it's 5:11 and I am leaving at 5:30 on the dot. or earlier.
I didn't go to the shore for the entire week as planned. instead, sean took trent and bella on sunday night and stayed until today (thursday). I had said I'd join them for the day on wednesday. so I got in the car ready to drive to ocean city, and I got about 3 blocks until I realized that my brake pads must have gone completely and that there was no way I could get to the shore in my car. panic ensued.
I decided to rent a car for the day. I had been waiting to see the kids at the shore and the reason I didn't go for the week itself was already weighing on me, so I just drove right to the rental car place near my house. as I was pulling up, I noticed that 3 doors down was a meineke muffler place. it said "BRAKES" on the outside, so I figured what the hell. I stopped there first to ask if they could fit me in today, knowing that otherwise it would probably have to wait for my mechanic until at least monday. so they said yes. I left the keys and my cell number and walked to the rental car place.
cheapest car they had to rent me was $50. a mercury milan. not exactly an economy car. whatever. so after all the talk about insurance (I didn't opt for it) I was finally on the road.
I was worried about my car and the inevitable expense and missed my exit on the turnpike. let me tell you that I ALWAYS take that exit, it's like auto pilot for me. and I've never missed an exit on the turnpike. whatev, I kept going. I went over the wrong bridge (thanks, fucking GOOGLE MAPS and MAPQUEST, who both had wrong info) and found myself on a business road. all of this was taking place in the rain.
my original eta was 11am. I arrived shortly before 1.
it rained nearly all day. I had my bathing suit on but was wearing pants, a tank top, a long sleeved shirt, and a jean jacket overtop. and I didn't take any of it off. even when we tried to brave the weather and go to the beach. I was going to see bella play in the sand, dammit.
stayed for a while, ate, had an IBS attack on the ride pier, drove home shortly before 8.
got a speeding ticket after nearly making it home. $155. plus, I was surrounded by 4 policemen because I think there was a problem with the registration of the rental car.
sometimes I wish I came standard with wheels on my feet so I could just get around on my own without a car. don't you?
it's 5:11 and I am leaving at 5:30 on the dot. or earlier.
whipped up at 4:17 PM
borrowing from the bean spot.
bella knows so many words that I often wonder where she heard some of the things she says and what else she might have learned that she's not saying. (she still says "oh shit" when something goes wrong, and has added "fuckin" to her vernacular....that is totally my fault.)
she's been saying for days "go taydown. taydown, tay? o tay. less go! bye bye!" I could not figure it out. we've gotten a new, non-related-to-us babysitter - one of the daycare workers at bella's daycare, named crystal, who loves bella - and she couldn't figure it out either. yesterday, I finally got it: playground. duh. she LOVES the taydown. we went last night at her insistence (in the slogler, or stroller) and she had a meltdown when it was time to go. when she is upset or doesn't want to do something, the phrase is "no! I don yike it! I don want it!"
she's also doing well with colors. she doesn't have to have the teletubbies in front of her to be able to tell you what color they all are. she has a book of colors and her markers and she's got them all memorized - black, white, pink, red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, green. (or bak, vite, peenk, orng, yeyow, blue, purpol, and geen.) she has some trouble with brown. I switch them up to make sure she's not just learning them in order from the book, and she's able to identify them in other places, so I feel like she really does know what they are. they tell me at daycare that she's good with shapes, too, but we haven't done much of that at home. at home, she just likes "colorininin" with markers or crayons.
every day, I ask her what we should have for dinner. she always says BOKLI! I ask her what else and I get answers anywhere from breakfast to macawoni cheese to bokli again. she loves her broccoli. she also has a constant running commentary on pretty much everything. "big truck oushied...big doggie! I see it! I wanna touch it. I wanna pet it. bye bye, doggie. look! look! choochoo!! it's runnin fast. bye bye, choochoo."
sean got a baby bike seat on the back of his newly-tuned-up bike, and bella loves riding in it. when he goes fast, she says "runnin! runnin!" which I guess means that they're going fast. he said that when he goes up a hill and is going slow, she says "where'd runnin go?"
there's not much she's not saying, and she says most things pretty well. she'll say when she's hurt and where, if she's tired or sleepy, if she wants to "yay down" for a minute, and she's very into taking care of her teletubbies. the other day, it was too quiet, and I found her with about 15 wipes she had taken out and was washing each of the bubbies. she said tinky winky was dirty (damn conservatives putting ideas in her head) and needed to be washed. ("tinky winky, he's all dirty. I wash him.") and shout out to sophie, bella asks for a paper towel almost every day. she uses it to wash things off, and then puts it on her head and dances around with it until finally she rips it into a million pieces and then throws it in the trash. she loves paper towels.
