Saturday, August 13, 2011

Violet Versus Rhoda

Life is never dull or boring when you have interesting grandkids. Violet is precious but often times I am fearful she may turn into Rhoda Penmark. If you don’t know who Rhoda is, I made that name a link.
I love spending time with her, and well, teasing her. The new thing I do is make her think someone is messing with her. As smart as she is, she buys it every time.  Whenever she’s in my arms, I’ll reach up with the hand she can’t see, give a little tug to her ponytail, tiny flick to the back of her hair, or slight pull to her hair. She’ll immediately look behind her and whether it’s her mom or dad, I’ll say, “Oh my God, baby, what did they do to you. Great One has you. No worries.” And she hug tight to me. So great. Many of times she has refused to go to them. I am her ultimate protector.
Anyhow, the other day we were at Starbucks, I kept her in my arms because of the eye shadow disaster the day before at Rite Aid. And as I was holding her, my ring caught in her hair. I pulled it out and she spun to look behind her. Not wanting to be blamed, I did my stock, whisper in her ear, “Oh my, baby, what did that man do to you.” She gave the dirtiest look to this guy before burying her head in my shoulder blade. “Don’t worry, Great One is protecting you.”
Ok, it was funny, so I tugged her hair again. “Oh, baby, he won’t leave you alone.”
Another dirty look. Head buried. I told her, “Great One is protecting you.”
We went to get our drinks and the man was there. I didn’t realize until I got a good look at him that he was a teacher at Ali’s old high school not only that,  he talks to Ali all the time at Starbucks. He saw us, grinned widely, and with his best upbeat voice said, “Hi Violet. Aren’t you pretty today!”
Well . . . I guess she thought, 'I got this one, Great One.', because with a scream that mixed with a growl, this twenty pound baby took a leap from my grip, her tiny arms extended and mouth open wide in attack mode for this teacher. Good thing I had a firm hold, she was after him.
Poor guy shrieked and jumped back with the most horrified look on his face. I don’t blame him
I knew the reason, Violet thought he pulled her hair. So, I did the only thing I could. I clutched her, shook my head and said, “Wow, what did you do to her? She never acts like this.”
“I was just . . . just trying to say hi. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s ok, something about you must scare her. She’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
Admittedly, I felt guilty after retrieving my drink and leaving with haste. I mean, I only heard good things about this man as a teacher. I’m just glad it wasn't Jesus at Starbuck that she attacked, now that would have been a tough one to get out of.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Ha! No wonder I got Divorced . . . 3 Times!

