Image hosted by

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Special Education

I have a cousin who has Asperger's Syndrome, at least that's what the doctors say. A lot of people try not to talk to Billy or look at him. That's a strangers "polite way" of not staring or making a big deal that something is amiss.

He's the kind of guy who takes the world in as he watches it go by. While watching, he is learning, absorbing and loving every second of life as he knows it. If only I could learn to see people and the world the way he does, I would be complete.

He watches people and sometimes talks to them. He wants to be part of their lives but so many fear hanging around a retard, which is the silliest part of all. He is a man/boy, all grown up on the outside, while his mind is free like a child. Those who fear him most might actually learn something about life, if only they took a moment.

He lives in a fairly large city and loves to ride the bus. He carries a tape recorder with him everywhere he goes. Sometimes he records people talking to each other just so he can listen to the tape before he goes to bed at night. He wants to be part of their lives, be included in their conversation and understand their world.

Billy is as independent as this world allows him to be. He recently got his own apartment and holds down two jobs. There's always the fear for us that someone will take advantage of him but as a family, we had to let Billy grow up.

A couple of years ago, my mother in-law was lying on her death bed. Cancer had taken it's toll and was winning. We rented a house on the beach and the whole family stayed with her. We took shifts taking care of her so she was never alone. Her end was coming much too quickly at the age of 56.

Everyone agreed that Billy shouldn't see Amanda that way. We let him know she was very sick and when he asked to come see her, he was told that no one could come to get him. It was a little white lie to try and protect him.

Billy took matters into his own hands and got on a bus to come visit her. It had been some time since he saw her and was slightly taken aback by how thin she was, how bald she was and how broken she looked but that didn't stop him.

He sat at her side, "taking a shift". He watched her sleep. He watched her chest rise and fall as her breathing became labored and unsteady. He took his tape recorder out of his oversized pocket when her eyes opened.

He pressed record and asked her, "Any last words Aunt Amanda?"

He was the first to be able to make her smile.

His question was so innocent, real, meaningful and what all of us "normal" family members, didn't have the balls to ask.

She knew she was dying, he knew she was dying, the rest of us watched in awe, learning from the disabled and the dying.

He listened intently as she spoke into his recorder, "I love you Billy. Thank you for taking the bus and coming to see me. I have Jesus in my heart and I'm not scared to die. But I will miss you all very much."

Talking took a lot out of her and she fell back to sleep quickly. Billy looked around the room, we were all crying. He hit the stop button, put his tape recorder back into his pocket and told us the bus would be coming around soon and he needed to go.

Tomorrow Riding The Bus With My Sister, a made for TV movie, staring Rosie O'Donnell, will air on CBS at 9 EST. I saw a preview for the movie and couldn't help but think about Billy and his love of public transit. Not to mention all I've learned from him. I plan to watch and hope to learn even more.

I don't feel sorry for Billy or people like him, I envy their spirit.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Roses Really Smell Like...

You ever have that not so fresh feeling? Anyone ever yell, "Yo, Stank Ass!" in your general direction? Are beans one of your favorite foods but you fear the ramifications of eating them?
Do your drawers come with a warning label like this?

Image hosted by

Well folks, look no further than right here at Home Fires for a solution. I've searched high and low to bring to you, my flatulent friends, only the best.

Image hosted by

The Flatulence Deodorizer has a patent pending but I imagine they will be available everywhere very soon. Those who have tried out the promo said, "Oh my God, this thing really works!" and "This has changed my life!" and my personal favorite, "NOW I don't have to worry about what I eat!"

Ah, yes! Beans, beans musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot. The more you toot the better you feel, and now you can eat beans at every meal.

Okay kids, if your bung is so out of control that you fart without warning, and you just can't wait for shipping of The Flatulence Deodorizer, I have created a cheaper, easier way to help you not stink up the room in the meantime.

I bring to you, Butt Plugs. (no patent pending)

Image hosted by

Glade already makes Plug-Ins that you can stick into the wall. Little did the fine folks at Glade know, I've found a way for you to stick them in your ass. Your butt wind creates it's own fan*, meaning, no batteries are required. Butt Plugs come in many scents to choose from.

Butt Plugs don't just cover up the odor. Oh no! They clean your ass air as it expels. You won't ever again have to worry about Rover whimpering and throwing his paw over his nose while you toot your way through the half-time show.

If Butt Plugs do not fit your stank budget, fear not my fellow fartkateers. I've found yet another way to keep you smelling fresh, without costing you a fortune. I bring to you the Priceless Pine. (no patent pending)

Image hosted by

Just staple one of these babies to the tag on your tightie whities and voila, your partner will feel as if they are sleeping in the forest, rather than the gas chamber. Priceless Pine can renew your relationship while you await your order of the one, the only, the original, The Flatulence Deodorizer.

I am Lois Lane. I'm not only a member, but I'm also a client, and I approve this message.

* Use extreme caution that the shit doesn't hit the fan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Commercial Break

Hey guys my buddy David is trying to promote his new movie through his blog, and he asked me to send you all over to his site. Please pop in say hi and checkout the movie. It looks pretty good.

Thanks, Lois

P.S. Today's real post is below.

Bad To The Bone

Today's post comes to you much later than intended because it isn't the story I intended to share. As you read this, you may find it PG rated or perhaps R rated. If you are more like me, it's triple X baby.

My internet came back yesterday, but it was very short-lived. Bubba is a bad, bad man. He not only stole my Blue Collar Comedy but he knocked out the cable for everyone in my neighborhood. I saw two police cars over at Bubba's today. Typical scene like you'd see on Cops. Bubba's ballcap wasn't straight on his head, his undershirt (dego-tee or wife beater) was stained and his jeans hung low. I wasn't aware of our neighborhood crack problem until that moment. I can't be positive but I do believe he had a can of beer in his hand at 9:30 this morning. It's really hard to tell what people are drinking under those foam can cooler, Koozy things.

I don't know if they took Bubba away, if he got fined, was given a warning or if the officers went inside to join him watching NASCAR. I got distracted when the cable guys showed up again. They are back outside playing with their pole. I guess they didn't get enough of that yesterday.

I tried to offer some words of encouragement to get them to make my cable to come back as quickly as possible.

As the fat guy climbed into the cherry picker, I shouted, "Get up in there big boy. That's right, just spread your legs a little, straddle, yeah, there ya go. You're almost in, just a little more. Steady big fella. Oh yeah, you're in there now aren't ya?!"

The second cable guy stood below and I said, "You liked watching him get in that box didn't you? Can you believe how big he is? I didn't think he was going to fit. I sure hope he doesn't get stuck. By the way, that's a mighty long cable ya got there. You really wanna hook me up don't cha? It's just been so long since I've had cable. I'm going through withdraws. Oh, you just don't know how bad I want it now."

As the big guy came back down I asked, "Don't you ever feel a tiny bit nervous going down? Oh, I see, you like to go down slow and easy. That's the best way, really. Now, would you like to come inside and see if you've successfully turned me on?"


Forget The Cost

Although free is my favorite number, you do get what you pay for. Blogger is down now and I'm slightly annoyed. Sure I could be doing other stuff. But guys, I been doing other stuff all day. (Yes, I am whining.)

I've wasted all of my good farting around time doing other boring crap like mowing the lawn, digging up the ugly bush in front, cleaning things that should only be cleaned when you have company, like the medicine cabinet, linen closet and the ceiling fans.

I have not "worked" more than 45 minutes all day, which was all on the telephone to say sorry I can't send those two stories I wrote for you last night, my internet is down." Kiss that gig goodbye.

I even tried the library but because they use the same provider, they too were out of service.

When I made an attempt to post earlier, Blogger told me that there is some type of error. The error is that I signed up for a free service that I actually rely on. I guess that means, this was a user error.

Be careful folks, stooopidity is contagious, I must have gotten mine from the guys playing with their poles and tools all day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's All In My Head

Some of you folks may have noticed that occasionally my titles here at Home Fires are titles or lyrics of songs. I have an illness and it's nearly as bad as the one mentioned in yesterday's post. Okay, fine. You got me. It's worse.

My brain is a wasteland, that's the obvious part, but I wonder, how many lyrics can one cram into their head before oldtimers kicks in? How many songs do you know all or most of the words to? I couldn't venture a guess.

In relation to the post below, my mother gave me another annoying little trait, singing. It wouldn't be a bad trait if either of us didn't suck so badly at singing. Since neither of us could carry a tune in a bucket, we really shouldn't be singing in public. Ever.

When I was little, I remember thinking my mom knew every song ever made. While I watched back then, I had no idea, I was picking up another nasty little habit. Thanks Mom!

My kids were the first to point it out to me. There we were, in the pharmacy when I belted out, "Sweet love. Hear me calling out your name." Ironically enough I was stopped before I sang the next line of that song, "I feel no shame."

Lane 1 rolled his eyes at me and asked why I was singing the "oldies" out loud in public. Of course I corrected the boy letting him know Anita Baker is so not an oldie. I don't think that tidbit of info really helped my situation.

