Post #140 – No, I don’t drink wine – I drink Merlot, and what’s that in your hand, Nana?

While visiting Nana Maude down South last week, I took her to Olive Garden, one of her favorite restaurants. I’m not a huge fan of the Garden, but their spaghetti and meatballs are okay.

However, every single time we go there, Nana scowls at the server whenever he or she asks if we’d like a glass of wine because Nana grew up Pentecostal. If you’re unfamiliar with this fundamentalist religion, Pentecostal folks do not partake of spirits. In fact, they believe alcohol to be akin to crack, heroin or crystal meth.

Aside from her disdain that the manufacturing, drinking and serving of alcoholic beverages is, in fact, legal in the United States, Nana complained constantly about Dad’s collection of Budweiser in their fridge until he passed in 2009. And I’d always say the same thing…

“Well, Nana, he is of legal age, and I doubt he’ll change his ways anytime soon.”

At which point, she’d frown at me and utter a very disgruntled, “Hmpf.”

However, this time, things went a little sideways at Olive Garden.

“Hi, I’m Jenny,” the waitress said with a warm smile. “I’ll be your server today. Would you ladies like to start off with a glass of wine?”

“I’ll have you know that I do not drink, nor have I ever, and my Granddaughter doesn’t drink wine either!” Nana grumbled emphatically in a rather rankled tone, nodding toward me.

For those who read -

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/04/10/post-93-death-taxes-and-dont-judge-my-box/

… you know my Grandmother’s statement is a load of ca-ca…

The poor server, a lovely blonde who looked to be 23 at best, reacted with the horrified expression of one who had just been beamed with a  2′ x 4′, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to squelch my laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked, her sharp blue eyes targeting me.

I shook my head at the poor waitress with a button-lipped smile hoping to convey the idea that my Grandmother was a cranky old coot, but poor Jenny continued to look petrified.

“It’s okay. You’ll have to excuse my Grandmother,” I said smiling, and finally, Jenny the waitress began to breathe again.

“Excuse me from what?” Nana snapped.

I grinned again, relishing what was about to transpire. “Nana, do you remember those pictures I showed you the other day?”

“What pictures?”

I began digging in my purse for an envelope full of pictures that I’d brought to show Nana as the poor waitress started to get really antsy. I started stacking the photos of my husband’s new truck, one of my cats, whom she loves, and such on the table until I came to a photo of the flowers my husband had given me for Valentine’s Day because Nana loves that sort of thing.

“See? Remember this picture?”

“I remember the flowers, but what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” Nana asked.

“You see that bottle of Merlot next to the flowers?”

“The bottle there beside your flowers that looks like a big thing of Coca-cola or red pop?” Nana asked.

“Yes, that’s it. You see, Nana, that’s not a bottle of pop. Merlot is red wine. That was just a promotional thing of some sort the ABC store was running that week. That’s why it looks like a 2 liter of Coke. That was my other gift from Charlie.”

Nana gave me the stink eye.

I ignored her by winking at the waitress who finally smiled nervously and said, “So, today we have a seafood linguine with…”

But Nana didn’t want to hear about the specials that day. So, she interjected with…

“I’d like a glass of ice water, please, with lemon,” Nana said in her usual attempt to divert the conversation away from something she found unpleasant – by changing the subject and acting as though the unpleasant event hadn’t occurred.

“And I’ll have a Diet Coke,” I said.

“Coming up,” the waitress replied. Then, she disappeared while most likely heaving a big sigh of relief that Nana’s little tantrum was over.

The rest of our lunch was pleasant and unremarkable. Nana ate most of her chicken and gnocchi soup and only complained a couple of times about the “green stuff” otherwise known as spinach in the soup.

I don’t know if she was incensed by the glass of wine question on this particular day because she’s frequented Olive Garden for more than 20 years and just got fed up, or she was in a bad mood because they lost another pair of her pajamas at the nursing home, or what…but if I wanted to be a real BITCH, I’d send her a copy of this photo below…which has graced the pages of my blog previously…

MIMI JUDY CIRCA 63 - JUDY SMOKING

The lady on the left is my Aunt Shirley (my Mom’s youngest sister), and the other woman, the redhead is none other than Nana Maude holding a cocktail! And I would imagine the martini glass close to Aunt Shirley’s hand was her drink as well. And I love the fact that Aunt Shirley is smoking because Nana loves to say that when she saw Shirley walking out of community college smoking a cigarette, that she threatened to “Yank her out of college right now if I ever caught her smoking again.”

Funny thing, Aunt Shirley obviously didn’t quit, given the photo above, and she obtained an associates degree in legal studies in 1970. Though this photo was obviously taken in the ’60s, given the bodacious beehive hairdos, I don’t remember ever seeing Aunt Shirley light up a cigarette. So, she must’ve quit before I was born, or shortly thereafter unlike my mother who, sadly, was sucking on cigarettes until she died of lung cancer in 2007.

