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Drive-By

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment.

Said sarcastically:  I’ve only been living at the Jersey Shore for 12 years (cough, cough) and my dentist, eye doctor and lady parts doctor are still an hour away.  I could never bring myself to leave them.

So I kill several birds with one stone.  I get my teeth cleaned, visit my mom in the cemetery, visit my dad and feed him hamburgers, subs, ribs and other artery clogging fare and sometimes I even get to see a friend or two.

After an hour trip up the parkway I popped in on Daddy with subs from Jersey Mike’s.  Did I say I was definitely cheating on my diet?  We chatted, caught up and I fixed his TV.

Aside:  My father and his TV issues are massive.  He wasn’t able to watch TV for an entire day because the remote wouldn’t work – and God forbid he called me to ask for help.  No.  He waited until I went up yesterday.  On Monday when I called him, he explained the dilemma and I schooled him in the art of using the DTV box to change channels – voilà TV!

So back to the TV repair daughter… I looked at the remote and realized the 9 was depressed.  I unjammed the number and snap!  The TV turned on and the remote worked!  He thanked me a thousand times, like I cured cancer (I wish).  I love my Dad!

At 2:30 I headed over to the dentist’s, and by 3:30 I was back in my car, top down, music blasting.

Should I ride by my old house?  Maybe I’ll see Skippy or Aunt Dolly?

2012

I gave in to my inner voice and swung by the old homestead.  Wow!  Does it look different!  They built a driveway (we had none) and a carport and an addition.  It looked nice.  It brought back so many memories!

When I returned to my dad’s house, I showed him the pictures.  I’ve been dreaming about that house a lot lately and those pictures made my father dream about it last night too.

He was telling me this morning that he was thinking about how many different people lived in that house.  Originally the house was three rooms (pre-addition) and a small upstairs.  My dad told me there was a host of boarders and tenants that lived with them.

Daddy was a cry-baby (his words, not mine), so he slept with his mother (my Nanoo) in the back bedroom where my Aunt Tootsie and Aunt Mimi also slept.  My Uncle Joe and my grandfather slept in the front room (I always knew it as the parlor) and the tenant d’année lived upstairs.

Imagine all those people in 3 rooms?  Crazy.  The Depression.

In between tenants, when my dad and his siblings got older, he and my Uncle Joe slept upstairs.

Over time tenants came and went, the family grew, moved out and then moved back in with and without their spouses and or children.  My Aunt Tootsie was the first of the family tenants.  Uncle Joe came next.  Then my mom and dad moved in and I came along 4 years later.

After we moved out when I was 4, my Aunt Mimi who was widowed by her 26-year-old husband (he died of testicular cancer) moved in.  I’m not sure of the timeline, but the next person that moved in was my Aunt Tootsie after my Uncle Teddy died.  Mimi moved downstairs with Nanoo and Aunt Tootsie stayed there until she fell ill and moved in with her daughter.

Now it was time for me to move in.  This was my third apartment after leaving my parents’ house.  I quit my job and went back to school for my Master’s Degree and teaching certification.  My parents offered to pay my rent for me but I wasn’t going to make them do that.

My Aunt Mimi asked me if I wanted to live upstairs in my old house, rent free.  Nanoo had already died a while ago and she was very lonely.  So I moved in with all my shit – furniture, clothes – everything!  My dad painted for me and my mom decorated the kitchen with black and white checked contact paper to give the room a little pizzaz.

I showered downstairs and was allowed any overnight guests.  LOL!  That didn’t work.  I had been dating my boyfriend John (now husband) for a while and he used to stay over and I would pretend he showed up at 6 am to see me.  I would go as far as to walk down the stairs, answer the door and walk on all fours back up so it would sound like 2 people coming in.

I was nuts!

Everyday when I came home, Mimi had to hear ALL the events of the day – no matter how mundane.  She and my mom were like the FBI!

I lived in that house for almost 3 years before I got married and moved in with my husband – right up the street.

All my apartments were in the same few block radius.  I went from Evergreen to Entwistle and then down to the end of Entwistle and back up to Passaic Ave – and now I live at the Jersey Shore – but that’s another story.

I loved living in my grandmother’s home.  It was so familiar and brought back so many memories.  I wish that we would have kept the house in the family – but I guess we all have to move on.

