Of Gallbladders and Gall

4 02 2015

A few quick notes to update the world on my happenings. Shortly after my last post, I ended up in the hospital. Long story short, the week of Thanksgiving I went to bed with what I can only describe as the worst heartburn ever, and it progressively got worse. By morning, I was at Urgent Care, and by mid afternoon I was in the Emergency Room (also known as the WalMart of medicine.)

During the NINE hours we sat in the ER, we met some interesting characters. The woman complaining of chest pain, certain she was having a heart attack, sat in the waiting room with a bag of french fries, and a sack of chocolates and left her young daughter to “listen for them to call me” while she went outside to smoke. A drug seeker in the next room wailed like a stuck pig at the top of her lungs, so great was her “pain”, until the doctor came in and called her bluff and told her to go home. Miraculously, the wailing pain ceased as she stormed off.

Speaking of drugs…if you find yourself in my position, take whatever the doctors offer! Once I was placed in an actual examining room, the doctor on call asked if I needed anything for my pain. At the moment, I didn’t. But fifteen minutes later I did, and naturally there was no one to be found for an hour.

Tests were done, blood was drawn, and I discovered I had a badly infected gall bladder containing an enormous stone. So up I went, to a private room (thank you Jesus), to wait for surgery. Which did not happen til 5 o clock the next day. The worst part of this waiting was the hunger. I hadn’t eaten since dinner now two days earlier. Once I pulled through the procedure, the bland turkey sandwich and soggy peaches were like a five star meal.

Recovery was fairly quick, I suppose, and I was back to work a week later. I still can’t eat certain things without getting sick, but they are all things I shouldn’t eat anyway (I do miss some french fries though.)

The worst part of the whole experience has been getting the damned insurance company to pay for it. See, I joined a new group policy on November 1st. The group had already decided to NOT renew that policy and move the group to a different carrier effective December 1st. So naturally the old company has been trying everything not to pay the 20-some thousand dollar bill their customer of four weeks sent them. The gall of them. Ba Dum Bum.

You may be wondering how Mama is. The truth is, I really don’t know. I’ve talked to her once since October. Well, twice. But the second time was an accident. I had a missed call from an unknown number in her area code one afternoon, and an hour or so later, as I was strolling through Lowe’s trying to find anchors to hold up some new shelves, I suddenly hear her voice shrieking my name. Momentary panic attack, but I soon realized it was coming from my pocket, and I’d somehow butt dialed that missed number. The short version of the conversation is that she is the same shit show she has always been…the now over two year drama of getting a drivers license continues. Her phone was disconnected. (Again because she was wronged by the cell phone company, certainly not because she didn’t pay her damn bill.) She’s trying to con someone on Grandma’s street to “rent to own” her a house they have. (Run, Grandma’s neighbor, RUN!) and she and Kenny are back together for the 17th time. Reports come from my aunty today that she is staying at Grandma’s because she got into a fight (like a real physical fight) with one of the trailer park ladies, and she is naturally milking it for all its worth by relying on a cane to get around.


Death and Other Niceties

12 11 2014

My former step-grandmother passed away this weekend. Of course, long time readers know I probably have a half dozen of those, but this was the mother of the stepfather mama was married to for over ten years when I was a child. I have warm memories of spending Christmas Eve at their house, Sunday dinners and all that. After Mama dove into the deep end of the loony pool, step-granny and her husband (who’s funeral you might remember from a few years back) were very good to my sister  (their granddaughter)–giving her a home, a car, and ultimately, a funeral. For that I am always thankful.  I also remember that she always stocked her pantry with the store brand Pop Tarts. Now, I am all for saving a dollar. But there are some places where a penny can not be pinched. Pop Tarts. Peanut Butter. And toilet paper.

