Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Never Know What You're Capable Of

Because of some serious, recurring neck issues, I had been referred for an EMG of my upper body.  Now, for those of you who are not familiar with the terminology, an EMG is essentially where a licensed Medical Doctor first conducts electricity through your body then literally injects it by way of what can only be described as a knitting needle.

Having previously heard horror stories about this procedure, I originally chickened out of it five months before; however, it had become necessary to provide a "nerve mapping" to the surgeon.  I decided I'd go alone reasoning that if I were to flop around on the table like a frog in a lab, I wasn't all that keen on witnesses.

The discomfort of the electric shock was prevalent but bearable.  The needle, drenched in throbbing electricity and moved about within my muscles, was not.  The further the doctor went up towards my achy neck, the worse the pain got.  At one point I believe I used a rather offensive expletive.  Rather loudly.  But I can't be sure.

Once done, I reached for my cell phone, desperately needing someone to vent to.  Having sufficiently whined to my step-mother, she then handed the phone over to my father.

He got on the phone in his usual cheery disposition.  "Started confessing to the murders and where the bodies were buried and they didn't even know there were bodies, huh?"

"Yeah."  I sniffled.  "Hell, Dad, until he stuck that needle in my neck, I didn't even know there were bodies."

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Texting - Relatively Speaking...

Working diligently in front of the television one night, my phone chimed off notifying me of a text message.  It was my niece.

Niece: What r u doing?

Me: Working.  What's up honey?

Niece:  Nuthin.  Bored.

Me:  Are you at work?

Niece: Yah.  Inventory.  I'll b here all nite.

Me:  You got plans this weekend?

Niece:  Maybe.  Dunno.  Got school on Saturday tho.

We texted back and forth for quite a while, with longer and longer delays between her responses as she worked.  Towards the wee hours, I finally decided to quit working and call it a night.

In the morning, I got up to find that my niece had responded to me while I slept.  I figured I'd better acknowledge her response and subsequent question.

Me:  Sorry about that, honey.  I fell asleep.  Yes, we'll be home this weekend if you want to come by.

Niece (several hours later): Who is this?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Contact Sport

Hockey.  Love it.  Going to the Saturday night college game at CC, we were all excited.  It was a rather crowded night and there were a lot of "pardon me's" spread around as we made our way to the seats.  A few people were already sitting in the row when we got there and we moved past an elderly couple as best we could.

We were seated above the penalty box and as the game began, I leaned against the railing to get a look towards the opposing corner of the rink.  The next thing I know, this woman next to me places two fingers just above my right breast and presses, saying: "You need to sit back.  I can't see.  You can't lean on the railing, I'm sorry."  Only she wasn't and there was no apology in her tone.

At first, I just stared at her thinking, Oh uh-uh.  I am not your child, lady.

This is what separates a Southern woman from the rest of the world, right there.  Never, and I do mean never, would a grown, Southern lady put her hands on another person and tell him or her what they "needed" to do in that situation.  Maybe if you were hitting on our man in a bar or attempting to correct one of our children without permission...but never on the first attempt to get someone to move.  My mother would have beat me with a shoe in front of them all if I had tried to pull that off.  Even at my grown age of 40.

Of course, being a well-bred and raised Southern lady, I knew I shouldn't flip out on this old biddy with mushroom hair and yellow teeth, so I resorted to a better sort of revenge. Because of a challenge with seating, we had 4 seats available to us where D and I sat and another two over and above us where the boys sat.   Being that our 'boys' were my twenty-something stepson and teenage nephew, at the first period break, I encouraged them to sit with us.  Returning to our seats, I moved past to the last of our four, gesturing for the kids to sit in the seats D and I had previously occupied.  When the oldest boy sat next to our very hospitable row neighbor, my pleasure skyrocketed as I noticed how displeased she was with the situation.

When the opposing team scored a point, I overheard my stepson exclaim rather loudly, "Oh fuck.  C'mon, guys.  Goddamn."  Seeing the Crypt Keeper's lips purse even further at his vulgarity nearly created a buzz in me.  I then also noticed that she was obviously speculating whether or not the boys had a right to be in those seats.

The game was amazing with our team scoring the winning goal just as the clock hit 1:00 remaining.  Settling in at a restaurant for a bite afterwards, our energies were still incredibly high as we recounted the events of the evening.  When we broached the subject of Mrs. Incordial, my stepson smiled broadly and explained, "after what you told me about her, I spent the remainder of the game cussing as loud as I could at every possible opportunity".

One could only hope that she's learned her lesson about asking rather than commanding other people.  But then again, being the karma-loving person I am, I prefer to think that she will continue to be miserable in her life not because she's drawn a bad hand, but because she's not a good player.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not So Sensible Savings

Visiting the city the other day, I rang up a friend to see if she could break away for lunch.

