Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A sad moment in the house of Utter Chaos

It finally happened. Dan retired his coffee pot.

His coffeepot is an OLD Mr Coffee, hang from the kitchen cabinet Spacemaker model that he inherited when his grandma passed away in 1995. I remember the day they went through her apartment and divvied up all her belongings. I didn't feel it was my place to go, so I stayed home, asking Dan to just get one family picture -- of his great grandparents' wedding -- if no one else wanted it. He came home with that picture, a brass bookshelf, and the coffeepot.

Gram was one of those old school grandmas who was forever cooking. She'd fix a huge spread for breakfast then, while complaining that I ate like a bird (I remember those days!), she'd be asking what we wanted to have for dinner. You never left Gram's house hungry, and somewhere between arriving and leaving, you'd perhaps play some poker and hear her say "Herb, fix me a highball" right before dinner.

Gram had three husbands: Dan's grandpa, who died in his fifties, Kenny, who died of cancer, and Herb, who died a couple of years before she did. As Dan said, she married 'em and buried 'em. And the funny thing was that she never let them see her without her wig. Now, I'm sure that Grandpa Utter did at some point -- maybe -- but when I met her, she was married to Herb, and trust me, he NEVER saw her without her wig. Grandma had open heart surgery, and when they wheeled her away wearing her blue cap on her head, Herb chuckled. He had been given her suitcase, and remarked that her wig was in there, and he'd finally see her without it. He was wrong.

When we went to see her after surgery, there she was in ICU, on a ventilator, with chest tubes and tubes everywhere. There she lay, and we didn't even have a moment to get worried, because we were too busy laughing, because there she was, out like a light, with her wig on her head! I looked on the wall, and there was her list of orders. Written in big red letters it said "Patient's husband has never seen her without her wig. Please put her wig on ASAP."

Score one for Gram.

She went to our wedding two months later, and we have her on video asking the cameraman "ya wanna see my zipper" while she put her leg up a little, to show off her scar from the surgery. Gram was a hoot.

And so it is that she has made Dan a cup of coffee every day since 1995. That coffeepot leaked sometimes, and would subsequently ruin things if we forgot and put them on the counter underneath it, but Dan persisted. The one day a week or so ago, he forgot and left his phone under it. Fortunately, we caught it before it ruined the phone, but the writing was on the wall. He hung on for a week or so, but after finding a new coffee pot in the basement, he took the old Mr. Coffee down and now uses the new Krups coffee maker.

I wanted to cry, watching that coffee pot come down.

But that was before we started discussing where the heck that Krups coffeemaker came from. After some discussion, we decided that his mom had bought it for him, and that brought some comfort. Dan's mom has been gone for three years now, but now SHE is making Dan coffee every day. And trust me, you can't get that kind of service at Starbucks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Six degrees

Tonight after dinner, Dan asked Seth to grab his bottle of vitamins from the bin that was on the counter nearby. Seth looked at him rather blankly and said "which bottle is it," at which point both of us said "it's the one that says Vitamins." ::sigh::

So he starts going through the bin and pulls out a bottle. "Anti-diarrhea," said he. Then he pulled out a big bottle of Ibuprofen, read the label silently, then tossed it back into the bin. "It's a white bottle," said Dan. Seth promptly pulled up a prescription bottle -- orange -- to which Dan said "It says VITAMINS on it." "I don't know which one it is. None of them say Vitamins." ::sigh:: I said "it might say One a Day or something on it." He responded, "none of them say Vitamins. " He then starting clicking off the bottles he found: "Ibuprofen." "Anti-diarrhea." "Menstrual Relief," said with a particularly sassy tone that promptly caused Dan to hop up from his chair, grab the right bottle and hold it up triumphantly in front of the boy. The boy responded, equally triumphantly "It says Central-Rite! Not Vitamins." Dan's response was a Father Knows Best "well, it starts with a V."

And that's when it started.

Seth: "Well, so does Ventricle."
Dan: "Ventilate."
Seth: "Vitreum. Yeah, I know chemistry stuff."

Dan didn't have a chance to regroup before Seth burst out with a loud "Ven-testicle." Proving that age old law of teenagedom: there are no more than six degrees of separation between a teenaged boy and a dirty, or pseudo-dirty, thought.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The playlist

We moved Jill into her new apartment yesterday, thanks to a psycho roommate and no help from the housing office, but oh well, she now has a permanent living situation. Drove four hours south in a U-Haul truck, then left for Maryland for a wedding. Thank heavens for iPods.

I remember the days of trying to find a radio station, only to be met with either a) static or b) twangy country music. I don't mind a small dose of country now and then, but I prefer a mix of stuff, hence: the iPod. I was late getting on the iPod wagon, but once I did, I filled it up in less than two weeks. I probably need a bigger one, but it'll do for now.

So we were listening to my mishmash of music, which can vary from Pavorotti to Different Drums of Ireland to Flo Rida and back again. I was cracking up in Louisville when Dan and Seth were jammin out to Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever." The girl is nuts with her dancing - more like a stripper than anything -- but listening to those two singing and watching their groove was hilarious.