Move on but never forget all the good things.

© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

My Life As A Jersey Girl

For the first 4 years of my life, my mom, my dad and I lived upstairs from my paternal grandmother (aka Nanoo) and my Aunt Mary (aka Mimi).

We lived in 3 rooms.  A large old-fashioned kitchen with a big white sink like you would see in the movie A Christmas Story, a large living room with a scratchy yet pristine couch, a smaller flowered love seat that pulled out into a bed, a big reclining chair and a console colored TV.  The bedroom was small with a full-size bedand a small closet.  That was the only closet space in the entire apartment!  Oh wait!  Maybe there was one in the living room.  I can’t remember.

My Nanoo in her kitchen

We had a half bath with a toilet that was so tiny, if you were an adult your knees would hit the pipe directly in front of the bowl.  Showers and baths were taken downstairs at my Nanoo’s but my mother used to bathe me in the large tub adjacent to the kitchen sink.

We had no air conditioning, so we spent most of our warm evenings on the porch swing chatting with the neighbors.  This is the late sixties and early seventies, when you knew your neighbors and actually spent time with them.  This is before everyone got too busy to see each other face to face, before families started moving away from each other instead of living on the same block or in the same house for that matter.

Playing the organ in my Nutley kitchen

This was a time when we all gathered for Sunday dinner at 1:00 in the afternoon to enjoy a giant pot of gravy with meatballs and sausage, and a huge bowl of macaroni (not pasta) that my mom and maternal grandmother (aka Grandma) slaved over for a couple of days just to get the perfect flavor.

My dad and I were always disappointed when mom made a roast beef or some other non-macaroni Sunday dinner.  It just wasn’t the same without the smell of pork and beef wafting through the house.

In the Nutley kitchen with my cousins

In the summers I swam in my Uncle Al’s pool next door.  He really wasn’t my uncle but calling a neighbor or a cousin aunt or uncle to show respect was an upheld practice.  My Aunt Ann (aka Tootsie) also had a pool that we would swim in.  She lived on the next block up the hill from us.

My Nutley childhood is full of fond memories of people, events, smells and daily life.  It was simpler time.

In 1971 we moved to the next town over.  It was only a 5 minute drive but it seemed like a world away.  No more running downstairs to see Nanoo and Mimi.  No more running up the block to visit Aunt Tootsie.  No more running across the Pipeline to visit my Tata (my Nanoo’s sister) and my 2 cousins that were my age, Bobby and David.

I was alone in Bloomfield.  No friends.  No family.  Just mom and dad.

My Poppy (my step-grandfather – really my great-uncle) helped my dad put up a 18 foot above ground pool.  It seemed like days that they were digging.  My dad

In my pool

was a perfectionist.  Everything had to be smooth and level.  When it was done, I couldn’t wait to jump in!

I spent day and night in that pool.  I was part fish.  I learned how to swim underwater first (I had been swimming since I was 2) and then I gradually mastered the art of freestyle.  My dad was a great swimmer who could hold his breath longer than anyone I knew.  He would stay under water for what seemed like hours but was really A LOT of minutes.  It was unbelievable.  No one could match or beat his breath-holding expertise.

One day a neighbor down the street came over with his daughter and introduced himself as Dick and his daughter Susan.  He thought that we might be the same age – and we were.  Susan was my first friend and more importantly, my first BEST friend.  But Susan is another story – I’ll talk about her later.

Back to my my new house…

We finally had air conditioning!  Two units!  We all slept downstairs until I got a little older, then we moved upstairs.  Then we had 2 units downstairs – one in the

My 1st bedroom at our new house

dining room wall and one window unit in the den (once my parent’s room, then the den, now my dad’s room) and one in each of our bedroom windows’ upstairs.

We could NEVER have all 4 on at the same time or they would trip a breaker.  Two at a time my father said.  So during the day we had the downstairs 2 running and at night the upstairs 2.

He used to come in my room to wake me up (I was NEVER a morning person) and bitch and moan because I kept the AC so cold.  He’d walk in and say, “Jesus Christ!  I can see my breath in here!”  I loved it cold in the summer so I could snuggle underneath the covers.

