my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Month: June, 2015



MJE is relaxing in a periwinkle blue recliner getting infused. And I’m not talking about with the holy spirit either. And from the looks of it am glad because if this place is what the kingdom of heaven looks like then I’m taking a U turn at the next opportunity.

My fellow infusiasts look like a mixture of cast members of night of the living dead and the actually very nearly dead. They are accompanied by their bored caregivers who seem decidedly unenthusiastic about having been roped into this cheerless duty. Fortunately even the most seemingly cretinous among them has figured out how to furiously negotiate his or her mobile devices and kill off even more brain cells on mind numbing games and celebrity gossip during the course of the their charges’ treatments.

The atmosphere is further enhanced by the constant blare of the television set, currently offering up Hoda Kotbe (who used to be a great local news anchor in New Orleans before she sold out for a Today show gig) and Kathie Lee Somebody who speak at a volume and pace that is both frightening and incomprehensible. Apparently their shtick is to drink “booze” out of their coffee cups during the show which is highly implausible given the over caffeinated dialogue. Besides, if you are going to drink from first light then own it girl. Ditch the mugs, open a real bottle of wine and chin chin.

Their cast of “guests” so far have been some sort of over gelled and highlighted guy shilling his latest “project.” Which from what I gathered was not an international peace intitative. Now we’re being offered a zookeeper asking audience members questions about different animals. Each contestant is more vacant than the last. Next to going to Walmart, this is the most depressing view into American culture I have had the misfortune to witness. Unfortunately we infusiasts apparently have no control over the video content we are force-fed. All I can say is it’s better than the Fox news I am subjected to at the dentist. A root canal without novacaine.


will maybe work for tats

work for tattoos-1

The OB&C and MJE made a major decision the other day, after years of extortion we decided that we would draw a red line on the yoga mat and no longer pay Albatross’s rent. She is able bodied, if feeble minded, she shares her apartment with another person and presumably she is milking Krylon’s alleged father for a pound of flesh every month. Not to mention the generous state of CA which pays for therapy sessions for those seeking employment so they’ll feel better about themselves in case they ever decide to get off the dole and look for a job. I am sure the US taxpayers are also footing part of her expenses as well as god knows what other “sources of income” might be involved. She attends yoga classes in her endless leisure time and sports hundreds of dollars worth of tattoos. My guess is they both probably required cold hard cash payment in advance, but paying her own rent is apparently one expense too far. A tat on the wrist trumps a roof over the head.

The OB&C suspects she’s a prostitute, which would not be the #1 career goal I’d advocate for my child, but hey the world’s oldest profession probably pays pretty well and then she could damn well pay her rent. Of course it all boils down to the well being of “our grandchild” who will be homeless. Excuse me but how did we suddenly become Krylon’s primary custodians? Doesn’t he have a mother (and technically a father too)? Besides, we’ve already been there and done that with Bandoliera-Saturnalia and our child rearing get up and go has long since gotten up and gone.

Albatross’s lack of education or skills which are hindering her job search have also somehow become our burden to bear. We did everything short of shackling her to the school desk and paid for several failed educational forays into things such as aesthetician and hair dresser schools. Unfortunately the money that was to to pay for tuition went elsewhere and she took out student loans for the programs she never attended. Those bad boy collectors are still on her like beans on rice. Insert smiley face emoticon here.

Actually, she should put her dominant personality trait and skill set to productive use and find employment as a professional harpy. There are any number of career paths in which she would excel: meter maid, toll booth collector, health insurance claims agent. She’d be happy as a pig in slop telling people that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about their problems and before they get too wound up, the answer to whatever they might need is a resounding no. Next!

Or maybe she could join the ranks of the collection agents hounding people to pay back their student loans, one field in which she has extensive experience.

wig wam

Wig wam

My pal Aloe and I went to the big city to buy MJE a wig earlier this week. The local cancer center had recommended some joint that is geared toward the “special needs” of chemo patients. It’s called “Aftercare Essentials” a head scratching (literally) name that doesn’t give a consumer who’s not in the know the vaguest indication of what it sells. What it should be called is “A Place for Sick and Downtrodden Chemo Patients to get even more Depressed.”

