So yesterday, while watching this (don't bother going there unless you're into the whole UFO thing, and have two hours to spare), I said aloud to myself this: "Corn!"
I shocked myself with this utterance, as my mind was actually screaming "cornucopia!"
Strange that I only vocalized part of my newly invented exclamation of surprise and joy, but there you go. "Cornucopia," to me, embodies the various emotions and physical sensations involved in an intriguing, fulfilling experience -- and if you think about it, it makes sense. Cornucopias are horns of plenty, filled with wonderful things, a delightful gift, its treasures revealed slowly, i.e., remove the visible apple from the mouth of the horn, and an orange rolls out; remove the orange, and a bottle of Absolut tumbles forward. And so on, and so forth.
However, though the word itself captures the feeling of spectacular goodness stuffed all in one tidy, decorative centerpiece, shouting "cornucopia" is a bit daunting. The many syllables trip the tongue, dampen the moment of discovery and excitement. Hence "corn!"
Here are but a few examples in which one may employ both "corn!" and "cornucopia!":
1) Say you happen across a fifty dollar bill while taking a stroll through your neighborhood. You might pick up the bill, stare at it lovingly, and say "Holy cornucopia! I'm the luckiest person alive!"
2) If you ever find yourself in a situation whereupon the woman or man of your dreams professes their undying love, and also offers to gift you a brand new Porsche, just for the heck of it, you should most definitely shout "That is so corn!"
3) While viewing an especially entertaining film, concert, or stage production, proclaiming (aloud) that it is "the corn!" would be more than appropriate.
4) If excited by the thought of an upcoming event, whether it be a job promotion, marriage, or unusually large tax refund, feel free to show your excited anticipation by saying "I am so corned!"
5) Perhaps a loved one has achieved something grand -- graduated from school, been elected president, won a contest of some sort -- you will, I guarantee, feel tremendous glee were you to shout (loudly, in their face), "Cornucopia! That is so fantastic!"
First it Was a Bag of Garbage, Now it's My Husband
Upon leaving my mother's hospital room last night, I ventured on to the usual pick-up place to wait for Lar. Was supposed to meet him at 6:30.
Surprised but not alarmed (yet) that he wasn't there, I waited just outside the hospital main entrance, assuming he'd drive up any minute. It was bitterly cold, but I figured I'd better wait where I had a good view of the pick-up circle, as the view was obstructed inside by large pillars and other visitors milling about. So I waited, then waited some more.
After about, oh, I don't know, twenty and one half hours, my fingers began to stiffen into Witchy Poo claws, and the tips of my ears fell off, so I went inside to warm my bones, paced and fretted, worried and sniffed, went back outside, paced and sniffed, ignored the odd looks I was receiving from other waiters (I had been talking to myself at that point), for another forty-two hours, then hightailed it back up to Mom's room.
Sadly, I think I may have frightened Mom, the way I whooshed into her room like some sort of freeze-dried Bat Woman, coat flying out behind me, my hair askew, my nose crumbling ala Michael Jackson, expression frozen into a hideous, teeth-bared mask of pure pain and hatred.
Although I knew I'd startled my mother, I didn't care -- I wanted her phone, and did not give one whit who I startled, or which nurses were calling security at that moment. I wanted the phone, I wanted to find Lar, and I wanted to be warm, home, and curled up with a dictionary and a bag of Wendy's. That is all.
My oldest daughter answered the phone and told me that "Dad called and said he's been waiting forever."
This was my reply: ???????????????
I ran back down to the main entrance in record time (no small feat considering the size of this frigging hospital), and frantically searched for any sign of an unusually large head-shadow looming behind the wheel of a champagne-colored H3, but no deal. I walked back and forth, over and around, spoke aloud to whomever was responsible for this nightmare, asked he or she or it to kindly fuck off and thanked them very much.
At this stage, I was near death, and angels appeared from on high to trumpet my welcome, but I'm a fighter, so I shooed most of them away and once again ran back inside.
A hospital employee was waiting there as well, and one of the angels, a stubborn, feisty Latina named Yolanda, whispered in my ear this: "Ask the lady if there is another entrance that leads to the lobby..."
So I did, and she answered.
Here was my reply to the kind hospital employee lady: !!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is what Lar said to me when I sheepishly hopped into the car: %&$(#(#)@*@*@*((((@@@@@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I just sent the boy off to school with a bag of garbage.
It is a smallish bag meant for the bin outside (it's garbage collection day).
It smells terribly.
It has a poop diaper in it and a bag of cigarette butts.
