Friday, April 30, 2010


I perhaps shouldn't blog about people I'm working with. This is how I got fired from "Pensacola: Rings of Mold," the last tv job I had. Even though everyone in the office loved the manuscript that preceeded my prompt firing (okay not EVERYONE, it was slightly brutal to some), it seems when you have possibly ongoing relationships with new people, you perhaps shouldn't insult them in blog form. Assuming they may read this.

So I apologize in advance, and will take out a secret blog where I may write freely, and later make it into a television show. Or maybe I'll just keep writing here since I think I know the only two people who read me regularly. What Would Ricky Gervais Do? I look forward to your suggestions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Work Horses

The new PTA is so badly organized, it's like a beautiful yet tragic ballet. I go to help out with the book fair and the lady who's supposed to be running it just never shows up. So it's me and the brain-fried PTA president (the fireman), who actually is alot of help. We do all the work, and the lady finally shows up later, and has one of those personalities like she's really efficient while in effect getting no actual work done whatsoever. Like, she looks clean and clear and yet her hands are not moving to set anything up. And she has no remorse. Like, wow, maybe I should've been here to help. It's more like we're an interesting movie going on that has nothing to do with her. In fact, she's going to leave now.

So anyway, me and Firestarter set everything up yesterday. Spent the whole morning in there while the baby wandered around taking down books and opening packages and destroying what we were doing. The In Charge Chick stopped by and wavered by the door, although seemed to take no interest in coming in and helping out with the project she was CHAIRING. Then just left. We stood staring. Then we laughed. Since the baby was tuckered out, I decided I wouldn't come back for the afternoon, but would instead leave a list of things they could do, like put up posters and make price labels and stuff.

I go this morning and we have Donuts for Dads morning where kids come in with their dad and have a donut and buy books. We sold 500 dollars worth of stuff in an hour. Me and the other PTA chief, the ex-cop. These guys are the most unlikely guys. They both look like they might have been recently run over by cars. These guys are actually wonderful. They should have their own stuffed animal likeness. Ex-cop is shaped sort of like my older brother, short, squat, comes in smelling of stale cigarettes and apologizing for being late, looking showered and asleep. He's like the way your gramma's house feels. Used, smoked, bright and dim at the same time,nothing challenging is going to happen here. He's an early in the week newspaper crossword.

So turns out Coppy can't read up close, so he keeps holding the books out at arms length to read them, so we take over the cash register, me reading the book prices, he punching the numbers into the register. Taking money. We work together like we've been touring the country for years.

After the Fair closes for the morning, I manage to see the In Charge Chick again and tell her the books I'm going to re-order. I also notice that no one put any of the posters up. Again, she seems interested, but takes no action. I see the pile of posters and say I'll do it. (The piece of me that is my dad, just nicely shove everyone out of the way and do it yourself. Make a joke while you're doing it, too. Then cross it off your list and have a donut.) Also there was supposed to be a poster for the 4th and 5th graders to sign up to volunteer at the Fair. Where is that, I ask In Charge Chick. Big Boobed girl-mom says "Oh, I made the poster." "Great!" I say. Then she says: "But it looked bad so I threw it away."

Hmmm. "Wow," I say. It's like I'm running a company with a handful of assistants that don't actually do ANYTHING. And they don't see the irony.

So I reach a new level of humor. Nothing, in effect, will get done.

Fireman and Coppy and I go outside to hang up posters. They trail me as I go from place to place, holding up the tape, playing with the baby, joking about stuff, and I realize this is the greatest experience of my morning. I belong here to these limping, haphazard fellows. These guys, these are the President and the Vice-President, dude. And they are mellow, slow, and they actually DO stuff. Best of all, they show up, with a sense of irony. Diluted, of course, by the sucking hole where education should be. Peppered with redneck, but still, they freaking show up and enjoy the work. Work horses. Like the carriage horses at my other job - huge, friendly, lethargic, but they're not quitters. They'll stay with you all day, and crack a beer with you when the work is done.

There's something to that.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carnival Boobs I mean Booths

I ran back to the school because I had left something behind at the PTA meeting. The only people left inside the empty auditorium were the two dudes running the PTA (a firefighter with skin intact but most of his brain burned away) and an ex-cop who kept calling me "Cathy," and a new-ish mom with giant boobs sitting across the long table from them.

I picked up my water jug I had left and then couldn't resist going over to check out this newly formed threesome. One side of the table I knew was into firearms and women, and the other side of the table, more than ample woman. It was an adult movie set up.