I digress…

Reminded of how short life is…I called my own grandmother yesterday. It had been a month or so since I talked to her. This is mama’s mama…though if you met the two, you’d wonder how on earth that could be the case. My granny is suffering from dementia. Suffer isn’t the right word…she always sounds upbeat, and I’m certain she doesn’t realize that during my calls we might have the same conversation three different times. I’m fortunate to have my grandmothers (my stepmother’s mama is also still with us) this long. There aren’t many people as close to 40 as I am who can say that. Because of her mental state, we all try NOT to give granny anything to worry about. If she knows one of her loved ones is upset or facing a struggle of some sort, it does affect her even if she can’t remember the specifics of what that trouble is.  So naturally, I was not going to tell her anything about my recent dust up with mama. However, mama sure had. Granny asked if I had talked to mama recently. I told her it had been a few weeks. She told me that Mama was staying with Kenny, far as she knew, but she figured mama would be happier in her own place and wondered why she didn’t take an apartment somewhere. I agreed, and that was that. Then Granny asked “are you all doing ok?” I said we were, and she said “no I mean you and your mom, you aren’t getting along are you?” This infuriates me. Naturally, Mama calls granny dozens of times a day to bitch and moan about whatever self-inflicted drama she’s in that day. Why trouble a sick old woman with that nonsense?? I simply told Granny “Well, you know she can be difficult to deal with.” and left it at that.

Changing lanes…hold on.

We spent the last two weekends putting up our interior Christmas decorations. We always do it earlier than usual because we enjoy them, and its a lot of dang work to only have up for a few weeks. And with travel and work commitments, sometimes the trees start coming out the day after Halloween. We put up nine trees this year. One in the music room, one in the dining room, three in the family room, one in the foyer, one in the study, one in the morning room, and one small one for the kitchen (which may get moved to the master bedroom.). Then we started looking at dates to do our annual Christmas party. There just aren’t enough weekends in December. We had to settle on a weekend earlier than we really wanted, and come to find out, we had another event that night that we’d forgotten to put on our calendars. Oh well, guess you can’t do it all.





It Takes a Lot To Make me Mad

2 11 2014

It takes a lot to make me mad. I’m naturally fairly calm and easy going, and generally give people the benefit of the doubt.

So when I say that I am seething red with anger as I type this, just know how rare that is, and how much it takes to get me to that point.

In my last post, mama was stomping her little Satan hooves because I wouldn’t buy her a trailer. I told her for the millionth time that I was not her bank, and since I apparently owed her a mobile home because she birthed me, I was no longer any son of hers. I told her good riddance.

When I woke up this morning, there was a text waiting from her.

“Would you like to meet your father? Its not who you think it is. You can get a DNA test if you want. I know who it is and you don’t.”

I can not explain my rage. If she had been in front of me, I’d be asking you all to chip in on bail.

So I replied, “What I would like, you crazy old bitch, is for you to leave me the fuck alone. Don’t call me. Don’t text me. You can live on the curb like any trash for all I care. It’s exactly what you deserve, and the next time I hear your name I hope it’s someone calling to tell me I need to come home so I can spit on your grave. Fuck you.”

And then I blocked her number.

And I Am Done

1 11 2014

So here’s how this week has gone. Mama had been living the past few weeks with her new friend, Linda, “the big sister she never had.” I’m not exactly clear why, but it was certainly no fault of her own, but “things didn’t work out” and she went back to Kenny (for the 16th time, for those of you counting.) She called and let me know just how happy she was, and that Kenny had promised to be good to her, and bought her a pair of earrings as a token of his renewed commitment to their very healthy relationship.

That lasted a day.

No joke. A single day.

Then, according to her messages, “the devil got into him” and she went back to Linda’s, but that wasn’t going to work, so she was going to get herself in some program (naturally) that would “get me a place of my own because damnit I deserve that much.” (her sense of entitlement continues to  baffle me.)

Then tonight she sent me a text that she had found a trailer to “take over payments on”. I asked  how much it was “they owe five more years”.

“How much in dollars?”

I think they pay $389 a month.”