So, there you have it. Yet another day of conflicting realities in the life of Nana Maude…:), and I must go for now because my Merlot is singing MY NAME…:)

~Over and out from Tenacious B’s Bar and Grill

TenaciousBitch/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

 

 

Post #139 – An Addendum to the day I performed sink surgery…

While I was rather livid when my son, Max, took off and didn’t clean his bathroom as requested, which is the subject of Post #138 -

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2014/07/08/post-138-wish-i-could-boil-my-fingers-an-adventure-in-sink-surgery/

- I have to say he made up for it later on that weekend when we put a new roof on the house. My husband, Charlie, didn’t want to shell out $15-$20K to replace our 25-year-old roof (understandably), so he and his friend, Alex, my mother-in-law Susan, and Max were up on the roof in 90-95-degree heat tearing off the old roof and installing the new shingles, etc. for 3 days straight. And they finished right before a torrential downpour commenced.

Alex was a roofer for more than 20 years, and, thank God for his expertise because they spent the entire first day correcting all the mistakes of the jack ass (or asses as the case may be) who built the addition on our house 10 years or so before we bought it in late 2001. There was no tar paper underneath the old roof as required by law (or local construction standards, whichever), and there was one section where there’s no siding where the roof of the new addition meets the original house that was built in 1962. And these are only a few of their screw-ups.

That said, my son, Max, was a lot of help that day.  He carried almost all of the 70-pound bundles of roofing materials up to the roof as depicted in the photo below -

BAXTER CARRYING BUNDLE JUNE 2014 3

He looks really pissed off in this photo, but he’s not. He hates having his picture taken anyway, and I snapped this one late on the 2nd day when it was 94 degrees in the shade, so he was a tad worn out! I think there were 23 bundles, seems like? And I think Charlie and Alex carried up 3 or 4 bundles, maybe. So, Max kinda redeemed himself after shirking his other domestic duties. Charlie did pay him to help with the roof, but he really earned his paycheck that weekend, and it would’ve cost a helluva more to hire someone to haul all of those shingles up to the roof.

Just thought I’d mention it since he was such a dick about scrubbing his toilet, etc. But he’s a guy, and as my husband says, “All guys are dicks occasionally…” :)

Now, that the roof is done, I wouldn’t mind if Mother Nature decided to throw some more of that hot weather our way. Since I returned from visiting Nana Maude and my son, Rory, on July 22nd, the temps since –  topped out at 85 yesterday. Otherwise, it’s been in the 70s during the day and 50 at night as is the forecast for today and tomorrow. And last I looked, it’s NOT September!

I know. I know. I shouldn’t complain, but it was difficult enough to leave the beautiful sunshine in Florida and Georgia without Summer going AWOL here in Ohio, ya know? It’s often brutally cold in the Buckeye state from October to April, so I’m not happy that we’re getting cheated out of our normally sizzling summer – even if it’s only for a few days.

And on that thought, I shall bid everyone adieu.

THANKS for reading my blog, and if you’re looking for a good book to take on vacation or whatever, check out my list of favorite books at   http://tenaciousbitch.com/my-favorite-books/

Peace out from TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

~TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

 

 

Post #138 – Wish I Could Boil My Fingers…an Adventure in Sink Surgery

One Saturday, a couple of weeks ago, Susan, my mother-in-law, came down to visit from Cleveland. On the Monday prior, I asked Max, my 22-year-old, to clean his bathroom by Thursday, so she wouldn’t have to either traipse through mine and my husband’s bedroom to the master bath (which she’d never do) or trek downstairs to the half bath in the wee hours.

I gave him until Thursday so that if it wasn’t sanitary, which is usually the case, I could kick his ass back in there to clean it again on Friday. WARNING – if you have a weak stomach, turn away now! Go back to the pristine premises from which you hail because the images below ain’t pretty or for the faint of heart. No, they’re not as disturbing as, perhaps, the latrine at a concentration camp but probably not a whole lot better.

On Thursday afternoon around 4:00, I was in my office down the hall working, and I heard him shuffling around in in his sorry excuse for a loo. After about 15 minutes, I heard the unmistakable sound of an explosion in the vicinity of his room, and I heard him shout, “Dammit! What the fuck?”

Not to worry. It was a fake bomb, accompanied by rather impressive graphics – all courtesy of his XBox.

I crept into his bathroom for a peek at his progress, and I was bitterly disappointed. Check out his sink…

BAX'S SINK JUNE 2014

And, then, there was the toilet…

BAX'S NASTY TOILET - FLOOR

I marched down the hall to his room and beat my fist against his door rapidly, which I’m sure sounded like machine gunfire from outside, LOL.

