Monthly Archives: June 2010

Rivalry, schmilvary

So, the Cubs and Sox are playing this weekend in the second installment of this year’s big crosstown classic. Which frankly, lost all its allure (in my opinion) when interleague play started. Back in the day, when it was just a single game that they played for the fans on an off day for both teams, that was good stuff. I had my Chicago Tribune issued poster with caricatures of Jim Frey and Tony LaRussa hanging on my closet door for much of my childhood.

Now, it’s even been named. This year, the winner gets…

wait for it…

The BP Cup!

No shit.

My brother promptly announced that while the cup itself is lovely, it leaks. He also thinks it should be handed to the loser, not the winner. Too bad, sucker, the Sox have already embarrassed the ever-living pants out of the Cubs, 4 games. You win! You win! You win! Take your BP Cup and put it in your BP case next to you BP World Series memorabilia from 2005 and celebrate with some of that nasty BP Miller Lite you drink on the South Side. It’s one championship the Cubs are happy to lose! Hoo!

Anyway, I headed to the game with the boys yesterday. Had a great time. The only real entertainment was when Carlos Zambrano had a temper tantrum in the dugout and was told to go home, you know, after giving up four runs in the first (final score 6-0 Sox). We had a pretty good view from our seats. Oh, I was so proud to be a Cubs fan at Comiskey U.S. Cellular Field. Those Ricketts kids are turning this team around!!! Thanks Omaha!

But there was one awesome highlight of the game. Check it out:

My sister Laura snapped this photo of me and the boys after the game. Sure, George looks like a total goober. But look how skinny I look! And no snide comments from those of you who are like, ummm, sure you look skinny, in you know, a total fatty type of way. Shut up, I look good!

Well worth the loss, Cubs! I’m ready for my BP Mother of the Year Award!

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36 things

1 – I know you think you are being polite, but stop waving people through the intersection. Two things are happening here; 1) it’s your turn but apparently you are the ruler of the road, the sultan of the streets, the head honcho of the highways and YOU have decided that it is permissible that I go first, or 2) it’s already my damn turn. Either way, just go. And by the way, when you decide to stop in the middle of a traffic circle to inexplicably wave me along, don’t be surprised when the 15-passenger van behind you almost lands in your back seat. It’s a traffic circle. You’re destroying the purpose of it when you stop in the circle.

2 – Do people really watch GleN Beck? I mean, I thought I hated him, but I just feel sorry for him. What a tool.

3 – So McDonald’s is being accused of marketing Happy Meals to children. What genius gets paid ten times my salary to crack that breaking story? If your kids are fatties because they scarf down Happy Meals, look in the mirror. Unless Ronald McDonald is actually looking back, you can hardly blame anyone but who you see there.

4 – My husband refuses to pick up his socks. Stay tuned.

5 – I looked up in the rear view mirror when I heard my son saying, “Look, it’s chubby.” All I could see was Hank looking down, and George leaning all the way over to see what was in his lap. Horrified, I whipped my head around, to find Hank was making little hand puppets. Apparently, he named one of them Chubby. Lord have mercy.

6 – Conservatives are always harping on the “blame Bush” mentality of liberals. That we keep blaming Bush for problems that face the country today. I personally have never been on the “blame Bush” band wagon, but I am when it comes to this General McChrystal thing. Nine years into a war that never should have been started, and yes, the guys in charge are frustrated.

7 – On the other hand, I truly question the sanity of a man who would spend a full month saying these things — and letting his staff say these things — on the record to a Rolling Stone reporter. I mean, did they think he was just doing a piece on what kind of music they like? He’s a reporter, for the love of swiss cheese. Did the man really think he could call half the leaders of the free world a bunch of useless clowns and it wouldn’t make it into the article? I read that McChrystal sleeps only 4 hours a night, runs every morning, and eats only once a day. So really, what we’ve learned is that a man fighting an unpopular war while he is exhausted and hungry as hell does not think before speaking on the record. I hope it was worth it.

8 – Sarah Palin is seriously an idiot.

9 – I TiVoed a belly dancing show on FitTV to see what it was like. Not only was it immensely humiliating to try — even alone — but I inadvertently requested that it record the whole series, and I cannot figure out how to turn it off. Now I cannot hide it from my husband.

