Friday, October 19, 2007

The Dow Bones fell 366 today

No matter how great everything is in Nice, France, Europe, Mom and Dad complain.

Right now, Dad is having his daily tantrum over his food bowl, his "on-line Scottrade account." He's in a rage because Mom scheduled a meeting with a contractor at 3:30, which is exactly the time the market on Wall St opens and exactly the time that Dad has his scheduled meltdowns in front of his computer about his investments.

I don't really understand what Dad is doing. Mom tried to explain it to me. It's like he has bones that he piles up with bone companies that lots of other people throw bones into. Sometimes, the pile of bones gets really big and is worth a LOT of bones. And then, usually when Dad has "invested" more bones, the other people take out their bones, out of the pile and the value of the bones goes down for no real reason and Dad has a tantrum.

Today, the contractor is here but it's bad timing because I think we are down a whole bunch of bones. I think the Dow Bones is down over 200 bones and it's still morning in America.

Our house here has an extra tiny room under the roof that Dad wants to have made into an office. He thinks that once it's all fixed up, he'll be able to write something in that room. It's really hot and dusty up there and the ceiling is right over their heads. I don't know why anybody would want to go up there, there's no kitchen.

Contractor: (in French to Mom) "So do you want the walls smooth or not? Does he want poured cement with the sink or stone? The cement loses its color so I'm just telling you. I need to know because if he can't make up his mind, I can't make the decision about the electrical work."

Then Mom has to translate everything for Dad, who is running back and forth from the kitchen to the computer in the dining room. The French contractor just had a stroke a few weeks ago so he just wants to go home.

Mom: "You have to make up your mind about what you want up there. I'm out of it. I can't take it anymore. You won't listen to me. If you had listened to me, it would have been gorgeous and DONE by now. Like a beautiful little jewel box slash hotel suite up there."

Dad: "Well maybe I want it to be the way I want it to be, not the way YOU want it to be. It's supposed to be MY office. I might not want it to be in a pink, French candy box and it's not my fault the guy had a stroke and it's taken months. I'll never see that room upstairs anyway. I'll be dead first. "

Then Mom checked her e-mails and while she was reading them, she started yelling again.

Mom: "Oh, my God! I've been submitted for a Fixodent commercial! It says 'must be able to prove I wear dentures' ! My agent doesn't even know I'm out of town and he thinks I can prove I wear dentures?! This is truly the end. I'm competing with the toothless now. My agent doesn't even realize I have teeth, let alone any talent."

Mom has teeth. I see her chewing all kinds of stuff every day.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Sailing around Cap d'Antibes and Dad's early retirement plan

I've been learning how to sail in the Bay of Cannes. You know, by peeing on the sails just before they go up and running back and forth and herding Dad during the tack so he doesn't get hit on the head by the boom. It's a demanding job and Mom hasn't made it any easier by forcing us to wear these ridiculous looking life vests.

Finn just sits in hers and doesn't move at all, which is her default pose whether she's on a boat, in the water, at home or on the street. But at least, when Mom puts us in the water, I don't worry about my wife Finley drowning. I swear, Finley is so heavy, we could use her as an anchor.

Our friends who have the sailboat also have a Yorkie named Angie who barks all the time. What is it with these store-bought dogs? She needs to spend a night at the South LA "shelter" and maybe she'll have a real reason to bark like hell. Mom got her a tiny life vest too. If Angie doesn't stop barking, I might have to rip her life vest to shreds with my teeth and then look for a life vestless moment to shove her overboard. With any luck, a guppie will swallow her whole.

Dad has such a good time on our friends' boat that he wants to sell the house and buy a boat instead. Mom doesn't think it's such a great idea. They've been arguing about it non-stop.

Dad: "Well, I was a real idiot not to sell the house at the peak. Now it's worth nothing and it's going to cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the roof and the deck and the balcony. The housing market is collapsing. I'm thinking we should just sell everything, buy a boat and live on it. "

Mom: "Are you crazy? You don't know the first thing about sailing or navigation. A boat is a hole for money and we'd drown. Plus, you can't even stand to be around me all day in the same house! How will you stand being stuck on a boat? Where will the dogs go to the bathroom? And don't you get sea sick? This is insane! Learn how to sail first. "

Dad: "We can't ever do what I want to do. We only do what you want to do."

Mom: "I saw you on that boat. You showed zero interest in sailing. You hate chores and on a boat, it's nothing BUT chores. Chores in the sun. You've got pink skin and you're bald. You'll get skin cancer."
Dad: "Listen, thanks to you, I haven't got enough money to live much longer anyway.
Melanoma is my early retirement plan."

If they do sell everything and get a floatie house, I'd be fine with that. I don't care where we live as long as we're together in a pack. I've been practicing my lifeguard techniques and I'll make sure no one drowns.