Shortly afterward, we stopped at a rest stop, where Dan got the crazy notion to check the trunk for our bag. What made him do that, I'll never know, but within minutes, everyone around us knew that we didn't have our suitcase. And we were on our way to a wedding in Maryland. And that it was my fault. Never mind that I drove the U-Haul and he packed the car -- I've got big shoulders and I didn't care, cause it struck me as funny. Even if neither of us had clean underwear, socks, or toiletries. I still thought it was funny. So sue me.

Dan went on a little rant for several miles, while Seth kept repeating "it doesn't really matter, Leslie loves us and doesn't care what we wear to the wedding." Over and over and over. Seth is going to make a good psychiatrist someday, and it's times like this that make me realize WHY he wants to be one.

Dan calmed down when he wanted to - maybe half an hour later -- but I still was told later that I was going to be charged with reckless homicide when his butt got infected from wearing sweaty dirty underwear, and he died from the subsequent infection. Go figure. That man has some kinda imagination. I was still laughing when I went to bed. I guess that something about wearing the same clothes for four days just hits my funny bone, but I laughed for at least an hour after I woke up. It's a lesson in humility. Or maybe infection control

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Adventures in Postage

I have the strangest experiences at the post office. Now, I love my postal workers -- they are the bomb -- but I have some really weird experiences AT the post office. Like the night the postage machine was possessed. Like the time I was standing in line and a little old lady drove her car right into the building.

So I went to the post office yesterday, to try to mail over a week's worth of shipping that had gotten delayed by some emergent happenings around the house. I even came home from camping to do the shipping -- that is how determined I was to get it done. So I had something like 11 packages to mail, and was happy to see when I got to the post office that there were actually some available parking spaces.

Keep in mind that this post office is really busy. It's one of a few in Indianapolis that do passports, so it gets more business than most. And the parking lot is a lesson in defensive driving. It has two routes, but neither are marked. Well, maybe three. You can drive straight in and park to the left of the building (the most safe option). You can turn right and STAY right and go to the drive thru mailbox area, then get the heck outta dodge. This is also a safe option, though it can get really irritating if you get behind someone who doesn't understand how a mailbox works. The exit is where this one gets tricky (more in a minute). The third option can be a little scary: turn right in the entrance, but stay to the left, and try to snag a parking place. This is tricky because if someone is backing out, they're gonna back right into you. And when you go to back out of your space, you can do the same, or get hit by someone who's too busy looking for a space instead of watching for you.

Keep in mind that options 2 and 3 exit the parking lot in the same place, so that's tricky too, because they merge together into two lanes. One is supposed to be a left turn lane only on the left, and right turn on the right side. People tend to go crazy getting here, and tend to want to be on the opposite side of where they are entering: parking lot people entering from the left want to be on the right when they leave, and vice versa. It's a little Keystone Kops, but most people can do it ok, with a little patience. Still, I've seen just about everything happen, until yesterday, which totally took the cake.

I was getting my packages out of the car when a lady in a tiny little car zipped IN through the EXIT, with a car coming from the mailbox lane, and an SUV coming from the parking lot. Drove against the traffic -- this is a NARROW space) and turned the wheel hard to pop into the parking space that the SUV was going for, narrowly missing them. Now, I don't usually confront strangers in parking lots, but I have had an awful week, and she irritated me. As in REALLY irritated me. So here's the exchange between us:

Me: "You know, this parking lot doesn't need any help with having accidents."

Her: 'Excuse me?"

Me: "You know, this parking lot doesn't need any help with having accidents."

Her: "Well, I was in a hurry, because the post office closes at noon."

Me: "The post office closes on Saturdays at 2:30, and you almost caused an accident."

Her: "I have an M.B.A."

Seriously? What? What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? You have an M.B.A., so you can drive like an idiot? Well, I have a nursing license, and after the week I've had, I'm liable to leave you bleeding on the ground if you pull something that stupid and then cause an accident. Ok, well, not really, but man, was I irritated. This, coming from a probably 60yo with a little blonde ponytail, who was wearing ACID WASHED SWEATS. Acid washed in a lacy pattern, no less. I didn't even know you could get acid washed sweats, and quite frankly, I could've gone to my grave not needing to see them. Add to that that at first I thought she had on platform tennis shoes, till I realized that she had on those "make your butt better" Sketchers, and I no longer had any use for anything she had to say.

She walked into the post office still happily muttering about how she wouldn't have rushed if she'd known they were up, completely unaware of my total disdain for her. She had an MBA all right -- my bitchy attitude.

I need to start shipping from home. The post office is clearly not a positive experience for me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The F word

Football is upon us once again. ::sigh:: So here was the conversation at the dinner table tonight:

::insert discussion between Dan and Thomas about going to Denver for Thomas' 21st birthday, when the beloved Broncos are playing the Colts::
Dan: "Seth, when are you going to become a football fan?"

Seth: "Well, Thomas started being a football fan when he was about my age. So it's either going to be soon, or maybe never."

Leaving it wide open, he is.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Christine, Part 2

OK, well "tomorrow" is a nebulous term at our house.

When last I posted, Dan was locked out of his van, now aptly called Christine. The windows were open, but the doors were locked. I thought he was crazy, but when I went out there to see what he was talking about, the locks were obviously fighting against me unlocking them. It was spooky. The back door which hadn't unlocked with the remote for years, had started unlocking with it earlier in the evening, but now was securely locked. The keys hadn't worked in any but two of the locks for years as well, and if the locks wouldn't open by hand, they sure weren't going to open with the key - which likely would've snapped off in our hand.

