Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Dad

Dad 1943-2009

This is about my dad. My hard working, strong (fighting cancer), funny, loving, dad. He died on Tuesday, May 5th 2009. I was totally shocked. Even though he had been sick with terminal cancer since January 2007, I was completely caught off guard. I knew he was riddled with this horrible disease, I knew he was severely de-hydrated, I knew he was in renal failure, but somehow I thought he had more time. Probably because every doctor that spoke to us said he had like one or two weeks left. I knew it wouldn’t be that long, but I really thought I had more time. More time for closure. More time to say the things I needed to say to him my whole life but never could. But I didn’t . It never happened. The beautiful moment I envisioned of me and my Dad apologizing for all the terrible things we’ve said to each other our whole lives then proclaiming our love for each other, and him passing painlessly into eternal peace, did not happen. I had been planning what to say to him for a long time now, and I feel gypped... We (my Mom and I) left him alone at the hospital, for what was supposed to be just overnight, Just a few hours, to get some much needed sleep, and he slipped away. Why? That was my big question that night/morning after the 3am phone call from the hospital telling me he was gone. Why? Why wasn’t I given the chance to say those things? Was it because he already knew them? Was it because I said them too late? Or was it because I was too chicken to tell him when I had the chance? I will never know. I only know that I have regret. When I was an adolescent, or a bratty young adult, for that matter, I never pictured this day. The day when every thing I ever wished I hadn't said comes back to haunt me. I remember him working hard driving a taxi in New York to provide for our family and me being terribly ungrateful and embarrassed of it. I try to forget that I ever made him feel less than totally respected or completely loved. I try to forget that we disagreed on almost everything political or financial. And focus on the present. But here I am in the present, never having confronted the past, with no future to speak of, as far as a father/daughter relationship is concerned.
I hear from everyone that I should cherish the 2 ½ years that I had with him, on borrowed time. I kinda don’t. I know that is sooo wrong. But the last 2 ½ years have been HELL. We worried about and cared for him every single day of that. Our whole family’s existence became “Daddy has Cancer” 24/7. He was in terrible pain and miserable about 2 of that 2 and a half years. We saw him deteriorate from this baby faced, fun Grandpa, to a 98 lb broken, sad, old man, who couldn't eat or drink and was in excrutiating pain most of the time. It was heart-breaking to watch. And even more torturous to see my mom try and take care of him when we all knew what the outcome would eventually be.
Granted, we were lucky to have vacationed with him, (Leucadia, Ca for a week in a Beach House and a ten day trip back to out hometown Harrison,New York to see family and friends), he was able to see his grandson be born (Sep of 08) after having only granddaughters for 12 years, he saw the Giants win the Super Bowl again (in AZ, I might add) , he saw the Sopranos series finale (big deal, if you‘re Italian) , he saw our new president (although, he was not too thrilled about it…) and got to see the “new” Yankee Stadium, but he said they (the Yankees) didn’t deserve it (I totally agree!). I just wished he had lived long enough to see Adam Lambert lose American Idol, because that would have really made him happy.
I guess I have to believe that one reason we got those extra years was to reconnect, because I think I spoke to my dad more in the past 28 months than I did the whole rest of my life put together. It seemed as if we (me and my Dad) never really had much to say to each other before I had kids. And then he became someone that I never knew. He adored those children. They really and truly were the Light of His Life. I saw a side to him I didn't know existed. He didn't have to say it, but I knew, he loved them with all his heart. He was a man of few words, my father. Before he had cancer, we could sit in the same room for hours without barely saying a word to each other, and then all of that changed. Maybe it was because he had nothing but free time now, since he stopped working but, I had actual conversations with him. We discussed politics and child-rearing and pop-culture, everything but the elephant in the room. Oh Well...

I can’t believe he is really gone… What are we gonna do without him? How is my mom gonna live without having someone to take care of every second of every day? How are my kids gonna handle not being totally spoiled and unconditionally loved by someone that can teach them long division? How are we all gonna get through Father’s Day this year? How am I gonna go on knowing that my Daddy is not there to always protect me? IT SUCKS! I miss him so much already and It's only been one month...How are we gonna handle FOREVER? But, I guess, if that’s how I feel, he already knows what I wanted to say so badly, and I don’t have to worry. I just wish I had the chance to tell him. “I Love you Dad. And I will ALWAYS miss you, every day. And, even I if you didn’t know it or believe it, I am very proud of you and honored to be your child”.

