When DJ took her home the other night she sent over a grocery bag full of stuff. Every time we are over there we get sent home with stuff. Always a collection of pictures anywhere from 2-50 years old, coupons, some childhood tidbit like a vinyl wallet that she has saved for 30 years.

I sat down tonight to go through the bag. I felt the familiar heart pangs of seeing my mother as a child, as a teen, as a young woman ready to marry my father. I have so many copies of the same pictures since copying things is a vocation for my grandmother, that it's no longer the sharp stab to see her youthful photos. The ones taken years before her death cause me some heartache, but these younger ones I can handle because they are so plentiful. I flipped through the photos with the usual chorus of thoughts running through my head, "Stop! Don't marry him. It's a mistake. What would it have taken for her to listen? Do my cheeks look like that? Why did have to get Dad's hair color?"

After going through the pictures and determining there was nothing new I turned to a white envelepe with 3 sheets of 1.5 spaced type on it. There were two copies of the same thing in it so I opened it up and started reading.

It was my mother's eulogy.

No warning it was in there among the coupons and the pictures and the American Heart Society Valentine cards.

I couldn't tear my eyes away. My uncle had written it, and he has a degree in journalism. It is just so descriptive. I could close my eyes and remember some of the things he was recounting. Just reading it brought such a fresh wave of grief. When my mom died I was so angry and numb at the same time. I don't remember much about the original eulogy. Reading it 19 years later when you aren't expecting it. It kicks your legs out from underneath you.

I guess I can't expect my grandmother to understand that I need a little warning before sending stuff like that over here. People grieve so differently and I know that she misses my mother in her own way. But the way I miss her, even though through the years it has calloused for the sake of survival, is very different. I can't just read that and be comforted. I can't look at her Jasminlive pictures and be happy to see a moment in the past.

And yet there is a good side to reading this tonight. Often when someone dies we have a tendency to either villify them or saint them in our minds. It was good to read mom's eulogy tonight and remember a church chapel filled to overflowing, so full that they had to open the doors and put chairs in the gymnasium, and even then people had to stand because the building was packed to the brim with people who thought my mother was as wonderful as I did.

West Side Frustration

Tonight we went to MJ's performance of West Side Story. She has been rehearsing for MONTHS. Opening night was Tuesday and DJ has been out of town so we had to wait to go.

The first thing to piss me off was my grandmother already on Tuesday with the neighbor. The neighbor is a battle axe and KNEW that we were planning on taking her on Thursday.

I had asked my grandma if she wanted to still go, since she had already seen it. Tickets were $10 so I needed to invite someone else if she didn't want to go. She wanted to so we ran over to her house and got her.

Then in some idiotic sense of doing the right thing I called my in-laws and told them when the performance dates were and the night we planned to go. Gah, I even gave my mil the phone number to the ticket office.

I really am stupid that way.

It takes an hour to get MJ's hair ready to drop her off for performance. By the time I had her hair done tonight and had her dropped off we had to race over to get grandma, slosh dinner down everyone, then get in line for tickets and an attempt at decent seating. The entire time my grandma is chirping "Is Jaynie already here? Should I have left my purse in the car? Is Jaynie already here?"

They opened the doors 10 minutes late and we finally got to sit down. I wasn't tickled with our seats, but they weren't awful either. Then 2 minutes before the curtain some enormous man came and sat right in front of me. I groaned, sat a little higher in my seat and the show started.

4 things happened simultaneously when the show started. Sam started tearing up. I smelled something funky, as in, someone needed to go potty before the show and didn't. The guy in front of me sat a little straighter thus blocking my view and my grandma started the most annoying poking at my arm and saying "Is that our Jaynie? I don't see our Jaynie. Which one is our Jaynie?"

All I wanted to focus on was the fact that my daughter, my only daughter was dancing on stage in a college production. The same I had held through the heartbreak of a devastating knee injury 6 months ago. I could barely see her thanks to big head man. I couldn't hear the show thanks to my grandma yelling in my ear and pulling my attention away to try to point her out, with a raised voice since she can't hear. Sam needed me. And the smell was making me sick.

I talked Sam through some tears. He was disappointed to not be cast in the play. But there just wasn't any his age. Still doesn't change any pangs from wanting to be up there.

Things continued with grandma poking me through every scene that the dancers were in asking me where "Our Jaynie" was. I was in near tears because I just couldn't enjoy any of this. The "Big Dance" scene came and it included a costume change. I was so proud of MJ. She was in a gorgeous pink prom dress her hair piled high and I swear she looked 6 feet tall. They did the Mambo! It was SO cool! Once again grandma was poking and questioning and I was trying to point out where she was. The costume change had thrown her off.

After the dance scene from I knew MJ would be backstage for a bit and grandma had to pee. There was just no way I could let her go on her own. Thus began a potty trip longer and more exhausting than when my were young. First off, we were sitting center stage, so I had to shuffle her over everyone's toes, then point her towards the back way to the bathroom because they shut the other doors during the performance because of the light. Then she kept repeating that she thought we were in row 8. I just felt tired. We got back to the door and she tried to go backstage. "Is our Jaynie back there?" And then she stopped me 3 times as we trudged back up to our seats to tell me she thought we were in row 8. We stomped toes again. I had to tell her 3 times to keep going because she kept trying to sit in the nearest empty seat. Next to the wrong people. I barely sat back down when the poking commenced. "Did we miss our Jaynie?" How should I know? I was with you.

The intermission came and DJ ran to the car to get my bottle of Diet Pepsi. Since you couldn't have drinks in the lobby I had to step outside with the smokers and I was HAPPY to be there. I was chatting with a really nice guy who was having a cigarette and learned that he was there with my in-laws. He was a really nice guy and praised the performance to the skies.

