21 February 2009

To all cooks, you have my endearing heart

From the first of the morning,
To the last off the grill,
You set out the food,
ne'er to chill.

The peppers and onions,
the panfries and gravy,
and all of the food stuff
so scrumptious and savory.

You make this all happen
with a flick of the wrist,
with a pinch of green onions,
and, well, you get the gist.

From chicken sans bones
To special du jour,
Your plates come out steaming,
Your saucer's couture.

From pasta al dente
to denvers with cheese,
we only see part of
what the cook sees.

You re-do our orders,
you fix our mistakes,
you give us the job,
you do what it takes.

We know you are special,
a little whacky, too,
but it's because of your breed
and how you make do.

We take off our hats
and tip them to you
because you're our cooks
and in our own ways, we love you, too!

19 February 2009

I remember being SOOO angry at her every time I went down the stairs. If it wasn't for me being on the computer late at night, it was for the way I did the dishes or disciplined (or didn't discipline) my girls or borrowed hangers or cleaned the house or fed my then-6-month-old. I had HAD enough. Every. Single. Time. I did something, I heard about it.

She had missed the polo vaccine by a year. Her limping gait was painfully pulled to one side and she had the gall to wear shorts in April, which revealed gargantuan scars from multiple corrective surgeries. She waddled her way around everywhere she went, including a house she could barely maneuver in, and did her best to live the most normal life she could live and gaining everyone's sympathy doing it.

But she was the closest thing to the antichrist.

If she wasn't aimlessly waiting to find some weird, piddling chore for me to do or craft for her to make herself, she was rearranging her cupboards for the fifty-millionth time or eating Honeycomb cereal dry in a bowl. Think little old lady in the gingerbread house with OCD.

I am not making this up.

One night, she was so intensely into her rearranging that she fell off the stepstool she should have NEVER been on and laid passed out on the kitchen floor. I was thinking, good, she's dead, but her daughter's face was crumpled with fear at the sight of her mother, so we called an ambulance. Neither of us were about to lift her to the car ourselves. Especially when we would have had get my girls in the car along with a heavy, passed out woman.

In the hospital late that night, she cried to me with contrived quivering. She was "so" sorry and was I mad at her. Mad at her? MAD at her? For what? Falling off the stool? For using absolutely zero common sense to stay off it when she had problems balancing at the best of times? For making my life a living hell when my husband, HER nephew, was sick with cancer in the hospital? For making me drag my two little girls out of bed at that late hour? For scaring the bejeezus out of me when the last thing I wanted to do was give a shit? Hell yeah, I was!

But I just swallowed it. No, I said, I'm not mad and how could I be mad, it was just an accident.

But seriously. What was one more thing going to do? One more incident? Drama session? What MORE damage could possibly be done that hadn't been done by ONE more thing? What single thing could have caused any more discord, heartache, and resentment than there already was? I was beyond exhausted. Beyond seasoned. Beyond the flip out point. Beyond recognition of all things congnitive. I was fucked.

* * *

She was also the assistant director of an inner city-type daycare. The very same one that SHE suggested my girls went to during the day so that I could be at the hospital with Kyle. I really don't know how someone like her gets a job in that field. You can preach a love for kids all you want and then straddle a 6-month-old, whose poor neck can only take so much, on your decrepit hip. Or enforce spoon feeding. Or coloring. Or building with blocks. If the kid is disinterested, he's disinterested. You can't make him interested by continuing to shove that spoon, that toy, that crayon down their proverbial throats.

Somehow, I let this happen. I let myself believe that enrolling them there would at least provide them with some normalcy while I spent the day at the hospital. At least that's what I figure because it bothered me deeply to leave them there alone--"alone" as in, without me and yet, I did it anyway. It didn't feel right, but maybe that's because I just hated her. And I never hated anyone. I needed to know they would be well taken care of, I needed proof, and I just didn't trust her. The daycare worked, though. The girls got to spend the days surrounded by toys, activities, scheduled meals, naps, friends, and a staff that didn't necessarily always include her while I sat in a sterile hospital room with an alien husband watching re-runs of Three's Company, Northern Exposure, and MacGyver with him.

