Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm thankful for bras and razors

We have a few patients who belong to some theatrical commune in LA. They all live together in this big house/theater and put on shows every few months. They're dancers and actors and singers and they grow their own food, and, probably, weed. The head of the group is a woman in a wheel chair who always wears tinted glasses and speaks with a very low raspy voice. She has never shown up to an appointment without Marion, her assistant and Sonny, her poodle.

Sonny (who I secretly believe to be the evil mastermind behind this whole group) and Marion are in today. Marion fell off a stool and injured her back. She thought she was sitting on a piano bench and had room to slide over. She has a "very important dance performance" next week and needs to be fixed up before then. While putting her on the unwinding table I noticed two things: 1.) It was horribly obvious that she never wears a bra because, although she's young and thin, her boobs were sagging down to her naval, and 2.) she has the hairiest legs I've ever seen on a human being, male or female. And I could see, once she had the gown on, that the hair stopped just below her knee, making it look as if she were wearing human hair leg warmers.

And on that note -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Enjoy the feast. I have a lot to be thankful for this year, including bras and razors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

They Paved Paradise

Dear City of Long Beach,

I totally forgot to tell you that you're dead to me. I meant to tell you a week ago but I completely forgot. I went to Utah for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with my fam and I had squishy nephew cheeks on the brain. But don't think that because I've been distracted by their cuteness means that I've forgotten what you've done. I have not.

So, what did you do that was so horrible? You bought out Acres of Books and are planning to tear it down and build a parking structure. I just got a little ill when I typed that, and I'm not going to lie, I welled up a little when I heard. If Joni Mitchell were dead she would rise from her grave and shake her guitar at you.

Maybe you haven't been to Acres of Books. Because how could you have gone inside and done what you did? It would be impossible. This means you haven't seen the fluffy cat and cranky old man that greeted you at the front. Or the worker buried behind stacks and stacks of books in the back. You haven't been in the War Room and stared in wonder at how many people have written about the War of 1812. You haven't seen the children's section with old Dick and Jane hard covers and countless copies of Hardy Boys. You haven't come across a beautifully bound copy of Tennyson poems or an endless row of PG Wodehouse. You couldn't have had the thrill of going through a tiny door in the back and finding a warehouse full of floor to ceiling aisles of books stacked up in old orange crates. And then the thrill of going through that room and another tiny door into another warehouse of the same. You haven't gotten lost in the rows of books that dead end into other rows of books. You haven't spent a few hours looking at names of authors you have never heard of. You haven't smelled that sweet mixture of dust and old book glue.

So instead of seeing what a amazing place it was you decided to get rid of it to make room for people to park when they come for a movie or over-priced iced-coffee. I guess that's the way things go these days. But that does not change your status in my book, which is "DEAD". You're no longer Long Beach, place where my grandma grew up, where Lindsay lives, where Dad works, home of the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific. You are now That Dumb City That Tore Down Acre of Books to Build a Parking Lot. I'd like to see you attract tourists with that new name.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Brief Things

Two brief items of relative importance

1.) I have figured out how the Doc and I are fundamentally different: I believe that people use too many commas. She believes that people use too few.

2.) I'm off to Utah tonight for the Pre-Thanksgiving Knecht-a-palooza. Itinerary items include eating, kissing adorable nephews and commenting on the size of our heads. There may also be bowling. Oh, and choreographing the Annual Knecht Christmas Spectacular dance number.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I've really tried

Dear Patient I Don't Like,

I don't like you. And believe me, it hurts. Because I don't like not liking people. It makes me feel petty and ugly. I've been trying to find some redeeming quality about you so that I can say, "Well, she's always late and demanding and complains about her bill and conducts business calls while she's unwinding and leaves her used tissues on the floor and eats her lunch in the exam room so that it ends up smelling like old bananas and tuna and always comes in with greasy hair so when I have to stabilize her head my hands feel like I've been holding a ball of Crisco, but at least she..." except that I'm struggling to fill in the blank. The only thing I can think of is that your credit card clears some of the time. I don't know you personally so all I see is the side you're showing in the office, which is not pretty. And I'm not the only one who has picked up on this. The Doc and Lisa don't like you either. Even the other patients who are in the office at the same time as you have noticed and commented on how you're just so unlikable.