(PS sorry for the sappy post, I will post a funny one soon, as Mel Brooks says Tragedy + Time = Comedy)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter 09'

I know this is stupid, but I can’t believe it’s Easter! I feel like I just took down my Christmas Tree. It is officially Good Friday and I have no idea what we are doing on Easter Sunday. Lame. Totally lame. I am a Forty-one year old woman, I should have some sort of plan as to what to do on a holiday. I should have a menu. I should have an idea that it is coming. I should clean my house, and purchase a ham, and DECORATE, something… I should color Easter Eggs. I should bake Easter Bread. I should buy a floral dress to wear, Oh, wait, I did that (priorities…). My mom keeps asking me “What time should we be there on Sunday”? and I keep saying, “What’s Sunday”? Denial, it ain’t just a river in Egypt! It’s how I live my life. I have ignored Easter so long, I don’t know it’s coming. I have to get it together though, because I will have a houseful of company on Sunday expecting holiday food. So I have to deliver. How am I gonna do this? My mom is “makin’ manicotti (mannigott) and I am doing the ham…oy vey!! I hope I don’t F*&$@ It up. If I do, my mom will let me know. She has already baked taralle (toddalles) and coconut cupcakes that look like they came “straight out of a Martha Stewart layout” (actual quote from her)

and chocolate covered strawberries. I can’t compete, I don’t even try. That’s why I give up before I even put it in the oven. I know I will never get it right. No matter how awesome my ham comes, it will never get the props it deserves because it was not made by my mom. I know you are all saying, no, if it’s good she will say so. NOT TRUE! She will never give me a cooking compliment. It’s kinda crazy, actually. I could make the Best Meal On Earth and she would say, “yea, it was pretty good….” I think it kills her inside, just a little, when I make a great meal without a recipe. She (my mom) always asks, where did you get this recipe? And I always say. I kinda made it up from a bunch of different ones I read online. My mom is always horrified by the notion that I didn’t follow directions to the tee., and that I basically, wung (past tense of wing) (sp) it…That is why Easter is - On The Fly - this year. I have no head for recipes. I want to take a huge ham, throw it in my oven , and forget about it. I hope while it is cooking I can, clean my house, or at least my downstairs bathroom, have all four people showered, hair done, and cutely dressed (?), and set a fabulously springy dining table…. Then take some stuff, rub it on the ham and hit it with a mini blow-torch so it looks like it came from the “Honey Baked Ham Company”. Not hard, huh? I know women are doing it all over the world today, so it shouldn’t be. But why do I find it to be? The million dollar question…I guess if I could answer it, it wouldn’t be so hard. But it is, for me anyway. I guess I’m not cut out to be “domestic”. I would rather order than make. I don’t believe in the “made with love” adage. If you have the gift - go for it- if not - buy it. NO BIG DEAL. My mom is HORRIFIED!!! I know she taught me better than that, but you can’t teach this kind of stuff. Either you have it or you don’t , and apparently, I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I can “cook” with the best of them, I just can’t chef. I have a problem with following recipes and menu plans and anything having to do with directions. I have no patience for it. I always leave something out. Either it’s an egg, or a tsp. of baking powder, or cream of tartar. And it’s always a key ingredient . Something that, if it’s missing will totally alter the final product! That’s why I hate to bake. Too much math. Too much science. Too much reliance on the person who is making it… Anyway, I will attempt Easter this year. I hope it goes OK. I’m sure it will make for a decent Blog Post if it doesn’t though. (Lookin’ on the bright side!!) Maybe Mom (WWMD) will even compliment my ham. (dreaming…) If not Happy Easter Anyway!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Little Bit Of A " Crush"