Later, in the car, "I can let my hair down. I can say anything crazy." went just fine, but once I sang, "with nothing but a t-shirt on," Lane 2 chimed in with an "eeewww Mom!"

Sometimes I sing and don't realize I'm doing so until it's too late. It always seems to register about the time I make eye contact with a handsome stranger. How can I work on finding a part time lover, if I am singing in the key of cat's cry as it's tail is being crushed by a rocking chair?

Fine, so I'm not looking for a part time lover, that was just more lyrics popping out of my stupid head. But I did get caught singing happily with my window rolled down in traffic this morning. "I'll adore you. I'll treat you like milk, I'll do nothing but spoil you."

When the man in the car next to me looked like he was going to pee his pants from laughing so hard, I killed the volume, looked him in the eye, crossed my arms over my chest like a gangbanger and said, "What, what, dawg."

That only made the man laugh harder as the light turned green and my kids shriveled down in the backseat. At least the man and I were amused.

High-tech Redneck

My broadband internet has been acting all sorts of goofy for a few weeks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. All morning I was without internet. My fart around time was cut virtually in half and trust me, I'm a little annoyed. I've called my cable company more in the last few weeks than I've called my own mother. I don't want the help-line people to know me by name, unfortunately, it's too late.

After a long talk with some guy who called himself Mr. Willson, who I forced to call me Mrs. Menace for no other reason than because his stooopid name reminded me of Dennis the Menace, it was determined that not only is Bubba up the road takin' cable ag'in' the law, he also didn't reattach my wires proper like. That meant, every time the wind blew, my connector came unconnected. It's friggin' April people, our windy month here in the windy city. Bubba, 'bout got himself an ass whoopin'.

Bubba is the rich redneck on the block. He has himself one of them one-ton pickup trucks with a cherry picker in the bed. I don't know what Bubba does fer a livin' but I reckon old boy ain't got 'nuff money to buy him some Blue Collar Comedy, so he done swiped mine.

As I type this to you, I have no internet. How I plan on posting this, has yet to be determined. Stooopid cable guys are still playing with their pole outside.

When I look at them through my window like some old looky-loo lady, I can't help but think, these guys never grew up. I guess they call that the Peter Pan syndrome. They just seem a little too happy to have their tool belts strapped to themselves. I watched as they whipped tools in and out of the pouches just the same way Clint Eastwood pulled his 45 out of his holster or like Lane 1 did with his Little Tikes tool belt set... when he was 3.

Stooopid Bubba and stooopid cable guys!
Six hours later and I've got internet. It's about damn time!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Freak Magnet

Is it my magnetic personality or the metal plate in my head that draws in the freaks? People, my name is Lois Lane, and I am a freak magnet. Now that I've taken the first step by admitting this problem, perhaps it can go away now.

Here is where I throw the blame. As we all know, every disorder must have someone to blame otherwise, there really is no need for therapy. My mother, that horrible woman, created a lovely child with one big fault. The fault I speak of is obviously an inherited trait, as no freaks dig anyone as much as they dig my mom. The difference between Mom and I is that she welcomes the freaks. She embraces them, talks to them, makes friends with them and me, not so much.

I try to pretend not to hear them as they speak to me in the grocery store, at the pharmacy, in the driveway next door and especially in the public restroom. Sometimes that makes them all the more persistent. I often wonder if someone stuck a sign onto my back that says, "Please come and speak random nonsense in my general direction."

I thought about buying a hearing aid today. Not because I can't hear. I hear quite well, maybe even too well (crosses fingers in hopes of not jinxing self into a life of silence). I only looked at the big bulky ones, thinking I could strap one to the side of my head, curl it around my ear and yell "Huh?" at the freaks who stop me from being productive to tell me all about how I can save a life by joining P.E.T.A.

The asshole in me wanted to tell that lady today, "Oh, I love that group, People Eating Tasty Animals. I sure could use a big juicy steak right now! When do you meet? And when do we eat 'cuz, I'm starving like a rat!" But the freak magnet in me said, "Oh, really? You don't say. How about you mail me some information because I am really in a hurry today but would love to know more. I have a stray mom cat and some hungry little kittens to tend to and I just came to the store here to buy a supplement for the babies." (LIES all LIES! Their mommy is taking great care of them and I just wanted to get away!)

Why in God's name can't I simply say I am not interested? Why couldn't I high-five her and tell her to keep on fighting for what she believed in? Given her a thumbs up and said "You go on with your bad self!"? Why did I drag fictitiously starving kittens into the story? Why do I feel I must lie my way out of certain things?

I gave the crazy stranger lady my mom's address.

I don't want to be like my mother and have hour-long conversations with random strange folk but it seems I always do.

Growing up I hated going shopping with my mother. She would spend more time talking to the freaks than she would shopping. Once at the grocery store, with our cart full, some lady walked up and asked my mom where she found the Jiffy Pop like the kind that sat atop our cart. Rather than handing the lady one of the 15 containers, she had a 45 minute conversation with her about popcorn. They also discussed why things are stored in a particular section of the store, the cost of groceries, the annoyance of one wobbly wheel on a shopping cart and where to find the best coupons.

That strange lady's kid and I exchanged a glance, a knowing look, as if to say, "Sorry your mom is a freak like mine." We bonded.

By the time we made it through checkout that day, all of our frozen food items had turned to mush. She told the nice cashier that "we" would need to trade some of the items. You know what that means, right people? It meant, I had to go run around like I was playing Super Market Sweep, trying to find replacements for all of the soggy items. And I was told to hurry so "we" wouldn't be holding up the line!

That's another thing that drives me insane about her. She has a dirty little habit of saying "we" when she actually means, anyone but her. I'll delve into that topic some other time, when I have hours upon hours to spare.

So there we were, my kids and I in the store. A strange woman was talking and I was listening. My kids smiled that oh so familiar, "Good gravy Ma! Why are you talking to this weirdo?" smile, as the conversation rambled on. I had a flashback of my own childhood. I felt bad for the kids. I realized how often this sort of thing happens and then it hit me. I was turning into my mother.

God help me!


For your internet farting around pleasure, I bring you a link to make your own version of what you might look like if you were a South Park cartoon character.

Image hosted by

Lois Lane as a South Park character.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Sweet Child Of Mine

Granny Oakley, if you are reading this, please stop. There is some information in this post about your granddaughter that you simply should not, must not know, until Sunday. It involves a surprise for you. If you cheat and continue reading, I will be forced to tell Lane 2 that her grandmother is a cheating bitch. Not that the child doesn't already know about the bitch part, but still.

Okay all of you who are not Granny Oakley, AKA my mother, in my last post I told you about my daughter's garage sale fetish, obsession, fixation or whatever. After school, Lane 2 got her chance at the garage sale.

I read Kiki's comment from yesterday and felt it was pertinent that I let you all know, Lane 2 will not buy clothing or shoes from garage sales. She only buys, toys, dolls (excluding stuffed animals), trading cards, antiques and presents for loved ones. I swear to God mother if you are still reading this, I will post a picture of your saggy baggies! Don't push me woman!

Where was I? Oh, yes. Lane 2 found a lovely gift for her grandmother. She said she really wanted to buy it for her because it would be a nice get well present. I tried talking the child out of said gift, saying Granny Oakley already had her 15 minutes of fame from her booboo, however the child begged for 25 cents. I reluctantly dug through my change purse (I know, I can't believe I actually have one of those either, which is a post for another day. Old chick's and their accessories. I bet you can hardly wait, huh?)

Lane 2 took a decorative plaque, which had a sticker on it that read 75 cents, up to the counter where the lady sat with her money box. I called her back over to me.

"Sweetheart, it's 75 cents not a quarter." I began to dig for more change.
"Mom, it's okay. I don't need anymore money."

Assuming she had some lunch money left over, I let her go back to what she was doing. She began telling the lady the story about my mother getting hurt two weeks ago. (See Doggone Scary Scene below for more information) She did not leave one drop of blood out of the story. The lady was rightfully mortified. Then she, that sweet child of mine, asked the lady if she would sell the plaque to her for a quarter.

The lady said, "Sure honey. That is a wonderful thing you are doing for your grandmother! You tell her I hope she gets better right away."

I felt like shouting, "Lady, you just got punked!" Not that my daughter was lying, just that she used my mother's injury to get a really good deal on a gift. That is just so wrong on so many levels! The only thing that saved me from lecturing my daughter about what she did was her proud smile as she looked down at the plaque as we walked back home.

The plaque has two roses made of seashell with gold plated leafs and stems with the inscribed words, "Mother's can't be everywhere, so God invented grandmothers."

Lane 2 looked up at me and said, "You think grandma will like this?"
"Yeah, baby. I do."
"I got a really good deal on it too."
"Yeah, you sure did."
"I kinda feel bad," she said as she walked, while tracing her index finger along the letters.
"Why? Because you used your grandma's booboo to get a bargain?"
She looked up, disgusted, "No!"
"Because. That lady at the garage sale was old, a grandma probably. And one of her grandkids more than likely gave this to her and she sold it for a stinkin' quarter."
"Yeah but you talked her down. She was trying to sell it for 75 cents."
"I bet if I offered her a dime, she would have taken it."

