You know your trip to the Midwest for the holidays is going to be full of blogging fodder when the first song you hear as you climb into your rental car is "O Holy Night" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. You may remember how I slammed them last year, well they're still around and bringing electric joy to the world this season once again. It was very, very cold in St. Louis. A lip chapping 5 degrees with the windchill, and it was very, very windy. Thankfully I bought a super deluxe down coat before I left Oakland just for the occasion.
Activities, let's see. I hadn't been in Illinois for 24 hours and I had been to Target twice already. That's okay, I was just really happy to get my grammy out of the house. She took me to her favorite breakfast place Thursday morning, Petty's Family Diner, and nothing says 'I'm not in Cali anymore' like eye-stinging, throat burning secondhand smoke while enjoying your artery clogging Hungry Man breakfast, mmm, mmm, mmm. We went to the historic and absolutely gorgeous Fox Theatre in St. Louis on Christmas Eve to see The Radio City Spectacular complete with Rockettes.
Christmas was probably one of the greatest days of my life. See, my family in Illinois thinks my grandma is too difficult to take care of because her left side is paralyzed and she's prone to epileptic spells. They also think that she isn't very bright because they haven't spent any quality time with her. Well I talk to my grammy every single weekend so I know she's sharp. And so you have to walk a little slower with her, whoop-dee-shit. And so she may space out once in a great while, the worst she does is absentmindedly tidy! She just wants to be talked to and treated like everyone else. Shame on you to those of you who won't take a little time out of your selfish little worlds to make your own flesh and blood happy. (Phweew, had to vent that) So I took my grammy with me when I went visiting with my Bio-dad and my Daddy-O's families and she had a blast. She met another senior woman and they gabbed for hours like school girls. We drove through one of those seasonal 'Way of Lights' before we went home, and she had a perma-grin all day and night. I was misty-eyed for sure.
Sunday I took my grammy to church. And no smart-asses it did not burst into flames. It was the church where I was baptized as a baby and as an odd coincidence, the preacher who baptized me was there. He had come to attend the service just for the holiday, and there I was, little Lisa Renee all growed up. We drove through a couple of cemetaries to see relatives, and I gave my grandma the shock of her life when I told her that I wanted to be cremated, stuffed in a firework shell and sent up, up and away. Looks like I will never get around to telling her that I'm not Christian. Sunday night my Bio-dad presented me with my surprise Christmas outing; tickets to a Pink Floyd tribute band. Super appreciate the thought, super did not appreciate a thousand plus people smoking in an airtight venue for three and a half hours. Good news is I'm not coughing up blood anymore. My favorite pick-up line of the night was "You got real nice posture".
Top 5 things that tickled me about my grammy
5) Watching my grammy pat her knee and hum along to Joss Stone, Sigur Ros and Duran Duran. (She said didn't much care for Lisa Loeb)
4) Her mispronunciation of Tom Brokeoff (Brokaw), cellaphones, and maintain-ance men.
3) The god-awful 7th grade school picture of me that she refuses to take down. I'm probably discouraging any potential suitors, but it's too damn funny, here it is.
2) The four clocks she keeps beside her bed, more than eight throughout her one bedroom apartment, all different times of course.
1) How when she orders a cup of coffee, she'll pour the contents into her saucer so that it can cool, then transfers the liquid back into her cup without splilling a drop.