Thursday, July 31, 2008

Airing My Dirty Laundry

I often wondered how the other half lived.
I always knew there were people like this out there.
Imagining what it was like.
What does one do?
And now I know.
You all know who I'm talking about?
The people who stay in on Thursday's of course!
It's like seeing the world through a whole different pair of glasses folks.

So we all know I had to stay in tonight.
Um, yeah.

So I watched TV all night.
First the stupid Entertainment Edition shows.
Ugly Betty came on at 8, I had enough by 8:15. Off it went.
I did like Grey's Anatomy though. I think I am the only person in America who's never seen it before.
It was good. But not good enough to keep me in on Thursday's.
Then I watched some other show whose name I can't even remember at 10.
The news came and went.
And now I'm on to David Letterman.

On a good note, AMC is repeating the premier of Madmen at 12:30. I have been wanting to catch it all week and haven't had the chance. I guess I do now.
Between bathroom visits. (I know, TMI)
I keep thinking about that poor woman who's husband locked her in the bathroom for 5years or something. When they rescued her, she was stuck to the toilet. She had been sitting for two years without moving.
Her husband got life in jail. As he should have.
I really can relate!

Onto other things.

I was walking Smokey the Guard Dog after work tonight. I walked past this young man loading three laundry baskets into his car. They were full of dirty laundry. I guess he was going to the laundromat.
As I walked passed him, I was thinking "Thank God I don't have to do that anymore."
Then I remembered one of my past lives.

I hope this doesn't sound like a "I was so poor, we......." But the first time I owned my own washer and dryer was after I had my second kid.
Looking back, how did I do it?
I remember after I had Danny, my Aunt would come to my house to pick up baby clothes to wash for me. Can you believe it?

I don't know why, but for some reason, my mother never wanted a washer. She had one in the basement for abut 20 years that she never connected. She washed everything out "by hand" and hung them out to dry. We would take the big things to the laundry mat.
God I hated that.

When I went away to college and lived in the dorm, all the girls were complaining of having to walk all the way down the hall to do laundry. I was thrilled. I didn't have to drag baskets up the street.

One time I was at the laundromat and I forgot a load of jeans in the dryer. I ran right back and they were gone. I was so mad. That was pretty much my whole wardrobe back then. There was this kid in there and I know he took them. I still see him and always think "Creep, you stole my jeans in 1976!"

Oh well, sorry this is so boring.
On the up side. I'll finally know what the world is up to on Friday mornings!

Get ready next week girls.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Sorry girls, bad news.
This might be more info than anyone needs, but two weeks ago I canceled my colonoscopy so I could get a head start on my vacation.
Well, I rescheduled for this Friday.
You all know what that means........
Yeah, I thought so.
No Anger Management this week. Unless you all want to go on without me. And if past experience is any indicator, fat chance of that happening.

So, if you need help getting though the week, here's a thought.
Jimmy Brose has promised to make us his Mojhita's NEXT Thursday, August 7.
I know, I know, it will be difficult, but bear with me here girls. When feeling sorry for yourself, just think of what I'll be doing instead.
Uhhh yeah, I'd much rather be drinking with you all.

My mother died from colon cancer. I am way, way overdue for this test. My Doctor has been yelling at me. So I can't make excuses for not doing it anymore.
I talk a good game, yelling at you all for not doing it. And here I am. Being a sissy-la-la.

Nadine has even offered up her 106 year old husband to take me.(Sign of a true friend--I'm sure Danny is thrilled!!

On the up side, I'm sure this experience will provide me with plenty of material for this blog, like I need it!!!!!

I almost forgot, I wanted to share this picture of Ginny Ann water sking on Conneaut Lake with the boys!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Did ya miss me?

Gettin' outa Dodge does wonders for my ego.
Why? Well two weeks ago the AMG's were all like"we don't need you. We can organize ourselves. We can have AMG without you. Just you wait and see."
I saw.
Zero activity.
Miss Kathy was going to be a big girl and get everyone together while I was gone.
Didn't happen.
So you all thought my job was easy, huh?
Getting 20 strong willed woman all in one place on any given Thursday. No easy feat!
Now you all better appreciate me! No more taking this gal for granted.
I'm envisioning an "Eileen appreciation night." Whadaya think?
OK, I know, I'm pushing it. I'll get real. Back to earth!