(P.S. I would like to thank Michael for inspiring the name of this post.)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Come Sale Away

Is garage sailing really a sport? Lane 2 seems to think so. In Illinois, the season for yard sales and such is in full force and my 10-year-old couldn't be happier. I actually think this is her favorite time of year and not for the trees and flowers in bloom, but for the fargin' bargains.

She wants to stop at every one we drive by. She wants to spend, spend, spend. But, she wants a good deal. Typically a shy kid, she will try to talk down the price of anything if she feels the people running the sale are being "too greedy".

I'm pretty sure her garage sale fetish came from Mr. Lane's side of the family. Sure, I like to browse and check stuff out from time to time, however, the young Lane is the type who undoubtedly will have a bumper sticker on her car that says, "I brake for garage sales."

This morning, on our way out to school, she saw a sign.
"MOM!" she shouted pointing.
"No. They are just getting started and you'll be late for school."
Mom, we have to, please, please. Can we just stop and watch them set up?"
Meanest mom in the whole wide world strikes again. Something tells me that after school today, when we drive by that sign, I might try to win her back and stop. She is after all my well behaved straight A child.


To Whom It May Concern, Lois Lane has had her head quite far up her ass as of late but has finally made an attempt at responding to your comments. I hope you will forgive her laziness. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

One Lump Or Two?

If you read my post Doggone Scary Scene, you know all about Ginger and the neighbor kid who took my mom for a drag. If you haven't already read that post, please scroll down for the whole story.

Now that my mother is healing, I feel comfortable about making fun of her. Sure it was a terrifying experience, one so bad, I can't even go back to reread my own post about that day for fear of seeing her in my mind again.

If she is ready to joke about it, I see a big green light for me to blog about some of the things that happened. Nothing tragic is funny while you are going through it, but as soon as wounds heal and your mind goes wandering, it's only a matter of time before parts of it become laughable.

She is still a little sore in her head, neck and back, but overall, she is doing much better. She is covered in peanut butter and jelly bruises. As time has tried to heal her injury, her bruising has spread, causing her to say, "That's all I need is for it to keep spreading so I can have black and blue tits."

It's amazing how the bruising has crept down her entire face and neck and is now heading for Mount Saggytits. Speaking of saggy tits, while in the emergency room with this woman, I helped the doctor remove her bloody clothing, which had been cut open by the paramedics. I also helped the doctor clean the blood off of her face, head, neck, arms, hands and hair. By the time she came around in the ER and knew she could go home if she could walk around without passing out or puking, she suddenly became shy.

The nurse handed her a scrub shirt and my mom said, "Lois, get out of here so I can get this shirt on."
"You're fucking kidding me right? Who do you think took the other shirt off of you? I already saw and took pictures of your tits and don't think I won't post them on my blog."

I left the room anyhow. I figured old girl done mentally scarred me enough for one day, making me realize just how saggy I may become in a few short years.

We talked a lot on the way back to her apartment and she didn't remember anything. It wasn't until she read my blog that she realized how traumatized I was. Growing up, I learned a good trait from my mom. Never freak out during a crisis. But like her, once it's said and done, a flood of emotions poor over me. She blabs on the phone to get it off of her chest, and I write.

The kid and a reliable witness never came forward, so Mom has been doing all she can to pay back the hood. She's admitted to getting off by freaking out all of her neighbors with her scary face. She walks around terrifying the neighborhood with her Quasimodo, "I'm not an animal" appearance.

I believe what comes around goes around, and whoever did this, will eventually have a go around of their own. All of those people who left her bloody in the road, not trying to stop her bleeding, or cover her to keep her from going into shock, or just be there to hold her hand so she was less frightened, they'll get theirs too. Paybacks are a bitch and so is my mama.

My 21 year-old nephew, Yoda, who lives with my mom, has been playing Dr. Feel Good. He is so damn cute. When we first brought her home, he had an ice pack ready for her. It was a little frozen football shaped ice pack that Mom uses when the grandkids are over bludgeoning each other. He couldn't coddle her enough if he tried. Last week, Yoda took her to the doctor for a follow-up. Because she was very self-conscious of how she looked going out into the real public, she told him she needed a hat or something. He set her up with Ray Charles cataract glasses and a bandana. She looked like an escapee from the nuthouse. So much for being concerned about how you look in public.

Over the phone the other day she told me she is proud of how the police have been keeping track of her complex.
So I said, "Well Ma, they are probably trying to catch another glimpse of you in all of your crazy nekkid sexiness."
"Oh yeah Ma, they had to make sure you had no other injuries and they wanted to be sure your titties were real."
"Oh No Lois! Please tell me the whole fucking neighborhood didn't see my tits."
"I'm lying. They cut your clothes off in the ambulance but man, I had you going!"

Lumpy told me to thank all of you for such kind words in the comments of the last post. You have no idea how much that meant to both of us.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Blog Babes Gone Bonkers

Wow! Friday was out of control! I met Katey and Aimee, two of my blogging buddies at a no-tell-motel, where Aimee was "working". The lobby was filled with people but I just knew they were them. I walked up to two of the loudest, drunkest, hottest, half nekkedest chicks, I've ever seen. Thankfully, I wasn't overdressed or under intoxicated. As I approached, Kate the Corporate Peon climbed atop a table, let out a robust "Woohoo!" as she whipped her shirt around above her head like a helicopter and began dancing. Aimee was slipping a dollar into Katey's leather thong yelling, "Me next!". I knew it was going to be a night to remember.

"Hello ladies," I said in my shy voice.
"Who the fuck are you?" Aimee asked.
"I'm Lois fucking Lane!"
"Woohoo!" shouted Katey.

The information you have just read is 100% bullshit. It's some bizarro figment of my imagination. Perhaps I am posting while intoxicated or perhaps I was trying to grab your attention.

Mr. Lane had a mental breakdown as I was preparing to leave. Not only was he getting ditched for the first time in years with his own children, I also left my nephew with him.

"Lois, I don't know what little kids need and do and stuff. You're gonna have to write down some stuff about him so I know what to do."
"Dino-Mike didn't come with a set of instructions. No kid does. Besides, he is a piece of cake. Treat him like you would our kids. Feed him when he tells you he is hungry and get him something to drink when he is thirsty. He goes to bed at 8, just like our kids. It's really that simple. If he talks in a crazy 'redrum' voice, call him E.T. You'll be great."

The kids had a million questions. It was almost like dealing with my parents the first time I went out with one of my friends who recently began driving. Only it was worse.

Lane 1: "You know Mom, meeting people from the internet can be very dangerous."
Lane 2: "Mom, you don't have a cell phone. What are you going to do if something happens?"
Lane 1: "How well do you know these chicks?"
Lane 2: "What time will you be home?"
Me: "Yes! Don't worry. Well enough. None of your frikkin' business. I love you guys. Good night."

I'd never met anyone off of the internet before Friday. So one might say, Aimee and Katey popped my e-cherry. And I liked it! A lot!

Life is like a box of chocolates: Driving there, I didn't know what I was going to get, think, see or feel. I thought about the possibility of being at a loss for words, which is as sucky as being loaded down with writer's block. I thought about the fact that they have already met each other and chose to meet again. What if I was the third wheel of their e-friendship, like unwanted spam? Only I didn't have the ability to make their penises larger. What if we didn't meld right, like a religious blessing not passed on to ten of your closest friends? Causing bad luck for the next seven years. What if there weren't any good vibes, like the (((hugs))) were completely deleted? Being replaced with (((middle finger))). What if they thought I was a tard, like that person who has yet to learn how to actually attach stuff? Sending blank e-mail messages to your inbox all of the time. What if they "LOL"ed at me? Causing me to feel :(

I gave myself a big honkin' worry zit right by my temple. I picked it and popped it, and then picked it some more. By the time they set their eyes on me, I had an out of control zit that was bigger than a U.F.O. I could tell they liked me right away because they didn't point and laugh like those fuckers at the gas station. Aimee actually told me it was sweet that I'd worried enough to grow a honkin' zit.

Friends from jump street: When I walked into the hotel lobby, Katey and Aimee were sitting by the fireplace. Aimee isn't used to the crisp 65 degree weather that Katey and I run around Illinois half nekkid in. Aimee explained the historic relevance behind the expression, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey", which was how she described her visit to the Midwest during January. Aimee also was knitting a sweater. I know that doesn't sound as exciting as the opening of this story but I have to say, I am thrilled they aren't real freeeaks.

After the initial hello and hugs, we set sail to a pub. Aimee asked the airhead at the counter, "Where's the pub."
She cocked her head to the left, raised her eyebrows and in a very valley girl way said, "Huh?" She then looked at Aimee, Katey and myself. She turned to the other gal working the counter of the hotel, shrugged her shoulders and said, "Pub?"

You could tell from first glance that counter girl number two knew all about the area pubs. She pointed us in the right direction and we were off like three prom dresses.

In Aimee's rental car, where Katey said, "Lois, you get to ride shotgun." I felt happy. I liked riding shotgun. Until I saw the sign. "WARNING! YOU COULD BE KILLED!" It said some other stuff but my attention was stuck on those few words. I wondered if Katey had ulterior motive for "giving" me shotgun. Thankfully I didn't get killed!