One of my daily routines is to read the news. Catch up on world events. So I log onto Yahoo! My news source of choice and as I am scanning the headline, debating on whether I should read about the budget or Kat Von D’s regrettable tattoo , I see it. An article that caught my attention.
The headline read, ‘8 THINGS  NOT TO DO WHEN YOU GET MARRIED’. The sub headline stated, ‘If you want your marriage to last, avoid these things’.
Admittedly I am the queen of marriage and well, of divorce. So I stared at this headline, my mouse arrow hovering . . . after all, I was curious and scared to read these eight things. What if I committed these marriage. Nah, I thought, no way, I was wonder wife. These eight things had to be common sense and no way did I break these rules.
Click. Here we go and my thoughts as I read them.
8.  Step from your mother’s apron.
Ok, well with EXH1 and EXH2 I called my mother every day and went to her house constantly. If that didn’t count as rule breaker, with EXH3 I moved up the street. Alright, one broke, still seven more . . .
7.   Don’t tell him he is just like his father.
I certainly wouldn’t tell EXH1 he was like his dad, his dad was freaking awesome. EXH3, I didn’t know his dad, but his mom told me once he was like him. EXH2 I said he had his father’s extensive bushy eyebrows and ear hair. Does that count?
6.  Don’t stay out all night with the girls.
With EXH1 and EXH2 that wasn’t an option, the kids were young. But with EXH3, Terri and I used to hit the casino till 5 in the morning.  But that didn’t count, they meant partying.
5.  Don’t  go to bed after your spouse.
Really? Seriously? How lame is that one. BROKE. EXH1 worked nightshift. And with EXH2 and 3, I wrote all night. Next . . .
4.  Don’t Tell him his pants are unflattering.
What woman, even married forever, hasn’t broke this rule?  EXH2 when we first met loved and proudly wore his tight, corduroy, aqua blue, short-shorts. I kid you not. I made sure they mysteriously disappeared. Five years later he said, “Do you remember those shorts? Wonder what happened to them.”
3.  Don’t dress like an easy pick up.
Ha! In was the 80’s with EXH1, spandex and Pat Benatar. 90’s with EXH2 I sported the ripped jeans. With EXH3, I just got fat and wore baggy clothes. So I 66%broke that one.
2.  Don’t fight with his mother.
Again, badly broken. EXH1’s mother beat me up with a purse one day. EXH2’s mother took a double dose of valium to get through the wedding ceremony. Was kind of funny how she kept slipping down in the pew. I have a video of that, I have to find it. EXH3’s mom was the greatest. I love her. Hmm, thinking about it, maybe fighting with mom in law is the secret to a long marriage. I had combined nearly 20 years with the first two exes. The third I got along great with his mom and there are bad TV shows that lasted longer than that marriage.
And finally
1.  Don’t mess with the Hair.
Really? That’s number 1? Thinking . . . EXH1 sported a mullet which he finally parted with in 2005. EXH3 was bald. But I broke that rule with EXH2 when me and my brother decided to give him a clipper hair cut and accidently zapped a bald spot in the back of his head. He heard it. “Bzzt.” “What was that?” he asked. “Uh, um. Nothing.”  It would have been fine, he wouldn’t have known, it was the back of the head. But then when my mom saw it, she busted us. “Oh my God, what did they do to the back of your hair.”
Shit. We ended up having to shave him nearly bald to make up for it.
Man, I sucked as a wife.
I wonder how many of these J-Lo broke?

Soapbox Rant: Local Celebrities

Local celebrities. Every town has them, I think, I know Pittsburgh does. They are people who are famous in their city only and occasionally they cross borders into the next county. Other than that, no one knows them. At this point I step onto my soapbox.
Those of you who know me, know I operate on very little sleep and live off a nap during the day.  Saturday on just about two hours sleep, I lay my head down for that nap and within minutes I am blasted away by music. The fair across the street started their concert early. Not only is it a live band, it’s Bruce Springsteen music . I’m not a fan, and not only is it Springsteen music, of course, it’s being played by . . . . him.  It’s a freaking nightmare! Not only do I not get my nap, I don’t get one because of him. Local celebrity Joe Grushecky.
You may wonder, what this man ever did to me. Well … first, allow me to give credit where credit is due. He is a great musician and entertainer, his band totally rocks. And I’m sure some people will say he’s a swell guy. However . . . let me take you back. Late 90’s, Dormont Pa.
We’re at the park, the little league game, his son plays with my son. He’s there. At that point I was with my second husband, Steve, who said, “Look there’s Joe Grushecky.”
“Who?” I asked, really not knowing.
“He’s pretty big around Pittsburgh. I wanna go talk to him.”
“Steve, who cares. Drew’s getting up to bat.” But too late, Steve, excited, walked up to Joe. I watched. I heard Steve mention something about a guitar and then Joe lifted his head in an upward motion, simply stated, ‘yes’, turned and walked away. What! Oh my God, did he just snub Steve, the nicest guy in the world. When Steve returned, I asked him if he was snubbed., to which he replied yes. When I gasped my offense, Steve said, “He’s Joe Grushecky. He knows Bruce Springsteen.”
“Oh, who cares who he knows and Springsteen can suck my left toe for all I care. “ I was completely offended by the attitude. I mean we weren’t at the Grammy awards. It was a little league game for crying out loud in a small town. Where did he get off?  Still, to this day, I would love to see Joe go head to head in a guitar competition against Steve. I’m pretty confident that Steve would bury him into submission.
You know, a few years back I went to a Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Event (Joe wasn’t there.) I met Donny Iris in the food line. He didn’t snub me. Of course he spoke to me first and I thought he was a homeless person. He said, “Nice spread of food. I’m starving.”
I said, “I bet,” And watched him make a plate. Believing he was a homeless man who slipped into the event, I wrapped up cheese and meat to put in his pocket for when he got hungry later. He thanked me. I wonder if Donny Iris ever thinks back to the day when that crazy little woman stuffed his pockets with napkins packed with cheese.
My point is, Donny Iris is locally bigger than Joe, and he wasn’t a snob.
And I don’t know about other cities, but Pittsburgh talent only strives to be famous in Pittsburgh. They can’t see beyond their fence. Why? Hell, if I’m gonna be famous. I want to be famous everywhere, so famous that Max Beesely in the UK says, “Oh, I just love her.” And eventually ‘Frank’ will emerge and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m Frank, make room for husband number four.”
Oh! Wait.   So famous that Joe wouldn’t snub me and would take that head-to-head guitar challenge. Ha!
You're probably thinking, "Gees, woman, let it go, it's been years." Well, I can't. I just can't. I’m still irritated over my missed nap on Saturday and that missed nap brought it all back to the surface.
Stepping of my soapbox now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the ... um Apes??

