Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for February, 2008

Live blogging the Presidential Debate

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Hillary’s got big ass cheeks.
Obama’s got big ass ears.
Obama can’t pronounce Massachusetts! No wonder he lost the state…if he’s elected President this will be his nuclear!
HAHAHAHA…the moderator just has no control over these two. They’ve run AMOCK!
I keep thinking that guy is Peter Jennings…but Jennings is dead…so what’s this guy’s name.
OHHHH SNAP..Hillary brings up the SNL media Obama bias!! Oh man…I think it made her look a little crazy though…mistake.
Ooof, her NAFTA answer is incomprehensible…
Oh man, she is getting SMASHED by Tim Russert on NAFTA. SMASHED. In the face. The whole NAFTA debate just makes me remember what a disaster the Clinton presidency was.
Is Obama wearing lipstick?
“a fairer test is when we both had responsibility, where is the action to support the rhetoric” – clinton. ziing!
Bored now. Somebody hit somebody.

I got secrets can’t leave Cancun (by guest blogger Dusky Winters)

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Hi, I’m Dusky Winters.
I used to have my own blog.
But it was deemed “too dark” and shutdown after only two posts. Two really good posts. Anyway, Dawn evidently still has political aspirations and didn’t want to lose the electoral vote heavy states of Florida, California and Texas, though I can’t imagine the plastic surgeries she’s got planned in order to win Texas. So, she thought it best that I do the post about our trip to Mexico for Elena’s wedding.
And since it’s not like I’m busy doing anything but google stalking the people on my enemies list, I said I’d do it.
So, Elena’s getting married and she’s chosen a destination wedding. Great. Unfortunately, Dawn is a lazy two-bit procrastinator, so she didn’t even rsvp for the wedding until receiving threatening emails from Elena about being served the vegetarian meal and the peanut butter penuche bar dessert. (Funny story: Dawn worked in the college dining hall system for oh…something like 3 days, four hours and 19 minutes. During this illustrious career in food service, not only did she get in daily fights with self absorbed lazy obnoxious over privileged students in her dining hall (not that she has anything but respect for the lazy, self absorbed obnoxious over privileged, to the contrary, she aspires to be them herself one day and believes in them and everything they stand for …right up until the point that she has to clean up the remains of their chocolate milk/coke/fillet of fish food fight to the death which has left ammo smeared across the dining hall tables, floors and walls.) On one occasion, she was put in charge of the dessert counter. After putting out the cups of Jell-O and slices of pie, she was asked to cut peanut butter penuche bar squares. This was a lot harder than it looked. The knife just wouldn’t make straight lines through the hardened sheet of penuche bars. Instead, she kept getting oblong chunks out of the pan. She would manage to salvage a few normal looking squares, but for the most part, she was left with jagged chunks of unappealing penuche bar in her hands. Now, rather than admit that she was having trouble cutting squares of dessert, she decided to hide the evidence of her incompetence the only place she could.
Up her ass.
No, I’m just kidding. I’ve got Pulp Fiction on in the background and that Christopher Walken just cracks me up. No, no. Dawn ate them. She’d take the non squared pieces and shove them in her mouth. I think she damn near ate half a sheet of penuche bars before realizing that she was struggling to breathe and had broken out in hives from the main ingredient in said penuche bars. Peanut/peanut butter.
One epee pen shot later, and a couple of hours on an oxygen tank, she realized the service industry was not for her. She quit the next day. And by quit I mean she never went back, which was awkward because it was actually her dining hall and she had to eat three meals a day there because that’s where she lived.)
But back to the story I have actually been hired to tell.
Dawn rsvps to the wedding a week and a half before, she tries to get Binda to book a hotel room and plane tickets for her, but Binda being the little plan aheader that she is, has already booked hotel and flight for her and her boyfriend a good two years prior. Even before Elena met her husband. That’s just how good Binda is. Dawn on the other hand, is now scrambling for flights to Mexico, on Valentine’s Day weekend, in the dead of winter. So, basically, she paid a fortune for a seat in the bathroom on a flight which connected in nine different cities.