The past two weeks we (my kids and I) have been on Spring Break and I really wanted to post something, but I couldn't. It's been too boring. I have had nothing to say. We were drowning in a sea of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. I wanted to go on and on about the Fabulous (17 day) Spring Break we just had, but i couldn't, because, frankly, it sucked. That was UNTIL...
The most exciting thing we (me and my 2 girls, 9 and 12 years old) did was go to lunch at Oregano's (OK Pizza ) and then go to see David Archuleta (really?) in concert. We did this with a bunch of other tween/teens and their moms as well. My favorite part of the "concert" was when he said " First I'm gonna sing some songs from the 90's and then I'm gonna sing some more RECENT STUFF". I laughed like I was watching Don Rickles!! NO ONE ELSE GOT IT!! This kid is soooo young he has to perform cover songs!! From the 2000's!! I want a refund! I guess you have to give him props for actually SINGING the songs and not lip synching them like most people do these days. But my girls were happy. SOOO HAPPY!!! They even made it onto the local news. Here's the story about how that happened. We walked around to the back of the theater after the performance and waited for him (David) to come out and sign autographs and shake hands and take pictures and such. I was basically just pacifying my children when I said we would do this, thinking they would get tired and we would go home. Well that did not happen. When Rachel asked me for a pen to go with her paper for an "autograph" I humored her by saying, " Celebrities always have a pen!". So. We waited...And waited... And waited some more...Then, finally, I said those dreaded words to the other waiting moms. Let's go get the car and pull it around. As you can already guess, as soon as I was far enough away to not SEE the crowd, but still close enough to still HEAR it, I heard screams. The screams of tweens/teens/David Archuleta fans. They were screaming because they saw him!! He came out into the crowd of girls and signed autographs, touched hands, high fived and even posed for a few choice pictures and cell phone snaps. The local Fox 10 station was there to capture it all (thank god!). When I pulled my car around my girls were as giddy as they could ever be spinning tales of "never washing their hand again" and "he actually talked to me!!" Rachel (the daughter I mocked for requesting my pen), even got an honest to goodness, David Archuleta autograph (with a borrowed pen) !!!! Abbie (my EMO 12 year old) was in full view, actually conversing with David on on our local evening news. This is totally THE MOST EXCITING THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO THEM IN THEIR LIVES!! And I can't figure out how to upload the stupid video onto my blog. Oh well, so much for technology. And Spring Break for that matter. Anyway I guess my point is WE (they) LOVE D A V I D A R C H U L E T A !!!! (they made me say that...)

Alyssa and Abbie with the drummer, Rachel and Lexi and Taylor with same said drummer (nice guy)

I swear, If I can figure out how to get the FoX 10 News footage in, I will Embed it (whatever that means!!!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Totally Creeped Out

OK, so I lied. In my last post, I lied. I said I would no longer display photos of other peoples children for comedic purposes but in this case I have to. This is probably why Karma bites me in the a** every other day. Has anyone seen either Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC or Little Miss Perfect on WE? Well, I have and I watch them with a morbid fascination. My nine year old (daughter),however, watches it with complete adoration for these girls,and it is totally Freaking Me Out!! A couple of years ago one of these "child beauty pageant" specials was on VH1 and I viewed it with both of my girls who were 7 and 10 at the time to show them just how "creepy" they were. Much to my utter dismay, they did not find them in the least little bit "creepy", and they thought they were the coolest things they had ever seen and they wanted to be in them!! Crap! It backfired! How could they not see the "EXTREME CREEPINESS" of a 5 year old with false teeth and hair and lashes and skin color!! It has been two years since my girls saw their first "pageant show" and my 12 year old has gotten over it (THANK GOD!!), but my nine year old is Obsessed!! She it totally in to it!! She practices her walk, rehearses her dance routine for the talent portion, curls her hair and works on her interview technique. She's good to go! She also asks me, almost on a daily basis, if I've checked into where we can enter her in one of these Freakshows!! I always say, "I'm working on it!" kind of like when my husband asks me if I've found a "real" full time job yet...Oh, and it has to be Glitz. For those of you not familiar with this term, it means they doll it up!! They wear more make-up than a kiddie drag show and twice as much sequins. The parents are real stagey-like and they throw around phrases like Pro-Am and Casual Wear. Practically everyone gets a crown and the winner usually gets 5-10 $100.00 bills, more often than not, in the shape of a fan. It's a riot! I would love to see one live and in person, strictly for entertainment, but not with my daughter AS A CONTESTANT!! How -OH- how do I make her see just how totally "creepy" (sorry I'm using that word so much but I just can't think of a better, more descriptive one) child beauty pageants are!! She REALLY wants to be in one! I never wanted to be the type of parent who would roll their eyes and squelch my daughters' dreams, but COME ON! I have two words...JON BENET...You know what though, I told her (my 9 YO) that story and she still doesn't care. I'm REALLY hoping this a phase that she will grow out of, but you never know, maybe someday she may almost become Vice President...

