My sister and I finally received the last of the closure we’d been hoping for since Dad died. Per our lawyer, and creativity, let’s just say it’s taken me a while to, uh, express myself on this one. I woke up in the middle of the night with this thought. So, here it goes.
Dad was a great roadtripper and a great driver. He loved to watch the car and speed show on Sunday mornings, and then take a little drive on a curvy road, I think it was Boudreaux Rd., and see how he his car would corner on the curves. Never once did I get nervous. And on roadtrips, he’d set up his speed reader, the beeper, some have a more technical name, like radar, but that’s what we called it. Riding with Dad was always fast, comfortable and you just felt safe. Typically when roadtripping and sleeping, when you came into a small town, you never knew, because his driving was so smooth, you couldn’t even feel him slow down abruptly. One time he got a ticket because he was cruising a bit too fast, and when his speed reader went off, he smoothly tapped his breaks. The cop told him he didn’t slow down fast enough when he radarred him. Dad later told me he was going 92 mph. The cop clocked him at 79 mph. I’d say he slowed down fast enough, just not enough for the law is all.
Inevitably, we’d end up on a smaller road, two lanes. We’d get stuck behind someone and he’d calculate how much time he was losing by driving the speed limit. And that’s when dad explained his philosophy on drivers. There were two types of drivers to Dad. There were those who drove slower than him. And those who drove faster. The ones who drove slow were the assholes who got in his way. Nothing bugged Dad more than getting around an asshole, making a pit stop, and then coming up on the same asshole and getting stuck behind him/her again. And the ones who drove faster than him, when they passed him, he’d profess, “They are fucking crazy.” And some of them would surprise you, from the looks and what they communicated. Like, a Jaguar cruisin at 55mph in the left lane. That was an absolute travesty. A minivan or a station wagon flying by and passing Dad would tick him off, and then kind of impress him.
Really, it’s a nice little life lesson.
So, Dad, we finally got around the assholes who got in your way. Who slowed you down. We know you were trying to get around them for a while. Some of them were Jags or Corvettes and let us down. We’ve been stuck behind them for almost 3 years. It’s as if we made a pit stop,you got out of the car, and we came back on them. And the rage and irritation you felt on the highway is a fraction of what we now know you had to deal with for years.
We will try not to be fucking crazy and go too fast. I will do as you taught me: push it a little bit, see how it takes the corners, keep it steady, safe and smooth. And always, always, keep a radar handy.
That’s how I roll.
Thanks to all of you concerned loyal readers…all three of you. I will be going to get an upper g.i. in a few weeks and figuring out what the deal is with my snake eating a cd, as my mother put it. And for you other loyal fans who have been wondering, where the heck is she? I’m in Desperate need of her brilliant writing…well, we were on vacation.
So, if you remember, we were going to DisneyWorld. So, we went. And it was fun. As noted, we kept the trip a surprise until the morning we left. We woke Max up and told him we were going, and then let him wake Lucy up and tell her. Lucy didn’t believe Max, but once they figured it out, it was hillarious. They were so excited and it was so fun to see the reality of it all sink in their minds. I highly recommend the surprise technique. We are brilliant for that one.
Just the trip there was an adventure. Lucy, it turns out, is motion sick. In hindsight, we’ve deduced that she can’t even ride in the back seat of the minivan. So, how we ever expected her to survive two highly turbulent airplane rides. One of which, I thought for sure the wing of our plane was going to touch down before the plane landed. She filled up three barf bags. And it turns out, Northwest Airline bitches don’t really care that you’re holding a leaky 5 lb. bag of barf. They have an obligation to serve drinks and trail mix _ for $3, mind you. They are SELLING snacks on a 3 hour plane trip now, but whatever. They were willing to go to the back of the plane to get me an extra trash bag to hold it in, but not to move the effn cart 3 feet for me to get to the bathroom to dispose of the barf. So, I sat there and held it and stunk up the whole cabin. I took 3 bags of barf to the bathroom. The first one was so full, I thought I should dump it into the toilet before the trash. Which is what the bitch said to just put it in the trash. So, I dumped it into the toilet. And then I realized that cameras were probably on me, and this must be what it feels like to dump your coke in the toilet before the cops see it…so, that was exciting.
Good thing we discover this motion sickness thing on the way to DisneyWorld. This could be fun.
She barfed on the bus from the airport to the resort too. At that point, we were out of barf bags, and ziploc bags. So, mommy cupped her hand with a napkin, and let her rip. Super. It’s good to know in times like those, that indeed, mommy intuition kicks in, and barfing in my hand is the least I can do to help out my little girl.
Day one: Magic Kingdom. Lucy’s first on the list of priorities _ off to meet Ariel at her Grotto. Not to be mistaken with Heff’s Grotto. Way different, although I’m guessing some version of her bikini top has been at both.
After that, Max and Ricardo go on Space Mountain.