Plus she was allergic (allegedly allergic) to just about everything: nuts, milk, bananas, lotion, medical tape, sitting, standing, wool, cotton (I think; a few of those I just made up, but then so did she, so I guess we're even?), common sense. When she wasn't spending my $650/month rent payments on craft crap from Michael's, 32-inch television sets, new computers, bedroom sets for their daughter or more, she was "helping" me to the hospital, carrying my 6-month-old, head bobbing side-to-side to the erratic rhythm of her lopsided steps.

Everything about her dichotomous ways curdled my blood.

18 February 2009

Tonight I was taking care of the dining room while my co-closing partner-in-crime waitress-friend, K, was covering my back with all the side chores when "SHE" comes in.

I barely notice her, I'm around and around with the coffee, getting drinks, taking orders, punching them in, covering everyone. She comes in with someone I assume to be her boyfriend. I've seen them together before. She is pregnant. Not that that matters. Except I could never roundhouse her grouchy ass if my life depended on it.

Take one: I stop at the table, ask for drinks. The snotface boyfriend straightens up and orders a chicken burger. I have my hands full. I say okay. I smile. I am still trying to commit other requests to memory and think if I could just get over to the till, set these down...

"Just plain. But with pickles."

Say what? Back up, dishes, cloth and coffee pot. "What's that?" What I mean: "what the fuck do you want NOW, you whiny, bitter, unhappy little prick?"

At that instant, I am in danger of forgetting table 6's request. Pie. Platter. No. Ice cream? No, cheese, but... gotta put these down. Just give me two seconds, please. I'll be right back.

No dice. He's not reading the dish-laden pleading in my eyes OR hands, probably because it's overlaced with sheer albeit momentary hate. In fact, he's not even looking her eyes. They look scowled and disconnected. Was he bitterly caught up in this pregnancy? Did she have him by the cranky, snotty, sour-faced balls? Has every moment in their lives been one trapped moment to another?

I don't hate anyone. I also don't care. They deserve each other for all I can tell. A match made in the respites of hell.

I say, "so you just want chicken and pickles?" This is not the strangest request I've heard. And I say in a way that means "just the chicken burger and pickles. No lettuce, tomato, or mayo."

"No. I just want---" blah, blah, blah, his voice fades. I get short.

Me: "Let me set these down 'cause otherwise I'll forget." I say this with my own trickling snotiness. I call it attitude. I walk away.

I've waited on this unhappy miserable couple before. She is usually the only female among two or more males accompanying her. Who really knows why, but I'm just sayin'... Maybe she is the cool, one-of-the-guys girls, but she is just too snotty to be cool. And they all seem as snotty as she is. So when I figure THAT just can't be, I figure the obvious opposite. I mean, she IS pregnant.

Yes, that wild snickering you hear is me.

I was warned about her the first time I waited on her. She didn't seem that bad. I've worked with worse. My mission in life is to take what seems impossible and work it over to a possibility. I walk away from the experience unscathed. I say this so you can know how much worse it gets...

I don't have time to think about how to better deal with this table. I have six other tables on the go and the coffee crowd is trickling in. They are my first stop every round I make. They'll survive. Put in all the orders, drop off my dishes, regain my brain, go around with the coffee again. I am ready, I brace myself to confirm Thorn In Ass-Man's order.

Take two: "Okay," smile, "you wanted a chicken burger with pickles?

TIAM: "Myeah-s."

Me: "Okay." Half-smile. Nod. Around I go again. Everyone is happy. It is somewhere around nine. Anyone coming in to order food is chatting and content, even the picky coffee-crowd food orders are happy.

Or at least I try to go around.

"And could I get a glass of water?" She Devil blurts out.

Hmm? Again, back up, pause, double check.

Me: "Water? Sure." Around I go. Note to self: GET WATER BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!

