Wednesday, June 25, 2008

4th of July is Not My Favorite Holiday

July 4th is rapidly approaching, so it’s time for me to start my annual July 4th activity. Thinking of ways to avoid bottle rockets, roman candles, those little spinny things, tanks, whistlers, sparklers, etc and to keep my kids away from them with as little drama as possible. I have issues with fireworks. Now, I’m not talking about the real thing, the big, professional Zambelli displays. I’m talking about backyard fireworks. The kind you buy in the little roadside stands ands the supermarket and illegally cross state lines to get. I avoid them at all cost. If I am somewhere where they start setting them off outside, I go inside. If there is no inside, I leave. We get invited to picnics, and as incentive the host says, “Bring the kids, we have fireworks”. Suddenly I’m Marsha Brady and have to “wash my hair” that day.

I can’t help it - I am afraid of fireworks. First off, I just don’t get some of them. Like firecrackers, cherry bombs and their evil cousins, M-80s. What is the point? They make noise. Big deal. My kids make noise, my pets make noise and my neighbors make noise. I have enough noise in my life, thank you very much. Also, I mostly like hearing. And what about those little “snakes”. You know, the little black cylinder that you light and the ash grows into a snake-like shape- Stupid. Sure, the first one is kind of cool to watch, but then it just becomes an air-fouling, pavement staining mess. Stupid. Secondly, fireworks are dangerous. Third, see “issues”. Well, actually, they last 2 are related. Let’s look, in chronological order, at why I have this phobia:

- Age about 7: Shortly after July 4th, my friend Carol and I find some un-exploded penny firecrackers on the sidewalk. We decide it would be fun to take them out back, where no one is watching and set them off. Carol, being much older and wiser (i.e., 8) gets the matches and we start setting the things off. Somehow my Grandma and Nana manage not to hear us. Finally, the last one doesn’t have a wick. We decide to make a wick out of a dried blade of grass. I hold it as Carol shoves it in and lights it. Well, a dried blade of grass doesn’t have the slow-burning properties that a wick does. The thing explodes in my hand, resulting in me having no feeling in three of my fingers for a month. I kid you not, a month. I never told my parents about it because I was afraid to get in trouble, so I suffered in silence, preparing myself for a lifetime of numbhand.

Fireworks: 1, Gina: 0

- Age 9: I’m on a treasure-hunting trip in the mountains with my dad, his friend and his son. The dads buy some bottle rockets for “fun” (this in the days when Coke still came in a tall, glass bottle - perfect for bottle rockets). At first, we’re all having fun. Then, as my dad is setting one off, I decide to get up, turn around and walk across the camp. It turned out to be a good decision, since the rocket was defective, split in half and flew in flaming glory into my shoulder blade. It hurt like a BITCH, I tell you. Of course, considering that if I hadn’t gotten up when I did, the thing most likely would have gone into my face or eyes, which is obviously much worse.

Fireworks: 2, Gina: 0

- Age 13: Some blockhead decides to phone in a bomb threat to the school. This obviously being pre-Columbine and pre-9/11, they decide that instead of sending us home for the day, they will ship us all out to the various elementary schools where we can sit in gymnasiums and cafeterias and cafetoriums, thinking up ways to be even more obnoxious. While we wait for the buses, they cram the entire 7th through 12th grade into the gym, where they make the announcement, telling us not to panic and line up for the buses. In the inevitable ensuing panic, friend of blockhead, asshat, thinks it would be hilarious to throw an M-80 in to the crowd. It explodes 5 feet from me, rendering me almost-deaf for several hours and causing my heart to jump up my throat, out of my mouth and scurry across the gym floor.

Fireworks: 3, Gina: 0

- Age 14: A blockhead myself now, my friends and I have some sparklers at T’s house. But it’s hot outside, so maybe we can do them inside. Great idea. Hmmm. . .I wonder what would happen if we scraped off all the silver stuff into a giant pile, put it in this 70’s-style glass ashtray and lit them. I’ll tell you what: The damned things burn at about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so the ashtray will melt. Then, chunks of burning sparkler will fly out of the ashtray and sear black spots into the lovely, low-pile red carpet. We fixed this problem by using a Gillette razor to shave the burned spots away, then heated up red crayons in just the right shade (from the Crayola 64-pack, obviously) and colored the carpet. It looked like shit and yet somehow T’s mom never knew it. I think it’s because she had 5 kids a husband and a job. We told her about it years later, after the carpet had been replaced and she was STILL pissed at us. Personally, I think she should have just been happy we didn’t burn the place down. I guess, not having been there, she didn’t realize how very close we came.