It is not normal garbage.
It is garbage that would shame even the heartiest of souls.
It is garbage you would never, ever want your child's teacher to see.
Brandon, unfortunately, was having a bit of a tantrum before the bus came, wouldn't put his coat and boots on, wouldn't cooperate whatsoever, so I was frazzled, hurrying to get him suited up and out the door, bag of garbage in hand, which I was going to put in the bin, situated curbside -- right where we wait for the bus.
I remember that my son ceased with his tantrum soon as he saw the bus come round the bend. I remember that he melted my heart with a trembly "I love you, Mommy" and a kiss goodbye. I remember slipping his backpack onto his back -- something I don't normally do, as he has to sit in the bus seat.
Why did I do that? So that his tiny hands would be free to carry the garbage?
I remember nothing else as to the whereabouts of the bag of garbage. The stinking, shameful bag of garbage that no child should venture near, let alone hold.
It is not in the bin. It is not in the house. It is not on the front step, or the driveway.
I have concluded, much to my horror, that the bag of garbage is indeed clutched in my boy's clean, innocent hands.
My boy is going to open the bag, my friends, and there before the eyes and nostrils of his fellow kindergartners, instead of a special baked treat for the whole class, or perhaps a magical dancing bear, or a wombat named Fred, or a host of any other delightful possibilities, my son will present a bag of garbage, its contents culled from the depths of Hell.
Courtesy of Brandon's stupid, preoccupied, not-right-in-the-head mommy.
E-mail to Brandon's teacher --
Subject: Re: Report Card Conference
January 22 at 2:45 is perfect, Jim.
Oh, and please don't think me insane or anything, but...Did Brandon come to class today with a stinking bag of garbage?
If so, I apologize a thousand times.
It was meant for the garbage bin, which is situated curbside near the bus stop. The bus came early, and I had the bag in my hands as I was getting Brandon on the bus, and...That's the last I remember of the bag. It is not in the bin, nor anywhere in or near the house.
If Brandon did not come to class with a bag of garbage today, then please forget you ever read this. ;-)
Reply from Brandon's teacher --
HAHA I was laughing out loud as I read that. :) I did not notice the bag of trash at all today. Maybe it is in his backpack??
FINAL UPDATE: The whereabouts of the bag of garbage remains a mystery.
I don't exactly understand why, but that makes me giggle like a drunken sailor.
Also, good news regarding me mum -- she's now in a different hospital, Strong Memorial, which is affiliated with the University of Rochester, and will be undergoing inpatient clinical trial treatment. The docs there say that if she doesn't respond to that, they have one more trick up their crisp, white sleeves.
If one of the treatments can get her into remission, even for a few days, they will attempt a bone marrow transplant, which is surprising news considering bone marrow transplants are usually reserved for those under sixty (older patients don't fare as well as younger ones, and can die due to complications). She has two brothers willing to test for compatibility, but if they don't match, she'll be put on a waiting list.
When I'd asked one of the docs if I could test, he looked at me kind of funny and said, "Well, is there intermarriage in your family?" (meaning incest), and I, horrified yet laughing, said NO! "Okay, then," said the good doctor, "you will not be a possible match -- only siblings with the same mother and father are candidates. "
Didn't sleep last night, which sucks, because I really needed the shut eye. Having trouble focusing, everything seems dreamlike, hazy and disjointed. Christ, I'd be thrilled with at least five consecutive hours, but no doing. Been a long time since I last slept for more than three hours without waking -- not anomalous for me, as I'm a lifelong insomniac, but I usually manage to crash quite well after a couple of weeks sans sleep. Not lately, though.
I'm about to ramble on here, and I apologize for any run on sentences, grammar errors, or extreme boredom you may encounter.
My grandma called me last night with the news that my mother was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to spiking fever. Not surprised. Why the docs let her go home in the first place is a mystery to me and everyone else concerned. I mean, here she is, over sixty, with refractory acute myeloid leukemia, just finished her THIRD try at chemotherapy, which, as with the other two tries, did nothing to stop the blast cells from furiously multiplying, and she's sick as hell, no immune system, and the dumbass doctors, instead of taking her straight to another hospital on Monday for last-ditch effort clinical trial treatment, as was planned (her decision -- emphatically decided upon, by the way), her oncology team suddenly throw their hands in the air and start talking gibberish. Babbling, useless, stupid idiots, the whole lot of them.