So we did what all intelligent people do in this situation. We went to bed.

The next morning, he was still stuck. I went out with him and suggested unhooking the battery. I figured it might hit some kind of reset button and make them go back to factory settings or something. Well, it worked. Kind of. As soon as the battery cables were unhooked, we were able to unlock the doors. We even did a little high five. That lasted as long as it took to hook the battery up again, at which time those devilish locks slammed shut all over again, and once again refused to open.

The end result? Dan unhooked the battery, unlocked the door and opened it, then hooked the battery up again, got in the car, closed the (locked) door, and drove to his destination. When he got there, he had to disembark by climbing out the window. Now, this works fine for a physically fit painter, but that afternoon, he took off in my car and dropped Seth and his buddy at the movies. It didn't take long to realize that I was going to have to pick them up by using the same process -- two fifteen year old boys diving in through the front window of the van in front of the movie theatre. OK, well, we can get away with that, but no way was I gonna climb out that window once we got home. And the steam coming out of the vents was unnerving, not to mention probably very bad for my asthma.

I called Thomas and he picked the boys up.

It wasn't long after this that Christine went to auto heaven, also known as Haughville, where his Guatemalan painting buddy will probably perform some sort of miracle and get her running again. I just hope he doesn't lock her.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christine, Part 1

We drive our cars till they are dead. When he finally traded in his 1982 Datsun 200SX, his buddy came along for the ride, turning to him at one point to say "just let me know when you want me to get out and push, buddy." Once in a while, we revive one from the dead, too. Dan once hit a parked car with his old Grand Marquis, then took the insurance money, had it fixed, and drove it for another four years. And of course, there was the debacle that was our last trip to Tennessee. And then there is his current ride, ever after to be referred to as Christine.

His van is a Mercury Villager, retired from day to day family service some time back, when we bought the Town and Country. Dan's used it as his paint van ever since. Now, Christine has seen better times, and has had her share of dings: it was back into one time when a yuppie paint customer forgot that it was parked in the driveway - despite the fact that she had to climb over the painter's gear to get out her front door. That escapade ended with a new hood, which Dan painted gold, to go with the gold trim on the white van. There've been at least three other similar episodes, because there are large dents in three corners of the van. The turn signals frequently flash too quickly, because they tend to get filled up with water. The air conditioning gave up the ghost a long time ago, then suddenly started working again about three years ago. Like I said, that van has seen better times.

The kids have refused to drive it for some time, deeming it unsafe. They said that it wouldn't accelerate past 40 mph. Dan laughed and said "I drive that van on the highway." Thomas just shook his head, speechless. I drove it myself a month or two ago, for the first time in a long, long time, and was shaken by the experience. I was sure that a wheel was going to fly off and roll down the parkway, and I too took the vow to never drive his car. Dan thought we were all crazy, saying we just didn't know how to talk nicely to it, and that if you spoke to it with kindness, that van was just fine. Of course, that was before last week, when some kind steam/smoke/coolant started coming out of the vents, and he started having to travel with a pitcher of water handy. I think he was still hanging on to some kind of hope that perhaps it would fix itself, or show some kind of low cost solution to its ills.

Friday made a believer out of him.

He called me while I was at work and left me a voicemail saying "my car is possessed. The locks keep locking by themselves............oh, look at that, there they go again. I rolled the windows down and now they won't roll up. It's hissing and moaning and making sounds I've never heard it make. I think it needs hospice, honey, because it is dying." He went on to mention that he was borrowing Thomas' car to go and finish up a very small job with Seth, and then he'd be home for dinner. It was a couple of hours later when we headed back to give Thomas his car. *** (That's for later when I explain THAT story.)

We got to the parking lot where Thomas works, and Dan said, "look." He used his remote and unlocked the van. "Yeah?" I said. "What's the big deal." He held up his hand and said "wait. You'll see," and about thirty seconds later, the locks snapped shut by themselves. As in, no key in the ignition, no remote being used, by themselves. Freaky. He went round to the back of the van and used the remote to unlock it, mentioning that the remote hasn't worked on the back door of the van for several years. We had a laugh about how odd it was, and then took off toward home. That was when the noises started.

Hissing. Creaking. Moaning. Clanking a little bit from time to time. At one point, Dan cocked his head and said "wow, I haven't heard THAT one before." It was a little crazy. I mentioned something about it being a deathtrap, just as I noticed a wisp of white coming out of my vent. "What the heck is that," I said. "Oh, that's nothing," was his reply. "Look at this." He pulled away a towel that he had lining the area between the windshield and the dashboard -- right where the defrost works -- and a huge cloud of steam came up. "Good heavens, husband," I said, "You've gotta get me out of here before I have an asthma attack, or go up in flames."

It's a good thing we live close to where Thomas works, because two minutes later, we were home, standing outside the van, shaking our heads. And it was a couple of hours later when Dan came in and announced that he couldn't get in the van. He'd rolled up the windows for the night, and now the locks wouldn't unlock at all.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seth-anese at the dinner table

A dinner discussion involved something about high school valedictorians. Seth's response? "What's a valedictorian? Cause for some reason, every time I hear that word, I think of the janitor."