10 – I realized today for the first time that George will actually stop whining if I say, “Stop making that noise.” I have actual magical powers.

11 – I like my little small town newspaper job, and I watch a lot of the “24-hour news cycle” programs. But I think I would be a very miserable person if I had to work in that type of environment. It must be like a non-stop headache to do nothing but talk and worry and blab and analyze and pick pick pick at every little move that every politician makes. Ick. It makes me wonder what makes people go into pubic service, knowing that the media isn’t far behind.

12 – On the other hand, I got to do something similar just last night, as far as basically hounding local politicians for answers to questions. And it was kind of fun. So maybe I would be ok in that job anyway.

13 – I wish my husband would do the laundry sometimes. I mean, he does it wrong, but I still wish…

14 – I love summer. Hot sticky summer. So much that I am actually a little sad that the solstice has already passed, because it is only June and I feel like summer is already slipping away. It doesn’t help that I actually have the dreaded a/c on today, but really, 90 and humid is not exactly a recipe for happy children.

15 – I work out hard at the gym. Like, really hard. Weights and cardio and “Zumba” classes that are high impact and hard as hell. Yet still, I am a fatty. It is my destiny afterall. Bring on the Happy Meal.

16 – So we were hanging out at the Boondocks bar, and this group of… hipsters?… were there. So my sister Laura points at the guy wearing the douchey plaid short sleeves and says, “Hey, see if you can get that kid to dance.” So I tap his elbow and say “Let’s DANCE” and the kid looks at me horrified and spits out, “I have a girlfriend.” I got rejected by a 20-year-old dipwad who I wasn’t even hitting on. I cannot really wash off the shame.

17 – So you know how every once in a while, you drop that nasty stink bomb, and you’re feeling so relieved when SUDDENLY there is another person around. So naturally, you pretend that it wasn’t you but clearly you are the only creature in sight so who else could it have been? But still you try to carry on a conversation or whatever business you need to conduct while pretending you don’t smell it, all while watching the other party’s eyes actually water up? Yeah, totally happened to me. But in my defense, I was at the drive thru at McDonald’s getting my coffee, and I didn’t realize that it would waft OUT of my car and INTO the drive thru window. I was hoping she didn’t smell it, but when she slammed the window shut before handing me my change, it was kind of obvious. So, sorry McDonald’s girl. But the good news is, Karma says you can now unload a stinky air biscuit on some other poor unsuspecting soul.

18 – I totally stare at women at the gym. One of them is going to get the wrong idea sooner or later.

19 – I am unhappy that there is still a big mean German Shepherd next door. Apparently, he’s here to stay. Let’s hope he doesn’t take a chunk out of anyone else.

20 – I secretly wish I didn’t work. Not because I think that the time I spend at work is too much time away from my family, but because I am terrifically lazy and want to do nothing all day but sit on my big butt and not worry about anything else. I confess, one of my biggest desires is to secretly just be L-A-Z-Y.

21 – I was watching this infomercial (because I couldn’t find the remote) for this super awesome girdle thing that can make you instantly up to 20 pounds thinner. And all these women were like, I can finally wear my clothes! Hooray! Honey, if you needed to drop 20 pounds to fit in your clothes, they weren’t your clothes. They were the clothes of a woman 20 pounds lighter than you. You were just holding them hostage under you belly jelly. Give them back and go buy some clothes that fit already. You wouldn’t feel so fat if you were wearing a pair of jeans that fit, instead of struggling to get into a pair that is three sizes too small then complaining about your muffin top.

22 – I feel like I am the one woman in a million who feels this way, but I don’t get the allure of “Sex and the City.” A bunch of near-middle aged women who gush over shoes and clothes and involve themselves with men more swarmy then they are and oohhhhh they have SEX! The cast of characters is full of the most shallow, empty, self-absorbed people who, despite being wholly selfish, still lack any sense of self-respect. I watched one episode that centered around Carrie and Mr. Big (wow, so clever a nickname!) and he treated her in a manner that bordered on abusive. And this is the person she eventually married? And to top it all off — THEY ARE OLD. When you act that way at 25 it’s only partially acceptable due to your age. But at 45, you’re just an ass. Now, I know lots of smart, strong, independent women who ooze self-respect, and they all LOVE this show. So I get the whole, it’s just entertainment portion. But I would rather watch a “Faces of Death” marathon then get involved in these fictitious womens’ ridiculous lives. At least it would be realistic.

