Friday, April 3, 2009

and these... are the days of our lives...

yesterday was a fabulous day. it started off ho-hum, like normal for the past week or so, with me in bed playing on the computer. i heard grandma get up and go downstairs. then i heard the kitchen cabinets open and close and open and close. open and close. again. multiple times. my grandma eats when she is bored, and who can blame her? i can be quite boring company and i wasn't even up yet! then i hear her go back to bed. i finished playing on the internet (which just means, checking email (putting off responding for some time), reading google reader, watching a podcast or two on itunes, and looking longingly at my blog wishing for something interesting to write (hint: just because i am writing now doesnt mean it will be interesting. you've been forewarned)).

so i get up and go downstairs and make myself a fairly healthy breakfast. i can't remember what it was, but i remember being proud that it wasn't horrible. oh right, leftover fajitas. which i LOVE. i watch a bit of tv while the fajitas are warming and promptly forget about them in the microwave. i do this all the time! damnit! so a half hour later, when i remember i'm hungry, i go into the kitchen to make my fajitas, which is really a fajita without the shell. i crush up some blue chips and put it over my fajita for a bit of CRUNCH. mmmm. gma comes down while i'm doing this and takes some chips from the bag. no big deal. but i can tell she's not impressed with blue chips, which i LOVE. "why don't you have any patata chips?" then she says, "what are these black things?" and takes some blue chips from my fajita bowl. ??!!!?!?!?! "ummm, those are blue chips... the same as in the bag..." "hmph." and off she goes to the living room to watch some tv.

i love my grandmother dearly, she is the only one i have ever known, but she is a
and i say that in the nicest and truest way possible.

she has been with us for the past week, and honestly the week has gone pretty well. she is staying with us (or "was" actually) because of the dreaded flood here in fargo. she lives, literally, across the street from the river, and her home, which is an assisted living facility for the elderly run by the catholic church, decided to evacuate due to its proximity to nasty flood waters. good idea. and so she stays with us. we are happy to have her, but since her memory is going and she doesn't take care of herself, she can sometimes be difficult. and up until this week, i always kind of thought it was silly. my mom and aunts get frustrated easily by her, and i never really understood why. and now i do. despite the other loveliness that is her, what wears most easily on someone is the memory loss. over the past week, i have heard the same story about my mom calling my grandma when my mom was in high school and my grandma was at work. "mom, can i go to the football game?" "is anyone else going?" my grandma asks. "yeah, practically the whole school." "ok, then, go ahead." my grandma gives my mom permission to go to the football game. what my mom didn't tell, and really, my gma didn't ask, is when the game was. it was during the school day and half the school skipped class to go. later that day, my gma's friend says to her "did you hear all the kids went to the game?" "yes, i told renae she could go." "well, the principal said they COULDN'T go." and thus my mom, cleverly, got permission to skip school. cute story. the first or second or fourteenth time. not so much the fifty-third. but i smile. partly because i hope someone does this for me when i am like that (although i hope to never be like that) but mostly because i dont know what else to do.

so after a bit of horrible daytime tv programming, i remind gma that today is the day she can go home and that she needs to pack. "i'm already packed!" she exclaims. which i know is not true, but don't say anything. five minutes later, "i better go finish packing." she actually went to lay down (lay? lie? i really need to learn the difference again!) and watch days of our lives in her room, which is really my brother's room, enhanced with the basement tv while she is here. an hour later, she calls me in to her room to help her zip up her bag and take all her stuff downstairs. i remind her to take her denture holder (and am reminded of our conversation earlier in the week when we were driving past my old dentist: me: "oh, i really need to make an appointment with dr. jay." gma: "what for?" me: "well, i haven't seen a dentist since i left boston and i like to get my teeth cleaned every six months." gma: "well, you should just do what i did. get your teeth taken out. i was about your age when i did that. best thing i ever did." !!!), button up her shirt, and turn off the tv (which is on qvc. QVC + grandma = no good. more on that later).

