Tuesday was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing (I like the word “passing’”. Passages. Life is a series of them.) so I was visiting with my mom for the past week. She lives in the hills about 1-1/2 hours north/northwest of Phoenix. The town is not that small but I was reduced to 2G on my iPad, which sucked since I’m attached at the hip to the internet and have no life to speak of. I felt rather as though one of my arms had been torn off. Probably by Zombies. This was particularly irritating when area TV stations kept emailing MRTC to see if we had any runners in Boston and could I give them their personal contact info. We have 3400 members, I don’t know and I’m not giving you their personal info if I did know, but thanks for asking. That, however, took 12 minutes to type every time, apparently you can’t type too fast on an iPad with 2G or you crash it. Repeatedly.
Hey, at least I didn’t have to call AT&T, right?
Mom lives in a bi-level house built on the side of a steep plot of land, the backyard about 1-1/2 stories above the street. The guest room is downstairs and the window sill is level with the yard. I look upward to watch chipmunks steal sunflower seeds from the bird feeder and see the lizards amble past. It’s cool and dark and I’ve named it The Bat Cave.
Every evening we watched movies on AMC, which, as an aside, I’m kinda pissed at AMC. Mom’s AMC is having a special this month with little notes popping up throughout the film about the actors, funny anecdotes, etc. I was so excited. I was going to watch AMC the rest of the month and learn all kinds of useless pieces of info. For instance I learned, while watching Willie Wonka, that all the little Oompa Loompas liked to rent a limo every day after filming and bar hop. This was particularly funny to me, and totally not PC, because I kept having a mental image of the little dudes hopping up so they could see over the bar: HOP “Scotch” HOP “on the” HOP “rocks, please” (bar? hopping? right?) So I apologize if either of you are an Oompa Loompa and also that I’m an insensitive un-PC bitch.
But, no. No little notes on my AMC. Dammit.
Oh, well, I’ve been distracted by the talking heads on CNN anyway.
Mom is of an unstated age that allows her to pick and choose what she feels like doing and I expect she’s earned that right. Personally, however, I do think she should have felt like killing those large red ants with the big mound of ant mansion in her backyard sometime in the last few years. I particularly think she should have killed them before one of the little bass turds bit my foot. Dammit, that hurt.
I grabbed some rubbing alcohol and some cortisone cream and some anti-itch cream and sat with ice on it while we watched the Oompah Loopahs roll away the large blueberry girl (one of my favorite parts, although I’m sure it wasn’t fun for her as she apparently wore the Styrofoam ball all day long and couldn’t eat while the rest of the crew had lunch because her arms couldn’t reach her mouth. Seriously? No one could spoon a little soup in her mouth?) Then I started worrying about her. What if she needed to go to the bathroom?
Well, it’s too late now, isn’t it?
Sorry, I’m back now, I was gone for a while there ^^^ Chunk is on my desk hovering over my keyboard, trying to smack my hand every time I type. Apparently the typing is keeping her awake or something. So sorry, Princess, your constant jumping on me is the whole reason we’re all awake at 4am. Think about that tomorrow. Anyway, now she is distracted as the sun is coming up and she can see the birds outside so she’s at the window chirping, tail twitching, and no longer trying to kill the dreaded Fingers of Typing. That’s some tail, I tell you. I had to move my coffee cup.
After Charlie gave Mr. Wonka the Everlasting Gobstopper back (which, BTW, they do make Everlasting Gobstoppers in real life but they actually only last 16 minutes, thank you, AMC) and proved he was a great guy and got to own the whole candy factory I retired to the Bat Cave to read a while before bed. Of course then that damn ant bite started itching like fire. I didn’t want to go back upstairs to get all the anti-itch stuff because every step you take in that 40-year old house makes the cups rattle slightly in the cupboard and I would wake mom, so I sat there for a while trying to ignore it. You know how that goes. Pretty soon the ant bite was the size of a basketball and it was all I could think of, itch! itch! itch!, the way a mosquito in the night ends up the size of a 747 and the next morning the bedroom looks like a war zone because you’ve thrown everything you could find at the damn thing and now you have to buy a new lamp. Not that I ever did that.
I kept thinking there had to be something I could put on it to sooth the itching, something in that bathroom had to have alcohol in it, right? Dad’s old aftershave? Something? But, no. Mousse, Ajax, extra lightbulbs, I dug everything out of the cupboard – nothing. I started digging through my overnight bag, furiously rubbing my foot against my leg uselessly trying to stop the burning itch which was now half the size of Alaska.
And then, voilà:
It worked! Or, maybe it was just mental, but either way, the itching finally stopped, I fell asleep in the cool darkness of the Bat Cave and slept not like a baby until the sun came up.
We had another fun day and went shopping and eating and shopping and eating. I had a nice run in the hills – at 5,000 feet it takes a while to get acclimated to the thinner air so I had to do some stopping and starting but it was a beautiful day and I was so happy to be running my beautiful Arizona. You can’t feel too sad when you have a view like this:
That evening we watched Ground Hog Day and read all the little stories at the bottom of the screen which my AMC doesn’t have, not that I’m bitter or going to harp on that all month. Then I went to the Bat Cave to read my second book since I’d finished the first book I’d brought. This new book was one of those that Oprah’s kingdom has deemed worthy of her honor and they’d slapped a sticker on the front. But the sticker was a little loose in one spot, which was irritating because I could feel it with my fingers while I held the book. So I tried to pull it off but I think they use Gorilla Glue or something on those things so all it did was tear in half and then when I tried to read it was sticky. This was even more irritating. I tried scraping it off with my fingernail but that started to mess up the book cover, which was currently new and smooth. If you’re going to read a book it either needs to be new and smooth or totally worn out, not sort of new and sort of worn out. There had to be a way to get that sticky off the cover. If only I had something with a little alcohol … or … something…
So now my book reeks of mouth wash.
But – it’s smooth and new and the sticky is gone.
I’m telling you: do not leave home without it.