So, obviously I have been away. I went up to the lake for about a week and a half.
I have so many stories, I don't know where to start.

I think all of you have read in this space before stories about my neighbor up the lake.
He is the only jerk on all of Conneaut Lake and unfortunately, he lives next door to us. He lives there year round. He is a lawyer. Apparently not a good one.
Having said that, I took Smokey the Guard Dog with me this time. We all know how much Smokey loves me.

We get to the cottage and I unpack the car. After finishing, I decide to take a walk down the street to see some friends.
I'm there for about 30 minutes when I get a call from Devin. This were his exact words: "Mom, Smokey jumped through the back door and fell into the lawyers pool."
He repeats that sentence. I start to laugh, thinking he was teasing me. It was then I heard my father screaming in the background.
"Oh my God, I'll be right there" I say.
I run home, good ol' Smokey is lying on the living room floor soaking wet. Rolling around.
Seems he just missed me and went looking for me.
He jumped right through the back door. It was dark and I guess he was just wandering around when he happened upon the neighbors pool and I guess he fell in.
Turns out the jerk neighbor was sitting on his porch (Thank God) and thought it was his dog that fell in the pool. So he jumped in the pool to save him. When he grabbed his collar, he realized it was not his dog. He got Smokey out of the pool and Smokey ran. Fortunately he ran to my Aunt's. (I think he heard Devin's voice) And Devin brought him home.
Now the asshole neighbor is my best friend.
How funny.
So that was the first hour of my vacation.
We had a good time. The champagne was flowing.

We had one unpleasant event. One night I was sitting on my cousins porch, which is about three cottages down from ours. I start to walk up the street towards home when my sister screams out the door for me to hurry, my dad was not moving. My heart sank. I ran up the street, my cousin followed. Turns out my father fainted. He has been fainting for years. And I am used to it. My sister, not so much. She has never seen him faint. Let's just say, "The Madonna" who is perfect in every way, except in emergency situations. She picks up the phone to call 911. She mistakenly dials 411. In that instant, my father comes to. He yells at us to not call an ambulance. So I had to sleep on the couch because she was also afraid to be alone with him in case he fainted again.
Times like this we miss our mother, she knew exactly what to do in these cases.
At least she would not have dialed 411 for God's sake!

Next thing that was funny to me is the small town newspapers and what they think of as news.

So I am going to share with just a few of the big news items that I found on page two.
I swear I am not making this up. I am going to type word for word.

A truck driven by ****** was traveling north on Hickory Street when it sideswiped (gasp) a car driven by *******, which was parked on the east side of the street, causing damage. ******told police he had to move over because a vehicle coming in the opposite direction took too much room. Witnesses told police he DID have enough room to drive by that parked vehicle. (apparently he didn't or he wouldn't have hit him people) According to police the road was dry and the weather was sunny.
Can you believe it. Shocked is all I can say.

A wallet was stolen from an unlocked vehicle in front of its' owner's Charlton Street residence between 10 pm 6.29 and 9 am 6.30.
Asshole, why did you leave your wallet in an unlocked car overnight, and called police???

Compact Discs (who calls them that?) were taken from TWO unlocked cars parked in a public parking lot near Micky's Central Fire Station Restaurant on July 6th.
This is too shocking to comment!

OK people, brace yourselves. Here it comes. Remember I am not making this up. This is word for word. The following is the worse crime of all.

Overnight between July 3 nd and 4th, an unidentified person destroyed an Obama for President sign in the yard of a North Street Residence.
Can you believe it? Of all the nerve.
Actually I'm pretty impressed someone was brave enough to put up an Obama sign. You can't believe how prejudice and narrow minded most of the people are up there.
There was another one about two kids riding a bike when the sign clearly states "No Bike Riding", but I can't find the paper. But you get the gist of it.