During the summer we spent most of our time in the half finished basement watching TV, eating, playing games (this is when I wasn’t in the pool).  We had another kitchen in the basement and my mom did most of her cooking downstairs 1.  because of the heat of the summer (even with AC) and 2.  because she wanted to keep the upstairs clean.

Did I mention that my mom (and her mother) were OCD, clean-crazy Italians? ALWAYS cleaning the house.  You could literally eat off my grandma’s floors – they were so clean and shiny.

We weren’t ALLOWED to use the front door.  The living room was for company

Sitting in the livingroom

only.  Food was definitely off-limits there.  I wasn’t allowed to sit on my bed after it was made.  My mother always said, “Beds are for sleeping, not for sitting.”

That about sums it up.

My bedroom floor was covered with an itchy indoor/outdoor block carpeting.  It was an ugly gold and I hated stepping on it.  My walls were hidden with white wood paneling and wooden beams framing my bed.  My furniture was a dark, early American clunky set that was popular in the seventies.  One wall had ceramic Hummel’s that my mom made but I was not allowed to put up posters or anything like that.

I loved Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson but posters of the Jackson Five or Puppy Love were out of the question.  Phyllis put her foot down.

We had a half bath upstairs complete with a built-in vanity and a little faux fur covered chair.  It had a big sink that I loved washing my hair in.  All my makeup (when it was time for makeup), hair stuff and other toiletries were tucked away in  3 out of the 8 cabinets.  I loved that part of the house!

The kitchen was an open galley-like kitchen with a wall oven and a stove top.  My

Singing away in the kitchen with Grandma & Poppy

mom set up a small “ice cream table” with 2 chairs so we had someplace to eat besides the dining room – which happened to be adjacent to the kitchen.

The living room had a wall of built-in bookcases and cabinets from floor to ceiling.  It housed all the books we loved to read:  Reader’s Digest, how-to books, nature books, encyclopedias and all the treasures that I bought from the Weekly Reader and various book fairs we had throughout the year at school.

The curtains on the front windows were made with material from Germany or Austria that one of my dad’s bosses brought back for my mom.  They were pretty, white, lace curtains covered by a heavier material drape.

The entire house was wired for sound.  I mean it was ahead of its time.  We had speakers in the livingroom, kitchen, basement and everywhere else – all hooked up to a stereo system complete with turntable, radio and 8 track.

It was cool!

I loved my new neighborhood and my new friends.

To be continued….

© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

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Does Life Begin At 40?

My mom used to say, “I’d like to meet the asshole who said life begins at forty and punch him in his face!”

I always got a kick out of that.  My poor mom’s life went downhill health-wise at forty:  cancer, diabetes, you name it.  So I always “understood” why she said it.

After she passed away, I was going through her “stuff” and found a button in her drawer that said, “Life is like a shit sandwich and every day I take another bite.”  Again – I understood.

Botox

Botox (Photo credit: AJC1)

When I hit 40 five years ago, I flipped out and was amidst my own mid-life crisis.  I was afraid I was going to end up sick like my mother.  I was in total fear.

I went on a diet, lost 50 pounds in 5 months and booked a trip to Paris for a month in the summer.  It was a blast!

At 41 I finally got my convertible BMW but all the birthdays have been lackluster since then.

Am I afraid of getting old?  Yes.
Am I afraid of looking old?  Yes.
Will I age gracefully?  I’m NOT sure.

All these things drive me crazy!

My husband cannot believe my maddening obsession with age.  I’m worried about MY age – no one else’s.   As soon as a movies comes on TV, I’m checking out the cast’s ages and compare myself to possibly botox-laden starlets who have more “plastic” injected into them than a Barbie mold.

There are pros and cons to getting older.  I once blogged about my twenties vs. my forties – read it HERE.  The differences are amazing.

So, what are my pros and cons?

PROS

  • I know what I want (usually) and can probably can get it.
  • Many younger men love older women – especially in Europe.  This is not really one of my pros because I’m married but flattered.
  • Being married and sharing my life with someone.

CONS

  • The sagging boobs.  At 40 they dropped ever so slightly.  At 45… I can’t even talk about it!
  • Wrinkles & lines.  Noticeable or invisible.  I am my worst critic.
  • Being married.  Did I already mention that?
  • Losing people you love.  There are more of us in the ground than on the ground now.