It took 12 hours to get from NYC to Cancun. TWELVE.
We arrived in Cancun international airport and a Mexican man stops us as we deplane to ask us for our custom’s ticket. We show it to him and he says we need to fill out the bottom half and sign our name.
We step out of the way of the other passengers deplaning behind us and kneel down at a window and complete the rest of the form.
“Wow, who knew Mexico had laws,” I thought to myself. Me, Dusky that is. Dawn has nothing but respect for the proud Mexican people and their noble homeland.
Done, we walk to the escalators. They are out of order. As is the elevator. We are glad that we managed to shove all of our belongings in one carry-on this time. Something about hearing the disembodied voice of Mary laughing in our faces inspired us to simplify, simplify, simplify.
We pick it up and walk down the escalator. The sight downstairs is horrifying. There are hundreds, perhaps tens of hundreds of people standing in a line that snaked around the entire perimeter of the Mexican immigration area. It seems to be divided into two lines, but since they’ve basically melded into one at the tail end, which is most definitely where we are thanks to having to fill out the rest of the form upstairs, it doesn’t even matter.
Of course, by applying my rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, I could see that in between these two lines was a column reserved for “Mexicanos.” This line had a dedicated agent and a sign that said “Welcome Home,” in Spanish. This line was empty.
After standing on the immigration line for two hours and moving perhaps a foot in total. I was getting more and more impatient staring at the empty “Welcome Home,” line.
Of course, that freaking line is empty. Once the Mexicans get out of this place, they aint coming back. Now, if the line had said “Welcome U.S. dollars from your under the table wages,” that line would snake around the whole fracking country.
After standing on the immigration line for four hours, I started to get impatient with Mexico as a whole.
Dude! What the hell? How are they going to get anything done at all when all they’ve got left are the people who aren’t smart enough to get a coyote to smuggle them into the U.S.?
Again, these are my own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of the wholly tolerant Dawn Summers who has long admired the Mexican people and their beautiful countryside.
Finally, we get to the front of the line. The Immigration guy stamps our passport and we’re in. In the Customs area that is. Now there is another line, perhaps half as long, but still long, for immigrants to go through Customs. I am now livid. My carry-on, though singular in number, has gotten infinitely more annoying to wheel around. I am wearing winter clothes and the oppressive Mexican heat is stifling me. And then my Nano battery died… (Though I can’t be mad at its impressive 12 hour plus of play stamina). With no music, I lost the will to live. And apparently no longer feared being imprisoned in a Mexican jail as much as I did when I kneeled down by the window to fill out those forms. Because now I was willing to pay whoever I needed to pay to get the hell out of this airport.
“Senor, que paso con esta…um…linea?” I said in that accent that used to make my cousins point and laugh and call me gringa when I was little.
The little man in the uniform took my passport and asked if I came from Miami.
Honestly, we had stopped in so many cities on our way down to Mexico that I couldn’t remember what the last one was, so I said “No. Nueva York.”
He said “Ah, okay, come with me.”
I was taken to a line about half the size of the line I was on and told to wait.
Now, I don’t know if what I’m about to say is a breach of Mexico’s foolproof security system, but here’s what their custom’s process is:
“Hello. Please press the green button.” [After one has pressed the green button] “Thank you, welcome to Mexico.”
For this I stood in line for forty minutes.
My word has this country got a brain drain crisis on its hands. Again, that’s just my opinion. Dawn on the other hand, does not cast any aspersions on the intellect of the Mexican people. Mostly because if she did, she would be hard pressed to explain how she ended up being tricked into a time share scam not even five minutes after passing through customs.
A young Mexican lad, wearing a brown uniform and an ID badge asked her if she needed help. She had just waited on the line at the American Express Bureau de Change for twenty minutes to change the $200 she had in her pocket into Mexican pesos. She now had exactly an hour and a half to get from Cancun to Elena’s rehearsal dinner party in Playa del Carmen. The hotel said they were sending a shuttle for her, but our planes were hours late and she figured that the shuttle had left. So when this young man asked her if she needed help she said:
