Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guess He Pulled a Fast One on Us

I didn't recognize Grandpa when I saw him. He was missing his glasses. He was chalk-pale, and his mouth was gaping open. I couldn't help but thinking of what a death-rattle sounded like. There was a girl in my high school English class who worked at a nursing home. Every so often she would come into class and announce "another one died on me last night" and tell us how it happened, how it sounded.

Nana was sitting next to the bed, the hospital bed that we had spent all yesterday waiting around for. She was sitting on the little commode, holding her husband's hand. First thing she said when we came in was "Guess he pulled a fast one on us," and gave a little dentured smile.

My aunts and a few cousins were there, as was the local priest. Low murmur, mostly just asking if the other was okay.

My mom and I had left straight from work, didn't clock out or anything. Mom noticed the seven missed calls on her phone, and began to cry. She's been going back and forth to Racine daily, helping out with little things. The doctor said two to four months. That was seven days ago.

The house is filled with knick-knacks. Tiles along the edges of the ceiling, one from every place they've been. Statuettes on every surface. There are little wooden tulips along the windowsill above the kitchen sink. Grandpa made all sorts of little decorations. Pumpkins and ghosts for fall, Santas and snowmen for winter. He always made wooden toys every Christmas for the Toys for Tots drive. The kitchen light is too bright, severe. But the bulbs were on special at the Piggly Wiggly, so there they'll stay. Grandpa's medications are all on the table. All new and unopened. The nurse opens them up and tosses the pastel pills in with the trash. I think,"Can't we give them back to the pharmacy, or the hospital? Donate them to a clinic that needs them? There are too many clinics in the world with out any meds at all." I watch as she empties the morphine. I consider how much I could have made selling it.

They talk too loud, the nurses. They speak to Nana as if she's dumb as well as deaf. She knows what's up, no need to shout. They rub her back, tell her to calm down. She is calm, and cringes a little when they touch her. She doesn't like strangers touching her. Kelly, my cousin, notices this.

Natalie tells me her sister Tracy is coming from Arizona with her newborn daughter. She had wanted Grandpa to meet his great-granddaughter.

The men from the Funeral home arrive. They move Grandpa onto a stretcher, and zip up the body bag. I wonder if they'll give the floral sheets back.

There was a rubber mask that Grandpa would wear and chase us around with. Gallows humor sneaks up on me, and I imagine him wearing that thing in his coffin. One last joke for us.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Every so often you discover something new about a song.

I realized that "Via Chicago" is not talking about the city. It's talking about a bus route that goes via Chicago St.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brotherhood of the Beetle

When clinging to the roof of your best friend's car, playing on playground equipment clearly marked 'Unsafe,' and jumping around a skateboard park sans skateboard, one may think: "I'm too old for this. Shit, no, I'm to smart for this." This line of thought is entirely pointless, because your next thought always is: "Damn, this is fun!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I always make elaborate plans for travel, save up enough money to actually carry out my plans, and something always stops me last minute. This time I had thought I was actually going to make it.

Oh how wrong I was. Looks like I will be staying in Wisconsin for the rest of my life, because there doesn't seem to be any way out.

I have been dreaming of travelling for so long. It's been the only thing on my mind since I was fourteen. Being somewhere entirely new, exciting, strange and foreign. I had made plans to travel to New Orleans in September. I had it all ready to be set in motion.

My family will never forgive me if I am out of state when grandpa dies. I realize how selfish I am by wanting to continue with my plans.

I can't just leave, not when my family needs me. But right now, it's a waiting game. If I leave, family obligation will weigh on me, I will have to be able to return to Wisconsin at a moment's notice, costing more money than I even have. If I don't leave, I will regret taking my chance. I will regret being selfish, I will regret not being selfish.

The last time, I halted all my plans for Europe, that was three years ago. The doctors were wrong then, why can't they be wrong now?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Today was my first day off from the Pub in quite some time, and I spent my whole day sleeping and watching Dr. Who. It was fantastic.

Dolores, my rusty lusty Camry, has been acting sluggish lately. I attribute this to my little sister's poor driving skills, which fill me with fear. Becca is an awful driver and has her test in six days. I really hope she doesn't pass.

I didn't pass my first test. I cut somebody off, which is an automatic fail, but the woman made me continue with the entire test. I don't see why she had to get my hopes up.

Adam didn't even start driving until he'd graduated from High School. His car is named Gene Raymond, as mine is named after Dolores del Rio. They starred in Flying Down to Rio together. We're nerds.

Come to think of it, Adam hasn't made a payment on his car since November. The dealership brought up a lawsuit against him, but it was dismissed. I guess that means the car's free, at least until it gets repoed.

He sells fence parts now. The Wal-mart job sucked, but I liked all the stolen merchandise he gave me. Didn't even get fired for stealing, he was fired for being late all the time.

Lucy visits this weekend. I'm planning trips to Milwaukee, and Old World Wisconsin.

Friday, I'm touring the UWM campus to see if I'd want to transfer there. I hope I like it. If anything, I'm afraid the classwork will be way too easy for me. I don't like getting bored. I'm excited to move to a city that I like, though.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

All the Dirt

Little tip for you, guys: Don't bring your wife and your mistress to the same restaurant, especially in the same day.

If you ever want to know if you're being cheated on, go to your usual restaurant and ask your waitress. We got more dirt on you than you've ever dreamed possible.

Lazy Liz

Because I'm feeling lazy, and just a little burnt-out from working non-stop at the pub, I'm entertaining myself with a meme.

Accent: I have a slight Chicago accent, very nasally O's. But, I also have picked up a Northern accent from living in EC with a bunch of Minnesotans. I say Bubbler, and it will never change.

Booze: Gin and tonics, Whiskey, White Russians, Sangria.

Chore I Hate: The dishes. Old school--by hand.

Dog or Cat: Cat. I was terrified of dogs when I was younger, and it takes me a while to get used to one.

Essential Electronics: My lovely laptop.

Favorite Cologne(s): I hate cologne. Just smell clean, ok, guys?

Gold or Silver: Silver

Hometown: Small, dull, nice. We have a trolley.

Insomnia: Used to. I've been getting a good amount of nappy-bye lately.

Job Title: hostess. Stupid Pub. My real occupation is non-practicing artist.

Kids: Not in the cards

Living arrangements: Now: Parents. Soon: Nomad.

Most admirable trait: I don't really like anything about me. Somehow, I've become the 'reliable' friend.
But when you compare me to Adam, I suppose I am.

Number of sexual partners: Can count on one hand.

Overnight hospital stays: I think I've only been in a hospital once, and I was being born.

Phobias: Wiggly things.

Quote: "Happy as a bucketful of ducklings."- Lila. Oh, did you want one of mine?

Religion: Raised catholic and buddhist. Don't claim either.

Siblings: Big Brother, Little Sister

Time I wake up: Around noon. Before you start harping on me about laziness, keep in mind that I am nocturnal.

Unusual talent or skill: I have an amazing memory of completely useless facts, which I employ to solve crosswords.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Peas, Corn.

Worst habit: muttering.

X-rays: Broke my finger once.

Yummy foods I make: Bread, stir-frys, Tabouleh.

Zodiac sign: "I'm a Pisces fish, and the river runs through my soul..." I share a birthday with George Harrison.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Know a Secret

I have figured out why the Pub's pizza sauce tastes so different than any other sauce: it's curry...