AE stocks every sort of prosthesis and undergarment known to woman as well as make up bags, canes, creams and lotions, bibles, journals and a series of books called “Uplift” which might not be the most comforting title for mastectomy patients. Almost every item is pepto bismol pink, just in case you might however briefly forget that you are a cancer patient. Is it not enough to have a bald pate, does MJE really need a tee shirt with a huge pink ribbon embroidered on it to broadcast her membership in the breast cancer sisterhood. It felt like I had inadvertently pledged a lousy sorority after a rough night.

Anywho, “Kay” is the owner and the one who was to give MJE the rundown on wigs: types, hand knotted vs machine knotted weaves, synthetic vs human hair vs blends, etc.. She issued an interesting caution: do not to stand over a hot stove or open an oven door whilst wearing a synthetic hair wig because it will melt. A pretty drastic way to get out of K-P duty but at least there’s some upside to this miserable mess.

She ushered us into a small room and proceeded to tell us about her own hair loss experiences, all five of them. Yo Kay! Verbalizing that there is a distinct possibility that cancers may recur is most definitely not what a client wants to hear. I think MJE speaks for most cancer patients when she says that she really, really wants to be a one hit wonder. So zip it Kay; fetch me a goddam wig and let me get the hell out of this dreadful place.

She finally allowed us to inspect her inventory, which ranged from elaborate backswept Charlie’s Angels bouffants to tightly curled church lady coifs to straggly granny mullets. Aloe and I finally settled on the least offensive and what I am sure was probably the most expensive of the pelts. A bobish thing that will require having a wig hairdresser cut it to my face, a somewhat unsettling thought because if she screws up, it’s not like it’s gonna grow back.

MJE picks up the rug next week, and despite best efforts will probably end up looking just like that crazy lady down the street who has 47 cats.

family reunion

Family Reunion 3

Last week MJE and the OB&C made a foray requiring two full days’ drive up to the NC mountains for the sole purpose of hosting the OB&C’s family reunion. Apparently the people in the OB&C’s tribe feel compelled to gather together every other year and bore each other with the same stories they told the last go round. Once they arrive at the destination they tend to settle in clumps at the nearest watering hole and aggressively avoid experiencing any of the points of interest that the locale might offer. They are also Dutch which means they will make a waitress write 14 different checks for their party just so cousin Albert doesn’t pay for one dime of cousin Ruth’s chicken fried steak.

The OB&C spent weeks looking up yelp reviews on the various bargain basement eateries in town as well as cheap saloons and anything that might be offered free to tourists. He also made copious notes about what to do in and around the area: gardens, nature centers, short hikes, waterfalls, etc.. Of course, not a single member of the clan actually did any of the suggested outings and none even went to the trouble to say thanks. Now, MJE saw that heartbreak coming a mile away, and I did try to warn him that he was totally wasting his time, but he just said I didn’t know anything because all of my family members hate each other. Well, that’s partially true but it’s beside the point.

MJE, as you might have surmised, was not keen on the whole idea, but as a dutiful wife and helpmate to the OB&C, I took up the challenge with gusto. First order of business was to make damn sure that my party was a whole lot better in every way than brother Jock’s. Opening the competition with an eco-friendly salvo, we wouldn’t have crappy flowered paper and plastic ware, mine were going to be biodegradable and look it. The cups were going to be made from some supremely sustainable organic crapola, with a green stripe to prove it and the forks were going to be made from an invasive south american plant everyone wants to get rid of. The food was sort of a wash since neither of us was going to cook, but I made sure I ordered better stuff. I was scotched on the venue because their party was on a prefab lake in a prefab gazebo near their subdivision so no one would see their house which is modeled upon the lobby and breakfast area of a Holiday Inn Express. Therefore my charming all wood, hand-crafted mountain house full of shabby chic furniture and faded oriental rugs wasn’t going to get the benefit of a comparison

But as fate would have it, the hand of the god of crappy breaks reached down and struck me with two different infections and I ended up in the ER in Asheville and our party got moved to Jock’s house where he got the kudos for all the eco-friendly utensils and the great food.


talk of the town

Talk of the Town

MJE decided she was not going to be at the mercy of her failing hair follicles during this chemo bidness. She was going to do what any right minded woman would do, find the absolute best professional to serve her purposes, that being having her head shaved and move on it. And who better to take on that task than a black barber?