Fireworks: 4, Gina: 0

- Age 16: Picnic at my mom’s house. My hilarious, sweet, fun Puerto-Rican aunt is “a bit tipsy”. Like every holiday, after a few drinks, she starts singing La Cucaracha, Feliz Navidad, and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. She expresses her joy by tossing a lit sparkler into the air. It goes off the deck, and down onto the inaccessible, brush covered hillside below. Yeah, fire. Next thing, my dad and uncle are spraying water over the edge to put it out. Catastrophe narrowly averted.

Fireworks: 5, Gina: 0

- Age 20: The piece de resistance. I am at my brand-new boyfriend D’s house (we had only been dating about 10 days) for a picnic, where I’ll meet his family for the first time. His family likes to party and his dad likes to get people to do shots. You can see this is going to and badly, can’t you? Well, it’s still early in the day and most everyone is feeling good. There are a ton of people there: his family, his friends, my friends (we grew up in the same town and had a lot of mutual friends) so it’s pretty crowded. Since it was a hot day, many people were sitting under a large tent. I was sitting there when I noticed a huge box of fireworks sitting next to me. As I was pawing through them. I spotted the teeny-tiniest little firecracker ever. It was about the width of a wooden matchstick, but shorter. I knew I HAD to light it. It was so cute, what harm could it do? If this were a movie, this is where the ominous music would start playing. I grab someone’s matches and light the thing. Music gets louder and faster I toss the little firecracker and it goes “pop”. No louder than a wine cork. Awww, that was so cute. See, I told you it would be fine. Music shifts to Psycho-style shrieking I was very, very wrong. Apparently, as I was tossing it, a miniscule spark landed in the box of fireworks. It must have landed on a packet of penny firecrackers, because 10 seconds later, they start going off. POP! POP! POPOPOPOPOPOP! Then more things begin to catch. Spinners are spinning, roman candles are sparking, pretty soon, bottle rockets start shooting out of the box, flying in all directions. It was like WWIII, with explosions, and people running everywhere, trying to find shelter from the attack. People digging foxholes. Tanks and exploding balls, and sparklers and whistlers and rockets and crackers and spinners going off, the air filling with acrid smoke, the sounds of laughing and screaming and chairs falling over. And for the grand finale, the tent collapses on the box, just as the display is ending. The tarp is popping and jumping for a short while, and suddenly all is quiet. Everybody stays where they are for a few minutes, making sure the ambush is over. Then slowly, we start crawling out of our hidey-holes, likes survivors of the apocalypse. I look at D’s parents and half whisper half croak, “I am SO sorry’. I start walking to my car in absolute shame, until I hear, “heh”. “Ha”. “Haha”. “HahahahahahaHaHaHaHaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Pretty soon, everyone was cracking up and D’s dad got the shots going again. I wasn’t banned forever, but I was still mortified. Then later, for a little icing on the cake, I accidentally threw a whole rack of ribs into the dirt. And somehow they still loved me. After we dated for a while, I realized it was because I was like them. His dad and I decided to do the polka at a local club (where we were drinking, of course), and we failed to stop quickly enough before we hit the door. Someone opened the door at that moment, and out we went, falling down the stairs and into the street. But until this day, the memory of that day and the humiliation of it all is still burned into my mind.

Fireworks: 873,425, Gina: 0

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh, The (Whiny, Miserable) Irony

My friend Tee called last night to tell me that there is an informal get-together this Friday for our graduating class as a 40th birthday celebration.

My first thought was, “I can’t believe we’re turning 40! We can’t possibly be 40! I’m not that old! I feel so young!”

My second thought?

“Uggghhhh. . .I don’t feeeel like going. . .I’m too tiiiiiiired. . .I was planning on taking a naaaaaaap on Friday”

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Loudmouth Trashy Redneck Cousin

I had a full weekend planned and came thisclose to not making it to the zoo on Saturday and I am SO GLAD that I decided to go. Because it was an all around awesome day. The kids burned off some steam, the weather was beautiful (contrary to what you might think listening to me bitch about it - bitching is just what I do), the company was awesome, the dippin dots were yummy, and the kids were good. Yo – did you get that last one? The kids? Were good! That’s not something I get to say too often. Usually, it’s the kids drove me crazy, or those kids are killing me, or OMG, if they don’t quit fighting I’m leaving them at the zoo. But Miss Alexis seemed to have some sort of effect on them and they were great.