“Yes, what’s the best way to get to Playa del Carmen.”
“Oh, that is a beautiful city, not as beautiful as you are, but very beautiful.”
“Tee hee.”
“Come with me and I will show you the map and how to get the shuttle.”
“Okay.”
Dude, he didn’t even have any candy. For the love of God, how did Dawn survive this long in New York City? Dead at 17, indeed.
“Is this your first time in Mexico?”
“Yes.”
“Ah, well welcome to paradise…How old are you?”
“How old do I look?”
“23…24?”
“I’ll take it. Anything in the twenties.”
“Ah, are you single?”
“Yes.”
“Here or everywhere?”
“Tee hee, everywhere.”
“Well, while you’re in Playa del Carmen, would you like to enjoy one of our complimentary tours?”
“Sure!”
“Great. We offer breakfast at this hotel at the Southern tip every morning from 9:30-12 or lunch from 2-5. After the presentation, you will get your complimentary pass for anyone of these exciting tours.”
“Umm…okay…”
“So, what is your name.”
“Dawn Summers.”
(Dude, she actually spells out her name for this guy…I mean, her real actual name. Insert head shake.)
“Okay, now…it is a requirement that all our members be over 30 and have one of these major credit cards…do you have one of these.”
“Um…yeah.”
(Okay, true story, really she still didn’t realize anything was up until right now when she was thinking…wait a minute…over 30??? Who you calling over 30, pendejo.)
“Well, we’ll need to take an impression of the card just to reserve your –”
“Look, actually, I’ve got to go. I’m late for a wedding, sorry,” she said wheeling her bag in the direction of the sliding doors.
She got a seat on one of the passenger vans and when she was told the fare would be $24, she asked “um…pesos?”
The driver laughed and said “No, American dollars.”
Oh great, I’m so glad I waited on line for half an hour, paid a currency exchange fee, just to go out into a country that accepts American dollars everywhere. In fact, they probably sell their middle and youngest children just to get their hands on an American dollar.
Bastards.
The van ride was interminable. We sat at the end of the first row, so we had to get out every time the shuttle stopped at another hotel to drop off passengers. Finally, the only passengers left were us and a couple from Chicago.
We were staying at the hotel del Cielo. So, when the shuttle pulled into a driveway with a huge engraved marble sign with the words Hotel del Cielo and the silhouette of a moon carved in, we started to get our stuff together and make for the door. That’s when we noticed that while the sign was lovely, all that was behind it was a dirt road and two Mexicans with a wheelbarrow.
The Chicago couple started to laugh. “Looks, like you’re a couple of years early for your reservation.”
Now, Dawn has made some vacation planning blunders before, but she’s pretty sure that her reservation is for 2008. She starts to rifle through her purse for the confirmation printout.
Whew.
The driver comes back on the bus and says “Hotel del Cielo esta en Playa del Carmen?”
“Si!” Dawn confidently answers. “Um…estamos aqui in Playa del Carmen,” she asked way less confidently…
“No,” the driver said and they were off again.
I don’t know where we were at that point, but it took another hour to get to Playa del Carmen. And even then our driver had to ask three separate times to get directions to our hotel. He finally decided to drop the Chicago couple off first and put off the search for the elusive Hotel del Cielo till later.
“Goodbye,” the Chicago couple said to us as they took their bags off the bus and looked at our sad, sweaty, dejected faces, “if he can’t find your hotel, you’re free to crash here with us.”
Dawn quickly wrote down the name of the hotel, because even if they were joking, we were so coming back here if the hotel del cielo didn’t exist.
Teach them to make an offer to a stranger.
The van weaved its way through a few more streets and then came to a stop at a pedestrian plaza.
“No, cannot go through. We walk.”
The driver said getting out.
Awesome.
We were still dressed in jeans, a sweater and a Winter coat, so walking was so very appealing. Happily, the driver took our bags and we found the hotel a short way into the pedestrian plaza. It was, quite literally, a hole in the wall. We booked the reservation at this hotel because that is where Elena and her husband were staying and much of the wedding day activities were going to take place there. Now, let me tell you something about Elena and Gustav. They are..um…how do you say…“active,” Dawn and I…not so much. These are people who don’t mind roughing it. On the other hand, we do mind. A lot. They are the “oh, who needs running water when we have each other?” types. We have no one and want a toilet that flushes as many times as we would like it to, damn it. All this to say, be careful about who you take hotel recommendations from because you will find yourself staying in a hotel with no elevator, no phone and temperamental air conditioning.
