My best buddy and the greatest man I've ever met left me Monday. Of course, best buddy and greatest man are catch alls.
Papa was my teacher, confidant, cheerleader, maker of boo boos right, fixer of anything, maker of that which couldn't be fixed or purchased, my sneaking turkey and stuffing pal at Thanksgiving-- under the guise of "quality control", my protector, one of my role models of how to lead a life, and 1/3 of the entirety of the world who loves me always, no matter what.
When I was little I lived one house away from Nana & Papa. I had a room there so I could just as easily be at their house as my own at any given minute. Just before I was a teenager we moved, and within a year Nana & Papa had moved into the same neighborhood and I'd ride my bike the few suburban blocks to my room at that house. Even once they moved to the one story house and I was completely grown, well chronologically at least, and still to this day I have a key to the house to come and go as I please.
I know a lot of kids, and grown ups who are fortunate enough to still have grandparents, who have much less interaction with them, if at all, really. But that was not my experience. For which I am eternally grateful. I'm glad I never out grew spending time with my grandparents and that I was never too old to hold my Papa's hand.
I had the honor of holding his hand as he left. It was the hardest and best thing I've ever done in my life.
I'll miss him with every beat of my heart until my final breath.
Friday, March 26, 2010
My best buddy and the greatest man I've ever met left me Monday. Of course, best buddy and greatest man are catch alls.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Safe, happy and booze filled to you.
God laughed at my plan to celebrate. I'm back home as Papa's health is deteriorating. I'm not sure if when I return I'll be a girl with two grandparents or one. Scary and sad times.
Monday, March 15, 2010
B'gosh and b'gorah, the best day of the year is upon us!
I have been having troubles getting into the spirit this year. Really, until the other day when my mom asked me what my plans were and issued the statement "go out". Only then did it really dawn on me. I mean, when your Mom is telling you to go get your tipsy on, you need it. Bad.
Right about then the wheels started turning and I started to think about if I really could have this wonderful day.
St. Patrick's Day is my absofuckinglootly favorite day of the year. Yes. Even better than my birthday, which is second.
See, St. Pat's has all of the glory of a birthday celebration, without the pesky getting older biz, plus has the added bonus of encountering others who are equally as happy with their day. On your bday, it's just your bday (unless your mother is the Octomom) and people with you might be ready to have a good time because it's your day. But it's not their day. St. Pat's it's like it's your bday AND you share it with everyone else out with a cocktail in their hand.
I don't know why, maybe it's the booze? But people are the friendliest on St. Pat's. Sure, you might think, oh, Christmas is the friendliest time, with all of it's glad tidings and joy, but you'd be wrong. People are too stressed out by shopping, obligations and expectations to be bothered with being friendly at Christmas. St. Pat's brings no strangers. Everyone is a potential stranger/friend for the day.
My love of St. Patrick's Day started by attending a high school who's mascot is the Irish. My impressionable years were clothed in leprechaun and clover festooned t's, hoodies and jackets. I-R-I-S-H cheers rang in my ears and kilts were worn daily. It's no wonder even though I have no Irish lineage, although I have had a lil' Irish in me, I have such a love of the day.
I am a true sucker for a man in a kilt. I say there's not a lot that says secure in his manhood like a dude in a skirt. Hot. Plus a guy in a skirt always has a good sense of humor. And usually a flask. FYI.
I love the bagpipes. Have considered buying a starter kit to learn for myself. But then decided being a BigBrownGirl with roller skates, a cotton candy machine and a d oh double g named Uncle John, I sometimes have to harness my kooky. There's some times a fine line between ecentric and full on bat shit crazy, ya know? The thought of a BigBrownGirl in a kilt, pipe-ing it up is too ridiculous for me to actually act on.
But it does explain why you'll find me jumpin' 'round like a crazy Celt on crack (which for starters we all know is wack, McWack?) when House of Pain which I've allllllllways requested is played. Wrong? Maybe. But I can't help it. There are a few "must's" to properly, in my opinion at least, celebrate St. Pat's...
Without further adieu, my list of St. Patrick's Day MUST's:
-Shot of Jameson's.
