Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanksgiving redux

Yeah, so it's been a few days and the story has well-nigh rendered itself obsolete, but Thanksgiving was a far more depressing ordeal than imagined in my wildest dreams. You know how I thought it was gonna be awkward with my grandpa and dad in the same room, since they're all of a sudden estranged from one another? Well this is even better! My grandpa called my sister-in-law at the last minute and told her to tell me he wouldn't be coming. She asks him if he wants my number to tell me himself, and he says "no" and hangs up. I was actually relieved to hear this, since I don't really care for the old coot. I was just trying to make up for the fact that I never go visit him, even though he only lives about a mile away from me. An atheist can only so take so much sermon from an old man (particularly one who evidently thinks you're retarded and needs to explain everything he says) before an atheist wants to peel the skin off her face. So yay, no preachy old grandpa.

"How could Thankgiving have been worse, then, and not better?" you might be asking yourself. Well it could, and here's how: Remember how my mom died last April? Well this is the first (non-Hallmark-invented) holiday since her death, and my dad looked like he wanted to fucking blow his brains out. He felt like a fifth wheel (unsurprising, since it was Scott and me with my bro and his wife). I tried to distract him from his misery by asking how the job search is going. Yeah, he has no job. After the meal he just sat on the couch, his head hanging very low over his cup of coffee. After he left I talked to Jeremy and Sandy about things, and it doesn't sound so good.

After my mom died I knew my dad would be completely fucked, not just because he lost the only person in this universe who would tolerate him, but because theirs was a household absolutely dependent on two incomes. My family's broke, pretty much always has been. A month after mom died, the Blazer or Bronco or whatever got repossessed because he missed some payments. I ended up paying for her funeral and everything so he wouldn't hafta worry about it, but I knew he needed more help than that.

So I pressured Jeremy and Sandy into moving in with him. The house is plenty big enough, I figured, and the baby would lift his spirits a little bit. They'd pay a little less than what they were paying in rent for their apartment, and everyone wins, right? Not so much. My dad ended up quitting his job a couple of months ago and according to Jeremy he sleeps in 'til noon every day, drinks coffee for about three hours, goes out for awhile returning with a stack of DVDs that no one can figure out how he's affording, and hasn't been following up on job leads. He's not getting unemployment (since he quit), and even though I made him a resume and Jeremy faxes them off for him, he's not really trying to find a job. It sounds like he's just given up on life, and I'm worried that he's gonna end up homeless or something. The man is an island, and no one can seem to reach him. He needs to finish mourning so he can begin his life again, but he's just so miserable. Jeremy and Sandy are getting fed up with him jumping in on their arguments (they've only been married a year), and they don't have much privacy.

Anyway, after everyone left on Thursday Scott and I cleaned up, while I went through my usual mental broken record-loop, "what can I do to fix this? what can I do to fix this?" I know that I can't save my dad from himself. I just don't know how to make this better. I can't help feeling like I should take the situation into my own hands, because frankly, no one else will. But it's not my job to keep bailing my dad out, he's an adult. On the other hand, he's also a motherless child who's never not had a woman to tend to him. And at 53 years old, he just needs to grow up. I just hope things don't have to get any worse for him before he realizes that.

Dinner was good though. White bean turkey chili last night was even better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Castlevania - Curse of Darkness

My review can be read here. A very fun game indeed.

Yay! Two days 'til Thanksgiving. I'm already getting my prep started: I have cranberries in tripel sec on the stove and stock fixings roasting in the oven.

This year will be interesting, as I've been informed that my father and grandpa aren't speaking to each other. Unfortunately, I'd invited my grandpa over weeks before the altercation. What happened is evidently my grandpa accused my dad of being "too angry." What next, is he gonna accuse the sky of being blue? Sheesh, old people. Nothing pisses off a dude with anger management issues worse than being told to calm down, so things have escalated much further than they should've. Oh well.

What'll probably happen is I'll stay busy in the kitchen to remain as oblivious to the rift as possible, while Scott insists on helping so he can stay the hell out of there too. My dad and grandpa will be silent to each other during the meal and then my grandpa will announce that it's time to go home 5 minutes after eating. I'll secretly wish that my dad would leave too, but will be a polite hostess. My dad will stay and rant about his father until he decides he's due for a bong hit, says he's "got to go take his pain medication" and wants to leave. Then Scott and I will breathe a sigh of relief, pour ourselves a couple of stiff ones, and sit on the porch chainsmoking while we decompress.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm gonna be such an awesome mother

I'm clacking away at the keys, when I smell something. It's that familiar smell that something terrible has happened. It's so strong that I check the floors, assuming it's coming from the room I'm sitting in. Nothing. I go to the living room and the stench could peel the fucking paint off the walls. There, on the freshly shampooed area rug, is a steaming pile of cat shit. But this time, unlike as it's been for the last week or so, it's not just a mound of cute little tootsie-rolls. This time it comes with gravy.

"Awesome!" I think to myself. Today, instead of merely sopping up vomit from the rug, as is my seemingly daily chore, or waiting for shit to cool down from that 105-degree cat-intestine temperature, I have the joy of both plucking turds and trying to blot special sauce from the carpet. I go to the under-the-kitchen-sink cabinet where cleaning products are kept, and discover that we are out of Kids 'n Pets. Awesome. I dump half a bottle of Resolve carpet cleaner on the mess, spray the entire house with orange spray and return to the computer.

I just know that I'll be an awesome mother because I, with a saint's restraint, calmly resisted the urge to grab the crow bar from the coat closet and bludgeon Caesar to a bloody pulp. I mean, that's just good parenting. Besides, if you think diarrhea is hard to get out of a carpet, well, you've never eviscerated a cat in your living room.

(Edit: it should be noted that I did clean up the shit before dumping carpet cleaner on the spot. I didn't just pour a bunch of cleaner on top of a pile of shit and wish it well.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More adventures in my nether regions

I'm hungry. But it's not my stomach that's growling, it's my right ovary. Huh.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's already November?

What the fuck? Time flies when you're having fun (or are an unemployed board whore that plays too many video games). This year we're doing Thanksgiving at our house again. What with my mom being in an ash can and my new sister-in-law being inept in the kitchen, how else will my dad get to eat turkey? I really want to do a southwest-themed dinner, but sadly, my dad has the palate of a five-year old. If I were gonna do it, this is what I'd make:

Roasted turkey with sweet orange-tequila glaze
Cornbread-jalapeno stuffing
Chipotle-sweet potato souffle, topped with sharp cheddar
Roasted corn and red bell pepper risotto
Warm carrot and red onion salad with escabeche chiffonade for kick
Mole negro with roasted pumpkin seeds (instead of gravy)
Fluffy, soft flour tortillas (instead of dinner rolls or brioche)
Espresso flan with Dagoba Xocolatl ganache for dessert

Sigh. It would be so good! And I've been saving my cornbread scraps in the freezer for months! Oh, well. I'll just make this stuff for a dinner party sometime.