I think my con list is going to be longer so I’ll stop now rather than risk an onset depression from life-examination.  

Will I Botox up and filler out?  Will I face lift and boob-job and God knows what else?

Yes.  No.  Maybe.

The truth is that I don’t know.  I think about it then I dismiss it.  I have noticed that I do think about it more now than I did 5 years ago.  Do you?

So my question is… Do you think life begins at forty?

My answer… I guess it depends where you are, how you feel and what you have to look forward to.  I feel strong and confident at 45.  I felt it at 40 too.  Of course there are always way to improve oneself – something I’m constantly striving for.

Has life begun at 40 for me?  It didn’t for my mother.

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What about you?

© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Kitty Talk: An Embarassing Admission Part 2

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but baby-talk to my 3 kitty cats.  My husband makes fun of my catlingo but my babies know exactly what I say – at least I think they do.  With names like Bailey Boots Little Pussy, Peaches N. Crème de Menthe & Tia Maria Tigresse, it’s hard not to have fun.

Besides Peaches, Tia and Bailey I call them tons of names.  I don’t know how they know who I’m talking to, but they do:

  • Bailey, Boots, Bear, Buddy, Mommy, Bootseree, Baldor, G Boy, Mommy’s Boy, Kitty Cat Bat, Tee La, Mommy Ska La, Foo Fighter, Pretty Boy, Boo, Smee, Snuggy, Ma Moo, Boo Bear Boy, Teess, Swee, Cheese, Chicken, Mummy, Boodis, Butter Bean….
  • Peaches, Bear, Mommy’s Girl, Mommy, Bunny Girl, Cotton Tail, G, Buddy, La, Peachka, Snuggy, Bunny, Buddy Girl, Cheese, Chicken, Mummy, Butter….
  • Tia, Ti Ti, Ti Boo, Ti Boozen, Tia Boo bia, Tee, Baby Tee, Little Tee, Mommy’s Girl….

They also have their own theme songs (yes, I’m nuts).  If I sing Bailey’s song, he comes and Peaches does the same.  Tia – not sure.  Do you want to hear them?  Again, I know I’m nuts but I love my babies.

  • Bailey Bear with black hair, he’s my Bailey, Bailey Bear.
  • Peaches N. Cream, Peaches N. Cream, little itty bitty, bitty Peaches N. Cream.
  • Tia Boobia, foo-fighter fia, Tia.

My Catlingo continues to not only names and songs but to everyday cat chat.

Food is foodis.  Do you want me to open the door for you is you want Mommy opee up?  Do you want to go to bed becomes you wanna go seepy in the bed?  The only thing that seems to stay the same is do you want to eat? The backyard wildlife all have names too.

  • squirrels = squirrlees
  • chipmunks = ship monkeys
  • birds = birdies
  • rabbits = bunny wabbits
  • bugs = buggies
  • mice = mousies
  • ants = anties
  • cats = kitty cat friends

That about covers the yard and surrounding areas.  I know I sound like a total nut but I remember my parents always talking baby talk to our dogs when I was growing up.  Even with my pets, my mom, when she was alive and my dad always talked baby-talk to their grand-cats.  It’s a given.

Do you?  I think almost everybody does it, but many don’t admit it.  I can’t believe I am!

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

Bed Blogging – Revisited

Author: Duy Le UCLA made stripper pole

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I just couldn’t get myself to fall asleep.  Why?

Not because of my job.  Not because of my bills.  Not because of my fat ass – but because I was bed blogging.

I wanted to say sleep blogging – but technically I wasn’t asleep.  I was lying in bed writing my blog in my head.  Thinking of a ton of ideas, and stories, and witty repartee.

Of course, tonight I have forgotten every single thing that I wanted to write about – but that’s par for the course.  After the day I had at work my brain is a pile of mushy Jello with no vodka.

I always need vodka.

En tout cas, I write my best pieces when I’m emotional and I think of my best stories when I’m bed blogging.  I lie in bed staring at the stripper pole that my husband so sweetly bolted into the ceiling (after I had a pole accident – of course) and my mind races 240 with “information”.

Does anyone else blog in their sleep?  Do you compose letters, write books or try-out meaningful conversation?  What else do you do?

