Friday, August 18, 2006

yes, virginia

We're headed out to Virginia next week for vacation. Is it really a vacation if you have to visit your parents?

We see them about twice a year; they have a nice little house on the creek surrounded by mostly nothing. They live in the little town of Urbanna, which is well-known for its
oyster festival. Can't think of anything I'd rather NOT do than eat nothing but oysters over the course of a cold November weekend, accompanied by 100,000 of my closest friends.

It's also well-known for its sighting of the famous Hollywood power couple, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin. They pulled up in their yacht once and strolled the downtown, rich with dollar store merchandise and granny sweaters.

There's also an honest-to-goodness soda fountain in the drugstore. My rents tell me a jerk works there.

But developers are encroaching upon the town, and construction is on its way in the woods across the creek, where my parents have spotted fox, deer, herons, and bald eagles. Maybe a stray cow or two. They're not happy about this. Neither are my parents.

I don't understand why more people just don't move to Montana or...South Dakota or something. States with space.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


The boys have been away at camp this week, and for months I've dreamed about all the great things I would accomplish in their absence.

I was going to paint the trim in my living room. New brushed nickel curtain rods, purchased at least 2 years ago and now waiting forlornly in the basement, would replace these stupid, red, warped wooden rods I have now.

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Maybe paint the upstairs bathroom, which has needed painting for at least 5 years now. Put in a new heater to replace the one turned rusty from too much poorly aimed boy-pee.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I was going to finish the playroom while the boys were still relatively young; prep and paint the trim, get a rug, a new curtain and a couple of chairs.

I was going to complete the caricature of my niece and her fiance for their wedding reception and get it matted.

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I would train for at least 15 and 12 miles, back to back days.

At the very least, I was going to shampoo the carpet.


They return tomorrow. This is what I've done.

Oh, yeah. I also got a new fridge. It's cool. I like it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

girl's a looney

Ok, so the psycho nutcase 12-year-old girl-next-door has a dry erase board in her room, upon which something like this is written (I know this because J saw the board the other day while playing in the neighbors’ house):

“To describe the John Blankity-Blank family (meaning, MY family), I’d use words like
Not Cool

…And Many More!

Now, certainly, her thoughts are her own, and she can say anything she wants. I just don’t quite understand where all this vitriol is coming from. Remember, this is the gal who hopes we all perish in hell. The gal we’ve caught throwing stones at our house. The gal who bullies both my boys and spies on us from her bedroom window. What am I missing here? Why are her parents not, uh, concerned by this?

In my family’s defense, we’re not gay or faggots, at least, not yet. We’re not idiots or retards; hey, I’m a college graduate! And my kids are what people used to consider "gifted"--

(until parents of "non-gifted" kids got insulted and offended and demanded that everybody should be equal--even if that means taking away every advantage--real or perceived--that "gifted" students had..while their own kids apparently suffered from heaving bouts of low self esteem because they're not similarly "gifted,"--thereby making mediocrity a goal for all to aspire to)

--so I'm not sure what we're calling smart kids now. Academically enhanced?

As for us not being "cool” fact, many years ago, there was a gal I met up with years after we had played softball together in high school. We ran into each other at Maggie’s in Philly, after a Go To Blazes show. She informed me, albeit drunkenly, that back in our softball-playing days I was “cool before it was cool to be cool.” That’s perhaps the best compliment I’ve ever received. Or at least the only one I remember. And although "cool" is certainly a subjective term, I think research suggests it's genetic. My father was a lounge lizard and croons like Sinatra. So our neighborhood “Carrie” simply is misinformed about our family coolness quotient.

Which leaves the “ugly” comment. We are so not ugly. I can't even be bothered to defend that.

But I'm really left scratching my cool, smart, not-ugly head: what on earth is WITH this girl?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

3 strikes and i'm way out

Since I’m on this sports kick, I’m reminded of some missed opportunities I may have had scoring with pro athletes.

Of course, Chase and Cole here are way out of my league, not to mention my demographic. (Stop me before I pun some more.) But what about when I was younger?

For instance: in the early 80s — so I was in my early 20s — my softball coach calls me to tell me to hustle down to his sporting goods store because he wants me to meet Tim Kerr. (Tim Kerr scored 363 career goals as a Flyer, ranked third on the team’s all-time list.) Wow! A real hockey player! Ok! So I head to the store to meet him. A big guy, blonde…but I don’t normally go for blondes. Sorry. He does absolutely nothing for me. But he seems like a nice guy.

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We chat for a little bit, and he asks me if I want to meet him and some friends at Rexy’s later that evening. Very casual. I think and mull over and consider and think some more, and say…

“Uh…I don’t think I can. I have to WORK tonight.”

Which was true. But it wasn’t the kind of job I couldn’t cut out of FOR ONE NIGHT so I could go DRINKING WITH SOME PRO HOCKEY PLAYERS. WTF was I THINKING??? I was making something like $6.35 an hour at the time. So I would’ve lost, maybe, oh…$25 in wages? WTF! Who knows how stinking RICH I might be now?! Well, probably rich and divorced, which is a pretty fine master plan.

Fast forward about 5 years. I’m living in Florida. The boys of summer are in spring training, and cruising around the bars like jaguars. I’m out with some friends at a bar. Gail has a crush on Ron Darling, pitcher for the Mets. As it happens Ron and some of his Mets friends are in the bar. So my friend Merry goes over to him and has a few words. He comes over to us at the bar. He’s headed directly toward me. He is not unpleasant looking. He smiles, then leans over to kiss me.

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“WAIT!” I say. “It’s not ME who likes you, it’s HER!” pointing to Gail.