The boy was mr helpful all day – helping Burgh Baby's Mom (BBM from here on out, since I am lazy) with her stroller, holding doors, watching over the little ones without even being asked to. I almost forgot that he torments his sister into a meltdown at least once a day. I only had to remind him of our “don’t poke the bear” motto one time all day. And the girl – no screaming, very little whining and a minimum of bossing. Although BBM made it sound like she was very polite about it, I’m not so sure that was the case. Because I have met her. And I know for a fact that she is less “Polite, Helpful, Big Girl” and more “She Who Must Be Obeyed”. But regardless, she was good. Both of my kids adored Alexis, even in the beginning when she refused to acknowledge their (or my) existence. The girl was talking about her all weekend (calling her “my new friend Alexis”) and the boy was telling everyone how cute she was.

Alexis was very shy when we met up for fries and drinks, came around a little for the monkeys, acknowledged us by the time we made it to the bears. By the time we hit the ice cream and the first part of kids kingdom, there was a new friendship budding (which was almost derailed by the “helpfulness” of my no-line cutting child, but we got past it). All was well until the incident. The deer incident.

See, we were in the kids area – you know – the place for kids?? The one place in the zoo where the little ones can have a chance to get up close with the animals and get their turn to see things without having to be lifted up to see over the heads of all the tall people. And we get into the deer enclosure, where you can pet and get photos with the deer as long as they come to you on the path. Usually, there are a couple, but on Saturday, there was just one, so a nice, orderly line had formed so all the kids could get a chance to have their turn. And just when the folks in front of us had moved on and our three were about to have their turn, three skank ass ho bitches went around us from both sides, screeching about getting a picture and oh he’s so cute and squawk squawk squawk.

For about a half second, I was speechless. But after that half second? Not so much. I said – loud enough for the skanks and their hag mother to hear – “OK, so maybe we can wait in line?”, and they ignored me. The people behind us were shocked as well, so we carried on (OK, mostly it was me talking and them agreeing) a conversation about how it’s amazing how rude people are and how they would cut in front of little kids and who raised these people and wow, I’m amazed at the ignorance of some people, etc. Meanwhile, the skank ass ho bitches and their hag mother were happily squawking and ignoring us and taking eleventeen photos with everyone’s cameras and cell phones and oh, take another, my hair looked bad, and let me stick my boobs out, and does my butt look cute, and OH MY GOD GIVE ME PATIENCE BEFORE I PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE GODDAMNED ZOO!!!

And as if the line-cutting wasn’t rude enough, they would not go away. They just kept squawking and snapping and hair-flipping and eventually, I told the kids we were going to move on because some people are rude and we need to get away from them. But the best part? The very best most awesome part? Was that the skank ass ho bitches and their hag mother had the nerve to complain because other kids were coming up to the deer and ruining their photos. I had already moved away when that part happened, but if I had been closer, I would have put my fat ass in every one of their photos and then laughed and laughed.

Anyway, we moved on and got over it (for a while). We headed to the enclosed playground area so we could sit in the shade while the kids played. Even with the age difference, you can see the similarities between the girl and Alexis – they are both Alpha Chicks. You never know how it is going to go when there are two of them together, but by this time, the girls were fast friends, running around holding hands and having fun. I was sitting at a table keeping an eye on them and BBM and the boy headed to the concession stand for drinks. They were playing on the ropes and the slide, and then they headed over to the animal statues. I was watching them happily climb aboard an elephant when I turned to look at the boy for a split second and when I turned back the girls were no longer on the elephant. But guess who was? Oh yes – the skank ass ho bitches!! They actually came over and crowded on to the thing, effectively scaring out girls away. All while their hag mother took photos!!!

