Saturday, September 10, 2005
I love that most of the adults in my family would not hesitate to plunk down on the floor with the 17 of us that make up the “children” portion of the family. And I love the way we all pile up together and simply share each other’s lives.
Uncle: “I’ll never forget the time we went shopping when Kim was younger and the cashier started a conversation with her. She’s like, ‘Wow, you’re going to be a tall one!’ and Sue said, ‘Thank God, because I wouldn’t want her to be a midget!’ and the girl was like, 4 feet tall!”
Aunt: “As soon as I said the Mmmuuhhh I knew I did something wrong!”
There was also a conversation about the “FOB’s” (Fresh Off the Boat Italians) and how they were at a picnic talking about how we all (The local Guineas) had butchered the language with words like:
Mozzarella: We call it Mutsadell
Cavatelli: We call it Gavadiel
Manicotti: We call it Manigot
And then there’s my Nana, who hates cats. Out of the blue she said, “It annoys me when I go to see a movie and it’s a good movie, except it has to have a cat in it. That ruins it.”
Then she says, “I hate it when people say I hate cats, because I’d never hurt a cat.”
To which I reply, “Let's be honest here, we have to actually say, you’d never INTENTIONALLY hurt a cat” because there was an accidental killing back in the early 90’s when she turned her car on and killed a cat that was hiding under the hood to keep warm. (“I thought it was snowing with all that white fur flying all over!”)
What’s also fun about being a part of my family is that my parents are the only ones who moved out of NY. So visiting these loud mouth Italians with thick NY accents cracks me up! Because if we were in the part of CT I grew up in and we were talking about FOB’s and Gavadiel, I’m pretty sure we’d be shunned and be made to wear a hair shirt. But where they live, it’s normal.
And-I secretly like being a part of "local Guineas" when I am there, and then back to my normal self when I cross the border.
And also, being able to throw out a random "Bah Fangoula Sorta" every now and then is fun too.
Are you KIDDING me with this girl?
Me: OMG-she's a carnie!
Me: And if I see an older guy at the Big E?! Yeah, that's not at all ambiguous.
Megan: Can't miss him...he'll be the only older guy there...
Megan: owns the petting zoo...ha ha ha that's hilarious
Me: I know.
Megan: and she's beaming with pride. ha ha ha
Megan: What an honor, and to think my uncle is a corporate lawyer in Washington DC...bummer for me.
Me: I know. I thought for sure my family would want to get into the petting zoo business, but, alas, they are just businessmen and teachers...
Megan: I'm sorry for you. Strive to achieve more...work for a llama.
Me: You crack me UP!!
Megan: Why aren't you laughing out loud? I'm over here literally biting my lip to not burst right out.
Me: Oh. I'm stifling.
Megan: My shoulders are shaking. You know how your entire body convulses when you're trying to stifle a good laugh??
Me: Yup. Doin' it too.
Megan: I wonder: if when I go to the Big E and I somehow locate the only older guy there, if I tell him I know Bambi will I get an extra handful of grain to feed the dirty llama? Or better yet, a 5x7 of me petting a goat? I can only dream...
Me: I'll say a prayer for you tonight.
Me: Maybe he'll autograph it.
Megan: Maybe I can get one of those beautiful T-shirts with my face and the llama on the front of it, or a mug I can bring into the office.
Me: Ah, yes. A screen printed tee...a calendar might be a good option too-12 months-o-petting zoo goodness right there!
Megan: Oh my God, to dream such a beautiful dream...her uncle's photo on the front and then 12 straight months of petting zoo beauty.
Megan: That's so much better than those stupid Mardi-Gras beads they throw out every night.
Me: Bonus if he looks anything like Bambi...OR a llama.
Yes...yes llama, we do.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Also crazy? My neighbor, who I affectionately call Scary Boo. (Sometimes Scary Boo Radley if I don't think the person will get the TKAM reference)
K. So, nicest house on the block-never any lights on except, I've just learned, when he's not home.
Older man, about 45-50. Always wears the exact same thing. Always has on a spring jacket. Always. Winter, spring, summer and fall...
The only time you know he's home: When he's playing his music: loud, and also when he gets the snow blower fired up. (And usually stops it immediately when he seems me shoveling like we did in the olden days, and swiftly goes back into his garage until I'm done)
Strange enough, or not so strange really: he's the only neighbor who gave any helpful information to the police during my fun filled Jamie incident.
While talking to Mr. CM in my driveway one night Scary Boo emerged from his house. With a plastic grocery bag. At like, 11pm. What was in that bag, Scary Boo, AND WHERE DID YOU DUMP IT?!
