Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone from the whole Roadie crew!

This has been one the of the nicest Christmases that the 'chick can remember - the shopping was done a couple of days early, Rockboy's girlfriend helped with the orgy of wrapping (which the 'chick HATES), the required Christmas cookies were baked and packed up. . .it was as close to flawless as a holiday at Chez Roadtrip can get.

The 'chick got some things to play with - a set of Santoku knives with a cutting board, some other kitchen stuff, a retractable clothesline (much wished for!), and a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings from Redneck.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD and a cool sunburst clock from Rockboy.

Giftcards galore from other family members.

And, as usual, Auntie Roadchick gave the BEST toys to her niece and nephew. The ones that have to be taken out of the packages IMMEDIATELY. (Much to the chagrin of other family members. Hee!)

The homemade macaroni & cheese that the 'chick had to take to dinner was eaten completely. This is unusual. These are the people that won't eat cake.

Anyway, here's hoping that YOUR holidays were just as good. Take a little time to cherish yourself and your family.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In Which The 'Chick Tries to be Nice and Others Do Not Recognize Her Efforts


This afternoon, Rockboy called the 'chick and said that he had locked his keys in his car while at school. Roadchick, ever the good mama, carries a set of his keys with her at all times and headed over the school to liberate his car keys.

Car keys liberated, Roadchick headed home. One minute later, her cell phone rang. It was Rockboy.

Rockboy: Mom, can you come back to the school? I was sideswiped.

Roadchick: Oh, fuck . . . yes, be right there.

One quick U-turn later, the 'chick returned to school. Rockboy was headed down the street away from the school and a girl was backing out of her parking space. She did not see Rockboy and apparently did not hear his horn. She backed right into the side of the Rockmobile.


The 'chick assessed the damage and since Rockboy's car is 10 years old and had hail damage from a previous owner, she decided to be generous and giving in light of the holiday season.

The 'chick called the girl's father and explained what happened and offered to settle the whole thing for $150.00, no insurance companies involved.

(Roadchick is able to be magnanimous since Redneck is a mechanic-par-excellence and he could do the door-replacing with a junk yard door.)

The father said, well, now, he didn't know . . . he would want to see the damage to his daughter's car, etc.

Roadchick said ok, you've got the cell phone number, call with your decision.

While Roadchick was driving home (for the second time, in the POURING rain), her cell phone rang. It was the girl's mother.

Mother: I understand that you're willing to settle this for $150.00. How did you come up with that number, because I was looking at the website for Pull-A-Part and doors cost $28.00 and you said your boyfriend would put the door on.

Roadchick: Yes, that's the price of the door.

Mother: So, what is all the extra money for?

Roadchick: All the extra money is for all the trips to the junk yard because even though they may have the car on the lot, that does NOT mean there is a usable door on the car. It is also for my boyfriend to have to remove the hopefully usable door, haul it home, remove the damaged door and install the junk yard door. That does NOT take into account that the odds of finding the same colored door are slim to none. And certainly you don't expect him to do this for free . . . it's not like the 'chick woke up this morning and said, "Let's put a different door on Rockboy's car. Won't that be fun?"

Mother: Well, I think that's excessive.

Roadchick: Well, the 'chick doesn't. What is your insurance deductible? Probably a minimum of $250.00 and then of course, your rates are going to go up as well. But, it's up to you. The 'chick has pictures - she'll email them to you.

Mother: Fine. We'll see about this.

Roadchick: That will be fine.

When the 'chick got home, she made a couple of phone calls. For a shop to do the work, including matching the paint and possibly straightening the frame, the price ranged from $1500.00 to $2100.00

The 'chick emailed the pictures to Mother.

Apparently, Mother made some calls too.

The 'chick got a very short email stating that this was such a busy time of year, let's just take care of this, hmmmm? Girl will bring a check to school tomorrow and give it to Rockboy.

That's the gratitude you get for trying to be nice at the holidays.

Next time, it's going to the insurance company. The 'chick could use some extra money and the Rockmobile would STILL get a junkyard door.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's the Final Countdown

Patient Reader, in case you didn't realize it, there are SIX shopping days left before Christmas. We're all about the public service here at the Roadtrip.

Roadchick's shopping is nearly complete. There are a few gift cards that have to be purchased and that should be about it. Then the orgy of wrapping must commence.

Wrapping the gifts is the 'chick's least favorite part of the holidays. She hates it worse than the shopping.

Speedbump, always helpful, will be in the center of everything as cats always are, just when you don't want them there.

Moods are still reasonably good. Festivities are planned, both with Roadchick's family and Redneck's family. A good time will most likely be had by all.

The 'chick was thinking about holiday traditions today. As the "Official Keeper of the Traditions", Roadchick is in charge of baking the cookies that were very much a part of the 'chick's growing up years. Her brothers expect them. There are threats of not being allowed in the house if cookies are not very much in evidence.