Our girls were unfazed (normally, I would be happy about that, but this time I think I was sort of hoping for a “She Who Must Be Obeyed” sized meltdown, perhaps even with some hitting and/or kicking. At the least some name calling. Because those skanks deserved to be called out by a four year old). They moved on to the climbing tubes, where a few minutes later, the skanks decided to taker their big asses, shoving past many a toddler along the way, yelling to their hag mom to take photos and screaming at each other that they had to pee. It took every last bit of patience and self control I had to not lose my shit in the damned Kids Kingdom. But I managed, since it’s a kids place and I didn’t want to be as bad as the skank ass ho bitches. And also because I really like BBM and since I am already like her loudmouth trashy redneck cousin, I didn’t want to scare her into never wanting to see me again (I probably have that effect on people more than I know).

Second best part? When the hag mother and her hag friend walked by us and said, “that one right there.” Funny because 1) OMG the irony, and 2) they were referring to BBM who hadn’t said a word to them about their deplorable behavior and not me, the actual loudmouth trashy redneck cousin who had plenty to say. I think they looked at her and at me and decided I was the one more likely to inflict pain if I sat on them, so they diverted their hate thusly.

We actually had a good laugh about it, as I snapped more photos, since at that point what can you do. After the kids got done playing, we headed out to the last of the zoo – hitting the reptiles and mole rats and goats. The girls went on the two kiddie rides – the safari jeeps and the log ride and I swear, the funniest thing I saw all day was Alexis getting in the log and sitting backwards. And the teenager running the thing leaving her that way. And then the girl getting in and sitting backwards as well. And the teenager leaving her that way. And then they rode the ride backwards. It was not one of those My Kid Is A Genius moments, but then I told myself that Einstein probably rode the flume ride backwards too.

Finally, we headed out, walking through the mister, where my kids mistook “misted” for “soaked” and stood under it until their clothes and hair couldn’t absorb any more water. Alexis was definitely the smart one in this scenario – she ran into the mist, looked at my sopping kids like, “crazy” and ran back out. After a reasonably painless trip to the gift shop, we headed out. All I all it was a great day.

Oh – for those of you who have seen her photo of me – I know I look like I was going to punch someone, but I wasn’t (even though I wanted to). And I am pointing this out not because I don’t want you to think that I would punch someone (you know me), but because I don’t want you to think that I would punch someone with that sissy looking fist. I’m so classy.

Some photos:

Meerkat & Boy

Elephants (the boy would like me to point the elephant butt)

Polar Bear

Beware the Mist
Skank Ass Ho Bitches who push tiny children out of their way
Hag Mother who raised Skank Ass Ho Bitches who push tiny children out of their way

Inside a bear cage - I should buy one of these for home
Kangaroos (the boy would like me to point out the kangaroo butts)

Here is where the girl and Alexis differ - if there is a camera within 10 feet of my child, she knows it and poses. Alexis, not so much. She doesn't know I am taking a photo yet:

But then she notices me and goes into lalala, I'm not looking, lalalal mode:

Gratuitous Beaver Shot!!

A weird sucking fish

The boy would like me to point out that it was pooping (are you seeing a theme here?)


Fun & New Friends

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Too lazy and tired to do anything else meme

I’m back from vacation – OK I have been back since Monday night – and I have been so busy playing catch up at work and home and reading the 80 billion entries in my reader and also Oh My God I Am So Fucking Exhausted that I haven’t had a chance to update. So in the meantime, I’m stealing this from her so I am not neglecting this blog completetly.

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?
Beef jerky and Coke Zero.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?
A dolphin, I guess. They always seem to be having so much fun. Although, if my current energy level and body shape were taken into account, I’d probably be a manatee.

3. Who’s your favorite redhead?
Ariel. Shut up – I have a four year old daughter. And all the previously lovely Hollywood redheads seem to have gone all washed out blonde lately. And I hate David Caruso.

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP?
We never had any around here, so I’ve only been to an IHOP once and it was years ago. And I was trashed. All I remember is that it was delicious.

5. Last book you read?
The Last battle by C.S. Lewis. I had only ever read The Lion, The With and The Wardrobe as a child and I decided that I needed to read them all. I’m glad I did – I’m a dork who loves kids’ lit.

6. Describe your mood.
Happy that it’s Friday and I’m done at 11:30. Wondering what I should do with my afternoon – read? Sleep? Or – since being in the house will make me feel the need to clean – go out somewhere? But where? Shopping? But I shouldn’t spend money. A movie? But then I’d feel guilty. But I shouldn’t – I deserve time without the kids. So I should go. But then I’d have to get a shower. Oh, what to do??