At the pub, the house was packed. A nice boy with a fine little ass, greeted us and handed Aimee a vibrating, light up, beeper thingy that would alert us when our table was ready. He said our wait would be about 30 minutes. We didn't mind waiting because we had lots to talk about and things to learn about each other. We walked to the bar but there wasn't a seat to be had. So we stood and stalked this table, invaded the space of a young couple, making them feel uncomfortable enough to give us their spot. Or maybe their beeper thingy went off, I can't be sure.

Katey bought us a round and we sat shooting the shit. The beeper went off and nice ass boy said, "Follow me."
"With that tight little ass of yours, I'd follow you anywhere." Maybe I didn't really say that, then again, maybe I did.

We sat at a table near an attack lamp. I swear that fucker jumped out and grabbed my hand at least twice. Or, maybe, I was flailing my arms around like an over talkative Italian on crank as I spoke, causing my hand to crash into it a couple of times. I can't be sure.

Cow eyeballs and animal dissection in general, are not typical dinner conversation, but somehow, for us, it worked. Everything seemed to work. These are two people I would have over for coffee or a barbeque. You know, real live people. The kind who say "Fuck" and don't follow up with an "Excuse my language." or a "Pardon my French."

It's amazing what five hours out of the house away from children can do for a person like me. I really had a great time, and even though it wasn't nearly a long enough visit, memories were made.

I won't ever go into a pressroom again without thinking about Katey's love for the smell of ink. When I see my kids playing with the darkroom door, I'll imagine Katey with them. The next clown to creep me out won't be nearly as scary, because Katey will be there freaked out with me. If ever I go to an art museum again, I know I will giggle at things that aren't supposed to be funny and again, I will think about Katey.

The next time I think of my first school dance, I'll think of Aimee being the same height as that boy I danced the first dance with because her eyes also are boob level to me. Plus we danced a tiny smidge outside of the pub. I will also look more closely at the next guy playing Santa, and if he has a nice package, wants to stuff my stocking or slide down my chimney, I will also think of Aimee. If ever someone provides me with historic information on anything I've never thought of before, Aimee's cute face will pop into my head.

We talked about the men in our lives and children, often synonymous. We talked about breast feeding and boobs that go cross-eyed when one nipple is out of place. We talked about most of you other bloggers and how we "found" each of you. And laughed about everything.

I liked how both of them made eye contact when we talked. I liked that there were no awkward moments of silence. I especially liked that their hugs were genuine, their smiles were sincere and their laughs were both contagious.

There is a little photographic evidence of our visit and will be posted at a later date on one of their blogs.

Ladies, it was a fucking pleasure meeting you!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

E.T. Phone Home

I can't help but think E.T. wants to get the fuck out of here. That poor alien. He gets blamed for everything that goes wrong lately. Most people would think I am pretty lucky to have E.T., the Extra Terrestrial, right here in my home, however, because of all the havoc he has caused, I'll be thrilled when his spaceship comes in. Hell, I'd be happy to send the kids and him off on a bicycling adventure beyond the moon at this point.

Are you having trouble following me today? You think I hit the crack pipe a little early, don't you? Fine, although the memories are not ones I wish to rehash, for you, I will.

My nephew Dino-Mike goes home this Saturday. We've had a great visit for the most part, and best of all, he didn't leave a loaf floating in the Jacuzzi... this time. (See I Am Not A Wimposaurus below).

Having a 5-year-old in the house changes everything. My kids now seem so old. During this visit with Dino-Mike, I realized the wild imagination has slowly slipped from each of my own children.

Before yesterday, Dino-Mike never saw the movie E.T. The video jacket caught his attention and he asked to watch. I warned him that the movie was pretty sad, in fact I gave him a spoiler in hopes that he wouldn't bawl like I did seeing the movie for the very first time.

"You sure you want to watch this little man?"
"Yeah Auntie Lois. I want to see the alien."
"But the movie is sad."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is. Really."
"No it's not."
"Buddy, trust me when I say, it is. Okay?"
"No it's not Auntie Lois."

Choosing not to fight with a 5-year-old, for fear of losing, I popped the tape in and pressed play.

"Okay, Dino-Mike, it's all yours, but I want you to know that E.T. that little alien dude almost dies and it was really sad to me when I was a kid."
"Haha! You weren't a kid Auntie Lois! Haha! You're nothin' but a grownup."

I had no idea how great E.T.'s powers were. I guess he jumped through the TV and into my house, or so Dino-Mike said. And ever since that moment of E.T.'s arrival, all sorts of hell has broken loose.

When I saw Dino-Mike, grab Guido the 17-year-old cat around his old sore hips, making him cry, I said, "Hey, dude, you can be doing that, you're gonna hurt that old cat."
He not only blamed E.T., he also yelled at E.T. and told him to use his magic finger to make Guido better. E.T. placed his magic finger right in Guido's eye and in a very squeaky alien-like voice said, "Guuuidooo, ouuuchhh!"

Later in the day E.T. was at it again. "Dino-Mike, you need to eat your green beans so you can get big and strong."
"I can't eat them," Dino-Mike said. "E.T. said they were icky."
"Tell E.T. it isn't nice to say that."
E.T. said, "Auntie Lois, Dino-Mike can't eat those. He will get sick and puke."
"Okay, E.T. you eat them! And tell Dino-Mike he can go play."
E.T. said, "Aliens can't eat green beans. Green beans are poison to aliens."
"E.T., are you saying you want to go play with Dino-Mike and not eat your vegetables?"
"Yup!" He sounded much more like Dino-Mike than E.T. but when I called him Dino-Mike, he corrected me.

Same thing happened when it was time to clean up the huge toy mess. Dino-Mike claimed E.T. did it and when I told E.T. to clean up his mess, Dino-Mike informed me that E.T. phoned home and was no longer with us.

E.T. did make a come back late last night when Dino-Mike was taking a bath. He poured water all over the bathroom floor, began peeing a fountain from the bathtub to the toilet (missing slightly) and he dropped the bottle of shampoo over, smearing what spilled. Even though I was right there and never once for a second caught a glimpse of E.T., Dino-Mike swears it was all E.T.

Although I am going to miss him, I'll be glad to see E.T. leave the building for good.

Dino-Mike, however, I'm going to miss a whole bunch. I love his imagination, his personality, his smile, his giggle, his sense of humor, his voice, the funny phrases he comes up with and the good memories of my sister he brings each time he visits.

I really, with all of my heart, hope Heaven has a window where my sister can look down upon her amazing little boy and enjoy him as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dance Fever

At St. Peter Paul and Mary School things are tough for Lane 1, or so he says. Most of the students in seventh grade have been going to school together since preschool. Seeing him suffer at the hands of a crappy public school system, I transferred him last year. Trying to fit in with this lifelong group of friends hasn't been anything he has been interested in, until recently. Since spring has sprung and my little man is now Studley Dudley, he isn't missing any chick-meeting opportunities that might come his way.

Every couple of weeks since the beginning of the school year, St. Peter Paul and Mary has sponsored a dance for seventh and eight graders. Last week, Lane 1 told me that he wanted to attend an upcoming dance. I asked what the sudden interest was since he had never mentioned going before.

"Since there's only 30 students in the seventh and eight grades, our school invites other private school students to come. So there's going to be kids from every town around us there."
"Do you think you'll know any of those kids?"
"No but John told me the chicks from the other schools are hot!"
"Ah, so that's it. Okay, you can go."

Not another word about it was mentioned until Friday night, when he declared he had nothing to wear.

"Mom, all of my clothes are gay! Why don't you ever take me to the mall?"
"You have plenty of decent clothes, just pick something and put it on."
"I have to take a shower first!"
"Fine take a shower but you're going to have to hurry."

Tucked under his arm was his Axe Body Wash (Kilo scented), a towel, and some potential outfits. In a cloud of steam, he finally emerged, smelling like a French whore. Sporting Axe body wash, Axe deodorant, gel and hairspray with a towel around his waist and his hair was spiked (I'm so thrilled that friggin' style is back, I could puke.)

I was taken aback. I had no idea how emotional he could be. Practically in tears after his shower, he tried on nearly everything he owns. I thought that was a girl thing. I had no idea what a primpin' pimp I was raising. He dropped all of the clothes in a heap.

"Hey Ma, can I get up on some of your Levis?"
"Hold up, homey G. You want to wear my jeans?"

I guess it's my fault for buying and wearing men's jeans in the first place but they just fit me better. Damn! I thought that was going to be a good way to keep my daughter from raiding my closet when she was big enough. I never even thought Lane 1 would have any part of my wardrobe.

"Son, I'm a little bigger than you and I doubt they will fit."
"Please! Just let me try 'em on."
"Fine. But you aren't wearing them hanging off your ass."
"I'll wear my belt."

I couldn't believe he fit in them. And before y'all get any crazy ideas going through your heads, to answer a question from my friend or anyone else who might be thinking, no, I do NOT have the ass of a 12 year old boy! Thankyouverymuch!

