Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ten Days...

...and still no word from Granny about the bed. Must be a record.

Yesterday she wanted to eat some leftovers I had left in the fridge. I had been meaning to throw them out but kept forgetting. They had been in there for eleven days. She kept insisting they would still be good. No Granny, I really don't think those two slices of barbecue beef will still be good.

I really hope she threw it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Burning Bed

That's it, as of today, I had finally HAD IT.

When I moved in two years ago, we could not fit the box spring for my wonderful Simmons Beautyrest Olympic Queen bed up either of the two staircases in the house. We were able to squeeze the mattress up the stairs, just barely.
So the mattress rested on the floor, Japanese style, in a way I actually liked. I enjoy being close to the ground, and the box spring had actually made the bed too tall for my tastes. I feel I slept better this way.

Needless to say, Granny wasn't having it.

"You can't have your mattress on the floor!" she despaired.

"Why not? I like it there." was my reply.

"Because!" was her answer.

She also insisted on me re-installing the mouldering lacy curtains that had been hanging there. Never told her I had dumped them in the garbage.

This went on until fall, when my mother called to say, "We have to do something about your bed. I know you like it there but I'm tired of listening to her complain every single time she calls."

And so we trekked to Lowe's, bought some wood and jerry-rigged a base for the bed, laying it on top of the bed frame. And a day later I started banging my shins on the corners of this thing. This GOD-DAMNED thing.
At least twice a day for nearly two years I have scraped or hit my legs on the wooden corners of this damned thing. I have constellations of scars to prove it.
Today was the last straw.
After putting a particularly ugly scratch into my calf, I swore, loudly, and then pictured myself having one of those freak accidents (did I mention I'm a total klutz?) where the entire wooden corner ends up in the soft tissue of my leg, requiring skin grafts, fearing sepsis, etc.
And it was then, despite the 89 degrees in the air, that I picked the mattress up off this jerry-rigged monstrosity, moved the damn thing into the attic, and put my mattress back on the floor, where it belongs.
Countdown to how long Granny notices, and starts bitching again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is Mom's birthday.
Last year Granny called to wish her a happy birthday and then went on a tangent about how, when she found out she was pregnant with my mother, she was so incredibly disappointed.
"I didn't want you." Granny said.
Now I know what you're thinking, that Granny then went into an extended riff about how my mom turned out to be a blessing, a joy, that her moment of despair was tempered by the reality of having this precious child come into her life.
Yeah, that never happened. In fact, she repeated the story to my mom two or three more times in the following weeks.
No matter what, my mom came along, which of course led to me coming along. I'm sure there were times she felt she shouldn't have bothered. Lord knows I have mornings where I feel she shouldn't have bothered.
Happy Birthday to Mom, the world's coolest, most unwanted baby!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stuart Smalley Pep Talk

"Well I'll meet you at the bottom, if there really is one,
They alway told me when you hit it you would know it.
But I've been falling so long it's like gravity is gone-
And I'm just floating"
-"Gravity's Gone"
The Drive-By Truckers

I'm tired of being miserable.

Lord knows, my life fell apart awhile ago, and I've been making a break for the surface ever since, with no guarantee that the surface was really there.
On paper, I am a total loser. Unemployed, dumped, living with my grandmother, and, according to those nifty height/weight charts, morbidly obese.
But I've had this feeling for the last few weeks, that maybe, and pretty soon actually, something was coming. That I was finally going to bust out of this funk and do something great and dare I say...useful. No, I don't know what it is yet. Perhaps it is a delusion, but at least the delusion is mine.
Do I love living with Granny? No. The one thing that I wanted most in life was my own place. I still don't have it. Yes, that's misery-making. But when I feel down, I remember what I used to tell myself on the most miserable days working my miserable, useless job.
"This isn't the rest of your life".
This will not be the rest of my life.