7. Describe the last time you were injured.
I’m old now and I get injured from sleeping. Also – I have huge bruise on my leg that doesn’t hurt and I have no idea where it came from. I am always bumping into stuff, though, and I drank a lot on vacation, so I am not too concerned.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?
I’d have to go with Hedge on this one for a couple of reasons. 1) We’d probably both enjoy the time away from our families, 2) She wouldn’t mind the close quarters with me, 3) we’d never run out of things to talk about, 4) She wouldn’t lose her sense of humor or snarkiness even in peril, 5) She'd forgive me if I peed on her (right, Hedge?), and 6) She’d probably have snacks.

9. Rock concert or symphony?
I’d like to say symphony and act all classy-like, but lets be honest – there’s not usually beer and nachos at the symphony. So rock concert.

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone?
I haven’t gotten around to putting something ridiculous and/or offensive on it yet, I think it’s a sunset or something. But I’m not checking, since it’s all the way over there and I’m lazy.

11. Favorite soda?
Coke Zero. And it's not soda- it's pop.

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?Multi-color tie-dye Grateful Dead t-shirt. Yay for working from home Fridays!

13. If you could only use one form of transportation?
The monorail. OK, I’m a Disney World addict. But still – a monorail to everywhere would be awesome. Or if I lived in a city with a great metro system, I’d go with that. But since I don’t, I guess I’m stuck with the handicapped goofwagon.

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater?
Prince Caspian (see: dork).

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for.
Naveen Andrews. But in the interest of honesty – it’s not really Naveen that I am hot for – it’s Sayid

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake?
Yellow cake with milk chocolate icing.

17. What did you have for dinner last night?
Baked tilapia with panko breadcrumbs and couscous

18. Look to your left, what do you see?
A sad, empty pack of beef jerky.

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
No. I never wear shoes that tie. But when I did? Still no.

20. Favorite toy as a child?
I don’t know. I always liked games. And crafty stuff.

21. Do you buy your own groceries?
Well, yeah. I’m married to a man. Actually, he’ll go sometimes, but usually ust for quick trips, because – and this may come as a surprise to you – the grocery store is a pain in the ass. But only to him, of course – clearly, I love the crowds and the waiting and the “mom can I have this?”

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
Of course – I’m a bitch.

23. Gummy Worms or Hershey Kisses?
Can I say both? Because gummy worms are awesome, but chocolate is. . .chocolate.

24. What’s your favorite fruit?

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?
12 years of gymnastics says I probably do.

26. Do you like running long distances?

27. What is your secret trash food pleasure?
Cheetos. It’s not really a secret, though.

28. What color are your bedsheets?
Currently blue

29. What’s your favorite flower?

30. Do you do ballet?
Remember the old SNL skit “ballet for the blind”? Yeah.

31. Do you listen to classical music?
Sometimes. Less know than I used to, since all my classical is on cassette, so until I burn some of the stuff on my computer, it’s not much of an option.

32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head?
You big dummy:

33. Are you really worried about Global warming?

34. What temperature is it outside right now?
Too damned chilly for summer.

35. Do people consider you smart?
Sometimes. It depends on how much of an asshole I’m acting like at the time.

36. On what occasions do you lie?
When it avoids hurting someone needlessly, I’ll lie. Also – the hotel pool may not have actually been closed for cleaning when the 6 and under crowd wanted to leave the beach and head there this week.

37. Are you signed on [to] AIM?

38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together?
I’ve never tried it, but I’ve done it. In fact, I should be more embarrassed to admit that few months back, I accidentally superglued my hand to my foot.

39. How do you feel about your family?
I love them, I’m grateful for all they do for me, I’m glad to be so close to them. And they drive me crazy.

40. Do you have an iPod?

41. What time do you go to bed?
On work days – 11:00 to 11:30 (yes, I do get up at 5:00 am, why do you ask?). On weekends - anything goes – after all, I can afford to stay up later since I get all wild and crazy and sleep in -sometimes until 7:30 - I’m just a badass party animal.