The dance was from 7 to 9, although that is an hour after bedtime, I made an exception. I handed him $20, told him not to spend it all, leaned in for a kiss and he said "See ya!" No, thank you for the money, ride and jeans, and no kiss goodbye, nothing. Twelve year olds suck!

So 9 p.m. rolls around and I go fetch the boy. There he was outside, soda in hand, lots of kids I've never seen before standing around him with a couple of his friends, one boy points to my car, Lane 1 hugs all the girls and walks up to the car with a huge smile on his face.

Coming of age, oh boy!

He got in the car, handed me $12 and said, "Sorry I spent that much, John was broke so I paid for him to eat."
"That's okay. Did you have fun?"
"Yeah! Hey Ma?"
"Sorry I was a jerk earlier."
"Ha, me too."
"Thanks for not getting mad at me, and thanks for the jeans and giving me a ride and money and stuff."
"Hold up G. I didn't give you my jeans, they were a loan."
"Okay, well thanks anyhow Mom. I guess I better get all of these phone numbers out of your pockets then, huh?"
"You got phone numbers?"

He showed me his palms where girls wrote their names and numbers. Then he pulled some random pieces of paper out of his pockets. He also told me that he can't wait for the next dance and agreed not to have pre-dance jitters or breakdowns.

"Did you actually dance or were you just scoping out the chicks?"
"I danced to every song!"
"Who'd you dance with?"
"Every girl that said 'yes'."
"You are your father's son, ya know."

Years from now, the memories for all of those girls who said "yes" will include, the scent of a male French whore with spiky hair. I miss the days I had to fight with him about looking and smelling nice.

Image hosted by

Lane 2 consoling Lane 1.
"It's okay brover, you look pretty."
Thanksgiving 1997

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Doggone Scary Scene

It was like a scene out of an Animal Planet or PAX TV animal miracle television show. Yesterday afternoon the kids and I went to my mom's for a visit. My mother asked me earlier in the week to take her dog home with me because she wasn't adapting well to the new place and was causing all sorts of trouble.

Since the move, my mom would take Ginger on at least 10 walks everyday, trying to get her to do her business. The dog refused to do anything, sometimes for days. As soon as my mom fell asleep or left the apartment, even just to check the mail, the dog would dump and or leave a gigantic puddle right on the carpet.

I planned to take the dog to my friend's animal sanctuary with the agreement to be able to take her back should my mother change her mind. With my dad's recent passing, losing her house to foreclosure, moving into a tiny apartment and trying to live off of measly death benefits, the dog shitting and pissing on the Champaign colored carpet was just too much for her to deal with.

The kids and I walked up to her ground level apartment. The dog wasn't barking, and no one was in sight. I walked in, ushering the kids and telling them to take their shoes off. My 21-year-old nephew walked out of his bedroom.

"Hey, did you see Grandma out there?"
"No, why?"
"She took Ginger for a walk and they have been out for a long time."
"You hangout with the kids and I'll take a walk."

I walked outside and was greeted by Ginger. Her leash was dragging behind and my mother was nowhere in sight. The dog wasn't wagging her tail and trying to jump up on me like she normally does. Instead she was trying to get me to chase her. I ran after her catching her leash and dragging her back to the apartment and told my nephew something was wrong. I should have let the dog take me, but I didn't.

"Ginger came back without Grandma."

My nephew and I ran outside to go find her. I didn't know at the time but Lane 1 ignored my order to watch the little kids and also ran out, leaving behind his sister and cousin. My nephew and I decided to go in two different directions because the apartment complex courtyard is huge. As we parted ways, I heard sirens in the distance. I yelled for my nephew, "This way! Hurry!"

We ran up on a scene that will never leave my memory even if I live to be one hundred. I could see a fire truck, seven police cars and an ambulance, a police officer was holding Lane 1 back trying to keep him away from the scene. My nephew ran up and two officers were trying to hold him back. They weren't successful. Trying not to look as terrified as I felt, I approached, I offered a half hug while telling my son to get back to the apartment and stay with the other kids.

My nephew tried to stop me by grabbing my shoulders.

"Aunt Lois, don't! You don't want to see her like that!"

I pushed my way through, fell to my knees at her side. She lay in the street. Her eyes were open and rolled back, her shirt, hair and the concrete were saturated with blood that was pouring from her head. There was a pool of blood surrounding her head and four streams of blood were rolling down the hill. Above her right eye was a lump as big as a baseball. I held her hand to my face and tried to talk to her like everything was fine. Paramedics were working feverishly on her and asking a lot of questions. She was unresponsive.

At this point, no one knew what happened to her, if she was shot in the head, hit by a car or anything else. People began coming out of the woodwork as "witnesses".

"Mom. Hey. Can you look at me? Hey mom. You need to look at me and tell me what happened."
After repeating that a few times, while tapping her hand, she looked at me and whispered, "I don't know."

None of the "witness" stories were matching up and none of the witnesses spoke English. Gathering what I could based on my little knowledge of the Spanish language, I heard one man say someone on a bike intercepted the dog's leash, yanking my mother down to the ground, cracking her head wide open on the curb. Another said the dog was out of control, attacking and dragging my mom down to the street where her head got smashed. A woman said, she just fell. Another man said something about a scooter and a purple bike. By the time the police officers had a translator, all of the stories were the same. "Her dog did it."

I rode in the ambulance with her but had to sit in the front. I turned in my seat and kept talking to her. We arrived at the hospital, where they swarmed her and wheeled her into the trauma center.

The admissions lady approached me asking for insurance information.
"You're fucking kidding me right?"
"How about you go over there and fuck yourself while I make sure my mother is gonna be all right? Okay? Okay!"

They let me stay with her as they hooked her up to all sorts of machines. As they moved her with the back board and onto the gurney, blood dripped from the ends of her hair. The stretcher was covered in blood. They tried to see if the blood was coming from more than one spot but because her hair was saturated in blood, which had begun to coagulate, they opted for a CAT scan.

Her vitals were coming back to a good safe level and they began washing the blood off of her face and hair. I called my nephew letting him know that she would be having a CAT scan and it would only be a few minutes before the results were in. I told him her vitals were looking pretty good and that I would call him soon.

My sister Anita arrived, trying not to cry. We held onto each other for what seemed like an hour.
"Anita, she looks terrible. Her vitals are good though and they have her in getting a CAT scan. I hate being here."
"Me too."

We couldn't help but think about the last time we were at that hospital just two months earlier with our dad. A flood of memories came back that neither of us were ready to deal with.

They brought Mom back from the CAT scan and she seemed to be coming around. She still didn't know what happened to her. The results came back and the doctor scared the shit out of us.
"It looks like her brain is fine but I see a couple of broken vertebrae in her neck. I want to take her in for another CAT scan."

As it turned out, they were old fractures from a previous accident. Her brain was fine, that was what mattered. We waited and watched for any signs as they monitored her. She was coming around more and more and asking to get the hell out of there.

After a few hours the doctor told her if she could walk to the end of the hallway and back, without passing out or vomiting, she could go home. She couldn't get off of that gurney fast enough and that's when I knew she was going to be okay.

Anita drove us back to Mom's apartment and because it was getting late I said I would take the dog some other time. Having time to rehash what happened during the ride back, I realized what the dog tried to do and wondered if my mom really should just keep her. Since Anita was spending the night, the kids and I headed home.

Today my mom is doing a lot better. Her whole face is swollen, black and blue. The lump on her forehead is now more like the size of a golf ball. But she woke up this morning knowing what happened. Some kid on a purple bike rode right into the thin part of the retractable leash between her and the dog. She still doesn't remember hitting the concrete head first, which I think is a good thing.

I didn't talk to her about taking the dog to the sanctuary yet but I have a feeling she might have changed her mind.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Dance Hall Days

"Tonight's the night we'll make history, honey you and I." And so, "our song" was born.

"Lois. Wanna dance?" he asked looking at his frigidity hands.
I looked at my girlfriends, giggled, looked at him, then my shoes, twisted my hair around my finger, and said, "Sure."

We walked side-by-side onto the empty dance floor. Both of us looked at our feet as we tried to decide where our hands were supposed to be. We settled with my hands on his shoulders and his on my hips. He was eyelevel with my boobs which took the focus off of his feet.

Side-to-side we rocked, like two dyslexic Rainmen. The best of times, definitely, the best of times. Styx definitely rocks, definitely.

I felt less nervous as our classmates slowly made their way to the dance floor and the beat of the song began to speed up. I stared at the top of his head through most of that dance. He had nice hair. I'd never realized how short he was before that moment. I guess in seventh grade most of the girls were taller than the boys.

The aroma of Pierre Cardin and Dep Gel, the song The Best Of Times by Styx, seeing the top of a someone's short black hair and side-to-side dancing will always remind me of my first school sponsored dance.

Those were the days, the original Dance Hall days love.