Thank God I'm Home! Where people getting gunned down on the street barely make it into the paper!
Thank God I'm appreciated!

We'll be having a grand old time this Thursday. I can tell you all about my experience in court this week when they sentenced the man who broke into my house.
You'll be shocked. I turned into a softy and told the judge not to put him in jail. (Psssst.......don't let that get out, people might get the impression I'm nice or something)
Let me know if anyone has any suggestions on where to go this week.

FYI: No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, that is Ginny Ann and I with our summer loves in the picture above.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Bitch is Back!

OK, I think it's about time I rant a little. What do ya think. I've been a little too sappy lately. Sorry. I'll work on that. I promise.

So, while taking Smokey the guard dog on his evening stroll, I usually pass this monstrosity of a house. I pass this house every day. It's down the block from my house.
Can I just say that I HATE this house. It was a nice house before someone with bad taste bought it and renovated it. He must own his own construction company. (I'll tell you how I know this later)But he must be doing the whole thing by himself, and it's taking a long time. So every day I walk past and you can't help but notice what's new.

Can I just go on record to say right now it is the most God awful tackiest, ugliest house I have ever set eyes on.

It goes beyond tacky. It does not go with any of the architecture of the neighborhood. And I would be pissed if I lived in the cute little cottage house next door.

I was going to take a picture for you all from my cell phone, but that kind of stuff already got me into trouble on this blog. My luck, his daughter or someone is a regular reader. So you'll just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, it would be nice enough maybe in Italy or somewhere. But not right here in Shadyside.

And now he is putting in a big ass fountain. Right in front.......... Yes, he is!

Believe it or not, the ugly house is not my main gripe.

He put a double garage with a huge driveway in front of the house. The driveway plus the garage easily holds up to five cars. Easily.

He has this HUGE sign in his living room window (of all places) Don't block driveway, you will be towed.

Mind you, I walk past this house once maybe twice a day. I have seen people getting towed.

But you know what I see more than anything. Nothing. Nothing in the driveway.


He has his big ass Cadillac parked on the street in front of the house along with his work trucks also on the street.

And the driveway and garage are empty.

Empty. God forbid he'd get an oil mark on the driveway.

(Think his furniture is covered in plastic?)

So not only did the driveway take away three parking places on the street. His car and truck not using the driveway and garage took away three others. So now were minus 6.

It makes me crazy.

We all know parking is at a premium in Shadyside.

Especially when all of you suburban parents send your kids to college in the city with out teaching them how to parallel park. Then you have three cars taking up seven spaces.

I can't tell you how many I have stopped them in front of my house and told them flat out. "You cannot take up two parking spaces in front of my house. Let me teach you how not to do that".

That is a mortal sin living in the city. I, for one, don't appreciate walking through the streets of Shadyside late at night because I could not find a closer parking space because ten people were taking up 30 parking spaces.

No fun, no fun at all.

What was fun was last week's AMG. I think we should be allowed to bring our own waitress with us on Thursdays. What do you think?

I would call for a reservation and say party of 10. Well, 11 if you count our waitress.

Yes, we come with our own waitress.

I think that would be great.

No more sissy-la-la's to deal with.

If only.

See you all tomorrow for special Wednesday edition of AMG.

I have so much more to bitch about, but so little time! This will have to do for now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Story of a Life

Although I don't listen to him often enough, I love Harry Chapin.
What a poet. His songs are beautiful tributes to events in his life and quite often his songs would translate into my own life as well.

Among my favorites, A Better Place To Be, Mr. Turner,and Taxi to name just a few.

But my favorite has to be Story of a Life. My husband and I always related most to this song. It's about a man who sees himself as traveling the world and writing about all the exotic places he's seen and people he will meet. But his life goes in a totally different direction. He always felt he was missing something until he realized what a great life he has, with a woman he loves. And that is the story of his life.
It's sort of like that saying "Life is what happens while your making other plans."

But the words are just so beautiful.

So what brought all this on you all are asking? I don't know. I had to drive up to Conneaut today to take my brother his truck. So I just grabbed a bunch of Cd's to listen to and that was one of them.