So why bring him up now? Because while driving down my road tonight at 11:54pm I spotted him walking down the road with a cart full of stuffage from the store! At midnight! He went shopping. And is walking down the road with a full cart. And for the first time in a year, all of the lights are on in his house. Without him there.
It's rather amusing to me, actually. I enjoy having a weird guy on the block that I can make up stories in my head about. I'm really waiting for there to be little figurines in the tree in my yard when I get home one day, but I guess that would be too good to be true...
Friday, 9/9/05 horoscope: Leo
"It's all about what's happening at a deeper, stronger and hotter level right now. Lower yourself into the volcano and check out the core. So you get your eyebrows singed off -- it'll be totally worth it."
I think I'm about to singe my own eyebrows off. Which could be good, 'cause then I can re-shape them, but also, it could be very, very bad.
I think the "hotter level" my horoscope speaks of is the anger that rose up from inside of me today when the tiny bits of information I have been gathering about someone all came together to form a clear, crisp picture. And it's not what I had hoped it would be. Rather, it's a very disappointing portrait of someone who is potentially hurting someone I care about.
This is my question. Why do people use other people to make themselves feel better when they HAVE to know deep down that it will eventually kill the other person's happiness? Why would someone use a confession to bolster their own wavering self-confidence knowing that the other person hangs on every detail of their life, hoping and waiting and hoping some more? And this is all done knowing. Knowing that you will never feel the same way-because if you could it would have already happened. But, none the less, you string that other person along, keeping them hooked, so that they don't have a chance to be happy because you want to feel better about the hole that is in your heart.
And this infuriates me because no one should be used and no one should not be allowed to move forward because of false hope and no one should have to stay stuck.
And also, it would have been my second choice too.
Yup, there go the eyebrows...
We were the only underclassmen given an open door to the senior apartments for parties. We went to every around the world party there was when other people were shut out, and it was rare that our room wasn't full of people. I even had 1 boy pay to enter our room-a penny each time. He was there so much that he funded a $50 cab ride to our condo in Myrtle Beach one summer.
We took random, spur of the moment road trips to NY and Canada. We talked to strangers on the bus & did silly things like make literally THOUSANDS of construction paper smiley faces & posted them all over our section's bathroom. We played "Fernando" by Abba for our janitor every morning.
We'd stay up for hours talking about nothing-things like how her grandfather wouldn't eat a PBJ if the "J" was on the top & would actually make her grandmother re-make the sandwich & serve it with the "PB" on top, or how her uncle had a phobia of everything round. I think that night we didn't sleep because we kept exclaiming, "How did he do this & he wouldn't be able to do that!
We mud wrestled on the campus green, got into a mud fight on spring weekend, bungee jumped together, stalked a cute boy (ok, maybe more than 1) together & even orchestrated a treasure hunt for our guy friends to find the game we stole from them.
I have 2 very favorite Christine & Mags stories, though as you can imagine, I have endless little stories that make up the wonderfulness of my time away at school. My 2 favorite stories are:
1. Our 24 hour trip to Canada
2. Our pink lemon story
Today I had a craving for lemonade & so I think I'll share pink lemons.
One day right before finals were about to start, Chris & I were studying in our room. The TV was on, but very low-just enough to give us the background noise Chris needed to concentrate. I still to this day don't know how I survived it, because in order to really study I need quiet. I'm not sure what made me look up, but as I did, I saw the end of a Crystal Light commercial-with 2 very juicy luscious PINK lemons on the screen. Immediately I asked Chris if there really were such things as pink lemons.
"Um. I dunno! Are there?!"
Mags: "I don't know! Hand me the phone." And she did.
I don't know who I called, but it was a boy. I asked him the now famous line:
"Are there such things as pink lemons?"
To my delight, he played along. About 5 minutes later, I hung up the phone with a smile on my face, but still without an answer.
"Who was that?" Chris asked.
Mags: "I don't know. Some guy. He doesn't know either."
Chris, laughing: "You just called someone up randomly and asked if they knew if there were such things as pink lemons? That's awesome!"
And she proceeded to try it.
We did this randomly-by just dialing on campus numbers-for a few hours, but quickly realized that we didn't like talking to girls because they didn't play along. So Chris used her job as the cafe secretary to pull all of the phone numbers for the guys on campus.
And we started calling.
What I love about this story is that our campus was VERY small. One day as we were walking to class, we overheard 2 guys talking. The first one said:
"Some chic called me last night and asked me if there were such things as pink lemons." We thought we'd explode with laughter, but then the other guy said,
"YEAH! She called me the other night! So...what'd you say?"
