Wednesday, June 29, 2005

hot Hot HOT weekend!

It is almost time for another weekend and I haven't even reported about my LAST one. I must get on the ball. H & I went into Chicago for our *vacation*...ok, it was only like 24 hours long but a vacation nonetheless. We got to the city a few hours early so, despite the zillion-degree heat, we decided to head to Millennium Park for a little walk before we had to get dressed. The place is quite amazing. It was fun to watch the people; especially the kids. Inside the park are two big towers with water running down the sides of them like big waterfalls. It was a great place to cool off so the kids were all enjoying the water. One little guy knelt down and started DRINKING some of the water off of the ground. Ok, I just couldn't look because no parent was appearing to stop this behavior. ("Now Johnny, how in the world did you get this awful lip fungus?") Yucky.

After our walk, we went back to the hotel to get dressed for the wedding. The wedding & reception were all at the hotel so we didn't have to leave the building, thankfully. Pantyhose and I don't get along as it is...we didn't need to add heat to the mix. Nice wedding, classy reception, tasty wine, more tasty wine, a bit too much tasty wine, perhaps. I woke with a queasy tummy and a headache from all of the tasty wine. I have this thing with those *honor bars* they have in some hotels. I like to taunt the big tray of goodies and wonderful chilled beverages in the fridge by bringing my own. I usually use one of the fancy crystal glasses filled to the brim with MY OWN booze and dive into MY OWN bag of Doritos rather than pay $8.00 for a Bud Light and $5.95 for some Cheez-Its.. I am just cheap. So cheap, in fact, that I refused to use the Advil ($8.95) in the *honor bar* even tho I had the wine hangover from hell and had somehow neglected to pack my own. Instead, I trooped onward to the rest of our *vacation* and agreed with H that we MUST attend the Gay Pride Parade. Off we went!!

The parade was jam-packed. Lucky for us, we found a spot in about a 4-foot section of shade so we set up camp with our water bottles and folding chair that H heroically purchased at Walgreens for his pale-faced wino wife. Next to us were these 3 preppy/corporate/young Republican-looking guys. I couldn't tell if they were gay or straight but they definately looked liked they were college grads on the upwardly mobile track. They brought a styrofoam cooler with them and they stood around it drinking protein drinks and eating some sort of low-carb bars. It was very interesting to watch, even not being a drinking woman that day. After they finished the protein drinks and low-carb snacks, they each grabbed a Bud Light from their styrofoam cooler and proceeded to get completely schnockered. As the parade started and the floats teeming with dancing hardbodies passed, the three guys transformed from preppy to downright raunchy. They hooted and hollered and whistled and dirty-danced. I wonder what is in those protein drinks??

About halfway thru the parade, H grabbed the digital camera and ran across the street so he could get better pics. Mind you, this is a guy who grew up in a teensy village on the West Coast of Ireland who, when I met him, had never seen a black person, did not have a telephone, had never used a microwave or VCR, and of course rarely wore shorts. It was a complete other world from attending a rowdy Gay Pride Parade. At one point, I looked across to him to witness him getting spanked by a drag queen. I have created a monster. At any rate, we had a good time despite the heat and hangover. I think a 24-hour vaca was just what the doctor ordered. It may just get us thru the mere 53 days til liftoff from the Motel 6...but who's counting?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Vacation Time!

We are going away for a night! H reluctantly agreed to tear himself away from working on the house in 90+ degree heat to go into Chicago for a wedding. It is like pulling teeth to get him to do much of anything so this is a big event! Granted, ProjectHouseFromHell needs to end; however, working 7 days a week for nearly a year is taking its toll. H needs a day off! He barely speaks to me because he is so tired. I feel like we are going on vacation even tho we will only be gone for one night.

Our friend's son is getting married at a schmancy hotel in Downtown Chicago. (Imagine, more fancy than The Motel 6! LOL) This is a kid who always seemed to be about 10 yrs old and now he is suddenly in medical school and getting married. Yipes! The cool thing is that the wedding, reception, and accomodations are all in one place so we can just stumble from one event to the next without much hassle. Yea open bar!!!! Considering this weekend is the Taste of Chicago (huge crowd), the Cubs/White Sox game (huge crowd), AND Gay Pride Weekend (huge, HUGE crowd), the city will be hopping with a plethera of blog material. I am trying to talk H into going to the Pride Parade on Sunday but we'll is a stretch to get him to go to the wedding at this point!