I go around, put the chicken burger into the system, check on everyone, get to the back. I forget the water. Chicken burger comes out, I coffee the other male to have joined the table. I still don't bring water. Let me side note by saying this is NOT the kind of woman who is appreciative of good service in the best of moments. And this was a lesser moment for me.

I begin to make another pass of coffee, water not even on the brain, go by Miserable Bitch's and TIAM's table. As I go by, she barks at me.

"Could I GET my water?" I systematically feel bad for forgetting, then it passes. She is snippy and sneery and I feel like slapping little hoochies like this across the face at the best of times. There's no reason for that kind of attitude. Didn't your mama teach you? No? Okay, I'll do it, I'll slap your face, I'll knock you clean off your ass, b****!

I think about spitting in her water, horking a loogie in it. I go back to the kitchen to hide for a moment.

Let me back up and say that it is important to note that I have an instant temper in this very exact kind of situation. Actually, that is an understatement. I actually feel muscles in my body recoil and patience snapping like a bow string, and everything goes into some kind of Joker-like senselessness in my brain. I'm not going to go apeshit or fly into a murerous rage. It DOES make me want to start backhanding assholes. Just backhand them so hard they feel knuckle, head bobbling backward, lips hitting their teeth, their reactions stunned, maybe a little trickle of blood because obviously their mamas didn't teach them how to be good little boys and girls.

I grunt. K laughs because she knows what I am going through. I go back and get two waters. I'm thinking about which cup is hers, not wanting to fill one, not wanting to bring it to her, not WANTING... her to get her way. Her snotty, snotty way. I fill it anyway. I don't spit in it. I don't even stick my dirty, bleachy, greasy finger in it.

I bring it to her table and slam it down. I do not go by their table again. They leave and they don't tip. All I can think of is...

"Don't F*** with the people who serve you your food!" (Don't watch past the kitchen scene if you gag easy.)

Disclaimer: This does not, nor will this apply to anyone else, any other customer, anyone else I have ever waited on or will wait on. This is just for my sick, sick amusement.
When I was 21, I walked into Kyle's hospital room by myself, ahead of the girls by either a few steps or my mother-in-law keeping them in the hall, and timidly approached the corner of the in-room bathroom wall, relieved to be near Kyle again.

The girls were little. Aurora was two and a half, Celia just 6 months old and still needing to be carried. We'd trekked the two hours it takes to get from where I was living with friends in Brandon to the city of Winnipeg, over to Health Sciences, parked in the parkade, baby brigade stuffed, into the elevator, up to D6 (cancer ward), down the hall, through the double doors that locked on one side until the other side was shut, and down the everlasting hall towards Kyle's room.

It was the second visit since moving him into the hospital. He was going to be staying there a whole long while the plans were to chemo the hell out of him and then do something-can't remember-something when he was something-something-better.

But nothing could prepare me for what I was about to see as my legs carried me around the corner and my husband, 24 and with a full, thick head of hair the last time I saw him, was bald as a baby's behind. His beard was gone, his eyebrows were gone, his moustache was gone, even his smile was gone, but it wasn't that which catapulted me forward and threw me backwards all at once. It was his eyes. They were stark and sunken and very, very wide. I realized his eyelashes were gone, too, and it made his eyes look very, very bulging and very unfamiliar.

I didn't want to react. I didn't want him to see my face or feel my reaction or read negativity or feel inadequate in any way, even though it was spurning. This could not have been my husband. Did I step into the wrong room? I would have looked back to check, except if it hadn't been, Linda wouldn't have been outside the door. I was in absolute shock. I wasn't repulsed, but I had fleetingly wished I could do the moment over, wished someone would have told me what I was going to see. He looked at me with strange eyes and for having been an eye-girl my whole life, this was deeply unnerving. I wanted to cry.

But I didn't. In a flash and without them fully forming in my mind, thoughts of how could I have-- what if he doesn-- look at him!-- married-- really??-- how can we-- how are we-- is there-- what if this doesn't-- how can you-- crossed my mind. I had no idea, no creative way, no place to think of something more concrete, more positive or a way to deal with what I had just seen, what I was still seeing, this situation, the unbelievable course our lives were taking, and the whole unknown of Kyle's outcome--when and if he'd heal, if he would live, what kind of state or quality of life he'd have if he did survive all of that, all of what had already made him...

