A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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Our Last Supper

I’ve been hobbling around on my foot for a year and a half, which I thought was just a twisted ankle taking too long to heal. PSYCH! It was really a partial rupture to my Achilles that after every conservative therapy possible, required surgery on May 31 to repair/rebuild. And removal of the bone spur jutting out of my heel. Go big or go home, right, bitches?

I learned a number of things during my post-surgical recovery:

  • the anesthesia you can get will be so good, you’ll have no idea who dressed you after surgery, how you got into the car after surgery, and whether or not you were wearing a bra the first few days after surgery
  • when entering your house after surgery via the practical (for the temporarily one-legged) but not very graceful method of butt scooting, refrain from placing your hands on the metal door frame on a hot, Summer day
  • if you must enter your house butt-scooting and placing your hands on the metal door frame plate on a hot, Summer day, be sure to do it when there is plenty of anesthesia still coursing through your body so that you barely feel the burn
  • Christian Louboutin is missing out on huge bank by not catering to the post-surgical marketJokes2
  • just because you’ve had surgery, doesn’t mean you can’t play “who wore it better?”

Jokes1

  • dogs make the best nursing assistants
  • never start taking pain killers if you don’t also take stool softener
  • the maximum number of days one can go without a shower before smelling oneself is no longer than 3 days — tops!
  • there will always be some entrepreneur that will make you feel guilty about recovery, and shame your (literally) lame ass to get off of itiwalk05
  • your knee scooter makes an excellent margarita caddy, after a long day of sitting around a baseball field watching your kid playIMG_0442
  • when your friends extend kindness – accept it

Because I was going to be fairly immobile — and not able to use my left foot at all — for 6 weeks, my friend Rebecca set up a Meal Train for me. She invited friends from many of the sports families in our community to participate. I protested this and Rebecca replied with “just shut it and let people do something nice for you for a change.”

So I shut it. The kindness started the evening of my surgery, with a delivery of fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, and probably some other yummy stuff that I can’t remember now. I barely recall my friend Michelle bringing it by, but I’m pretty sure I gave her a hug from my horizontal location on the couch. Sorry, Michelle, if I was braless…I can’t seem to remember if I was wearing one after surgery.

There were kind gestures and messages…

General June 4General June 16General June 20General June 21General June 22General June 22_2General June 24General June 24_2June 30

There were also special deliveries…

General June 3

General June 8

We were well fed 31 days – everything from full meals to gift cards for local restaurants:

June 1June 2June 3June 4June 5June 6June 7June 8June 9June 10June 11June 12June 14June 15June 17June 17_2June 19June 21June 22June 22_2June 23June 26June 28June 29July 1July 2July 3

On July 3, the final delivery from the Meal Train arrived.  One of my friends replied to a post with this:

Tami

What a fabulous reminder of the kindness, compassion and community outreach that was exemplified by our last supper. All our suppers, really.

#LifeIsGood  #WalkersvillePeepsRock


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I Have a Few Questions…

Life is full of decisions. Important decisions. Some of my recent conundrums have included:

  • should I extend my therapeutic massages to 1.5 hours from 1 hour  do I have to tell my husband I extended my therapeutic massages to 1.5 hours from 1 hour?
  • how many hateful things can I tweet at Metro before they are able to identify me and sabotage my SmarTrip card?
  • do we pay for the new catalytic converter or just buy a new car?
  • is it appropriate to fire off a list to Honda with car parts that should not disintegrate/stop working/need replacing before I think they should?
  • how many times can I use the words ‘money-grubbing SOBs’ in my list?
  • why the fuck didn’t I purchase the three year “any incident, including your own stupidity clumsiness” extended warranty for my laptop? (since I dropped it and ruined it right after two year extended warranty expired)
  • did the Geek Squad dude just snicker at my newly unwarranteed predicament?
  • how large of a metal dumbbell that your kid hits with the lawn mower — because the grass was too high for him to see it — will it take to render said lawn mower completely useless and in need of replacing?  (in case you’re wondering, it’s 3 pounds…3 measly pounds)Dumbbell
  • is an improvement on a report card for the third quarter really something to get excited about if it’s moving from a D to a C, with the following notation from the teacher?:Report Card
  • does this grade mean my 14 year old will be living with us forever, since the class is Life Skills?