This is the same hospital where my Nic was treated, then died, October 28th. Without warning. Like, totally without warning. Sure, she had late stage breast cancer, and sure, she was nearing end stage, but...This is the same hospital that, two days before she died, when she went in emergency complaining of loss of sensation in her lower extremities and incontinence, kept her waiting, lying on a crappy ED bed for EIGHT HOURS before she was taken care of. Eight hours. No one bothered to even ask her if she needed to use the toilet until her seventh hour of waiting, and the person that asked her was...Me. She looked at me, cocked her head and said, "Uh, yeah, probably a good idea, that." So her daughter runs to get a nurse -- anybody -- to help take Nic to the bathroom. And we waited. Then waited some more.
Fucking dickwads finally sent someone over after her daughter LOUDLY protested while she and I attempted to carry/drag poor Nic to the bathroom ourselves.
But Nic, other than incontinence and inability to walk, was her old self, full of spunk, piss (pun!), and vinegar, and finally making her plans for palliative care. The last thing we discussed, the night before she passed, was our Halloween plan. We were planning our traditional Halloween night, my brother Rob included, where scary movies, Snickers bars, and potato chips with onion dip are de rigueur.
How could someone go from laughing and joking and anticipating a fun Halloween to death OVER NIGHT?
Oh, and I forgot to mention that right before my brother and I were leaving that night, Nic told me that she'd been left to sit in her own waste for a long time that day. Despite repeated beeps to the nurse's station. And the dildos KNEW she was incontinent...And when I confronted one of the nurses before I left, she said to me this: "Impossible. Waniece has trouble with time perception."
Yeah. Okay, sister.
It's always the patient's fault, isn't it?
Just like it's my mom's fault for WANTING TO FUCKING LIVE.
Look, I realize that hospitals are understaffed. I get that nurses and doctors are overwhelmed. I understand that successful treatments for cancer are WOEFULLY slim pickings. I get all of that. But I have absolutely NO faith whatsoever in the current medical establishment. None. It's all dictated to by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Hey, and I'll throw in government "intervention" as well.
See, If I were in charge of things, it would be mandatory that all cancer patients receive a box of fatties, unlimited pain meds of their choice (my mom, when she asked a nurse if she could have a Vicodin last weekend, was told she'd have to wait until the nurse "got permission" from some mysterious fuckwit or other -- strange, considering Mom's never had to go through secret channels before just to get a fucking VICODIN! -- so they sent in a couple of TYLENOL instead. Tylenol? That's like putting a cockwiping Band Aid on a broken leg!), and an advocate assigned to each and every patient. Yeah, I know the family is supposed to advocate, but, jeepers, fuck. We kind of HAVE OUR HEADS UP OUR ASSES AT THE MOMENT? We sort of AREN'T FUCKING DOCTORS who know WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? And we certainly have NO FUCKING CONTROL over mind-blowingly callous CUNT-FACED INSURANCE COMPANIES and their evil twins, the NOT-SO-FUNNY PHARMS!
Okay, breathe, Ms. Lori...Breathe...
Right, then. I'm off to get my boy ready for school. And then I've a nice, cold six pack to cuddle up to.
Screw everything until later. Today, for a while, I shall wallow. By the time the kids come home, I'll be right as rain, house will be spic 'n' span, dinner in the oven, my makeup did, my smile in place. Then it's off to visit my mother.
More weirdness abounds in the Young household. We'd been relatively weirdness-free for the past two years, with the exception of my cat doing her "peering down the heating vent in my bedroom" thing, but alas, the weirdness is back with a vengeance. And this time, even Lar agrees that it's something odder than odd should ever be.
If you want to read a bit of background, please go here. There's another link in that post that will take you to my first post regarding weirdness.
In hindsight, I now realize that shit was about 1/4 inch from hitting the fan on New Year's Day. December had been a truly beautiful time for me, despite the bad, bad things that had gone on in recent months. Some of you know what I'm talking about, yeah? Anyway, beginning on January 1st, there definitely was a change of atmosphere, a palpable heaviness in the air. Everyone in the house seemed more on edge than usual, the kids whinier, easier to set off, Lar began brooding more than usual, and I felt an uneasiness, an irritation, a profound sadness...All of which I attributed to the end of the holidays, back to school, bills, and my mother's worsening condition.
Emotions are easily explained away.
But then, this morning, after Lar told me of last night's events, I recalled the very real, very cold, totally inexplicable breeze that blew over the left side of my body a few days ago. Seriously, it was a breeze, folks. An icy, forceful wind that made my sleeve push against my arm. I'd been standing at the wall table in the living room (the one in our addition -- the light bulb-exploding one I wrote about in the link above), dusting my brand new Egyptian knickknacks, gazing into the mirror above the table (I love myself way too much), when I felt that breeze just slam into me.
