Thursday, September 26, 2002

So Andy was in Chicago for the past couple of days and there was a bit of an incident. Before he gets a chance to post about things from his side I thought I'd briefly outline what happened from my perspective. Of course, some of this is assumed and/or embellished but it's a very likely scenario. The friend who was with Andy shall remain nameless - because I can't remember who it was, exactly - and I won't say the name of the hotel where this altercation took place...let's just call it the Byatt.

Now I present to you, "A Drunken Englishman in Chicago" - enjoy!

(Andy and friend stumble into the hotel lobby after a night of strip clubs and "Wacker Drive" jokes and drunkenly approach the front desk. Not drunk in a sexy Marlon Brando "A Streetcar Named Desire" way, more like in an "I'm drunk because I'm in a different city than my wife" kind of way. The front desk clerk notices this and glances at the clock, wishing her shift would end before the pair made their way to the desk. Too bad; she still has a few hours to go so she pastes on a smile and asks how she can help them.)

Friend: My friend and I need to check in.
Clerk: (to friend) Very good, sir. Here is your room key; you can find the elevators around the corner. (Turning to Andy) I'm sorry, sir, but it appears we've oversold for the night and we don't have a room for you.

(Secretly she's pleased that she'll not have to deal with him but she tries to be professional about it as Andy tries to register what's just been said to him. An argument breaks out consisting of little more than Andy demanding a room and the girl refusing him a room. Then Andy resorts to threats.)

Andy: Fine, you don't want to give me a room? I'll just sit here in your lobby, smoking and singing - how would you like that?
Clerk: Sir, we'll have to call the police on you for being disruptive to our other guests and for loitering. We've offered you a room at Days Inn; I can call you a cab. Or if you like, you can double up with your friend for the evening.

(Andy and friend eye each other suspiciously, trying to assess the latent homosexual tendencies of the other and simultaneously blurt out, "No way!")

Clerk: Fine then, I'll call Days Inn to let them know you're coming.

(Friend exits - Andy plants himself on a couch in the lobby and lights up a cigarette.)

Clerk: (into phone) Yes, we have a guest here that we can't accommodate and we'd like to send him to you - do you have any rooms?
Andy: (at the top of his lungs) The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal!!!
Clerk: Yes, that's the guest you're hearing. I'm afraid he's a bit out of sorts at the moment but he's harmless.

(She must use tact and diplomacy, because if the Days Inn refuse him all she can offer Andy is a ride to the train station and she really doesn't want to have to do that - after all, Andy is foreign and she's not sure if these terrorists might have come from England as well. She's not keen on the idea of Andy declaring a jihad on her hotel lobby.)

Andy: (voice cracking a bit at the strain) Give me land, lots of land, and the starry sky above!!!
Clerk: Sir, while you're waiting for your taxi would you please keep your voice down?
Andy: NO! You know what? My wife used to run a hotel; I'm going to call her to see what she has to say about this.

(Interior of the Yates bedroom. Natalie is lying in bed seriously contemplating Harrison Ford. Her conclusion is that, despite his stature and talent, if you met him in real life he'd be just like the stroked-out uncle that you always get stuck with at family picnics. The phone rings so she stumbles out to answer it. Caller ID tells her it's Andy.)

Natalie: Hey, what's up?

(Andy relays his problem in a disjointed way - Natalie isn't sure exactly what he wants from her. She thinks that perhaps he's lost somewhere in Chicago and she'll have to guide him back but it seems like he just wants to use the phone call as an excuse to shout obscenities at the desk clerk.)

Andy: So this loser here oversold the hotel and I don't have a room!
Natalie: Audible sigh.
Andy: Why did you just say "audible sigh"?
Natalie: Well, we have a bad connection and I didn't think you could hear the actual sigh so I just wanted to let you know that I'd done it.
Andy: So what should I do?
Natalie: Just go to the other hotel and deal with it tomorrow. This girl can't help you.
Andy: But how can I make her give me a room?
Natalie: You can't - if the rooms are full you're not going to get one.
Andy: But how can I make her kick someone else out so I can have their room?
Natalie: Rolls eyes.
Andy: Did you just say "rolls eyes"?
Natalie: Nevermind. Just go to the other hotel.
Andy: No, I want someone kicked out of the hotel, and I want her job!
Clerk: Sir, you couldn't fit into my skirt.
Andy: What are you, about a nine? That skirt would fit me.
Clerk: Audible sigh.
Natalie: Andy, just go to the other hotel, okay?
Andy: No, I'll just sit here and sing songs. I'll call you back when this bitch gives me a room. (hangs up)

(Natalie runs to her purse to get the debit card and frantically tries to remember the name of that nice bail bondsman that helped her out a few years ago and hopes that he'll take a payment over the phone. She wonders what the Chicago PD are going to do with Andy and hopes that he'll at least make bail early enough for his conference in the morning. Phone rings again.)