-Shamrock stickers to keep track or mark the people you've already spoken to
-NO green beer. Green beer is for suckas, sorority girls, amatures and pussies
-Location, location, location. Mine is the same place I've spent St. Patty's since the mid-90's. The owner bought radio advertising from me to get the word out on his festivities and I've been loyally going back each year since. Make a wise choice. A place where there are Irish step dancers is usually a good sign
-Hearing House of Pain, Jump Around, The Unicorn song and Van Morrison's Brown Eye'd Girl
-If you think the pipe & drum guys are easily plyable, ask to beat the drum- you won't be sorry
-Talking and laughing with any stranger who strikes your fancy
-Touching any bald head that you desire
-Telling people to "Pouge Mahone" (say: pug mahone), whilst we're having craic (say: crack) and sayin' Slainte (say: sssl auncha). Translation: Telling people to kiss my ass while havin' fun and saying cheers
-Visiting with the po-po
-My two St. Pat's buttons that I wear each and every year
-For smokers, Nat Sherman Fantasia cigs
I'd say with the optional, a la Coco Chanel, pick one take the rest off. One is colorful. All three is kooky.
Just thinking about the gooooooood times perks me up a bit. Now I guess I need to formulate a plan with a person or two to put a lil' sumthin' in play for the most special of days.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
(I am now resisting the urge to break into one of my Allen Jackson faves. ...And if you don't know what the hell I'm talkin' 'bout Willis, it's a country song. Yes, fair reader, BigBrownGirl is a country fan. Deal wit it.)
I'm spending a good amount of time in my hometown at my Nana & Papa's lately. I don't want you to think I'm knockin' or somehow slighting where I come from. Oh contrare mon frare, I love where I come from. It's someplace special, both in my estimation and Newsweek's. I loved growing up there. It's chocked full of interesting history and people. It's big enough that everyone in town doesn't know your all of your fuckin' bidness. But small enough that if you met a stranger who also hails from there that you wouldn't have to name too many people before you knew someone in common.
Of course, it's not all picket fences, rainbows and unicorns. Some of the weirdest ass shit I've ever heard of has taken place in my hometown. Maybe I'll share a few of those weird ass tales on another day.
I'm at the breakfast table with Nana & Papa. We're all reading a piece of the newspaper. Yes. Grandparents still receive the real paper. I'm not even really paying attention to the paper. Then all of the sudden a lil' something catches my eye. A local resident has apparently been touched by Roma Downey and Pearl Bailey, or God, and was bestowed one holy Christian chip.
After receiving the chip of Turin tuber, the resident-- (and this is where the salient details get sketchy...mainly because I didn't actually read the article, due to my immediate astonishment at the, what I found odd irony [Ruling Allanis Morisette?] of how the result played out...so sorry in advance.)-- EBay'd?...Somehow sold for a profit of $63.00. The resident decided to donate his $63.00 to whatthefuckever. At first glance, noble.
Until you start to wonder how much a big ass check must cost? Now, I'm not in the big ass check biz, but I'm just guessing those cost more than a couple George Washingtons. I'm betting they cost more than several Andrew Jacksons. It seems so odd that to give away $63, you'd spend more than that to have a big ass check created. Evidently, where I come from, this line of thinking is not even a consideration.
...Welcome home BigBrownGirl. Welcome home...
Monday, March 8, 2010
Wonderful and wacky ol' school decanters line the walls. PBR is offered up, from what seem to be the coldest coolers in the country. You can find Sinatra, The Dead and George Jones on the jukebox. And the delightful and elusive Jeremiah Weed is found in the well. This place is a spot where when you sit down, you may find yourself next to a millionaire or a garbageman, talking about any thing from the next big game, or politics to the intricacies and fundamentals of Tiddly Winks. Oh. And you can buy a Clark bar. I didn't even fuckin' know they still made Clark bars! For all I know they're still from the great Clark bar shipment of the mid-80's?
We really weren't out all that long. No drunky-boozy. Just a couple of beers over a couple of hours. Innocent. Non-weird story worthy. Right?
