Saturday, June 30, 2012

A tornado, a house fire, and no pants

Last night there was a severe thunderstorm that turned into a tornado.  My awesome Chicago WGN (World's Greatest News) weather app alerted us of the danger before it arrived.  My best friend Lani, her Mother Thia, and I prepared, and moved the three children to the safest place in the house.  The tornado winds exceeded 60mph, we could easily hear the damage as it occurred.  It was scary, we talked to & entertained the children to keep them occupied and calm.  After it was over Thia, Lani, and I took turns going outside. The damage was tremendous, the streets were flooded and covered with fallen branches and entire trees.  When the trees fell they tore down the power lines in the yards and streets.  The still live power lines were jumping and sparking dangerously.  The power was out so we put a single lit candle in a few rooms.  Lani's son had to use the bathroom while the rest of us sat in the family room.  Lani walked around in and outside the house.  Her young son calmly called out to her, "Mom" but she didn't hear him and the rest of us didn't react.  He called her again, "Mom" Lani's beautiful daughter said, "I'll go get her" she left then came back, went into the bathroom to tell her patient brother Lani was coming.  She quickly came out of the bathroom and said, "The bathroom is on fire." Thia and I quickly jumped up and ran to the bathroom.  I made it to the bathroom first and saw the candle in the bathroom ignited a towel, hair accessories, and flames were moving up the medicine cabinet.  Lani's little boy sat on the toilet looking wild eyed.  I quickly pulled him up and pushed him into the arms of Thia.  The flames grew bigger and bigger faster and faster.  I will admit, I was scared.  My Mother's Grandfather was the first African American Deputy Fire Chief and her Father was also a Fireman.  Generations of instinct took over, I quickly grabbed one of the large towels dampened it and used it to safely put out the fire.  Thia and the children stood a safe distance away watching and shining a flashight so I could see.  Just then Lani walked in to find her house full of smoke, me holding a wet and newly blackened towel, Thia holding the culprit candle, and her young son standing there with his pants down.  I handed her the towel and said, "I don't like playing tornado."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Charades impossible

In my family 'Game Night' is serious business.  At every family function or gathering carefully strategize and select teams.  We love each other dearly but when game time starts every person on the opposing team is temporarily the enemy.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to have the same number of men and women in the house, when that happens we have our own Battle of the Sexes.  I'd like to say the women typically win, but honestly the wins are about 50 - 50.  Recently our Battle intensified, both teams engaged in major league trash talk.  At that point each team had already won an individual battle.  We determined the third game would be the decision maker, proving once and for all, which sex was superior.  The decision game was Charades.  In case you need a Charades refresher course - everyone discreetly writes a word on a small individual piece of paper, folds the paper so the word can not be seen, mix up the folded pieces of paper, the opponent must silently act out the word until either their team mates correctly guess or until time runs out, which ever happens first.  We set very strict rules, the most unforgiving rule - 'If you break any of the rules the other team automatically wins' NO EXCUSES!  We (the women) knew the men were going to write extremely difficult words for us.  As usual, we were 5 steps ahead of them, so we did the same and added our own little twist.  I am proud to announce, the women won! It was not easy, the men wrote some pretty difficult words for us.  The cry-baby men stand their ground insisting we cheated. We prefer to refer to our tactics as unmatched wit and strategy.
*Here are a few examples of the words written by the MEN:*
Grasshopper ~ they just wanted to laugh while watching us jump around, crouch down, and rub out legs together.
Synchronized swimmer ~ a SOLO synchronized swimmer is rather difficult
Baby being born ~ now that was just mean!
*Here are a few examples of the words written by the brilliant WOMEN:*
Confetti ~ show me confetti big trash talkers
810,654 ~ yeah, good luck with this one!
Ballerina ~ I know this is easy, but the men in our family are very masculine and would possibly prefer to take a beating opposed to act out Swan Lake for 2 minutes.
Better luck next time fellas! GIRLS RULE!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cantonese chanteuse

Last night my dear friend Stacey and I were driving home from Dave & Busters.  As usual time spent with Stacey is full of fun and laughing until your stomach hurts.  While sitting at a stop light, a car with it's windows down blasting hard core gangster rap pulled up next to us.  I said, 'Geez, spare me' we looked over and saw the car contained four young Chinese men.  They were loudly speaking and quite possibly rapping in Chinese desperately trying to keep up with the beat of the music.  While doing so they were also dancing and flailing about as if they were listening to rave music.  Stacey and I began laughing hysterically.  I said, 'I have never seen anything like this.'  Stacey said, 'I just don't understand why don't have any glow sticks.  Aren't they made in China?'  Sadly the light changed and our curbside show ended in tail lights.  The rest of the night I had to listen to Stacey enthusiastically sing, 'Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so!' 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Score: Soccer ball 1 - Mommy's face 0