Chris convinced the cafe manager to change the yellow lemonade to pink lemonade, and we drew pink lemons and posted them all over the campus. We talked to 1 boy who wanted a clue about who we were, so we told him to look for the girls with a pink shirt and a yellow shirt. The funny thing was, that day 2 other sets of girls did the same thing! No one, not even our circle of friends, it was us.
To this day, I'll get a random pink lemon in the mail, letting me know that no matter how many years go by, we're still the pink ladies.
Oh-years later someone told me that pink lemons do exist...but just so you know, to naturally make lemonade pink, use cherry juice.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
And other times, well, I, well, suck:
Not sure what I was thinking with the blue. Nor do I know why I was so lame and got a blue blob on the top...
At least it's my famous chocolate cake, and I know it will taste good...
Oh well. Practice makes perfect, and they all can't be winners...or somethin' like that.
"I don't know who I am." I exhale, more calmly. "Or what my goal is...or where I'm headed in my life. Or anything."
"It doesn't matter, " she says, her voice soft. "Don't beat yourself up for not knowing all the answers. You don't always have to know who you are. You don't have to have the big picture, or know where you're heading. Sometimes it's enough just to know what you're going to do next."
And also: The song that played right before I shut the computer off to go read that was Alli Rogers "Who Is This God":
all the way down
all the way down to where i fell
i stare at the ground,
blood that i have spilled
but just to feed me
you bend all the way down
all the way down to where i fell
who is this god
that loves me still
this love that keeps me safe when i run
safe when i'm young and foolish
Is it a stretch? Maybe. But does it make me feel better when I'm all the way down?
Why do I aim higher than I know I can reach? Why do I believe that this only means I'll always succeed? How is it that I consistently pick myself off the floor when I don't reach the goal I knew I wouldn't get to in the first place? How am I made of rubber?
How have I gotten to where I am now? Why am I given more opportunities, more help, more hope? How do I receive it and where does it come from?
How have I gotten to be me? What can I do to be better? Who can teach me, who can nurture me, who can feed my soul? Who can make me smile, who can make me think, who can stretch my patience? Where do I find these people and will some of them fill more than 1 role?
How can I help someone else? How can I share who I am? How can I teach, nurture and feed a soul? Can I make someone smile even when they don't want to, do I make people think and whose patience do I stretch? Will they try to find me?
When will I know the answers to the questions the run through my head? How will I find them and will they be obvious? Will there be a time when the questions get quieter and the answers just appear?
When will I sleep and what will enter my dreams?
Even in sleep, I suspect my mind will wonder when all it should do is wander.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
That's apparently what I look like today, because the guy at the drive thru told me I had sexy hair.
It's a little weird to me that the drive thru guy is handing out compliments, and also that he used the word "sexy", but hey, I'll take a compliment whenever one comes my way...
I LOVE it when random stuff like this happens!
Getting arrested yesterday was almost a possibility for me because it was also almost a possibility that I could have killed someone with merely a shopping cart and maybe a pair of tweezers. (Let's face it, if I'm going to kill anyone, I'd like it to have a little bit of a creative flair, while also making people ask, "How DID she kill her with tweezers?") In any case, it took every bit of self control I possess to hold back and not to kill the other shoppers.
It started in Walmart. Contrary to what my family would say, this is my second LEAST favorite place to shop, mainly because of the over use of the loudspeaker. I can't seem to walk more than 5 steps without hearing, "Bif, you have a call on line 1" or "CSM to isle 5 for a code blue".
So, I'm in Walmart, kids are screaming, parents are allowing it, the loudspeaker is blaring. Already, I should be screaming. But what really started the smolder was a trashy, raspy-voiced grandmother complaining about her granddaughter and how much money she wastes. While standing in my way. While expectantly looking at ME to move, when I was trying to buy laundry detergent. And she was not.
Because I realize I am not the only person in the world, I took a few minutes to survey the isle, checking to see if there was anything more I needed before asking her to kindly step aside so I can choose the soap du jour. Then I said in a sweet voice:
"Excuse me" And-really-I did say it in a sweet voice. And I got a dirty look. And...AND she didn't move. She kind of just ignored me, as if I didn't say a word.
Inside my head:
"This can't be possible-can she actually just keep standing there? I mean, the isle is not crowded-we're the only ones in here, so I know she has the room. And yet, there she is, standing there. I can't believe this!"
So, instead of asking again-because I refused to play her little game-I actually shoved past her and reached for the soap I wanted which happened to be the one all the way to the left, and far enough over that my arm pushed into her butt and made her jump.
It makes me smile even as I type this. Because I made her move. Hehehehe.