I began my wedding/vacation weekend last night by getting my nails done. I never get my nails done b/c they get trashed so easily by my horse job. Horses + Fancy Manicure = Waste of Money. I didn't think I was "wasting" money this time b/c I got my man/pedicure at Super Wal-Mart here in town. Now, THAT'S class, baby! It was $35 for both and I even got to sit in a messaging chair. I hope no one in Chicago notices..maybe I'll just casually mention how I popped in to Elizabeth Arden's Red Door for a refresher after a busy day of browsing at the botiques on Oak Street...that way, they won't think I got my manicure/pedicure at Super Wal Mart and my shoes at Payless.

So, in a few hours we will be off to the Windy City. I hope it is fun...maybe H will smile, laugh, have some serious cocktails without falling asleep. Maybe he'll even notice my fancy nails! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dawn at the Motel 6

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So long, farewall...

In a mere 59 days we will be leaving the Motel 6. Words can barely express my emotion when I think about leaving this place. As H said, "It will always be a part of us." "I completely agree," I added, " like the raging hell of our worst nightmares."

Monday, June 20, 2005

I don't laugh out loud very often, but...

THIS has got to be one of the funniest commercials I have ever seen. (Be takes a min to load)

The Long and Short of it

Summer is finally here in NW Indiana! Ahhhh summer! Now is the time for H & I to embark on our annual battle regarding summer clothing. You see, being from Ireland, H did not grow up wearing Jams and Birkenstocks and Gap T's and Nikes. Although he grew up RIGHT ACROSS from the ocean, H did not own a pair of shorts when I met him. (As a side note, he did own a Speedo; however, that mysteriously disappeared shortly after we got married and I didn't care how fashionable it was OVER THERE.) Anyway, I have never been able to understand H's aversion to wearing shorts. For nearly 18 years I have purchased every brand of shorts for him in hopes he will join the fashion ranks in 90 degree heat. Eddie Bauer, Old Navy, Gap, Dockers, Columbia, you name it, he probably has a pair of unused, still-with-tags-on shorts. I buy them, he tries them on, says, "Yeah, these are great.", and I never see them again.

Why my obsession, you ask? It probably stems from the first time the two of us, as lovey dovey newlyweds, decided to head for the beach. We lived in Boston in a 3rd floor apartment that could have easily doubled as an easy-bake oven at the time. It was one of those places where you were ok when you walked in the door of the building but as you ascended the stairs to floors 2 and 3 you slowly had the air sucked out of you with each step. The heat was stifling. One such stifling day, H suggested we hop on the train and find a beach. We were new to the city so this unexpected outing was just the thing to make us feel like Boston was going to be home to us. I was so excited!!! A picnic! A romantic walk! A tan!! My eagerness was short-lived; however, when H announced he was ready to go. To my horrer, he walked out in jeans and a long sleeved shirt. Not even a t-shirt. A long sleeved-had-to-be-ironed shirt! HUH?? Our beach trip was not very fun. I felt like I was on a cancer-detection mission with the surgeon general. He was covered from head to toe. I felt heatstroke coming on just when I looked at him. Since that fateful day when I realized I had married a man who considered jeans and a long sleeved shirt beach togs, I have made it my personal mission to convert him to shorts. "You'll look so nice", I say, "AND, you will be cool as a cucumber!" I once wrapped up a bottle of SPF45 and put it in the pocket of the new shorts as a surprise bonus. He didn't even bat an eye.

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when a pair of Old Navy khaki shorts emerged from the vault. He wore them all day as we worked at the new house. He even wore them while he sat outside eating lunch. When he took them off in the evening, he carefully folded them and exclaimed to me, "You know, these are pretty comfortable."

Happy Summer :)

Friday, June 17, 2005

63 Days 'til Liftoff

We are at last in the final stretch of ProjectHouseFromHell. Why, it only seems like yesterday that we sold the old homestead and set up camp in the Motel 6. It actually seems like several decades, but whatever. We are now in the "painting phase". H has diligently picasso-ed his way thru the second story bedrooms without drama. Our black poodle, Mr. P, now has paint stripes all over him so he kind of looks like some kind of mutant skunk; however, in light of the past several months, we will not classify his love for brushing against freshly painted walls as drama at this point.

