30 May 2006

Look Out, It's a Cookout

SUNDAY -- We officially kicked off the season of the impromptu cookout at Jess'& Joe's Whortleberry compound in Scituate, where over some horseshoes and hotdogs, we revelled in our collective escape from domestic captivity. Everything felt lighter: It was the first Memorial Day in recent memory that was above 70 degrees and didn't involve hooded sweatshirts and hot tea. Also, it was our first outing that didn't require two cars and a sherpa's load of baby gear. We tossed a few Dora pull-ups, sippy cups and a big bottle of Cavit in a bag and were good to go. All told, it was a lovely afternoon of some much-needed chilling. One surprise: The Shocker, unseen since last summer, reared its foam finger. Bags brought it along for Scott C. who needs it for a sales meeting. Let's hope he's not brought up on charges.

(PATIO WONDERLAND. Sit back and enjoy the vino but keep your distance from the buffalo mozzarella sweating on a nearby table)

(Paulie gives it up to Bags after shotgunning a juicebox)

(Paulie says "EMMMMA!" Ben says "SHOCKER!!")

(Nicy and Annie)

(Dell'Olios note that Emma always smells so fresh)

(A scene straight out of King of the Hill if the men were wearing wife beaters and drinking Schlitz)

(It's all about the bulkhead)

(Recreational family photos)

And on MONDAY -- Caroline & Paulie kicked off their own tradition of planting it on the seawall, waiting for the ice cream man, and becoming completely unglued when he arrives.

28 May 2006

You Say Tomato...

Caroline declares victory after planting her very own parsley, basil and one mac daddy of a tomato plant.

NOTE: In case you're wondering why I'm using early 90s urban adjectives: I was listening Kris Kross this morning.

26 May 2006

Philosophy Friday: Little Pigs, Little Pigs

I receive the "philosophy quote of the day" via e-mail every morning. Usually, they're fairly new-agey or cliched but every now and then I get one like this that warrants sharing:

"Don't roll around in the mud with the pigs. You both get dirty and the pigs like it."

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend and/or see you at Jess's on Sunday.

25 May 2006

Old Hairy Hasselhoff

I knew I'd be deeply engrossed in the Lost two-hour season finale last night so, out of morbid curiosity, I decided to TiVO American Idol so I could see the final announcement. At first, I was slightly ashamed of myself for recording it but I am SO glad I did. I was fast-forwarding through Ryan "the Tan" Seacrest's empty yammering when I saw the unmistakable glint of the Hoff. I had to rewind and pause a few times because he was easy to miss. I almost woke up everyone in the house when I exclaimed, "Holy Christ, it's Hasselhoff!" At first I thought I was in the grips of some Zyrtec-induced hallucination, but no, there he was in all his hairy glory -- sitting in the audience, welling up with cheesy sentiment at all the Idol fanfare. It was so worth it.

But it gets better. Hasselhoff and some other misbegotten relics are going to be judges on a crappy knock-off show this summer called "America's Got Talent." These horrible shows usually inspire blind indifference or hopeless rubbernecking in me; I have a feeling I won't be able to turn my eyes from this one. It could end up being "surprise fun" like last summer's Hit Me Baby One More Time, which -- as I've said previously -- was so-bad-it's-good fun, fun like the Wham! Rap, fun like a shaving cream fight.

(NOTE: Be thankful I posted this ridiculous G-rated tire swing photo of the Hoff. I was going to post this one but decided to spare you)

22 May 2006

Little Hula Skirt Paulie

Poor Paulie. He's not yet two years old and he's already learned a harsh lesson about what happens when you're outnumbered by women wearing tulle. Isabella, Caroline's pal and cousin-in-common-law, visited today. They dressed in their sparkly princess attire, ambushed Paulie with a faux grass skirt and referred to him as "Little Hula Skirt Paulie" for the remainder of the day. It's OK, Paulie. There is another lesson to be learned here -- it's called "karma in the bank."