Dawn asked about the dinner party and she was told it was on the roof, in ten minutes. A very nice Swedish man helped carry our luggage upstairs. We spread out on the bed before remembering that our formal dress for the wedding was currently crumpled in a ball at the bottom of the carry-on, in our effort to consolidate everything.
“But it will get wrinkled!” Dawn cried in protest.
“Dawn. We are going to Mexico. It is the land of women who can iron your clothes for you…by the bucketful, for pennies,” I replied. I mean we saw El Norte six times in school for goodness sakes.
We dug out the dress and spent a hilarious five minutes with the desk clerk that went something like this.
“I need to get my dress pressed.”
“Okay, I will send for the hotel iron.”
(THE HOTEL IRON. THE.)
“No, no umm…I don’t want to press it myself.”
“Oh, okay. So what do you need?”
“I need to get it pressed…by…um…someone else…for money.”
“Oh, you want to pay someone to iron it for you?”
“YES!”
“Here?”
“Um…no…do you have dry cleaners…but instead of cleaning…they just iron?”
“Ah, dry cleaners! Yes, two blocks that way.”
We followed his directions to what can only be described as a space in between a bar and a farmacia, with washers and dryers. There was a woman sitting at a long fold out table. We reached into the depths of our mind and searched and searched for the word for ironing in Spanish.
“Hola, Senora. Puede planchar mi…dress…o?”
The woman nodded yes, took the dress and spread a cloth over the table. We started looking for a price list and we saw a sign which read planchar $20. Now, this could either mean 20 dollars or 20 pesos, which is like $2. We didn’t want to ask, lest the woman realize that we were willing to pay $20 for a service that she valued at $2. Plus, I didn’t want Dawn getting outwitted by any more Mexicans.
So, we came up with the genius scheme of paying her with a 50 peso bill. Either she would immediately start getting out change, or she’d stare at us waiting for more money.
Happily, she immediately started getting out change! We got a formal dress ironed, while we waited, FOR TWO DOLLARS. What a country! We tipped her two more dollars, because that’s how we roll and skipped back to the hotel.
We changed into our rehearsal dinner clothes and looked quite smashing, if we say so ourselves. The party was nice. Dawn was worried about getting my drinks with ice, so she drank wine and beer before trying regular drinks.
IMG_3437
“The water is fine,” Binda assured us.
“Bing and I have been here three days and we aren’t sick at all.”
Elena had set up a ‘get to know you’ game where she put a bunch of questions about the guests on a sheet and everyone had to figure out who was who. Binda and Dawn decided not to play. Dawn wouldn’t even put on a nametag.
But the Swedes…oh, Elana’s fiancée is Swedish, were very friendly and came right up to them and asked the sheet questions. Yes, they live in NYC and yes, Dawn knows how to use a Chinese calling card. Though I still don’t know why that was quite so special. In the end it was deemed that Dawn Summers was basically the answer to all the questions. I mean she can write a medical prescription if she absolutely had to. Then there were all these questions about the couple like how did they meet and how he proposed and Binda and Dawn were like “dude, we have no idea…we might just be the worst friends ever…how did we not ask how he proposed…I think that’s standard protocol for the ‘I got engaged’ ‘oh, congratulations’ conversation.”
Dawn met Gustav for the first time that night and he informed her that while they had never met, he evidently had impersonated her.
“We were at a restaurant where they gave at 25% discount for lawyers. And we were like, we hate lawyers, why should they get the 25%…so I told them I was a lawyer and started to make up a card. But Elena had your card in her wallet and since your name is like a man’s, I used that.”
We stayed at the party for a few hours before the festivities were moved to the beach, where we watched fire dancing.
It was a beautiful night, Dawn had one more week working at the law firm and as she watched the fire dancers contort their bodies and play with fire, she thought…hmm…I could probably learn to do that.
To be con’t.