“What?” he asked in a rather annoyed tone.

I opened the door to find him lounging on his bed, his Xbox controller in his hand, but luckily, his game was paused, so he was at least listening to me.

“You can’t possibly think your bathroom is clean?” I snapped.

“Well, what’s wrong with picking up all the trash first?” He whined in a defensive tone.

“Nothing, but you were supposed to be finished by now. Please get back in there and scrub your sink, the tub and your toilet, and I’ll do the floor to make sure it’s clean.”

Yes, I know, he should’ve done it all himself, but I knew such was asking too much of the universe that he do a decent job on the floor as well because his idea of cleansing the tile was swooshing a mop around for 3o seconds, paying no attention to the grime on the floor around his toilet or the weird crud huddled up under the canopy of the cabinet under the sink.

“Okay. Okay.”

“Now, please. I’ve got enough to do before she gets here.”

He frowned, and I slammed out of the room.

The next day around 3 p.m, I went downstairs to get a glass of water, and he was in his bathroom again. And this time, I could smell the effervescent perfume of SCRUBBING BUBBLES. My relief was tempered by my skepticism that his toilet would be hygienic enough for any woman to park her behind upon it.

Unfortunately, while I was eyeball deep in work, he managed to slip out of the house before I could inspect his janitorial efforts. And goddamit – his toilet was still filthy. The counter was clean, but everything else was still dirty, and he hadn’t even touched his bathtub, which had a smattering of dead bugs layering the bottom. Awesome!

He’d been showering in the guest bathroom downstairs (at the back of the house) because his tub wasn’t draining properly. No wonder. There’s probably a family of insects clogging up the pipes or something.

I left several vitriolic messages on his phone and a few angry texts to boot, but I knew I wouldn’t hear from him. And I didn’t. He said his phone died. WHATEVER…DICKHEAD!

Funny thing though, he hadn’t mentioned his sink wasn’t draining either…didn’t take a genius to figure out why…

BAX'S SINKThere was something stuck in the drain.And he might not show up until 2:00 the next afternoon, and Susan was supposed to arrive around 11 a.m., so, of course, it was all on me.

I donned my hazmat gear, an old t-shirt, ratty shorts and a pair of vinyl gloves. I stuck my finger down inside the sink, but I couldn’t seem to get a hold of the object. It was about the size of a quarter, and it kept flipping around between my gloved fingers.

First, I tried a pair of tweezers, but they weren’t long enough. Next, I grabbed a pair of salad tongs, but they were too wide.

I finally realized, the only way I was going to fish this thing out was to use my fingers – sans the protective vinyl. I ripped off the gloves and stuck my fingers into the drain, and I managed to pluck it out on the first try. It was, in fact, a very hairy and grimy quarter…but, alas, there was something else wedged in the sink.

After a momentary bout of cursing, I took the plunge again, and this time I snatched a penny from the bowels of the sink.

COINS FROM BAX'S SINK

You’d think my time playing sink surgeon was over, right? Oh, but, of course, you’d be dead wrong because there was still something else stuck in the curve of the pipe.

“Holy fuck balls, Max!” I shouted.

The last tidbit appeared to be a tiny bottle of some sort. I tried several times to pull it out, but it was plastic, and it kept slithering out of my grasp. At which point, I went into my bedroom, grabbed a sewing machine needle from my chest full of sewing junk. And I stuck the needle into the teeny, tiny bottle…and voila…

THING IN BAX'S SINK 2

It’s a little bottle of eye drops, a sample from the eye doctor, perhaps?

We had a robust shouting match about him shirking his responsibilities when he returned very late that night. And I told him that he’d have to clean his bathroom once/week from now on because I was not going to spend another two hours on my hands and knees scouring his bathroom floor ever again. And for chrissakes, if you drop something in the sink, remove it before it turns into a waterlogged bit of rusty goo!

He apologized later, but the damage was done. And the worst part was – though I washed my hands repeatedly, I couldn’t shake the phantom slime lingering upon my skin after my dissection of his sink.

Yeah, wish I could’ve boiled my fingers!

And I seem to be cursed by nasty plumbing mishaps, i.e., http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/05/16/like-a-really-bad-sit-com/   …when Nana’s toilet imploded…:)

Hope all is better in your world than that auspicious day was for me!!!

Over and out from insanity central…

TenaciousB and her band of truth-spouting hippies~

TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

Post #137 – Revenge is a dish best served without Coca-Cola cake…

Five or six years ago when my father was still living, he and Nana Maude came to visit every fall for my son Rory and my husband Charlie’s birthdays- which are only 3 days apart. I wrote about Nana in my last post and in several earlier posts including one about issues concerning her goose down pillow at – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/05/25/post-61-macys-alleged-faux-paus/.