(photo: "Who us?" say the Princesses of the Monkey Tea Party)

18 May 2006

Thank God the DaVinci Code is Finally Here...

...Not because I can't wait to see the movie but because I'm hoping to see less of this guy's fat face. It's William Donahue, the Catholic League's bitchy goon and chief gay basher, who has been bloviating about disclaimers and boycotts on every television network for more than a year -- and doing so with all the composure of one of my drunk shrill aunts. In many ways, he's the film's best publicist. I simply don't get what all the controversy is about. The DaVinci Code is a novel -- it's fiction. The film version is entertainment, not a documentary on Catholicism. Where were these morally-superior zealots when priests were raping boys? Apparently that scandal was not as formidable a threat to the church's reputation as a fictional movie. These people are idiots. As DaVinci Code author Dan Brown said, "The Catholic Church survived the teachings of Galileo and Darwin, it'll surely survive a novel written by some guy from New Hampshire." The outcry only makes it look like they really do have something to hide after all.

15 May 2006

Random Quizzilla

1) Name a hobby/sport/activity that you've tried but eventually gave up. Why?

When I was 12, I joined Community Boating on the Charles River and absolutely loved it. When I first started out, I spent most mornings sailing with my instructor, a preppy Napoleon Dynamite look-alike who had a few bong hits for breakfast every day. In a glassy-eyed trance, he’d tell me how sailing was “as close to flying as one could get.” When he got excited about something, he’d become shrill, do a quick knee bend, and use exclamations that I’d never heard before like “Oh my Head.” For a few weeks, sailing with Napoleon was all well and good. However, once I earned my Solo rating and was able to take a boat out by myself, I constantly found myself on the wrong side of the wind. Suddenly, sailing felt less like flying than it did struggling with a golf umbrella by the John Hancock tower on a windy day. The first two times I sailed alone, I capsized. By the third time, Napoleon was monitoring me from a neighboring boat. When he saw me start to keel over, he started screeching and flailing his gawky limbs, “Hike out, hike out" For me -- then 80 pounds -- "hiking out" was an exercise in futility. When I capsized for the third time, Napoleon somehow decided I was doing this on purpose...which was ridiculous. Nobody in their right mind would have chosen to take a fully-clothed dip in the Charles River during the 1980s – it was an unswimmable cesspool of filth. I had to get a tetanus shot and then, if that weren't punishment enough, was forced to scrub bird poo off the decks. After that, I was placed on probation and paired with another Solo-non-grata -- Kristina from Brookline who chain smoked and wore pearls every day. It soon became clear that two wrongs did not make a right: While attempting to tack upwind, we ended up spinning in circles by the MIT boathouse and put a gigantic hole in the side of an old wooden boat. Got into BIG trouble and that was the end of that. Ever masochistic, I tried the Boston Sailing Center in high school where I learned that sailing did sort of feel like flying -- as long as I was a passenger. Moral: If you don’t know which way the wind is blowing, you should not be the captain.

2) Describe your hairstyle:

Suburban hippy. Unkempt. Past due for a highlight.

3) Do you sleep on your back, belly or side?

All of the above. Now would someone please crystallize some Lunesta so I can smoke it immediately?

4) What is the last album you *loved*?

It’s sad but I can’t remember the last time I listened to an album in its entirety. For several years now, I’ve been downloading single songs. I keep telling myself that it’s like buying one chapter of a novel and that I’m missing out on the larger context. But at the same time, I’m pretty cheap. While I’d sooner die than part with my iPod and digital tunes, I do miss the tangibility of new music, not to mention the ceremony of it. I miss popping in a CD for the first time and lying on my couch reading the liner notes and lyrics. Sure, you can Google all of this info but it’s not the same and I never have enough printer ink anyway.

Again…I digress. The last album I *loved* was one of the last CDs I actually purchased the old fashioned way: “Sea Change” by Beck (2002). This record is so deliciously sad that it almost makes you wish you were going through a break-up purely for the catharsis.

