Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day!

Sick Erin

I was very sad a few days ago. You see my lovely case manager, Erin, wasn't feeling very well. She had a tummy ache, and had to leave work early on Monday, and take Tuesday off as well.
It makes me feel bad when she doesn't feel good, and affects me to such a degree that I often eat rancid tuna and mold laden Limburger cheese (which I keep in my refrigerator for occasions such as these) to make myself sympathetically sick with Erin, so she knows she isn't suffering alone.
I didn't do that this time however, and do you know why dear readers? Well I'll tell you why, it's because sometimes she calls in sick... and she isn't sick at all! I know, it's hard to believe isn't it! And you know how stupid I feel when I get all sick, puking my guts out all over the place, and I find out she wasn't sick at all, but out partying with her friends or something (going to those "Twilight," movies no doubt... vampires 90210 (I stole that 90210 joke from somebody. I forget who, but it certainly is appropriate, "Oh look at my skin... it's so sparkily!")? Well I can tell you I feel pretty darn stupid, that's how I feel.
So I thought I'd be wise to her tricks this time and did not eat my tuna and cheese (letting it get more rancid and moldy).
But on Tuesday morning she sent me an emergency Email stating she would not be able to make our usual Tuesday morning breakfast appointment because her tummy wasn't feeling well, and she was going to lay down for awhile, and maybe make it to work in time for Yoga Class, and then Drama Free Support Group.
So I thought to myself, Rick I thought, she must really be sick because Erin doesn't usually miss breakfast if she can help it (not being an alcoholic or drug addict, or any kind of addict, all she has left is food to obsess about... and "Twilight" movies. I feel sorry for her sometimes).
She didn't make it to yoga though, so Paul and I went, and the other guy from some other hotel, I don't know which one, and he brought a friend. So our esteemed teacher, the lovely Beth, had four guys to contend with, and no Erin. Accordingly Beth worked us like beaten dogs. We were sweating, huffing and puffing throughout. "Don't give me a dirty look," she told one of the guys from the other hotel while exercising us vigorously (I'd never give Beth a dirty look. I know better). I almost passed out from extreme yoga exertion, but managed to make it through to the end, and now I'm proud to say, I'm in tip top shape.
I taught Paul how to play Texas Hold'em at Drama Free, which is a popular form of the card game poker. I learned how to play just that morning, learning from Wikipedia. Paul caught on very quickly and pretty much kicked my ass. I hate him.
I am thrilled to report that Paul has just moved, and is now a "Downtowner," like me. He lives now in his own apartment on the other side of Broadway, near Macy's department store. He said he is now very happy about the move, but wasn't quite sure about it at first, when his mom, the lovely Kathy, talked him into it. He had been living in a small house, in a very small room, with a roommate who played loud music all of the time. It would be hard to study there, he told me. Paul will be attending USC next year, or semester, or whatever, and his new place is literally just down the street from the college. For that matter so is his work, and he can take the bus to either one if he so desires (and save himself $400 for a freaking USC parking lot pass). He could even walk to work if he choose to do so.
So we're all very excited for him.
Erin came to work the next morning. She didn't seem like a happy camper as her belly was still giving her problems, but she had missed a day and a half of work so came in anyway. What a trooper.
Her illness had forced her to spend the previous day in her room in bed, sleeping. When she wasn't sleeping she was watching the movies "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," and "Twister ("Cow")," on her VCR machine. Her roommates let her out into the family room later, where she watched "Twilight, New Moon," a DVD I had given her.
"Why didn't you watch "The Lobsterman from Mars?" I asked her (I had also given her a VCR copy of that classic starring Patrick MacNee and Tony Curtis.
"Maybe next time," she told me.
She would continue to feel lousy... and tired. At one point I saw her yawn, the biggest yawn I've ever seen on a human being... amazing.
I offered to make her some nice chicken soup. See what a wonderful friend I am! But she declined saying it would just make her sicker. Poor Erin.
She felt much better the next day at the Cooking Club. Or that's what she said, and I had no reason to doubt her. She looked much better.
I had been enlisted (shanghaied) into making that famous A&W Coney Island hot dog sauce again by Tianna, my lovely hotel manager. It would be used the next day, Friday July 2nd, at the annual 4th of July celebration on the 2nd. She gave me 3 1/2 pounds of hamburger which I took to the Cooking Club at the Olympia. Erin and Paul brought me 10 more pounds, giving me a total of... let's see, one carry the 12, times 56, minus 92... 13 1/2 pounds of ground meat to play with. Tianna and Erin gave me all of the other stuff I needed and after a couple of hours we had 2 big pots full of the stuff. Erin and Paul had made some nice Rice Crispy Treats (melt some butter and marshmallows, throw in some rice crispys, shape into a big square, and there you go!) They were good. I wish I had one right now.
Friday I ran important errands all morning, but made it back for the festivities by noon. As chance would have it, that's when the festivities began. I stuffed myself silly with hot dogs, chicken and ribs, potatoes salad, escargot, truffles, caviar, and Rice Crispy Treats. Very good.
Saturday I spent assembling my firework for the 4th of July. I planned on launching it Sunday night near the Los Angeles Coliseum which is right here in Los Angeles, and which was hosting a fireworks show of their very own.
Independence Day seems to always fall on the 4th of July. I don't know why. John Adams, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence (which declared the 13 American colonies independence from the British crown back in 1776), and our second President, thought the 2nd of July would be remembered. "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival," he wrote to his lovely wife, Abigail. He thought that because that was the day when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. On the 4th they approved the Declaration of Independence which had already been drafted by Thomas Jefferson and four other guys, and the Declaration had that date on it, and Americans have celebrated on the 4th ever since, even though most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2nd.
An interesting historical note here, both Adams and Jefferson, the only two men to sign the Declaration of Independence who became Presidents (Jefferson was the third) both died on the same day: July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the United States.
Anyway, July 4th is the one holiday which is uniquely American (the Ethiopians tried to steal it in 1967, but we caught them before they could get away).
Sunday evening I took my new firework to the south lawn outside the Coliseum by 8:00. I was very excited to see if it would work.
I had learned from Wikipedia how to make it. All you need are two half globes of plutonium-239, which I had left over from the last Arbor Day, some conventional chemical explosives, which I got from tearing apart a "Boss" assortment of Red Devil fireworks, and fitting it all into a container set up to slam the two pieces of plutonium together as fast as possible. Sounds easy, huh? It was! Thank you Wikipedia.
Right now let me project a few hours into the future: I'm writing in real time. It's 9:02PM, and I'm sitting on the lawn next to the huge Coliseum, and their show has just begun. Now for my own firework. I bet everybody here will sure be surprised... and impressed. All I have to do is flip this little detonator switch, and...

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