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

All I can say is I should have bought stock in Benadryl because that seems to be the only way I can get to sleep lately.  Sweet dreams.  Or should I say sweet blogs?

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Discourteous Richards: Always Alive & Well in NJ

I love to drive.  I own a BMW for Pete’s Sake.  They say it’s the Ultimate Driving Machine – and it is.  I love to maneuver up the Garden State Parkway sans traffic, put the petal to the metal and enjoy the ride.

With the top down, my IPOD at full blast I am unstoppable until I am hindered by none other than the Left Lane Dick.

The discourteous Richard:

  1. has no idea he or she is an idiot retarding your progress.
  2. has no clue that it is the law in NJ to keep right and pass left.
  3. is from New York or Pennsylvania – notorious Left Lane Dicks.
  4. is hanging in the left lane on purpose because he or she really is a douchebag.

Nothing makes me road rage more than a taste of a left lane lagger.

I have a 20 minute drive to work door to door and I find myself losing my mind as I try to fly up the highway.  I tailgate.  I scream.  I swear excessively.  I hand gesture and flip the bird.  I drive with my knee.  I pull up next to people and actually yell at them.  I cut them off.  I lose my mind!

When one of my road adversaries gets cocky and thinks he can scare me by tailgating my pristine automobile, I look in the rear view mirror, gesture to him to come closer, swear a few times, then slam on my brakes.  He usually backs off.

I’m tired of being strong-armed by stupid men and women on the road.  I drive like Mario Andretti – not a typical chick – no offense to my gender or any other but STAY OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!

Even if I’m passing on the left doing 95 mph and someone wants to go faster, I move it on over because that’s the way it should be.  Bottlenecking every single lane of the Parkway does nothing but create traffic and cause road rage.

Don’t we have enough of distractions on the road?  We need eyes up our butts and are distracted by screaming kids (not me), loud music, rubber-necking, LLDs and now the GPS.  It’s always so confusing.  It should stand for Go Ahead And Piss Me Off System.  It finds new ways to screw me up while I’m driving but I have found a new use for it.

I Spy.  Remember that game?  You tell me.  What do you see in my picture?  At least it’s good for amusement purposes.

So with all we have to worry about while driving, I wish we could get rid of the Left Lane Dick and push him into extinction because no one should be held back by a jerk off.

You can use that advice in life too.  Good luck.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Re-published 2011.

Twenties vs. Forties: A Top 20 REVISITED

After having one of those days where I just should have stayed in bed, I pondered my life both then and now and decided to make a side-by-side comparison of

Mom & Me in my twenties

what I wanted from life or did in my twenties and what I want from life or do now that I’m almost 43.

Things change and priorities shift as you get older.  When you have kids they change even more.  As a responsible adult sometimes fun gets put on the back-burner and a once clear-head become non-existent.  I miss that clear-head.

Me in my forties

When I was 20 I was living it up in Paris on my parents’ dime, footloose and fancy free.  My only concern was where the next best soirée would be held and who was going to be on the guest list of my next party.  At 43 I worry about paying my bills, money in general, the health and well-being of my family, my health, taking care of my cats, going to work and the list continues.

So let’s take this point by point so we examine the age gap and maybe now understand what our parents went through with us as cranky teenagers and crankier twenty somethings.