I guess that's it for now. the kids and sean are getting ready to go to the beach and they are so excited. I have that wedding on saturday and I'm hoping that when it's over, I will have more time to think and sort things out.
whipped up at 10:11 AM
so it's the countdown to my niece nichole's wedding...she gets married at my sister denise's house on saturday. this weekend was the bachelorette party, as I think I may have mentioned. we had a rough start, since my other niece melissa, who lives in daytona, had a hard time getting to PA. her flight was either delayed or she missed it (I think she missed it) and the airline lost her luggage. she was in tears by the time my cousin jackie picked her up from the airport and got her up to denise's in quakertown. she had 4 minutes to get ready, as our limo had already been sitting outside for over an hour. by the time we got on the road, it was after 9 - our original start time was 7:30.
we got to copabanana on south street and jackie, who is the maid of honor, realized that it was really not the place we wanted to hang out, so we walked a block down to jon's, which I'd never actually been to before. we ate on the upper deck, near people who were all pissed off that they had to be in the presence of a bachelorette party. nichole was wearing a veil and a sash...she was a good sport about it. personally, I would have ripped that shit off the second it was put on me. but we were pretty sedate, so we didn't make any of the pissed off people more pissed off by living up to the stereotype.
but then, we lived up to the stereotype. it was nearly 11 by the time we were done dinner, and I figured that if we tried to go to more than one bar at this point, we'd be pretty much stuck there. the plan was to go to a number of places before eventually settling in at the cave, which is a male strip club on delaware ave (pronounced "delaware av" and not "avenue"). delaware ave, for those of you not from philadelphia, doesn't technically exist anymore as it was renamed "columbus boulevard" but the delaware ave moniker remains and is synonymous with "cheesy mile of cheesy clubs". the cheesiest of those clubs, especially for bachelorette parties, is the cave. I'd actually never been there before this weekend, even though 3 people I know had bachelorette parties there. I'd escaped it every time before this weekend.
we walked in and saw nothing but women. scantily clad, very drunk women. and one man on stage, fully dressed, with a microphone. I guess he was the emcee. there was a throng of women by the stage, where the current featured performer was grabbing dollar bills out of women's tits and mouths. I could only see the top of his head. a few minutes later, he was back up on stage collecting crumpled up dollar bills, stuffing them into his banana hammock (which is why those things look so big) and walking offstage. all the men wear black briefs with a ruched seam in the ass and extra big pouch in front. all the performances feature one small fluffing session while the pants are still on so that they can better fill out the pouch. and I needed only wait 10 minutes or so to figure out why the backdrop to the stage was a big black scuffed piece of plywood - that's so that they can do handstands on the floor and rest their feet on the wall and dryhump the air.
they also had some dudes walking around just groping women looking for dollar bills. it is so unlike a female strip club, because there is alot more touching involved. a guy came over to our little group and I grabbed him by the arm and directed him to nichole, into whose bra I had put a dollar bill. he first grazed my neck before turning to her and taking the dollar out of her bra, hands on her hips, just really in her face. women were grabbing these men by the ass, sticking their money way into the briefs, and in turn, the men were grabbing tits, asses, giving kisses on the neck and sometimes on the thighs...it was insane. if you tried to pull that shit in a regular strip club, you'd be thrown out in a heartbeat. by a very big man who wouldn't worry about hurting you.
