Monthly Archives: July 2011

Baba n me

My sisters and I have never had a close relationship with our maternal grandmother, Baba. On the rare occasions we visited Baba and her boo-boo (our grandpeezy Mott), she’d welcome us, chat for five minutes, apologize for having another engagement, and scoot us out. Birthdays and Christmases passed with generic cards and $25 JCPenney gift certificates, graduations and weddings went unattended.

But now, as our visits become more frequent with her advancing age, I’m starting to notice how alike Baba and I are. First, there’s the resemblance. My pointy chin was molded from her sharp little nub; my premature crow’s feet were traced from her deeply carved face folds.

It’s more than just our looks, though. We share interests, too. I like babies, black men, poop, and art. So does Baba.

One day, I want to have children. Not only did Baba already have children, but she hangs out with babies on a regular basis. When she was living in a nursing home, she became friends was a 4-year-old. A pregnant 4-year-old, nonetheless! Apparently the little girl had come in to warn 89-year-old Baba and the other senior ladies about the realities of pregnancy. She and Baba hit it off.

I have jungle fever. As does Baba. She swears that sometime last year, a black man entered her room in the middle of the night, flipped her on her stomach, and “did something to her butt.” I haven’t heard her complain about it.

I don’t necessarily like poop, but it is one of my favorite dinner table talking points (just ask my dad). It’s also Baba’s favorite subject. She records her bowel movements in a journal. The former clean freak-a-leek will also shamelessly tell anyone who questions the black goo under her fingernails that “IT IS POOP!”

Finally, I doodle and sometimes take pictures. Baba can draw, paint, and take great portraits, both behind and in front of the camera. Just last summer she took out the McCormick family album and showed my family and me a beautiful picture of herself when she was younger. She then remembered she had a picture of my aunt, Bidee, dancing. Knowing the only thing Bidee hates more than dancing is having her picture taken, we asked Baba to show us the photo. After a few moments of searching through the album, she finally found it. It looked something like this:

My dancing aunt

Oh, and this was the picture of infant Baba:

Told you she's artistic!

Here’s me.

See the resemblance?

The family album consisted entirely of animal photographs. Clearly, Baba is a little nutso. It’s kind of sad, but she and her pet paper towel roll seem to be having a great time.

P.S. She really is a talented artist, so let’s call her “eccentric” instead of “cray cray.”

Advertisements

Take Your Mother to Work Day

I was looking forward to work an appearance at a club from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. last Saturday. I’d be able to spend all day at the beach and then go out and get paid to ogle bruthas. It was perfect!

Perfect, at least, until I remembered two things: (1) I was the only street teamer scheduled, and (2) since I was the only one scheduled, I’d have to walk across a dark parking lot and into a deserted office building at 1:30 by myself.

That might not sound like much of a problem, but it’s important to know that I really hate the dark, and I really really hate being alone in buildings. If you don’t believe me, peep mah knees — they’re full of scars, permabruises, and dead spots from knocking into walls and careening through glass doors (while fleeing invisible monsters in empty buildings). Add that I just read The Shining ­– a story about an evil arsehole of a building – and my perfect workday turned to this real quick:

Horrifying, like me

By the time I thought about all this, around 8:30, it was too late to do anything except accept my fate. And be mean to my mom.

Mom: Almost ready for work, baby darling daughter?

Me: No.

Mom: You look so beautiful, my darling babiest of baby daughters.

Me: Quiet, you.

Mom: Those earrings look darling on your baby ears, don’t you think?

Me: NO TRICK MOMMA!! And you know my ears ain’t baby and they ain’t darling. They’re huge and dangling, just like yours.

See?

When she stopped asking questions I knew I’d been a straight up C-unit, and I felt I needed to justify my sasshole behavior. So, I told her what was bothering me, my I-swear-to-lawd belief that I was going to get murdered that night.