my aspiring Beauty Queen...oh the horror!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sorry Little David

I feel like a big IDIOT! Last night I just happened to catch the end of the show Inside Edition and low and behold there was David. David, of "David after Dentist" fame. Bless his little heart, he was asked how he liked all of the attention he was getting from this You Tube video and he said "At first it was really cool, but now it's not so fun." AWWWW! Poor little guy! I feel so bad I actually participated in perpetuating the exploitation of this defenseless child! I'm soooooo sorry David. Please accept my humble apology. No more posting videos of other peoples children for comedic purposes for me. I know this isn't my usual type of post, but I just felt so guilty.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Very Funny Friday

Hi All,
I have elected to paticipate in a Blogger Carnival...I know...Where are the thrill rides run by pot-smoking,transient,pedophiles and the deep fried twinkies?? Oh Well!!
This is soooooo much pressure (to be VERY FUNNY) so my lame attempt is a link, to You Tube, of all places. I laughed pretty hard when I watched it, although if it was my child I don't know if I would have posted it. If you don't find it amusing then read my Blog Posts, some of them are (I've been told). ENJOY! (or don't)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

True Story Tuesdays

I have been wanting (real word ?) to do this for a while and have been encouraged by my friends (you know who you are) to do so. Because nothing is happening in my life right now I need to draw from past experiences. Fortunately, or not, depending how you view it, I have many, many ridiculous stories to draw from. This is why I started a Blog in the first place. Stupid things happen to me. ALL THE TIME. It's like I'm a supporting character in a popular Sit-Com. Only I'm real. I'm a suburban stay-at-home soccer mom whose kids have no interest in soccer. So here I sit, in my house, waiting for something to happen. IT NEVER DOES. Until I don't want it to. This is my recount of an event that took place last September (or so).