My nephews have been blessed with outstanding athletic ability.  One of my nephews has caught the attention of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.  They play a variety of sports and are typically the star player on the team, out performing and out scoring the other players.  My nephews' kind hearted grandmother brings a cowbell to every game.  She proudly cheers and loudly clangs her boys to victory. Needless to say, the cowbell was a hit! The other mothers commented and laughed at our family's enthusiasm.  When we cheer for our boys we mean serious business!  We get into the zone just as much as the children.  My sister's youngest child is 3 years old and already demonstrates natural talent just like his two older brothers.  During the games he occupies himself by kicking around a soccer ball.  At times we are so into cheering and clanging we forget about our surroundings.  Recently during one of their soccer games my sister was so focused on cheering for her baby, she didn't notice her 3 year old (who was occupying himself playing dodgeball) getting closer and closer to her.  I'd say he was only about 10 feet away from her when he pulled his little foot way back and kicked the soccer ball with all his might.  Again, we were in the zone and completely focused on the playing field.  Then, faster than anyone could react, in came the soccer ball, moving pretty quickly and with a nice little bit of force behind it.  My unsuspecting sister stood there cheering and clanging her heart out then SMACK! the soccer ball hit her right in the middle of her face!  My 3 year old nephew began jumping up and down happily saying, 'I got her, I got her!'  Shocked we looked at my sister, she stood there in stunned silence holding that now equally silent cowbell.  She then exhaled and said, 'I'm okay.'  My nephew's father ran to him, reminded him that he has to be very careful, the importance of not kicking the ball in the direction of people, and demanded he apologize to his mother.  He apologized and gave her a hug and a kiss.  I discreetly leaned over and asked my sister, 'When he hit you in the face, did you see him jump up and say, "YES! IN THE FAACE!" I told you not to let him watch Coming to America' we both laughed.  Then we were back to business as usual cheering for our boys.  It didn't take long at all before we all stood cheering, each of us holding and clanging our own cowbells.  It seems the Saturday Night Live writers here absolutely right ~ all we really need is MORE COWBELL!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tummy torture

As a direct result of making healthier lifestyle choices, I can proudly say that I have recently lost 80+ pounds. I am stronger and have a lot more energy. I decided to put my newly found energy to some good use and sign up for a 5K Marathon. The JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge took place downtown Chicago, there were over 23,000 participants, and I was one of them! I walk/jogged 4 miles about 3 times a week for months just to assure I was ready for the challenge. I will admit, it was not what I expected. By the time I met the 2 mile marker I was already very tired. By the time I completed the marathon my body hurt from the hair down. The next day I was very sore and felt like a group of people had beaten me. My dear friend Phoebe came to visit, and make sure I was as comfortable as possible. Phoebe did everything she could for me so I didn't have to move much. She was even nice enough to make me a nice healthy lunch, and cup of tea. I had a large assortment of relaxing tea choices for her to choose from, such as Sleepytime, Relax, Calm, etc. Phoebe knows I like my tea strong so she used two bags. I gratefully sipped my hot and sweet beverage. I couldn't quite place the taste but I have so much tea and I was so tired I didn't think too hard about it. We sat watching one of our favorite shows 'The Big Bang Theory' when all of the sudden there was a rumble in my tummy and an undeniable urge to get myself to the bathroom as quickly as possible. The pain I felt jumping up from the couch, running up the stairs, and into the bathroom was horrible. It seemed as if the stairs and hallway leading to the bathroom had doubled in length. The only thing worse than that, was 'Hurricain OMG!' rapidly growing in my tummy. Phoebe, surprised at my urgency, followed me upstairs and asked what was wrong. I described my predicament to her. I heard her walk downstairs, then a moment later she came back up. From the other side of the bathroom door my dear friend began apologizing. As it turns out dear sweet Phoebe accidentally made me a nice large and strong mug of Smooth Move - A Laxative Tea. I told her she was lucky I was in too much pain to chase her. I then informed her she may NEVER bring me another beverage ever again!  Needless to say, I missed the rest of 'Big Bang Theory.'