We all took a deep breath the minute Dad’s car landed in our driveway – wondering what kind of drama Nana will cultivate this time.  I was stirring my chili when Nana hobbled into the kitchen, her short white hair like a disheveled halo around her head as she leaned on her big, red walker. A  homemade cake was nestled on the shelf thingy on her walker.

I gave Nana a hug, put the cake on the counter and said, “That was so nice of you to make a Coca-Cola cake. I can’t wait to have some.”

“Well, I hope it turned out all right,” she croaked with another big smile and a twinkle in her eye. She always says that, and to date, I’ve never eaten one of Nana’s pies, cakes, cookies, biscuits or brownies that weren’t delectable.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Southern delicacy known as Coca-Cola cake, it’s a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, which has 1/4 cup of cola in the cake and about  2/3 cup in the icing, which makes both very light and fluffy, and it adds a certain zing to the chocolate flavor.

The next day, Charlie’s mother and stepfather, his grandparents, his Aunt Nancy, his sister Tally and her girlfriend, Melissa, all came down from Cleveland for a cookout/birthday party around noon. And Rory and Heather, his girlfriend at the time, were supposed to be at our house around noon as well.

Around 11:00, I was scurrying around the house – setting out the silverware and a dozen other last minute details when Nana came toddling into the kitchen. She looked at the Coca-Cola cake on the kitchen table with a stack of dessert plates beside it, and she said, “I need to put this up.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Why?”

“I made that for Rory, not for everyone.”

I was immediately annoyed but too busy to argue with her. However, Nana had other ideas. “Nana, there’s plenty of cake to go around,” I said firmly, glancing at the 9″ x 13″ sheet cake. “We won’t cut it until Rory gets here, and I can set aside some for him to take home.”

She shook her head. “No, I made it for Rory,” she said, picking up the cake and sliding it into the cabinet beside the table, “Not for all those other people,” she said as Charlie walked in the room.

“Nana, when you told me you were making a Coca-Cola cake, I didn’t make anything else. What’re we supposed to serve to Charlie’s family?”

Silence and a vacant stare from Nana, followed by a shrug.

“Rory won’t mind to share. In fact, I’m sure he’d insist on it,” I snapped.

“No, I made that cake for my great-grandson, not …” her voice trailed off when she realized Charlie was standing behind me. A glimmer of guilt wavered in her eyes, but I knew she wouldn’t change her mind.

I glared at her, wanting very much to deck the old, selfish crow who just happened to have given birth to my dearly departed mother.

“Nana, I’m getting that cake out, and we’re going to-“

“No,” Charlie sputtered angrily. “I don’t like chocolate cake anyway.”

The hurt and anger I saw pulsing in his eyes sparked a new level of rage against Nana.

“I’ll just go to Kroger and get another cake,” Charlie barked.

You’d think that would elicit a reaction from her, but it didn’t.

“Excuse me,” Nana muttered, looking down. “I’ve got to go to the restroom.” I watched her slump by us, head down, wondering how anyone could be so incredibly selfish.

The moment she left, I looked at Charlie and said, “I’m so sorry, honey. I had no idea-“

“It’s not your fault.”

I shook my head. “Don’t worry about it. As soon as everyone gets here, I’ll put the cake back on the table, and she won’t have the nerve to say one word about it.”

“No,” Charlie said, grabbing his jacket from the coat tree in the living room. “I’m going out to buy another cake, so I’ll have something for my family. I don’t want her fucking cake.”

I nodded. I thought about apologizing again, but there just aren’t enough words in the universe to erase the kind of hurt that Nana frequently bestows on people.

“I can go. It’s your birthday. Why don’t you go sit in-“

“No, I need to get out of here, away from her,” he said.

I nodded, and he turned and walked out.

A few warm tears dribbled down my face. And I grabbed a tissue from the box on the kitchen counter and sat down in a heap on the living room couch. I blew my nose, feeling so embarrassed by Nana’s rude behavior. And I just couldn’t fathom how my overly generous mother could’ve shared the same genes.

And if all that weren’t bad enough, here’s the kicker. When Rory and Heather arrived a few minutes later, I explained the whole dessert dilemma, and my handsome, 21-year-old son – shook his head and said, “I don’t really like that cake. And I’m not big on sweets in general.”

“I know,” I said. “But, I, unlike Nana, don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even hers, by revealing that info. But even if you loved that cake, you’d never want to hoard it like that.”

“Of course not,” Rory replied.

But at this point, it was too late. Nana had poisoned the Coca-Cola cake, so to speak.

