29 January 2008

MF One Pin

Our bowling outing to Lucky Strike on Lansdowne: Retro hoopla + Overstimulation = Simply awesome. We planned the big ball bowling precisely because "there will be more strikes," yet were consistently foiled, time and time again, by the MF one pin. Knocking down nine, with one standing, wobbling slightly, but ultimately refusing to go down. Was it simply Candlepins vets off their game or a conspiracy of pins? Lucky Strike, my butt. All I know is those big balls are heavy; I let one fly on the backswing and almost injured some friends. (Sorry) Anyway, enjoy a crappy slideshow of the good times (and mounting frustration) of what will undoubtedly become a traditional outing.

25 January 2008

Random Quizzilla

1) Pick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.
Apple

2) What do your sunglasses look like?
Like this.

3) What is your favorite kind of gum?
Trident Splash Strawberry Lime.

4) How comfortable are you with nudity?
It depends on the context. I’m not quite as comfortable as Rosemarie and Kathy, the 70-something ladies at my gym who after their water aerobics class head into the sauna, strip off their suits and apply lotion while discussing what’s on special at Hannafords.

5) If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
Peachy pink, the color of the sunset all day long.

23 January 2008

Sad

This is so incredibly sad and completely unexpected. I remember reading an recent NYT article where he talked about his sleeping problems and how he was only sleeping an average of two hours a night while filming the new Batman movie Dark Knight. He said while he was physically exhuasted, he couldn't quiet his mind. When he took one Ambien, it only kept him asleep for one hour while two would put him into a stupor. Any average insomniac can relate to that, but he also said he was deeply affected by his movie role as the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy." He was clearly a sensitive soul who couldn't sleep, who ironically now, at 28, will sleep forever. A fantastic actor and, from all accounts, a fantastic father as well.

21 January 2008

PATS Live from the Bagatorium

(ladies)

On Saturday, I cooked up a vat of turkey chili as James had invited some friends over to watch the Pats game. And then, just like last week, Stevie B called at the 11th hour with an extra ticket to the game. So, James, high on his own Lebanese luck, took off at 11 a.m. in a Gortex ski mask and snow pants looking like Hannibal Lecter in black Marvy Matchables.

That said, I was planning on watching the game on mute while continuing my trip through the 3rd season of Lost on my laptop. Probably eat some chili. But then, I received word from the Bagatorium in Cohasset that there were christening leftovers, friends, and a forum for my chili vat.

(gentlemen)

So, after a four year old birthday party at Scalliwags, I took the sugared-up brown ones over to watch the game, indulge in the smorgasboard of finger sandwiches, and play with wee infants rolling to and fro on baby blankets. There was constant wine glass surveillance as 16-month-old Jack --Paulie 2.0 -- cut a chubby swath of destruction through the living room every 10 minutes. While we celebrated the Pats, we toasted the news of a transcluent fro-headed baby due this summer. We look upon Divine Dell’Olio who basked in sunlight by the bay window. And noticed that Code Red, a closet football fanatic, has honed her peripheral vision to almost Bionic proportions. One minute she was engaged in our conversation about the short-lived show "It's Your Move," the next screaming “NO! Someone get that fucker” at the TV.

So, the Pat’s won. “That’s great.” Again, like the Red Sox, the exhilaration is missing. Bags let loose a small fist pump. There were some golf claps. And I think we have enough chili leftover for the Superbowl.

20 January 2008

DOT Suppah

Suppah Club is back with a vengeance after a four-month hiatus brought on by weather-related disasters. At long last, the burds gathered at 224 Boston in Dorchester which never disappoints. Even when the place is jam-packed. Even with the ever-present possibility of face-butting another patron. Even when conversation involves hollerin' over the Boston Street Cod Cakes and imaginary (or not) elfin-like whistles that followed us trom the trunk of Auntie's car.



Fine dining in a vice-like grip between chair and table.








(Flo-Ha bound)

After dinner, KT and I headed over to Florian Hall for a fundraiser beneath flourescent lights where we sought out DT and James among a sea of men in January jorts.

16 January 2008

Pretty Scary

This year, my New Year’s resolution was simple: Don't get rattled by the petty annoyances of daily life. Focus on the positive. Even when people keep moving your boots around the house at random and you can't find them when you need them. Even when you miss an important work call because you were outside (after spending 15 minutes searching for boots) trying to dislodge Vito from a frozen snowbank.

This afternoon, I walked out of the house and I had what back in the day was called “a yard sale.” I was walking to the car to take the kids to school, carrying backpacks, lunchboxes and snowpants. I slipped on black ice, caught some sick air, and then landed with a thud. Backpacks, lunch boxes and snowpants scattered about the driveway; the contents of my purse dumped into a snowbank that Vito had recently yellowed. And it's always great to shout “motherfucker” in front of the children and the lovely retired couple across the street.

We were running late. My pants were caked with melting snow. Inside my head, I was cursing the snow and the cold and the black ice. Then, as I started driving, I focused on the positive. I noticed the trees and the snowy canopy they created over our street. It was an Ansel Adams photo. The Unforgettable Fire video. At least it's pretty, I thought. My positive moment was shattered immediately as the "pretty" trees began raining massive chunks of frozen snow and ice down onto the car, pelting the roof and windshield with such force that the kids started screaming. It was Alfred Hitchcock. I am Legend. I give up.

11 January 2008

Random Quizzilla

1. When was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?
Last summer. A bumper sticker that said “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”

2. On what day of the week were you born? At what time?
Saturday, 9:55 p.m.

3. Tell us something special about your hometown.
It’s actually an island.

4. With which cartoon character(s) do you share personality traits?
Snoopy. I've also been told I’m like a character on Scooby Doo who leans against a door and spins everyone into another dimension.

5. Do you have any phobias? If so, can you trace them to any past event?
I have mad claustrophobia -- I always have and I don't know why. I also fear heights but only when outside, close to an edge. I don't know if I'm afraid of the height so much as I might lose it for a moment and jump. I always thought this was just more evidence of my own insanity but apparently it's a very common response.

08 January 2008

Welcome to the Shit Show

I’ve never done well with parental sanctimony but there are degrees of it that are barely tolerable: Strangers with Vera Bradley backpacks who question your children’s music choices are annoying but family members who preach -- under the guise of “only trying to help” -- are the worst offenders. For instance, my parents and other relatives over 60 scoffed at my parenting and baby books yet felt compelled to send me news clippings of every freak accident involving children, however obscure, be it the dangers of above ground pools or playing tug-of-war with Golden Retrievers.

For several years, I walked around -- anxiety-ridden -- in the land of unintended consequence. My radar fine-tuned to pick up any slight, I saw danger and choking hazards everywhere. Each day was a mine field of processed foods and potential skull fractures and make sure he doesn’t stick that thing in his ear. I'm just starting to come out of this phase.

The new mamas have entered it as of late; it seems people are stepping in it left and right. Even Jess was looking a little emo so a few of us headed out to Mount Blue for some vino and snacks.

Aside: The only helpful unsolicited advice I’ve ever received as a mother was at Piers Park three years ago. I’d gotten dressed in the dark and was taking the kids, then 18 months and 4 months, to the park. I shuffled over to the playground, dazed and barely coherent at 7 a.m. with a turbo Dunkin coffee in the cupholder of the double stroller.

An elderly man walking by me, stopped short and looked at me: “Dear, your blouse is on backwards.” My “blouse” was actually an olive green wife beater but he saved me from appearing a few shades crazier than I already was that year.

Over the holidays, Jess’s relatives from Germany were visiting and questioned her use of a bouncy seat. “What’s wrong with a human lap?“

Before inadequacy could settle in, she found one of her young nephews, the son of the “human lap” enthusiast, holding some kind of explosive device in one hand and a lighter in the other.

“The Germans brought fireworks,” Jess said. That's right. Her bouncy seat was a risk to her child’s development, but potentially blowing off a few fingers with a cherry bomb? No biggie.

What’s worse is these people brought the fireworks in their suitcase, on a transatlantic flight from Europe, in the belly of a 747. This was not only a danger to their young kids but everyone on the plane. Scarier than MF snakes, more baffling than a suitcase of fresh produce arriving from San Diego. Code Red was understandably horrified.

Auntie had a similar story to share about one of her relatives whose own house is a “veritable shit show,” yet when this person shows up at her's, she points out uncovered outlets and pointy edges. When Auntie told her relative a cute story about how Jack sticks his chubby little legs through the spokes of his crib, she got a lecture about the femoral artery.

Using binkies is the equivalent of playing with blasting caps.

You can't smell carbon monoxide, you know. YES. We know.

Let's raise a toast to ourselves, the morons!

We’re not morons, of course. We're all just doing the best we can do, but there are good and bad days. And we’re thankful when the well-intentioned busybodies aren’t around to witness the bad days -- like yesterday afternoon when Caroline yelled “move your ass” to the minivan in front of us on Route 53.

Or last week when I was signing the kids up for swimming lessons at the health club. Paulie became unglued upon learning he wasn’t actually going swimming right then. He decided the best way to express his displeasure was to lie face down on the floor and flail and scream about it. Then he went all limp so I couldn’t pick him up properly.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gaggle of pregnant women heading to a yoga class. They were watching me with a mixture of horror and pity as I struggled to haul Paulie out of there. Then I looked up and saw it in a few of their eyes. “My child will never behave that way.” I know this look because I had it myself once. Pre-kids, whenever I saw brats melting down at Target, I got all puffed up with smuggery. No way will my kids ever do that. Who’s in charge, anyway? Call it karma, call it the circle of shite, but now I know. When kids are in a state like that -- they are actually in charge. All you can do is remove them from the premises as quickly as possible.

So, I got a hold of one of Paulie’s legs and one of his arms; his hip hop parka was all bunched up over his head like he’d been in a hockey fight. Caroline held the door open for me. And as I passed by the pregnant women, I gave them my best glazed- over Britney-in-crisis smile and whispered: “Welcome to the shit show, ladies”

02 January 2008

Happy New Year, Get the Hell Out

This year, we were planning on ordering Asian C and forsaking all things New Years Eve (except the midnight tradition of bemoaning Ryan Seacrest). Instead, we ended up getting kicked out of the Ritz.

Pete invited us to his parents’ condo there to watch the family fireworks over the Common with Apryl and the kids. Free parking. Warmth. No First Night throngs. We'd be home by 9 p.m. It was perfect. There was a caveat, however. Pete’s dad was there. Let’s just say Mr. D is a mercurial fellow, mirthful one moment, misanthropic the next. You never know what you’re going to get. When at his house, the only consistent factor is the ever-present threat of getting kicked out at any moment. James has known Mr. D his whole life. I’ve heard all the well-worn stories of weekends at Pete’s house and have experienced them as well. While Mr. D is not a fan of company in general, he is truly not a fan of the company of children. It’s not that he dislikes them; he just doesn’t want them anywhere near his stuff.

Moments before we arrived, he’d suggested that Apryl and Pete and their 18 month old son, his own grandson, “get the hell out and go watch the fireworks on the sidewalk.” In the icy wind and 20 degree temperatures. But Pete's mom, the polar opposite of Mr. D, wouldn’t have it. Then, Worst Possible Timing Ever: The Griswalds ring the doorbell. Pete's mom hugged us and wished us a Happy New Year. Mr. D peeked out of the kitchen and looked at us like were wearing Stormtrooper masks and setting off firecrackers in the foyer. James was familiar with the "look" and suggested that we just leave, but Pete's mom, once again, wouldn't have it. “Don’t pay any attention to him. Come have some ├ęclairs and Prosecco.” Then she flashed a look at Mr. D that suggested homicide and he quickly poked his head back into the kitchen.

We were successful at keeping all the kids on the opposite side of the house, except for five minutes when Paulie had to pee. I tiptoed past the kitchen, praying that Mr. D wouldn’t suggest we get the hell out and use the toilet at Starbucks. Mercifully, the family fireworks started promptly at 7 p.m. The kids were mystified by the display which was perfectly framed in the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Common. It was like the show was just for them. Seconds after the final firework was fired, the smoke still lingering in the air, Mr. D came out of the kitchen and unceremoniously handed us our valet parking tickets -- our final cue to get the hell out. All of us. Even his family. Fortunately, the kids were so juiced from the fireworks and the elevator ride that they didn't even notice we were personae non gratae during our 45 minute visit. Still, next year, we’ll be watching the fireworks on TV with Randy Price.