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gas station 911

My dear friend Phoebe, and I were in her car with her beautiful daughter.  Phoebe pulled into the gas station, got out of the car and began filling the gas tank.  Her little beauty began calling to her, Phoebe stepped under the hose toward the car, slipped and fell.  Moments later we were in the emergency room. When the x-rays came back I couldn't believe it Phoebe actually broke her leg!  Her parents and sister came to the emergency room and we began joking with her because she is the only person that breaks a limb pumping gas.  Phoebe's parents took her daughter home, her sister and I stayed with her.  The doctor ordered medication to ease the pain, most times Phoebe takes medication the side effect is extreme delirium.  The medication finally kicked in and as predicted Phoebe's behavior became animated.  She was laying on the table while the nurse tried to put the splint on her leg.  Phoebe kept wiggling and moving around so much I was surprised they didn't tie her down.  During that time the doctor (a Indian man) came in to check on her, Phoebe looked up at him and said, 'Hello doctor bang-la bang-la Bangladesh!'  I, along with the nurse, and Phoebe's sister began laughing.   The doctor smiled and said, 'I see the drugs we gave you are working.'  He then left the room.  The poor nurse struggled with Phoebe and the splint for so long that Phoebe's sister and I had to step in to try to hold Phoebe still.  At one point, the nurse asked Phoebe to turn, and faster than any of us could stop her Phoebe turned her whole body over and was laying on her stomach with her face in the pillow.  After a bit of pleading we were able to get her to turn back over.  When she sat up we saw her eye make-up was smeared all over her face, we looked at the pillow and saw there was not one single smudge of make-up.  We looked at each other amazed yet entertained.  The room Phoebe was in was actually a very large area with only various curtains pulled across for privacy.  It was easy to see into most of the other rooms.  Every time poor doctor 'Bangladesh' walked into Phoebe's line of vision she began loudly mimicking Indian music - singing 'gling ga gling ga gling, binga binga binga bing, aahhhhaaahhaaa'  her sister and I tried to stop her as quickly as we could but we are sure he and many other people heard her.  The nurse had to stop working a few times because she was laughing so hard.  Phoebe finally had the splint on her leg and the drugs were wearing off, leaving her in a daze.  The doctor came back in and happily said, 'Hello Phoebe, it's doctor Bangladesh.'  We began laughing, puzzled Phoebe looked at us and said, 'What? I don't get it.'  As we informed her about her antics she grew more and more red from embarrassment.  She began apologizing to the good humored doctor.  Luckily he was very nice, laughed and said, 'No worries, Phoebe your singing reminds me of home.'  I think Phoebe turning purple with embarrassment was satisfaction enough for our cool Doctor bang-la bang-la Bangladesh.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Silly shar shar song

My dear friend Phoebe and I took my young niece to the dentist so she can have braces put on, my niece was understandably nervous, however Phoebe and I managed to keep her calm.   After the braces were on my niece was upset because her speech was slightly slurred.   Majority of her words sounded like she was saying, 'Shar shar shar shar.' She was worried about what her peers would say once they heard her, and was almost in tears.   Phoebe and I told her she was going to make 'Shar' the hot new word everyone is going to start using. We told her she was going to start an awesome new trend! She giggled and smiled a little.   Phoebe and I even went so far as to make up a song to make her laugh.
(this is our little song)
Shar shar shar shar,
Yo momma don't wear no socks,
I saw her when she took them off
She threw them on the fence,
I haven't seen the neighbors since!
Shar shar shar shar
Your momma don't wear no socks,
I saw her when she took them off,
She threw them in the sky,
Now the birds refuse to fly!
Shar shar shar shar
Yo momma don't wear no socks,
I saw her when she took them off,
She threw them on the bed,
Oh my gosh - my teddy bear is dead!
Shar shar shar shar
I know our song isn't going to make it to the top of any music charts, but I was thankful my niece was smiling and laughing throughout the entire song.   By the time we dropped her off at home she was just fine.    