meanwhile, my mom gets home from work and we load up the car. we take gma to get her hair done at the mall. i had my hair done at the mall once. i was in sacramento for work and needed to get my hair done, so i went online and found a cutesy-sounding salon. it wasn't until i printed the directions and drove there that i realized i was going to the mall. i couldn't back out because i was supposed to leave right after that for san francisco to meet a friend. i really needed a hair cut and so i let it happen. i have never done it again. and NO ONE sees pictures of me from that trip to san fran. anyway, mom and i shop a bit while we wait. then we take grandma to get groceries because the assisted living facility called a few days ago and told us that since the power boxes were in the basement and they were worried about flooding and didnt want the whole building to blow up, they went turned off the power and then went through the building and took all the resident's food out of the fridges and freezers so that the food wouldnt go bad. so gma had no food in her fridge. grandma told me yesterday, "i want to make a donation to the nuns since they had to throw out all that meat." she didn't quit understand. "no, grandma, THEY are going to pay YOU since they threw out YOUR food." "ooohhh." in any case, we got more food.

we took grandma home and cleaned her apartment. she isn't really able to help, so she sat in her recliner catching up on the newspapers that had piled up while she was gone. i decided to help put away her presents from her birthday party i had thrown for her a few weeks ago. i found the fabulous picture of myself i had framed and given her for her birthday, which she RAVED about at the party (not really). "grandma! i can't believe you didn't have this up!" she takes it from me, "i have never seen this picture before in my life!" apparently i'm forgettable. she had the picture my brother and his girlfriend gave her of themselves up. ... is that sentence grammatically correct? i dont think so.... either way. she had their picture up.

after about an hour, we leave grandma to take her much overdue nap. since, again, she lives across the street from the river, 2 of the 4 roads surrounding her buildling were not usable. they were earthen dikes 10 feet high. so we had to go completely out of our way to get home. no big deal. we stopped for chai along the way.

it was such a relief to drop off grandma. i'm sure she is truly more happy among her own things and i need a mental health day.

and despite all that i have written, this is not why the day was so fabulous. dum dum dum... the fantastic fargo theater was opening their doors to flood fighters and showing their movies for free!!! movies, especially free ones, always put me in a good mood. zaz!

i went with my father and we saw doubt and milk in the same night. for free! they didn't really check to see if we had actually faught the flood. i would like to point out that WE DID. we were hard core sandbaggers. and i truly do plan on writing about that. someday. i almost wish they had asked for proof and i could go on and on about dozens of stories of stupid flood fighters. that is proof enough.

the movies were great. the popcorn was delish. homie and lindsay were there for doubt, which was fun. my dad pointed out a mistake in the movie: apparently, the basketball courts had three point lines painted on them - a line which did not exist in the time period of the movie. and then my brothers friends, charpie and adam were at milk. i came home and watched some chelsea lately and then went to bed. what a blast of a day.


  1. thanks for the warning on the post not being interesting... actually i think that you should have said don't read this cause its boring... haha i'm jk(ing) :)

  2. homie told me to make them longer! i can't help that my life is uninteresting. ha. or maybe i dont want to.

  3. since you've joined twitter i know what you're doin most days and then when you do post i'm reading something i already knew... haha

  4. don't try to make me feel good or anything.

  5. d-

    You know Grandma has a computer, right? She might read your blog!!

  6. For your song reference, this song is a well known hit among fans of the great rap group, Bone Thugs N Harmony. "These are the days of our lives, of our lives, of our lives..."

  7. Are you sure your Grandma was telling the same story and your mom didn't just use slightly different excuses to skip school at different times so it seemed like the same story. I say this because I noticed that though you don't tell the same story you tell many similar ones. There are several about bad hair cuts and it seems cooking food and forgeting about it for hours at a time is also a theme.

  8. it's like "shit on danielle day" or something. but actually, dearest ted, thats why i dont write so much anymore. i do nothing interesting! i dont rememeber the other bad haircut, but i def forget about food - thats the whole point!

  9. hi i loved this story.

    and i would like to see the stupid haircut please.

  10. I totally understand the feelings about grandma. Frustrating.

  11. subject: i actually used to watch days back in elementary school (during the sumemrs). i know. wrong, right?