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My annual anti-daylight saving time rant is hereby cancelled due to the fact that I'm in Arizona and Arizona does not fall back because Arizona didn't, and with the Good Lord's help never will, spring forward.

I had dinner with my mom Saturday night, which was a major accomplishment that tool almost three weeks to engineer, but it went well. We drove past her old high school and places she'd lived, which descended into a tour of all the run-down motels and trailer parks on Grand Avenue where my Grandma Pat had at various times abandoned her, etc. The coolest thing in the world was we passed a trailer park that had its own bar. Damn, that would have been a timesaver for all the poor drunks in my trailer park who had to stagger half a block to the Red Baron Inn.

The Red Baron Inn was pretty cool, actually. I visited it many times. When I was five. (My grandma Pat felt that exposing small children to unfiltered cigarette smoke, wood-grain alcohol and drunken pederasts built character, and clearly a character is exactly what got built.) The bar was built to resemble an aircraft hanger--a little bit like some of the faux-aeronautics buildings now at Disney's California Adventure--and it had a lot of that World War I Flying Ace motif. This is the place Snoopy came to get bombed after a long day's aerial leg-humping of Baron von Richthofen.

I kid, but thanks to all that WWI iconography, the Red Baron Inn and Snoopy's flying-ace exploits are inextricably, perversely linked in my child-mind. Write your own Fokker joke, Ben Stiller, I'm on strike. Eventually the Inn closed, and turned into a nondescript tool rental shop, which also closed, and since I was last here they finally bulldozed the place. Phoenix operates under the Logan's Run rule--any structure that reaches the age of 30 must be demolished before it begins to sag and creak like so much scrotal Michael York.

I was sad to see it gone. That's the kind of person you're dealing with here. A girl who gets sentimental over her alcoholic grandmother's demolished dive-bars. My mom, of course, shares no such sentiments and is mostly still just white-knuckle furious at her mother for being a bad parent. I find this hilarious. In that warped, black way that fuels most of what I find funny. But I didn't say anything because it's pointless. One time, during one of her anti-mom rants, I did sort of mumble something about "um, nobody's perfect?" and she looked at me, red-faced, and yelled "GET OVER IT!" Again, the irony.

So yeah, we had dinner and then we drove around and she told me stories about what a bad mom she had. I honestly enjoyed hearing them--not, like, "ha ha, you went through hell!" but my mom almost never tells me any stories about her life. In fact she almost never says anything about anything, so it was refreshing. And as bad as the stories were, is it wrong that they made me miss my grandmas?

I was thinking about it the other day, actually. I last lived with my mom when I had just turned six. She was 23. In retrospect I can't help but forgive her most of it. Nobody's competent to have a child at 17. I did my level best to repeat her mistakes but fate cruelly refused. I do, however, thank everyone involved for trying.

So. My (not aforementioned but in fact entirely different) grandmother is all moved in and, as if tipped of my hurt feelings by the Blog Gods, gave me a really nice gift today which involved a small amount of cash, my late father's last driver's license and a cool silver belt buckle once owned by my grandfather, who died in 1993. I have exactly nothing from my grandpa Gene--in fact, in the shock of his death, the entire family neglected to tell me he had died, let alone invite me to the funeral. I found out about six months later, I think. So the belt buckle was a big gesture, especially for her. It felt a bit like an apology and it meant a lot to me.

Other than some quality time with Wendy it was a quiet weekend. I made yet more attempts to see local friends, all of which were fruitless. I chatted at length about the strike with various LA friends. I worked on a new script. I baked a pie. "How does Caitie afford this rock and roll lifestyle?" you ask yourself. I know, I know.

This week is probably it for me and Phoenix for a while so I'll endeavor to make the most of it.


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August 2009

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