Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jersey Shore!

Today was Grandma's first introduction to the lovable Guidos and Guidettes of Jersey Shore. The front page of the Daily News had a headline of "Snooki Gets Busted." Grandma's response? "Who the hell is Snooki?" I explain that she's on a TV show about the Jersey Shore. "Oh, I used to go to the shore every summer."
"I know you did. You used to take us."
"I liked that. If I had a car, we'd go down to the beach. Wouldn't that be nice?"

Grandma flips to the article to see what kind of trouble Snooki has gotten herself into. Much like she does while watching Maury, Grandma is chuckling at the trash-tastic spectacle. She reads the most interesting parts of the article out loud for my benefit. "She was wearing a t-shirt that said slut. S-L-U-T. Can you imagine?" and "'Disheveled in a garish miniskirt that was tighter than sausage casing.' Ha!"

According to the article, Snooki had been drinking from Thursday night until she passed out on Friday afternoon. Grandma's verdict? "What a jerk! Someone should have hit her over the head!"

Fist pumps to Grandma!

She was clearly entertained by Snooki, so I'm wondering if I should add Jersey Shore to our TV viewing schedule? I'm not sure if she'd be deeply offended or like it as much as she likes Maury!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Home Sweet Home?

I've been traveling for about three weeks and am heading home tonight. I tried to call Grandma a few times, but most of my calls woke her up or disturbed her visit with the minister and his wife. She seemed pretty irritated, so I figured I'd just see her when I got back.

A quick check in with my dad revealed that since I've been gone:
Grandma has forgotten that I live there!

And, more importantly:
Aunt Dee continues to be stealing the bath mat!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Name Game

As we have seen, Grandma is not shy about sharing her opinions. One of the things she is most passionate about is names.

The tenants upstairs (Polish immigrants) have a two year old daughter. They named her Anna and Grandma has been railing about it since the poor girl was born. "What a horrible name! How can they call her that? I'm going to say something to them." My aunt and I try to remind her that it's not her baby so she really has no say in the matter. Besides that, what's wrong with the name Anna anyway? "I used to walk the kids to school and there was a girl named Anna. The boys used to tease her. Anna Banana they'd call her and she would cry and cry!"

This story is a little time capsule in a lot of ways. One, it dates from the 1950s when my dad and Aunt Dee would have been in grade school, yet Grandma remembers it distinctly and tells it at least once a week. Two, I have a cousin named Anna. (This is on the other side of the family. There's no way Grandma would have let one of her kin be named Anna without a fight). We've always called her "Anna Banana" as a term of endearment. It's a cute name and a cute nickname. Three, if "Anna Banana" were such a horrible taunt, I wonder how Grandma would respond to the things I hear at school these days. I imagine a lot of kids would be getting smacks from Grandma!

It doesn't stop with Anna though. Reading about the top 10 names of 2009, Grandma had this to say about Jacob, the number one name for boys 11 years running, "I don't think that's such a hot name." Isabella tops the girls' list, "I don't care for that. Isabelle, maybe, but not Isabella." At number two is Emma. "That's a stupid name. My sister was Emma, but she changed it to Emily." She's equally baffled and disgusted by other names in the top ten like Jayden ("Never heard of it!"), Madison ("For a girl?"), Sophia ("I never liked that"), and Mia ("What kind of a name is that?").

If she has trouble with such common fare as Emma, Jacob, Anna, and Isabella, maybe you can already imagine Grandma's reaction to a photo of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale with their boys, Kingston and Zuma. "Kingston and Zuma? Z-U-M-A. Where do they come up with these names? What a bunch of jerks!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Define Irony

Irony: an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

Examples, after coming home from a long weekend in DC things were all topsy turvy in Grandma's house! There was a huge wet spot on the rug outside the kitchen. "Grandma, what happened here?"

"Well...." she begins with a smile, "the hose for the washing machine was not attached to the sink all the way and it fell off! It was quite a mess!"

Excuse me? The queen of all things laundry had a laundry mishap? And this must have been a pretty huge adventure since the stain on the carpet is a good 12 feet from the sink!

I went back to my room. Since we're in the middle of a heatwave the first thing I do is turn on my super fan. Except, it's gone. It's not in the kitchen. It's not in the living room. It's in Grandma's room. She stole it! She sees something she wants and she just takes it!

If laundry and stealing, two hallmarks of Grandma's existence, can get all flipped around in the five days I was away, I'm a little afraid to what I'll come back to after my upcoming 3 week vacation!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trash TV

Grandma spends a lot of time watching TV. Her favorites are Law & Order and NCIS. She also enjoys Matlock. When she found out that we get TV Land and she could watch Bonanza reruns for two hours straight? Major joy!

But, Grandma has a secret weakness for trashy talk shows. She's always had a penchant for this kind of thing. When she used to take my brothers and I down to the shore, she'd gawk over the National Enquirer headlines as if they were irrefutable facts. Several afternoons I've come home to find her watching Tyra.

So I guess I shouldn't be surprised over this staple of our mornings: Maury. I think her home health care aide might have introduced Grandma to Maury, but she loves it! It's a non-stop parade of screaming, crying, and paternity tests (followed by celebratory dances or sobbing breakdowns). Grandma sits there chuckling at the over-the-top antics and offers these words of wisdom to all Maury show guests, "They need to keep their pants zipped!"

Wile E. Coyotes

Recently our suburban county has had some coyote sightings and even attacks. This is definitely out of the ordinary, but Grandma is OBSESSED with it! After the first attack, she read the story in the paper to me. Three times! Grandma reads two newspapers every day. But, she also holds on to the paper for an extra day or two. We know she has trouble with what day it is, so these extra newspapers create a little confusion. She reads them over and over again. So the coyote story? It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Another favorite? This beauty from today's Daily News "Killer Raccoons in Central Park!"

Be careful out there, folks, the animals are going wild! At least you have the heads up from Grandma.