Another challenge I’ll soon be facing involves my Achilles, which has gone all rogue and developed a partial rupture. A rupture my doctor and I conservatively approached with a walking boot, physical therapy, custom shoe inserts, and one incredibly painful — and not very helpful — steroid shot directly into my Achilles. Which begs another question…

  • is it ok to unleash an unrestricted stream of cuss words at the lunatic holding the syringe just how many cuss words is it ok to unleash in front of the nice doctor about how painful a shot directly into my Achilles is?

Next week, I meet with my doctor to schedule a time for the surgery. Recovery includes 6 weeks completely off my foot and the first two I am not able to drive a car at all. I’m fortunate it’s the left foot. If it was the right foot, I wouldn’t be driving for the entire 6 weeks.

So, I actually have one more question…

  • How many bottles of this is too many if you can’t walk/step/stand/put any pressure on your foot for 6 weeks?

Elixer

 


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Crap…I’m Old Enough for AARP

In the Summer of 2016, I turned the big 5-0. It started in a rather auspicious way – with dragging my sorry ass around in a walking boot.  I had been diagnosed with a severely inflamed Achilles in addition to these sexy bone spurs:

Under Heel

As if the hot mess of new bone growth on the bottom of my heel — described by my doctor as “one of the largest spurs I have seen in a very long time” — wasn’t enough…

Heel only

…there’s this not-very-little-either crescent moon-shaped delight on the back of my heel.

I plodded along in the walking boot for over two months. I had special inserts created for my new multi-tasking work/casual/fancy shoes. Also known as tennis shoes.  Plus, I started Physical Therapy two times a week.

Given all the focus on limping, gimping, rehab, and not being able to drink due to medication (probably the worst side effect of all), I immediately forgot that AARP was doing its best to woo me into membership with direct mail solicitations every week.

In August, I was also reminded by my primary care physician that it was time for my first ever colonoscopy. Which, in an interesting turn of events, includes lots of drinking. But not the kind of drinking that gives you a fantastic buzz. More like the kind of drinking that gives you an intense appreciation for proximity to your own bathroom.

So as I prepped with purchase of enemas, Gatorade and laxatives, the purchase of an AARP membership moved further from my scope of attention. After the procedure, I didn’t give that AARP membership another thought. That’s because I was too busy celebrating the “excellent prep work by patient” notation on my colonoscopy discharge papers. Take that,  haters. I was no longer full of shit.

A few months later – and just about the time I was done with Physical Therapy for my Achilles — I started having some back pain. The pain was similar to what I experienced in 2007, when I had to have back surgery for a degenerative disc. After a visit to urgent care and a week of pain killers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers, I went to the ER because I wasn’t feeling better. In fact, the pain was worse.

So, the meds got stronger, I was sent for an x-ray, and I wished I had saved some of those colonoscopy prep materials. Because those anti-inflammatories and pain killers should be in a pharmaceutical category called clog-you-uppers.

AARP kept sending me reminder mailings about membership, but I was too busy trying to function while being looped out on meds that I didn’t do anything about it. Plus, I was focusing on the letter I had received from my doctor letting me know the x-ray revealed arthritis in my spine and we could chat about that at my next check up.

I was sent for more Physical Therapy to assess and then deal with my back issue. Lucky me – it’s only a bulging disc, pinched sciatic nerve, and severe sciatica. I have no feeling on the left side of my left foot because of the pinched nerve. But I get to keep wearing my tennis shoes with inserts, and at least no one has prescribed orthopedic oxfords.

The cherry on this sundae of “damn, girl, you’re old!”? During my PT treatments for my bulging disc, they put me on a rack, strap me in, and chain it to my body. Then the table separates, which elongates my spine to relieve the pressure of the bulging disc. It’s like 50 Shades of PT. Only, no sex. And no drinking.

the-rack

So I finally gave in. I signed up online for an AARP membership:

welcome

With 50 comes wisdom…and membership benefits. Because if you’re gonna be medicated, poked, prodded — and constipated — you might as well at least get a discount at The Outback for your trouble. Am I right?

 


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Fashion Weak

As the mother of two boys, I resigned myself long ago to the fact that when it comes to clothing, my choices to outfit them would be limited to dinosaurs, animals, super heroes, planes, construction equipment, stripes, and sports.  As they have gotten older, the choices narrowed even further to plain, minimal stripes, and (the very expensive) sports team/logo wear.

My boys hate the feel of jeans, so when we find a pair of sweatpants/shorts that fit and are deemed cool enough to be seen it, we buy them in every color they come in. Which brings us back to limits once again, as the color choices they have started gravitating to in their teen years are shades of grey, navy, and black. Hooray for the neutrals, because they will go with any of the outrageously expensive logo wear/sports team tops they pick up from the floor and sniff before shrugging their shoulders and putting on the offensive smelling item anyway.

Recently, we relented and went shopping for Fall/Winter clothes for our oldest and a few items to fill in the gaps of the hand-me-downs for our youngest. Because who doesn’t want to spend a Saturday evening in crowded rural mall, shopping with two teenage boys who could care less about clothing?

thisgirl

Our first stop was Old Navy. My husband and I spent a lot of time trying to decipher what “I dunno”, “whatever” and “sure” really meant as we held up options for our 14 year old to decide on. It got even tougher to tell what he thought as he moved into the non-verbal responses of “major eyeroll”, “shrug”, and “heavy sigh while snapping one’s head back”.

Which pretty much made me do this:

eyeroll

After finding a few sweatpants styles and some long sleeve shirts that fit – and buying them in the three neutral colors available – we headed to H&M. I’d heard the clothing was affordably priced. What I hadn’t heard about was how much I wouldn’t be hearing after being in a store that blasts hipster emo tunes. #OldPeopleProblems

The clothing options were minimal at best and we quickly determined that our decidedly non-emo sons would not find anything of interest. On our way out, I spotted this:

img_1919

$30 for a sweatshirt that comes with holes already in it? Uh…that’s a big “fuck no.”

I immediately snapped a picture and commented, “If you boys want something like this, I’ll take you to my parent’s house and you can pick one from granddad’s closet. For free.”

Next it was on to American Eagle, where I spotted this and told my husband “if you become a stripper and wear these sparkly blue underwear, perhaps we can afford all these clothes we have to buy the kids.”

img_1985

The salesgirl smirked and asked if she could help me find them in my husband’s size. My husband then rolled his eyes, shrugged, and let out a heavy sigh while snapping his head back as he headed toward the door.

By the time we got to the fourth store, my sons’ and husband’s enthusiasm for the whole shopping excursion had really waned (as if it going lower than from where it started could even be a possibility). Their diminished enthusiasm was almost inversely proportional to their growing hunger for dinner. My oldest spent a solid three minutes in the store, where he picked out 3 shirts (same style, different colors) and quickly made a beeline for the exit to discuss restaurant options with his dad and younger brother.

Our shopping trip had taken less than an hour and a half. I think we spent more time on dinner at the restaurant when you count driving to it, waiting for a seat, ordering, eating, paying the check, and driving home.

Fast forward to last night and just three weeks after buying the new clothes. My oldest walked through the family room and I yelled “Stop!”.

“Are those a pair of your new sweatpants?”, I inquired.

“Yes,” was his response.

My close to 6′ tall, size 13 shoe-wearing oldest stood while I took a photo. The new sweatpants are already too short.

img_2049

He’ll just have to hope he doesn’t grow any taller because I can’t update his wardrobe with new navy/grey/black sweatpants every three weeks.

Boys’ fashion is certainly not for the weak of heart. Or the weak of wallet.

 

 


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My Mom Interest Survey

At the beginning of each school  year, my kids have to fill out forms with answers to a bunch of questions so that the teachers will know who the potential trouble-makers are have a sense of the personalities in their classroom.

My youngest started 8th grade this year and filled out the form. He showed it to me and you can certainly understand why I was looking for an eraser after reading it:

nick-form

In case you can’t read it, the second of the two common activities he does when he gets home is watch YouTube. Just another check mark in the #ParentingWin column, folks.

I did have to admit, though…it is Nick. 100%.

It also got me thinking. How would I fill out a form like this today? So I typed up a copy of the same questions, printed it out, and started writing in my answers.

becky-form-final

Hard to read? Here, let me make it easier for you to get a peek into my psychosis psyche.

top-half-final-version

bottom-half-final-version

What this really tells you about me is:

  • I keep telling myself every day “50 is the new 40”
  • I think this election has been a shit show, and out of 350 million people, I can’t believe these two yahoos are the best candidates we have to put forward
  • I’m a snob about the tequila I drink
  • I must have skipped the chapter on parent/teacher conferences in What to Expect When You’re Expecting
  • I read too much People magazine
  • At best, my taste in movies is questionable and relatively non-Oscar worthy
  • I shouldn’t be in charge of the music playlist at a kids’ dance
  • I am deluded into thinking “perfect” wives cook, clean, and do laundry
  • I fully acknowledge my husband didn’t get the perfect wife (but you shouldn’t feel too bad for him — because I’m so awesome in spite of not cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. And humble. I’m very humble.)
  • And finally, I think karma needs to step up its game against people with no/a very questionable moral compass

I’m looking at you Trump, Hillary, and  fuzz-out .

