Archive | April 2011

All These Buckets of Rain

So, if you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that my dad has prostate cancer again.  And that I’m the only one in my family that knows.  I’m the only one who knows period (except that I told my husband and a very few close friends, hey, a girl needs to talk to someone).

It’s horrible.  I’m worried about my dad and about his state of mind.  I’m worried about my family and if they’ll be angry if they found out I knew and they didn’t.  And I’m just worried for myself.  My dad is a constant and I’m not sure I can handle him not being constant.  When he told me his cancer is no longer in remission, well, it shook me to the core.

My family is not close.  We’re not affectionate.  We don’t confront problems.  We’re very dysfunctional.  I need them.  All of them.  Family is so important to me. I love them no matter what.  I need them even when I hate them.  When they’re selfish and dickish and evil, I need them.  When I don’t talk to them for 6 months, I need them.

In a way, I’ve been groomed to be the secret keeper, the one who will keep the peace (or the one who will not care and just do what needs to be done), the one who will organize everything, the middle child who fixes everything.  I don’t know how else to be.

I need my father to fight.  I need my father.  I am so scared.  I don’t know what to do for him.  I need my brothers to help.  I want us to be whatever it is he needs.  I’m afraid I’m not good enough to do that.  I am the solid one who will follow directions, who will work hard, but I am not the one who ever made him happy.

My brothers were the ones that he was proud of.  My older brother is the athlete.  The golden child.  The child who could do no wrong.

My younger brother is the baby and the one who looks just like my dad.  And my dad’s only biological child.

I am not any of the things my dad values.  I’m not his biological child.  I’m not an athlete.  I’m not exceptionally thin or exceptionally pretty.  I’m emotional and chatty and …. and I’m me.  I’m not sure why my dad confided in me.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I will always love him and do what he asks.  Even when it’s so completely nutty that I’d be embarrassed to ever commit it to paper (or blog).  But I’m just not the reliable one.  Or maybe I am and I’m just scared.

The less worried my dad is, the more worried I am.  He seems so over it.  He told me he isn’t even sad this time.  I am sad.  I can’t lose him.  I’m not ready.  I haven’t told him I love him enough.  I haven’t told him how much I admire him.,  how much I wish I was more like him.  How much I need him to fight to stick around.

He’s so alive.  How can he have cancer?  How long do I have him?  Why, god damn it?  Why does he seem so resigned?

Please, don’t call me to give me account numbers and locations again.  Please don’t remind me where your will is.  I can’t handle it.  I can’t handle any of the things that you did last time.  It didn’t seem real then.  It was 12 years ago.  Nothing was truly fatal then.  But now I understand, that things really do end.  In a way that I couldn’t 12 years ago.  And now, I am afraid.  I am not the strong one, Dad.  Please don’t make me be.   Please fight.  Please fight.   Please let my brothers help. Even when it’s just to down a few at the bar while you check out the women.  Even when it’s just to spend that extra hour Rummicub with you.

Please tell my brothers.  Please get that treatment.  Please.

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She walked like a woman but talked like a man

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for drag queens and alcohol!

Tuesdays in my house mean TIVO’s RuPaul’s drag race and RuPaul’s Untucked episodes, alcohol, and some yummy snacks.  It’s an event.

Today is rather a sad Tuesday as this is the season finale.  I can’t wait to see who won.  I love Alexis Mateo.  I wish I was Alexis Mateo.  She’s flipping hot.  And nice.  Until a few episodes ago, she didn’t talk smack about anyone.

I love Manilla too.  I completely covet her tight collection.  Amazing.  She has given me tight envy on several occasions, and I’m a girl who can find odd, beautiful, crazy sexy tights.  It’s one of my missions in life, to always have sexy legs.

But the stand out queen, week after week, is Raja.  I adore her confidence and sense of style.  And her long, thin body.  It’s beautiful.  I wouldn’t want to wear her clothes.  They are high fashion, which just isn’t for a working girl like me (and I’m a working girl in the sense that I have a job, not that I’m a “working” girl).