To be fair, he did say that he knew what a valedictorian is. He just couldn't remember. And maybe hethought they scrubbed toilets after graduation.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bachelor life...it's not for wimps

Thomas moved out last year. July 13th, to be exact, but who's keeping track. Shortly after he moved, this kid, who did nothing but gripe about our dogs, went out and got himself a dog. A big dog. A big, clumsy, overly affectionate dog. Now, don't get me wrong, she's a sweetheart, but she is one clumsy canine, and when she comes over here, she creates quite a stir amongst our three dogs, all of whom are male and none of whom, I'm pretty sure, have ever seen a female dog at our house.

So Thomas decided he needed to move out of his little one bedroom apartment in order to give his dog more room to run. Or gallop, which is a bit more appropriate verbage. This past weekend was the time for the big move. Thomas did quite a bit of it himself, but needed more muscle for the furniture. I basically went and watched, but I did do a tiny bit of packing stuff for him -- only by request, mind you.

I was asked to throw some of the kitchen stuff into a bag, so he could just carry it to the new place. I was loading up the sundries when I came across an open jar of salsa. I pointed out to him that salsa is supposed to be refrigerated after you open it. "It is?" he responded, somewhat incredulously. I just shook my head a bit. Then I came across another open jar, this time jalapenos. Then I really shook my head, but I figured that maybe jalapenos don't go bad as quick, because of the acid, and maybe Thomas would never know anyway, because who could tell the difference between a bad jalapeno and a good one, since they're gonna tear up your gut anyway?

So we were talking about the terminal cleaning of the apartment, and Thomas mentioned that he will not miss cleaning his bathroom there, because it was really difficult. He said, "you know, that bathroom gets dirty so fast. I swear it gets dirty a week after I clean it." Uh, yeah. I mentioned that a bathroom really is supposed to be cleaned every day, at which point his jaw totally dropped. "No way," he said. "Yes, way," said the mother. Now, I am not the model of cleaning, Lord only knows, but not cleaning the bathroom for a week? The kid knows better.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, I tell you.

So yesterday, he mentioned that there were a few things left in his apartment, and it was a pain, because he kept needing things that hadn't been moved yet. "Like pens," he said. "All my pens are still at the apartment. And my washcloth." As in singular washcloth. I asked him if he only had one washcloth, which I know was not true on July 13th of last year, since I bought his linens as a moving in gift, and bought him four sets of towels AND washcloths. Well, apparently, he is down to only one, for reasons unknown (but may likely be related to said dog). He said to me, totally mystified, "you know, I just have that one, and it's gross. It's all stiff." I pointed out that adding it to his laundry might improve that situation. He looked at me totally blank and said "you have to wash washcloths?"

Good Lord.

I know this kid knows that textiles have to be washed, because he was doing laundry at the age of ten, and did a great job, so what he's smoking over at the new place, I will never know. He seems to have forgotten all of those early lessons he did so well at. He may just need to find him a little woman soon. One who is a domestic goddess, and has a high tolerance for domestic challenges. From what I can tell, his very life may depend upon it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Minnesota or bust

Every once in a while, I have a package in the custody of the USPS go AWOL. I'm not sure what they do with them, but I push 'em across the counter and they go into the great beyond. I'm also a firm believer that some transactions with customers are just cursed.

So I had a cute little swimsuit pattern that wanted to go to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. Where it is now, I'll never know, but apparently it changed its mind en route, because it's not been seen again. After a couple of emails between me and my customer, I decided it best to send her a new copy. And in trying to really have my act together, decided to mail it tonight.

Now, I live in Indianapolis, not too far from downtown, where there is a self service post office that's open 24/7. I try to go down there whilst the light is still out, but I tend to be there in the evening nonetheless, so I always try to take a male presence with me, like Dan. Or Thomas. Or even Seth. Well, tonight, Dan was otherwise occupied, so I decided to go by myself -- something I haven't done in a long time. It's kind of nice to have a second person there when you're mailing a lot of stuff, because it gets a little cumbersome otherwise. Dan and I (and Seth, for that matter) have a system down that goes like clockwork, so we get in and out pretty fast. There was even one night where we had a little tutorial with a newbie who was mailing a ton of stuff.

Well, the system went out the window tonight, because I was flying solo. No biggie, right? Well, I put the first package on the scale. Went through the steps, all the way to the stamp coming out. Only the stamp didn't come out. Just one little corner of it stuck out -- not enough to grab on to. The dilemma.......if I did it wrong, the stamp was going right back into the machine, to the tune of $8.50 or so. So, I did the prudent thing and used my credit card to try to coax it loose. That promptly sent it in further, so I got out my work ID, which is thinner than the credit card. POOF! The whole stinkin' stamp disappeared.

This was right about the time that a man walked in and gave me a very strange look. Now keep in mind, I am not a small person, and I am pale as a ghost. I was standing there in my ratty old short white shorts, a zip front short sleeve hoodie (new, at least), and Dan's flip flops, with my iPod ear buds in my ears, listening to Green Day at full tilt. And I was dancing, more than a little, because who can listen to Green Day and not dance? (Note to self, perhaps dancing caused the inverted stamp. Don't dance at the post office.) Anyway, said gentleman asked what was going on, as he put his mail into the box. He already had stamps. He suggested that I put a key in the machine and maybe that would work.