Charlie arrived a few minutes later with a white cake with vanilla icing, which was delicious, btw. And  just to piss Nana off, I didn’t eat one single bite of her damned cake. When she asked why I was eating the store bought cake, I just shrugged. She got the hint, but that wasn’t good enough for me…

Three years later after my dad died, she moved in with us. And she constantly asked me to make a Coca Cola cake since wasn’t able to bake anymore, but I never did except one time when I hosted my Writer’s Club meeting last year. I gave everyone generous portions after dinner and huge blocks of cake to take home. And then, I hid the rest in a cabinet that Nana couldn’t reach.

Later, when I was loading the dishwasher, I heard Nana’s walker bumbling down the hallway, and I smiled.

“Well, hello, there, got any cake left?” Nana asked, smiling.

“No, I’m sorry, it’s all gone.”

“You didn’t save me any?” she grumbled, in wide-eyed shock.

“The people in my group had never had it before, so I gave them all some to take home, and Charlie had a piece. Besides, I didn’t make it for you. I made it for my friends.”

Her watery blue eyes turned cold, and tears of anger crested upon her thin, blonde lashes. She turned and stomped out – as best a 95-year-old woman can stomp anyway :).

I slept very well that night. And the words Coca-Cola cake have never graced her dry old lips again.

Over and out from the bitchy baker and her truth-spouting hippies…

TenaciousBitch

TB/ks

 

 

Post #136 – It’s Not Even American!

A couple of days ago, I called my 97-year-old Grandmother, a.k.a. Nana Maude. I talked to her for a few minutes about the new shoes I sent her, which she loved, thank God, and then I handed the phone to my husband, Charlie. Whereupon, she began whining about the food at her nursing home.

“It’s not even American,” she lamented.

For those who are new to my casa de crazy, Nana lived with us here in Ohio for 27 very long months. Then, one year ago today, she moved into Mt. Olive Care Center (the nursing home) in Georgia about 3 miles from where she lived for 49 years until her house got foreclosed on because of my drug addict brother, which you can read about beginning with this post –  http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/danny-the-stolen-cash-and-the-stripper/

I stayed with her for a week until she got settled in her new digs. During that time, she was served:

1)  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. She hated the beans because they weren’t “seasoned right”. Meaning, they weren’t simmered for 19 hours in a vat laden with salt, onions and bacon – until they resembled a really fine green paste. Besides fried chicken, they also offered chicken Marsala. Therefore, they did sneak a bit of Italian cuisine in there alongside the not-so-American fried chicken…:)

2) Meatloaf with boiled potatoes and a salad. The alternate choice was sweet and sour chicken, so they did borrow from other cultures…BAD CHEFS…BAD! :)

3) And one day at lunch, they brought Nana a steak sandwich and French fries. She said the steak was tough, so she wouldn’t touch it, and they brought her a PB&J. I ate the steak sandwich, which was thinly sliced and relatively tender, I thought, but my choppers aren’t 90+ years old.

4) One morning, they brought her scrambled eggs, bacon and white toast with butter and strawberry jam. Funny, I made that exact same meal on many occasions while she lived with us. Hmmm…

5) The last day I was there, she was given a ham and cheese sandwich, a bowl of Jell-O and a banana for lunch with a cup of vanilla ice cream for dessert.

And I remember all of this because I helped her fill out her menu requests – relieved that they always served something I thought she’d eat…but she didn’t because it wasn’t American. Oh, wait…that’s her excuse now. At the time, her meals were too spicy, too sweet, too salty, too peppery, and the list goes on – though I found none of the entrees espousing these traits except the fried chicken was a little peppery. Other than that, I thought the food was pretty frickin’ good for a rest home as Nana calls it with disdain.

Just out of curiosity to see if the menu had changed drastically, I looked on the nursing home’s website today where they post menus for the residents’ families in case they’d like to drop by and share a meal with their loved one.  For dinner today, they listed:

Beef stew and biscuits or fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas, and tomorrow night they advertised chili (oh, god, you’re right, Nana, that’s TEX-MEX) and barbecued wings or honey glazed ham with fried potatoes or baked potatoes and cole slaw. Additionally, you can get cole slaw with your wings and/or chili as well.

That said, I’m not sure why she insists the dining room is providing non-American cuisine. Perhaps, she’s just run out of negative adjectives and decided to utilize more heinous-sounding verbiage instead of the truth:

She doesn’t want anything except entrees from one of her favorite restaurants – or food that she, herself, has prepared, which she, obviously can’t do anymore…though she loves my potato soup, and she loved my husband’s liver and onions.

She also loved what she called – “my spaghetti”, but the slop she referred to was merely hamburger slathered in Prego, which is about 30% high fructose corn syrup, and I think it’s nasty. But I let her think it was “my sauce”, so she’d eat it.