“Well thats over $20,000. Seems too much for a 15 year old trailer. What happened to the one you found a few weeks ago that was only $5,000?”

“The police busted them. They were making meth.”  (You’ll recall mama’s friend called to say that mama was being WAAAAYYYY too friendly with the seller of that particular piece of real estate.)

“Jesus Christ, you are the worst judge of character.”

“I’ve sacrificed my whole life for you and your sister!”

“You haven’t had a child at  home for almost 20 years. So however you’ve wasted the last two decades is on you.”

At that point, the dog needed to pee, and when I came back inside, I saw she had called, so I called her back. The gist of the ensuing conversation was that she wanted me to cosign the note for this trailer. I really don’t understand why she continues to ask me for financial favors. I’ve made it clear time and again that she is barking up the wrong tree.

Naturally, I said no.

“Well why?”

“I’m not having my credit damaged by you. You’ve never paid a bill on time in your life.”

“I’ll send you a check every  month and you can pay ’em then.”



“Because I don’t want to deal with it.”

Bye.” Click.

It was then I noticed she had left a message when she had called before. “If you aren’t willing to help me after I raised you, then you’re no son of mine. This ain’t right.” Blah blah blah.

Five minutes later, she called and left another message. “If you can’t help me and I gave birth to you and almost died. And I didn’t work for all those years so you could get a grant for college. And I don’t know how or why I fouled you up, maybe it was your daddy. But if you can’t help me, I am not your mom anymore. Call me A S A P.”

Of course, I didn’t call  her.

So she texted me. “I guess I’ll sleep in my storage unit.”

I ignored it.


I resisted the temptation to reply “You never were much of one anyway.” and instead wrote back “You’re in the situation you’re in because of your own bad decisions and it’s not my job to get you out of it. If my unwillingness to be your personal banker means “you’re not my mother anymore”, then good riddance.”

Will you be Mama’s Friend?

7 10 2014

Mama has gotten herself a new Facebook account. Somehow the woman who neither knows what “caps lock” is or how to engage it, has figured out how to set up an email address and a new facebook account.

When she sent me her first friend request, I held back, waiting to see if she had learned her lesson. (I’d had a talk with her about sending requests to people she didn’t know…stressing that it was not only inappropriate and a potential safety issue, but that it was against the terms of use for the site.) And do you think she learned her lesson?

Well lets just say that a week into her new account, I got her third friend request. So I popped over to see who her friends were. One might think she had spent years as an African missionary….because top of the list are Abualima Salim, Kewsi Acquati, Nandy Bojang, Hessan Al Selammee, Ghasan Al-Atban, ناس لاسيا, Ihicheder Jiokie,  and Sulaman Bu Nyagwara.

After the third request, I messaged her that I would not be accepting her as a friend on the site until she learned how to use it properly. So today the fourth request came. And once more I popped over to her page, thinking maybe, just maybe, my gentle rebuke about internet safety had not fallen on deaf ears.

Her newest friends are Adittosoye Atinyoloke, Lamin Sarjo Farhid, Muhammed Atmed Aho, Moudu Conteh, and อั้น ผิวอ่อน.

Even funnier, or perhaps more pitiful depending on ones point of view, are the comments section of the only picture she has up. Apparently there is a love triangle going on that just adds to our strain in the middle east: (Ive not bothered to redact any names, because if she’s willing to take all comers, I see no need.)

MamaFirst of all…do her comments even make sense???

Second…”damsel princesses” are not as young as they used to be are they?

Thirdly, is Ahmed Mahoudi my new stepdaddy?? Do I need to send a gift? Is wood still the traditional gift for a fifth wedding, or is that fifth anniversary? Am I obliged to send a gift since I wasn’t invited to the wedding?

Finally…when someone says “the beauty of you is hard to be seen?” is that a nice way of saying “damn, you ugly”?