23 – On the other hand, I TiVo “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” But that’s different. I LOVE Khloe. And Kim’s perfume smells purty.

24 – Speaking of real entertainment, “CSI: Miami” has lost its luster. But it’s still kinda awesome.

25 – If you’ve ever met my brother Tommy, you know that he is one big grey-headed Irish man. The cap on his dome suggests he is way older than he actually is. But there are no complaints, because as opposed to other family members, he at least has hair. And since his fiance is already nine years younger than him, I think he kinda enjoys that people think he’s maybe some type of suave sugar-daddy. Of his four sisters, only Laura has managed to avoid the grey hair. Carrie and Amy have fought it for years. But for some reason, I fell under the delusion that the grey streaks popping up at my temples was somehow “cool.” The point of this little story is two things: 1) I am an idiot and 2) My hair is now brownish-red. Tommy clearly has the hold on the “silver fox” label in the family.

26 – The best story ever told is entitled, “Fat Lesbian Whores.” If you want, I will tell it to you. But I warn you, it’s hysterical, and much better told in person.

27 – I strongly believe that one of the great mysteries of man is the desire to eat all the bread in the bag EXCEPT for the heels. It’s exactly the same people. How much bread is wasted each year because people toss the bag with two perfectly good slices still inside? When Hank first started school, I would make his lunch in the morning, and sometimes I would make a sandwich for Jim. Only I would purposely put the heel of the bread on Jim’s sandwich, flipped over, so he wouldn’t know that it was the heel until he bit into the sandwich. You know what? He’s still alive. Amazing.

28 – Did you ever notice how some words can suggest both something wonderful and something disgusting? Like moist. Moist cake is delicious. But unwanted moisture is just smelly.

29 – I think shoes that light up were invented to torture parents. Because they are bright and ugly and expensive and kids love them because they LIGHT UP. Jim and I have spent hours trying to disable the lights in George’s shoes (which were a gift, thanks a lot grandparents) to no avail. Is there something wrong with white tennis shoes? I miss those days.

30 – Do kids still tell “what’s grosser than gross?” jokes? I think we should make some new ones up. Like, what’s grosser than gross?  Bristol Palin telling teenagers that there’s nothing worse than the difficulties of being a teenage mother all while collecting a big fat salary for speaking tours and apparently, acting, all because she is, in fact, a teenage mother. Yeah, good one me.

31 – Every once in a while, despite my 10-years of being cigarette free, I really, really want a smoke.

32 – I have a list of things I’d like to do before I die, although I refuse to call it a bucket list because that is just stupid. But one of those things is to take singing lessons. I mean, it’s not like I’ll be taking the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, but I think it would be cool if I would learn how to sing more than one song. I mean, I do that one ok. Maybe I could carry a different tune. 

33 – I totally got duped into hosting another jewelry party. Ok, not duped. I’m just an idiot. It’s July 23, in case you want to come.

34 – I have hockey withdrawl. Cubs and Sox weekend? Who cares.

35 – I have long had a serious issue with the English alphabet. And it is the letter W. Look at that. Does that look like a double-U to you? No. It’s a double-V. Two V’s put together, not two U’s. Who the hell named it double-U? Kids are even taught to make TWO V’s, thus creating… the double-U. Not the double-V. And we wonder why these kids turn to drugs! Don’t think about this one too hard, it will make you crazy. Of course, without that misnomer, Texas would have given us Dub-V, which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Dubya. 

36 – I chose the number 36 because that is how old I am. I will be choosing my children’s ages should I try this experiment again.

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Kane and able

There’s some exciting happenings here in the greater Chicagoland area this fine June day. And all thanks to a bunch of guys collectively known as the Chicago Blackhawks.