De ja vu all over again

Monday, February 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Of all my mid winter get away trips to Mexico and Australia, the jaunt to the Canadian border, in my car, during a snowstorm, was probably the least good of my ideas.
However, I had it stuck in my head that I would play a big Scrabble tournament and gosh darn it, I was going to do it. I missed two big ones while I was off in Australia and a bunch of my friends from Scrabble club were going to these Saratoga games, so I figured this would be my best chance to enter a tournament with people I knew. I was supposed to drive up with a husband and wife and their friend, but after a crazy week last month when I spent three days in a row playing Scrabble with them all night, I decided four hours with them, each way, in a teeny, tiny car might not be for me.
Just sayin.
Of course, as the day approached, I started to panic about being in my own car, by myself for four hours each way, with a homicidal GPS system and an aging, unable to defend me, Poddy. So, when I got an email asking if I had space in my car to drive people up, I said yes. I agreed to drive up with Matthew.
I didn’t know anything about Matthew. Except that he was reluctant to make definitive plans about a meeting place and time and when I pressed him the day before about it, he sent an email saying he’d call me Friday morning.
Weird, I thought to myself, but not homicidal weird, I further thought to myself.
Or hoped to myself.
Of course, Friday morning, it was snowing. Not anything insane, but it was already sticking on the streets and I was worried because we were heading North.
Matthew called around eight and I told him we should leave within the hour. He agreed, asked me where I lived and said he would meet me a few blocks away on Ocean Parkway.
“I can pick you up from where you live,” I offered.
“No, not necessary. I can come to you.”
Hmm.
I didn’t know anything about Matthew. Age, race, criminal record…nothing. I googled his email address and found only one entry, he was trying to start a chess club in 2004.
Okay, chess nerd. I can definitely take him.
“Okay, well. My car is green and I’m a black woman.”
“I’m sure I’ll find you,” he said and then he hung up.
I drove out to the meeting spot and waited.
About ten minutes later, I saw a figure trudging through the snow. He was hunched over with a knapsack slung across one shoulder. He knocked on the window. I signaled that the door was open.
He opened the back door and put his bag in.
“Should I sit in the front or the back?”
Um…
“The front.”
“Okay,” he said closing the back door.
He got in and I finally got a good look at him. He was thin, with glasses and one of the poorly filled in mustaches that young boys sport just to prove that they can grow one. I couldn’t say exactly how old he was, but no more than 18 or 19 was my guess.
We started off.
He was quiet. Which was good. Things were weird enough without some chatterbox kid annoying me for hours.
I put on my ipod.
He started to speak.
“So, how long have you been playing?”
“About a year…competitively since about June,” I answered turning down the music.
He told me that he had been playing for years, and he won his first tournament in January up at Albany.
And then he said he played in Atlantic City last month and started to go on at length about how poorly run it was and how he could fix it and make it better.
Oh no. He is a chatterbox. Mommy.
I smiled and nodded politely as he went through the archaic intricacies of tournament organization and explained how they should run them like chess tournaments and just when veering my car into the highway divider at 80 miles an hour seemed like sweet, sweet peace and quiet, his cell phone rang.
“Yeah…yeah…no…NO. I’m in NOT in Brooklyn, blat!” And then he started speaking some other language and after ten minutes he hung up.
“Sorry about that.”
“No problem…are you Russian?”
“No…but I love Russians! I wish I was Russian. They are so cool, you know?”
No. No, I do not know.
“Oh, I thought you were speaking Russian there.”
“No. Yiddish.”
“Oh…did you grow up in Brooklyn?”
“Yeah.”
“Where’d you go to high school?”
“Oh…I’m Hasidic. Well, was…so we go to these Jewish schools you’ve never heard of.”
“Was?”
“Yeah, I’m not anymore. It’s all bullshit, you know? Like a fucking brainwashing cult. But you start to think for yourself, just for a fucking second, and you see through it. All they teach you is Jewish mythology and maybe when you’re like 16 they’ll let you take math or something…but nothing crazy like science or sex ed.”
I smiled.
“I totally know you already!”
“What do you mean? You were religious and now you’re not?”
“No, I’m religious; probably more so now, than I’ve been since I was in high school. I was very sick last year and almost bit it a couple of times. You get way into God after that.”
“Oh come on, who made you sick in the first place?”
“Touche.”
“Sorry, I don’t mean anything. It’s just not for me.”
“Do you have brothers and sisters?”