A very wise drunk once said to me, "Kim, you can not blame the accident of your birth into a lower middle class family in Buffalo, New York for what has gone wrong in your life. You weren't born into an upper class family of Jewish intellectuals in New York City. Your Mom wasn't a famous actress, so you could have connections. Your Dad wasn't useless European royalty, so you could swan about gardens all day and never have to worry about money. You can't change the past. You can change the future. You have problems? So does everyone else. They give you these," he said flexing his arm muscles. "They make you strong".

Now, I have never been a happy-go-lucky person. My mother once said, "You were a perfectly happy child until I sent you to Catholic school. I don't know what those nuns did to you." So it's not like I am making a base change in my personality. But there will be no more blame. There is no evil force keeping me down. Bad luck? I laugh in its' face. I put myself here. I'm going to get myself out.

Hanging On The Telephone

When I moved in two summers go, my grandmother proudly told me "My doctor says I don't need a hearing aid yet!". At the time she was 89, so I wondered exactly when this "yet" was supposed to come. Her old doctor retired and her new doctor says nothing is wrong with her ears. I don't know where either of these chuckleheads go their medical degrees, because she's deaf as a stone and everyone can see it but them.
Granny spends a lot of time on the phone, although I'm not quite sure how much she hears. Sometimes I sit at the top of the stairs and listen. She agrees, then giggles, agrees some other words, she can't hear a word the person on the other end is saying.
I once left the house on a Sunday afternoon to go to a baby shower. I said, "Granny, I'm going to a baby shower". After I left she jumped on the phone to my Mom to say I told her that there was something wrong with the shower upstairs.
My Mom can go for days without speaking to her because she does not hear the phone ring, especially in the summer when she spends all her time on the sun porch. Her deafness, combined with the dulcet tones of the New York State Thruway just over the fence, leads her to think my Mom never calls her. Oh, Mom leaves messages, but Granny thinks the red blinking light on the phone is for decoration. "I get everyone's phone calls but yours!" she says to my Mom.
She calls my Mom, but let me tell you about my Mom. She cares for two of the most insane animals in the history of petdom. She has two very dear Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. There's Chance, the canine equivalent of Don Knotts, and Tess, rescued from a puppy mill, where she was forced to breed litter after litter of puppies. This has destroyed her bladder. She is not incontinent, but when she's gotta go, she's gotta go NOW. It's like living with infant twins, on a schedule - breakfast at this time, lunch at this time, dinner...etc. When one is asleep the other one is up. When one wants to go out, the other doesn't...but wants to go out fifteen minutes later.
These are the exact moments when Granny decides to call her, and it goes something like this-
"Yeah, hi ma, yeah...what? The dogs are barking I can't hear you, it's snack time...wait hang on Tess has to go...nevermind she just peed on the floor".
"Your mother and those dogs", Granny will say, out of the blue. "I haven't talked to her in days!"
I'm unemployed. I'm usually home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Full Of Grace! Full Of Grace!

The Blessed Mother is back.
I had to take this picture on the sly in the middle of the night.
Granny sometimes turns off the lights so the fake electric candle to the left can emit a red, Carnival of Souls vibe over the living room.
The lamp behind her is older than me and has a twin. In fact I think they may deserve their own entry eventually...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh Crap.

I went downstairs to get something to drink. She was asleep in a chair in the living room.
There were two pots boiling away on the stove.
Oh crap.

The Black Mold Is Taking Over

I think Granny's basement is infected with black mold. I have no proof because I'm too afraid to look.
When you go downstairs, you have to keep your mouth closed, or else it gets in your lungs, and then you're pulling a Bill the Cat to get the stench out of your throat.
My treadmill is down there. Bad idea.
Perhaps my grandmother is not really my grandmother, but a collection of mold spores held together with a rosary. This may explain why she has lived to 91 despite breast cancer, pneumonia, thyroid disease, Parkinson's, detached retinas, melanoma and those pins that are holding her arm together.
Perhaps that's why she claims she doesn't smell any mold.
One night I'll wake to find her hovering over me in my bed chanting "One of us, one of us" while tendrils of black mold try to wrap me in a cocoon, Body Snatcher-style.
I love all of you.