(Happy weekend everyone! I'll return Monday with a story about Lane 1's first school-sponsored dance, which inspired this post. In the meantime, check out the links in my sidebar. There's lots of new ones.)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I Am Not A Wimposaurus

My 5-year-old nephew is coming for a visit from Michigan. I'm picking him up tonight and dropping him off next week. I'll try to continue to post everyday but if I'm not around this weekend and into next week, you know why. I caught up with my comments, except for yesterday's post. I promise to fill you in about Anita and that crazy iron lung of hers soon.

During our last visit, in July, Dino-Mike kept me really busy. We hunted for bugs in the forest preserve, dug for dinosaurs bones in my backyard, went swimming in a hotel pool, visited one of those little kid arcade places called Jeepers, sang Jeepers Creepers at least a million times, we rode bumper cars, visited family members, went to the park, roller bladed and skateboarded, drove around like two crazies on my lawn tractor, we fed and rode horses and at the hotel, one of us pooped in the Jacuzzi.

After the accusation of me being a wimp about the lizard tail I found in my son's pocket, I thought I should share with you the story of the poopy that got away. There we were relaxing in hot, bubbly goodness, when suddenly Dino-Mike's smile turned to a rather thinking kind of look. I could no longer smell chlorine in the air, this smelled more like bathtub farts. I looked at that child like a dog with my head cocked to the side as if to ask, "Do you smell that?"

His eyes twinkled as he smiled the biggest smile one can while missing a front tooth. I smiled back. I thought about how adorable he was and laughed at the thought of fart jokes always being a hit amongst 5-year-old audiences. He put his feet in the air declaring victory of the smelliest fart any nose has ever smelt, and that's when I saw it being bashed about by the bubbles.

Now giggling and pointing at his out of control poopy splashing around, Dino-Mike asked me to do the unthinkable, "Auntie Lois, catch it!"

Did I mention yet that I was in the very same Jacuzzi with the boy and his swimming turd? Feeling like the Tidy Bowl Man, I said, "Listen kid, I am out of here, and there's no way I am going to catch the poopy. I think it's time for us to get out of here and let your poopy have some quality alone time."

I picked him up and wrapped him in a towel. He never took his eyes off of his floating masterpiece. I'll admit that was a large log for such a small kid but I thought he might have been just a little too proud of himself.

Lane 1 and Lane 2 got out of the pool to look at the poopy in the Jacuzzi. Both laughed so hard they had tears running down their faces. Lane 1 high-fived Dino-Mike and told him that was the coolest and funniest thing he ever saw. Lane 2 was crossing her legs as if trying to keep from peeing on herself.

Embarrassed as all hell, I went to the service desk of the hotel. "Excuse me, sir." I said, feeling as big as a kernel of corn within the poopy.
The poor guy had no idea what he was in for as he smiled at me, "Yes, how may I help you?"

"You can start by taking this boy with a case of the lazy bowels. Next I would like you to remove the giant log of shit out of the Jacuzzi. Then I want it sterilized and refilled so maybe I can actually have a moment to relax without being accompanied by said log."

What I really said was, "I am so sorry! I mean, I thought he was potty trained and stuff. I mean what 4-year-old isn't. Oh my God, um, the kid, the little one, he just dumped in your Jacuzzi mister. And it's an out of control bubbly bonanza going on in there and I don't think I could catch the poopy if I tried." I avoided making eye contact with the man by looking at the floor where my dripping body had left a huge puddle around my feet, looking as though I had just pissed in my swimsuit in his lobby.

"Excuse me?"
"He crapped! It's in the Jacuzzi, bouncing in the bubbles."
"We have to close the pool area and have it cleaned immediately."

This was sounding like a real live emergency as the man picked up the phone to call for assistance of his cleaning staff. He spoke loudly, quickly and in Spanish. Does anyone know what "¡Ay, mierda, una loca puta!" means?

I scooped up the kids and we headed for our room. I felt like we should have been grounded for that little stunt. Instead I packed our bags and told the kids we would just go ransack some other hotel with a pool.

This is where Dino-Mike's lecture came in. "When we go back downstairs, I want you to look very sad and tell that man you are sorry for making a mess in his Jacuzzi."
"Okay Auntie Lois."

Bags packed and ready to turn in our key after a four-hour stay, I nudged my nephew. He took a big deep breath and told the man he was sorry. I apologized again, handed my key to him and he handed me my $90 back.

I tried to hold in my glee as I suspected that $90 was down the drain. As we walked out of that hotel, I could no longer hold back my smile. We had four hours of free fun and best of all, I didn't have to clean up the poopy that got away. I popped the trunk, loaded the bags, made sure the seatbelts were on the kids correctly, and then I spotted it, across the street.

"Hey guys? Instead of driving all the way back home, how about we go to that hotel?"
Lane 1 asked, "Do they have a pool?"
"Sign says they do."
Lane 2 asked, "Do they have a Jacuzzi?"
"Signs says yes to that too."
Lane 2 asked, "Does it have a Lincoln Log floating in it?"
Dino-Mike said, "Not yet!"

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ya Say It's Your Birthday!

Today is the day my sister Anita came crashing into this world, nekkid and screaming. She's the nice one in the Lane family. She's the one who never got into trouble. She is the one who always kept her clothing neat and tidy. She is the one who had good grades. She's the one who ate all of her vegetables. She is the one who was most obedient. She is the one who gave the rest of us Lane kids a bad name!

She might have been a do-gooder but look at how adorable she was.

It's not very nice to blurt a woman's age so I'll just say she is MUCH older than me.

Enter the Wayback machine to April 6, 1966 BL (Before Lois)

Anita wanted out of that womb in a bad way. She came three months before she was supposed to. I guess she wasn't always obedient. The dinky little shit was only 2 pounds and 2 ounces and was a whopping 16 inches long. It would be three months before doctors let her go home and even when she was released from the hospital, she was still small enough to fit into a lunchbox, according to our mother. I guess during Mom's childrearing days they didn't have these newfangled baby carriers, but putting the kid in a lunchbox, well, that's just weird.

Anita was born with only one lung. She had a heart condition but a strong will to live. Her little life was nearly cut short at least five times. Mom said she had a roller coaster ride of health problems until Anita was 10-years-old.

By then I had already entered the picture, destroying Mom's uterus with my 8 pound 5 ounce ass, just so I could be the baby. I trashed that place I tell ya. I pulled the little hangy tubes, kicked the shit out of the padded lining and Mom's kidneys, right about the time she was ready to spit me out, I flipped upside-down and stayed in there a little while longer. I mean, there was still life left to be sucked out of this woman.

Being the baby didn't mean that I ruled the roost, at least not all of the time. If I messed with Anita, I did get in trouble. Big trouble! It's obvious who Mom's favorite is, even though Mom claims that I am, saying I am so smart, kind caring and lovely all around. "Best of the bunch," I think were her exact words about me. Oh yeah, she also said I was the prettiest and that Dad agreed. But enough about me.

Back to the birthday girl. Days after her homecoming, Mary, the oldest of the girls (2 at the time) tried feeding her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in an attempt to, "Make baby sister a big girl like me." When Anita, the 3-month -old preemie, didn't eat the sandwich, Mary thought she was just an ungrateful brat and threw a little wooden wagon into Anita's bassinette, hitting her so hard she had the wind knocked out of her, a dent in her forehead and a big scratch on her face.

One might think the beating Mary got that day would have made her behave. Mary, however, was a little slow and even after the beating of a lifetime, she told our mother, "I don't like that baby she looks like a bird. I don't like ugly birds."

Mary will never live down the attempted murder of our dear sister Anita. Just the same as Anita will never live down the fact that no one ever wanted to sit next to her at dinner time because she mixed her corn with her mashed potatoes and her applesauce with her macaroni and cheese. I can still visualize this and I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Please don't tell me about food all going to the same place, people, for we all do have taste buds that food must pass before going to that same place. It was so gross watching her that I actually asked Santa Clause to bring me blinders so I never had to watch her eat, not a dolly, not a Barbie, blinders, I wanted horse blinders, badly.

There's plenty more stories Anita won't live down but because it's her special day, I'll digress. Tomorrow, however, is not her birthday. (Insert sinister giggle here.)

Happy birthday, Sista!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What Comes Around Goes Around

It's nice having so many people relate to the stories I tell here. Lately several people have left comments suggesting what comes around goes around in regards to some of the crap I put my mother through growing up.

While I agree that whatever mayhem we impose upon our parents comes back tenfold to bite us in the ass with our own children, what isn't fair is that I also have to contend with all the bad stuff Mr. Lane did growing up. That wouldn't be so terrible, had Mr. Lane not been so terrible. Hell, he made me look like I was sitting still.

Yes paybacks are a bitch. I may have been bad by stuffing mashed potatoes into my overalls, but what my son did, had to be the go around result of his father's earlier wrongdoing. Lane 1 was only 5-years-old, and even though he is on his way to 13, this memory still haunts me, practically on a daily basis.

One day, when we lived in California, he was playing on our wraparound porch. We had a big toy box filled with his favorite outside toys right within his reach, that on most days would keep him occupied for hours. I was in the house getting Lane 2 dressed. Although I could see him, I couldn't always see what he was doing below the windowsill. He seemed to be playing and behaving.