A Call From the Trailer Park

28 09 2014

Doris Funkybunk, one of mama’s bosom buddies from the trailer court where she and Kenny lived during their 14 attempts at bliss, called me this afternoon because she was worried. She thinks the family ought to have Mama committed and some electroshock therapy done to “reset her brain”. (Her words…do they even still do shock therapy?)

According to her, and I have to confess that I was only half paying attention, Mama has been behaving in an unladylike fashion. It was Doris who introduced Mama to the gentleman selling a trailer for $5,000. And according to Doris, within five minutes of meeting him, Mama offered him a blowjob while getting a tour of the property. A day or two later, after that tragic collision with the mailbox, this gentleman (I didn’t get his name, so let’s just call him Bobby Ray, because it’s probably something like that.) took Deloris to the hospital to visit Mama while she was having her sprained prostate, whipped lash, and multiple contusions seen about. Apparently, Bobby Ray was standing next to Mama’s hospital bed, and she grabbed his hand, put it in her crotch, and told him she had a few Cialis in her purse that he was welcome to use if he wanted to see “how she could rock his world.”

I had just eaten lunch, so I tuned out even more. But the crux of it is that Mama has shown up at Bobby Ray’s unannounced, left many unseemly messages on his phone offering up her feminine wiles, and basically made a complete ass of herself with Bobby Ray and several other residents of the trailer park. (Including some kind of kerfuffle between Mama and someone who gave one of my cousins a tattoo.) If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about, so am I.

I told Doris I appreciated the call, but that Mama had been in and out of hospitals, and that several local therapists had installed revolving doors for her, but she was dishonest with the people charged with helping her, so it was very difficult to make any progress. I relayed the story from a year or so back that one of mama’s therapists had called me wanting more details about “my sister’s murder” (Mama had told this doc that sis was murdered by her fiance, and that the stress of the trial was getting to her.) Doris was shocked, because apparently Mama has stuck to this story over the years, and it’s how Doris thought she’d passed too. She’s gone as far as telling Doris that the incarcerated fiance had harassed her over the years through smuggled cell phones and letters sent from the pen.

I’m not sure shock therapy would do anything, but perhaps a full lobotomy?

How Y’all Doin?

24 09 2014

Today is my birthday. Woo hoo! I have crossed the line into my late 30s and for some reason that sounds really damn old to me. Like I ought to be a real full fledged adult now. I think I’ll put that off for a few more years.

Not much new to report here in the six months since my last post. Work has thankfully stayed busy. I left the chaos of the new “day job” I took last summer, enjoyed some time off, and returned to my old day job a month or so back. It’s a good thing. More time to spend doing things besides work, fewer headaches, and fewer nights spent chasing impossible deadlines.

Did I mention we did some renovating this winter? We’ve long been planning an extensive outdoor living area addition that will eventually include a huge screened porch, patio, outdoor kitchen, and pond. We did the first two phases this year…the patio and foundation work, and the outdoor kitchen. As with any renovation, there were bumps along the way. The brick on the house was no longer available locally, so had to be sourced halfway up the coast. The rigs that delivered it drove through the yard the day after the snow from our biggest winter storm melted, leaving three foot deep ruts behind. And the original builder of the house held up work for two months (the length of time it took to have them come re-side the back of the house on a warranty issue.) But, these phases are done, my savings account is done, and now we pinch in a penny here and a penny there to do the next phase, hopefully early next year.