5) Admit something – anything:

I am addicted to the Lost Experience online game but am completely befuddled by it. There are a lot of numbers and anagrams and patterns and my mind simply does not work that way. Between James’ fantasy baseball league and my Lost obsession, it’s a total Dungeons and Dragons fest over here.

12 May 2006

Cream Shop Friday: What's Really Happening Today

1. Paris Hilton is Still Really Stupid:

Sometimes it's humorous when people accidentally call something or someone the wrong name. My personal favorites are when James mistakenly referred to Casa Romero as "Cafe Rodriguez" and the Circe's Grotto sandwich shop in Scituate as "The Groratoria." However, nobody is paying him buckets of cash to represent these establishments. Paris Hilton, as usual, is a whole nutha story. She made a brief appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo to promote her new video game "Paris Hilton's Jewel Jam" but repeatedly referred to the game as "Diamondquest." WTF. Doesn't even sound like Jewel Jam. I can't figure out if she's mildly retarded or a publicity genius: Her slip-up has made every online, print and television news site today and sent me right into the Cream Shop wondering what was she thinking -- but then I realized she doesn't.

2. Auntie is Really Pregnant:

Celine marked the halfway point of her pregnancy by installing a step next to her bed as she's having trouble heave-ho-ing the fetus and herself in and out of it. "I may soon have to start rocking her to get momentum in getting up there," said Bags.

3. Paulie is Really Stuck in the Dora the Explorer Tent:
This behemoth of a tent has overtaken our living room alongside the Dora patio set. It's a small world within a world here where we've all been living like shut-ins because of the crap weather. Unfortunately, Paulie's so burly that every time he enthusiastically bumrushes the tent, he gets tripped up in the folds and overturns it. This makes Caroline absolutely livid. I've had to dislodge him from the folds at least five times today.

4. Caroline Really Loves Hide-N-Seek:

And because she loves it, she insists everyone else love it too. She's the hide-n-seek enforcer, the hide-n-seek Nazi. "Will you go hide, Mama. I'm serious. GO HIDE. NOW!" I'm running out of places to hide but it doesn't really matter because she peeks. Ready or not, here she comes.

Mama needs to get out-the-house. Who's up for South Shore cocktails tonight?

10 May 2006

"What a Difference a Day Made"

Last Saturday, LP "get married" -- not to oily bohunk but a great man "of the oil." Their first dance as the Dell'Olios, their wedding song: Jamie Cullum's What a Difference a Day Made . Indeed it did. Congratulations, LP & Mike! We love you large.

It would take weeks to document the unbelievable good times spent with pals last weekend so I'll relay them in the flashes that are playing on a continuous loop inside my head:

* Shangri-La-La * Make-Up! (buuufff)* Peetah = Incandescent * LP's denim-choked neighbors staking out the front yard with a video cam * Prince Harry * Dr. G. * Trolley ride with Lisa, Trolley ride with Lynn * Andree and I deeply inhaling our bouquets at random or during especially poignant moments * Curb your wine * Nicola telling James to stop "busting her balls" during the cocktail hour * Dreama's half-serious pursuit of Prince "call me when you're legal" Harry * Swinging out to the musical stylings of Evan Goodreau with choreo by the Cyrs * Good spirits with Cameo * Jess's butt's dancefloor debut 2006 * BG's awesome Vanilla Ice moves * LP's "groove face" (see photos) * Trying to get T-Bag to wear my hair piece * Running barefoot through the hallways of the Marriott with Annie, the Bags, Cameo, Jess and Paige like the Wonder Pets * And of course, the giddy realization that LP & WMD are now married, a fact that is quite possibly as blissful to their friends as it is to them.

These are my flash memories. Please feel free to share your good times from the LP-WMD nuptials here any time.

And now for some candids...

Grazi to Code Red & T-Bag for sharing the photos.