I’m not sure if she heard the quaver in my voice, or thought I was actually being rational, or finally felt bad about the time she called me a “dirty piggy bitch,” but my mom said the sweetest words I’d ever heard:

“I’ll go with you!”

Even though my mother is 57-years-old, and was in her pajamas, and isn’t really into the Providence club scene, I took her up on her offer. Five minutes later, we were ready to go. She even let us take her car.

And, although super nice, taking her car caused an entirely new problem. The keys to get into the station are attached to my car keys; I didn’t have my car keys, so I couldn’t get into the building. Fortunately fellow street teamer Nick came to my rescue and let me borrow his.

While waiting a few minutes to get saved, I pulled out my phone to go over the e-mail my boss had sent about the appearance. In it were answers to every question I could’ve possibly had – from what prizes to give away to how to dress. I seemed to be doing everything I was supposeta, but just for fun asked my mom what she thought about my outfit.

Me: This says I should wear something “club appropriate.” I look club appropriate, right?

Mom: Of course not, you dirty, dirty piggy bitch.

I couldn’t believe she didn’t think I was dressed for da club — I was wearing what I’ve worn to every club I’ve ever been to! Flip flops, jeans, and a green scoop neck T-shirt. How was that wrong!? I WAS EVEN WEARING EARRINGS!

After a few minutes of debate on whether or not I was fancy enough, my mom came out victorious, and, for that second time that night, she also came to the rescue.

She said I could wear her clothes (as in the clothes she was wearing) and she’d find something in the trunk to change into. When Nick got there to lend me his keys, I ran inside to grab the prize bag and left my mom outside to do some clothes rearranging.

By the time I got back, she had the top she’d had on waiting for me, and was wearing a wrinkled red T-shirt from 2001 and a purple sweater. Still standing in the parking lot, I stuck my torso into the car and pulled on the black tank top. From Chico’s travelers line.

My hairs are turning black!

It had looked good on my mom – she had the sweater and the pants to make it work – but on me, it was short and shapeless and made my arms age about 20 years. Keep in mind that they look like this on a good day:

I like the way it wobbly wobbly when it wiggle

No matter, my mom was adamant I wear her shirt. She said a forest green T-shirt was not club appropriate. She was right, but the borrowed Chico’s shirt wasn’t club appropriate either. It might have been wrinkle free, but it wasn’t fa me. After yet another few minutes of debate, I was back in my fresh tee.

I still managed to get a bit clubbed up. I found a pair of heels a size too big, slapped on some red lipstick, and tightened my bra straps to hoist my sagboobs and squeeze as much class out of my shirt as possible.

When we finally got to the club, my mom and I mutually decided she might want to sit this one out in the car. It was a real fist pumpy place – lots of stiletto heels and Booty Pops and angry neck veins – and if I had the choice, I probably would’ve stayed in the car, too.

I went into the club and set up the prize table, feeling like a little girl playing dress up. Except I wasn’t a little girl playing dress up — I was a 22-year-old working at a swanky nightclub, hobbling around in ill-fitting heels, clenching my butt to keep from bombing the place with buffalo chicken pizza S.B.D.s, and occasionally checking on my mom to make sure she hadn’t become a victim of a gang crime. Oh, and when I went to the bathroom I saw I’d missed the target when I’d done the lipstick slapping. Cute!

I left two hours later with a sore back, a stained clown face, and a new appreciation for my mom. And the phrase “club appropriate.”

“Rhode Island won the war or battle thing”

I spent most of last week in my home state, Maine. I’ve lived in Rhode Island for the past four years or so, and I’ve liked it for the most part, but going home had me itching to move back to Vacationland.

I currently have two friends in Rhode Island. I have at least 3 times that in Maine!

The worst I have to worry about in the Saco River (other than the three dead white men curse) is leeches (which recently sucked my blood for the first time) — none of those flesh-dwelling Galilee sand fleas there!