So, tonight, I’m dying to see who wins, although I strongly suspect it’ll be Raja.  It should be Raja anyway.    I need to see this episode now, but I’m cooking Tofu Dengaku.  Cook, cook, cook, damn tofu, I have drag queens to watch.

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Jamie’s Crying

Easter should be for family and candy and more family and too much food and sunshine and pretty dresses and hard boiled eggs and family.  I’m not particularly religious or I would have mentioned something about that in there.

I sorely miss the holiday gatherings of my childhood.  Always at my grandmother’s house, we would skip breakfast (although several sweeties would pass our lips well before we made it to grandma’s) in anticipation of all the lovely things to come.

I was raised in a family of Italian descent.  Holiday gatherings were always filled with rigatoni, fried chicken (I have no idea why fried chicken was involved), and a ham, and black olives (which I would never eat now because they taste like the can), ricotta cheese, and Italian bread (which I only rarely eat now because there is no fibe)r, and sweets by the boatload.  I didn’t have a turkey ever until I was in my teens.

My grandmother is gone and now and I only see my brothers and mother on Christmas.  Other holidays are spent with my in-laws and I try to see my dad and his mom, my other grandmother.  Even though we miss out on seeing some of my family, I want my kids to have strong holiday traditions.  And I insist on making a big deal of things.  We don’t go to church, but we dress.  Even if no one else wears anything other than grubby tees and jeans, my children are expected to be well-dressed.  Just as I was expected to be well-dressed and properly groomed for holidays.

Unfortunately, my middle child, Thing 2, is going through a hardcore tomboy stage.  I don’t see her in anything but skinny jeans or basketball shorts and nasty black tees.  I hate it.  She used to be my frilly girlie girl.  Everything had to be pink and sequined and shiny and perfectly laundered and feminine.

So, even though I only asked her to wear a dress, you would have thought that I was sawing off one of her legs.  She whined and shrieked and cried and stomped and through the most petulant princess tantrum ever.  Which is ironic considering how she tries to dress and act like a boy.

I did finally get her hair brushed and pulled back.  And she wore a dress.  It was one of mine.  Actually, that was the theme of the day.  Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 wore my dresses.  I guess I’m getting my money’s worth out of my wardrobe.  We all looked fabulous as I have impeccable taste.  🙂

I can’t wait until the tomboy phase is over.  Thing 2 is stunning.  She has very delicate features and her eye color is incredibly unusual.  Just a striking little girl.  It’ll be lovely to stop fighting her on the way she presents herself and get back to focusing on our family traditions.

I have it easy with Thing 1, now, and the Monkey King.  The King will use any excuse to put on a suit.  That’s my man.

Hope you had a lovely holiday with close friends and family and lovely food and drink and laughter and love and joy.  And I hope Thing 2 remembers that part of our day far longer than she recalls her unhappiness about being forced to participate properly.

Live Like We’re Dying

Lately, I’ve had way too many reminders of how short life is.

So, I’m going to be brave and tell the people I love that I love them.  Even when it’s not reciprocated.

I’m going to be silly because it’s what I do best.

I will do the best that I can so that I can be peaceful.

And I will remember that, despite years of telling myself otherwise, just because I can do something, doesn’t mean everyone else can.  And I’ll only be frustrated if I expect that other people can or want to live up to what I think are bare minimum standards.

I will live for right now and remember all the things I do have instead of worrying about what I don’t have.

So, I might not get that right every moment.  I’ll have times of self pity and there will be times I’m just not going to be great.  But I’m going to keep working at it until I get it right.

Happy 420

To all those who participate, smoke one for me.

And even if you don’t partake, like me, use today as an excuse to mellow out with some good tunes and enjoy life.  Oh, and maybe eat a bag a Cheetos just for fun.  Those jalapeno ones are really good.

I really just want an excuse to turn off all the lights, grab a cold one (Abita Purple Haze maybe, that has the best mouth feel of any beer ever) and turn on some Black Keys.   Bliss.