Now that that is off my chest I want to make myself clear here: I'm not trying to do you any harm. I know that you are frequently in positions where I could make you uncomfortable. I could pull on your ears too hard or not stabilize your head as well when the Doc is moving your skull around. I could turn the muscle stimulator up too high or put the head rest too low. But I'm not going to do these things because I'm very aware of how much I want to. And it disturbs me that I even think about doing those things. That would make me a monster, right? So I go out of my way to be gentle when I'm working on you.

There may, of course, be times when I will not move as quickly as I would with other patients to turn off your timer when it's beeping because I'm 80 years old and tired. Or I will grab the funky smelling eye cover when you ask for one because I don't have time to look for the nicer smelling one. And there may be a time when, after you have made me stand in the room, holding the blanket while you fiddle with your shoes and your gown and put extra socks on and finish your phone call and take yet another sip of water and then finally lay down only to remember that you needed to apply lip balm, I may decide to spend an extra twenty seconds or so scrubbing your face with the alcohol wipes you don't really care for, which then causes you to say you hope I didn't take it personally that you yelled at me when I told you we would have to cancel your appointment because you were 20 minutes late for the third time.

I don't take things personally. My last job mainly involved being yelled at by parents whose kids brought knives to school. I've learned to laugh it off. So when I was scrubbing your face today it wasn't to take out all of my pent-up aggression towards you or to teach you a lesson that maybe you should be more considerate towards people. I was just making sure your face was really, really, really, really, really, really, really clean.


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Peek

Several months ago Liz did a blog post about her favorite things inside her room and since I'm trying to be more like Liz (i.e. fabulous) I've decided to share my favorite things:

1.) Ernie. This is a little stuffed dog that I've had since I was 2 or 3. I've never liked dolls or stuffed animals and I've never kept any that I've received over the years. Except for Ernie. It's a testament to his awesomeness.

2.) My pictures. I draw silly pictures with crayons. I take the classics and redraw them into something funny. They mostly just sit in a folder. But my old roommate Cynda convinced me to get a few of them framed and I have to say, they give me great joy. Because I love silly things that make me laugh. Don't you? So, clockwise from the top left they are: Starry Night over a Trailer Park, I and the Village People, The Three Amigos, and The Glass of Kool-Aid.

3.) My Elvis clock. The kind with the swively hips. Andrea gave this to me for as a birthday present and it is now the standard by which I judge all other gifts.

4.) My never ending stack of books to read. I love having options. You can also see in this picture my Elvis light switch plate that Cynde got for me at a Warhol exhibit. I promise, the clock and the light switch plate are the only two Elvis things I have in my room.

5.) My desk. My dad built it for me. It's pretty awesome. It has all those cubbies and drawers that hold loads of pens and notebooks and scissors. And it has a drawer under the lid (it's a secretary desk so that writing part folds up and closes) that has nothing but pretty stationary in it. I purposely put it up against the window because I love to sit at it and write letters to people while looking at the mountains. It's very Elegant Woman of Leisure-y.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Everything's better with bacon

The Doc is "EXTREMELY. CONCERNED."* about the consumption so she has prescribed the following course of treatment:

1.) Diathermy: This is a heat therapy we use in the office that consists of putting two large heating pads over the lung region and roasting the bacteria to death.
2.) An onion poultice: You chop up an onion, wrap it in cheese cloth, steam it, then tape it to your chest for 2-3 hours.
3.) Raw bacon: Place 3 slices of raw bacon around your neck and tape saran wrap over it and let it sit there for a few hours to draw up the blood and relieve some of the swelling in the throat.

I told her the only way I was going to do any of those was if I could do them all together so that the diathermy would cook the bacon and I would be both well AND delicious.

*She is also EXTREMELY. CONCERNED. about getting the wrong paper towels for the bathroom and the plants going a day without being watered. Which is to say that I am not extremely concerned in the least.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Death

Dear Death,

Come and get me, because I'm pretty sure it's consumption this time.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Are you looking for your favorite pair of scissors? I have them.