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fool-ash goulash

My buddy Johnny knows exactly what to say and do to push my buttons.  Very often we enjoy giving each other a hard time, luckily both of us know how to take humorous criticism just as easily as we know how to dish-it-out.  He knows I adore my cell phone, the fact that the screen on my phone is larger than the cell phone of most, and the color is quite vivid - it is just an all around great phone!  I never miss an opportunity to remind him that my phone is brand new and ahead of its time and he may as well use two cans connected with a string.  Johnny invited me to his house for dinner, his family was there including his Fiance Monica, and our mutual friend Lexi.  His Mom makes delicious chicken soup, we all were happy to see that is what she made.  We all sat at the table enjoying our meal.  Johnny asked if he could look at my phone, without hesitation I handed him my prized possession.  He briefly looked at it then said, 'Would you like to see my new phone?  I just picked it up today.'  Immediately, I knew I was in trouble.  Beaming with pride and a big smile on his face, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his new phone.  I have to admit, it was beautiful!  The screen was larger than my screen, the color was brilliant and seemed to make my color look abysmal at best.  The internet was super fast and it was all around a superior phone.  I discreetly reached out, picked up my phone, and tried to put it back into my pocket.  Johnny immediately stopped me and said, 'Oh no! Don't put your phone away now! Leave it out!'  Everyone at the table began laughing, there was nothing I could do other than maintain my composure and hope my ego didn't get too hurt while Johnny proceeded to belittle my poor phone.  He held them up side by side pointing out all the ways his phone trumped my phone.  I really had to focus to keep my 'I don't care' poker-face.  Johnny even began singing a song about the two phones while making them do a little dance together.  Then, to my delight, the heavens opened, and Johnny accidentally dropped his awesome new cell phone directly into his large bowl of steaming hot chicken soup!  PLUNK!  Everyone at the table let out a collective gasp!  I quickly picked up my phone, taking it out of harms brothy way.  Johnny frantically tried to remove his phone from the moat of chicken soup.  I began laughing uncontrollably.  It was my pleasure to watch him utter profanities as he fumbled with the phone and accidentally drop it right back into the bowl.  Needless to say the phone turned off and would not turn back on.  I looked at him and said, 'Would you like me to give you a ride to Verizon tomorrow?'  He glared at me.  Lexi asked him if he had insurance and a warranty on his phone.  I began asking him what package he had, was it the Pollo Loco Package? The Souper Soup Special?  The 4G Poultry?  Everyone laughed, luckily he has a great sense of humor and laughed as well.  I just couldn't resist.  The rest of the evening, about every 45 minutes or so I kept asking him, 'Hey, can I borrow your phone? OOOH, that's right.'  I also occasionally sang, 'Chicken chicken cluck cluck, chicken chicken cluck cluck.'  I also repeatedly looked at him and said, 'Can you hear me now? BAGAWK!'  My impression of a chicken is not top notch but definitely served it's purpose!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Who's afraid of the big bad Buttons?

When I was very young my loving Daddy took my sister and I to see Ringling Brothers Circus.  It was a lot of fun!  We saw lions, tigers, and bears performing very cool tricks.  Tight rope walkers, contortionists, trapeze artists, and much more.  I was having a very good time, I heard the Ringmaster say, "Bring out the clowns!"  I along with everyone else in the Big Top began clapping with excitement.  However as soon as I took one look at the clowns my excitement quickly disappeared and tremendous fear took its place.  I watched these hideous creatures emerge from the back curtain.  Many dressed like vagabonds, wearing ridiculous over sized shoes, pale white faces, & rings of blood around their mouths.  They approached, making their way up and into the crowd.  At first I sat there eyes wide and frozen with fear, until two of them got a little too close.  In the blink of an eye I was perched up on top of my Daddy's shoulders, holding onto his neck, digging my nails in, screaming for dear life.  My younger sister sat calmly looking up at me as if I were absolutely insane.  I remember the clowns in our section looked very surprised, and my Daddy holding his hand up halting them from getting any closer.  Obviously I had no idea I was exceedingly afraid of clowns.  Still, to this day I make 100% sure to stay far far away from them.  For years following our ONE trip to the circus my loving Daddy having the awesome sense of humor that he has, found it quite comical to loudly ask if Ronald can come to the window every time we went through the McDonald's drive-thru.  I tensed up every time and he laughed as we drove away.   

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reason #216 I don't talk to my coworkers

Except for a select few, I pretty much keep to myself while at work.  Other than a smile and simple 'Hello' in passing I do not typically reach out to people for conversation.  My friends tell me I should give people a chance and try initiating conversation.  One day, while in the cafeteria, a woman I've seen a few times sat next to me.  She was reading an article in a magazine about the movie Snakes On a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson.  Recalling my friends suggestion, I thought I'd give it a shot - (this is the conversation that followed)

Me:  Have you seen that movie?
Coworker:  What movie?
Me:  Snakes On A Plane.
Coworker:  No, I don't think I've ever even heard of it.  What is it about?
Me:  You mean aside from the obvious? Snakes on a plane.
Coworker:  No, I said I didn't see it. What is it about?
Me:  Umm, snakes on a plane.  You will probably get just as much information from the article you are reading and not have to sit through the movie. 
Coworker:  What article?
Me:  (pause) The one right there in front of you - that you are reading.
Coworker:  Is that what this is about?  I wondered what this was.
Me:  (sigh) Well, my break is over.  Good luck.

I should have known better.  I made a mental note to think twice before following some of the advice I get from my friends.  As I walked away I wondered how many of my brain cells just commit suicide.