Okay, well, I thought to myself that although strange, it wasn't anything to think about for more than a minute, regardless of the fact that the kids were in their rooms, Lar was at work, and nobody had entered the home nor left. Doors were all locked, and it was a calm albeit cold afternoon -- no wind.
Aiiiiiii! That ghostie-thing was announcing its return, I guess, because this morning, Lar -- practical, stoic, skeptical, Stonehenge-headed Lar -- said to me, "Hear the ghost last night?"
Well, I just about dropped my coffee mug. "Huh? Whaaa...?"
"The ghost...You didn't hear it?"
"Uh...No? What the hell are you talking about?"
Impatient now, Lar raised his voice and gestured toward the hallway. "The damn ghost! You didn't hear all that noise last night?"
"Apparently not, else I would be screeching like a loon right about now."
According to Lar, around 4:00 this morning, he woke to banging noises coming from the main part of the house (our bedroom is in the addition), so he got up to investigate, figuring it was one of the kids, or the cat. Unfortunately, everyone was asleep, and the cat was in my oldest daughter's bedroom, which is right next to our bedroom.
Finding nothing, Lar heads on back to our room, but is stopped in his tracks by another loud bang/thump, then another. He could not figure out where they were coming from, as the thumps seemingly reverberated throughout that part of the house, including the game room/bar directly beneath. He searched high and low, went to the basement and up again, but found nothing.
So Lar, probably pooping his pants at that point (hee hee), went back to our bedroom, drowsed off, but was woken by sounds in OUR room now. (AAAAAAiiiiiiiii!!!!)
The cord on the back of our new flat screen TV, which sets on a highboy across from our bed, was thrashing wildly against the back of the highboy, as if, in Lar's words, "it was trying to get our attention."
Holy butthole! Strong words coming from a man who thinks I am mildly insane amusing with my strong belief in the paranormal.
In fact, if he knew I was making public his newfound belief (which, truth be told, most likely isn't all that strong -- he's just a bit spooked right now), he'd scowl really HARD at me and then not speak to me for, like, days.
Hopefully, the kids' toys won't go off in the middle of the night (a recurrent problem with us, beginning in our first home, when our firstborn was around two years old). Really, I simply hate that. Exploding light bulbs, televisions turning on and off, thrashing cords, thumps I can deal with, but toy cars and talking dolls having a party at three a.m.? Awful.
Albeit cautiously so...Thrilled as I am that my boy, John Edwards, won second place in Iowa, I was hoping he'd top Obama. I like Obama, truly I do, but at this stage in his (young) political career, I also believe that he's not quite ready for primetime, something I concluded while watching the '07 debates, wherein he, in my humble opinion, was trumped by both Edwards and Clinton. I appreciate his youth (please, dear Jeeves, no more of the "old boys," which includes Hillary "Special Interest" Clinton), and he appears to have a wonderful vision, an enthusiasm for real change, as well as possessing a gift for inspirational eloquence, but...
Okay, I'm going to be brutally frank here -- forget the inexperience angle...
It's his hair. Obama just doesn't have the hair to lead this country. Perhaps in a few years, yes, if he allows it to fill in, grows it a bit longer, uses a smidgen of product. Until then, however, Edwards has him beat by a mile.
I feel confident that, with John Edwards in office, his bouncy, glimmering locks will be a bright beacon, a floodlight of cinnamon-scented hope that shall lead us down the path toward a better America.
God, I'm an asshole. I am nothing but a superficial, hair-loving asshole.
Let's be serious for a moment here. John Edwards must be president. It is imperative that he be in charge, and here's why: The man will bring change to America; the man will bring our troops home; the man will see to it that our children receive affordable health care, and the man will dig us out of the seemingly endless pit of debt, corruption, and universal hatred. The man will rescue the drowning middle class, breathe life back into it, maybe give it a cherry Popsycle.
Don't have faith? Well, that may be because you haven't been watching, reading enough Edwards (mayhap his hair blinded you with its brilliance?), but I implore you to do so now. Listen to what he says, and not just for a few minutes here and there. Really listen to what he says, how he says it, read his statements, watch his mannerisms (ignore his blinky eyes, if you can -- hell, we all have quirks, a tic or two, don't we?), pay attention to his body language, all of which not only sound and look sincere, they are sincere.
Plus, he's got balls of iron.
Take into consideration what folks like this have to say about the candidates instead of, um, Oprah.
"I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy."