Oh Man, whenever I watch Oprah on Mondays I cry, so for the past few months I've been avoiding it. I was sitting here trying to get some last minute, Christmas present ordering, done on-line and when I realized it was three I turned the TV on. Guess who's crying?
She went to visit a few hundred marines who just graduated from boot camp and gave them a lobster dinner and digital cameras to document their journeys. But what moved me the most was the way she thanked and honored them.
I love Oprah so much! I would marry her if I could, and not for the money, I would marry her for her great big heart and soul, (don't tell Scott). And you know what? I think her body is beautiful big or small, but right now, being somewhere in the middle, where she has a little waist a big hips, I think she looks lush and fabulous.
It's raining hard here in Los Angeles. The first good storm we've had in a long while. I love the rain, but my fellow Angelenos tend to be a bit sad and stupid about it and get in lots and lots of accidents. I hate hearing the sirens that inevitable accompany the sound of the rain. The idea of people getting hurt during this loving holiday time makes me so sad.
Oh and did I tell you we got a new rat? I think I did. Anyway, I went to the pet store to buy some supplies and there they were, three cute naked little boy rats -- huge balls. So I sat on the floor and took one out and was playing with him and realized I just have to get him. So I bought an overpriced cage, put him in it, and brought him home. He isn't sure of me yet, but I've been giving him treats, (cherries, cheese, paper, socks), and he's coming around, verrrry slowly. I'm hoping he'll become my good friend.
And this is so sweet...Beau's little friend Shayan is calling ME for advice on playing Animal Crossing. I think that is just the wildest thing -- too funny. I taught him how to store extra items in his mail slot, how to buy fruit in another town and bury it in his own, how to donate fossils to the museum, simple things, and he taught me how to bury a money tree. It's so nice to have something in common with Beau and his friends. I forgot how important that was.
My Friend Young's birthday changes every year. I called to wish her a happy birthday thinking, ha, ha, I got it right, finally, and I was wrong. I learned that Koreans celebrate three different days, 1.) the date of the day they were born according to the Western calendar, 2.) the date their Father's went to their town and registered their birth, and 3.) the date of their birth according to the lunar calendar. Isn't that fascinating? Sometimes I think we are so poor in traditions, or at least I wish we would adopt a few more. I love other cultures traditions.
Irma and her kids, Esther, her man Hugo, and their kids, Scott, Beau and I, all went over to my Mom's last night to decorate her tree. It was sweet and sad/bittersweet. It's hard for me to be able to let go of the past, to forget the way my family used to be, when my father was alive, and my parents were young and healthy. I miss that so.
My parents, (or well, my Mother), were such social people and they were always having parties. They would have Mary, the caterer, and her two helpers, a bartender, a butler, and several valet parkers. She has cupboards full of china, crystal, and silver for entertaining. She even has tables and chairs stored away in the garage. And all of it has gone mostly unused for years now. So sad.
Mom could barely get dressed last night. When we arrived she hadn't set the tables, something she was meticulous about in the past. I helped her get dressed and she was so helpless, it kills me to see her like that. She was so weak she never made it out of the kitchen to visit or sit with us. She spent the whole night in the kitchen telling her new housekeeper how to cook the dinner.
I brought Velveeta so she could make her melted salsa cheese dip. Her new housekeeper, Mary, made fresh tortilla chips and burned them. They were out of Sterno, which you use in the chafing dish, to keep the cheese from hardening and cooling off, so the dip got kind of cold and goopy. Mary went wild on the chiles in the guacamole and it was too hot. Mom asked me to bring Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix but Mary made too much and the salad was more like a salad soup. It was hard to find the lettuce with all the dressing and carrots, and the spaghetti was just weird, and there was cold blackened toast.
I felt sorry for the kids because they were all sitting at this one table and they were sort of stirring their food around and trying to be nice and eat it. They were so happy when I told them they didn't have to eat it. The girls ran to the den where they popped off the end of one of their jump ropes and used it as a pretend microphone. They were happy in there singing away for each other. The boys went the other way, to the office, and Eduardo played a game on the Gamecube while Beau played something on the computer.
We always offer to bring dinner, or to forego the meal, but she refuses. She doesn't realize that at eighty-seven years old she just isn't up to entertaining anymore. So we go along with it and make the best of it. We were all grateful that she tried but it's really for her and she just doesn't realize it. It is the absolute least I can do for a Mom who has done so much for me. Yes, she has been hard on me and she has driven me mad, but I love her, and I'm so grateful to her for everything she has done for me and for my son.
At the end of the evening Mom had me get her checkbook and help her write a check to Mary, then she asked me to look for a pink coat in her coat closet and gave it to me. I don't know what is about the pink coat, maybe because it was something Mom gave me, that had nothing to do with my asking, but I was so choked up. I cuddled it all night. I'm buying my own Christmas presents for her to give me. She gives me a budget. I order things that look nice and send them to her house. Then she has her housekeeper wrap them and give them to me. I do the same for Scott and Beau. Which reminds me, I've been chatting way too long here, and I need to get going. I have skates to buy for all of these kids, and Beau wants an air hockey table.
Off to brave the rain, weeeeeeeeeeee...
PS: I forgot to tell you about Irma's ghost. I've mentioned this before but her house is haunted. I gave her advice and some incense to make the ghost leave but she likes her and wants her to stay. Her kids don't though, they're scared. The ghost lady opens and closes doors, makes the sound of breaking dishes and things in the kitchen, and last night when the kids were all sleeping under the tree, she kept them up all night with the sounds of breaking ornaments. Of course nothing is ever broken, it just sounds like it.
I had a friend who had an apartment in a really cool old building in Venice, CA, that was haunted. The building used to be the gondola station for the old gondolas that would paddle up and down the canals back when Venice was first built. Her apartment was right in the middle of two other apartments. Who knows what happened there, but she definitely had a poltergeist. Her ghost liked to take all of her plates, (the vintage ones she kept as a border, around the ceiling in the kitchen, on a wooden plate rail), and flip them around on her.
The first time it happened she woke up and went in to the kitchen to start her coffee and saw all of them flipped around backwards. She figured it was one of her friends who had somehow managed to get in and do this as a prank. She didn't reverse them because she was still groggy from sleep, and she didn't want to hassle with the step ladder she would need to get up and do that, so she left them as they were while she went to the bathroom. A few minutes later she came back to make her breakfast, and within that short time, too short for anyone to have snuck in and done this, they had all flipped around again.