Andy: I'm in a cab, going to Days Inn.
Natalie: Good, get some sleep. (hangs up)

(Natalie begins to worry that he may not actually make it to the Days Inn so she calls him back.)

Andy: (seriously overexcited) You wouldn't believe what happened! The cab driver was listening to me bitching about the other hotel and he said that Days Inn just sucked and that it wasn't acceptable for me to stay there and that it was wrong the way the other girl treated me so he got me sorted out at an even better hotel!
Natalie: Did he then put on a cape and fly away into the night to fight for truth, justice and the American way?
Andy: No, I think he was going to pick someone up from O'Hare.
Natalie: So it all worked out in the end?
Andy: Yeah, pretty good.
Natalie: Alright, good-night.

(The next day Andy calls)

Andy: Man, was I seriously pissed off last night. You know, I actually threatened to sit in the hotel lobby and sing bad country songs?
Natalie: Huh, you don't say?
Andy: (laughing) Glad I didn't make an ass of myself!
Natalie: Audible groan.
Andy: What?
Natalie: Nothing, dear. Happy it all worked out for you.


He's a funny guy.



Wednesday, September 25, 2002

It's not so bad being [Bobby] trendy, everyone who looks like me is my friend...

(I opted for the Anna Nicole Smith post, just cuz I'm all civic-minded like that.)

What in the world is Bobby Trendy thinking with that frou-frou pink feathered Ben Franklin Crafts bed set?!? How utterly revolting – it looks like a craft that a Girl Scout troop would make for Mother’s Day…now you take the hot glue and make a design, girls, then just go crazy with the sparkles and feathers! I cannot understand how any self-respecting “designer” would put his name to that monstrosity – to be honest, it really made me doubt his homosexuality. I’ve known artists and designers who are straight but who “flame it up” in order to give themselves more…I don’t know, credibility, perhaps? I think that’s what we’re dealing with here. I thought as much the first time I laid eyes on the bedroom set and this idea was further reinforced when he went mano a mano with the other designer, you know the guy who put the furry squares on the walls, and just whined the whole time. “Well, it’s not my fault, Howard was barking at me about the price, you get what you pay for, Howard wanted me to do the job cheaply, it’s Howard’s fault…” Oh just shut up already, would you? And you just know that Bobby thought he was being catty by asking about the other designer’s shop and criticizing his work…”See, I would have padded this and charged $6500 for the whole room…” Yack, barf down my blouse – fuzzy pink and white squares through the whole room?!? Christly Christ, one wall was far more than enough, thank you very much. Clearly, style was a stranger in this house. Custom-ordered for Anna Nicole Smith or not, how in the world did these two guys allow this pink and white to happen? It defies logic. I would have expected comments like, “Sweetie, there is such a thing as too much, and you’re way past that.” Or even a well placed, “Um…no. Yeah, I think I’m going to have to go with no on this one.” Anna Nicole has the power to be the dictionary definition of a fag-hag but she just loses it with these two guys. Truly pathetic.

So that’s my big Anna Nicole Smith rant – I had more to say on the subject but I have too much to do in the short amount of time that Andy’s still away. I wasted quite a chunk of time earlier taking the purity test…I'm not even going to tell you what I scored. Initially I was rather proud of my number until I realized I was on the wrong side of being pure. I have to go think up a penance for myself.



Monday, September 23, 2002

I've been really sick lately but I feel the need to blog - trouble is, I can't decide on what I want to blog about, the Israeli conflict or the Anna Nicole Smith show. In the meantime I'll go drink a Thera-Flu and fold some clothes while I weigh the pros and cons of each.

On a weird note, Andy informs me that someone from Parliament has read my blog and checked out pictures of me on our website. Do the US stalking laws apply to Tony Blair? I should get a lawyer to look into that for me.



Monday, September 16, 2002

Sentence this song to twenty-five years hard labor...