“Yeah…and I live with them and my parents. They’re pissed…but I try to be as respectful as I can and not, you know, offend anyone too much. That’s why you couldn’t come pick me up. It’s the Sabbath…I’m not supposed to be driving anywhere or playing Scrabble all night or anything.”
“Yeah, I have Jewish friends who keep the Sabbath. How old are you?”
“21…why?”
“Nothing…just… life is long…you might find yourself back to being religious one day…family, tradition…they are very powerful forces.”
“I don’t think so. You can’t go back again, really…unless you’re willing to believe a lie. Spread a lie. Live a lie. Either you believe or you don’t. I don’t.”
We sat quietly for a little while, I took the exit onto I 87 and Fred told me we would be on that road for 130 miles.
Ugh.
“How come you didn’t play in the Atlantic City tournament? It’s closer than this one.”
“Well, I was in Australia for the Aussie Millions…it’s like their World Series of Poker…”
His eyes lit up.
“You play poker?!!”
“Yeah…and I have a poker blog.”
“Me too! Not a blog, but I play poker…I’m in AC every week. Where do you play?”
“Mostly Hilton and Borgata.”
“Ever play at Taj…that’s where I play.”
No, seriously, I already know this kid.
“No, I hate the Taj. Too many old dudes with gold chains and thick accents.”
“Girl, they have the money! I kill the $15-$30 game there whenever I go.”
“You play limit?”
“Yeah. You?”
“No. I hate limit. I only play no limit.”
“How high?”
“Nothing big 1-2…maybe 2-5, if I’m in a mood.”
“Those pots are too small for me…sometimes the limit games get a thousand dollars in there…just insane. You should try it.”
I told him about the horrible Australian casinos and how they made me nostalgic for Atlantic City.
“You know, there’s a casino nearby here…Turning Stone…we should skip the Scrabble tournament and go!”
I laughed.
“Can’t. I gave up poker for Lent…but ordinarily I totally would have.”
“Lent?”
“Yeah…Christian holiday…abstinence, reflection, penance…”
“No…yeah…I know what it is…I just thought it was around Easter.”
Each one, teach one.
I love America.
I turned up Poddy a little bit.
“You wanna play anagrams,” he asked. I turned the music lower…hmm…I’m starting to see a trend.
“Sure, but I suck at it.”
“Nah, I’ll give you easy ones.”
“Okay.”
Um…so, at this point, for those of you not yet fully aware of how much of a geek I am, I will now tell you to avert your eyes. Or better yet, I will use that old “Hey, what’s that over there!” trick.
The anagram game involves one person giving the other a string of alphabetized letters and then the other person has to figure out what the word is.
And as I was driving, I had to do this in my head. But it was always a happy moment when I’d figure it out “navigation!”
“Yes, good…but don’t drive the car off the road!”
“Okay, gimmee another one!”
I made the mistake of saying that I hate getting the letter c, so all through Coxsackie County all he did was give me anagrams with as many cees as he could fit in the string before I started to cry.
Fricking carcinogenic. I’m not kidding.
“Cees are your friend, believe me. If you get comfortable with them, you’ll love them…hey; your name has a c in it…Elephants Care! That’s your anagram…or Elephants Race…that’s better, I think.”
We made it up to the tournament in slightly less than four hours. We played a game of Scrabble to kill time between our respective matches. He was much, much better than I am, so after he bingoed on me for the fourth time (wapitis, my arse)and the score was a lopsided 360 -90, I basically, would just show him my rack and ask him what he would play. At one point I showed him tnesdit and asked what he would play.
“Umm..seriously? That’s an easy one, Dawn. You’re better than that.”
“What?”
“Alphabetize it.”
“Deinstt”
Oh. Mah bad.
“Well, before I played off that last tile I had iinsted…anything there?”
“Indites. Teneids.” He said without even thinking.
Damn.
I suck. Though, in one of my tournament games later, I actually played indites. So, who sucks now. Somebody else that’s who.
Oops, that’s way more Scrabble talk than I intended.
This is after all the story of a roadtrip. One of those eerie road trips that they have in the Twilight Zone where the universe is sending you a message or letting you do something over again and then it turns out you’re riding with death or that you’re dead or that you’ve been dead all along, kind of eerie road trips.
The last day of the tournament, Matthew was very upset. He had a judge’s ruling go against him which cost him a game. He ended up losing 431-432 and boy was he bitter.
“I just want to go home.”
He ended up coming in fifth in the tournament and winning a prize for losing with the highest score, but as he would say later “I win that game, I come in third. So basically, they gave me a twenty dollar prize to make up for costing me $400 third place money. Great.”
I laughed.
He wasn’t joking. He reluctantly agreed to say for the “stupid awards presentation” and collect his prizes. I clapped when he went up, but mostly because I was glad that other people could see him too and he wasn’t just a creation of my psyche. Nobody needs to relive the whole Janet incident of fourth grade.
