Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ratings: Christmas Festivities

Christmas Eve: I spent the day working on an apple pie. It used to be a fairly easy pie to make, until MacGyver pointed out he preferred soft apples in chunks for the filling. So instead of running six apples through the Cuisinart and throwing them in the pie dough, I have to chop 10 apples by hand, cook them down, and drain them before assembling the pie. YAY. The pie was for the Cooper family Christmas Eve dinner. The one dish I get excited about is my faux mom/aunt's cheesy potatoes. The socialization was better than usual because I scored a seat close to VBG and her sister, and Nico let me hold him for about an hour. I keep my eye on a certain uncle because he made a pass at MacGyver a few years back. When he grabbed MacGyver's ponytail, I slapped his hand and told him to be glad I didn't have a knife. My fingers stung for a good five minutes afterwards. B

Christmas: We skipped brunch with MacGyver's immediate family and I slept till nearly 11am. We watched Mythbusters and cuddled on the couch with the kitties. We hit the Woodwose family Christmas Extravaganza of Awkward Silences, and when I scanned the room I discovered my favorite uncle (on that side, duh) wasn't there, and my favorite aunt (ditto) was engaged in a boring conversation about dogs (I love dogs, but I don't give a fuck about whose neighbor owned what breed back in the day) with one of MacGyver's most despised cousins (it's not that he's flaming and closeted that bothers him, it's that he's a selfish prick). So we sat near his grandma who was playing cards with some of her kids. Attempts at conversation were futile. KT and her crew arrived, and after some small talk prodding she recounted Sunny's misadventures with gluten-free baking. Sometime after we left an uncle threw a cousin out of the house for insulting his mom and aunt something awful. We split after an hour to see True Grit with my dad and brother. I really enjoyed it. Since nothing else was open, the four of us had Chinese food for dinner. A-

Boxing Day: Because my eldest brother couldn't visit until the 26th, I organized a family dinner the day after Christmas. My entire family (except one sister-in-law) gathered at the family farm. I made triple-chocolate and cranberry-orange cookies, MacGyver made grilled teriyaki salmon, I coached my brother through making potato soup, my sister brought a delicious salad (a monumental event), Ruth brought fruit salad, and my youngest brother brought rolls. This was the meal I was fantasizing about through the Cristmas Eve Cooper Family Dinner of Repetition and Mediocrity (except those potatoes!). This was the meal I had organized and delegated and could be proud of. This was the meal I missed because I was sick and stayed home to vomit in privacy. F---

Friday, November 26, 2010

Piss and Vinegar Tom

At MacGyver's family gatherings, there is a woman I avoid. She is MacGyver's dad's brother's wife's mother. This woman only sees me on Christmas Eve and the occasional Thanksgiving, she's not related to me, and I'm fairly sure she doesn't even know my name. However, she always demands to know when I'm going to make some babies.

Here's the thing: my biological clock is broken. I love my nieces and nephews and my friends' kids, but I have no desire to spawn my own. The ticking of MacGyver's biological clock is nearly deafening. It's a sad point of contention, and if anything ends our relationship, it's this.

So. Every time this woman asks me about subletting my womb, it is a pointed stick to my heart. No, Lady, I am not pregnant. I may never be pregnant. And there's a chance the love of my life may someday leave me because of it.

To amuse myself, while I avoid her I think of things I would like to say, but am too polite to say out loud.

She asks, "When are you going to have babies?" and I mentally reply:
-"No hablo ingl├ęs."
-"When I run out of 2-for-1 abortion coupons."
-"When I run out of wire coat hangers."
-"I'm barren, and your question deadens my soul."
-"Shut the fuck up."
-"When sleep and money lose their appeal."
-"When the novelty of aborting them wears off."
-"When I'm too drunk to remember the condom."
-"When the black market price of blue-eyed infants plummets."
-No words. Just a swift punch to the throat.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Liquid Sin

I was the perfect daughter.


During my teenage years, I made the effort to not misbehave, ever. My motivation came from my mother's rare and unpredictable illness. Seriously. Do you know what agnogenic myeloid metaplasia is? Of course you don't. She had a lot of ups and downs, and I was riddled with fear that I might do something to disappoint her, and then she'd die, and she'd die disappointed in me.

It was horrible. Also irrational. But real.

