Friday, March 20, 2009

God Bless America. And, I'm scrappy.

This headline made me stop in my tracks this morning.

Blogger jailed in Iran is dead

We take our liberties for granted far too often. In another country, would my post about Obama have been reason enough to jail me? Probably. And that's beyond sad. For most Americans, we can't even wrap our heads around a concept like that. As Americans, most of us suffer from an extreme expression of entitlement. Not only do we expect to have enough to eat every day, we pitch a fit if our favorite restaurant runs out of the daily special before we order. Because it's OUR RIGHT to eat salmon, damn it. When we want it! So there!

We don't stop to appreciate the wealth of affordable products available at a store like Super Target. But lord help the people around us if we have to for more than five minutes to check out. And the old woman in front of you is WRITING A CHECK. How dare she?! Doesn't she know that your time is IMPORTANT?

I don't want to turn this into a blathering politicky post. And I have to be careful here, because I'm about two shakes away from a diatribe about the important role our troops have played in the Middle East defending simple human rights for those too weak to defend themselves.

So instead, let's talk scrap. Several of my blogosphere friends awarded me the Honest Scrap award.

The rules:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

Being the non-conformist that I am, I'm skipping the first two rules. Partly because almost everyone I know with a blog has already been tapped. But mostly because I'm lazy. I will, however, follow rule #3.

1. I like watching Spongebob SquarePants. And iCarly.

2. Poor grammar drives me insane. However, I've learned as an adult that it's rude to correct people. Instead, I chew on the insides of my cheeks.

3. When I was very young (pre-K), I insisted on using the phrase "Amen't I?" instead of "Aren't I?" I calmly informed my mother that since it was the contraction for "Am I not," "Aren't" simply didn't make sense. She eventually talked me out of it. Perhaps that's the reason for Honest Thing #2.

4. I don't wash my face every night. Since I don't wear makeup (except on special occasions), I allow myself to be lazy about this.

5. I don't wear makeup (except on special occasions). [And don't try telling me this one doesn't count. Just because you've known this fact for all of five nanoseconds thanks to Honest Thing #4, it's still honest. So there.]

6. It takes me forever to write a blog entry.

7. I could watch HGTV for six hours in a row.

8. I despise doing laundry, but it makes me very happy when it's all done.

9. I snore.

10. I would have made a kick-ass female pirate back when pirates wore eye patches and had parrots on their shoulders.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Irish Day!

Disclaimer: I am not, in fact, Irish. I did marry into a large Irish Catholic family, however, so I consider it perfectly appropriate that I celebrate as though I have green flowing through my veins. Plus, I spent six weeks backpacking through Ireland after college and drank enough Guinness to qualify as a native.

I love holidays that are celebrated purely for the sake of celebrating. Halloween? Dress up and have fun. Thanksgiving? Cook for days and eat pie. St. Patrick's Day? Wear a little green and drink some beer. What's not to love?

No presents to buy, I don't have to clean my house for guests, and -- if I'm lucky -- I get to see a parade. I don't get to go to the parade today, of course, because for some reason "parade viewing" doesn't fall under my company's guidelines for acceptable absences from work. I personally think this is a travesty, but will have to live with my husband's play-by-play of the green shenanigans taking place at 3 p.m. His place of business happens to be located ON THE PARADE ROUTE, which I think is way cool for him and incredibly unfair to me at the same time.

Oh, well. He's the one who's actually Irish. At least he appreciates his good fortune!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No cliffhangers

I've been reading a lot of blogs recently, and some of them have a common characteristic that drives me nuts. Either the author talks about something that's going to happen in the near future and promises a follow-up that never comes, or refers to something in the past that wasn't discussed in the blog, and there ends up being a gap in the narrative. Of course, I only really notice it when I've discovered a new blog and am reading several months of entries at a time catching up on a stranger's story.

For some reason this bothers me. So, on the off chance that someone's reading this post in 2011 and is wondering why it's been a month and I haven't posted about my grandma again, I guess I should suck it up and deal with it now. After my last post, I really needed to post a follow-up, and I wasn't sure how.

My grandma passed away February 18. She lived a long life, and I hope it was a happy life. I know she appreciated having her family around her in her last days, but she was ready to go. Her health had failed her, and her quality of life was completely gone. We were ready to say goodbye, and she died peacefully in her sleep, which is all any of us can really ask for.

I had a complicated relationship with my grandma. We shared the same name, but we were never particularly close. Or, I should say, we were as close as we could be given her personality. She had trouble showing or telling the people close to her that she loved them. I truly believe she did love me, it was just hard growing up without the cookie-baking, book-reading, coming-to-your-school-play kind of grandma.

(Sidenote: My other grandmother was actually cruel in a mentally unhealthy kind of way, so I was a little lacking in the grandparent department growing up. Both of my grandfathers died before I was old enough to remember them.)

So, grandma was the closest I came to having a real "grandparent/grandchild" relationship, and sometimes it hurt. For example, she didn't come to my wedding. She had a hundred excuses, but I'm firmly convinced that she didn't come because:

a) I was marrying a (whisper) Catholic! (Who was Divorced! With a CHILD!)
b) I wasn't getting married in a church.
c) I had the audacity to have alcohol at my reception.

I was her youngest of three grandchildren, and she didn't come to my wedding. She never met my husband. Or my gorgeous stepdaughter.

But I tried really hard to let go of all of this when I went to see her the weekend before she died. I mean, when you're hugging your dying grandmother, it seems kind of petty to hold grudges about something that happened almost five years ago.

She told me she loved me the last time I saw her. I guess I just have to hold on to that.