I think he wanted me to die, because I'm thinking that putting a metal key into an electronic device while it's plugged in is not the best idea. Maybe he was a serial killer. Or a cannibal.

I was seriously unhappy because the machine wouldn't let me cancel the transaction, which meant I was charged almost $9, but I couldn't get the stamp I paid for. Finally, in walked a guy in a security outfit, who asked what was going on. He got out a penlight and somehow got the machine open enough to free that stamp, then wandered off. I was pretty sure he was the stereotypical "friendly" security guard from the movies, who comes back and kills you and carts you off in pieces, but he never came back. He had a bag of chips in his back pocket. Maybe he waits till after dinner to kill people, but he got me my stamp, so I was happy. Even if I wasn't dancing at this point.

One package down. Next, I had to mail a package that contained Jill's birthday presents to her boyfriend (YAY! Apparently she's not going to be a cat lady after all!). That went without a hitch. Whew! Maybe I'd get home in one piece after all, but it was getting dark and I wanted to get the heck outta dodge. Next package was one pattern, going to a person in Burbank, California who, from what I can tell, does indie films. Maybe it's for a movie, I don't know, but the package deserved its own plot, because once again, the eject button wasn't working and the stamp didn't bother to emerge at all. And a metal door flipped down in front of where it was supposed to come out, like some kind of force field that says "not tonight, lady." The monitor assured me that I was not being charged for the transaction, despite the fact that the machine was now out of order. Good God. And I still hadn't mailed the Minnesota swimsuit that was the whole reason for me being at the post office in the first place.

I was mulling over my dilemma when in walked a lady wearing jeans shorts, a decent tan, and orange Crocs. I got no small amount of satisfaction in knowing that at least if I was gonna die, I wasn't gonna die in orange Crocs. And I was gonna die listening to Green Day. I could see the headline: "Braless albino woman dies, clinging to self serve machine, while 'Do You Know the Enemy played on her iPod." Irony. Yep, that'd be me. I told the orange shoe lady that the machine said it was now out of order, because I was trying to be helpful and not let her go through the problems I'd had.

She walked right up, got two sheets of stamps, then looked at me like I was an American Idiot, and strode outta the post office. Good heavens. I decided to try again, this time starting with that swimsuit pattern, against which I was planning to win the war. That package was going to Minnesota, come hell or high water. I got all the way through the process and held my breath. The stamp came out with just enough of a corner sticking out that I could grab it.

I put it on the wrong envelope.

Had to go back and print another stamp for Minnesota, then figure out how to get the postage right for the other package without paying for the whole thing. I only needed 17 cents, for heaven's sake, because I'd already put $2.07 on the envelope. I had to give myself a tutorial on how to print partial postage from the machine, but I finally got it done and went out of there as fast as I could, because I really just wanted to get home. Got to the car right as a man got out of his car across the parking lot. The now dark parking lot. Be careful, I was thinking, because although I'm not a truly paranoid person like some of my friends, I am careful. I was thinking to myself, "he's on crutches, and Ted Bundy used to use crutches to rope 'em in, so wouldn't that be crazy if he is faking it. And I don't have my cell phone, so there will be no pinging of my phone to trace my lifeless body when I'm lying in a ditch somewhere."

I probably need therapy.

It was right about then that I realized that the guy was probably about 80. He was also missing a leg. Yep. Legless serial killer. I wonder if that would be a first. And I wonder -- could Ted Bundy have figured out a way to fake an amputation? I was still pondering that one when I cranked up the Gaga and took off for home.

Next time I need to go to the post office, someone's going with me. And let's hope that the swimsuit makes it to Minnesota, cause I'm not sure I can go through this mess again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A lesson in driving

Thomas likes to say I have road rage. I like to say that I like to discuss with people the different ways that they can enhance their driving experience. Like using turn signals, and not cutting me off, and driving at least the speed limit. I talk to people. With my windows up. Sometimes rather loudly, but it's not rage. Most days.

So yesterday, I had to take Boo to the vet. I don't think I mentioned it, but Butthead went out and got himself run over a couple of weeks ago. This was not so much a followup to his "come to the light, no don't, cause it's headlights" experience as it was a followup to his being put on Prozac (for reasons yet to be explained here, but trust me, he needed it). He had to have some labwork done to make sure that the Prozac wasn't destroying his liver, so I got him in the car and took off to the vet. We switched vets recently to Broad Ripple Animal Clinic, mainly because they are amazing. The only problem is that they are about a half hour away in traffic, and Boo doesn't always like being in the car.

He was doing pretty well this time. He was actually doing better than me, because I drove the first fifteen minutes or so at speeds that meant I never was able to shift out of second gear. Good heavens. And let's just say that my fellow drivers were not listening to my suggestions on how to enhance their driving experience. ::sigh:: So I was about halfway there, taking a route where I knew there was construction, and I suddenly came to an abrupt stop. With seven minutes left to make a fifteen minute trip. I was not happy. We were sitting in gridlock, so I called the vet to see if they'd even see him if we were late. YAY! They would. Those people are amazing, I tell you.

