. I am not even kidding. Just call me Grace and cover me in bubble wrap.

Maybe a shower chair isn't such a bad idea after all.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Godspeed, Suzette

And the fucking death train keeps rolling along...

Okay, so I had hoped my first foray back to the keys would be a happy romp recapping the awesome of 2013, but clearly the Reaper had a different idea.

Evil Asshat.

On Friday night, the bell tolled for my dear, irreverent friend, Suzette. Her congestive heart failure got the best of her, leaving her on life support until her fragile frame succumbed to the force she could no longer fight. She was surrounded by the love of her children and nieces when she stepped off this mortal coil.

I had a chance to visit her in the ICU, but to be honest, I couldn't bear to let my last image of her be the hollow shell of her former self, hooked to wires and tubes. Instead I chose to keep her lively spirit I wrote about here as the lingering image imprinted on my mind and heart.

We were thick as thieves during her tenure at the Special K, scheming shenanigans, planning parties and laughing so hard I peed a little. Some of my favorite moments were spent with this woman who never acted her age. We were kindred 12 year-old boys. She was everyone's Mom. You know, the cool one you always wanted who fed you, swore like a sailor and told you dirty jokes.

We would roam around a lot together. I remember one day she and I went to an outdoor craft fair named Yankee Peddler in Ohio with her sister and niece. Her family is wonderful, but they don't swear. Can you even fucking imagine it?!? No swearing. On purpose. WHA??? Who lives like that??!? Aaaaaanywho, after a long afternoon of going against our nature, we said goodbye to her sister's family, closed the car door, and let fire a slew of curses.


We could no longer hold them in. Seriously. It was fucking EXHAUSTING pretending to be Sweet Polly Purebread. Suzette and I laughed our asses off after our onslaught of expletives.

not-so-sweet polly purebred

We didn't get together as much once she retired except for our monthly cut and dye jobs at Angie's, cause that's how chicks bond; over chocolate, wine and dye jobs, yo. We always meant to hang more, but you know how it is... good intentions unrealized. Last year her health started to decline quickly, and her daughter moved in to take care of her, which alleviated my guilt a bit, but not much.

Suzette is the first of my friends to die. It's weird and unsettling. Losing parents, grandparents, elderly aunts and uncles is tough enough, but losing a buddy... it hits hard.

On Saturday, we will gather to swap stories amidst laughter and tears in celebration of the life of our spirited friend. She was well loved by all who met her.

Rereading the comments from my post linked to above, I have to share two from coworkers:

"I've loved Suzette ever since the day, while prepping for a Children's Hospital telethon, she walked right up to me carrying a large metal light box, dropped it at my feet and said, 'I've brought my make-up and I'm ready to work."

"... I loved, loved, loved her sick sense of humor. The one time I was eating a little baggie of nuts from the vending machine, and she made a comment about putting a cashew on my wang (ala Dane Cook).
She had me at cashew."

She was one of a kind.

And to quote myself: She was my sassy sister, my irreverent friend, my constant confidant, my fellow 10 year-old, my cohort in crime and one of the few people who got me. Her friendship filled my life with abundant joy and elan. She will always occupy a permanent place tucked away in my heart.

Her presence will be missed on this spinning blue planet, but I have a feeling the fun has just begun in Heaven.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Not You, It's Me

or breaking up with my blog

Okay, so five years ago when I started this online journal, I was full of enthusiasm, excitement and so very much to share. After years of being textually mute, the flood gates opened and thoughts, observations and stories gushed forth like a proverbial flood tide. It was effortless. And it was awesome.

Sometimes I could pen multiple posts in one day. Rare, yes, but it happened. The process was exhilarating and the results were for the most part none too shabby. I made some readers laugh. I made some readers cry. I made many readers, okay all three of you including Geo, who has since bailed on this blog, not that I blame him or am bitter because seriously, the quality of this shite has been deteriorating faster than a True Blood Vamp baking in the sun, but then again, maybe I AM bitter because isn't that part of the vows we took back in the era of big 80s hair and shoulder have, to hold, to stick by and support your spouse's hair-brained, gin-soaked (vodka-soaked just doesn't have the same poetic ring somehow, even thought THAT'S my firewater of choice) delusion of writing no matter how inept or embarrassing the overshare. Jerk.

*deep breath*

But mainly I fulfilled some need inside of me to cut the lock off my creativity's cage and spread my story-telling wings.

It worked out well for a while. I had a blast weaving yarns, but now, not so much. My heart doesn't seem to be in it anymore. Slogging along, churning out hack work even I can't stomach, however infrequently, just isn't fair to my reader or fulfilling to me. I'm in a slump that I'm having difficulty climbing out of.  So, I must break up with this blog. Take a break, as it were.

Blog: Wait.. a break? Haven't we BEEN on a break?

Me: I know it's sudden...

Blog: Sudden? You've been avoiding me for months.

Me: I know, it's not you. It's me.

Blog: Oh, boo hoo. Don't hand me that crap.