In reality, I make my meaty Italian sauce almost from scratch, but the few times she consumed that which my boys and my husband gobble up in the blink of an eye was too tomato-y according to Nana. But it looks just a RED and tomato-infested as mine, so go figure. So, I allegedly tried a “new recipe”, the heretofore mentioned – Prego and ground beef for her and my homemade spaghetti for everyone else – i.e. making a separate meal for her, which we we had to do about half the time.

But, holy hell, Nana, spaghetti is ITALIAN, why in heaven’s name were you eating that? :)

ANYWHO…toward the end of her rant, I saw Charlie cup his hand over his mouth, and I knew she’d just delivered a zinger of verbal insanity, and I was right.

“But you know me, Charlie, I’m not picky…”

To-wit, Charlie and I let go of some serious belly laughs. And this from the woman who grumbled about her breakfast the morning of our departure for Georgia as such:

“Why are my eggs so big?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, rather puzzled after I set her scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and a biscuit down in front of her.

“Do you put milk in them?”

“Yes, Nana,” I said, rolling my eyes because she’d posed that query at least 492 times.

She frowned and said, “When I made them, they were much smaller.”

Oh, for the love of chicken embryos…forgive me, Nana, I wanted to say. I let the eggs cook a little too long before I “scrambled” them up and plopped them on your plate, but even at her age…she can still cut up her own damned eggs, which she began doing the moment I headed for the door.

For other depictions of why Nana “isn’t” picky – check out:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/07/31/post-70-more-baloney-from-ms-cranky-pants/

or

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/06/28/post-66-baloney-porn-or-is-it-bologna-porn/

It’s difficult to imagine ever being that unaware of one’s own personality, but it’s not her age, Nana has always been that way…even when I was a kid, but that’s another yarn to unravel another day…:)

Over and out from Crazytown…

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

TB/ks

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

 

Post #135 – Give me your best books or die trying…:)

My husband is not a big reader, which I simply don’t get. Yes, I love certain TV shows and movies too much probably, but nothing substitutes for good, old-fashioned published prose, in my opinion. After all, everyone has been gravely disappointed by the Hollywood depiction of a beloved story at one time or another.
Take The Hunger Games and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for example. Fantastic books, but the movies fell flat for me.So, anywho – I thought I’d share my list of favorite works of literature.
If you click on the book’s cover, the link takes you to their Amazon page for more info.  I’m also an Amazon Associate, so I get a small cut if you decide to buy any of these books.
While that may seem insufferably commercial of me, I’m grappling to pay off the  monstrous credit card debt (more than $30K) accrued when Nana was living with us. For the 411 concerning my struggles with my grandmother, go to :http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/
If you think I was too harsh in my descriptions of Nana, keep in mind that the social worker at the excellent nursing home where she now lives describes her as a DIVA! :)
Also, I’m always on the lookout for a new book since I’m so often disappointed by the badly written muck that pass for bestsellers these days, so please feel free to share your favs in the comment section! I look forward to reading YOUR LIST…:) 
That said, here’s the list:

1)

Intensity: A Novel

Intensity: A Novel

Intensity is the most riveting page-turner I’ve ever read in my life. It’s about a young woman who goes to Napa Valley with a friend and becomes trapped in a farmhouse while trying to warn the next victim of a serial killer…after she witnesses the murder of her friend and her friend’s family. I read this book ten years ago, and it still kind of haunts me! :)

2)

The Hunger Games (Book 1)

The Hunger Games (Book 1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins about a young girl who fights back in a post-apocalyptic world where children battle to the death in the yearly Hunger Games as the penance of their respective territories for having rebelled against the Capitol during a civil war 75 years ago. I also loved Catching Fire and The Mockingjay!

3)

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The main storyline is about Howard Roark, and his difficulties as an architect in his quest to defy convention and his battle against a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. However, the subtext is rather philosophical, focusing on the strength of the individual versus society and the government and the war between fascism and individualism.

4)

Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions): Emily Brontë: 9780486292564: Amazon.com: Books

Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions): Emily Brontë: 9780486292564: Amazon.com: Books

A classic piece of literature set in the lonely and often creepy moors of northern England. It details the turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff, a homeless child adopted by Cathy’s father. It’s a very disturbing, intense, romantic and gothic love story, which was first published in 1837.

5)

Rebecca: Daphne Du Maurier: 9780380730407: Amazon.com: Books

Rebecca: Daphne Du Maurier: 9780380730407: Amazon.com: Books

Rebecca is another book set in England but much later in the 1930s. Rebecca DeWinter has long since died when the 2nd Mrs. DeWinter arrives at Manderly, her new husband’s home.

But the new Mrs. DeWinter has difficulty living in the shadow of Rebecca that remains in the house, fueled by the surly and evil housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers does her best to not only make Mrs. DeWinter feel unwelcome but to try to oust the second wife via treachery and lies because of her (Mrs. Danvers) unnatural and undaunting affection for Rebecca. Mrs. DeWinter gradually comes into her own and begins to assert herself and emerges the victor in the unexpected and haunting ending.