I wasn't any happier sitting there, though, and the more I sat there, the more unhappy I got, because Boo was getting upset. Honestly, I'm not sure if he was upset more about the ride, or lack thereof, or if he was upset because I was upset, but he was definitely getting fidgety. Next thing you know, I heard that fateful noise. The one that says something's gonna erupt, and it ain't a volcano in Iceland. Damn! And his window was up -- the Yarus doesn't have power windows, so I couldn't shove his head out. I grabbed his head just in time to keep him from barfing all over his (cloth) seat.

He vomited straight into my purse.

Maybe it was God's vengeance on my driving lessons to those around me. Maybe Boo just didn't like the Black Eyed Peas song on the radio (ironically, "I Gotta Feeling"). Maybe he was just flat out carsick from all the shifting or lack thereof, but he did look pretty remorseful as I stared down at the mess that was now my handbag. I couldn't stop, because we were still in the construction, and we were late, so I just kept driving. This is where being a nurse comes in handy, cause we nurses aren't grossed out as easily as other people, but man, this was my purse! Grossed out, no, but pissy, yes.

So we get to the vet and I had to try to figure out how the heck I was gonna pay for this visit if everything is covered in vomit. So I'm trying to find my wallet, which is buried in the purse, so I'm trying to rifle through it without covering myself in bodily fluids, meantime hoping that he hasn't covered my wallet in it too. Then I realized that I didn't have my debit card, so I had to go searching for the right checkbook, because I had three in my purse, and then see if it was actually dry. As I'm doing this, some lady pulls up a couple of spaces down, and was fighting with her HUGE and very CRAZY dog, trying to get him outta the car. So now I was fighting not only the vomitacious purse, but also Boo, who is trying to jump out of the car because he's all anxious about the car ride, the vomit, and now Marmaduke next to us. ::sigh::

I had to stand outside with him for a while before I could take him in because Marmaduke was lunging wildly at the front desk, almost jerking this lady to the ground, and by the time we got to the scales, I was having a meltdown. Fortunately, the people at the vet clinic are WONDERFUL, and I was able to regroup. Boo, on the other hand, was happy as a clam the whole time, was pronounced healthy, and off we went home.

I dropped him off and went to Target and bought this purse (shown above), in orange. With a blue wallet, in honor of Dan's Broncos addiction. And the red leather purse full 'o vomit? It got trashed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Again with the Sethanese

It's been a while since I've talked about Sethanese. Maybe that's because the older the kid gets, the more he holes up in his room, so we don't get to hear it as much. Maybe it's because his brother moved out and his sister left for college, so they don't egg him on. Or maybe it's because he's just gotten quieter.

In either event, tonight Dan decided to treat us to dinner at Outback -- for full price, no coupon, even. I thought I might die of the shock, and then I thought maybe I should take his temperature, because the man never pays full price for anything. I think that he was just being sweet though, because he knew I had a wild day at work, where I strongly considered the idea that I might need to start drinking.

So there we were, just sittting there eating and chatting, when Dan suddenly said he would pay Seth 50 bucks if he could name the group who was responsible for the song playing overhead. Blank look from the kid. "It's a late 60s, early 70s band." Blank stare. "Iconic." He finally replied "The Rolling Stones." "Nope, but kind of close in the name." Still staring. "It's Sly and the Family Stone, Seth. Have you heard of them?" "Nope.

Pretty soon, Seth asked if we could name the artist who sings intro to some random blog that I've never heard of. It may be a youtube video blog, for all I know, but I can't remember the name, because what came after that cracked me up so much that I had to get out my inhaler.
Remember, he's challenging us to name the name of the artist.

"It's two words." Blank look, from the parents this time. "Well, not two words, but one of those two word words that's really one word." I asked him "you mean a compound word?" "Yeah. A compound word. Except it's not really two words. Well, it's not two words at all." VERY blank stare from the parents. Dan finally gave up the ghost and said "I give up. Who is it?"

Seth looked him right in the eye and said, with a note of frustration, "I have no idea. I was hoping you'd know."

Good Lord.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wherein my superpowers are revealed.

Kinda crazy evening, dealing with T-mobile and a stolen phone -- they were wonderful, I might add, but it went far enough into the dinner hour that I decided to order Chinese. Hoppy Gardin, as I call it, does not take anything but cash for deliveries, so I decided to go pick it up, so I could use my debit card.

So, I found myself sitting on the corner near our house, mindlessly waiting for the light to turn green. Dum de dum...... So I think to myself, there sure used to be a lot of accidents at this intersection. I haven't heard of any for a while, but they sure could use a left turn light here, because I bet there still are accidents that I just don't hear about. Dum de dum......

BAM. I look up, and two cars have slammed into each other. They, in turn, slide into a car that, like me, is sitting in the left turn lane, innocently waiting for the light to turn green. Her car, in turn, slams into the car behind her. ::sigh:: Apparently, I have a newfound skill: thinking about things and watching them happen. Great.

This is where it can get complicated for a nurse. Lots of things go through your head very quickly: do you stop or not, is it safe to stop, and if you can stop, where is it safe to park so that you don't become one of the victims. It's not really a choice when you don't see anyone get outta the cars, or there's blood flowing.

