Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weiner of the Mid-West

I went to Chicago a few weeks ago...

And my hotel was right beside Gino's Pizza, where there was always a line of tourists waiting outside in the crippling heat.

I hate crippling heat and Chicago style pizza. If you hate Chicago style pizza too (ie, it sits in your stomach like a wet mitten and never digests), then go to Osteria Via Stato instead (which is just a few blocks away) and get the caprese salad and sausage pizza. Both are amazing.

I thought I made pretty good caprese salad. Turns out, no. My caprese salad sucks compared to the oven roasted tomato sweetness of this caprese.

While I was there I visited the Sears Tower the Willis Tower, as in, 'Whatch-you talkin' 'bout, Willis.'

If you're going to rename a tower (or anything really) I'm in favor of naming it after a sitcom character. I mean, I always knew Mr. Drummond had a lot of money, but wow... a whole tower! And it sure beats calling it the Papa Johns Pizza Tower, or whatever.

I also saw someone triathlon training a body floating in the lake.

And a tiger.

But my favorite part of the trip was seeing my old college pal Sandy...

Who had me meet her at a biker bar...

Where she had a plate of deep fried bacon waiting for me...

This is one of the many reasons we've been friends for 15 years, she just gets me, you know.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This Is WAR

Today, between 1000 and 1100 hours Eastern Time, a malicious, unprovoked attack was launched against my banana. With my own grippy pencil.*

What kind of jerkface exacts this kind of hate crime on someone's snack? Who hates healthy snacks, anyway?

A total jerkface, that's who.

Diagrams, motivation & intent flow charts, fingerprint kits, crime scene tape, little banana sized chalk outlines - no expense will be spared in my investigation.

This act of aggression will not stand, man.

*Rachel said whoever the elementary school jackass is who has the grippy pencil is the perpetrator, forcing me to reveal that I am the elementary school jackass with the grippy pencil. (what?)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Weak Will Be Force-Fed Anti-Depressants (The Rest of You Will Be Made to Drive Yourself to the ER)

Speaking of my parents not calling when they are sick or something is happening... Ray and Susie made a quick stop through the 'Nati last night and as we were dipping our saratoga chips into barbecue sauce, my mom scolded my dad for not calling her when he went to the emergency room last month.

Really, I thought. This is rich.

"Gina, he went to the doctor at 8 am, and I sat and waited all day to find out what happened," she threw him a stern glance. "By the afternoon I thought he must have gone to his sister's. I had no idea he was in the emergency room. He didn't even call to tell me. You should have called," she finished, giving my dad another disgusted look.

She finally called his doctor's office at 4, and they told her he went to the emergency room.

"I had no idea," my mom said.

Meanwhile, my dad's excuse to this was that he doesn't have a cell phone. "How was I supposed to call," he kept innocently asking, as if landlines and cell phones are rare things that no one has. Then to deflect responsibility from himself he'd add, "And I had to drive myself to the emergency room!"

I scolded my dad for not calling her when he went to the ER. Very inconsiderate, I said.

And then it was my turn... I asked my mom to please explain to me how she can be upset with him for not calling her, but how it was a-ok that she not call me for two days when he was in the hospital.

"Yeah, Susie, justify that!" my dad goaded, eager to get the heat off of him.

Sometimes I feel like the child of Lucy and Desi, with all these simple, ordinary tasks turned into situational comedy. Apparently none of us can pick up a phone. But bet your life that if Ray or Susie needed something from Amazon they'd call me 40 times to make sure I ordered it.

My mom, who is often as filterless as my dad (shockingly), also told me this hilarious little gem.

My parents' neighbor came over blinking back tears when she heard my dad had driven himself to the emergency room, and presumably because he was sick in the hospital.

So my mom told her, "Honey, I think you need some anti-depressants."

I stopped eating my sweet potato and covered my mouth with my hand. Ray (my boyfriend, not my dad) and I looked at each other. Oh my god, mom... did you really say that to that woman?!

"I did. I probably shouldn't have," she said, recounting the story while hilariously pretending to blink back tears. "But something is wrong. Normal people don't cry just because someone has to drive themselves to the emergency room."

Horribly, I laughed until tears fell out of my own eyes. My mom is actually very sweet spirited, but man she can be too honest for her own good.

Then my dad announced, for the twentieth time, "And I had to drive my own self to the emergency room! And I almost died on the way, twice!"

Pack your bags, everyone. We're going on a guilt trip with the Daugherty's.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cupcake Wars

I'm sorry about all that mean stuff I said about cupcakes being a blight on America, but come on, who hasn't wanted throw a rock through the window of a 'cupcakery' and into the frothy pink ruins of a cakestand of mini desserts.