42. What CD is currently in your CD player?
I’m not sure – it’s either Live at the Cow Palace – Grateful Dead, Horse of a Different Color – Big & Rich, or Live at the Checkerboard Lounge – Buddy Guy

43. What movie do you know every line to?
The Jerk, Dances with Wolves, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SpaceJam, and the Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

44. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Balsamic Vinaigrette

45. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I don’t know- even as a child, I hated that question. I have always hated asking for stuff. I’m always happy with what people give me. I need more perfume (Hypnotic Poison), but I doubt I can make it to my birthday, much less Christmas. Unless anyone wants to surprise me with a paid trip to Disney World, I’m at a loss for this one.

46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where?
Not counting bloggy friends or distant relatives, I have family in Virginia and North Carolina.

47. Do you like hugs?
I used to be a much more huggy person. I don’t know what happened to me. I think since I got fat, I am less comfortable with it. But I don’t feel that way with mr b or the kids.

48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
When we were driving home from VA Beach and I thought I saw the vehicle in an Amber Alert. I was wrong, but luckily, they found the child later that day.

49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name?
There isn't one – Gina’s pretty easy. And both my maiden and married last names are easy. But sometimes people will call me Regina, which makes me cringe. No offense to any Reginas out there, but it’s not my name. I already lost the beautiful, flowing Italian sound when I gave up my maiden name. I can’t give up Gina.

50. Last person you hugged?
My kids – group hug.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Future Star

You know what is great? Vacation. You know what sucks balls? Getting ready for vacation. I swear – I need a week before the vacation to get ready and a week after to recover. But if I had to choose the two, I think I’d pick the week before. Because in addition to the regular household chores and giant mountains several loads of laundry, I have to gather all the vacation-related items, organize clothes, buy sunscreen and other beachy sundries, clean the car, get and oil change and tire rotation, and get everything packed. All while struggling to finish up the urgent work projects that invariably pop up the week before I go on vacation. Good tires.

You can always tell vacation is coming by my wardrobe. I don’t’ want to wear anything that I will be taking with me (since I have a hard enough time getting things washed once, much less twice), so I end up heading out to work and the grocery store and family picnics wearing the dregs of my wardrobe. And since I am in that happy, in-between stage of weight loss, that means things that are either a) too big and must held up with an ugly man-belt, b) too big and allowing my enormous, sagging bosoms to be viewed by all when I am sitting at my desk (today’s look), or c) not quite too small, but just small enough to make me feel like everyone who sees me is pointing and laughing and then going home and blogging about this woman in the ugly, outdated skirt that was too small for her fat ass. Again – good times.

But come Wednesday morning at about 5:00 am, it will all be worth it. I’m heading out with the kids and my mom to Virginia beach until Monday. We’re going down to celebrate my baby!! cousin’s graduation. The whole family is going (minus mr b who has to work and my dad, who is not insane) and Aunt Twin (who is a travel agent) got us a great deal on beachfront rooms. I’m sure there will be moments of wanting to shoot myself –after all I am going with my mother – but all in all I expect some actual good times.

On Friday, I once again earned my Mother of the Year award by letting my kids get sunburned. In my defense, I put sunscreen on them 346 times, so it wasn’t all my fault. But the kids had fun swimming and I had fun cheating on my diet with six pounds a couple cheese fries

Then Saturday I went to an old high school friend’s 40th birthday party. She’s much older than me. Much Much MUCH older. Ok, that was a lie. She’s only three moths older, but I am playing it for all it’s worth. We had a great time – it was nice to have the old gang together again. We are all still friends, but not as close as we once were. And there are friends that each of us have that others don’t like, etc. but Friday it was just the five od us that were really close in school and it was great. We drank (too much) and ate (too much) and made fun of the karaoke singers in the bar. I love karaoke. Not singing it, so much. But making fun of the ones who are. I love bad singers. My favrotire are the ones where you go, WTF is he singing? My least favorite are the good ones. You know, the ones that the first time they sing, you think, wow, she’s got a good voice. But the 8th time they sing, you think, Jesus H, would you give a tone deaf loser a chance already? You’re not goods enough for a record deal, so move the fuck on.

