Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don't Make Me Buy a Diaper

I was one of the first people to laugh at the diaper-wearing astronaut. Do you remember Lisa Nowak? She made headlines last year after allegedly donning a diaper for a non-stop drive across country to kidnap the new chick of her former lover. Oh, how I laughed. A diaper!?! This was a woman so fired up, so intent to carry out her angry mission that she would rather marinate in her bodily fluids than run in a McDonalds near the interstate! How do you get so furious, that you can't take a 5 minute bathroom brake?

I'm sorry, Lisa. Now I understand. My so-freakin'-angry-I-could-buy-a-diaper-and-come-after-you moment happened last week. It followed an angry exchange of e-mails and phone calls with a guy called Jay at Wheelchairs Plus. I found the company on Ebay and they had lightweight chairs for nearly half of what the medical supply company near my home is charging. Plus, this company promised next day shipping! I'd have the chair in time to bring my mother home from the rehab facility. Hooray!

A few days AFTER mom came home, a wheelchair did arrive at my home. Huge and clunky, it was NOT the 19 pound chair I ordered. The answer to my first complaint e-mail instructed me to "look around the house" for the chair. The second insisted that I had received the chair I ordered. When I took my complaining from the computer to the telephone, Jay told me it was impossible that I had the wrong chair. My threats to give him negative feedback on Ebay was met with a nasty attitude and a comment that my feedback would be, "just a drop in the bucket." Not only was Jay's poor customer service making it impossible to take mom to her favorite places, but he had taken my money and robbed me of my good mood. Game on! It's diaper time! I searched the internet for his address and priced Depends at CVS. No time to waste! I needed to drive to Jay's location A.S.A.P. and run over him repeatedly with the weighty wheelchair!

Mom has been home for over a week and the 40 pound metal monstrosity is still sitting by my front door. I get diaper-buying-mad every single time I look at it. So, Lisa Nowak, I owe you an apology. Perhaps there are times when you need to take care of business so bad, that you can't spare a minute to do your business.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scared Green

I don't need Al Gore's global warming threats. Last year's drought followed by this year's gas shortages have me scared green. Water isn't as scarce as it was in September of `07, but now my fears about my faucets drying up have been replaced with fears that I won't find gas before my tank runs dry.

So, now I'm putting as much thought into conserving water and gas as I am into conserving money at my favorite shoe warehouse. Not long ago I was the woman who took 10 minute showers. I'd hit every department store to find a particular shirt I want in my size. Now I watch the clock when the water is running and I only hit a store's other locations if I happen to be in the area. Combining errands, patronizing the restaurants closest to home, one-stop shopping... I've got a new green attitude!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Pimpfant

We spotted him on a cruise ship that had just left San Juan, Puerto Rico. No older than 3, he was wearing a red speedo, gold chain with a large crucifix, a gold bracelet and a shiny gold ring. Despite the innocent brown eyes set in the big toddler head and the protruding toddler belly, he looked like a tiny playa! My friends and I dubbed him the "pimpfant." Too young to be a ladies man, too fly to be just a baby.

Since my first pimpfant sighting nearly ten years ago I have seen others. The Hip Hop pimpfant with the diamond-like studs in each ear... the preppy pimpfant with the tiny collar of his polo shirt popped and pointing toward the sky... and one of my personal favorites is the Walmart pimpfant with his spikey mullet. These little fellas may be small in stature, but they are big on style!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Football Tolerance Abuse

I like football. I actually enjoy watching when I have a connection to the team. I cheer for the Panthers and the Colts because of my time spent living in the Carolinas and Indianapolis. I come from an Ohio State family and went to Penn State so I get excited when the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions take the field. I think football should be about those connections. Rah-rah-rah goooo home team! A player from your home town or alma mater gets the "Jimmy, Jimmy he's our man, let's give him a great big hand!" But those connections are no longer necessary because of the introduction of the evil fantasy football leagues. There are thousands of them and they multiply like roaches every season (insert screaming sound effect)!

Fantasy football has turned a perfectly tolerable sport into a dangerously addictive, year round haze of statistics, injuries, points, trades and trash talk. Magazines, websites and TV shows featuring cocky football know-it-alls are supposed to help each "owner" put together a dream team of players who will embarrass the dream team of players put together by friends, family members, coworkers and total strangers.

The hours devoted to researching this time consuming obsession could certainly be spent more productively. Fantasy football is to blame for spousal neglect and for dumbing down water cooler conversations at businesses large and small all over our nation. There was a time when just once a week a woman could don the jersey of her man's favorite team and share his passion for a few hours. Don't get me wrong, I know a few chicks who are into fantasy football, but most of us don't have the time or inclination to keep track of the stats and trades. We've got better things to do like... pick up the slack for the fantasy football slackers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Hope I'm Not Committing too Soon

Moving too fast can ruin a relationship, but this time I'm throwing caution to the wind. After just two episodes I have declared my devotion to Fox's new show, "Fringe." I hope it doesn't let me down. Like most new relationships, ours is filled with anticipation. I look forward to seeing "Fringe" again. I'm interested in every word and when we're forced to part I love it when "Fringe" lets me know he'll be back in 90 seconds. How considerate!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Flirt-aholic