at the end of the night, after all the men have done their performances (which consist of coming out on stage with 2 other men, all clothed, doing about a minute of a dance routine, then a strip tease that involves the aforementioned fluffing, then various humping motions, followed by a walk along the front of the stage collecting money) they have these "hot seats" - I've never been to a strip club for a bachelor party so I've never seen this before. it may be old hat to you people. you pay $25 (which I thought sounded like a bargain) for the priviledge to sit on a chair on stage, choose the man you'd like to pretend to be interested in you, and he then dances all over you. eventually, your chair gets pushed to the wall so he can do that handstand thing and pretend to 69 you. yes, I paid for nichole to have one such "hot seat" experience. yes, I took pictures.
it was great people watching. some of these women really took it quite seriously. and some of these women were quite lecherous. I'd say 90% of the women there were there for bachelorette parties. some women were obviously wasted, but alot of them seemed with it. many were wearing headbands with little penises on them. again, you'd have to hold me at gunpoint to wear that shit. but hey, if this is how they want to commemorate the fact that they're already in a monogamous relationship that they plan to make legal therefore making the bachelorette party just a frivolous excuse to act crazy, more power to them.
we closed the cave and drove the hour plus back to quakertown in the limo. by the time we got home, it was 3:30 am. I had to be at trent's soccer game, after having picked up bella at kkkathy's, at 9am. the field is an hour away. so basically, I had to get up at 7. I arrived home at 4:30. surprisingly, I wasn't as tired as I was the day before, when I had to stop on the way back from the tournament to take a 10 minute nap on the side of the turnpike with both kids in the car. the sleep, it has been lacking the last few weeks.
so that was the weekend. this week, I have to get trent's outfit together, pick up my dress from the tailor, go tanning (I know, I know), get shoes for trent, go help make rice bags for favors, and then rehearsal dinner friday night and wedding saturday. wish me luck.
whipped up at 1:00 PM
I'm so sorry. there's really no good excuse.
let's talk about san francisco. the trip out was kinda lame. I had a stopover in houston. it rained torrentially for about 15 minutes, which resulted in a nearly-hour-long tarmac delay. I could see out the window that there were about 8 planes in my field of vision that were ahead of us in line - turns out it was actually 15 and we had to wait our turn. jarrett had a direct flight that left 3 or 4 hours after mine and he got there before I did. so that was a long day.
it was about 9:30ish pacific (after midnight eastern - and it really felt like it) when we got to the rental car counter. jarrett decided to upgrade our car from a premium (which was already nice) to a convertible. 06 silver mustang convertible. fuck yeah.
so we drove the 40 mins or so to the hilton in san jose. it was okay. not great. we both had rooms that had 2 full beds instead of kings, which we had a "guaranteed" reservation for, so we made do for the night (actually, I wouldn't have cared too much but jarrett did) so they changed both our rooms the next day. the conference was kinda blah and it's more jarrett's thing than mine, so I took the afternoon on monday to drive to san francisco and look around. (I also needed to pick up our tickets for alcatraz on tuesday night.)
I'll tell you, driving on a freeway in central california is really not all that different from driving a freeway in pennsylvania. only the grass was all brown. unless it's supposed to be that color. but driving on a freeway in a convertible v6? I would have driven that thing all day long. and good thing, too, because after sending a few pictures to jarrett via camera phone, he wanted to have dinner there and I drove the hour back to pick him up and then went out again. we had alot of fun there.
tuesday, we saw alcatraz in the evening. it's one of those self-guided tours where you wear a headset. interesting, for sure. it's really windy up there and cold. I had to wear a fleece and was glad I wore long pants. wednesday, I dragged jarrett to the winchester mystery house. for those of you who don't know or don't care to click on any links, the house was built by the heiress to the winchester rifle fortune around an existing farmhouse. she was a lil bit freaky when it came to ghosts so when a psychic told her that in order for her not to be plagued by spirits of those who died at the hands of winchesters, she had to continually build onto her house and never stop. so she did. for over 30 years. 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. you get to tour 140-ish of the 160 rooms. most are fairly small, but it still is quite a journey. I had seen so many documentaries on her and her house, so I was totally psyched to see it for myself. I didn't feel any eery presences, unfortunately. or fortunately.
