1. Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    today is my mom’s 29th birthday 

    born to upperclass educators, my mother turned her back on her debutante status, emptied her trust fund, and sent her fortune to africa to help build hospitals. she raised my sister and i on the paltry salary that she was given as one of Motorola’s first female computer programmers ever.

    insistant that the love of money is the root of all evil, she refused to allow me to have a job until i reached college and then i could only work at minimum wage, therefore my childhood consisted of long hours studying the bible, volunteering, and eating many bags of doritos, her treat to me after getting my braces tightened.

    all joking aside, my mom raised two kids alone while working long hours in a sexist racist society where she saw her peers get promotions despite she being the one who trained them. never one to hold a grudge, my mother would sometimes tell us about her trials and then sigh and tell us that if we ever succumed to the inequities of life and gave up that she would hunt us down and beat the hell out of us. she reminded us that our ancestors did not work hard so that we spoiled suburban brats could bitch about our menial issues.

    she’s an excellent chef, a master baker, a hot rod and funny car enthusiast, and one of the most peculiar sports fans youve ever met, certain that her viewership of an important pro sports event can cause the loss of the team that shes rooting for.

    because of that she watched most of the 1985 superbowl from around the corner in the kitchen listening to the cheers of those in the living room.

    the secret reason why oprah became a hit in chicago back in the 70s, the main reason why michael jordan stayed a chicago bull for all those seasons, and the unnamed architect of the newly remodeled soldier field, my mom always has an easter basket waiting for me days before the holiest of days, and even left me a wad of cash atop my cell phone this morning before going to work as i head off to detroit on the next leg of my journey.

    atop the folded bills, a note: please dont give this to the strippers.

    after lunch yesterday we walked around the mall and when we returned to the place that i had parked the car i saw that my beater was missing. looking at my mother i saw that she could not contain her smile and she motioned us to go to the nearby Sam’s Club where she had somehow found a way to pay for four new tires on my ride without my knowledge.

    the real reason why Lalapalooza is only held in Chicago nowadays, my mother is in my thoughts at all times which is why im often found with either a beer in my hand or the business end of a hooka between my fingers right before im about to do something that she would disprove of.

    she has given me everything a son could ask for, she calls me every saturday at 1pm so that she wont wake me, she hates curse words therefore she skims most of this blog, and she often accidentally reveals national security secrets in our phone calls to which i say ma the president is listening quit telling him things that he isnt supposed to know till tomorrow.

    a former ringleader of the black panther party, and reader of all things stephen king and harold robbins, my mother is better than yours, mostly because shes put up with me all these years without somehow growing even one gray hair. and now thanks to my sister she is the best grandmother of all who seems to have boundless energies as she sings nursery rhymes and teaches them how to march as they clean up their messes.

    on her death bed she will explain how i was adopted, and i will say, i know, i know, but i will pretend that i deserve to be part of your family tree.

    fluent in russian and german because she wanted to be a UN translator but instead ended up driving me to cub scouts, the runner up for miss georgia 1977, my mom celebrates nearly three decades on this planet today and im blessed to even know her.

    i love you mom!