6)

The Help

The Help

The Help was one of those books I definitely couldn’t put down. If you’ve seen the Oscar-Winning movie, you know it’s about a young white woman in Jackson, Mississippi, who writes a book about the shameful behavior of her neighbors, friends and relatives toward their African American help (i.e. their maids, gardeners, etc.). Though I grew up in the South, I had no idea that things were this bad during the 1960s, but (spoiler alert! kinda) I was incredibly glad it had a happy ending.

7/8) Is a 3-way tie between Bitter Is the New BlackLet’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, which are both memoirs, and Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin, which is fiction but based on a true story.

 Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office: Jen Lancaster: 9780451217608: Amazon.com: Books

Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office: Jen Lancaster: 9780451217608: Amazon.com: Books

Bitter is the New Black is about a young woman who was riding high during the dot.com era who has the rug pulled out from under her life when she gets fired from a VP position at an investor relations firm. At which point, her life is turned sideways and then some when she’s not able to secure another job right away.  And she’s forced to reexamine what’s really important in life, which she does in an abundantly hilarious way!

Good Christian Bitches -

Good Christian Bitches: Kim Gatlin: 9781401310707: Amazon.com: Books

Good Christian Bitches: Kim Gatlin: 9781401310707: Amazon.com: Books

In Good Christian Bitches, Amanda Vaughn leaves California after an ugly divorce and returns home to Hillside, an affluent suburb of Dallas, Texas, where she grew up. And she’s thrust into the world of back-stabbing Christian women with her two kids in tow.

All the high-society bitches think they’re going to send Amanda straight back to Cali via their deceitful and decidedly un-Christian ways because of their ridiculous jealousy, but Amanda delivers a plate of come-uppins like Dallas has never seen. It’s shocking. It’s funny, and it has an awesome ending!

Though I could REALLY relate to this book (being from the South and all), I think everyone has met a few of these Christian ladies before!  :) A great summer read!

And last of the three-way tie, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened…

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

It’s really difficult to pinpoint what Let’s Pretend is about because except for the fact that Jenny grew up in Texas – and that she dabbled in drugs a wee tad, it’s about my life! Okay, maybe not, but I can totally see every phenomenally, OMG, that didn’t just happen scenario – occurring in my life – especially her bizarre experience with a cow in high school. So, let’s just say it’s about a young girl/young woman who is definitely very unique and has an interesting take on life.

If that endorsement isn’t enough, read this when you need a GOOD CHUCKLE because I laughed from page one to the end!  :) Can’t wait to read the next one, Jenny!  :)

I have several more listed on a separate page (for brevity’s sake), which you can check out at:      

http://tenaciousbitch.com/my-favorite-books/

So, if you’re looking for a few good books to read over the summer…these are just a fraction of the fictional/nonfictional works I’ve perused over the years.

Feel free to share the name/description of your favorite book(s) in the comment section because I’m always on the lookout for yet another masterpiece that won’t bore me to tears as so many “bestselling” novels have lately! Oh, and ignore the whole die trying part…just trying to be funny! :) But I guess that attempt kinda  felt flat as well…

Over and out,

~Tenacious Bitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

TB/

ks

 

#134 – Time to Go To Prison~Again!

My son Rory’s first DUI occurred when he was 21, not long after he got married. He was working at Chase bank, and he’d been partying with some friends one night and fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. No one was injured, thank God. All of which happened in Upper Arlington, a very ritzy, old money suburb not far from Ohio State University.

He couldn’t remember who was in the vehicle with him. However, his unnamed drinking buddies were seen scattering into the darkness when the police arrived.

Apparently, not only had he thrown back quite a few cocktails, he’d probably taken double the recommended dosage of Dexedrine, his ADD medication, and he’d been awake for around 36 hours straight. So, yeah, he was a mess. And he shouldn’t have been anywhere near a car.

Long story short, he was shuffled off to the drunk tank downtown and was later sentenced to six months probation and attending some sort of group therapy. Rory hadn’t augmented his Dexedrine intake to get high. He did it to increase his productivity and stay awake longer in order to get more accomplished – because he’s always been an overachiever.

Besides his job at Chase, he started moonlighting at Victory’s bar and restaurant downtown after Lacey lost her full-time job at a bakery. They had accumulated a massive credit card debt, and he was attempting to stave off foreclosure on their house. Lacey was unemployed for six months and had just started working part-time as a receptionist at Mt. Carmel hospital when he’d gotten the first DUI.

Three or four months later, he was out drinking and decided to give Kim, a co-worker at Victory’s, a ride home.  According to his friends, she was rather inebriated.