I pull across, get in front of the wrecked cars and get out of my car, at the same moment as two of the cars start emptying. Guy #1 disentangles himself from the airbag, gets out and yells "Bitch HIT me!" Girl in car #3 gets out and yells "Effin bitch, wth..." ::sigh:: It's fun living in the ghetto, folks. You don't need a big vocabulary. Funny thing is, the "bitch" who was driving the car that started it was a dude. Anyway, I look in the other car, where guy #2 is getting out, looking rather dazed. He climbs back in his car pretty quickly when he realizes that everyone is mad at him. I'm looking in the back of the girl's car, where a guy has his head thrown back and is looking pretty green. He's not responding to me till she sticks her head in and yells at him, "HEY. Are you ok?". "Yeah." I ask if he's ok, and he turns his head a little bit toward me, then nods. She says "yeah, he was already sick, and now look at what that bitch did." ::sigh:: That's when I realize that there's a girl who's never made it out of the second car. She's awake, but her head hurts. I can't get to her, cause her door is damaged and won't open, so I tell her to stay still till the paramedics get there. Guy #2 is rubbing his elbow and asking how his car looks, still afraid to get out because everyone is mad at him. Yeah, it's better if he stays put, although Guy #1 is now crying. He's upset about his brand new car that he got three days ago, which now has some pretty significant damage. I feel his pain.

Two guys come up and say they've called 911. That's when I realize -- no lie, cause I can't make this up -- that one is a very effeminate Little Person, and the other is a very tall, very equally effeminate guy who is frantically gesticulating and telling me "they said to make her lay still, honey." Good Lord. How do I find myself in these situations? Only I could end up triaging patients in the middle of RuPaul's Drag Race.

We heard sirens, and I kid you not, RuPaul #2 went walking straight into traffic on 10th Street -- which was still moving at quite a clip, mind you -- waving his arms and jumping around, saying "thiiiis way, thiiiiis way." All he needed was a hankie to wave, it was so comical. I'm pretty sure that he wanted to be first to see the firemen, who, when they arrived, were disappointingly Not Hot. The two RuPauls disappeared shortly thereafter. I give everybody my name and cell phone number, talk to the police a bit, and went to get in my car. That's when I realize that car #4's driver has never gotten out of the car. She's in her sixties or so, and is just sitting there not saying a word. Good Lord. "Are you ok," I ask. She just smiled and nodded. "I'm just waiting for them to sort it out," she said, as I put my seatbelt on. Her car actually looks fine, and I thought to myself, "she's ok, and she probably the most normal one in the group." With age comes wisdom.

I was still smiling and shaking my head as I drove away. Who'd have thought? All I wanted was some Chinese food, and instead, I discovered I had superpowers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And then along came labor

Since I'm reminiscing about pregnancy, for some very odd reason, I figured I should finish what I started the other day, and go straight to labor with the first child. This is mainly because the most interesting thing in that pregnancy was the pregnancy test, and after that, it was pretty boring. As in, the most perfect pregnancy on the face of the earth, which was just fine with me.

Along comes Sept 26th, at which point my doctor decided he was going to induce me, because he felt that Bubba was getting too supersized for my supposedly minimized pelvis, and waiting much longer could get problematic. So we did what one does in these situations, and showed up at the hospital at 6am, just like the doctor ordered, for the proverbial jumpstart. Did I mention that I drove there? Not sure if it was because Dan was drinking coffee or was too nervous, but I drove our little RX7, and showed up in the ER, where I was promptly whisked up to Labor and Delivery. If you ever want things to move along quickly in the ER, show up with a very ripe pregnant belly, because they will take absolutely no chance of delivering a baby there, and will get you the heck outta dodge. But I digress........

And so it was that I found myself Where The Wild Things Are. There was a lot of screaming going on, and when I asked why it sounded like some kind of asylum, my admitting nurse said, very nonchalantly, "oh, the midwives have several patients here today." Apparently that is code for natural childbirth, I don't know, but it was pretty loud. I changed my clothes and got ready for the big event. Laid back down in bed and was told that they would start my IV. We, meaning the new graduate nurse and her preceptor, who was right there to jump in if things went awry.

First stick: nothing. The nurse suggested to the newbie that she stick me again, at which point she stage-whispered "I don't think the patient wants me to." I thought this was kind of amusing and told her "how are you going to learn if you don't stick people? Go for it," and she set to it with some gusto. Somewhere, mid-procedure, her preceptor stepped out of the room -- maybe she figured that I would coach her through it, I don't know, but again, no dice on the IV. The poor thing looked at me with a deer in the headlights look, and said "hold your arm VERY VERY still," and went flying out of the room, leaving the needle still in my arm. Newbie and preceptor came back in shortly, and the IV was placed without any further drama, albeit by the preceptor, but who cares? An IV is an IV, in my book.

The resident came in to do my history, which was kind of cute, because it was obvious he was new. I found out later that it was his first day in OB, so apparently I was a newbie magnet. We did the history pretty easily because it was the first pregnancy and it had been really boring. He left, only to return pretty quickly, saying he had forgotten to check me for swelling. He took one look at my duck feet and cankles and proclaimed "wow! You really ARE swollen." "Nope, I'm just fat," I said, and gave him a look that was intended to translate as "you really need to learn how to talk to pregnant women, you big galoot." He skulked out of the room.