  1. 20:  I wanted a hot guy with a hot car.  Hondas need not apply.
    40:  I want my hot guy with his hot car.
  2. 20:  I drove a fast 1978 Camaro LT, 350 4-barrel with louvers, air shocks, fat tires and a spoiler.  I had a lead-foot.
    40:  I drive a fast BMW convertible  with fat tires and I still have a lead-foot.
  3. 20:  I worked at TSV Video (when I was in the US), watched movies all day, drank wine, flirted with the customers, watched and recommended porno, loved my boss Stan and used to arrange Gumby-like toys in sexual positions on his desk every night.  I rarely had to deal with any bullsh**.  My biggest responsibility was making change and setting the alarm.
    40:  I work as a teacher, enlighten impressionable minds all day, drown in paperwork, drink water or Crystal Light, recommend places to visit in Paris and I’m not commenting on the boss.  I constantly have to deal with bullsh**  from EVERYONE.  My BIG responsibility is other people’s children.
  4. 20:  I had a dog.  My parents took care of her and I played with her.
    40:  I have 2 cats and I take care of them:  butt wiping, baths, litter box scooping, trips to the vet, cuddling partner, Mommy, playmate.
  5. 20:  I pounded shots.  Many shots.  Body shots.
    40:  I sip good wine.  A lot of wine.  All kinds of wine.
  6. 20:  I tried to figured out new ways to get away from my parents.
    40:  I wish I still had both my mom and dad and now love spending time with my Daddy.
  7. 20:  I had a Mandee Charge Card and no debt.
    40:  I have too many credit cards to count and debt up the wazoo.
  8. 20:  I weighed 120 pounds and ate anything I wanted.
    40:  I’m always on a diet!
  9. 20:  I would stay out all night and party.
    40:  I will stay out all night and party but try to get home by 4 so I don’t piss off the husband.
  10. 20:  I wanted to be a translator for the U.N. or a big-wig in the international business world.
    40:  I want to keep my teaching job and hope my pension will still be there.
  11. 20:  I slathered on baby oil so I could get that deep, dark tan.
    40:  I slather on sun block and skin repairing cream to try to undo the sun damage of yesteryear.
  12. 20:  I had big, whorey hair.
    40:  I have big, whorey hair.
  13. 20:  Fifty dollars was a lot to spend on shoes.
    40:  Now I try not to spend over $500.
  14. 20:  I had no kids.
    40:  I still have no kids (by choice).
  15. 20:  I never wanted to go home.
    40:  I can’t wait to get home.
  16. 20:  I lived in France and loved it.
    40:  I want to live in France and I still love it.
  17. 20:  I had a boyfriend who wanted me to look like a Barbie doll.
    40:  I have a husband who wants me to look like a Barbie doll.
  18. 20:  Dressing like a whore was always an option.
    40:  Dressing like a whore is a weekend only option.
  19. 20:  I went to the gym almost every day.
    40:  I stare at all the gym equipment in my house and dust it off once and a while.
  20. 20:  I stared at myself in the mirror and thought about how hot I looked.
    40:  I stare at myself in the mirror and notice fine lines and aging and think about when I can get my first facelift.

Some things have changed and some things have stayed the same.  I believe age is only a number (even though it keeps creeping around like a bad case of crabs) but with age come wisdom and knowledge.  I’ve heard before that youth is wasted on the young.  I believe it now.  If we only knew then what we know now, we could have ruled the world.

I don’t know about you but I’m not done yet and I still plan on ruling the world.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Re-published 2011.

Memories From July… Because I Need To Think About Warmth

A Codeine-Induced Slumber or A Lack Of Sleep?

After waking up at 11 am from a codeine induced slumber, I stumbled down the stairs with Bailey walking in between my legs and Peaches already sprawled out in the middle of the hallway downstairs.  I still sound like sh** from all the congestion but can’t seem to shake this sinus thing.

Ah!  Hairball.  That’s nice.  I’m so happy to be cleaning up after the cats as soon as I staggered downstairs.

Ah!  Dirty dishes in the sink.  That’s nice.  I’m so happy to be cleaning up after my husband as well.

I fed the cats and checked the outside temp.  Wow!  Way too hot again.  Looks like I’ll be staying in all day again today. I hope my AC cools off the house – yesterday it didn’t do such a hot job.  I made coffee though I think that’s it’s too hot, but I don’t want a caffeine withdrawal headache.  I flipped on “The View” – why do I torture myself?  I hate that loud-mouthed loser Joy Behar.

Damn!  It’s already noon.  Peaches!  Stop eating the flowers! I guess she found the bouquet.  I’m so sleepy.  Wait a minute!  Why?  Was it the codeine infused cough syrup or….?  Dammit!  I just remembered what happened last night.

It was around a quarter to one in the morning and I was just dozing off hoping for some cough free shut-eye.  I heard John come in.  It took him a few minutes to come upstairs and start his nightly routine.  All of a sudden I heard him screaming, “Bailey!” and then the banging and bitching started.  Evidently the cat couldn’t make it to his litter box downstairs and deposited a small amount of diarrhea in the bathroom sink.  Better the sink than the floor.