I have a bedroom in Maine. Sure, maybe my oldest sister painted it baby blue and plastered paper dragonflies all over the place without my consent, but it’s a real bedroom! With a real 20-year-old twin bed! No more trailer lofts and air mattresses for me!

I was so ready to reclaim Maine as my home that I actually started cleaning out my bedroom closet in preparation for my return. It was there, in a box jammed in the back corner, that I found my Academic Fair research paper from 3rd grade. If this wasn’t a sign to stay in Rhode Island, then I don’t know what is. Here’s the original copy:

Some highlights:

“Rhode Island in the 1800’s had many governors. There were like 15 or more…or less…governors just in the 1800’s.”

“When they went fishing in the seas, they would catch huge fish. There was one man that I know of who caught a sawfish that was nearly 11 feet long and a little bit more than half a foot wide.”

“There was a battle in the little state of Rhode Island on August 20, 1778. The people of Rhode Island battled and fought against the French. The map of the battle was written in French writing. It must have been the French map or something. On the map there was Newport and Gull Rock and many, many bays, spelled like this ‘baye.’ I’m pretty sure that Rhode Island won the war or battle thing. But, I am not positive.”

“Roger Williams had long hair, a long coat, mean eyes, a girlie skirt, long puffy shorts, and funky looking shoes.”

This paper also explains my choice in higher education.

The day clams ruined me

Last week, after reading what I had to say about my genes (here), my mom explained that my obesity genes are actually more like survivor genes — that back when food was scarce, the bodies that stored fat were the bodies that survived. This new information got me doing some mirror quality self reflecting, and I realized I’m nothing more than a high-functioning Neanderthal. Think about it!

My foot skin is dyed permanently dirty! I have the speaking skills of… a dumb little girl who speaks badly! I find shaving counterproductive! Seeing old ladies pooping in their front yards in broad daylight ain’t faze me! I was born to be a cave woman, for heaven’s sake!

I'm happier to be in this cave than you'd think. I'm also less orange than you'd think

After deciding I was a cavelady stuck inside the body of a 21st Century lamelady, I wanted to connect with my prehistoric self. The first step, of course, was to hunt and gather my own lunch. And, since I live near the ocean, I figured I might as well take advantage of my resources and go fishing.

Armed with poles and store-bought squid, my friend Curtis and I set sail in a couple of kayaks, and started catching flounder by the buttload. Though most of them weren’t long enough to keep, they would’ve been if I were hungry and Neanderthally enough.

As I thought about how awesome and resourceful I was, Curtis reminded me that we’d had lots of semi-modern day technologies – fishing poles, kayaks, etc. – to help us out. Without them, said that mofo Curtis, we probably wouldn’t have caught anything.

Me: Sho you right.

Curtis: Always is.

Me: Les do dis right… We’ll go clamming!

Curtis: A fine idea.

So we clammed. Curtis, my brother-in-law Matt, and I all went clamming. And we sucked.

We were there for more than an hour, and we came home with a dozen dime-sized quahogs. Not quite a feast, but certainly some quality protein. Still, I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to prove I was a survivor — I wanted to prove I could sleep in a cave, poop on the ground, and most importantly, live off the land if I had to. So, I went clamming again.

Turns out, unless cavemen had doctor’s offices and antibiotics, I wouldn’t do so great.

At first, the second trip to the mud flats went better. I wasn’t using any tools – just my feet, knees, and hands – and I was doing well. All it took was some stomping, kneeling, and clawing to produce a perfectly edible quahog. I was a good cave woman! My mom was right!

That night, I had a delicious dinner of clams Stop ‘n’ Shop pork tenderloin and potato chips. (You ever eat clams? Those bastids is narsty).

That following day, I had a delicious case of saltwater chiggers. (A.K.A. sand fleas). (A.K.A. larvae that sneak under your skin and suck your blood for months).

THEMS IS BUGS! If QT were here he'd have to check me all... over. All. Over.

