tobermory's Diaryland Diary

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Everyone is NOT Irish on St. Patrick's Day

As I was driving to the range yesterday I was thinking about a strange phenomena that happens to me every once in awhile. I basically grew up in ice rinks around greater Chicagoland. Both of my brothers played hockey and my dad coached them. My mom and I probably went to at least two games every week. I donít think my mom particularly enjoyed the games, but it was her best bet for seeing her husband and sons since they were on the ice just about every night for practices. As I was just a wee bairn and usually in bed by the time everyone got home from practice, my earliest memories of dad are of him as the guy in the green windbreaker across the ice on the bench. I figure Iíve been to just about every ice rink in the area countless times, and even though I havenít been to more than two or three in the last few years (to watch my nephew play hockey), every so often Iíll be driving around somewhere and my spidey-senses get all tingly and I know Iím near a rink. Nine times out of ten Iíll pass one in the next mile or so or see a sign pointing the way. Itís both odd and comforting. Maybe I should start carrying my skates around with me and checking to see if there is open-skating for old times sake.

Random thought: I wish I still had my Winnetka Ice Arena Rink Rat t-shirt. When I got it from the sale rack at the pro-shop for something like $2.00 it was about a million sizes too big on my tot-sized body. I wore it until the cotton was like silk. It finally disintegrated some time when I was in high school. It would be so cool now Ė all retro with its ringer trim around the neck and arms and goofy logo of the skating rat. Why out of all the bazillions of t-shirts Iíve had does this one stick out in my memory? Answer me this: Doesnít everyone have at least one article of clothing from their past that they wish they could have back (and have it fit!)?

The JOAD lady finally got back to me and they only take people under 18. She probably thought I was a perv.

So, Iím starting to think that everyone around me is crumbling. My dadís friend Harry has had three minor strokes and is in the hospital, my dad is pissing blood, and my mom is becoming a crabby recluse. I just reread that and it sounds really bad, but itís not quite so bad. Harry will most likely be fine Ė the strokes were minor and he doesnít have any paralysis. Heíd probably like me to bring him one of his cats and a stiff whiskey to the hospital, but heíll just have to wait Ďtil tomorrow when he gets out. My dad had been going through all these tests because he found blood in his urine a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday was the mother of all tests Ė they stuck something up his weenie. Ouch Ė makes me squeeze my knees together and I donít even have a weenie. But he thinks they were a bit, um, rough and they might have scratched something. Gah. Pardon me while I run around for a moment screaming and flailing in pain transferal sympathy. OK Ė Iím better now. My mom is the real problem. She has no friends, and since her kids are all grown up and successfully married off she has nothing to do with her time. She gardens, but that doesnít get you too far in the winter. She used to sew and do needlework, but I think her arthritis hurts too much now. Donít even think of suggesting volunteer work Ė she isnít a good team player. The only solution Iíve come up with is to convince her to get a dog Ė something to lavish affection on. She keeps saying no, but I think I could sway her. It would be perfect Ė it would keep her company in the winter and in the summer it could chase the wascally wabbits out of her garden and keep them from eating their way through hundreds of dollars worth of plants. That may be the big selling point. Iíll have to work on it because I truly think itís the answer.

Itís St. Patrickís Day which is a huge deal in Chicago. A big excuse to go out and drink green beer, make out with strangers on street corners, piss in an alley, and puke in the gutter. I know this not because I have done this but because I made the mistake of taking my 14 year old niece downtown last year for her birthday and had to shield her from the nastiness. Iím sure sheís scarred for life. Either that or she thinks Iím the coolest auntie around. This year Iím celebrating by going out to celebrate Meganís birthday and she wisely chose somewhere where we will be far, far away from revelers Ė Bombay Gardens. Shiva never banished snakes from India, there is no corned beef on the menu, and I donít think there are any red-headed, freckled Indians so we should be safe. Iíll celebrate in my own special way by bogarting the green sauce for the samosas.

4:06 p.m. - 2004-03-17

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