My friend Lisa and I were on our way home from Bunco on a Thursday night. It had rained, pretty hard, for couple of days, before that (BTW). That night it was clear. And not raining. And chilly but not cold or wet. We proceeded to Bunco in the normal fashion. On our way home we were talking normal Bunco talk, "can you believe how big her kids got", "why didn't she come tonight?", "Where are they going on vacation now?". And then it happened. We were so wrapped up in our conversation we didn't realize we were floating. FLOATING. The car was floating, on water, i might add. What looked like an innocuous puddle, had in fact become a LAKE. The water started to rise, rapidly, I might add. Lisa said "should we call a tow truck?". Then she said "should we call Mark? (her husband)" I said , as I whipped out my cell phone, "I don't know who you're calling, but I'm calling 911!!". And call I did. The 911 operator proceeded to ask me my location (Middle of F*N Nowhere) and my situation (F*D). She then said the the most frightening words, "Can you climb onto the roof of the car?". I said "Oh please don't send a Helicopter, or a camera crew, my hair is so frizzy tonite!". She said to exit the car as soon as possible since the water level was rising. I guess in hindsight it really wasn't all that life threatening, but I kind of got hysterical anyway. I looked at Lisa (my best LDS friend) and said "I can't believe I am in this situation and I can't swear!!" She kindly said, go ahead, so I, for the sake of her ears, only swore in Italian for the rest of the night." (it doesn't sound as crass, and it makes people laugh) We sat there for a good 10 minutes not knowing if we would be rescued before a giant RED FIRETRUCK from the Mesa Fire Dept came. This fire guy who had to be about 6'6" walked up to the car with hip waders and a really bad attitude. He said "I need you to get out of the car and walk to the end of the road, (which was about 1/2 a mile away in waist deep - for me anyway - water) and I said "Yea, right, please pull the fire truck up to the side of the car and I'll get in." He said, "No , really you have to get out and walk." Well needless to say it is POURING now, and I am totally hysterical and my window is closed (because there is no power in the car and the windows are motorized) and Lisa's window (driver's side) is only halfway down. Lisa calmly and coolly exits the car thru the half-open drivers' side window. How I don't know ,because I am CRYING, like a 3 year old. (What an idiot!) He (the 6'6"fireman) then says to me please climb out of the window. Cut to 5:45 that evening when I cut the tag off of my Brand New Ralph Lauren White Sweater that I was wearing at that very moment. Back to floating car. He proceeds to PULL me out of the half-open window, at which point Lisa says to me, "do you need to pull your pants up?" and I respond, "Desperately!!", I could actually feel my jeans slide off my butt as he dragged me into the cold, dirty, rushing water. The minute my legs went in all I could thing was "Scorpions, Spiders, and Snakes, Oh My!". And I started to involuntarily scream. Like a girl. In a lake. Full of scorpions, spiders, and snakes. The fireman said to me "Why are you screaming? It's not even that deep." I said "Listen, Mr. 6'6" this may only come up to your knee but I can feel it touching my butt!" I will never forget this moment. Lisa said to me "Do you want me to hold your phone in my purse so it doesn't get wet?" Duh? Yea! Of Course. Not realizing that five minutes later we would be separated and she would end up on the safety of a fire truck (that I begged to be on and was turned down) and I would end up ALONE on the side of a deserted road, flooded with water, with strange animal sounds in the background, and (I am not prejudiced) a Mexican immigrant with a broken down car that we didn't see until I walked (swam,waded) to the end of the road. He came up to me and said "telephone?", and I said something like "no, my friend has it. and she's coming to get me!". He just laughed at me. I guess I deserved it though. 5 seconds later a Town Of Mesa truck pulled up behind me and asked "Are you OK?" I said "physically yes, mentally I'm a little shaken". He said "are you alone?" What a LOSER. YES, I am alone. "I said something lame, like, my friend is over there, on the fire truck." he said "without you?" I said " YUP". He said "Why don't you call her?", I said "because she has my phone". He said "wow, too bad, do you want to use mine?" GENIUS!! Why didn't I think of that? So I did. Voicemail. Again. Voicemail. Oh Well, so much for that idea. He (being the rocket scientist that he is) suggested I call someone else. Who else would I call. Marty. Do I even have to tell everyone what a terrible idea this turned out to be. He had just gone to sleep, (ie, too tired and probably drunk to drive) and was really annoyed that I woke him up. Plan B. Wait. In the Middle Of Nowhere. With no Ride. The Town of Mesa guy was like, "Can I have my phone back?". so I hung up with Marty and gave it to him. We waited there in silence for another 5-7 minutes and his phone rang. He said "yes...uh,huh...hold on..." then he stuck his phone out the window of his truck and pointed it toward me and said "It's for you". I took his phone, in astonishment and said "hello?". Marty. Of Course. He pressed the call back button on our home phone, DOY! I then proceeded to have a fight with him about picking me up. The guy was all - "you are SO not having a fight with your husband on my cell phone minutes" and I told Marty - gotta go, and I hung up. The men on the truck told me "their job was done here", and they were leaving. I said, no screamed, "Dude! you are not leaving me here in the middle of freakin' nowhere with a guy who doesn't speak English, no cell phone,cold,totally soaking wet and wild animals crying in the night (I wish we had sound effects, it would bring it home!). About 3 minutes later a giant Paramedics truck pulled up to me on that pitch black street and a nice EMS worker got out and said "Are you OK?", and I said "Do you have a Xanax on that truck?" and he said "No, but I have your friend." I said "SHUT UP!!" and I went over to the truck and there was Lisa. She looked at me and said "I have to pee so bad, so don't say anything funny." I said "How was your ride?". We laughed like morons for about 6 minutes straight. IfI were them I would have given us both a sobriety test. The paramedics proceeded to tell us that it was a very slow night and they offered to drive us home. Since both of our husbands were sound asleep we took them up on their offer.God Bless those guys!! I do have to admit though, I was swearing the whole way home. In two languages, Italian and English. I think Lisa forgave me. The next morning I called her at about 10am and I said "I had the strangest dream last night, I dreamt we were in a car..."

(P.S. this happened when gas was over $4.00 a gallon and she just filled up the car.
My synopsis of this evening was.
Full Tank of gas - $100.00
Towing the submerged car from Mountain Rd to the gas station - $300.00
Watching Liz push her fat ass out of a half-opened window into waist deep water - Priceless)