Kim didn’t doze off en route to her apartment as expected. No, she attempted to seduce him. Fending off her her advances caused him to swerve into the opposite lane where, thank heaven, there wasn’t an oncoming car. But a cop just happened to be right behind him.

Yeah, he was totally fucked.

On the advice of a friend/attorney who handles a lot of DUI’s, Rory refused the breathalyzer. But, apparently, when he passed the field sobriety test, the cop didn’t believe he was sober. So, the officer snuck up behind him, popped the breathalyzer in his mouth and told him to “blow”.

His blood-alcohol level was high enough for an arrest, but if I’d known how the cop had obtained his probable cause, I would’ve helped Rory prepare a Motion to Dismiss since all the evidence against him was fruit of the poisoned tree nullifying the policeman’s probable cause.

It might not’ve have been a Supreme Court-worthy document, but having been a paralegal for almost 7 years, I think it would’ve sufficed for a Pro Se defendant.

It might’ve eliminated or at least truncated Rory’s 2nd turn in County. Either way, worst case scenario – the judge could’ve denied the Motion to Dismiss. No harm. No foul. But I didn’t know what the police officer had done until a few days ago when I asked Rory about the specifics of his arrests to confirm all the details.

He pled guilty to the 2nd DUI because he couldn’t afford an attorney. He was sentenced to 5 days in lockup for violating his probation in the Upper Arlington case, and 5 days for the 2nd DUI.

Additionally, he lost his driver’s license for 2 years. However, at least the judge was kind enough to allow Rory to serve his time on his days’ off so that he wouldn’t lose his job. And since he was on flex time, his days’ off varied.

Rory’s 2nd prison term began in mid-summer. He had moved back home temporarily because he and Lacey were separated. (They divorced about a year later).  Since he didn’t have a driver’s license, I drove him to the corrections facility, which was only 4 miles away from our house.

I didn’t mind providing transportation. Plus, I could make sure he clocked in at at 9 a.m. sharp as required by his sentencing agreement. I was concerned he’d be late or not show up at all because he’d started drinking even more after he and Lacey split up. I knew that if he was a no-show, he could get thrown in the clink for 3 months to a year.

So, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. One particular morning in August, I got  up to take Rory to serve his time, and he wasn’t sleeping peacefully in his room. He wasn’t steeped in Jameson, dead to the world, on our couch downstairs in front of the TV. He was nowhere to be found.

I called and texted him a dozen times, but all I got was his voicemail and no reply to my texts. I texted every single friend of his whose contact info was on my cellular Rolodex. No one had heard from him, and none of his friends had a reason to lie, especially given the severity of the situation.

Finally at 9:45, I decided to toss out a Hail Mary. I suspected Rory might’ve spent the night with Lacey because he’d been talking to her a lot on the phone lately. She and I have a rocky history because I never wanted Rory to marry her. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a beautiful girl, and she can be extremely sweet when she wants to be. But I just didn’t think either of them was ready for marriage since he was barely 21 and she 22.

I also didn’t think they were a good match. He’s very serious and intellectual, and Lacey is not. And as I feared, they split up eight months into their marriage.

Therefore, it was a delicate proposition to contact Lacey. God forbid, I didn’t wanna call and wake her up unnecessarily since she works night or embarrass her if she happened to be with another guy. So, I chose a different route.

I called Rory’s friend, Nelson, who is probably Rory’s most responsible friend. By the time Nelson was 21, he’d already completed his BA in automotive technology from Ohio State. He works at a local Chevy dealership, and he’s got his own side business repairing/restoring old muscle cars. Yeah, I like Nelson. He’s a good egg.

So, I explained Rory’s incarceration dilemma and asked Nelson to contact Lacey. Not ten minutes later, he texted me confirming that Rory was at Lacey’s apartment somewhere downtown. I took a deep breath and dialed Lacey’s number.

“He got another DUI?” Lacey gasped.

Score another fuck up for me. Sorry, Dude, I thought to myself, didn’t mean to turn up the temp on the hot water you’re swimming in, Rory, but it ain’t my fault.

“Yeah, right after my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rory, got a DUI downtown,” I explained. “Is he with you?”

Long pause.

“Look, Lacey…” I began in an apologetic tone while looking at my watch. “He was supposed to be at the jail an hour ago. Is he there?”

“I see,” Lacey sputtered. “Thanks for letting me know.” And she hung up.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

***

The conclusion to this story will be in my upcoming book – Tales From the Lunatic Lounge – which I hope to finish in a couple of months wherein you can read all the dirt on Rory’s last stint in the pokey! :)

And if you’re searching for some summer reads, check out my list of favorite books at:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/my-favorite-books/

Over and out-

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

Tenacious Bitch © 2014