Let’s start with the obvious: I am not a hockey expert. Not even close. When I lived down in Baton Rouge, where hockey was surprisingly popular, Kayla, Nancy and I, along with other various WBRZers, would often find ourselves at a Baton Rouge Kingfish game. With no idea what was going on, but there were fights on the ice and cold beers in our hands and um, we were young and kinda hot and those were the days, you know what I mean?

My first Blackhawks hockey game was with my sister Laura at some point in my early 20’s. We found our seats at the United Center, somewhere around the ninth row off the ice. I turned around to put my jacket on the chair, and *WHACK* something hit my ass. I turned around and there were a few players warming up on the ice — not Hawks but I can’t remember who they were playing, maybe Tampa — who were actually laughing at me. It was a puck. My big old butt was a bulls eye. I looked around and found that puck on the ground under my seat. I think I still have it somewhere. I also dropped 40 pounds after that!

I watched my first Stanley Cup Final in 2000, while working nightside at WGNO. I do not remember who was playing or who even won (though Wikipedia tells me it was Dallas and New Jersey, and New Jersey won). I do remember that the game went into triple overtime one night… and double overtime the next game. And Al Michaels said, “If you don’t love hockey, you should.” That struck me as very funny and I thought, maybe I should watch hockey. But it wasn’t something I ever got into.

When I moved to Quad Cities, I went to several Quad City Mallards games. There’s a pattern here, in case you were wondering — people who work in television, especially in small markets, really have no issues getting free tickets to minor league games of any kind! I remember one game, when a guy was leaving the ice after a fairly nasty fight, and one of the dudes from the other team was chasing him. And we were all in the stands yelling “BEHIND YOU!!!” like it was a scary movie. That guy — the Mallard — got to the exit, waited for the guy to get close, and pulled the glass door behind him real fast so the would-be attacker just smacked himself into the glass. Hilarious. That was the last time I went to a hockey game until I met my husband in 2004.

Jim loves hockey. Loves it. Loves it so much that, knowing it was not a popular sport in these parts, did not TELL me that he loved it until after we were married. Made it sound like, sure, I’ll watch it if it’s on, but I mean, it’s no big deal. He was a big fat lying liar. He loves hockey. The day he realized I would sit and watch it with him, I think he fell in love with me in a whole new way.

Here’s Jim loving hockey as a baby:

OK, it’s a picture of a picture, so it’s cooked and not so great. But as you can see, he’s wearing a Blackhawks shirt.

Here’s Jim and his friend Eric loving hockey somewhere in the early 90’s:

No comments on the hair people. And by that I mean, no comments on the actual presence of hair. (That’s my thumb in the corner, too, I should really get a scanner.)

Just a few years ago, if you went to the United Center on hockey night, it was a ghost town. Totally dead. These days, it’s packed. Now, there are those folks (Tommy) who like to get into the issue of “true fans” versus “band wagon fans” and all that nonsense. That the “true” fans are the rough and tumble guys in the upper deck who stuck with the team even when they sucked, the same guys who couldn’t afford a playoff ticket even if they sold their alcohol-infused liver on the black market. To this, I say, bah!

First — who cares when someone became a fan? You’re not allowed to love a team because you just started loving them this year? That’s stupid.

Second — the Blackhawks just came on television last year. For years they were blacked out, because owner “Dollar Bill” Wertz wasn’t willing to put his team on television and give the product away for free. They only came on TV now because the old man kicked off and his son decided to actually let the fans WATCH what was happening. It’s asking a whole lot of people to stick with a team through and through when not only are they not winning, but you cannot even see them play unless you drive into the city, pay for parking, pay for a ticket (even a cheap one) and pay for concessions. My husband still did this — often. But there were plenty of smiling and cheering faces in the crowd this year and last year who did not. It does not, in my opinion, make them any less worthy as fans.

I asked Jim if I was one of these band wagon fans, and he quickly pointed out that I am not. That while I certainly am no expert, the team sucked balls when he first started taking me to games. And I tried, desperately, to learn the game. I get strategy and I can follow the puck (which is a feat, by the way, when you are trying to learn this sport — that stuff moves FAST) and I understand some of the calls and rules but not as many as I wish I did and I FINALLY get the line changes.

So last night, as we watched Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, I reached over and checked Jim’s pulse. It was racing. Then, I checked my own, and it too was racing. Sweet Christmas, I AM a fan!!

