Saturday, July 29, 2006


7. "Never use while sleeping."

I usually don't read the "IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS" before I use a product, but for some reason I decided to check out the list of 15 safety instructions for my new hand held hair dryer.

"Never use while sleeping?" Did someone need to be TOLD that? You've got to know that someone must have actually done this - why else would it make on the golden 15 list?

Seriously, think about a possible scenario that brought about the lawsuit and prompted Conair to add this important warning to the safety instruction list. A person is so exhausted that he or she thinks, "Hey, I can't stay awake long enough to dry my hair, but I can just turn the hair dryer on, lay next to it on the bed here, and get a nap in. Then when I wake up, my hair will be dry!" Is that what happened?!

If your hair is so long that you might be tempted to try "sleep drying," then think about getting one of those short and sassy hair cuts. Too exhausted? Wrap your head in a towel. Better yet, shave your head and go the wig route.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Where do I begin?

Summer - so much drama, so little time. To lessen the crap-ability factor, think of my family interactions as being episodes of a sick and twisted reality TV show, only no David Hasslehoff.

Sunday, June 11

My mom’s step-dad, the only Grandpa from that side of the family that I’ve known growing up, turned 80. Grandpa Ray’s health has not been great up to this point (he has suffered from emphysema and battled pneumonia constantly), so making it to 80 was a big deal; he told my grandma that he always hoped to live long enough to see his 80th birthday.

To celebrate, we had a party over at my aunt and uncle’s house at the coast. They live in a three-story spread on 15 acres of land tucked in the back woods of the central Oregon Coast, so the venue was perfect.

I made a cool card for Grandpa – a litte scrapbook of sorts of my family at the beach. In the card, I wrote about the great memories I’ve had of spending time at the coast with my grandma and grandpa beach combing, digging for clams, and exploring the woods in an acre of land that my grandpa half-logged near their house over there. My children and husband have been fortunate to enjoy that legacy too.

Visiting with family that day was surprisingly pleasant, although Grandpa Ray never made it to the party. He wasn’t feeling well. My mom and dad stayed with him and tried to get him to eat some broth. They didn’t want him to be alone, particularly on his birthday.

After enjoying several hours of pleasant conversation with cousins and aunts and extended family and knowing for sure that Grandpa Ray wouldn’t be attending his party, Poetroad and I decided that we should head home. But as we were gathering our troups to head back to the valley, my sister-in-law “Floralei,” my oldest brother’s Cuban wife, cornered me. “I gave some clothes to your mother to give to “Flora” [my other brother’s wife – yes, my brothers married women with similar names, oddly enough], but Flora never got them.“

She then proceeded to rattle off an inventory of items that were in this particular bag of hand-me-downs. All very nice clothes, she reminded me, from Nordstrom, the Gap, and other botique-ey type stores. She wanted to know if I had them, as the package never found its way to Flora’s hands.

“Oh yeah, I do have the green pants and the striped hoodie,” I replied casually.

Then I got the loud and stern lecture – in front of my entire extended family – about how those clothes were to be given to Flora’s daughter, and how she divided them evenly between my four-year old and my neice, how she told my mom specifically what was supposed to go to who, and that those clothes were not meant for my daughter. Basically, Floralei was making it clear that she thought I was a greedy theif.

Trying to calm the mood, I reasoned in low tones, “It’s no big deal Floralei. I’ll make sure she gets the two items I have. But I don’t have the rest of the stuff.”

She raised her voice louder, and then more venomously retorted, “It is a big deal! I asked your daughter which things she liked, and the rest of the clothes were not meant for you to take. I divided the items equally - [again with the invetory of items in this other bag of clothes] were meant for Flora’s daughter.”

I understood what she was saying perfectly, but more pressing was my intense need to crawl under the nearest shrub. So I didn’t explain that my daughter got wet at my parent’s house one day and was in need of some dry clothing temporarily.

Instead, I replied, “Okay. I’ll make sure Flora get’s the two items I have.”

And then we left.

Monday, June 12

Grandpa Ray had a heartattack in the middle of the night. Grandma was worried that he would be angry with her because she called the ambulance. He didn’t want to live the rest of his life being hooked up to life support.

More of the continuing saga tomorrow...