Fairly shortly after that, my BFF arrived. She was a labor nurse and was also my matron of honor at our wedding, so I figured this whole labor thing was going to be pretty fun. Things were clicking along until sometime in the midst of The Young and the Restless, I started getting pretty darned uncomfortable. Not "I'm going to rip off your jewels because you made me this way" uncomfortable, but not very comfy, so I decided it was time for some drugs.

This may not have been the best decision, in retrospect. I told my BFF/Matron of Honor/Nurse that I was a pretty cheap junkie, so not to give me much. She gave me barely a whiff of Nubain - 5 mg, which shouldn't have done much, but instead, I spent the next four hours feeling like I was attached to a ceiling fan on high, spinning up to the ceiling, then falling off the bed straight onto the floor. It was not pleasant. Not at all. On top of this, I was still hurting, so after an hour of this craziness, BFF suggested an epidural, which I was glad to accept.

The Nubain was still on board, so sitting me on the side of the bed may not have been the best idea. They put the fun little overbed table in front of me and told me to lean on it. You know the one. The one with wheels on it? The one that moves when you lean all your pregnant weight on it? I'm not exaggerating when I say that my last coherent thought of that labor was "OMG I'm going to fall on the floor" right before BFF jumped in front of the table, saving me from a faceplant (or belly plant, whichever the case may be). After that, I remember nothing except the ceiling fan that was jerking me about. Funny thing was that when I told them that later, Dan and the BFF said that I looked like I had just gone to sleep. If so, I had the most nightmarish Alice in Wonderland, hallucinogenic experience of my life, which also confirms that I could never be a child of the 60s.

A few hours later, BFF woke me up and said that she was going to take Dan down to get a bite of dinner, before I got too much further alone. Said she was going to check me before they went, at which point the dinner was off, and we proceeded to start pushing. Fun, fun. Fortunately, I knew how to do it, cause I'd seen it a million times, so at 6:29pm, it all came to fruition, and Thomas was born.

I know it was 6:29, because I looked at the clock and called out the time. BFF laughed, saying that she'd never had a patient do that before, but I was so used to doing it at work that I guess I thought I was working. Not that I work in stirrups, mind you, but old habits die hard. A few minutes later, I heard the resident asking for a cord clamp cutter. Then a bunch of soaking bloody towels got flopped up on my leg, and Dan started turning rather green. It never really registered with me what was going on. I was too busy assigning the Apgar scores.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend handed me the baby. She mentioned that "he might have a little mark on his belly." When I asked why, she mentioned that the newbie resident had accidentally clamped the cord too close to his belly, and clamped his belly into it. Oye. Then she mentioned that it had been a little messy, because he had also clamped the cord twice like he was supposed to, but instead of cutting the cord in between the clamps, he had clamped on my side, which caused blood to go spurting all over the place till the doctor stepped in and took care of business. Hence, Dan's green countenance -- he may've known that there was gonna be blood, but this was a LOT of blood, apparently. Oh well, it's just another day in The Resident's First Day in OB. I guess we were both lucky to be alive, which is stating it rather dramatically unless you're with a new resident. In that case, it could be that I'm spot on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Day the Rabbit Died

Dan thought, when we got married, that he wanted six children. I thought he was crazy, because three, maybe four was perfectly fine, but six? No way. One day, about a year and a half or so into our marriage, we caught a portion of an Oprah episode about "older" parents. People who waited until they were 35+ to have kids. You know the ones -- they have white furniture, take great vacations, are always dressed impeccably, wondering what all the fuss in the world is about and everything goes to hell when they have a baby, when suddenly they are calling the crisis intervention line at least twice a week, threatening to jump off the garage roof because the baby won't poop in the potty. Well, it was at this point that Dan decided that he didn't want to be an "older" parent. He wanted to have his six kids whilst he was still young enough to play ball with him.

He was twenty six years old.

And so it was that we embarked about this journey of parenthood. I asked Dan at one point, "when I find out that I'm pregnant, how do you want me to tell you?" "Oh," he said, "just hang some little baby thing on the front door of the apartment, and then I'll know." And when the big day came, I stopped by the lab on the way home from work and had some blood drawn. They called me when I was walking in the door at home and told me that it was positive. Yep, the seedling of Utter Chaos had been planted. I promptly went right back out the door, went to the store and bought one of those "I heart Daddy" bibs, and hung it on the front door.

Half and hour later, in came Dan, who said "what the heck is this thing doing on the door? I was grinning when I said "I have no idea. What is it?" "Looks like a baby bib." "Yep." "What's it doing on the door?" ::sigh::

What we seemed to have here was a failure to communicate.

When he finally was told the big news, it became a rather rapidfire conversation -- all one-sided, all questions, and no waiting for answers: "how do you know? what test did they do? how accurate is it? How trustworthy is the guy who did it? How long has he been working there?" and on and on and on. Ending with "can I call my mom," which he proceeded to do, almost before the words were out of his mouth.

A few days later, we were enjoying laying in bed a little past normal, when Dan rolled over and looked at me. He patted my belly and said "yeah, gonna father me five children." My immediate response was, "who you gonna do that with" to which his response was "my wife." "Haven't met her yet, huh?" He just laughed, sure that he would eventually win the battle. He was still pretty sure about those five kids, right up to when the first one was born. But that's another story.