One of my mother's favorite nephews is staying with us for a few months. While he's in town he'll be helping me to take care of mom while she is healing from back surgery and "making women feel good about themselves." Yes, that's a quote from him. He's a flirt-aholic with a mission. It only bothers me when we're out together and I know women are assuming we're a couple. "Hey pretty eyes!" "Lord, bring me back as that sundress." "I'd like to work here if you could be my supervisor." "Pardon my stare, I was just hoping you weren't wearing a wedding ring." It never stops because he is incapable of turning it off. From the grocery store to mom's rehab center... from the drive-thru to the gas station. No woman goes unappreciated!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just Add Water

When it comes to recipes the simpler the better. When it comes to cooking in general the only words I want to see "heat and serve." The only thing that tops that is eating right out of the bag. Everyone in my family loves the words "made from scratch." I didn't inherit the gene that tells you to go to the grocery store and buy all of your special ingredients to make your special dish. I am the mutant who doesn't understand why you should make it yourself when somebody else took the time to put it in a can.

Don't get me wrong. I have discriminating taste buds and they appreciate good home-cooked food. My taste buds, however, understand my kitchen A.D.D. and forgive me when i purchase frozen waffles instead of pulling out the waffle iron. In fact there are many things that I believe are just as good as homemade and for me, Eggo Waffles tops the list. So here is my list of foods that I will NEVER make at home...

1. Waffles (don't make the people at Kelloggs waste their time, just put their waffles in the toaster and get on with your life)
2. Bread (why bake it when you can buy it)
3. Baked Beans (taste pretty darned good right out of the can)
4. Crackers (my friend Rachel makes crackers, I admit they taste heavenly, but Triscuit and Cheez Its can't eat themselves)
5. Fried Chicken (my Uncle James has a top secret fried chicken mixture and it is truly addictive, but the thought of deep frying anything just brings the words "oily mess" to mind)
6. Soup (Progresso, you had me at minestrone)
7. Snack Cakes (I want Little Debbie to grow up and be able to go to college one day)
8. Ice Cream (the jingle says Blue Bell tastes just like the good ole days and I believe it)
9. Pasta (if you buy me a pasta maker, please include the gift receipt)
10. Potato salad (too damn many ingredients to make it taste right)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Technology Hates Me

I had plans, BIG plans for the time I'd be spending with my mom while she was healing from her spine surgery. All of my plans revolved around my fancy new cell phone.

My old phone was an embarrassment. It was scuffed up, had a screen that cut off words and a keyboard that made it impossible to text two words in under an hour. It was time to retire my 3 year old bottom-of-the-line phone. I thought upgrading to a phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, wifi, GPS, daily planner, camera, video and document storing capabilities would simplify my life.

While mom was healing, I'd planned to update family and friends on her condition with texts and e-mails. I'd begin writing a book, organizing my schedule and documenting mom's recovery and vitals because I had the newest, flyest phone. It all turned out to be a bunch of BULLLLLLLL because technology hates me.

I never had a minute of trouble out of my clunky old phone. This new one is about to drive me to drink. Less than one week after inputting my schedule through June of next year, my new phone died. It wouldn't let me make calls. No warning. I didn't drop it. It didn't get wet. It just decided to try to ruin my life. It died while I was out of town! I couldn't call for directions to a friend's new home. I couldn't make a call at all. I went to the local tech store, practically in tears. I spent 3 hours there. The final hour was spent copying down all of my phone numbers and important dates because the store needed to give me a new phone and couldn't transfer my data!

Later that night, my brand new phone (the second one) died in my hotel room. When I got back home I went straight from the airport to the tech store. I received phone number three. Phone three died the second day mom was in the hospital. Back at the tech store for the fifth time in three weeks, I demanded a different model phone. While fiddling with the "different model" a customer came in with the same model I was considering. His phone had frozen up and the touch screen went blank. Can these hi-tech, do-it-all phones really be trusted?

Every other day I have to take the battery out of my fancy phone, say nasty words to it and then put it back. I found out that my phone has a glitch that requires this face-to-battery verbal assault to get it to work again. Maybe all I need to do is take the battery out and put it back in, but the verbal abuse part makes me feel better. My relationship with this phone is very unhealthy. If I can't count on my phone to work properly, the only thing that's holding us together is our two year contract. I see a divorce in our future.

The store has promised to exchange my phone with an even newer model coming out in a few weeks. I'm sure that phone will hate me too... or maybe I've just got phone baggage now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Feels Like College

I'm surviving on pop tarts and Mt. Dew, my roommate gets all the attention from the hot guys here and she keeps passing out because of all the drugs. It feels a little like college, but this time around my roommate is my mom and we're hanging out in a hospital so there's no need to put a towel under the door when my roomie uses drugs.

My mother, Wheezy, had spine surgery yesterday. After eight hours of waiting she emerged groggy and loopy. After she woke up her first words were, "Obama, Obama." I stayed the night and woke up every few hours to watch her get turned over and tested for various vital signs. I had planned to do some reading, but like college there are too many distractions here at the hospital. Friends have dropped by the visit (a few have offered to smuggle in some wine). Aunts and uncles have called to make sure we're okay while we're away from home. I was mooned earlier today by a guy in the hall. If I spot somebody with a keg, I'll know this really is college after all.