I do not get much thrill out of picking and choosing and deciding and coordinating color schemes for this house. (I would much rather ride horses.) What I do get a kick out of, is the names for the colors and patterns from which to choose. I like to visualize the creative marketing gurus brainstorming catchy names for paint colors and countertop patterns for suckers like us. They must have to visualize Joe Schmo Homeowner and his wife at Home Depot in that little paint booth with all of the festive color family strips. "Ok gang, exactly how are we going to get Joe to pick OUR color?", they must ask themselves. "Now, we have all attended the color college so surely we can come up with some sassy names to lure these folks to OUR paint color families. We absolutely MUST...or we won't get our profit sharing checks!" Then they probably shake up some cool Cosmopolitans and get to work. I honestly think I could be one of those people.

A few weeks ago, H & I stood in the house and went over our list:

WTC: Ok, so do you think Indiana Clay will clash with Harvest Home?
H: No, probably not, because the Mummy is lighter and then Weaver's Cloth kind of breaks them up in the dining room.
WTC: You're right...and look, the Autumn Indian Slate picks up the brownish hue of the Euculaptus Country Ledgestone without sacrificing the Antarctia!
H: Now, upstairs we might have a problem with the Hay.
WTC: Why, is it too dark for the Alto?
H: It is a bit harsh for the Birch and the Hazelwood.

See what I mean? It is like speaking in tongues.

All of this stress and I found out I need new tires for the car. Yeah, the Mitsubishi Deathmobile painted in Cold Blooded Red.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You can too walk!

I realize that someday very soon I will be a senior citizen. I really don't have a problem with that because I certainly can't stop the aging process. I try to keep in good enough shape, stay active, and drink enough to keep my stress level as low as possible. As a senior, I hope to be pretty much how I am now...bitchy, sarcastic, and seemingly a woman with perma-PMS. (Maybe by then H will be used to me.) Crass as I may get to be, I definately do not want to be a rude senior citizen. Never.

I stopped at the bank yesterday to get some quarters for laundry. We all know how extremely excited I get when Laundry Day arrives at the Motel 6. Yeah Laundry! Further, I was on my lunch hour and hungry; thus in a bit of a hurry. I was in line for the teller window with cash in hand, all ready to hand off my ten dollar bill for my laundry quarters in plenty of time to bolt down a Boca Burger and be back at work in time for a meeting. Just as I stepped forward to approach the available teller, a woman came speedwalking out of virtually nowhere and cut right in front of me. She was about 100 years old, stooped over, and carrying a humongous cloth purse (the kind you see at Wal-Mart that have some wild hippie pattern and white vinyl handles). As she zoomed past me, she said, "I can't stand up." You can't stand up, lady, but you had no problem body-checking me back into the teller-waiting-zone. Whateveah. She proceeded to the open teller window (the one I was heading to before she catapulted me backwards). The teller glaced at me as gesture of apology which made me feel better tho my blood sugar was rapidly diminishing and I was running out of lunch hour time. The Can't Stand Up Lady proceeded to stand talking to the teller for several moments. I was waited-on by the NEXT available teller on my merry way when guess who appeared just ahead of me as I was going out the door of the bank? I felt like I was in some kind of contest with this woman who couldn't stand...but why? Whatever the reason, I was bound and determined to be in front of her getting out of the parking lot...imagine how she drives if her bank lobby manners are that bad? She probably says "I can't drive" as she zooms in and out of lanes. Ha! Still nimble in my middle age, I bypassed her easily on the concrete steps of the bank. I think she may have tried, but she was way too slow to stay in my draft as I sped past her towards my car.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Walk, Trot, Canter, and MORE!

Pretty rough riding lesson on Friday.

Just was high school rodeo time here in NW Indiana this weekend! YEE HA! H & I had a big date. We didn't wear cowboy boots or Wranglers, but we tried our best to fit in with the crowd by happily munching on brats and elephant ears. It was fun; however, much to my disappointment, I discovered I must have missed my calling to be a high school rodeo queen.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

I *heart* my heart!

First of all, can I just say how nice it is to be missed. Thanks so much BlogHeroStacy.

I have been monitoring the parents a lot since Mom's heart attack. When they first arrived home, my father was stepping in to do laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yardwork, etc. They were steaming vegetables, grilling chicken breasts, walking Mom's 5-minutes around the neighborhood, and avoiding alcohol like the plague. It was very Beaver Cleaver-like for them. Clean, healthy, and cheery...until I got a call from Mom last week. Let me just say the whole heart-health thing is a huge adjustment for the P's. Not that they were UN-healthy...they were just very relaxed in their retirement. They were having fun exploring new lunch spots, reading, cooking up a storm, and enjoying their afternoon cocktail hour. That darn heart attack really threw a wrench in their whole swing of things. And, it scared the living crap out of them.