Things I discovered while cleaning my room yesterday. And by cleaning I mean throwing a stick of dynamite in there and running for cover.

1.) I own a lot of scissors. And the funny thing is, I can't ever remember buying scissors. I noticed that there were several pair in my collection that say, "Property of..." and those ...'s are not my name. So, I would like to apologize to the Diamond Bar II Ward, which is no longer in existence and Kristen What's Her Name, who I think was my upstairs neighbor in college.

2.) My reading chair makes for an excellent step ladder. It's a good thing that the lamps I needed to hang went directly above it because it also makes for a good really heavy object.

3.) For me, cleaning my room is an all day event. Once I get started digging things out of the closet and under the bed there is no going back. I must clean and organize until everything has a place. You're asking wouldn't it just be better if I were a tidier person and cleaned every day. Sure. But these are not the Ways of Rachel. I'm trying to make them but it feels like trying to make the earth rotate in the opposite direction.

4.) Knights of Columbus, I own a lot of books. I mean stacks and stacks of them. Please come over and borrow them and forget to give them back. You want a copy of Pride and Prejudice? I have 5. And like the scissors, I don't know how they got there. I've only purchased one copy of P&P. I promise.

5.) I also have lots of crayons. But you can't have them. You can, however, come over and color with me and you can have your own box. We won't have to share the black.
5a.) I do know how I came to have so many crayons. I don't like it when the box gets all ratty and the main colors are worn down to stubs. It's worth it to me to have spend the $3 on a new box. There is genuine joy in opening a new box of crayons.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've done the math

An update: The Doc is in a much better mood today. I commented on it and she pointed to her eyebrows, upper lip and chin and said, "I took care of this last night and felt so much better." So, to sum up, if you're ever feeling glum just pluck your unwanted facial hairs and the Bluebird of Happiness will once again rest in your soul.

Now let's do some math:

My age: 33

I went to a concert on a school night: -14

I went to see Louden Wainwright III: +13

He's related to Rufus Wainwright: -10

He's his dad: +16

I heard him on Morning Becomes Eclectic: -17

Which is on NPR: +18

He's a folk singer: +11

I went with my dad: +12

We made fun of a guy in a poncho who was sitting a few rows ahead of us: -7

It was in Cerritos (Home of the Ancient and Practically Dead): +13

It was a really great show and I had fun: -6

We left half way through because it was way passed our bed times: +18

Actual age: 80

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Someone needs to make me laugh right now.

The Doc is in the Depths of Despair over Obama being elected. She's been listening to Rush and swearing like a sailor all morning. Lisa and I have been having a difficult time breathing in here. I asked if there was anything I could do for her and she said, "Slit my throat." I'm telling you, it's worse than Death's cold icy grip. I need sunshine and fresh air and a joke.

Please, someone tell me a joke.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Sticker? Sign Me Up.

I woke up this morning feeling incredibly chipper. Why? Because it's Election Day! I love Election Day, and here's why:

1.) Tomorrow, the election will be over. I'm pretty sure that this election season lasted 18 years, which, in my opinion, is about 17 years and 11 months too long. When the world finally recognizes me as the Queen o' the Universe I will institute a 1 month campaign blitz. Candidates may only campaign for 1 month and they may not do it when important shows like America's Next Top Model are on. And it will perfectly acceptable to buy people's votes with brownies.

2.) I love to vote. And not just for the sticker. It makes me feel patriotic. I am not, by nature, an overtly patriotic person but I have to say that nothing makes me want to wave a flag and sing "This Land is Your Land" more than voting.

3.) I also love voting because it makes me feel neighborly. I love to stand in line at the polling place and think, "These people are all my neighbors!" And then I start planning elaborate block parties and wondering who would be good person to borrow a cup of sugar from.

I have had a ban on NPR for about a month now because I just couldn't handle all the economic/election/life is going down the drain reports on my morning drive. But I turned it on this morning and after hearing a piece on Charles Dickens' experience in debtor's prison (awesome!) they had a piece involving various poll workers around the country calling in and telling how the situation looked. It just made me so happy to hear about people voting. Where's my flag?