As of yesterday, I have two months to go before I pop out this lizard/raw dough/black twin boys/insect baby…those are all things I’ve dreamed I’d given birth to – the dreams and nightmares you have when you’re pregnant are simply incredible. I wake up in the morning and Andy asks how I’ve slept and I mumble something like, “I’m covered in six thousand bugs” or “I have to feed my toes to the vampire’s dog”. Well, the vampire dream has been around for fifteen years or more, so I guess that one doesn’t count as a bizarre pregnancy dream…though I haven’t had that nightmare in some time. It’s weird how you start to regard characters in your dreams as old friends – in my dream the other night I saw the vampire woman, her grotesque henchman and her demon dog and thought to myself, “Oh great, here we go again!” I always find a way to escape her but I can never do it because I’ll forget some simple part of my plan, like if California is in the east or in the west. (The dream always ends up with me escaping her by staying one day ahead of her, driving into the rising sun…at least, that’s how the plan is supposed to go, but I forget which direction is which so I’ll stand there at my car, crying, until I see the sun has begun to set – I wake up scared out of my head because I know my time is up and she was this close to getting me.)

I should appreciate this pregnancy for whatever it is, as it’s my last one, but I just can’t. I hate being pregnant, it seems like a wholly unnatural state to be in. You lose all control over what your body does and what it can handle and I can’t stand being a hostage in my own flesh. Also, for some reason I’m scared shitless of giving birth this time. When I had Samantha I was in and out of labor within an hour, only about half of which was what’s termed “active” labor. (read: “hurts like hell” labor). I naively thought that Zoë would come as easily, though she could have killed me – that little girl just did not want to be born, apparently. That was hours and hour and hours of “active” labor, though in this case the word “active” is a misnomer, as there was just nothing happening. She wouldn’t budge, no matter how much my body tried to shake her. Stubborn little thing.

This baby will be born at home with a midwife, hopefully, provided nothing goes horribly wrong to require me to go to the hospital. Our nearest hospital has Catholic affiliations, which is the stuff nightmares are made of, but I guess if something goes horribly wrong I’ll have to go there. Shudder to think. I’d rather deliver at home, that way Andy could pop out for a smoke whenever he needed to without having to worry about missing his son being born, not that he’d want to see it anyway. This is a guy who refers to the baby kicking as “medical stuff” that’s “gross” though he did rub on my tummy last night when he was falling asleep. I don’t know, maybe he thought he was rubbing my butt, who can tell with him.

Anyway, the frequency of my blogs may decrease as I have some female stuff going on - that you really don’t want to know about – that prevents me from being able to sit for any length of time. I don’t know if my walk is more of a waddle or a mosey or what, but it’s not pretty. I’ll spare you the “gross” and “medical” details and just get on with my strutting.



Wednesday, September 11, 2002

September 11th, 2002

Sunday, September 08, 2002

I'm in love and I want to tell the world...instead, I have to sneak out of bed and throw some edited crap down the wire to my blog, but such is the case when my husband's friends read what I write. All I really have to say is that I truly hope that everyone finds love like I have, that sweet all-encompasing thing that makes you steal away around midnight to talk about it, friends and strangers be damned.

I know it's only been around four and a half years since I've been with Andy but every day is a fantastic new experience - he really is my best friend. When I think back on what I had before him I realize that it was all crap, it was all facade, it was just prelude. Every facet of my life with him is so fulfilling and I couldn't imagine myself without seems so recent that I was plowing through the garbage of pretense and reciting lines by rote...anyone who really knows me would think that I would be incapable of having such affection toward another human being. In reality I'm a very guarded person - I think it's just the self-preservation, like I keep people at arms' length to avoid being hurt, but I know a supremely special person that tears all of that away. He's been asleep for hours yet I keep finding myself talking to him, hoping his subconscious will pick up on what I'm saying to him to make him realize how much I love him. He's the one perfect match for me, and though it's only been four years I can easily see us reaching ten times this.

We're still learning and growing and sharing as a couple and that's something I've never known before - prior to him I'd have been stagnant at this point, looking for an "out".

The day we decided to get married it was a very, "Well, can we get a judge? Yeah? Cool." kind of thing. We never viewed it as an end-all-be-all type of thing; I never wanted a big White Wedding, and he'd already gone through all of that with the Bitchmaster (aka, ex-wife) so we didn't want to repeat that. We were happy being partners...and I think we were both concerned that the dynamic of our relationship would change should the vows be exchanged. But I can honestly say that I've never regretted it for a second - he is beauty to me, he has given me everything I never dared to hope for myself.