When I last left you, I believe mama was shacked up at her mama’s house. After three overdoses in as many days, my aunt and uncles had enough, got power of attorney from my ailing grandmother, and had mom removed. She went on to a few weeks stay at the Medicaid Spa she checks into once or twice a year, and upon discharge was placed into some sort of program that would have fast tracked her into an income based apartment. (Long time readers will know that Mama’s own home, left abandoned these last four of five years, has been repeatedly burgled, rendered unlivable, and now must be moved off the land it is on. You’ll also recall she had the means to do this two years ago and frittered it away on a new car, a lawnmower, and a storage building.) Whatever this program was must have been too much like work for mama, so she left it, along with any chance of being in an apartment anytime soon. She shacked up for a few months with a man named Phillip, who had been widowed less than a month before mama brought her Kroger bags full of hair doodles to his trailer. Shock of shocks, that didn’t work out, so she and Kenny patched things up for the 14th time (literally.) The 14th time wasn’t the charm, and Kenny told Mama to get to steppin. She didn’t. Kenny hired a lawyer, and she was given 30 days to vacate. Most recently, she’s been staying with a new female friend.

This morning, I got a call from Mama. “Happy Birthday! This time 37 years ago I was in labor with you for 37 hours. Can you give me $5000?” That’s almost a direct quote. Turns out, someone in Kenny’s trailer court is selling a single wide for that sum that is “just gorgeous”. Having recently gotten an estimate for more than that just to paint my kitchen cabinets, I’m thinking her idea of gorgeous and mine differ somewhat, but to each her own. She had to have fifty percent down by the end of the month, and was hoping everyone could “pitch in”. I told her to go ahead and raise whatever she could and I’d see what I could do to help, but warned her that my ability and willingness to help was going to be minimal.

“Well your aunt and uncle say I ought to sell my car.”

“I agree. That would probably get you enough to pay for it altogether.”

I am NOT gonna do it!”

“How long’s it been now that you haven’t driven it? Two years?”

“I’m gonna get it back on the road!” (readers will recall that mama physically lost her license two years ago and has YET to have it replaced. She’s let it go so long now that it expired and she will have to retake the written and driving tests.)

“You’ve gotten by without it this long.”

“I am NOT selling my car!”

“Well, you’re making a conscious decision that its more important than having a home.”

“if everybody would pitch in a little…”

“Now why should anyone reach into their own pocket to bail you out AGAIN when you have the means to do it yourself?”

“I’m not gonna do it!”

“Then live in the damn thing.”

“Alright I gotta go, someones gonna take me out to get some cigarettes.”

Fast forward a few hours, and a tearful Mama calls again.

“I’ve been in a bad wreck! My neck is twisted, my backs hurting, I’m bruised all over! They’re gonna take me up to the hospital in an ambulance.”

“What happened?”

“Hit and run accident! I was in Kevin Whatchercallits truck and he ran into a concrete wall and just left the scene!”

“Slow down…who? what?”

A few more details and we can suss out that Kevin, who was taking mom to get her cigarettes, hit a concrete block that was holding up a mailbox. Now, I guess in Mama’s mind such a tragedy should be attended by the police, a firetruck, and a slew of ambulances, and since it wasn’t, its a hit and run (that sounds more dramatic anyway!) Would anyone like to take a bet that she has already called some ambulance chaser lawyer and poor Kevin will get slapped with a lawsuit for her injuries?

Ooo…I almost forgot. I had to delete Mama’s Facebook account. For the third time this year, a married woman tracked me down wanting to know if I knew anything about Mama and her husband sending each other nekkid pictures. The woman and her husband appeared to be about my age from their Facebook pictures, so I doubted any such thing was going on. So I logged into Mama’s account to see what was happening, and saw a few messages from this man to mama, of a generally friendly, perhaps slightly flirtacious nature. Then there were messages from Mama to this man’s wife, this man’s mother, and some other woman, all saying that she had pictures of his penis that she would be happy to show them. There was also the usual warning from Facebook about sending friend requests to people she didn’t know. So I looked at her pending requests and was shocked to see, literally, about 100 of them, including many people from my own friends , clients included. Once the account was disabled, I got a call from her, and I said her account was gone because she was sending friend requests to people she didn’t know. “It was mostly people on your list!” she protested. When I explained that my friends list is made up of clients, coworkers and colleagues, along with the usual social acquaintances, she seemed completely perplexed as to why it would be inappropriate for her to bother them.


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