We got back to our seats and watched the rest of the show. It was wonderful. DJ switched seats with me because he could tell I was rather frayed at the ends. I turned to thank him and he had his nose curled. "What the hell is that smell?"

I was only half sorry.

The performance ended and we filed out. The cast members lined the exit doors to meet and greet and grandma made me laugh when she smiled at the leading lady and said "I came here to see my great grand-daughter." The poor leading lady, who is actually a friend of MJ's didn't know what to say. I had a hell of a time shuffling her down the steps without "Our Jaynie" explaining that she had to continue to meet and greet.

Right outside in a ring of fire was DJ's parents, their guests (wonderful couple) and Matt & Shawna. Shawna in her usual Bart Simpson t-shirt and sour face. In between puffs DJ's mom introduced me as "DJ's wife" which I have long since gotten used to. Then she proceeded to critique MJ's performance. This pissed me off on a couple levels. 1. She said MJ was "still shy and liked to keep to the back" she noticed. Um no. The choreographer puts them where she will have them. 2. She never has the 's ages right. 3. They call MJ "Mary" and 14 years (13 according to them) of telling them otherwise will not convince them that Mary is NOT HER FREAKING NAME. Even producing a birth certificate didn't stop the infernal "Mary" stuff. It doesn't drive me as crazy as it drives her though. I swear, I gave the a name at birth and I have never heard it again. I am not ding. My grandmother doesn't use it either. We had to go through another round with grandma about when "Our Jaynie" would be coming out, was I sure we should be walking out of the building without her? I explained we had been doing this all week. She knew where to go.

We get in the car and grandma pipes up and says "Well I enjoyed it. I couldn't hear, and I couldn't make out what was going on up there and I didn't understand it. But I got to sit next to my Sammie and I got to see my Jaynie." I was instantly ashamed of myself. And angry that age and death are such thieves.

Finally we claimed "Our Jaynie" and headed toward home where DJ would be dropping Sam and I off before taking grandma home. MJ rode with him and scored a bag of Snickers (WOOT!) and some red hots and a couple days worth of newspapers that grandma saves.

DJ came home and downloaded the events of the evening. When I complained about not being to soak in and enjoy the performance because of the pecking and the smell and the big head in front of me he sympathized. Then he said, "I'm glad you didn't go over and greet my rude ass parents and see them set up with their video camera and their tripod right underneath the NO RECORDING OF PERFORMANCES sign. It would have really put you in a bad mood."

Good In Bed - A review

I should hope so. But this isn't about me. It's a book review.

Deena suggested I read this. We were on the phone one day while I was in the library lamenting over the fact I couldn't find anything funny to read. It took a couple weeks to get it in on ILL and the librarian discreetly covered the title up by taping my reciept to the front cover. Small towns are like that.

I loved the lead character, I loved the jasminelive story, even the heartbreaking twist towards the end. Some of it was a bit unrealistic, but still a good read.

If Good In Bed doesn't get made into a movie I will be really disappointed. And Bill Pullman would be the perfect "Dr. K".

So if you haven't already, go read Good In Bed. Maybe your library won't cover up the title with the reciept.

Tonight was opening night for West Side Story

I met MJ right after the show when all the cast members greeted the audience and presented her with an opening night rose.

She is a JET in the dance chorus.

And when you're a JET you're a JET bam bam till your last dying day....

The reason for that being you have practiced the music so much that even the parents go around singing "I Feel Pretty" and "A Place For Us" in their sleep.

We get to see the full performance on Thursday when DJ gets home. I even sucked it up and invited the in-laws.

But here is a sneak peek of MJ in costume. She had already taken her big hair ribbon off and her sweater. I will take more pictures on Thursday.

The director encouraged her try out for more performances because she has a "vintage" look. Must be a good thing. Makes me proud.

Two by Two

Oh my gawd I am sagging today. I was up an hour past my bedtime (which is ugly anyway) reading my stats. Since reopening my blog my stats read like an issue of "Psycho Stalker Weekly" or every 8 hours in one persons case.

What the hell do they think they are going to see? I went to the store. I knitted a hat. I plotted world domination, then I took a nap. My secrets out. Good lord.

I always throw in a load of laundry before I go to bed then put it in the dryer in the morning. So 5 am, seconds after falling asleep MJ comes into our room telling me the floor is covered in water because the washer is leaking. She had gotten up to get a glass of water from the kitchen and ended up in a lake.

3 freaking rinse cycles of water were all over the kitchen floor. I grabbed the shop vac and MJ grabbed a mop. DJ heard the commotion and must have been half awake from when MJ came in. He found the source of the problem. The drainer wasn't connected all the way. Ugh. We had pulled out the dryer and the washer earlier yesterday because the dryer was making a smoke smell so DJ pulled it apart and cleaned all the lint out. Then while he had it out I decided to take advantage of the access and sweep and mop behind both appliances. The washer had been pulled out too far and the drainer hadn't been put back properly.

Since a good amount of the water ran under the fridge we are going to need to pull THAT out this weekend and clean under it as well. But the GOOD news is, I have never seen the floor so sparkly.

We had a dog on our doorstep this evening that just wanted to come in to the house and play. I stepped outside to check for a collar and tag, (collar but no tag) and his head was to my chest. He was a huge Irish setter. Enormous! And gentle as could be.

We walked him, and he walked us all through the neigborhood as he wagged his tail at houses that weren't his. At one point DJ tried to leave him in the cul de sac hoping he would go home, then he came back to our house, howling outside our window, his huge paws planted firmly on our front window.

Sally and Kursten were here so we took him in the car to the next subdivision over to see if he belonged to anyone over there. He hops in the car like a pro. He is obviously someones sweet .

I am still thawing from the efforts. He still doesn't have a home.

I refuse to name him Big Red.