So Mom calls me:

WTC: Hi Mom, how are you feeling?
Mom: Oh, know, this is really hard on your father.
(Mind you, SHE was the one who suffered the heart attack)
WTC: What is wrong with Dad?
Mom: He is fine! He just ran to the store for more chicken breasts.
WTC: How are YOU?
Mom: Your father is really trying to adjust. He'll be fine.
Mom: We..llll, he just said that he is "sick of The Sick"
WTC: What the hell does THAT mean?
Mom: I think he needs to eat some red meat and have a few beers.

This week Mom went to the local cardiologist for a followup visit. It so happened there was a *heart healthy diet class* scheduled for that very day! Reluctantly, Dad went with her so he could hear about all of the benefits of grilled chicken, skim milk, and steamed veggies. Now he would be forced to learn the importance of this new phase of eating and living.

Mom called me after class:

Mom: This is W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!!
WTC: What is wonderful? Did Dad go with you to class?
Mom: Oh ya! He is just getting ready to run to the store. Did you know we can eat THREE EGGS A WEEK? And bread! ...and we can have jam on the bread! Potatoes are ok and we can have red meat! Limited red meat, but it is so wonderful! Your father is thrilled!

Geez, no wonder Dad was sick of The Sick. The two of them were terrified. They were sure if they ate one ounce of saturated fat or salt Mom was going straight into cardiac arrest. Poor Dad was like a trapped animal. They had practically been starving themselves and suddenly they were liberated.

I am ready to present an award to the heart healthy class instructor. Whatever it is they teach in that class sure put the P's at ease. They are on a wonderful new path of adventure! They are excited about salt substitutes, simply fruit jam, and low-sodium chicken broth. Who knew it would be the cure for being sick of The Sick. Now they are Heart Smart and loving it!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

No Dog NO!

I believe I neglected to mention one little event that occured during the *heart attack episode* last week. The hospital where my mother had her surgery was, as I said, a 4-5 hour drive from home. As I also said, the trip took a million years due to the fact that we had to stop periodically to let Mom walk around and *circulate*. Doctors orders. As you can only imagine, after three quarters of a million miles Mom, Dad, and I were not only exhausted, we (at least I!) needed to drink. STAT. (Poor Mom can only have 1 drink a day and Dad has switched to light beer as a gesture of sympathy.)
As we headed into the last leg of the endless journey, Dad decided he needed to drive. My car. OK, ya, whatever. By this time, he had become ever-so-comfy with The Impala;, thus my Outlander became a complete piece of shit. The seat was not comfy, the mirrors were wierd, where was the window control, bleah bleah. I held my tongue in light of the fact that he had been thru the horrible experience of having his life partner suffer a heart attack while driving in the middle of BooFoo Egypt. The car became silent as we headed into the home stretch. All of the sudden, I heard Dad say, "No NO little doggie, get back off the road." I looked up to see a little dog run halfway across the highway. My stomach lurched. I couldn't look. "OMG, RAAAAYYYY...!!!" screamed HealingFromAHeartAttackMom. We hit that dog at about 70 mph with a semi right beside us and a sedan on our tail. There was nothing Ray could do. It was the most horrid crunching sound I have ever heard. I own 2 dogs. Two dogs that I love and appreciate every day they greet me at the door like I am the best thing since milkbones and I am indeed the very highlight of their day. Even when I just return from a 5-minute stint at the Motel 6 laundry building. I just spent over $2,000, several vacation days, and numerous tears of sympathy on one of them to keep her happy and comfortable. MY CAR hit that confused little dog whose shithead owners let him run out onto the highway. I thought the three of us were going to be sick. Suddenly it didn't matter if we were in a shiny new car or an imported crossover vehicle that irritated the hell out of Dad. After making sure Mom was still breathing and checking our own pants, we pulled over to inspect the damage. I stepped out of the car thinking if a dog part was hanging anywhere off my car I was going to walk home.
My car, known as *The Deathmobile*, is now in the shop. Body damage and major alignment job. I guess the good thing is that Mom is still on the mend, I give my dogs some extra hugs every night, and we are home safe and sound. Oh ya, Dad had his light beer, Mom had her semi-virgin cocktail, and I am properly sedated.