But wait-there's more! I then went to Lowes to buy some stepping stones. Though I'm strong enough to carry them myself, pushing 20 stepping stones in a cart is hard work. It takes a little momentum to get the cart going, and sort of a hop and a lean backwards to get it stopped.
On my way to the checkout counter, an Indian couple and their child pushed-hurdled even-past me.
And then stopped short.
Now...whyyyy would someone do that? I guess common sense isn't their forte, but please don't look at me and get upset when I crash into you. I mean, you practically asked me to hit you. I did say I was sorry, though what I really wanted to yell was, "You stupid fucking jerks! What did you hope to accomplish by jumping in front of my very heavy cart?"
Sometimes people make me so angry. No one seems to care about each other. The simple art of holding a door or letting someone pass seems to be dying. And I know this every time I shop, but it still irks me and it still makes me wonder where our society is headed.
Ok. Now I've got to go read My Happy Place and then start choosing to be happy...
Help keep kindness alive: Hold a door, share a smile or give an unexpected hello today. (Just be careful in the detergent isle)
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Hamel starts by saying:
"If someone told me they were going to swing a hammer, and it was aimed at the exact spot my head was resting, what would I do? What if they told me this minutes before they begin to plunge the hunk of metal earthward?"
"If I chose to stand pat, to see how bad the damage would be, what then?...how much complaining and whining is justified? None. Absolutely none."
He also said:
"...Some claim they had nowhere to go. Wrong. They had anywhere to go. A tobacco field in North Carolina would have been better than a home in New Orleans."
My comment to his post:
"Thank you for sharing an opinion that I think in most circles would be considered harsh. I admire you for sharing it here in real time, and not waiting until months after the clean up when emotions will be less tender."
"I agree with you in terms of self inflicted wounds, however I wonder how I would have reacted if asked to abandon everything I knew just in case a storm hit. I would like believe that being an educated woman with common sense that I would quickly gather essentials and head to the nearest "anywhere but here" site. But people do strange things when they are afraid-and the more people who are afraid, the easier it is to say "If he's staying, I can".
"That being said, houses can be rebuilt, clothing re-bought and memories recalled. Physical lives end."
"I'm pretty sure I'd remember my mortality and get the heck outta there...the hammer has never been my favorite tool anyway."
What are your thoughts? Are any of you feeling the same way as Hamel?
You figured out the writing on the wall
And angels on the ceiling
Don't calm you, when you call
So you found your own religion
And search your heart for somethin' more
Stood naked in the kitchen, tryin' to wipe yourself off of the floor
No I won't take you for granted
These broken arms can hold you
No I won't take you for granted
No I won't leave you abandoned
This broken heart can love you still
No I won't take you for granted
And you don't say you will
But inside I know
And you don't say that it hurts
And tonight you've shown
All the love in the world
Won't let you let go
Let you let go-o-o-o
Hold on your soul will rise again
I know that it will
Hold on your soul will rise again
I say that it will
Hold on your soul will rise again
I know that it will now
I'm pretty sure the draw for me is the piano and I'm also pretty sure if I could find someone to play the piano for me, I'd choose this song to sing at Razzle Dazzle this year. (A talent show) But, alas, I don't have anyone to play for me, so I'll just have to keep my performances small-like, well, to just me.
By Fran Greene
And, Git Er Dunn-just so you know, by "take risks" we don't mean climb a steep rock, or jump in front of a moving truck. We mean risk talking to someone you wouldn't normally talk to, even if you want to pee your pants with fear.
9. Start a conversation: The best opening line is saying hello. Talk about the surroundings, ask a question, ask for help, state an opinion.
Things you don't want to talk about: A rash-of any kind, your Underoos collection, your ex-girlfriend and blood. Some girls might like that you are tough enough to bleed, but save that for later.
8. Have fun: Be playful, light-hearted and spontaneous. Show your vulnerability. Just don't cry. Even if she tries to make you cry, don't do it. You will forever be labeled a sissy and the only girl who will want to date you is the fat girl with moles on her neck who sits in the corner at school dances.
7. Use props: Never leave home without a prop. Props are natural conversation starters. They encourage conversation and others will be compelled to start talking to you. Great props include: dogs, kids, a sweatshirt with your favorite passion, hats, or an interesting book or newspaper. You should not choose rope for your prop. This may seem obvious to other readers, but Git Er Dunn is a sailor, and I have a feeling he'd like to show off his knot tying skills. All he would end up doing is scaring the poor girls into thinking they'd end up tied up in the trunk of his truck. And any girl who isn't scared of knots, I forbid you to talk to.