Anyway, I never ever broke curfew, smoked, drank,* backtalked, argued, had sex, talked on the phone too long, or ignored schoolwork. I flossed, went to mass, studied hard, followed the rules, and smothered my desire to give Doug a concussion with my biology textbook because that would be wrong despite how vindictively satisfying I knew - nay, fantasized - it would feel.

However. There was a major point of contention between my father and me. It inspired the closest thing to arguments I ever had with a parent. I protested on my behalf when confronted. I indulged in it behind his back. And the vice behind all of this?

Orange juice.

I drank orange juice by the glassful every day, sometimes twice a day. Dad did not approve. He said I shouldn't drink an entire glass of it, I should use a juice glass. And if I was still thirsty, I could have water. What he called a juice glass was a pimento-cheese spread jar. It held four measly ounces. I pointed out that a serving size was EIGHT, and it said so on the label. I left out the fact that I drank two to four times that amount daily. He told me it was too expensive. Apparently, orange juice is made of liquid platinum and the tears of baby unicorns. And that is why it cost an entire six dollars per bottle.

After he made noise about how he couldn't support my habit, I'd mutter "Fine" and act like I repented, but on the inside I was all "Give me orange juice or give me death!."

Later, I'd drink all the damn OJ I wanted. When I ran out, mom bought more. Repeat. Because I was just that kind of rebel.

*Except when my brother gave me that Apple Jack when my parents were out of town. It doesn't count if your big brother gives it to you, right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Epiphany. Or something.

I thought I'd post a random thought, but I couldn't remember my password to log-in. And I was all "I don't need you to email me my password, Blogger! I'm better than that!" Because, you know, that would show weakness and I'd be attacked by a bear even sooner than I anticipated.

And then I remembered my password. But I used it with the wrong user name.

Go me!

So now I can post that thing I was thinking, which went something like: "If I ever meet someone less cool than me, some jerkwad is going to tell me it's an ironic lack of coolness. Which is cool. And I would no longer have someone I could lord my coolness over. FML."

That is all. Good night.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Point of No Return

In a matter of days, I will begin graduate classes for physical therapy. I began preparing to apply to this program just over three years ago, and I will graduate in just under three years.

Three years ago I was a social worker, my mother was alive, my brother Job didn't have cancer, I was living with my brother Chevy, and my antidepressant was working beautifully. None of that is true now. I can't help but to worry about what is going to happen in the next three years. Will my 80-year-old father live to see me graduate? What will the stress of work+school do to my marriage? Will I still be agnostic, or will I be atheist? Or muster a belief in God? What will I weigh?

As tough as taking night classes and applying to grad school was, I'm nervous that was the easy part. If my classmates are unitards, I won't have the luxury of a whole different class next semester - I'm going to be with the same people for three years. What if I can't make friends and most of the classwork is group work and presentations? And if I do flunk out, I will have thousands of dollars of student loans, no degree, and no career. Awesome. I've had nothing but nightmares the last couple of weeks.

The time has come to put on my big girl pants and grab school by the throat.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Ate the Garden

MacGyver has been out of town for days, and if I don't have someone else to cook for, I tend to not cook at all. Last night I had precisely no food in my fridge, not nearly enough to fill my empty belly.

My first step to remedying the situation was to pick a big bowl o' snow peas. Our first planting is currently producing like sex-crazed rabbits, and the pods are weighing the plants down. It's so beautiful. Wasps kept flying out of the pea patch and toward my head, at one point I was dancing around yelling "LET'S BE ADULTS HERE!" and tried to reason with them to leave me the hell alone. Back in the kitchen I heated up olive oil with a heavy-handed dash of red pepper flakes and globs of minced garlic - the classy kind from the jar. After a quick stir-fry my snow peas were bright green and dotted with the flavorings. I ate the entire bowlful with my hands and felt sinful doing it.

I grabbed a knife and thinned the lettuce in the backyard. The greens are more mature than baby but far from full-grown. I washed them up and picked out the weeds and slug, then dried them (five paper towels later I remembered my salad spinner, d'oh!) and inspected them carefully for more slugs. I drizzled the lettuce with Caesar dressing and chewed thoughtfully - the leaves were crisp but not chilled, the texture was nearly buttery, and the babiest leaves were sweet.