Lucy and I go shopping for mouse ears and discover a Dreams Come True Show. Right after Minnie explains to Donald Duck that dreams, indeed DO come true if you just believe, it starts raining and the whole cast ditches the show with an announcement about the rain. “Dreams DO Come TRUE if you just believe, but we gotta go, cuz its raining and Dreams will have to come true later…” The irony of the subject matter and circumstances is overwhelmingly hysterical to me and Lucy wants to know a) why I’m laughing so hard, and b) why doesn’t Donald believe?
We notice a bunch of little girls with princess dresses, hair in a bun, and a tiara. Soon, I remember that there’s some kind of princess party you can go to and with enough upgrades, you can rock out hundreds to be dressed up like a princess with the princesses. We don’t tell Lucy about this. She notices the dresses, but never catches on to the whole spa in the castle gig.
By the end of the day, I’m starting to notice mouse ear shapes even where they are not: in headlights, the shape of trees, the formation of geese in the air, the way the toothpaste sets on my toothbrush.
Day 2 _ Epcot. We go to meet the characters _ waited in line for 45 minutes to meet them. This may seem ridiculous to some (even Ricardo) but it’s what the kids wanted. So we did it. They truly believe that these characters are the real deal and not just some highly promoted 19_year_old in a chipmunk suit. I discovered this when I handed Lucy a Sharpie for autographs _ because you can do that, get autographs _ and explained:
“Be careful, you don’t want to get ink on their costumes…”
She looked up at me with a shock of destroyed wonderment in her eyes and said,
“They’re in costumes???”
“FUR…hunny, you don’t want to get ink on their FURRRRR.”
I think I saved it. I hope I did.
At Epcot, we got to have lunch with princesses. I think Max is sweet on Jasmine. We rode all kinds of rides, and toured the world. At the end of the day, their favorite ride is this stupid Norway viking boat ride. Think it’s a small world, but just for Norway. I go to bed in amazement at how little I know what my kids respond to at the parks.
Day 3 Animal Kingdom _ we decide due to our abundant budget, that we’ll let the kids get something.We’ve been saying “no” and “put that down” and “isn’t being at DisneyWorld enough for you?” a lot! Forget that there’s a safari, the tree of life, a 3_D BugsLife show, Dino Land, Africa, Asia, or The Lion King show. Forget all that. Where’s the nearest souvenir shop? Well, kids, it’s at the end of every ride. It’s the only way you can exit a ride, is to go through a shop. Super. We found one. And Lucy found the biggest Simba stuffed animal she could find. We fight her for a while and she promises to lug it around all day. Max opts for a set of Disney hotwheel_esque cars. We’re in the middle of the most spectacular live production of The Lion King, and Max is playing with his cars. So be it. It turns out, bugs in darkness, squirting things and flying around, aren’t really fun.
Ricardo discovers that HIS favorite princess is Pocahontas because she has the most athletic body and the shortest skirt. He also discovers that the parks are getting more crowded as we near the weekend rush. And what with all the ECOFRIENDLY hoorah of Animal Kingdom, they saved as many trees as they could and sacrificed room for pathways. He recommends they take out more trees and make bigger pathways. Because getting from Asia to Africa then do Dinoland is taking too long.
Day 4_ A half day at Disney Hollywood Studios. We get in a cool car stunt show and Max (and Lucy too) gets to off the Princesses and watch the Power Rangers come in and gets to meet them. Too fun. They start complaining that they don’t want to leave, but Ricardo and I have a back up plan, we buy them more toys, ice cream, and some dramamine for Lucy and lure them out of the park worry free.
Overall, it’s worth it to go. The kids really did have a magical time. Mommy did too. It was so fun to watch them discover new things every day. It was perfectly planned for our family. We are considering writing a book called The Disney Minimalist: how to get in, get out, have fun and not go into debt. And trust me, there are books out there on visiting Disney.
That’s how I roll.
This is what my esophagus feels like somedays.
I write to you today from the depths of my bed. I’m experiencing some type of stomach bug. The kids realized I really was sick when I got off the couch in my pajamas, put on my slippers and coat, and got in the car:
“You’re driving us in your jammies?”
“Yes, I’m sick sweetie”
This whole stomach gig started with what I would refer to as absurd heartburn. I’m hoping with this post, I’ll be enlightened and that someone can help me. Mind you, “Stop your bitching” won’t help me. So, keep that in mind. I decided to post this, because when I mention to my friends about my heartburn, they tell me, “Uh, yeah Les, that’s not what I get when I have heartburn.” I’ve mentioned this gig to the doctor before and she gave me some meds to try out. But I think it’s not heartburn. And that’s what I described it as, so that’s why she did the meds for it. So, what the hell is it?
Supposedly, heartburn is when you feel a burning acidy sensation in your esophagus and such. What I’ve got is not fire or burning. It’s more like I swallowed a ball slightly larger than a ping pong ball. And it gets stuck. I feel like I can’t breathe when it comes on, and if it’s intense enough, for the next day or so, I can feel this “ball” work itself down to my stomach. Everytime it happens, I think of the snake Max and I watched eat a mouse twice his size. Max was devastated, I was fascinated watching the snake work the food through his body. I wanted to shout: “That’s how I feel!”