My right knee broke out in a patch of blistery bug bites so bad it required a visit to the doctor’s. If my susceptibility to nature’s wrath isn’t enough to tell me I wouldn’t have survived a couple hundred thousand years ago, my trip to the Dr. Lloyd is.

Dr. Lloyd: Hello, you girl. What’s wrong today?

Me: I went clamming the other day and I think some bugs are living inside my skin. The internet says “maybe.”

Dr. Lloyd: Hmm. Never seen this before. What else does the internet say?

Me: That’s about it.

Dr. Lloyd: Is it itchy? Does it hurt? How bad does it hurt, on a scale from 1-10?

Me: Uhh… Five. Sometimes. A five, sometimes.

Dr. Lloyd: TEN IS DEATH.

Me: Oh! Three then.

Dr. Lloyd: Okay then, liar. Three it is. Well. Is your groin sore at all? Any swelling?

Me: Get your mind out of the gutter, old man.

Dr. Lloyd: Is your lady part throbbing? The area near it, at least?

Me: Yeah it’s sore. And let’s go with a two.

Dr. Lloyd: Huh?

Me: A two! The pain’s a two, sometimes.

Dr. Lloyd: Let’s keep it at a three. You have an infection, here’s a prescription for an antibiotic. It’ll probably cause a really bad, really itchy rash.

Me: Thanks, doc!

So… turns out I’m not very good at hunting and gathering. Bet you I could poop on ground with the best of them, though.

No cave lyfe 4 me

P.S. There are two 2ge+her references in this post. Who can find them!?

Mr. Franklin if ya nasty

At times I forget how much I love America. Then, the Fourth of July comes around and I says to myself, “You dumb bitch, you were Benjamin Franklin in a former life – how could you forget to love the child you founded?!” Then, I eat four hamburgers, fart, and take a nap.

In case you isn’t familiar, Benjamin Franklin (a.k.a. Ben, Benny, Candle Boy, If-You-Don’t-Know-You-Betta-Ask-An-Indian-Slumdog, and $) was the chubby, balding, New Englandy genius that invented electricity, sight, libraries, and America.

I look good

I don’t know everything about Ben because I’ve read a couple of his biographies; I know everything about Ben because I’ve lived a couple of his moments. All of his moments, actually.

I am genuinely convinced that, between January 1706 and April 1790, my soul and Benjamin Franklin were the same dang thang. It’s taken 12 years to confirm, but let me tell you: shit’s been confirmed.

1999

My 4th grade class put on a play about two kids who time traveled to 1776 and homied it up with Benjamin Franklin. Even though I couldn’t pronounce the letter “R,” was still recovering from diphthongs and the letter “S,” and sounded like a mentally challenged British baby, I tried out for the lead role – Benjamin Franklin. I got the part, too (probably because 1) Ryan, my sole competition for the part, was an annoying arseholio; 2) I made a damn fine Mr. Franklin).

Summer of 1999

All the kids in the trailer park at Breakwater Village organized a parade for the Fourth of July, and I offered to reprise my Candle Boy. I killed it.

That's the same cane I used for the 4th grade play... it had a hidden sword inside! Fun!

2001

Mrs. A.C.-Slater-Hair-Doo-Teacher had us make our own hand puppets for a 6th grade puppet show. I asked my dad to help me with a leather Benjamin puppet. He ended up making the whole thing, it was awesome, and it’s still on display in my room.

Summer of 2001

While I sat in a tree, engrossed in a Benjamin Franklin biography, the sound of my sister screaming interrupted us. Without a second’s thought, I threw the book, jumped the five feet from the branch, and ran to her rescue. For the second time, I became an American hero.

2006

For a summer assignment in A.P. U.S. History, we had to write an essay on an influential American. I chose Ben, of course, but totally misunderstood the assignment. Still got a B, doe.

 2006 – Present

I stay reading about, quoting, and loving Benjamin/myself.