I have been and always will be a massive fan of the Planet of the Apes movies. I was skeptical about the newest one, labeled a prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Then I found myself, in typical Jake fashion, watching every trailer over and over, getting more pumped with each passing day.
Doing our every Saturday girls night out, I apprehensively suggested to Terri that we go see the new movie.  I've known Terri since we were eight. I say ‘apprehensively’ because Terri likes to talk in the movies. I am guilty of that, too, my own daughters hate going to the movies with me because of that. However, I don’t shout out things. Terri, who is actually highly intelligent, tends to check a small portion of her thinking at the theater door so she can have ‘shout out’ moments. If she didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have much to pick on her about.
Memorable ones to me are when we went to see Scooby Doo and she shouted out, “Oh my Gawd! I can’t believe they brought that dog on the plane. You know he’s not going to behave.”
And more recently, during Battle LA, she shouted. “OH, sure, like we’re supposed to believe they’re in a basement in Los Angeles. There are no basements in California, it’s sand and swamp.”
“No, Ter, that’s Florida. Opposite end of the country, babe.”
When Terri suggested we pay the extra 5 bucks for VIP seating in a closed off room, I agreed. What a cool experience and perfect for people like me and Terri who talk about what’s happening. And we did. We discussed that entire movie.
Then again, when our friend Dom showed up late and started asking questions, we were both quick to tell him, “Shh! Dom. Quiet!” poor guy.

The movie moved at a great pace. The writing was tight, acting awesome, and every single time I saw a young Caesar (Main chimp) I kept thinking of my granddaughter Violet and how much he reminded me of her.  Those big sad eyes . . .  See for yourself. I know. I’m horrible.
Anyhow, midway through the movie, Terri shouted out, “Why is he calling the apes, they aren’t apes.”
I ignored it, she said it again, finally, at the end of the movie, she stood up and said, “The only problem I had with this movie is they kept calling them apes.”
“That’s because that’s what they are,” I told her.
“No,” she said. “I saw chimps, baboons, and a gorilla, I didn’t see any apes.”
I told her they’re all part of the ape family. And it would be like going to see a movie called, “Fish’ and seeing a trout, Bass and Carp and saying she didn’t see any fish. She gave me her stock, grumble ‘hmm’. But as soon as we stepped from the theater, she must have grabbed that brain portion because she got it.
Oh, yeah, the movie. Go see it. Don’t judge it on the trailer, because for the first time, the trailer doesn’t give away the story. It exceeded my expectations and it’s better than it should be. I can’t wait to see it again. Although, after Terri reads this blog, she may never go to a movie with me again. Shame, too, since I discovered the secret of movie going . . . VIP room.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby Frank heads to Cougar Town