From the time we arrived there were scantly 10 minutes when it was just the two of us. First we met and were joined by overly served sad girl. Before you accuse me of embellishing or being mean, the girl had THREE drinks when she invited herself to sit down. 3! I ascertained the sad bit when she teared up as she received a text pic of a cat. A cat that's still alive. Yeah.
Weirdly, this stranger bought the earrings out of LDO's ears. Not odd that overly served sad girl (or OSSG) liked them. LDO has started jewelry making. And the earrings were soooo cute. But serious biz, who buys earrings out of another persons ears?!? I mean. Ewwwwwwwww. This little hangup of hygiene fazed OSSG none. I know LDO and would if I needed to, or hell, wanted to would wear LDO earrings out of her head, but a perfect stranger? Hellz to tha no.
After she was shoo'd away by a fellow patron and assumed friend, we were joined at our table by flirty old man (FOM), who was flirty in a harmless way. FOM told us about the history and gossip of the joint, kissed our hands and shared many, many corny jokes. And many, many compliments. And how's that ever really bad?!?
Lastly we were joined by a husband/wife couple who had spent the morning at the Arnold Classic. Or as I think of it, the Small-Ball-A-Thon. I have no personal knowledge, but really now... 170,000 of these guys converging on downtown all bedazzled in neon hued zumbas, what else am I to think?
Anyhoo, her name was Erin and I spent a good amount of time trying to talk her into getting a bra and on one cup writing/sewing "Go" and on the other, "Me" for St. Patrick's Day. I just think it would be funny. If my name was Erin, I would. (Should I trade mark that?)
I know a lot of you think, this sounds awful. Strangers amblin' up and visiting. But I love that shit. I mean where else would I have been schooled on bush being back, seen the look on Erin Go Bra's hubby's face when the combination of the words anal and bleaching hit the atmosphere, and learned that the Hulk once had LDO kicked outta a restaurant? I've known LDO for 15 years and had never heard that one.
Here are LDO and Erin at approximately the precise moment we were told of the Hulk having 6 y/o asthmatic girlie lungs. Apparently, LDO had finished a meal at a restaurant and was smoking, back in the day when smoking and dining out weren't mutually exclusive, and Lou Ferrigno complained that he couldn't eat with the smoke and LDO was aked to leave so that the Hulk could eat his Hulk meal.
The Hulk foiled by a lighter and a 5'2" LDO, whodathunkit?
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I feel like I have a terrible memory. I'll retain the most bizarre and random facts-- things I never intended to recall at all. (Trivial Pursuit? Oh, you want to be on my team.) And other things with exacting detail (I was wearing xyz...and we also did abc that day...or know the exact thing we were discussing when this was taken, blah, blah, blah).
On the other hand, I frequently, learn information almost as if it's by surprise. Recently-ish, one of my besties told me about something nice I once did for her and how meaningful it was to her. While I was glad I'd done something that made a bad time in her life a tad brighter even for a nanosecond. It didn't even seem familiar as she discussed it. Only once she mentioned that it had included gum was I sure she was even talking about something really from me. But gum? Who else deals with others distress with an offer of gum? Mostly, because other people have better coping skills, while I have...gum. Once that popped outta her mouth I could no longer question the veracity of her memory.
At the time I remember thinking, well, it's probably nicer that the person it was meant to be impactful to, it was. I mean, that's the true spirit of doing something for someone. No expectation of any thing. It's not done for recognition, or even the expectation of gratitude. Let alone that that it might still be on the mind of the recipient 15 years later. Ya know?
And the more I thought about that conversation, the more I thought it would be nice in the morning when you're brushing your teeth or putting on mascara to be able to answer that image that gawks back at you in precision miming, pointing at you asking, 'how are you living?', with, I'm this girl. I thought having a round up of things I could refer to would be useful in that manner. Thus part of the impetus of the online version of my BigBrownGirlWorld.
So in some regards this taupe/brownish spot on the web is as much for you and our catch up time as it is my lil' cyber memory bank. I had anticipated filling the pages with scads of cracked out and wackadoo things I encounter once my peepers pop open each day. Fun, good time memories.