I got up (now fully awake) and started cleaning up the mess.  It took me 2 minutes to clean and disinfect the soiled area.  Wow.  Big deal.  Now I was awake, the cats were scared and HE was still complaining.  I tried to unsuccessfully resume my sleep.  No luck.  I went downstairs and swallowed another teaspoon of cough medicine and hoped for a miracle.  Did I mention that I was coughing now from all the commotion?

I headed upstairs into my room and crawled in bed.  Peaches was already snuggled up waiting for me to spoon with her.  I laid down, coughed, took a throat lozenge and coughed some more.  Two ‘o clock rolled around.  Then 3:45.  I must have conked out by 4 am.  I had to wake him up at 5:30 – so much for a good night’s sleep.  I rang the intercom as a wake-up-call, snoozed the alarm and waited to see if he got up.  Seven minutes later I rang again, greeted by a screaming “WHAT?”.  So nice.

By the time I actually stirred (shockingly the cats didn’t bug me) it was after 11 am.  Did the codeine give me an opposite reaction or did the late-night chaos impede my snooze?  I may never know until the repeat performance tonight.  Hopefully the cat won’t sh** in the sink.  Maybe I will.  Just kidding.

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Stupid Things I Did In My Twenties…

When I was 25 I moved out of my parents’ house and moved into an illegal basement apartment in Nutley.  I lived below my 2 friends Pete & Gizz.  There are so many tales to tell:  having parties & peeing in garbage cans, drinking way too much, singing Janis Joplin at the top of my lungs at 1 am, the sewage flood that filled my apartment with skunky sewer water, the lewd and lascivious neighbor who kept sniffing around me and the cave cricket invasion.

But one story always stands out.

Mom & Me: Ready for clubbing - back in the day

Angel and Suzanne came over around 9 pm on Thursday night.  I already cut up some imported provolone, fresh mozzerella and hot sopressata, but no one was hungry.  Gizz and Pete evidently smelled women in my apartment, so they sped down the stairs to take a better look.  Gizz had a thing for Angel and swore that she felt the same way.

Angel brought over 2 magnums of Champagne, Suzanne brought a bottle of White Zin and Gizz and Pete marched down with a bottle of Anisette, a bottle of Peach Schnapps and a bottle of Root Beer Schnapps.  A lethal combination.

Angel and Sue sat comfortably on my small couch that Maria’s friend gave me, while the rest of us curled up on the floor with bottles and glasses scattered all over the rug waiting for us to indulge.  We polished off both bottles of Champagne, the Zin, a few shots each of all the liquors and were still determined to go to Ashley’s and party some more.

Ashley’s was a club in Clifton behind Rowe Manse Emporium.  It became a second home to me when my dad locked me out at 2:30 am and I had to find a place to stay.  Even though I was living in my own apartment, it was still my favorite hang-out until 6 am.

We were all getting ready to go when Angel’s beeper went off.  It was her boyfriend who wanted her to come home because he had just lost his job.  Angel raced home to comfort him and abandoned us “tout a coup”.  Suzanne left us too because she was tired and needed some sleep.  Pete went to bed, so the only die-hards left were Gizz and I.

Being the socially irresponsible people that we were, we took off in his white Corvette and headed over to Ashley’s.  I think we were so lit that we didn’t even remember walking in.  Gizz and I approached the main bar and stationed ourselves in front of Tony.  Tony, the bartender, made some fierce drinks, so we always hung around his quadron.

I sucked down 5 Red Devils, 2 shots of Silk Panties and a shot of Sambuca, but still had back-up drinks in front of me.  Gizz and I decided to head over to the dance floor.  We made our way through a thick crowd and found ourselves a spot with a little elbow room right in the center.  We danced like crazed lunatics (or so I was told the next day) ready to perform a voodoo ritual.  We fell into each other and everyone else and simultaneously felt a rush of booze invade our bodies and brains.  By this time we were both plastered and I remember thinking at the time, that I was the only one who was drunk, but we were both hammered.

Back at the bar I was still in the mood to groove, so I held on to the big, brass rail along the edge of the bar and started to bump and grind all by myself.  Gizz gulped down another shot and I was complaining to Tony that I couldn’t finish all my drinks that were lined up on the bar like soldiers.  Tony told me to take the glasses home with me for next time, so I stuffed a couple in my black, skin-tight mini skirt and proceeded to leave and make our way back to the car.