Running on Empty

So, if you read my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to be more healthy.  I ran (I had to stop and walk quickly part of the time) my first 5K last fall.  My true goal was to be able to run a 5K this year.  I signed up for the Cleveland Marathon 5K late last fall thinking I would be training all winter and it’d be no problem.  And, at the request of one of my girlfriends, I also signed up for the Half Marathon, which is the very next day.  We’re only walking that.  I can walk for days so that’s no problem.  I might not be fast but I’m sure I can keep up with my girlfriend.  My personal goal was to beat 30 minutes for the 5K (I know I’m not fast, baby steps).

Unfortunately, I ended up working crazy amounts of hours all winter and just last month got to a more manageable schedule.   There was an entire month where I didn’t exercise at all.  I’m very grateful that I didn’t gain a pound all winter.  I don’t know how I achieved this, thank goodness for good genes I guess.

That doesn’t help me with my training though.  My girlfriend has been training since January and that’s just to walk/jog the half marathon.  Now I’m worried I might not be able to keep up with her.  And she is cajoling me to drop out of the 5K to save my strength for the next day.

Must train, must train.  But now I keep finding every excuse NOT to run.  I biked over 41 miles two weekends ago to avoid the 10 mile walk/run/jog I owed myself.   I did force myself to go over 16 miles on foot this past weekend, but what a struggle.  Everything is more important than training right now.  I think I need to mop the kitchen floor.  Oh, I should bake some bread. I really need to work on this beach glass bracelet.  That shirt needs to be mended (I HATE mending).  I have this huge mental block.

I must run, I must run, I must run.  I simply cannot find the motivation. Well, that’s not true.  I found a nice, firm bit of motivation at the park a few weeks ago.  It made me keep going long after I was tired.  Thank you, army guy, with your lovely rear view.  You provided some much-needed inspiration.  Now, if I could get him to run in front of me for the 5K I’d have absolutely no problem finishing with a respectable time.  Actually, if I could insure such a nice view every time I’m supposed to be training, I’d be in shape for my race for sure.

See, I’m a simple girl (hahahahaha, so not true).  Anyway,  I can be motivated by the simple things.

Fuzzy Wuzzy

I was at Fatheads Friday night.  I’m still wishing they had that Gouden Carolus Cuvee.  Alas, they do not.

They did have their #1.  It tastes completely different than last year’s and the year before’s #1.  Apparently, #1 is the first beer brewed at Fatheads and they only make it once a year.  The first time I had it, it blew me away.  Last year I loved it too.  This year, I am unimpressed. Oh well.

So, next I tried Ayinger Brau Weisse.  Delightful.  I just love unfiltered wheat beers.  This was lovely and I would definitely get it again.

Then there is the pizza.  I would never suspect that a place like this would have good pizza.  Nothing against Fatheads.  The rest of their food is really good.  I just wouldn’t expect them to have solid pizza.  But they do.

I originally ordered Avery’s Collaboration Not Litigation Ale.  I had this a few weeks before at Fatheads and it was amazing.  But they had just run out 😦  There are too many beers to try to be upset for long.

Right around beer two, I need food.  And there was food.  I love Fatheads smokehouse wings.  The beastie sauce is very good.  I like the killer sauce the best.  But I understand not everyone likes a fire in their belly.  Fatheads smoked wings are the shit.

Then there was the pizza.  I wouldn’t expect a place like Fatheads to have good pizza.  This has nothing to do with the quality of anything they have.  The rest of their food is really good.  I just wouldn’t expect them to have good pizza.  Oh, but they do.

pulled pork pizza

It has beans and, I don’t know, by the time I finished I was very drunk.  That doesn’t make the pizza any less good.  Even drunk, I know good food.  This was completely amazing.  If I’m going to blow my training diet, this is the way to do it, Fatheads wings and pizza.  It was so good, I don’t even feel guilty.

The biggest surprise of the night, however, wasn’t the food, it was the last beer.  Fathead’s Fuzzy Wuzzy.  I didn’t pick this beer, it was my husband’s.  He almost didn’t get any.  It had a delicate peach flavor and was crisp and light and I wish I had brought the growler because I so would have filled it with this.  But that just means I have to go back for more.  That and I never got to try Fathead’s Udderly Smooth Milk Stout.  Maybe I could go back tonight.  I did 8 miles or training yesterday and another 8 today, that deserves a beer or three, right?