Cupcakes, you have gone too far - tv shows! gourmet red velvet! omg-it's-so-CrAzY-cute-imma-explode-sprinkles!


Until... I inhaled this little gem from Abby Girl Sweets Cupcakery on Fifth Street today.

It's a Lemon Drop, and it's so light and airy and summery it practically floated out of its protective cupcake housing and right into my mouth.

I guess this means my ban on cupcakes has ended... but I'd still kinda like to throw a rock through a cupcakery window. Because then I could pretend I didn't do it and be all, "Omg, what will you do with all these ruined cupcakes?! Ok well, I guess I'll help eat them."

Cause I'm a good citizen like that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Are Invincible

We do not have health problems in my family.

We do not talk about what ails us, at least not what might be serious anyway. Peeing blood? No biggie. Cancer? A minor inconvenience. Rheumatoid arthritis? They have drugs for that, right?

Something is always nothing with my kin. Did the house burn down? No? Then everything is fine. Did anyone die? No? Then it will be fine. We are Mid-Western stock, where every crisis is weathered with stoicism, humor and good dose of burying our heads in the sand. We are super great at the latter.

When my mom was diagnosed with RA a few years ago it was month before I was told. "I didn't want to worry you," she said.

When my dad was having a stent put into his heart five years ago he was already under anesthesia before my mom decided it was important enough to tell me about it. Again, they didn't want to "worry me."

It was that one when I came unglued. I flew into a rage so swift and so immediate that my parents are still terrified of me. 

"You're not going to storm through the house crying and slamming doors again, are you, Gina?" my mom asks me.

"I might. It depends on what you're hiding from me," I tell her.

So not surprisingly, it was a full 24 hours before I was told a month ago that my dad was once again under the knife.

My mom's first voicemail sounded perfectly reasonable and calm. Nothing to see here, I figured. I'll call her back later. But then she called again a few minutes later, this time, more anxious.

"Gina, you need to call me back. It's... kind of important."

Gina...  She never uses my name.

'Kind of' important... Oh god, the shit must be hitting the fan.

By that time my dad had been sick for several days, had been to the doctor and subsequently sent to the ER in Marion, then ferried by ambulance to Ft. Wayne, where there is a bigger hospital with actual surgeons and machines and stuff.

When I called back she said, "Well, you're dad's out of surgery. He's in the recovery room now."

She said this as if it neatly summed up everything and next we'd be chatting about the weather.

Um, WHAT?!

"Why, for God's sake, are you just now telling me this. Recovery room? What happened? What kind of surgery?"

He was sick and throwing up, "turned orange as pumpkin," she said, something was blocking his liver but they couldn't figure out in Marion what it was. So they took him to Ft. Wayne. He'd been in the hospital in Ft. Wayne for 24 hours before she called me.

I was in public when I called her back, standing on the sidewalk outside of a restaurant. I debated to what degree I could lose my shit there. I considered walking back into the restaurant and flipping a table over.

I don't like to be too hard on my mom, and I could tell she'd had a rough few days. But in a word, I was pissed.

"My God, mom. Why didn't you tell me this sooner?"

"I didn't know anything."

"You knew he was sick."

"We didn't know what was wrong. I didn't want to worry you."

I wanted to come unhinged. I could feel my blood boiling.

The next morning I drove to Ft. Wayne to see my dad, who apparently had a necrotic gall bladder, which was reeking all kinds of havoc on his insides, in addition to turning him "orange as a pumpkin." The surgeon told him it was "the gall bladder from hell," and extracting it turned the rest of his hair white.

I sat on the edge of my dad's hospital bed as my mom told me that what was supposed to be a simple, hour long surgery turned into a several hours-long procedure as they negotiated my dad's scarred insides from previous ulcer surgeries.

Because I am mature and was raised to be a reasonable person, I squinted at my mom, lowered my voice and said slowly, "Great. Well, the next time something happens to me, like, ohhhh, cancer or peeing blood or a head wound or whatever, I'll just call you when everything's blown over. I. Don't. Want. To. Worry. You."

Then I considered pushing my dad's hospital food tray onto the floor. You know, for effect.

Except, this is exactly what I'd do. I'd tell them once everything was a-ok, because seriously, I am totally fine. And I'd probably the start the conversation with, "Haha, funny story, mom... I have a hole in my bladder."

But that's because I'm invincible. I don't know what the hell happened to them, but somewhere along the line they became mortal. And I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


They "let" me park on the sidewalk.

What they didn't know was that my scooter gang peeps were hidden and ready to launch cupcakes Chinese Stars at them if they didn't.

Because when I want a deli sandwich with Brie and sweet jalapeno jelly, I want it right then.

'S'what I thought. Bitches.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day, America

In which Marvin Gaye shows us how to unlock a warhorse... Never have I heard the National Anthem sound so smooooth.