...that starkly hairless.

I didn't even know that I didn't know which thoughts exactly I was having. But without any sense of acceptance or bracing myself, I went to the next moment. This is how my life went in those days. One dramatic moment to the next, no time to chew, digest, accept and move on in between. No chance to heal or completely grow (or at least grow more than just a mere fraction) from one thing life flung at me to the next and I was just so, so young and the furthest thing from being an "old soul."

* * *

I just did what I had to. A lot of where I'd been in my life before this was a culmination of results directly related to choices I had made. And while that seems obvious, it wasn't to me. Rather than see the bigger picture for what it was and where I needed to go while doing for myself, I just made these partitioned decisions, out of those specific moments, thinking of immediate consequences, those solo sections of time, and from an emotional place; and when I did think of the future, it was with removed, idealistic, and marginal concept from where to perceive or relate to some unreachable, unknown future date.

As I discover (remember) more of my childhood over time and as I listen to Enigma's "Return To Innocence" right now and wonder how it ALL... just ever... went so wrong.... I put it together. I recall the rollover we were in where I suffered a major concussion. To this day I don't know the extent of damage, but it bothers me that don't know. It bothers me that I was in ICU for three days, but released without full report. Hell, I would have taken a partial report. I don't know what the doctors told Kyle, my mom, my dad. Anyway, I have major difficulty in remembering these things, remembering things I've learned time and again, and I think it's just me, but then I talk to Kyle and he says I was never that way before the accident.

So. It begs the question which lobes were affected and what do each lobe of the brain control? Is this why I am having such difficulty keeping a hold of the things I have learned? Is there any relation to this head trauma--trauma I thought I'd healed from--and these weird jostlings of memory?

For some reason, there is just this entire seperate chunk of remembering my childhood, hearing and seeing things that remind me of if and remembering things I have long forgotten, and the entire seperate chunks of my life after leaving home, having a child so young, the accident, cancer, even moving to Canada without so much as a second thought, and all the transitional agonies in between. Why do I feel so at odds with myself in these fleeting moments? It is embarrassing to move on, go through the stages of moving on, feeling resolved and then regressing back to those, as though I've never put the issue away.

It's just all so confusing. Even as I write this, my brain is wanting to go off in a million directions. There's gotta be a reason for this, for thinking here, there, then back over here, then over there, and back again. After a while, a gal starts to realize that not even female hardwiring can make a brain jump around like that and remember odd memories that may or may not even be memories, just dreams, or random thoughts.

*Sigh. It's time to get ready for work now.

17 February 2009

Myspace import: October 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The word "nice"

Category: Writing and Poetry

When I hear the word "nice", I want to write. Nice, as per agreement to those discussing it in the staffroom today, is far too general a word. It is barely a descriptive thing as it only compares to what is NOT nice. And so, what is that? It drives me crazy that it is so general when there are thousands (well, okay, maybe just a mere 'several') of other words and ways to term an object, describe the emotion, paint the picture.

Points should not be given for a descriptive paragraph that reads "she had a nice bike." Well so what? Nice in the quickest sense that it wasn't a piece of crap. Well good. NICE-ly done. But WHAT? about it? What MAKES it nice? Is it nice because it has handle bars at all when others do not? Would "nice" be the lines or the color of the bike? The type? The brand? Could "nice" be that it was from the store as opposed to the junkyard? Could a bike from the junkyard BE nice in the sense that it was built from scraps and therefore implies PRIDE which can be considered "nice"?

Furthermore, how do we get kids to care? To GIVE a crap about writing? To submit and produce works of art, of ethic, and of pride? In today's generation, it's a do-what-I-can-to-just-squeeze-by lazy fair, even though the earliest generations of our time and further back produced great works of prose, poetry, narrative, and novel--treasures for us, the younger generation to compare ourselves to, to aspire to, to find inspiration, truth, opinion, imagination, and most of all freedom.