The ex-cop asked me how my broken hand was healing after being dumped off of a mean pony a few months back. Then he launched into his story about breaking his foot by falling into a hole. The cast had hurt so much he sawed it off when he got home, stuck his deformed foot into the door and wrenched his foot back into place himself. Home medic - cost of surgery? Priceless.

I talked to large boobed mom, who looked about 14. She was a single mom who had three kids under seven, and none of them were in sight. Under the boobs maybe? I saw why she was sitting at the table with the two gentlemen in the long, empty wake after the PTA meeting. Better than going home to needy kids. And man, that shirt did not cover much. Her boobs looked like a giant boob swimming pool.

"Anyway, just here to get my water," I said, backing out as the conversation turned from broken bones to stun guns.

Can't wait to start those carnival planning meetings. I hope to man the stun gun booth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Facebook Has Stolen My Friend

My friend from far away came to visit. He stayed three weeks. He's the ideal houseguest, quietly he rolls along, gentle to the kids, great at Legos, very smart, using interesting language, amazing artist, likes to study people. He can usually pinpoint the most interesting thing going on, and talk about it. Or sometimes we just watch "Extreme Loggers."

But something has changed in the 4 years since I saw him last. He's grown up maybe. We don't have the luxury of the daily or weekly friendship, where you hang out, grow up with the person. We have the accelerated version, so we have to injest our friendship in loaves. Starve until we meet again.

I guess the last time we knew each other he was more mine. Like, secretly. We were closer, we threw ourselves on each other. This time, 3 kids climbing on me. He has Russian girlfriend. We were more Jane Austen polite. So I missed that stir-fried love, take-out style that we once had. Although I'll take somewhat stiff parlor-room. I'll take anything, he's that worth it.

Since he's been gone (Nathan cried when he left), I've heard two sentences from him on Facebook. Facebook has become the dropped handkerchief that one catches and returns to the lady. Hoping for a connection.

I guess I'm old fashioned. Miss the gloves, the glint in the eye, the hope.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Root of the Problem

I put off having a root canal for 2 years. Then, just like a miracle, yesterday was my lucky day. I could put it off no longer.

I put myself into the hands of some able Russians in Studio City. The dude gave me the first shot in the side of my face with, I'm pretty sure, a machete. Then he decided I needed a second shot, right in the roof of my mouth. You know, the spot where there's no skin. It's mostly bone. Needles LOVE to go into this area without pain. He pulled out a shot the size of his leg. You get the picture.

Okay so now he's numbed an area the size of Madagascar. All the natives are sleeping. Except for me, the one in my head. My mind is zinging, and he's assembling a whole mini-trampoline in my mouth. Some rings here, a stretched tarpolin there, it's all very complicated and that half a Vicodin I took from my recent hand surgery doesn't appear to be easing my nerves.

Then I have to keep my mouth open for one and a half hours. It's not so bad for the first hour, but then I unclench my feet and hands and start waiting for him to tell me I'm a good girl, it's almost done, but I get nothing. And the little sucker thing keeps sucking my breath away, I'm battling that thing to keep myself alive. My mom told me to picture my best vacation ever, to try and block out the whole experience of drills and noise and tooth packing material, and I can't think of one vacation I've ever had. Then I remember three things. Nathan born. Emma born. Lilly born. Those were some great vacations. Staying in my pajamas. People bringing me food. Little tiny babies that were mine. I see those moments, and I would smile, if things weren't hanging from my lips.

When my jaw has reached pain level 1000, they tag team and the other dentist comes in to finish the job. They sit me up. She tells me to tap tap tap my teeth. Easy for her to say. My jaw has the flexibility of a haunted house, boarded up for 30 years. I manage to look like I'm still coherent but life has a swirly look, with the white walls and the metal poles and alien lights hanging down. Then I slowly realize I AM done. It's done.

I stand up to go to the bathroom. "Thank you," I say kind of warbled to the tall Russian man-child who did my tooth. "My pleasure," he says with a kind of bow. I stare at him crazily then head to the bathroom. "My PLEASURE???" I mutter under my breath. "You have got some serious issues."

I then pay for what would have been a nice trip to Hawaii, and head out into the sunshine with my sunshiney 2 year old and Barry, who had spent a lovely two hours in the park with a dozen nannies and their charges.

I can eat and drink without cringing. It is a kind of miracle.