Yesterday my sister pulled out a bloody band-aid from her OMELET. Yes, we were in a fancy restaurant. Yes she covered her face with her hands and said Oh my God. No she is not typically squeamish. Yes we were simultaneously laughing and horrified. Yes my youngest sister who was there with us too said this is worse than a bug, and we all said it's true! It is!. No we do not like to make dramatic scenes and report restaurants to the Health Department and have them shut down. No we did not totally lose our appetites. Yes we were told that we could order anything off the menu for free. Yes we contemplated inviting friends and family and staying for dinner. Yes we moved on but periodically came back to it and shook our heads and glanced at each other and started laughing all over again. Yes we had a great time and did not want to leave because it felt like a magical vacation.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tetherball was not a big sport where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I would go so far as to say it is not a big sport on the entire east coast. I always thought it was designed as a way for only children to play catch by themselves. It looked vaguely like a torture device and I can remember cutting a wide path around the few that I encountered (I said encountered) as a kid. I imagined in Los Angeles, where there were lots of only children, kids stood on manicured lawns in the hot sun and pounded the ball with their little fists, only to have it come around and smack them in the head while their parents smoked joints and drank sangria around the pool with Warren Beatty and Michelle Phillips.
After moving to LA, though, I found out that tetherball actually requires two people and the object is to try to punch the ball as hard as you can hopefully smacking your opponent in the face and causing a bloody nose. It is a battle not only of physical superiority but of will.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
This weekend we went to an outdoor mall that has fountains and trolleys and a live jazzy jazz band with horns. It is the kind of place where you might see someone skip out of a store with 3 huge bags in each hand and break into a Broadway show tune. And you would not be surprised. In the winter, at Christmas-time, there is fake snow after 5 pm that blows down under the old fashioned street lamps and Nat King Cole sings through the loud speakers. There are foot-long orange and yellow koi fish that swim around in ponds and people line up to kiosks that sell bedazzled Louis Vuitton outfits for small dogs. It is the kind of place where rainbows and lollipops decorate the sky and there’s a three-story glass staircase in the Mac store.
It is the also kind of place where you go to pay for four tickets to the movie, 3 children, 1 adult and they tell you $57. It is the kind of place where, at the restaurant next door, a hamburger is called ground sirloin and comes on a brioche made in a Parisian bakery (and where a child who doesn’t care for the brioche will drop it into a plant next to the table, even though the Parisian brioche is part of the reason the burger costs $23). It is also the kind of place where at least one child will find an item that he instantly and wholeheartedly cannot live without. And he will be so overcome when he keeps hearing the word No that he lies down on the trolley tracks until an adult in attendance tells him the entire family will have to spend the night in jail after they are forced to clean the blood and ground sirloin off the tracks. And he still won’t get up.
It is the kind of place where people turn their heads and sadly look away while you drag your screaming child back to the valet parking lot while the other two children alternate between looking humiliated and yelling at the screaming child every time it seems like he might stop. The kind of place where you just give your entire wallet, your watch and your sneakers to the parking attendant so you can be on your way. And the kind of place where once you are back on the street and five minutes away, everyone, finally and happily, starts singing.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yesterday while I was putting money in the parking meter, I found a dollar in the street folded like a piece of origami. Then a few hours later when I stopped to get a cup of coffee I found a 20 dollar bill mixed in with some leaves by the curb, also folded like a piece of origami. I believe that if you find cash outside it is free for the taking and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. In fact you should probably feel the opposite of guilty. You should feel like it has been left there for you by your guardian angel. Yeah, it’s kooky but then explain the origami. See what I’m saying?
Once about ten years ago when the big-headed bills were first printed up, I had a 100 dollar bill in my pocket and I went into Tower Records to do some Christmas shopping. I picked something out and stood in the endless Christmas-shopping line and all of a sudden someone yelled out: Did anyone lose a hundred dollar bill in the parking lot? (Could you imagine that a person exists who would yell that out into a crowded store at Christmas?) I patted my pockets in a panic. And they were empty.
“Does it have a big Ben Franklin head?” I yelled.