Sadly, this future memory and presently reality, is neither fun, nor good times.
And apparently my simply not writing it down/then it's not real plan is not as successful as I had hoped. So here it is. It seems that the world has conspired to use this moment in time to test my sanity, my ability to persevere, my ability to not do murder and my physical capabilities of length of time I can live on Defcon 4.
Sorry. It's now taken me a few kleenex and 2 days to force my fingers to touch the following keys. My Papa is dying. Cancer. He's 86 and until the past year or so when he had a triple bypass and subsequent pace maker, from which he bounced back from like nobody's business, he has had the good fortune of both good physical health and a sharp mind.
This devastating news has only been in play for the past month.
I know, every day of my life I've known, how blessed I've been to at this age still have grandparents. It's something I've never taken for granted.
I know that Papa will be leaving as he wishes, at home and kept comfortable. I am thankful that he won't be suffering for an extended period of time.
I know that 86 is a good long life by anyone's standards.
I know that the whole process of living is, really more accurately, a process of dying. We ripen until we die.
I know that my Papa knows just how much I love him, what an outstanding Papa I think he's been, the things I've learned from him, what an impact he's made in my life and how I will miss him with each beat of my heart for the rest of my days. Which is more than everyone who losses someone can say. And I do appreciate having the opportunity to speak and hear such words.
Knowing all of that, I'd like to think I was doing better with all of this. Unfortunately, I'm just not.
I'm on constant red alert. It's like living at Defcon 4, 24/7. Every time the phone rings I'm stricken with complete panic. My go bag is packed and at the door. Each day hair and make up are accomplished using the hair/shower bag and make up bag where all of my daily stuff is living. I'm actually living out of luggage. It's like living at a hotel that turns out to really be your place. Other than getting out of the shower, I'm never more than 5-10 minutes away from being ready to walk out the door, if need be. Sleep. Not so much. Which probably isn't helping with my dealing with all of this in the first place. It's a weird combination of being hyper alert and numbingly fatigued, in both my mind and body. If that makes any sense?
Mostly I'm just consumed with how am I going to manage to say goodbye. I mean, I know people lose people they love every day, but how am I going to do it? I have just a few people who love me unconditionally, always, and with their entire heart and one is about to be gone. It's overwhelming to me.
And as if that's not more than enough to fill my fake and unsteady plate, the guy (aka: "Walter Payton") I broke up with :30 seconds ago (not literally), has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been given 3-5 years to live. And "wants me to be his wife, but doesn't want to die on me".
And, plus, I am trying my hardest to make extra efforts to be a "good person" for Lent. Listen. If your phone rings and I mention any combination of the following words: now..me..drink...need... or to that effect, kindly put your shoes on, grab your keys and ask where and what time.
I clearly realize booze is not the answer to any of the current issues going on in my life. But seriously now. I think by anyones criteria, I am totally in the running for 'Ms. She Deserves A Good Boozy Drunk'. I'm trying to hold off until St. Patrick's Day, assuming Papa is still doing ok. I feel like at least that day, a tipsy BigBrownGirl can be a little less conspicuous (and pitiful) using alcohol for all the wrong, although deserved reasons.
Now before you start Googling the contact info for A&E's Intervention (or the "I Team" for those of you who remember that), it should be noted that it has taken more than 30 days to invoke the gulp, gulp, glub, glub method of coping. I'm pretty sure that alone disqualifies me. If at any point I start singing Walking on Sunshine, I will be sure to alert you.
Lastly, to those of you who have been keeping a good thought-- Thank You. I don't know if they're making all that's going on any easier, (absolutely nothing seems easy these days-- I found myself momentarily irked by the effort involved in using a Q-Tip the other day) but I am certain those thoughts and prayers are keeping things from being harder than they are. And for that I am grateful.
Hopefully, (I am in no position to tempt fate right now, am I? Now cross your fingers and knock wood. Hopefully.) less gloom and doom next time. I could seriously use a bit of fun and good times right about now and hope to report such details soon.