I took Baby Frank to Starbucks tonight. Our usual routine. Except now, he goes nowhere without his power ranger mask. Wears it everywhere. He’s totally into the 1993 Rangers.  I say, ‘It’s Morhpin time” he whips down the mask.
Tonight while at Starbucks, I’m waiting for my drink. Usually Baby Frank will grab a newspaper, pretending he can read and go sit in the fluffy chiar.
Not tonight.
I learned my grandson loves brunettes.
A couple was waiting ahead of us. They were both in their late twenties or early thirties
The girl was dolled up in summer cutesy attire. Hair pulled back with a pink bow. No kidding, a pink bow.
 She took a seat at a table alone while waiting on her boyfriend. Baby Frank saw her. I’m sure somewhere in his toddler mind he heard some sort of music, because he stopped. Typically he does that with young girls, three or four years old. Never with older women. But this one . . . man, he whipped off the mask and walked to her. His eyes never left her, which of course, caused him to walk right into the table. He bounced back like a cat, shook it off,  climbed on the seat across from her,  gave this look as if to say, ‘So, how you doin’. Then he sighed out and stared. He was getting on his ‘Mack’ Is that what that called?
You could see it on her expression. At first she was like, “ok . . .  this is weird‘  and then she laughed because he just kept staring like a puppy dog in love.
The boyfriend returned with the drink and was a good sport. He saw him and said to Baby Frank. “Guess I snooze I lose. Man, they’re starting young. Go on dude, I’ll just, you know, sit over there.”
Baby Frank ignored him and kept on staring in awe at this girl, never saying a word. She smiled. I took a picture. Once I got my drink, he slid from the chair, gave a smile, grabbed his mask, put it back on and darted to the door.
Later on I showed it to him, he grabbed my phone and kept sighing and staring.
I think he thought she was Kimberly because she wore that pink bow. I’m sure in his mind he thought that. I mean realistically, it’s 2011 no one but Kimberly would wear a pink hair bow, unless they were under ten.
I do however think this picture deserves a caption.

Neuroticism of a Child

Violet arrived home today after a long vacation. The tiny tot had her Coppertone tan happening and the attitude just flowed moments into being in the house
I saw Jesus again at Starbucks. Was hanging out front, same clothes. Odd he wears exactly what I depicted him as wearing in my book, MY PAL CHRIST. Levi jeans and a plain white tee shirt. I mean, who wears that unless it’s 1955. Anyhow, he was with some other bearded guy. I waved. Gave an upward nod of my head and said, “I see you’re with a friend today.”
He replied, “Yes. This is my friend, Matthew.”
How odd.  I sent a text to Ali telling her about Jesus, and  instead of her disputing it, she texted back. ‘OMG, you don’t think he showed because our plane is gonna crash.” At that point I grew neurotic and raced back to Starbucks to ask, but he was gone.
Speaking of neurotic. A few months back, I had a date. Some guy I met. I don’t date often, if at all. Just gave up on that portion of my life. Anyhow, I had drink with this man, things were going well. Time passed, we said our goodbyes. He stayed, I left. As I pulled from the parking lot, three cop cars peeled in. Thinking, “Boy I just missed the problems. Good thing.” I headed home.
Here, what I didn’t know was I didn’t have a good signal on my phone. Ali, worried about me being on a date, tried to call me. When she got the voicemail after a ring or two, she did that ‘family trace’ to find my phone. When she did, the trace showed the phone was in a wooded area. Ali freaked out and called the police telling them that she thought this man had killed her mother. And told them where I was supposed to be and with a guy named Paul. While I was happily on my way home, the police stormed the bar and interrogated this guy.  They stopped when they received the call that I was fine. Suffice to say, I didn’t hear back from him.
Tonight I joined up with the guy I met that reminded me of one of my characters. Had a great time, time flew, but I didn’t hear my phone. Getting in my car to come home, I saw the text, “Your phone is by the river. You have 10 minutes to call me back or I call the police.”
Luckily, I caught it within the ten minutes. 
Perhaps it is payback time. I think I’ll take Violet out to Rite Aid tomorrow to wreak a little havoc.