Me: No really.You've been great. Always waiting patiently for me, but I just can't commit like before. I'll still drop by from time to time. I just need some time to regroup and to read more. I would like to remain friends.

Blog: I can't believe you dropped the f-word on me!!?! After everything we've been through!

Me: I'll bring you candy...

Blog: ...

Me: and girly mags...

Blog: Oh, I can't stay mad at you. Throw in some cigars and you you've got yourself a deal.

So, apparently my blog is a male who has a sweet spot for candy, Cohibas and... porn? Whaaaa?


In order to be a better writer, one has to read. A lot. I haven't been reading AT ALL, and this blog has been suffering because of it. I can feel my vocabulary, as primitive as it is, pooling at my feet. Pretty soon I'll be back to primer stage.

See, Dick.
See Dick run.
Run, Dick, run... to the County Building to change your fucking name. Jesus! Your parents should be slapped for branding you with that hideous, wedgy-inciting moniker in the first place. Sadistic assholes.

Aaaanywho, I'm planning (read hoping) to pen a recap of concerts and travels from 2013 just so my addled mind can remember the spectacular parts of last year, but after that, I make no promises except to not waste your time or Google's valuable server space.

The truth is I miss writing. The thrill of ideas pouring forth faster than my fingers can type. The satisfaction of articulating antidotes around every day antics. Excessive use of alliteration. It has been a pleasure oversharing my bidnez all up in the interwebs the past five years.

Once upon a time, I could weave a colorful yarn. I'm hoping a spark reignites the passion I once felt, but until then, please enjoy a hot towel.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Attempting The Cliched Fresh Start

The photo above is an image John Green, YA author extraordinaire and all around amazing human, posted on Twitter or Facebook or his Tumblr earlier this year. I don't recall if he stumbled upon it himself or if he reblogged the image, but the minute I saw it I couldn't shake it. Such a powerful statement. Simple, profound and healing.

Being forgiven is a gift. A Mulligan many of us don't deserve, but receive anyway. It's an opportunity to be better, to prove you're worthy of a second chance. It's easy.

Forgiving. That's a different story. To be able to forgive a transgression, a hurtful word, a malicious act is a blessing. A true grace. Looking at someone who caused you pain, large or small, and absolving their action is fucking hard. But holding on to the ire is pointless, stifling and  toxic.

Life is far more light and beautiful than that.

So, in the spirit of the image above, I would like to begin 2014 with a clean, emotional slate and attempt to make this charity my mantra. I know it won't be easy to forgive in some instances, but I want to let go of the turmoil, so that's a start, right?

In the words of Disney's Peter Pan ride, Here we goooo...

To those who breached my trust, hurt my heart, dismissed my friendship, misunderstood my intentions, and to those who tried to make me feel small and take my joy away... I forgive you.

And most of all, to the girl whose reflection I face every day in the mirror who isn't the daughter, the sister, the wife, the friend she thinks she should be ...

I forgive you, too.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Buh-Bye, Bitch

continuing our annual tradition of flipping off the old year on New Year's Eve

One of our friends' progeny, passing along our tradition to his friends
our work here is done

2013 was a quintessential Yin and Yang year for me.

High and Low. Light and Dark. Life and Death.

On the high side, Pittsburgh was THE place to be! Big time movies were shot here, the art world shined with a yarn bomb on the Seventh Street bridge, A most adorable ginormous yellow rubber ducky charmed the pants off all who saw it and the Bucs broke their 20 year-old losers streak and brought our city together with good old-fashioned hard work, dedication and joy for the game.

Personally, there was live music out the wazoo, lots of friendships bonded and travel. A LOT of travel. A veritable crapton.

The year began and ended with bookend trips to New York City. In between were Geneseo, Illinois, St. Louis, the triple Bs: Baltimore, Boston and three fabulous nights in Brooklyn, Chicago, my beloved Jersey shore, Bethany Beach, Erie, The Finger Lakes, Philadelphia, New Paltz, NY and Maplewood, NJ. All thanks to my incredibly tolerant, loving Geo... and our Southwest Mastercard.

Nearly half of the aforementioned destinations were Old 97's/Rhett/Francis related, finally meeting imaginary friends and revisiting old, not-so-old, and new compadres. The other journeys involved dear friends and family. All time (and money) very well spent, in my humble opinion. And honestly, in this bloggity blog, mine is the only opinion that counts. So keep your judgy, contrary remarks for your own damn e-journal, unless your think my butt doesn't look big in these jeans, then by all means...remark away.

But I digress...

That was the light part of 2013. The opposing dark realm was too full of heartache, disenchantment, sorrow, divorce (not ours), fucking cancers and death.

Far too much dying.

Far. Too. Much.

But that's behind us. Today is a new dawn, a clean slate, a fresh start and all that other happy horse shit. On this, the first day of 2014, if there is only one tidbit you take away from this crap-ass blog, let it be this piece of wisdom my late brother-in-law, Art imparted to me...

Never let anyone take your joy away.

It's a new day, MoFos. Make the best of it.