Still hungry, I headed the the strawberry bed. I picked the overripe berries, the berries that were dark, dark red and had lost their luster. I selected a few of the younger, vibrant ones to eat right away, but the majority went into the mini-blender with some cheap vanilla ice cream and milk.

I didn't once regret not ordering pizza.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cats and Floors do not Mix

First, MacGyver and Friend ripped up the old flooring. Beneath it was some rotten subfloor and a crooked joist. This had to be fixed, so out came the rotten wood, giving us a nice view of our creepy cellar. Most of it was repaired that day, but there was a hole where the fridge usually sits. MacGyver didn't think the hole was big enough for any of the cats to fit through. A few hours later we couldn't find Moca, our smallest cat*. We checked the cellar out of desperation. She was there, covered in mud and cobwebs, fur full or roly-polys. She started protesting even before we gave her a shower.

MacGyver's brother-in-law came over to lay the vinyl flooring. Part of the process required glue to be spread over the entire surface. That's when Domino ran in. She got glue all over her paws and ran around the kitchen, jumping on appliances and windowsills, trying to outrun the stickiness. When MacGyver finally caught her, he took her outside so I could hose down her paws. The chore was complicated by my inability to stop laughing.

*She's really a baby monster

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Back

Holy expletive, it's been so long since I blogged that I almost forgot my password.

Life hasn't been totally awesome since I last wrote, gentle readers. After a long and painful struggle with cancer, my brother died. He was only 34. My family is tight, and losing him was like losing my left arm: I can get by without him, but it's SO GODDAMN HARD and I never forget he's gone. Actually, sometimes I do. Sometimes I see something and go to send him a picture message, or I wonder what he'd like me to make him for dinner this week. Then I remember he's gone, and life stands still just so I can feel like everything has fallen apart. I celebrated my birthday without him, attended our friend's wedding without him, and I wonder how life can possibly go on when his has ended. It doesn't seem just or possible. But that's the way it is, and I have to keep waking up every day.

My depression took a turn for the worse when I lost him, and out of desperation tried an antipsychotic. It worked really well, and I'd still take it except the side effects were terrible. The least unmentionable side effect was the weight gain: fifteen pounds in two months. This was due largely to the constant, unending hunger. I switched meds; this pill makes me sleepy, a nice change from inhaling every morsel in sight. I'm exercising a lot more, and I'm slowly seeing results. Normally I'd be more upset, but this is the fourth worst thing to happen this year, so it's bearable.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Though healed, the scar is palpable.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

No News is Bad News

My brother has been in hospice since August. The last few months have been very tough for my whole family: we're still grieving for mom while watching Job slip away, and being with him has been like dancing over eggshells.

He took a turn for the worse this week. He just started sleeping more and more, a sign the oncologist told us to watch for before he died. He's losing control of his arms and hands; he tries to take a drink and spills water everywhere. He fights with us for control, demanding that we let him do things that he is incapable of. I've known many people who've died, but no one has fought death with such a bitter intensity.

He smells like death.

I feel hollow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Ratings: Simple Machines

The Pulley: What part of simple don't you understand, pulley? You never track straight and you're never there when I need you. Also, do you know how hard you are to rig up in a jiffy? You suck. D

The Lever: Hypothetically, you can move the world with a long enough lever and a fulcrum on which to place it. People have been pondering that awesomeness for centuries, but the lever has never stepped up to the plate and actually done it. What a pussy. On the other hand, bored second graders can whip up a lever with a pencil and ruler and launch erasers at other people's heads. That I like. B+

The Inclined Plane: Inclined to do what, exactly? I had a lot of experience with inclined planes in Physics I, and they're inclined to just lie there while someone else does all the work. However, it makes movie theaters wheelchair-accessible. Props for that. C+

The Wedge: The wedge is more than the sum of its parts; never before have two inclined planes been so hardcore. The wedge is all about destruction and death metal, rawr! Wedges bring to mind axes, nails, incisors, ice picks, and gouda. A

The Screw: Why screw is a euphemism for sex, I do not know. It's not like the penis spins like a Japanese sex toy or anything. Since it is a euphemism, this simple machine conjures up ideas not meant for readers with delicate constitutions. That's pretty nifty. Also, I like how screws hold together vital bits of my house and refrigerator and remote control and other important things. A-