He looks a little put-off, but offers her a kiss. They start to talk. I don’t think she slept with him, but she probably could’ve. In retrospect, I might have. Just to say I did, you know? The bigger issue here is, why on EARTH would I DENY a pro baseball player the opportunity to kiss me? And what--now he’s a color announcer with the Mets? WTF is WRONG with me?!

Still in Florida, I’m escorting senior citizen tours (yeah, life goes from bad to worse), along with another gal. We meet up with a few guys from the Braves minors team, one of whom I believe goes on to be famous, but I can’t remember who. We have a few cocktails. We end up back at their hotel. We’re invited in….but here’s the coach. Or chaperone. Someone in charge.

“Guys are on curfew. Scram.”

Hell, talk about shagging! An entire frigging baseball team, right in the palm of my mitt! Imagine the potential tell-all book possibilities!

But no. In every instance, my infuriating combination of goddamn good sense and stupidity took me down the path of virtue. Perhaps in my next life I will be rewarded with a heavenly romp with Chase Utley instead.

Or, even just in a sex dream.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

a tall, cool one

My my, Cole Hamels is certainly...flexible. Now, unlike Chase (6'1", 185)--who's just a tad too old to be young enough to be my offspring--Cole here is, well, young. With a very nice fastball. He's 6'4", 195. Oh, my.

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Slap! Slap! Snap out of it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

chase utley owes me a sex dream

J came in 3rd in breaststroke and 4th in freestyle at the Tri-County meet. Of the 50 kids who even qualified for Tri-County--not to mention the hundreds who even swam those strokes--he beat all but 2 and 3. A very fine performance. I promised him a trip to Disneyworld if he won either event, so whew! One more parental promise I don't have to break!

That means swim season is over, and we can all relax for a few weeks. The boys slept in today. J awakens and comes downstairs to tell me about his dream. He just turned 9 over the weekend.

"Did you know I fell off the bed this morning?" he asks.

"Why, no. Are you ok?"

"Yeah. I had a dream about Chase Utley."

"What happened?"

"Well, we were in the parking lot of the supermarket. Chase Utley was there and said hi to you."

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"He did? Did he give me a kiss too?"

"No." Damn!

Did he fondle or grope me in any way? "Did he at least give me his phone number?"

"No. He gave you a hug."

Hmmm. Was it a nice, firm, howdoyoudo hug? Was it a gentle nestling type of hug? Perhaps starting with a nice caressing along the arms, moving up through my hair? Or perhaps starting from behind so I can't see him, ending with a kiss on the back of the neck before he turns me around...

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"Uh..what else did he...uhhhh..."

"He asked us to go the ball game."

"WHAT? He asked you too?" Damn.

"Yes. He had a limo! We didn't have a car because one was at the cousins' house and the other ran out of gas."

"Well, of course he had a limo. Did we go to the game?"

"Yeah, I was the bat boy."

"Well, that sounds like fun. For you."

Next time anyone around here has a dream about Chase Utley, it had better be me. And there better be sex, and plenty of it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

so this is what it feels like... fall off the face of the earth.

It's been a seriously busy summer, but I suppose that's no excuse for being undisciplined.

It's swim team season, and I'm one in the core group of parents that does all the work. Swim teams and all the necessary fundraising, pep rallies, banquets, breakfasts, field trips, working the meets, etc. etc. etc...requires a lot of parent volunteers. It's a very intense season, a little more than 2 months of daily practice and meets.

Among my duties are meet announcing (apparently I have a flair for it, or so people tell me, although if they really listened, my South Jersey squonky accent is ear-splitting, if you ask me), ribbon labels and ribbon writing, writing uninspired website copy, designing the t-shirt, some database crap, and creating the annual banquet slide show.

This thing takes an extraordinary amount of time to create, hours and hours and hours over about a two-week period. I root through thousands of photographs on dozens of CDs of largely unidentifiable kids in goggles and caps and create an entertainment extravaganza consisting of about 150-160 slides.

The music selection is can't be too mainstream, can't be too thrash metal, can't be too sexually suggestive (although I used Hump de Bump by RHCP. I mean, I suppose THAT could be sexually suggestive, but if you read the chorus--"hump de bump do bodu"--it just sounds like a big, fuzzy green dinosaur-type TV personality. )

"Kids, get ready; it's the Humpdebumpdobodu show!"

(For the sake of comparison, the guy who did this before I took it over used Paul Anka's "The Times of our Lives," which haunts me to this day. I want to hit something when I hear it. "The shadows of misty yesteryears..." just THINKING about that line is like a razor blade cutting through my sinuses.)

I chose five songs--started it with Miserlou (Dick Dale), which was perfect. Then Punk Rock Girl (Dead Milkmen); Hump de Bump; The Ataris' version of Boys of Summer--an obvious choice, perhaps, but it has that happy Green Day sound the young kids like; and finally...yeah, ok, Hot Fun in the Summertime. That's just a great song, regardless of its decade of origin.

But the most challenging part--aside from losing hours of sleep and watching my house slowly transform into a crumb- and trash-infested pig sty--is writing the jokes. The adults love the jokes, although they can't be too...sophisticated. Beer jokes are good. The kids just like to see their pictures.

This year the bulk of the snarky jokes focused on one dad who tortures us all with his stories about his years at Penn State. I photoshopped the Nittany Lion mascot head on this guy's head in the photos. The kids loved that. The adults were howling. I missed most of the show because I'm squatting behind the laptop and projector in a skirt, so I won't block people's view, while the dj is talking to me NONSTOP about his dj business, his dj website, and gas prices.

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It takes a lot of work, but I really enjoyed putting it together. I always do; it's a rush to have an audience laugh and holler at something you've created. (Well, then again, maybe it's not.)