6. Be the host: Change your behavior from the role of guest to host. You are not the passive person in waiting, but rather the welcome committee. Asking that girl to come sign up for the musical the other day was a GREAT idea. Try doing that type of thing again-be proactive.
5. Make the first move: Move closer to the person you want to meet. Say hello! Do not use "Wanna Breed?" Even though you are in Hickville USA, wanna breed is only acceptable when talking with rebels.
4. Listen: You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak. Listening is a true art. Your flirting partner will be drawn to you. Everyone loves to be heard. Resist the urge to zone out. Sometimes girls can ramble. I know because I do it regularly. If you aren't interested in listening to the girl talk, then why bother talking to her at all. And get your mind out of the gutter young man!
3. Eye contact: Make eye contact, but please look your partner in the eye gently (no more than 2-4 seconds) and then glance away.Don’t stare – it’s a turn off. She may think she has something on her face or worse, that you are an obsessive freak who will never leave her alone.
2. Compliment: Compliment your flirting partner. The best compliments have the element of surprise. The "flirtee" will know that you really noticed them.Remember, your compliments must be honest, sincere and genuine. When you receive a compliment the best response is merely, Thank You! Please don't use the element of surpise advice to scare girls by jumping out of their lockers yelling, "I like your hair today!" Also, don't randomly throw out a "I like your lunchbox" if you really don't mean it. If you can't identify something you like about her easily, then you shouldn't be trying to flirt.
1. Smile: It is contagious. It will make you so much more approachable. A smile lights up your face and draws people to you. You will be a people magnet. And you, boy, have a fantastic smile. Your eyes light up and you look so cute! Just remember to brush your teeth.
Monday, September 05, 2005
And just like that, we’re kids again, warped into a world where big sister and little sister play without fighting-joining together for a greater goal:
To beat Super Mario Brothers 3 again.
Remembering back, my younger sister and I didn’t get along much when we were younger. I suppose most siblings can say they fought too, but I am 6 years older than she is; we didn’t have much in common.
Except for our extreme love of a video game with puzzling doors, giant man eating fish and cryptic turtle birds made of bones.
And we were good. We knew every inch of those worlds-every trick in the book which would allow us to get more coins, more lives and extra treasures. We were so into the game that we’d often play for hours-without fighting. We’d cheer each other on and supported each other when one of us died. Most of the time we’d even share the goodie spots-giving up a precious mushroom to each other for the cause.
Tonight we were transported back into that world...
Mags: “What are you doing? You’re not being Mario! I’m ALWAYS Mario.”
Middle Mags: “You’re still a bully”
Mags: “Whatever-this is how we always play. We can’t upset the tradition.”
MM: “Yeah, I guess.”
I used to be the master-MM could never beat me. If she couldn’t finish a world, she’d anxiously hand me the controller and rock back and forth with her hands in her blond curls almost praying that I’d make it through so we would advance.
Tonight, MM was the master. There was actually a point in the game when I just couldn’t seem to get Mario on a block. “Do you want me to do it FOR you?!” she cried in frustration.
Luckily, it wasn’t long before it all came back to me. As we advanced through the worlds, we began getting more and more animated-and MM didn’t need to offer help. In fact, at one point she actually screamed: “Oh-that was SO SLICK!” as I killed a flying turtle bird AND caught a free life mushroom.
It’s things like this that really makes me appreciate the little things in life. Playing SMB3 with my little sister was always something we just always did together. And it’s awesome to know that while we’re both grown women now, something as simple as a video game can turn her back into a spunky spiral haired blond child of 8 and me into her 14 year old sister.
Now-please excuse me, I’m about to warp into dream land.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Part of loving someone is giving without thought of return.
Sometimes the best way to figure out who you are is to get to that place where you don't have to be anything else.
I may have fallen in love with my ex-husband because he cooked me hot dogs on the coals of the steam train at WDW.
Sometimes just smelling something or someone intoxicates me.
There really are about a million reasons...
I have to buy a snow blower this year so that I can race with scarey boo when he snow blows. And also, if I have one, he won't feel the need to back up into the garage in order to avoid me.
The people who are complaining about Bush taking vacations should shut up. I'm only a lowly manager in a small office and I can't imagine working without breaks. He is only human you know.
Sometimes I want to just tell people what they need to do and shake them until they understand.
I am tempted to drive to the airport and get on a plane right now. I don't think I would even pack.
Broccoli is good.
I never got to eat that ice cream sandwich after seeing Git Er Dunn. Yet another reason to get on a plane.
My lawnmower has flames and a skull on it. I'm about to use it for the first time since these modifications. I can't wait to see the looks on my snobby neighbors faces. I might strap my cleaver to my belt and wear a patch over my eye just for fun.