I can't let myself get too sappy, lest his friends razz him...because really, aren't all men just little boys in grown-up suits? Maybe this post will make him feel awkward...after all, at the end of the day he is which case I'll edit it out and replace it with...I don't know, some Radiohead lyrics or something. In the meantime, I'll get all English-poet on his ass, and hug him and kiss him in his sleep, recite John Donne, and thank whatever brought him to me however sordid our genesis may have been. Tender is the night, and all that - I want to be an old, old woman with him, and he an old, old man. I thank my lucky stars that we found each other when neither of us was really looking - at any other moment the timing would have been awful but it's worked out blissfully. I love you Andy, and if anyone gives you shit about this just send them around to me, because I'd happily kick their sorry asses. (You know I can do it, too.)



Friday, September 06, 2002

Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy...

Forgive the absence – I visited my parents in Illinois over the long weekend and since arriving home I’ve been in this cleaning mode where I stalk through the house with a steamer and a bucket of bleach. Germs are bad, mmm’kay? You know you’re getting out-of-hand with your cleaning when you say to yourself, “Even though I’ve steamed the backs of the couches they still don’t seem sterile enough.” Who sees the back of the couches? Not me, not anyone but my three dogs. But just knowing there may be germs there is troubling me…I stand in the living room, staring at the couches through slitted eyes (I don’t want the couches to know I’m watching them) and plan my next assault. I do the casual, “whistling while looking around the room” thing when all the while I have a can of upholstery cleaner behind my back. Can’t let the couches know I’m on to them…and I really must think of moving them further apart to thwart their planning of an offensive strike against me. Divide and conquer, a couch divided against itself cannot stand, and any number of other war-time axioms flitter through my mind like so many insane butterflies. I will not fail.

I’d like to say that the couple of days away from home were a nice vacation but that’s obviously not the case – I’m still as mad as a hatter, despite hanging out with my dad. I really love talking to that guy, no matter what kind of an asshole he is in his day-to-day life. I never had much time for him when I was growing up, nor he for me…until I was twelve I’m sure he thought I was a neighbor kid. He worked in a factory his whole life and when he would come home from work he’d plant himself on the couch with a bottle of Pepsi and a “The Andy Taylor Show” rerun and not move for hours. He would sit with his foot propped up on his knee and I would pop through the hole between his legs, ala Bugs Bunny, and say, “Ehh…(chomp chomp) what’s up, doc?” He would stare at me like he’d never seen me before and yell over his shoulder, “Mary, there’s a kid in here.” Mom would say, “Come on, Natalie, leave him alone” and dad would look at me and say, “Listen to your mother…Natalie” as if he wasn’t sure if that was my name or not.

Now that I’m an adult I can’t get enough of the guy. When my pilot light goes out I call him for help, when my pipes leak he’s right there for me. But it’s the face-to-face conversations that I really love. He has this fantastic forehead, my dad, high and smooth without wrinkles, like he’s never worried about anything in his life. I, on the other hand, am sporting a fierce worry-line right between my eyes that reaches my hairline. I envy his forehead.

The best part of talking to him is getting to see his little conversational idiosyncrasies – the way he juts out his hand and rolls his eyes when he’s mad, how he rubs his chin in deep thought before saying, “The thing of it is, you see…” and his dismissive wave as he says, “Don’t worry about it!” You really have to talk to the guy to appreciate it – believe me, it’s fantastic. I’ll sit with him for hours and if the conversation starts to lag or if it seems like he’s wanting to go to bed I’ll say something like, “So…how about those new expansion teams in the MLB?” He looks at me like I’m an idiot and say, “Where the hell have you been?” and go into a tirade about baseball.

I never learn anything of consequence from him, though he’s lived a very interesting life in many respects. I know that he wants the Twins to play in the World Series but he doesn’t want them to win, I know that he’s never seen Citizen Kane, I know that he fiercely guards his political affiliations but if you catch him on the right day he’ll treat you to a tirade about LBJ. He once saw a man get his hand stabbed at a card table when he reneged on trump during a particularly high-stakes euchre game and that he’s allergic to something in ketchup but has never been interested enough to figure out exactly what. I know that he only considers himself a senior citizen when the discount suits him, otherwise he thinks he’s much younger than he is. One day the weather man advised that children and the elderly should avoid going outside due to the heat index. I saw dad grab his golf clubs so I warned him, “Hey, dad, the weather man says that senior citizens should stay out of the sun today.” Dad said, “Well, if I see any, I’ll let them know.”

I know that the veins in his legs are getting worse and some days he can barely walk but if you ask him about it he’ll throw you a dismissive hand and say, “Don’t worry about it.” But I do, and I can’t help it. If something happens to him I don’t know who I’ll call to help me with my pilot light.