Also,my friend's husband passed away this weekend. I stopped at the funeral home on the way up to the lake. This is one of my friends who was really there for me when my husband died and I was feeling really bummed.

So I am driving up I79 with the music blasting. Singing this song at the top of my lungs.
And when he gets to the part when he realizes she's the story of his life, I always cry.
And then I thanked God Flo and I had husbands in our lives who thought we completed their story.
Unfortunately it was a short story, but their story none the less. And as nuts and Flo and I are, we were the story of Donny and Dan's Life, as they were ours.

Poor Guys!

Story of a Life
by Harry Chapin

I can see myself it's a golden sunrise
Young boy open up your eyes
It's supposed to be your day.
Now off you go horizon bound
And you won't stop until you've found
Your own kind of way.
And the wind will whip your tousled hair,
The sun, the rain, the sweet despair,
Great tales of love and strife
.And somewhere on your path to glory
You will write your story of a life.

And all the towns that you walk through
And all the people that you talk to
Sing you their songs.
And there are times you change your stride,
There are times you can't decide
Still you go on.

And then the young girls dance their gypsy tunes
And share the secrets of the moon
So soon you find a wife
And though she sees your dreams go poorly
Still she joins your story of a life.
So you settle down and the children come
And you find a place that you come from.
Your wandering is done.

And all your dreams of open spaces
You find in your children's faces
One by one.
And all the trips you know you missed
And all the lips you never kissed
Cut through you like a knife.
And now you see stretched out before thee
Just another story of a life.
So what do you do now?
When she looks at you now?
You know those same old jokes all the jesters tell
You tell them to her now.
And all the same old songs all the minstrels sang
You sing 'em to her now.
But it don't matter anyhow
'Cause she knows by now.

So every chance you take don't mean a thing.
What variations can you bring
To this shopworn melody.
And every year goes by like a tollin' bell.
It's battered merchandise you sell.
Not well, she can see.
And though she's heard it all a thousand times
Couched in your attempted rhymes
She'll march to your drum and fife.
But the question echoes up before me
Where's the magic story of a life?

Now sometimes words can serve me well
Sometimes words can go to hell
For all that they do.
And for every dream that took me high
There's been a dream that's passed me by.
I know it's so true
And I can see it clear out to the end
And I'll whisper to her now again
Because she shared my life.
For more than all the ghosts of glory
She makes up the story,
She's the only story
Of my life.
The last verse is my favorite.

Oh well, Flo and I have had our bouts of bad luck. Some day we'll get a break, I guess.

Lighter notes: We are having a special edition of Anger Management this week. We will be going out on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

That whole colonoscopy thing I'm doing on Friday, wouldn't be smart drinking on Thursday.

I will have fun, fun stories to tell about that experience next week, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy 4th

So this Friday is the Fourth of July.
I like the Fourth of July. Sort of.
Some things I like. Some I don't.

I am petrified of firecrackers. One time my friends and I went to a party at this kids house.
Not that it has anything to do with this story, but we were at Phillip Phillips house. OK, why would Phillip's parents call him Phillip if his last name was Phillip. Did they like the name Phillip that much? I mean, really.

Anyway, we were at his party and someone threw a firecracker under our table and it went off on my leg. Scary for me. I hate the damn things.

However, I do like Fireworks. But every dog I've had in my life hates them.

Fast forward about 25 years.
We had just moved to Sherrod St. and we had people over to watch the fireworks from Arsenal Park. We had gotten Harriet, an Old English Sheepdog, about 8 months prior so this was her first Forth of July with us.
Harriet never needed a leash and would just lay on our front porch all day. Sometimes, she would take a walk down to Tomasina's to see if one of the kids dropped anything good on the floor. Other than that, she was on her own. Usually guarding our house.
When the fireworks started, we were all oooohhhhing and ahhhhhing. When they were over, we noticed Harriet was no where to be found.
I took a walk out front to see if she took a walk up the street. First stop is two doors up. I ask if Harriet was there, they say no, but they saw her walking up the street about fifteen minutes prior.
So I go to the next neighbor I see, they said same thing, she went that way.
Let me just say that at first, I didn't think this was odd because Harriet was allowed to walk up and down the street, so no one thought anything of it. But the further away I got, the more nervous I got.
I finally get to the end of the street. The people there were having a big party. I didn't see anyone I knew, but ask if any of them have seen an Old English Sheepdog. They pointed up the street and said she was running up 44th Street.
So I run up the hill. I'm thinking, did Harriet run away? Then I realize, she was afraid of the fireworks. They were really right over our house. I figured out where she was going. She was going to the only place that she always felt safe.
Her favorite place. The cemetery.