Jim was deflated when the Flyers tied it up. And just like everyone in the world EXCEPT for Patrick Kane, we were more confused than excited when that winning goal went in the net during overtime. I’ll bet if we could turn back time and listen to the city of Chicago and the city of Philadelphia as a whole, we would hear a collective, “What the hell just happened?” PK was the ONLY person who knew that puck went in. When we watched it back in slow motion, you could pretty much hear most of my neighborhood cheer as we realized that the Stanley Cup was coming home to Chicago. Neighbors let off fireworks. Hank ran out the back door with a pot and spoon and banged away. Jim did NOT cry (ahem). Dudes… THAT.WAS.AWESOME. 49 years without a championship. It’s nice to be on this side every once in a while.

So thank you Blackhawks. Thank you for giving my husband a championship team. He loved the Hawks even when they were completely unloveable, and doesn’t care who is loving them now right with him. Mostly, thank you for giving us something to watch that is not baseball, because seriously, the Cubs and Sox blow. And thank you PK for knowing it before anyone else did. That was pretty cool.

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Fever pitch

Guess who kept his mother up all night with a fever that refused to break?

This guy.

Feel better George, and thanks for not barfing on me.

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Cancer – a kick in the butt

There are two things to know about my family as I start this post:

1 – My mother has colon cancer.

2 – We are the family that truly puts the FUN in dysfunctional.

Cancer sucks. It sucks balls. Or, in my mother’s case, it sucks BUTT (get it). You don’t have to have cancer or know someone with cancer or ever have been affected by any type of cancer to know it is sucky and sucky and sucky times ten. BOOOOO CANCER! Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t have  a little fun with it. You know, our way of saying, put that in your pipe and smoke it, cancer!

On Friday, my Mom had surgery. She had two feet of her colon removed, and the prognosis looks really good. I love my mother. I do not say it to her often enough, so I hope she knows it. I have written it here in my blog, so she has the proof if I ever try to deny it. On Friday I spent much of the day anxious and snapping at the kids and WAITING. Jim took off work early so I could go to the hospital and sit there with my brother and sisters — all 5 of my mom’s kids — waiting.

Not content to just wait, though, we had to be our sweet obnoxious selves. Enter the cancer ribbon. You know, all cancers have ribbons. Well, all CAUSES have ribbons, but cancers each get their own color. But we couldn’t figure out what type of ribbon you would wear for colon cancer. I mean, break it down, and what we’re really talking about it poo cancer, right? So…. brown seems natural. I made this suggestion to my sister Amy, who doesn’t just come up with ideas, she rolls with it! So she produced this for each of us to wear:

It’s brown! For poo cancer! The pink dots? Polyps.

That’s right, we found a fun and inappropriate way to actually DISPLAY our support of our Mom and her poo cancer. Like I said, we put the FUN in dysfunctional. That’s how we roll.

I wonder what my Mom was thinking when her eyes fluttered open after surgery and she saw my Dad and five not-so-young anymore but still her babies faces hovering over her. I’m thinking… she probably thought she expired on the table and had entered the third realm of hell. Then, squirming a little, she let out a little cough, right after which she grabbed her incision and said, “That’s a bitch.”

Ahhhh, there’s my Mom!

As a fun sidenote to the story, Friday, June 4, was also my sister Laura’s birthday. So, the next day, I asked my Mom, which June 4th was worse? The one where she had to push out a ten pound baby… arm first… born with a tooth… with the help of two sets of forceps… and a double episiotomy… and no drugs… OR… the one where she had two feet of colon removed from her bod. Now, she said it was the colon one. But I think that was just the drugs talking. Give her a few weeks, I’m sure the other June 4 will stand out as far more traumatizing.

Also, in honor of Laura’s birthday Mom’s poo cancer, June 4 is now official Poo Cancer Awareness Day! So everyone, please get your butt scoped every June!

Of course, in all seriousness, now that my mother has colon cancer — the same cancer that killed her father — we, her children, do need to be diligent and make sure we are tested. Which really does involve a butt scope (not the scientific name).  But we sure are glad that Mom got her shit together (could not resist) and got her test this year!

We love you Mom! Get well soon!

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