To defend these slackers somewhat, the number of humans in the world has not doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in one hundred years, when Teddy Roosevelt was in office, but has risen nearly 670%! That is a staggering boom of human minds to be born and thusly compete for the light of recognition in a contemporary society where 'letting the other guy have it' has become more popular, if not banal, concession to working really hard to achieve something actually worth merit, praise, and to this end, good marks in school.

It makes sense in a very consumeristic culture, where the volume of humanity is crowding itself out, that we are losing steam, finding the lazy way out, and being content to simply let someone else take care of it, write it, paint it, create it, develop it. There ARE many others out there willing to do it for you, for someone else, for those unable, but especially unwilling to do it and enabling this atmosphere of blaze-ness. It is undoubtedly creating a sterile apathy in the younger generations, where the numbers of kids in classrooms are ever-oozing into barely-manageable crowds, and undoubtedly establishing a dichotomous society.


But, if this is any indication where we could be headed, it is also another just-is era of many eras to have dominated the cultures and societies of our time and the times which existed along time ago.

Geminian postables

Gehhhhht up.

Get up.

Get up, get up, get up. Go. Now. Get up and go to the gym. Get up and go now.

Gehhhhht up, gettin' up. *even tone*

--But I don't WAN-NA

Get up. You can feel your belly resting on its own self, can't you?

--Yeahhhh. But I don't wahhhh-na.

I know. So get up. You know you feel better when you've been going.

--Yeahhh, but it's harrrd. I don't have the time. I don't wannnnna.

Make the time. You've been working evenings. You have time in the mornings. You knowwwww you feel better in the mornings and your overall day.

--Yeahhh. True. I do. But that means giving up sleeping in.

Well that's a tough one. We DO like to sleep in.





--Well maybe we could just this once. But then what about when my work schedule changes? 'Cause you KNOW we hate change. Hate reaccomodating.

Yeah. It's too bad, hey? I used to think I adapted easier.

--Yeah, me, too.

But look at the overall picture. Wouldn't you rather lead by example? Show your daughters how to take care of themselves?


And you have a pass already. You found Kyle's pass today, so you know the number to sign in at the gym.


--Okay fine.

*Gemini post #1

15 February 2009

Yo. *click click* She-Bitch. Let's go.

I know I'm PMSing. I know it because this kind of grumpy doesn't just get reasoned away. I am beyond reasoning. It's never seemed that extreme, but I know I must have been downplaying it for years because I've always put the filter on between my brain and actually broadcasting it.

One. Everyone and everything pisses me off when I'm PMSing. There are exceptions, but I will get irritated by everything. I don't know WHERE this comes from or WHY, but I know that I become a sight-losing, objectivity-thrown-out-the-window, perceptiveless she-bitch. I try and steer Kyle clear of this She-Hulk metamorphasis, but sometimes he gets caught in the crossfire, poor guy.

Two. It's gradual and blindsighting. For Kyle. For everyone else, there's Mastercard. (Or is it VISA?) Okay, comedic flitting break done. It's gradual and blindsighting and creeps in like the plague, unaware, unassuming, and then BAM! it, that, those, them... are culprits in everything. People. Dummies. Co-workers. Acquaintances. Former high school classmates. A scheming circle around me to somehow fall out of the Stupid Tree and crawl under my skin. As though fate has nothing better to do than spite me. Psh. Whatevs.

Three. I am beyond reasoning. Far beyond. Trying to put things in perspective, context, reality---gone. All gone. The ability TO reason and to be reasoned WITH leave and float to a place of magic and mystery that I still have yet to chance upon in my journies, extract, GRAB... and pull back, rendering me a useless bulk of hideous transformation with no ETA of my sanity. Experiences that have made me a better person are forgotten and experiences that could make me a better person or matter don't even make the radar.

Not really that bad, you say? Shyeah! You try living in this head. I'm hungry, I'm tired, have to get up early, and am watching an old replay of The Bodyguard on CMT. I'm just not really helping myself here. Will check in another time soon...