When Lane 2 was ready to play outside too, she and I headed out. Lane 1 had some toys out of his toy box, which he had slid sideways. Assuming he moved the box to better reach his toys inside, I didn't give it another thought, until late that same night.

Both kids were tucked into bed so I thought I would get a head start on the laundry from the busy day. My first mistake was not watching the boy like a hawk. My second mistake was not listening to him tell me about the "friend" he made. The third mistake was checking his pants pockets before washing them.

Had mistake one and two not have happed, three wouldn't have either. I turned all of the clothes right side in for washing and emptied the pockets. When I got to Lane 1's pants from that fateful day, I reached in, then out, shook my hand in the air like a crack junkie having a fit. My mind wandered with what might be in that pocket that felt so disgusting.

Being as brave as any one mom army can, I peeked. Pockets are dark! I turned it toward the light, still couldn't see, so I shoved my hand back inside, holding my breath. I couldn't get it out of the pocket. It, whatever it was, had completely crusted itself to the inside of the pocket.

"Nothing good can come of this Lois! Throw the pants away. He's going to outgrow them in a week anyhow!" I said to myself.

Curiosity got the best of me and I turned the pocket inside out. First I screamed, then I threw the pants, then I called for my husband, whose fault it must have been.

"Look in that pocket! Tell me that isn't what I think it is!"
Mr. Lane screamed like a girl. "What the fuck?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm thinking! He's your son!"
"He's yours too!"
"Okay, heads or tails?"
"I am not flipping for who is taking it out. Laundry is your thing."
"Excuse me? Oh no sir, you did not just say that! I gave you the chance to win fair and square and because of your smart ass attitude, it's all yours Daddy!" I flung the pants back at him.
"Save it!"

I thought Mr. Lane would cry as he peeled the lizard tail out of the pocket lining. Yes, I did say lizard tail.

The next day when Lane 1 woke up, I asked about his "friend" he tried to tell me about the day before.

"He was so funny Mommy! I tried catching him and he took off his tail. Hahaha!"
"Son, why did you put the tail in your pocket?"
"Because I know he's coming back for it soon."
"Really? And how do you know this?"
"Because he lives under my toy box and when he comes home and can't find his tail, he's going to find me."

I had this whacked out vision of a lizard going completely bonkers looking for his stolen tail running through my head, and was sure it was going to be Fox TV's next big special, "Lizards Gone Wild". We don't need Maury Povich, this child was obviously his father's son, for no amount of mashed potatoes stuffed into overalls could possibly deserve this type of punishment.
Let this be a public service announcement for those of you who aren't yet married. Choose your spouse very carefully. Check into their background. Talk to their mom first and find out what kind of shit you might be in for, should you have children with this person.

I am Lois Lane, and I support this message.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Hide The Salami

At first glance, anyone reading this might assume there is some sex involved in this story. Sorry to disappoint. The salami was really a fish stick. But "Hiding The Fish Stick" just sounds gross. I thought about going with "True Dining Confessions" as the title for this post, but I thought too many people would think this was about cheating on a diet. Since I know lots of people judge books and posts by their covers and titles, I thought going for sexual innuendo was my best option. Okay, rambling will end and story will begin.

When you're a kid and some adult throws some food your way, and the look of that food reminds you of dog crap, what are you to do? Hide it, that's what. I came from the Clean Plate Society. That means, whatever my mother set in front of me to eat had to be gone, otherwise I was not getting out of my chair, ever.

Anyone see Mommy Dearest? Yeah, well, that chick makes my mom look like a real sweetheart. I remember one time she had the audacity to feed me broccoli! Thankfully for me, we had come home from a picnic earlier that day and our big styrofoam cooler was still within my arm's reach. When she turned her eyes toward someone else, I slid the lid of that cooler off and quickly and quietly placed my broccoli inside.

When she looked back, she did a double take and commented on what a good girl I was for finishing my veggies. I smiled at that dumb woman. She pointed to my plate as the good example. The other kids didn't catch me, otherwise they certainly would have told as she lectured them about eating well like me.

I guess I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, because soon after I got away with murder of hiding the broccoli, I tried it with other stuff. The unfortunate part is that there was never another time when a styrofoam cooler was at my disposal.

I lifted my plate and shoved my pork chop underneath. I was too dumb to notice that my plate was whompyjawed and raised pretty high from the table, unfortunately, my mom noticed.

Even after I got caught, I still tried hiding random dinner items. I tried using my pockets, which usually weren't found out until laundry day. I tried stuffing my mouth and then heading toward the bathroom to spit it out in the toilet, sometimes forgetting to flush. I spit into my napkin on occasion, hell I tried everything and almost always got caught.

This week I realized the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. I was dusting off my birdhouse collection. All of which are much too cute to actually put outside for the birds. I picked up the "Beach Bungalow" and heard something rattling inside. This birdhouse is the one closest to Lane 2's spot at the table. I peeked into the little hole. I turned the little house upside down and out it fell. A fish stick.

"Sis! Come here."
"Don't what me! You see this nasty fish stick?"
"Ewww, yes."
"Do you know where I might have found such an old nasty fish stick?"
Looks at floor, "Um, no."
"Are you lying?"
Tears well up, "Yes."
"Okay, no crying over a spilled fish stick. Why did you put it in my birdhouse?"
"Because it was nasty."
"What was wrong with the garbage?"
"I knew if I put it in the garbage I wouldn't get dessert."
"Smart move kid!"
"Okay, I don't want you to ever do that again. You understand me?"
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"Okay. So this is your subtle way of saying you don't like fish sticks huh?"
"I hate 'em. They make me gag."
"So why didn't you just tell me that? You know putting food in places like that can cause bugs to come live here and that really would be gross."
"I didn't mean it Mom. I just couldn't eat it and you never give us dessert if we don't eat dinner."

In her eyes, I was the meanest mom in the whole wide world. She had no idea that some kids actually get their asses beat for hiding food in various places. She had no idea that some kids are forced to eat every morsel on their plate or they can't get up from the table. She had no idea that some kids don't have dessert every night.

"My rules are pretty easy to follow. I give you your plate and you put on what you plan to eat. Do I ever force you to eat stuff? Do I ever give you too much? Do I ever intentionally make stuff you guys don't like?"
"So why take food you aren't going to eat? Why hide fish sticks? And when did you do this?"
"A really long time ago."

I dismissed the child from the lecture to call my mom.

"Oh, hell Lois. Give the kid a break! Compared to all the food you hid, that's nothing."
"I know mom but that's not the point. I can't even remember the last time I made fish sticks. That nasty little stick, that probably isn't really fish, has been sitting in my birdhouse for who knows how long."
"Your kids are so well behaved. You really should go easier on her."
"Excuse me? Are you not the same woman who made me 'eat it and like it' causing me to gag, cry and beg for mercy?"
"Please, Lois! You remember the mashed potatoes you put into your overalls? Well when she does that to you, then you can be mad. Until then, give the kid a break!"

The transformation was over. Sweet Granny Oakley is back. This shit is so not fair! I hate when she takes the kids' side! Next time we go to her new apartment, I am going to have my kids touch the white walls with dirty hands, leave their muddy shoes on as they walk onto her Champaign colored carpet and I am going to make sure I bring a box of fish sticks for dinner so Lane 2 can feel free to stuff 'em where ever she likes.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Spring Me From This Car Or Watch Me Break Into A Zoo Animal Fit

New here? Thanks for visiting Home Fires. Please scroll down for part one of this two part series. Okay, you regular kids, here it is in all of it's wretchedness, and the sad part, this all really happened. No exaggerations this time. Because our spring break week was essentially fucked, this weekend I am taking my kids and we are going to hangout and have fun. We'll go to the skate park, the volleyball and basketball courts and maybe take in a movie, which means I won't be around much this weekend. So if I don't post, know that I have given you what I could have easily dragged out in a seven part series, in two long posts. And, Mom, if you are reading this, remind me NEVER to hangout with Angie ever again. She really is the bad influence you warned me she would be.

We were at a standstill on the “expressway”. There may have been a simple traffic backup. There might have been an accident. But there was something telling me that this was perhaps a sign from some stronger force trying to warn us that this was not the perfect day for the zoo after all. Did we pay heed to the warning? Hell no!

An SUV cut us off. Angie yelled, “Pecker head!”
Her daughter, Tabitha, who obviously doesn’t know what that is, began singing, “Pecker head, pecker head.”
“Tabitha! That’s a bad word! Don’t you say that.” I had to reprimand her because Angie, her mother, was too busy laughing while having an asthma attack, causing her to bark like a seal.

Cars were zooming by on the shoulder, while all four lanes of traffic were in the biggest cluster fuck I've seen since Elvis was last spotted at the KFC in Kentucky three years ago.

I tried to not look at the clock. I tried to keep the kids occupied. I tried to talk to my sister about the good old days. We quoted lines from movies of our youth. I used all of my character voices. I told all of my jokes. I tried to keep myself from taking my seatbelt and wrapping it tightly around my fucking neck until all of the blood supply to my brain was cut off abruptly causing a hemorrhage, that would lead to my own death as we sat in gridlock. All the while, knowing the seconds were turning into minutes and then hours, and realizing it was time none of us would ever get back.