But, other than the cookies, there don't seem to be many traditions in the Roadtrip household. There were things that were tried and abandoned, mostly during the year of depression and Black Christmas. The tree with all the ornaments that the 'chick has collected throughout her life cannot be put up because Speedbump systematically strips the tree of the handmade, hand-beaded ornaments and dunks them in her water dish. Speedbump still enjoys climbing inside the tree and taking it apart, but now with just glass balls, it won't matter all that much if she does dunk them. But she hasn't, at least not yet.

For a few years, the 'chick and Rockboy joined her brother and his family to go look at Christmas lights. There was the one year that her brother was driving a hoopty (his work car) and everyone, including the brand new baby nephew, all piled in and went cruising. Rockboy and Roadchick's brother were both wearing hoodies and they pulled up their hoods low over their faces (they were in the front seat) and we blasted rap Christmas with the bass turned up as we cruised through the "rich" neighborhoods. One year, after a mini van was purchased, everyone piled in but Brother came down with stomach flu mid-viewing and there was a damn fast trip back home. He puked in the side yard of the 'chick's new house, thereby christening it as Chez Roadtrip. Ah, memories. . .

What tradition makes Christmas for you and your family? What is the one thing that if you didn't do it every year, it just wouldn't seem like Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You'll Recognize Her by the Matching Bags Beneath Her Eyes

It may not be easily evident from the picture above, but the 'chick is tired. Not "oh, Christmas shopping and hauling bags" tired. Not "another Christmas party, what a bore" tired.

Tired as in, not more than a couple of hours of sleep per night for the last several weeks.

There was a brief period of respite last weekend, when Redneck was here and the 'chick fell asleep with her head on his shoulder at about 10 pm and he let her sleep that way until she fell over of her own accord, buried in pillows.

The 'chick was hopeful for that again this weekend.

It was not to be.

Did you know that there isn't much on TV at 4:00 am? There isn't. Especially on a Sunday morning.

Home remedies in comments.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Ghost of Christmas Past

So, yeah, it's been awhile.

Normally, at this time of year, you could pretty much figure that the 'chick was hiding somewhere, desperately trying to avoid the holidays. This year, not so much. Mind you, there is no tree up at Casa de la Roadchick, but there are some gifts. Not wrapped. But at least purchased.

The depression and desperation that could be counted on as regularly as Salvation Army bellringers have not appeared. Thank God. There have been a few shaky moments, but they faded almost as quickly as they appeared.

The 'chick has real sympathy for the folks that have a hard time during the holidays, mainly because she was one of them for so many years.

The last truly magical, wonderful holiday season that the 'chick can remember was probably the first year that she was married to The-Now-Former-Mr.-Roadchick. That was the year that she found out that some people get really, really drunk on the holidays and then miss Christmas dinner with their families while expecting other people to tell their family that they've come down with a nasty stomach virus and can't come to dinner. And the magical part happened before Christmas Eve approached on the calendar. On Christmas Eve, the serious drinkin' commenced.

But until that time, the 'chick was all about the holidays. Especially in her own house. There was a tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree from Walgreens that was on sale, and probably two stings of lights, and some cheap wooden ornaments that come about 100 to a box for $5.99 but it was hers damn it, and it was ok. And there was cookie baking. And young cousins-in-law were bribed to come over and wrap all the gifts (that were all purchased at one big spree at Walmart).

The 'chick was dirt poor and bone ignorant in those days.

But there was magic and there was hope.

The year that The-Now-Former-Mr.-Roadchick left to pursue "true love" was a bad Christmas. Not because he was gone. The fact that he was gone, taking his drinking and fighting ways with him was a relief. What was hard was knowing that there was no money for Christmas gifts for Rockboy and he was 11. He understood being dirt poor although his mama hid it from him as best she could. He never knew (and still doesn't) that there were times that milk was paid for with pennies and nickels and good luck finding any loose change in the car or the sofa cushions because it had already been gathered together for a loaf of bread.

That was the year that the 'chick learned to accept help when it was offered and if someone called it charity, then fine. As long as Rockboy got something to open at home. The local police department knew that Rockboy's daddy was gone (because he had been a city employee, although NOT a cop) and they got together and made sure that there were presents under the tree. And the place where Roadchick worked got together and bought a gift card from the mall and gave it to her, fortunately before the holidays so she could get Rockboy something too, as well as a little something for people in her family.

But, oddly enough, Roadchick's family never seemed to notice the life-or-death struggle going on at Chez Roadtrip. And sometimes, around this time of year, the 'chick looks back, says a little prayer of gratitude that things are better now, and asks to be able to forgive her family, just a little bit, for being so blind.

Now that Rockboy is older, he looks back, and he knows the truth. He knows that it wasn't a crazy experiment when his mama tried to pass off powdered milk for the real thing.

And he understands why, every year, the Roadie crew will choose at least one angel off an Angel Tree and help someone else out, in case otherwise there wouldn't be anything else under that tree.

If you find yourself with a little extra to spare, please donate here. It's a secure link.