I hugged the guy and offered him 40 dollars, which he accepted. We said Merry Christmas and never saw each other again.
Ok? Again: guardian angel.
Once when Mo was about 8 we were driving on the highway in a torrential downpour and my car broke down. I was lucky to be able to pull off on the shoulder, put on my hazards and wait. I tried to put my arm out the window and wave someone down, but when I unrolled the window it was as though someone threw a bucket of water in my face. So we sat (this was before cell phones). After about 30 minutes, a white van pulled up behind us, shining his lights into the car.
Is he going to get out? Mo said.
After he finishes loading his gun, I thought.
In the dark, in the rain, I saw a LARGE man got out of the van. He walked towards us, knocked on the window and made a sign with his thumb that meant Get In The Van. (did we have a choice?) I carried Mo and we ducked into the waterfall and ran to the passenger side and got in.
Inside it was warm and smelled amazing. The entire back of the van was filled with trays of donuts! We would never be murdered in a van with donuts. The Large Man made room on the floor for Mo to sit, asked us where we wanted to go and drove us there. He barely said anything except that his name was James and he was making a delivery to a church. When he dropped us off at the Howard Johnson's he gave Mo 3 dollars. I never saw him again and if you asked me, would not be able to describe what he looked like.
Ok? You see what I'm saying?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I read about this woman who can’t tell the difference between voices. Unless the person is standing right in front of her, she can’t recognize male or female, child or adult, friend or foe. It’s called phonagnosia. She can recognize one voice however: Sean Connery’s. This is from an article in the Science section of the NY Times.
Come on people, really? You’re buying this? I can tell three things about this woman just from the first paragraph of the story: 1. She’s a mother. 2. She’s exhausted. 3. She’s FUNNY.
Child yelling from the other room: Where’s my shoe?
Woman with Phonagnosia: No thank you, Mr. Franklin.
This must be connected to the part of the brain that remembers voices (aren’t recognizing and remembering essentially the same thing?) which in turn is connected to identifying the name of the person speaking. Sometimes you need to go through an entire list before you get it right. This is one reason why people stick with one name, like hon or sweets or, as in my family, bub.
Morgan has never had patience with my inability to recall the names of her friends. Once I made the mistake of calling her best friend “Kelly” instead of her actual name.
Is Kelly coming over?
(all activity stops, someone picks the needle off the record) Who, Mom?
(nervously) Um. Kel----ly?
(staring at me like a gang member at a drive by) Seriously?
Kel---Kelsey. I mean Kelsey.
(she shakes her head slowly and walks away)
I think she should get a job helping those scientists who are studying phonagnosia. That woman will stop fooling.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I imagined that he swung just an inch to the right, and in slow motion connected with the left side of my face, causing my right eye, nose and side of my mouth to scrunch up, and the sweat on my forehead to spray. I imagined falling to the ground. I imagined everyone hushing and the guy standing over me and saying, I’m so sorry, like he was under water. All I can see is black and then out of nowhere a clown in full costume and rainbow afro wig comes out of nowhere and throws a bucket of water over me. There is more hush. I turn onto all fours and shake it off like a dog. I slowly get to my feet and try to focus on the guy. I take a wide swinging arc with my arm, and with the force of it and the water on the floor I knock my own legs out from under myself, landing on my back, my legs dramatically coming down together and hitting the floor like 50 pound sacks of flour.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I have been watching Nurse Jackie on dvd and was wondering about the amount of drugs she takes. First of all it seems like it would knock out a horse and second of all it seems like of course! She needs it to get through a long day of being near death and having to play second fiddle to the doctors (not to mention carrying on an affair and having two divas for best friends). It must be true. I have not spent too much time in hospitals although I’ve been to the emergency room on various occasions. Nurses are the ones you latch on to hoping for some human contact in the sterilized, slow-moving world of the hospital. If they are human and kind and helpful it makes all the difference. You are after all in a world you want to leave the moment you enter. If they are not human though, they can pull you into a downward vortex of pain and misery and horror. And that’s not good.