Next was to find the proper venue. The OB&C had wandered into Talk of the Town Barber/Salon in Hardeeville SC one time thinking it was just a regular old middle aged white guy’s joint. His first tip off that this was not Mr. Cleever’s barber shop was the 150lb pit bull stationed at the door. However, he was afraid to back out of the door for fear the pit bull might not take rejection well and proceeded to get his hair cut without incident.

So, I says to myself says I, if it’s been pre-qualified by the OB&C then TOTT it is! Next task was to find a game crew to act as cheerleaders and documentarians. I rounded up a stellar team of pals plus Bandoliera-Saturnalia and a bottle of bubbly and off we went. When we opened the door into TOTT it was like stepping into another dimension of time and space of which I was not aware. Or, more aptly like the bar scene in the original Star Wars. A totally strange environment populated by alien beings. I have every reason to believe that the indigenous folk of TOTT felt exactly the same way about us.

Nevertheless, I was on a mission. I asked for “Edward” the proprietor to whom I had spoken twice to ask if 2pm might be a convenient time for me to drop by. A man of very few words, I got the impression that his answer had been “whatever.” TOTT is a place where time is immaterial. Edward was trimming some gentleman’s beard one whisker one at a time so we all sat down on the black vinyl banquette like crows on a wire and waited. When he finally finished, another guy walked in and sat down. When Edward was finished with him one of his employees, an extremely imposing and pugnacious looking amazon, glowered at us and sat her fanny down, as if to say “take that you white bitches, this is my hood.” TOTT is an excellent environment in which to learn patience and humility. Those Buddhist monks ought to head over there sometime.

Finally Edward gave me the high sign and I settled into his chair. I said I’d like the full monty with a few brief forays enroute. Maybe try a wave maker, a polished fade, or maybe a faux-hawk until I ended up with something between a modified buzz and a flat out clean shave. Not a problem said Edward. Each cut got a panel review and some snaps for posterity. In the end I got just what I wanted, with a little something extra because an artist like Edward cannot leave a canvas blank. I have an M worthy of an illuminated manuscript trimmed into the right side of my fuzzy cranium, which by the way feels just like my sweet Bellita’s muzzle.

the nuclear option

the nuclear option-1

MJE is a forward-looking malcontent and really doesn’t like to rehash old dustups, but this one deserves a mention.

Besides the chemo business, things have been pretty quiet since Albatross threw Krylon on the back of her broomstick and flew back west. However, Albatross would never, ever go gently into the night. She’d make sure that before she left she would, through sheer grit and determination, find whatever happy family activity that might possibly survive her dark aura, and detonate one of her signature emotional nuclear warheads. Her greatest wish would be to leave every member of the tribe feeling like Nagasaki had been amateur night. Such was the case with the last evening of her visit.

Our family unit was watching that pornographic blood bath known as Game of Thrones, which Albatross found suitable viewing material for six year Krylon. Things were gurgling along smartly from beheading to dismemberment to rape and torture when the catapult ran off the rails. Admittedly the OB&C is the last person on earth anyone would want to watch television or a movie with. He comments on every line, scene, set, you name it, if Siskel and Ebert mated with Gollum they’d have the OB&C.

So, the commentary was non-stop from the OB&C peanut gallery, “That woman couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.“ “Are we supposed to believe that ‘s real, what do they take us for, idiots?” “Who wrote this dialogue, some third grader?” One by one the members of the unit took their leave, until it was just Albatross, Krylon and the OB&C. The scene had the unsteady look of a wobbly vial of nitroglycerin primed to blow everything to smithereens. It wasn’t a matter of if, was a matter of how soon.

There wasn’t much of wait I’ll give it that. Albatross stood up, put her face within inches of OB&C’s and screamed at the top of her substantial lungs   “Shut the f***k up! The OB&C folded like a cheap suitcase and slunk out of the room with Albatross on his heels bellowing epithets.

Krylon never blinked an eye. The epic battles of the seven kingdoms of Westeros are apparently a whole lot more soothing than life back home.