Sunday we had a family party for a great niece’s graduation. In keeping with the theme, there was too much eating going on,. And also karaoke. Because with family, we try to outbad each other and that’s always fun. This time, I actually got up and sang. Sadly for you all, there are no known photos of me dancing around like I was on stage. Even sadder - no audio. But the biggest surprise of the evening was the girl. My tiny baby got up in front of all those people – several times – and belted it. She has always lived to sing – she sang as soon as she started talking. And I noticed right away that she is pretty good. She’s always on pitch and she her timing is perfect. But the reaction of the people there was priceless – between “Holy shit is she cute” and “Holy shit, that little girl can sing” The DJ approached afterwards and said I would be remiss if I didn’t enroll her in some musical training because he thought she could actually go far. It was a little freaky since I am not the stage mommy type. I mean, I always thought she was good, but I’m a bit biased. He assured me that he hears people singing (badly) every day and that she really is good. Wow.

All in all, it was a fun weekend. And now, I give you the American Idol 2020:

Also - I've had this suit for years, and recently when I saw the one for her, something came over me and I had to buy it. When did I become one of those mothers???

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Working from Home: Not all it's cracked up to be...

Working from home is awesome!

I think I’ll le the kids stay home today, since they are still sleeping.

This is great.

Boy, it’s getting hot already.

I’ll bet the office is comfortable.

Hey – they boy is up.

And the girl – hi Sweety.

Damn, it’s humid.

Whining? Already?

But hey – I didn’t have to drive in to the city.

Please stop fighting.

And whining.

Oh GOD, why didn’t I take them to daycare?

It’s hot.

I don’t care – just eat it.

No – no Coke at 8:00 am.

How much longer before I can stop?

Because I’m working. Working!

No, you can not do that.

I’m trying to work!

OMG, stop crying!!

I am so stupid. I am SOOOOO stupid for thinking this was a good idea.

He’s not allowed to have coke either.

Please stop!


Asshole coworker. I’m glad I’m home.

No, I’m not.

It is so HOT!

Close your mouth!

If he doesn’t close his fucking mouth when he chews I am going to make him eat meals with the goddamn dog.

If you don’t close your mouth when you chew, I am going to make you eat with the dog.

Oh great – a spill!

What? You need this manuscript done when???


Oh – you’re serious.


Close your mouth!

It’s hot.

No, you can not go on my computer while I am out of the office – it will have to wait until Monday.

Why did I think working from home was great?

Seriously? Another spill?

Please move over – it’s too hot to have you right on top of me.

Besides – working?!?!

Don’t be reading over my shoulder, either.


I know it’s hot!

Stop it!

I have a conference call, so you need to be quiet.

It’s like a meeting on the phone. It’s very important that you are quiet.

OMG – that’s it – both of you go in your rooms and play. Turn off that TV.


I don’t care what she said.


It’s hot.

Is this day over yet??

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Somebody May Have Cried.

Now, I’m not saying that it did happen, but after the game last night, there may have been someone who cried real tears. So between my the hypothetical person’s sadness and the fact that I am insanely busy at work, trying to get things done before vacation, I am posting a lazy crybaby very busy person’s type entry today. The flickr meme.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food right now?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. What is your favorite drink?

7. What is your dream vacation?

8. What is your favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. What is one word that describes you?

12. What is your flickr name?

The answers:

About the answers:

1. There are lots of hot babes named Gina, apparently, and I probably should have used one of those and pretended it was me. Or Gina Lollobrigida. Or a sign that said Gina. Or the groovy Burning Man fire twirler named Gina. Or the badass fighter named Gina. Or the tranny. Or the other tranny. Or the porn star. Or the cool bird. Or the freaky, legless, wheelchair doll. And I almost went with “Gina’s Pies are Square”. But in honor of my love of the bizarre and also recently being called a cow, I went with the scary blood cow.

2. Since my real answer to what is my favorite food (“Food”), was a little too broad, I went with what I am hungry for right now. And who doesn’t strap a bucket o- hummus to their bike?

3. I’m not telling. But I went with a photo of our “sister town” in Belgium.
I have two.

4. There are several (hundred), but I went with the most recently watched.

5. I had to go with the non-alcoholic favorite, since I don’t have six hours.

6. I know. I love the mountains. And the beach. And big cities. And islands. And exotic foreign destinations. But nothing makes me quite as happy as a man and a mouse.