Anyway, it turns out that my decision to drive myself was a good one, because the couple I was going up with decided to stay another few days and “make a vacation of it,” so I ended up driving their friend back.
Their friend was a 68 year old, retired South Bronx schoolteacher, with the voice of someone who smoked for 50 years. If I had to guess, I’d say it was because she smoked for 50 years.
She gave me the old elbow in my rib gesture as we walked to my car. “You must be glad to finally have someone to talk to,” she said suggesting that Matthew never talked. I shrugged my shoulder, suggesting that I hate people who talk. I don’t think she got that. It’s definitely way less common.
Anyway, Ida was definitely a talker. She’s evidently going to Italy, and she was saving up miles to go to Australia, but she won’t have enough before these expire, so she’s going to use these for Florida and then she’s switching to American Airlines. And she’s got a son who lives in Budapest and she adopted him when he was a baby and she’s going to see him in Italy for the anniversary of his adoption. Andhe’sgotagirlfriendthatshe’snotcrazyaboutbutatleastsheencourageshimandnowhe’s
goingtobusniessschooolandifhecandosomethingwithhislifefinallythat’llmakeherhappyandshe
wasonthewhowantstobeamillionaireshowbutheytakeoutsomanytaxesandshehadtohelpherson
outandhaveieverbeentothephillytournamentbecausemattisasweetheartand…
I kept turning the music up, but then she’d just talk louder. Matt was slumped down in the backseat sleeping and I wanted to jab him with something sharp. If I had to suffer, he had to suffer. And then we hit traffic. Stone cold, not moving an inch traffic.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I used this opportunity to reach into the backseat, ostensibly to get my cell phone from my jacket, but if my hand accidentally smacked someone in the head until he woke up, that was just bonus.
“Heey, you’re up! So, what was that whole controversy you had at the tournament?”
And when he finished that story, I started giving him anagrams until he was up and Ida was talking to him too.
Excellent.
We finally started to move again and she tells this story. In exactly this way:
“So it’s funny. You guys listening?” (Matt and I grunt simultaneous sounds of something resembling “yes.”) So I was talking to this guy online. His name is Billybob56. We played a few times. He usually won, but we got to chatting and we started to make it a regular thing. So finally he says ‘we should get together.’ I say okay, and send him my picture. I don’t hear from him for a long time. And I’m wondering if 56 is his age or the year he was born. I mean I’m 68, but I don’t think I look 68. Do you think I look 68? (Matt and I grunt simultaneous sounds of something resembling “no.”) So, anyway, I see him online again and he says, okay, ‘let’s meet.’ I can come to your place. And I say ‘no, Billy, you seem nice, but I don’t know you. Let’s meet somewhere in the City, like a diner or something and play a few games and see what else.’ He says ‘okay.’ So, I email Ira at the club and ask him where would be good and he says ‘Comfort Diner on 42nd street.’ I tell Billy and he comes back with ‘How about the Comfort Inn on 23rd street. We can play privately in the room and maybe have some wine.” So I write back ‘Billy, you must be joking, right?’ And I haven’t heard from him since. Isn’t that funny? I mean, I’m no virgin and maybe I would sleep with him, but not the first time I meet him you know?”
At this point that little voice inside my head is screaming. We’ve got little teenaged ex religious kid in the back and not-a-virgin grandma in the passenger seat talking about her online liaisons…this, thank heavens, is where the GPS tried to kill me. We are winding through the backstreets of god only knows where New Jersey trying to find the George Washington bridge. It is telling me to take exits that don’t exist and to make lane changes with something like two seconds notice. I narrowly avoided being crushed to death by a speeding SUV by a matter of seconds. I still don’t know how it didn’t hit us as I was making my hesitant lane change and it was barreling down the Garden State Parkway going no less than 90 miles an hour.
See? God just saved us, I almost said out loud.
And then I smiled because I just know what the response from the backseat was going to be.
We dropped Ida off at the Port Authority and made our way back to Brooklyn. Matthew stayed in the backseat, so when I turned to ask him where I was dropping him off, I felt very much the taxi driver.
“Where to, sir…I’m guessing not your house, but Ocean Parkway is too far away.”
He settled on a spot two blocks away and I dropped him off.
“It was nice meeting you, Elephants Race.”
“Um…I prefer Care. And drop the elephants. Thanks.”
He laughed.
“Bye…um…I guess I’ll be in touch.”
“Yeah. I hope so. Bye.”

