Thursday, August 31, 2006

Alas, poor Laura II

I never stop complaining, don't think I haven't noticed. And what better outlet for my various whines and moans is there than a blog? But here is a complaint to which few others can relate, here is a circumstance without precedent in my short life, a moment in time at which all joy has been sucked out, replaced by the wheezing of a soul stripped of all purpose.

Dad has gone back to college.

And he chose MY college.

This is, although akward, really neat. Dad knows that his old man brain is withering, atrophing, wasting away, draining down and out the ear canal in a form of thick yellow wax which obstructs hearing and, regretably, intelligence.

So he's taking Spanish, tired of hearing my last-minute crash course in the language before he hops a plane to Guatemala, moderately equipped to request a bathroom, food, and a tourniquet for seeping wounds which he could obtain in a kidnapping ordeal. He knows I don't have the spare cash for a ransom.

Dad came up to me on campus, seeking, or so I thought, to say hello. Little did I know that I now have a new job. I am my dad's guidence counselor, helping him to decide what class would suit him; his advisor, helping him pick the right time and the right place, signing him up for the class, walking him to the class; campus store worker, finding him the books he needed and the "neck-thing" he wanted to put his keys on; business office helper, since he needed an ID and to look good in his picture with the right lift to his hair, sitting up straight, and all that jazz; and technical support since he can't work a computer which is less than five years old. In one hour period I escorted him in a quest to get an ID, burned him a CD of Spanish excersizes, taught him to use SpartanPrint, introduced him to the librarians, showed him how to use Word, and witnessed a moment of senior inspired forgetfullness.

You see, Dad had gone up to a fellow student's dorm room. They had there attempted to burn CDs, and had become frustrated. Dad had led her to the library for help, leaving his book in her dorm.

"Laura," he told me. "Can you believe this? I bet they're all gone! I need to do my Spanish homework!"

There is nothing like mothering your own father, especially when you aren't equipped with mothering capabilities.

'So just go!" I told him. "It won't hurt you! She's probably waiting right there with your text to give it to you. She probably thought you were coming right back!"

The furrow appeared."Oh," he said.

The down side to having your Dad think you are his caretaker as well as his daughter is that you can't say any of the mean things you think of, like "Suck it up--get your book!" or "I don't care if you have to walk back to Oakwood--I'm still too lazy to go with you!" That would be hurtfull. So instead I have to spend the rest of the semester trying to walk the fine line in between kicking him in the shin and telling him to sink or swim and coddleing him.

My poor dad is about to witness the decay and dessication of what little patience I had at the beginning of the year. It's gone. Oops. Too bad.

Daddy, it isn't your fault! Every old man reaches the point when his daughter has to take care of him. It just means we're a step closer to that nursing home we saw on 60 Minutes. You remember which one...

Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Second City

I told all my friends, my family, everyone that when I go to Chicago something insane always happens.

One year I was interviewed by a Chicago television station. They asked me where I would go to get away from the 100 degree tempertures. I answered Cairo. The reporter stared at me and asked, "Hey, isn't that hotter than here?"

"Dry heat," I replied. "Also, I was a July baby, I'm used to hot. I'd rather just enjoy myself seeing King Tut at the museum."

I got a blank stare. I turned with my cousin Krissy to go, Paul trailing behind us as he drew ever closer to heatstroke. Then on the way home, the Southshore train line broke down due to a power failure. We only just made it home before the horror struck all the poor commuters. Then we went back to Grandma's house.

Another year, I went home just as a massive blackout rolled across the east cost, causing all the poor commuters much trial. Gran called us on the cell phone, saying ominously, "The lights have gone out and the people are walking." It took us ages to find out what she meant, when we got back to her house with White Castle hamburgers. We also found out that if we had taken the next train, it would have died when the power went out and the horror struck all the poor commuters.

The next year, we went again, I was caught in a revolving door, and Paul wasyelled at by a security guard for touching a piece of artwork, and he said, "Come on, it's a piece of freakin' string!" the minute we walked around the corner.

But this trip...

Nothing happened.

I waited.

And waited.

And overanalyzed.


I mean, sure, that sniper and that copycat sniper has been following me around the state and shooting random people who were in the same place at almost the same time as me more times than I care to talk about. But nothing happened IN Chicago. And what's up with that? I mean, every time I've been something freaky has happened, I mean, my friend got mugged! But this time?

Okay, well, turns out it didn't happen to ME but it happened to someone.

I am going to be a pseudo-aunt. My cousin is having a baby (which makes me a second cousin but darned if I am giving up on an opportunity to be called an aunt).

I met up with her and all the rest of the family at Olive Garden, and Mom said: "Hey Krissy, you should have the baby while were up here so we can come and see the two of you!"

The next morning, we got a phone call.

"Auntie Julie jinxed me!" Krissy wailed. "I'm induced!"

Krissy, a diabetic, had hit the time at which she could have the baby and the doctor wanted her to go ahead and do it. Oops.

But then they did the ultrasound again and they found out that the level of amniotic fluid was actually okay and NOT to low, so they sent her home. After being admitted to the hospital, having a massive amount of tests, and being IV-ed. Which, according to Krissy, was superbly painful. And on the way to and fro, she and her immediate family passed where the sniper or sniper copycat was lurking and shooting at people.

So there we go.


I'm writing this blog with a dead flower on my desk. I think that bodes ill...

Plus I just found a dead fly underneath my keyboard.

Maybe this means doom.