 


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Well, That’s the Pitts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week — or have all your entertainment alerts set to ‘Kardashian only’ (shame on you, if that’s the case) — you’ve heard the news that the Jolie-Pitt marriage has finished/ended.

And since they are such a globally aware couple now a pair of ‘normal’, heading-toward-a-nasty-divorce pair of adults, here’s how we say it’s over in any language —

  • Afwerking (Dutch – and so fun to say!)
  • Finir (French – for their neighbors in France, where they have a castle/estate)
  • fini (Haitian Creole – in honor of New Orleans, where they have a $3+ million dollar home)
  • បញ្ចប់ (Khmer – official language of Cambodia, for son Maddox’s fans)
  • hoàn thành (Vietnamese – in honor of son Pax’s fans)
  • Chereshe (Amharic, official language of Ethiopia, for daughter Zahara’s fans)
  • “50/50-ed” (nickname Californians have for how you divvy up the estate)
  • Overflate (Norwegian — which might actually be best for describing their egos)

There has been much speculation about this surprise Hollywood breakup… it’s all because of Angelina’s supposed OCD … it’s definitely Brad’s alleged marijuana use … it’s that their last movie By the Sea sucked something awful … it’s because TMZ needing to goose ratings.

Whatever it actually is, I’ll tell you what this break up/divorce isn’t. It isn’t…

  • shocking that two strong-willed, determined, and professionally-minded people find that they have grown apart
  • going to keep the Kardashians out of the news…unfortunately
  • nearly as newsworthy as Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, Access Hollywood, E!, or The Washington Post have made it out to be
  • brimming with the potential to be as entertaining to watch as the shit show called an election we already have going on in 2016
  • anything Taylor Swift hasn’t already written a thinly-veiled revenge song about
  • the excuse I can use to get out of working my concession stand duty
  • something special that any couple with kids hasn’t already gone through if they have divorced

So … maybe … being no more special than ordinary people who have to deal with this every day with far less fame, money, and access to cut-throat divorce attorneys is the the real reason this situation is the pits for the Jolie-Pitts.


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You Had One Job

In January of 1965, my parents were married.

Mom’s friend she met as a freshman at Georgetown Visitation College in 1960, Susan Carozza, was one of her bridesmaids, along with her sister Becky (my namesake), and her cousin Mary Anne.

IMG_1516

Left to right: Aunt Becky, Mom, Susan, and Aunt Mary Anne

My dad’s groomsmen consisted of his older brother Jerry and some young men he now describes as “the scrubs I ran around the county drinking with.” Charming.

One of those drinking buddies guys also happened to be my mom’s cousin Al. During the wedding, Al walked my grandmother down the aisle, as mom’s family entered the church.

IMG_1513

 

Susan led the bridesmaids as they entered the church.

IMG_1514

In the wedding party photo, it just so happened that Al stood behind Susan.

IMG_1515

It was at my parent’s wedding that Al and Sue met, and began their own love story. They married the year after my parents.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2015. There was a nice party in January, and we celebrated as a family with a vacation that Summer.

This past weekend, my Uncle Al and Aunt Sue also celebrated 50 years of marriage. Their son decided to create a video, and had asked for family and friends to record video congrats, find pictures, etc., to be sent to him so he could put it together.

I taped a number of people offering anniversary congratulations wishes:

Like, my sister Susan.

Sue

My Aunt Mary Anne, who was one of the bridesmaids at my parent’s wedding, also offered well wishes.

Mary Anne

My mom’s brothers and their wives sent wishes, including my Uncle Frank and Aunt Lorrie, as well as my Uncle Bill and Aunt Barbara.

Frank and Lorrie

Bill and Barbara

And then? Well, there’s these two yahoos.Mom and dad

The couple who unintentionally played matchmakers for the Goughs over 50 years ago had one job.

One fucking job.

And I’m pretty sure they nailed it.

Happy Anniversary Uncle Al and Aunt Sue!

Al and Sue Wedding Day

Al and Sue Anniversary Party

Photo courtesy of Mike Oswald Photography.  www.mikeoswaldphotography.com