Knight Industry Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Thousand

Monday, February 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Okay, I’ve been disappointed by reincarnations of the Knight Rider mythos before. That Knight Rider 2000 crapola on UPN ten years ago was vomitiously bad. So, I reluctantly set the TIVO to record NBC’s Knight Rider. And it sat in the queque for weeks. Until today.
First off, I hate the daughter. She sucks as an actress and the backstory of her character makes zero sense. Why would a Stanford professor give it up to become a mechanic. Plus, Michael Knight doesn’t have a girlfriend. He just doesn’t. Like Captain Kirk.
But other than that, the show is pretty good. (It was okay and then the final shot of KITT backing out of a freaking plane, but it right over the top.)
Oh, the voice of KITT is wrong too. I don’t know why they just didn’t get the Boy Meets World Mr. Feeney guy to reprise. He already had the right rone of sarcasm and humor…but all in all. I’d watch it again. I like that “Mike” is Michael Knight son. So we’ll be seeing the Hoff again no doubt. I wonder if they’ll tell us what happened to the original KITT. And I wonder if there will be a K.A.R.R. MUAHHAAHHAHAHAHAAH

Quote of the mofo year

Monday, February 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

“Bitches get stuff done, America. So, it’s not too late Texas and Ohio, do the right thing! Bitch is the new black.” – Tina Fey on the funniest SNL I have seen in a long time.

Hillary ’08

Not so random question

Monday, February 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Why is my GPS trying to kill me?

Oscar Night

Monday, February 25th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Having seen none of the other movies, There Will Be Blood was robbed. Though I’m glad Daniel Day Lewis won. I cannot believe Live Free or Die Hard wasn’t even nominated.

And good gracious…how bad were the entries for best song this year?

Not so random thought

Sunday, February 24th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

There are those who would tell you that you cannot live on Apple Jacks and Cool Ranch Doritos for three days. They are idiots.

Two seasons are enough

Sunday, February 24th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Friday night lights is on the NBC chopping block.
I like this show, but the cliched storylines of the interracial couple getting hassled (puhhh leeeezzeee) and the black players staging a walkout…blah…it’s had a good run let it go.

And in other horribly disturbing news it looks like I’ve lost another TV bet with Fisch, which makes me 0-2. In TV. IN TV. Though, in my defense, I blame the writer’s strike. They owe me twenty dollars.

Live TV is so rigged.

You know those parents who applaud everything their kids do?

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Yeah, I don’t have one of those.

Me: I’m first in my division at the tournament going into day two!!!
My mom: What division is that?
Me: Beginners.
My mom: You’re still in beginners? You’ve been playing since last year.