Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pennsylvania thoughts and stories

Ok, Ok. So I've totally been slacking when it comes to updating this thing. Its not that I haven't had things to write about. I just haven't had the time or the will. Most of my writing mojo these days has been directed towards my little side project with my good friend, LoveBadReality. We have fun talking smack. Good times, good times.

But, I realize I owe you all some long overdue Pennsylvania stories. Yes, they're old and not really relevant anymore, but some are still pretty remarkable. I'll keep them brief, though, so you don't lose interest...

-During an extended coloring session with my little second cousins N and V, ages 3 and 5 respecitvely, they informed us that they had just seen "The Wizard of Oz". My sister asked what the Wicked Witch of the West says and right as N was beginning her answer, my uncle, who has been a prosecutor for his entire professional career, popped his head in the kitchen and said, "The Wicked Witch of the West?! Don't you mean Nancy Pelosi?". He was serious. 100% serious. My jaw dropped and I shot my sister a look that said, "For the love of god, AGREE. Do not get into this right now. Or EVER, for that matter". Fortunately, she read my face correctly and agreed. My uncle trailed off out of the kitchen, satisfied with the "funny" he'd just made. My family and I would talk about this moment for weeks after the trip.

-After more family time than we could handle, my sister and I hijacked the rental car and headed down to Quaker Steak and Lube. This place is famous for its ridiculous selection of wings, but we had just finished a dinner of cabbage rolls (ick) and needed a cold drink (or 3) to wash them down. Plus, there was hockey on and it had been made very clear that there would be no sports watched in my aunt and uncle's house other than golf. I didn't even try to argue that golf is not a sport. Upon arriving at the 'Lube, sis and I each ordered the most obnoxious drink we could think of. For me, that translated into a Ketel One and a PINT GLASS. For sister, it was a 24 oz. Bud Light. After round one, we decided that we were in fact hungry so we ordered a basket of fresh pretzels and some fried zucchini strips. Sis went for another beer, but I decided on a mango Lube-N-ade, which is one of the most ridiculously wonderful, but lethal, things I have imbibed in recent memory. If you're keeping score, that's two huge drinks each and two appetizers between us. The bill? $34. TOTAL. My vodka pint nightmare was a whopping $6. LOL! You can't get a bartender in San Francisco to spit on you for $6. It was a good night.

-One night, sis and I were supposed to stop by Cousin D's house to check out the digs and meet his kids, Lil' D and MJ, ages 5 and 18 months. When we got there, we were greeted by a very distressed D and wife J. Apparently, D had just tripped over the baby gate in a Superman effort to save MJ from the top of the stairs. In the process, he hurt his thumb, although he could not tell me how exactly. Upon examination, I decided a trip to the local ER was in order, as the thumb at the base was about the size of a golfball. D downed a 9% beer, two Advil and begrudgingly got in the car. Once at the ER, we didn't wait long to see the triage nurse, who actually asked him if he objected to having an X-ray. "Ummmm, that's why we're here", I said. Seeing as that I know my way around a thumb and an ER, D let me do all of the talking. When the ER doctor, who did not introduce himself, came in to the exam room, I told him exactly which parts of the thumb were affected, pointing to the swelling. Mid-sentence, he cut me off and hauled D off to get an X-ray, stating, "I'll X-ray it, but I know its not broken". He didn't even touch D's thumb. We waited all of two minutes before the "doctor" came back to say, "Yup. Not broken. I've been doing this for 30 years and the minute I looked at it, I knew it wasn't broken. You want to know how I knew? When bones break, they bleed. Where's the bruising? Mmmm hhhhmmmph". He was so sure of himself. All I could do was sit there with my mouth hanging open. He then continued, "All you need to do is start moving it around, and put some heat on it tomorrow". At that point, I grabbed D's good hand and told him that I'd heard enough and we were on our way out. Fortunately, D knew a good hand surgeon, and I advised that he get a second opinion in the morning. Sure enough, D showed up to dinner the following night with a cast on his hand. Fuckin' A.

-If I have to sit on an airplane for more than two hours, I always pick up a copy of In Style magazine in the airport before boarding. Its the only mag with enough substance to both keep my occupied and put me to sleep, all at the same time. I had just paid for May's issue when a book caught my eye. Before I knew what I was doing, I turned back to the register and purchased Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans. Yes, the woman also known as "Superhead" in the hip-hop industry had apparently written a controversial tell-all book about damn near EVERYONE and I had to have it. As I read the opening pages, I learned that this book was written not only as a tell-all, but as a way for young girls to avoid making the same mistakes that the author had made in her lifetime. I felt badly for her in the early chapters. But as I eagerly turned page after page, devouring juicy gossip about everyone from Shaq to Fred Durst to Ice-T to Ja Rule to Jay-Z, all I got out of it was that this chick slept with A LOT of men for money and that she lived a super up and down life, without taking much responsibility for herself or her actions. The tone of the book was not at all one of "Don't do what I've done. Do better for yourselves". Steffans seemed to be bragging about all the shit and people she'd done. There was no lesson to be learned, here. During the last few pages, I hoped for light at the end of the tunnel. When none came, I ended up feeling like I had just put money in her pocket to allow her to continue living the exact same life depicted in the pages of the book. In retrospect, I should have just stuck to my copy of In Style, which remained in my carry-on for the entire flight. I feel like I got played by the author the same way all the men in her life played her. Not cool.

Ok, that's all for now. Hopefully, you're still with me. Sorry for the length of this post. I probably should have broken all the stories down into separate posts, but I can't say that I'd have had the motivation to write that much in separate instances. Meh. Hope you enjoyed, anyways...

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