By the time I realize this,I am so far away from home I can't turn back.

I continue asking everyone I see and they are telling me the same thing. She is about 15 minutes ahead of me.

Oh my God, this crazy dog knew how to get in after hours and was running toward Garfield to get in the gate at Allegheny.

This was before cell phones, so I find a phone booth on Penn Ave. and call Dan to fill him in on what is happening. He gets a ride to the bottom gate and goes in the cemetery.
I, on the other hand, am hysterical by this point. I then flag down a bus going up Penn and jump on it. It was right in front of St. Francis Hospital. I didn't have any money to pay. So I'm sure they thought I was escaping from the East Wing, if you know what I mean!
I then look toward the gate at St. Mary's Cemetery and there she is. Good Ol Harriet, shaking like a leaf. On the inside of the cemetery. That smart dog knew how to get in the cemetery after hours.Ran through Allegheny to the little hole in the fence that she and Dan always snuck through. Got into St Mary's.All in the pitch dark. Amazing.
Some young kid from the party I passed climbed over that huge wrought iron fence and handed her over to me. By the way, the whole party that I walked past on the end of my street, followed me to try to help find her. I didn't even know them.
How nice.

In the meantime, Dan didn't know we found her and was walking through the cemetery, crying, yelling "Harriet" at the top of his voice.
I'm sure people were thinking HE escaped from the east wing, crying for his dead wife or something.

Other July 4th recollections:
My poor, poor cousin Georgie from out there in Shalervile.
Every year as small children all us cousins, aunts and uncles would cram into my Grandmother's three room house to watch the fireworks.Of course we were never allowed to go to the park, where every other kid in Lawrenceville watched them. Marie, Harriet and Babe thought that would be far too dangerous......... and yes, I said three rooms.
What, you don't think 20 or so screaming kids and 8-10 adults can't fit into a three room house. Let me just say, they can't. She only had an 8 x 10 yard for cryn' out loud.

But we didn't know any different, and we all had a blast.
All of us but poor cousin Georgie.(The Second Favorite)

One time, when George was about 10 months old, he mush have cried when he watched the fireworks. So my mother, aunt and grandmother in all their wisdom, locked the poor kid in the bathroom of a three room house-- every July 4th for the next 15 years.

No wonder the poor kid cried, he was locked in a bathroom with a crazy lady who just happened to be our grandmother.I don't think he ever got over this.
That and the horses at parades.
Whole other story for another post.

My cousins, brother and sister and I have enough emotional scaring from those three to make a lot of psychologists very rich.

On another Fourth of July, my father and uncle took the boys over to the afternoon baseball games at the park. It must have been 1968 or 69 because my brother and cousin Danny came running over Davison St. screaming that there was an assassination.
The real story, Mr. Hollaran got hit with a firecracker and fell. I think they heard the bang and saw him fall and let their imaginations take over and ran. It was the 60's after all, and things were tense. Not that tense, but tense none the less..

This post is getting too long, I didn't even get a chance to tell you all about the time my father sat on a sparkler and burned his butt.
Oh well, next time.
I will be watching the fireworks in Pittsburgh this year. Sigh. Every year I watch "Capitol Fourth" on WQED and say to myself or whoever is around "Next year I'm going back to DC for Fourth of July."
What amazing fireworks.
Yeah, here I sit.
In Pittsburgh!

Happy 4th all!!!!
Tomorrow we are going back to Sunnyledge.
Minus the Sissy LaLa!!!!See you all 'round 8.