7. Only eleven billion Weight Watchers points! I’m hungry.

8. I was gonna go with “rich”, but happy is better.

9. Duh. . .

10. In the interest of being honest. . .

11. I know – this pic tells you nothing. But there aren’t a lot of results on my flickr name. . .

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Poor Cuticles

In case you were wondering what a Stanley Cup Final triple overtime game does to one’s cuticles, let me show you:

In addition, I’m exhausted, since staying up until 1:00 might not be the best idea when you get up at 5:00. But MY GOD, it was so exciting!! And yay us! And a big fat woo-hoo to Fleury, who is clearly some sort of superhero. UltraGoalieMan! And to Malone, for being such a badass, playing with his mashed up face. And to Talbot for saving the fucking night, even if it did result in me re-injuring my neck. And to Crosby for being so damned cute. I mean awesome. And especially Sykora, for pulling a Babe Ruth and calling that shit! Woo-Hoo!!

Oh – my neck. Yeah, see, I’m old now. And when you’re old, you have things like terribly painful fucked up necks that are caused by things that you don’t even remember you did. Not like lifting a truck or anything. More like. . .oh. . .bending over. Or looking to the right. Or thinking about looking to the right. Getting old rocks!

I’m sad to report that I have very little to say about the yard sale. Because it sucked. In perfect Murphy’s Law fashion, we had a tornado watch that day. And nothing says “come to my yard sale” like a fucking tornado!

We had a few people, but not enough to justify all the work we did to get it set up. Luckily, my aunt has a big porch, so we were able to keep everything dry (except me, since I felt bad and was shuttling people to their cars with my umbrella). Right at 7:00, we got some “commandos”. These are the crazy old ladies that scour yard sales to stock up on the shit that they will turn around and sell at their own yard sales and flea markets. They’re mean and cheap and bitchy and they can all bite me. One of them got pissy with me because she thought my books were too expensive at a dollar. Maybe they were, but I can’t see taking less than a dollar for good hardback and those nice large soft cover books that are all new releases and bestsellers from the past six months. I give a ton of books away, so it’s not the money, but it bugged me. She actually yelled at me:

Crazy yelling lady: “You can get books at the flea market for 25 cents.”

Gina (in a very sweet voice): “Really? Well, what are you doing here, then? You should head right on over to that flea market and get you some books! Buh-bye!”

See why I am not cut out for yard sales?

After the rained ended, I did get a couple avid readers like myself who bought a stack of books and didn’t flinch at the price. But that was about it. My mom and Aunt sold some clothes - they are both big time clotheshorses who wear and discard beautiful designer things. If only I wore the same size (fucking fours), I would have done some shopping of my own. And by “shopping”, I mean “taking whatever I wanted and not paying anyone anything”. My mom is the worst – she had tons of things with tags still on them. Like freakishly expensive things – one was an absolutely gorgeous tiny little dressy sleeveless shirt from some boutique with a price of $132. Now, she didn’t pay that much for it, but even on sale I’m sure it was pricey. And at the current price of $2, it’s a serious bargain. One girl bought a bunch of stuff and gave us her email for next time. Smart girl.

Another lady bought some clothes too, but kept trying to cheat my mom. She would have 13 items and then grab another and say, OK, that makes 12. Um, no. And then my mom would recount them to show her that there were more and then she’d try again. And my mom thinks she stole some stuff, too. Awesome.

Aside from those few brave souls (and that one Cheaty McKlepto), the day was a bust. I read a book all day and my mom and aunt started drinking wine at 9:30. In their defense, it felt like noon since we had gotten up so early – plus hello? Tornado watch. If that’s not a free pass to drink at 9:30, I don’t know what is.

We ended up packing everything into Aunt Twin’s garage and planning to do it again at the end of the month. I intend to take the time to gather more shit and have a big ole dollar extravaganza just to get rid of it. And anything that doesn’t sell is going straight to Goodwill on the way home.

Oh – and we found out later that we would have had more customers, but they got poached. There was a garage sale that was right after you turned off the main road into the plan and folks were going there and leaving. We ended up going out after the rain to put out some more signs (all but the one at the main road were cardboard and the rain pretty much killed them) and wee ended up walking over to the garage sale to commiserate. The guy there told us that people kept dropping by and asking about the items we had listed in the ad. And I guess he was mad that they weren’t interested in his crap and he sent them away instead of pointing them in our direction. Way to benefit from out newspaper ad, Craigslist ad and giant painted wooden sign, Fred Sanford.

And sadly, I didn’t get any photos of any of the Crazy, either, because I didn’t want to take myyyy precccciiiioooouuuuussssss my camera out in the torrential downpour. Boo!

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