"Absolutely!"  She agreed.  "Alright, I have a coupon for Indian food and one for Mexican.  You feel like Mexican food?"

I'm from Texas.  I always feel like Mexican food.

We are both bargain shoppers and deal-getters so a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free can send us over the edge.  I think we've even eaten when we weren't really hungry because of one of those danged coupons before.

I traveled the small distance up the road to meet her at a small, local restaurant we'd been to before.  Clean facility, good food, easy prices - can't get much better than that.  We sat down and ordered drinks then began to peruse the menu in search of our buy one get one order.

Li looked at the menu and then looked at the coupon.  "Oh, wait.  The lunch specials aren't valid coupon options."

"Okay."  I agreed without looking up.

"Oh, and it says 'valid only with the purchase of two drinks."  She re-opened her menu.  "I think we can handle that."

"Yep."  As yet undecided, I still did not look up.

"What do you think you'll get?"

"I don't know yet."  I was eyeballing two equally delicious options.

"Me neither, but I'm gonna get some chips and salsa if that's alright with you."

"Oh yeah."

Li looked at the coupon again.  "Oh.  'Total reimbursement not to exceed seven dollars'."

We looked at our menus.

"Great.  And nothing on the menu is only seven bucks."

So we split the combo and threw the coupon away.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bland Greek Desserts

My daughter was visiting her grandparents in Texas one summer when she was just 6 years old.  One warm Saturday afternoon, she called me eager to tell me about their day spent at a local Greek festival.
“What did you do?”  I asked, smiling in to my cell phone.
“We watched dancers and walked around a lot.  Gramma made me shop with her.”  I could hear my mother laughing in the background.
“Did you get to eat any of the food?”
She got extremely worked up, taking a huge breath to begin rattling off all the unique treats she’d gotten to sample.  “Yes!”  She practically screamed in my ear.  “We had lamb meat.”
“Gyro.”  I informed her.
“Uh-huh.  And chicken kabob.  And hummus with pita chips…and a dip I didn't really like and we had uh…uh…”
I heard her cover up the mouthpiece of her grandmother’s cell phone.  “Gramma,” she whispered.  “What was that dessert thingy we ate?”
I heard my mother’s faint response of “bakalava”.
"Oh yeah," She whispered back.  Then said excitedly to me, “And ma, we had blah-blah-blah!”
I don’t know who laughed louder, me or my mother.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Great American Smoke Out

Construction abounds at my workplace these days – a remodel on the office suites, new sidewalks and outside stairs…even the parking and curbs are getting face lifts.  And as would be expected, this makeover is accompanied by some of the best people in most social circles: stained shirts and skin, butt cleavage, green cards and black teeth.  These guys can be found at any given time, standing about “discussing the project” while expelling copious amounts of second-hand smoke.
Sitting at my desk just inside the glass fronted door, I began to feel a tickle in my throat and noticed an irritating cough working its way through my chest.  After a few moments, I realized that it was because a small gaggle of these guys had parked just outside the security door, propping it all the way open with a large plastic paint bucket.  The smoke was wafting directly into my cubicle and causing my respiratory upset.
I politely walked over to the guy in charge, standing among his employees, happily puffing away.  I explained my dilemma to which he jumped immediately in to action.
“Oh!”  He explained, smoking butt dangling from his burnt bottom lip (how he wasn't catching the scruff of his beard on fire was beyond me), “Let me remedy that for you.”
He grabbed the large plastic bin as I walked back through the doorway.  I heard it scrape across the ground then stop prematurely.
As I sat in my seat, I looked back.  He had moved the bucket only a minute distance, closing the door only partially.  The aroma circled my head like a buzzard, my nose swelling shut with every breath.  Good thing he helped me out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happily Never After

Literally failing to function after an unbelievably hard breakup, following directly on the heels of a lay off from my job, my best friend was practically worrying herself sick trying to keep me from going all the way under.
The weekend was fast approaching and she didn't want to leave me in the midst of my painfully broken and disappointed heart.  Acting out of desperation, she called me early that Thursday evening.

“Hello?”  I croaked, my voice still warbling in and out of control.

“Hey.  How are you doing?”

“Okay.”  I paused to get control of myself before I burst in tears again.  “I just can’t believe how horribly painful this is.”  My chin began to twitch so I shut up.

“That’s why I was calling.”  She sounded rather cheery.  “Listen, I don’t want you to be alone this weekend, but I've got to go to the Springs.  There’s this girl - cute story really - getting married.  She’s doing a pagan ritual wedding and exchanging the hand-fasting vows and all that.  I think it will be a wonderfully romantic time.  Why don’t you come with me?”

The loaded silence enveloped us while I waited for her to realize what she was asking of me.  After a few awkward moments, she ended the call with a hasty apology.