“The seatbelt is poking my butt.”
“I’m squished.”
“I’m hungry.”
“How come Tabitha has all the room over there?”

The kids were squished but nothing like Angie and I experienced in our many trips to the zoo in the old Vega hatchback.

"Daddy, are we almost there? My legs are asleep."
"Almost Lois."
"Daddy, Lois' elbow is in my ribs."
"Lois, try to keep your arm away from your sister."
"Mommy, did Daddy get us lost again?"
"No, we are not lost."
"DAD! I don't have anywhere to put my arm!"
"MOM! Antia's bony butt is digging into my thighs and she keeps rocking back and forth!"
"Anita, stop rocking!"
"Daddy, Mary said I was short! And now she is singing Short People Got Nobody in my ear!"
"Mary! Don't be mean to Angie! Do you kids want dad to pull over? Keep it up!"
"Yes, I want dad to pull over 'cuz I gotta fart." At least I think that's what I said as my mom's arm whipped around to the backseat making contact with Mary instead of me. I was a good ducker. And thankfully, by the time we got out of the car, Mom had forgotten all about the biff I was supposed to get.

Why my parents ever took us anywhere is totally beyond me. But for whatever reason, Angie and I didn't learn from their mistakes.

Bumper to bumper traffic was showing no sign of relief. It was now 12 p.m. and we hadn't moved for so long we began discussing taking the next exit and hoping not to get lost.

"Mommy, why aren't we moving?"
"Are we ever going to get there?"
"What time is it and how long have we been sitting in this stupid car?"
"Auntie Angie, I'm hungry!"

All of the food was in my trunk. We had hungry kids who were getting antsy at best. The way traffic looked it would still be a couple more hours before we got there. Then it dawned on me. In the center of the backseat, I have a divider that comes down and beyond that is a door to the trunk.

I took off my seatbelt, crawled over the back of my consol, reached for the middle seatbelts, unlatched two of the kids, moved them forward so I could reach behind them, pulled the divider down, opened the little door all the while my ass in the air for traffic on all sides to see and my goddamn arm wasn't long enough.

"Go, go Gadget arm!" I commanded to no avail.

"Okay Tabitha, it's up to you! Auntie Lois needs you to try really hard to reach that bag back there. Can you see it?"
"This one?" she asked, holding my emergency flares-jumper cables-save me when I am stranded, bag.
"No, baby. The one with the food."

"I'm hungry Mom."
"Me too!"
"I'm starving like a rat!"

It is hard to remain calm while your ass is in the air, I found out.

"Sorry, for yelling guys. But you do see I am trying to get the food right? Please calm down and someone help Tabitha find the bag with the food and I'll make your lunch in the car."
"Mom, you said we could never, ever, ever, ever eat anything, under any and all circumstances, in your car, even if it was just an eensy, weensy crumb. I don't want to get in trouble or get grounded on spring break."
"I know what I said and for today I am changing the rules."

Tabitha finally reached the bag and handed it to me. I set it on the floor, helped the kids get their seatbelts back on, went to turn to sit back in my seat, and my back was locked. Locked and fucking loaded and my ass remained in the air.

"Ang, I'm stuck."
"What do you mean, 'stuck'?"
"I mean, I can't move."
"Why?" she asked, never taking her eyes off of the road.
"WHY? What do you mean, 'Why'?"
"Why are you stuck?"
"I don't know! I just am!"

When she finally turned to look at me, my wonderful sister began to laugh so hard she had tears running down her face. Her asthmatic cough/seal bark was out of control and even though we still weren't moving, I was sure she was going to crash into something.

Her laughter caused a chain reaction laughter from all four kids. I made a mental note to spit in each one of their sandwiches should I ever get out of the vulnerable position I was in. I shimmied myself into a better position, lowering my ass and straightening my back. I turned. My back cracked the length of my spine. I sat in my seat. The hilarity of the situation was lost on me as the five of them continued to have a good belly laugh at my expense.

I made Goober Grape sandwiches for all five of them. I suddenly didn't feel so hungry anymore.

"Auntie Lois, can you please cut the crust off of my bread?"
I looked at Angie. "She's kidding right?"
She gave me a blank stare back.
"They are doing this on purpose aren't they? You told the kids to be on their worst behavior. Didn't you? Angie! What is so goddamned funny?"
"Your face!"

I peeled the crust off of the sandwich and threw it out the window.

"Mom, that's littering!"
"Auntie Lois, is a litter buuug," sang my darling godson.
"No I am not! It is biodegradable! It's edible! It's frikken' bread ferchristssakes! And some bird who really likes peanut butter and jelly would really like to have lunch right now too!"
"Then the bird is going to get run over and then Auntie Lois is going to be a murdereeer."
"Shut up Ang!"

This three hour tour was about all I could stand. Once the kids had food in their bellies they got a second wind, which was as powerful as a fucking tornado. They talked a mile a minute, which was much faster than we were moving. They were laughing and yelling and singing and making me want to jump off of the overpass, diving headfirst into the train below, as my head split in two like an egg, with all of the gooeyness oozing out onto the tracks.

"What do you think about this exit Lois?"
"It's not the one we are supposed to take. That's what I think."
"Do you think we'll get lost if we take it?"
"Ang, we got our sense of direction from Dad. You bet your sweet ass we'll get lost."
"How far do you think the zoo is from here?"
"I don't know."
"Should I take this exit? It might be our last chance."

She and I were absolutely losing our ever lovin' minds. At that point we broke into singing. "Yes it's my last chance for loooove." Nothing says 'two crazy bitches' like us singing a 1970's disco song.

We drove by that exit and as we approached the next one, which still wasn't the one we were supposed to get off at, we repeated the conversation above. Except for the part where we sang. Just as we were about to pass the exit, I said, "Just take it."

We weren't in Kansas anymore that's for sure. The neighborhood was run down at best. The buildings had most of the windows boarded. This was no ghost town, however. There were plenty of people. I saw two, right over there. "Oh, that looks like a drug deal. Oh, my and what's that over there? Why, it looks like that man is dragging that crack whore by the hair. Wow, I've never seen a whole gang before! Oh, and look kids, to your left, there, on the corner, it's hookers! Eight ladies of the night working overtime."

"Lois, I don't even want to go to the fucking zoo anymore."
"Are you fucking kidding me?"
"Shut up and drive Ang, we're going and you're gonna like it!"
"You sound like your mother!"
"She ain't my mother! She's yours!"

I don't know how we managed to find our way but we finally saw a sign for Brookfield Zoo. It said two miles. The kids saw it just as we saw it and that only gave them a third wind of energy.

We turned the corner toward the zoo just in time for more gridlock. There was a sea of cars and we were mere minnows awaiting a glimpse at the whales without getting eaten. My gas tank was nearing empty. Three hours had gone by since we left our mother's, which was supposed to have been 37 minutes away. Mapquest kiss my numb fucking ass!

It took an hour to drive one mile and I wish I were kidding. People were parking their cars down side streets and walking the rest of the way to the zoo. We sat at the very same light long enough to see it change 16 times, yes I counted!

With less than one mile to go, all six of our asses numb, my tank running on empty along with mine and Angie's patience, she said, "Lois, I really don't even want to fucking go."

The kids started suggesting that we park and walk the rest of the way. They were at their whit's end and so were we. I gave my nod of approval. She turned. The kids shouted simultaneously, "Why aren't we going?"
"We aren't going because we can't take it anymore. Today is free day at the zoo and everyone and their stupid brother is there and we won't be able to park anywhere near the entrance and by the time we walk that far, the stupid zoo will almost be closed! Besides, you guys started out really nice and calm and then turned into a bunch of whining pains in our asses. Do you realize that we were doing all of this for you, not us? Do you even care that we've also been sitting for four hours?"

I didn't have the energy for anymore lecturing and they had already shut up.

"Ang, let's stop for gas and I'll look at the map and find us another route back to Mom's."
"We still have a quarter tank. How far will that get us?"
"I'm not sure but what if we get lost? Fuck it, let's just go."
"Which way should I go?"
"Turn here."

I guessed every turn and we made it back to our mother's in 40 minutes!


We were all disappointed. We'd wasted a day and didn't even have the pleasure of seeing monkeys throw poo. When we told our mother about our adventure she laughed her ass off and said, "Paybacks are a bitch, huh?!"

We didn't thank her for the salt she poured on our open wounds because the TV distracted us. The news was on. They were showing scenes from the Eisenhower Expressway. We told Mom we were in that and she just laughed. I hate her.

Next the news showed us Brookfield Zoo! BASTARDS! Even the fucking news station was rubbing the salt in. They showed the parking lot of the zoo, wall-to-wall cars and buses. They showed the inside of the zoo and the people were shoulder-to-shoulder. I started to feel really bad for the kids as they watched. I kept thinking and hoping Ang and I would never be as hardcore rotten as our mother was at that very moment. I was preparing in my head an apology speech to offer the kids, in hopes of making them feel better.

But the Lawd works in mysterious ways. All four kids, at the very same time, with the very same words, said, "Thank God we got out of there when we did!"