The Vette seemed lower to the ground than usual.  We took off up the hill and made our way onto Centre Street.  We were moving fast!  In perfect synchronicity, Gizz missed the turn, jumped the curb in front of the funeral parlor, drove up the sidewalk and made a perfect “U ey” in the middle of the road.  We made it home safely (someone had to be watching over us) and stumbled out of the vehicle.

I followed him up his steps and entered my apartment from inside his.  There was no way that I could get in the door alone.  We said goodnight and I went downstairs to crash.  The rest was a blur.  The next thing I remember was laying in bed overwhelmed by bed spins.  I jolted up and ran to the bathroom to yak but ran into a closed bathroom door.  I couldn’t figure out why it was closed.  I lived alone.  I knocked on the door like a maniac and my boyfriend John, now my husband, was on the other side.  Needless to say, I was SICK.

When I felt better I asked John how he got into my apartment.  He told me that he rang the doorbell at least 20 times and I answered the door in nothing but a silk, green g-string.

The next morning, hungover and all, I voyaged into the city to go to work.  Gizz wimped out and stayed home in bed all day.  I was worthless!

To this day I do not remember ever having opened the door.  It could have been my shady neighbor!  Thank God it ended well.

I think about all the stupid things I did when I was younger and I am so grateful for having survived them.  Today I think I am a better woman because I learned from them.  And now I know that my mother was just trying to protect me from myself!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

A Codeine-Induced Slumber Or A Lack Of Sleep?

After waking up at 11 am from a codeine induced slumber, I stumbled down the stairs with Bailey walking in between my legs and Peaches already sprawled out in the middle of the hallway downstairs.  I still sound like sh** from all the congestion but can’t seem to shake this sinus thing.

Ah!  Hairball.  That’s nice.  I’m so happy to be cleaning up after the cats as soon as I staggered downstairs.

Ah!  Dirty dishes in the sink.  That’s nice.  I’m so happy to be cleaning up after my husband as well.

I fed the cats and checked the outside temp.  Wow!  Way too hot again.  Looks like I’ll be staying in all day again today. I hope my AC cools off the house – yesterday it didn’t do such a hot job.  I made coffee though I think that’s it’s too hot, but I don’t want a caffeine withdrawal headache.  I flipped on “The View” – why do I torture myself?  I hate that loud-mouthed loser Joy Behar.

Damn!  It’s already noon.  Peaches!  Stop eating the flowers! I guess she found the bouquet.  I’m so sleepy.  Wait a minute!  Why?  Was it the codeine infused cough syrup or….?  Dammit!  I just remembered what happened last night.

It was around a quarter to one in the morning and I was just dozing off hoping for some cough free shut-eye.  I heard John come in.  It took him a few minutes to come upstairs and start his nightly routine.  All of a sudden I heard him screaming, “Bailey!” and then the banging and bitching started.  Evidently the cat couldn’t make it to his litter box downstairs and deposited a small amount of diarrhea in the bathroom sink.  Better the sink than the floor.

I got up (now fully awake) and started cleaning up the mess.  It took me 2 minutes to clean and disinfect the soiled area.  Wow.  Big deal.  Now I was awake, the cats were scared and HE was still complaining.  I tried to unsuccessfully resume my sleep.  No luck.  I went downstairs and swallowed another teaspoon of cough medicine and hoped for a miracle.  Did I mention that I was coughing now from all the commotion?

I headed upstairs into my room and crawled in bed.  Peaches was already snuggled up waiting for me to spoon with her.  I laid down, coughed, took a throat lozenge and coughed some more.  Two ‘o clock rolled around.  Then 3:45.  I must have conked out by 4 am.  I had to wake him up at 5:30 – so much for a good night’s sleep.  I rang the intercom as a wake-up-call, snoozed the alarm and waited to see if he got up.  Seven minutes later I rang again, greeted by a screaming “WHAT?”.  So nice.

By the time I actually stirred (shockingly the cats didn’t bug me) it was after 11 am.  Did the codeine give me an opposite reaction or did the late-night chaos impede my snooze?  I may never know until the repeat performance tonight.  Hopefully the cat won’t sh** in the sink.  Maybe I will.  Just kidding.

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.