the big terrorist plot thingie happened on weds/thurs, so by the time my flight went out on thursday afternoon, chaos had broken out. I had to check my bag, which I don't ever do, because it contained my "liquids" - and I couldn't use my new $25 lorac lip stain because I was afraid that trying to sneak it on board would cost me both my freedom and the $25 I blew on it. and the lines? crazy. of course, my flight was delayed, partially because of the clogging of the runways and partially because other airports' runways were clogged, causing our plane to be delayed in even getting to the terminal. by the time I got home, it was 10:30. I got my luggage (45 mins later) and mark was nice enough to pick me up and take me back to his place where I had left my car.
so home free, right? not so much. 3 separate traffic jams on the schuylkill expressway. (for those of you not familiar with philadelphia roadways, this is one of the most infamous of highways getting out of the city - it's very narrow, curves alot, and is always clogged.) I got home to pick up bella at sean's (as he had to work the next morning) at about 2am.
bella had a fever. so I gave her medicine and she was up until about 3 or 3:30. took her to daycare at 8:30am and was on my way back home to get more sleep when I rear ended a lady who had stopped short in front of me, I think for a bird. I can't blame her, I would have done the same. but still. I clocked her. lucky for me, though, she only wanted to know if her brake lights still worked, and since they did, she wanted to take off. so I made her take my phone number and name (why?? stupid.) and then I went back home.
there were 2 bolts sticking out from the fender that was pushed in that made it nearly impossible to turn right or left without damaging the tires, and jarrett was nice enough to come by and take a look and help me fix it. we bent it out as much as we could and then took it to his house where he used a mini sledge hammer (!!!!!) to pop the fender back out. it's working pretty well. I can drive it (have been for a week now) and the immediacy of it being fixed is no longer freaking me the fuck out. so that's good.
later that day, daycare called and said bella needed to be picked up because of her fever. I took her right to the doctor's and they said she had hand foot and mouth - which is highly contagious. luckily it cleared up fast (by monday) and neither sean nor I had to take off work.
so that was my trip. pictures forthcoming. figure in about 5 weeks.
and for those of you who know my gmail address and have seen my status as "inked" - yes, I got a new tattoo on monday night. spur of the moment. it's a skull and crossbones on my left hip. pictures of that too when I get a chance. it's healing nicely.
I promise not to wait so long to post again.
whipped up at 1:30 PM
oh my god, people. so much to discuss. so little time.
in a nutshell, and I will expand:
san jose is boring but san francisco is great.
I hate flying still.
flying last thursday? craziness. lines, delays, no gels or liquids...
we saw alcatraz and the winchester mystery house - both interesting
drove a convertible mustang on california highways and byways
but the real insanity started when I got home. late. to traffic. and a baby with a fever. took her to daycare and about 3 seconds away from my house, got into a minor accident. my fender is busted up. (I am fine...physically.) found out bella has hand, foot & mouth "disease". came home to a house that needed alot of attention.
and...now I am working on something fairly big at work...I will try really hard to get back here later and tell you all about the wonderous trip.
missed you all, my fake friends!
whipped up at 9:37 AM
okay. you know how when chat rooms first started, and people would totally fall in love over chat and people would make fun of them? well that's never really gone away. if you tell someone you met your new boyfriend on the internet, people just assume that you're destined for failure.
the same holds true for friends you make online. I think it's ~a~ that calls us blog friends "fake friends" because the dynamic is odd, as much as I hate to say it.
but that doesn't mean that the friends I've made through blogging are any less important to me than my "real" friends. and that brings me to missuz j.
nicole found her blog. so she started commenting on nicole's and then I was like, who is this person? then I started reading her. faithfully. and then emailing her. and telling her all kinds of things about my life, and she reciprocated. and then I met her sisters via blog. and then we timidly asked each other if, when I was out to vegas, we wanted to meet, both of us thinking the other would find them nuts. and then we all met. and then we emailed more. and chatted. and now, I am in the midst of scheduling a trip to utah to stay with her as my own personal vacation.
happy birthday, boobecca - the fact that I met you on the interweb doesn't mean that I don't consider you a true, real, close friend.
whipped up at 1:15 PM