Typically, when I get this ping pong ball heartburn, it’s when I’ve had a lot of coke or fatty foods. God’s nutritionist zaps me with, “Let me show you how old you’re getting and why you shouldn’t eat that.” Doesn’t every American mom stock their minivan with jumper cables, bandaids, and a large bottle of Tums? And typically, it only occurs really bad about 4_5 times a year, and only in the last few years. But as of late, I’ve gotten the ping pong ball four times in the last two weeks. And I’ve been eating very healthy. The last two episodes of ping pong ball have occurred while eating broccoli. I mean, isn’t the broccoli torture enough?
I just don’t get it. What the hell is it? I’m hoping you can solve this riddle.
That’s how I roll.
This is how I roll in Dodgeball. It’s my token move.
Sven announced a few months ago that he was organizing a dodgeball tournament. The moment I got JulzHOLLA! alone to tell her that her husband was crazy, I was informed that it was for charity. Exploiting charity like that, Sven. I mean, REALLY! Sven is a wee bit competitive and could rule SportsCenter with his sports knowledge. It’s not even trivia, it’s useful stuff. So a challenge, like Dodgeball, really helps him hone in on his rules and regulations chapter. It’s new, inventive, ever_changing.
Then they explained they wanted us to play in this tournament. Really? I’m 6’3″ and Ricardo is 6’8″. You want us for full range of throwing and nailing with balls? Thanks guys. When we get an invite to partake in sports of any sort, our (my) first assessment of the sport is “Will this be a height advantage?” and then, if yes, “Can I totally dominate?” Granted, I’m not your best athlete. But I can hang in the sports of Basketball, Volleyball and Ceiling Light Changing. If there’s wood cutting competitions, imagine the sport of changing a light bulb. With electricity and all, I can’t believe it’s not all the rave with some reality competition during this writers strike is all I’m sayin.
So, while I was being wooed to play in this tournament, I tried hard to fight it. And then they started telling me about this kid. And his single Mom. So, I did it for Jakson and his mom. I said I’d do it, hoping one of my kids would get me out of it with a broken limb or strep throat or something. Lucy almost pulled through with me, but it was just a lame sinus infection. So, I went.
Jakson is completely paralyzed. He is in Kindergarten. He’s in a wheelchair and his mind is perfectly in tact, he really has his wits about him. It’s just he can’t move, eat. He’s recently been given the opportunity to use a communication with his eyes. The problem is, doctors can’t help him, because they can’t diagnose him. I cannot imagine how hard this must be for a mother. I’d need answers. So, Jakson and his mom live in an apartment, it’s small and it’s not equipped for handicap needs. She has to lift him and push him through out a stuffed apartment. This Dodgeball tournament is in effort to continue raising money for Jakson and his mom to build a handicap equipped house, and I’m sure to help pay ever growing medical bills.
I’m happy to help this cause, but I had apprehension to participate because well, Sven is a bit competitive. And I am too, well, no I’m not. I knew that this was all for a good cause and all, but I knew I’d let the team down at some point. Because with Dodgeball you have to be quick, have good aim, and be able to think quick on your feet. None of which I have any skill in doing. I warned Sven, who, apparently was just desperate for another female to be on the roster, and I went. So, my cash donation wouldn’t do, I’d have to play. Not a bad trade off, I suppose, play and suck for my team, for a good cause. Fine, I’ll do it.
I’m happy to report, I figured out early on, that my role was ball shagger. I only sucked at the bitter end, when it counted the most. And to those jack asses who were throwing 100mph balls with a back spin on it. Thanks for the raspberries on my hip, thigh and shoulder. Effn jackasses. It was for charity. I’m well aware that my thunder thighs and birthin hips are easy targets. Thanks for the reminder. Geesh.
At the end of the day, we lost in bracket play. I was celebrating that I caught a ball, and then got nailed in the chest, which by the way, is a very small target, so great job to whoever threw that one. You hit these ladies without night goggles or binoculars _ you deserve to win. And since Sven was the co_founder of this event, “I’m embarassed” came out of his mouth as we walked off. Hey, I told you buddy. I told you my cash was better than my game. But noooooooo, you had to have me. Sigh.
Ultimately Sven, you should not be ashamed, rather ridiculously proud. You could have just sent money. You could have gotten all your buddies at work to pitch in and send money to this family. But you did more than that. You brought an awareness to a community and a family in need. I know it took a lot of work, coordination, and immense amount of time to put this event together. I’m proud of you for doing it, and making me a part of it. And every time I go potty and look down at my bruised legs & hips, I’m happy to grin and know that I was a part of a great loss that Jakson and his mom will prosper from. You made it happen. Thanks Sven!
That’s how I roll.