Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DC Drive By

Last weekend was a bit of a whirlwind.  I left Friday night for Baltimore and after Roy picked me up at 6 am we went back to his apartment and took a nap. (Gotta love a guest who’s first request is nap time, yes?)  We then met the rest of the Penn State crew for brunch where we met the newest edition, Xavier Francis (who apparently was not named after the Cabbage Patch guy, but at 6 weeks already looks like he might get into the business of tattooing—his name only on the rear ends of other babies.)  Erika took her bundle of joy home after brunch and then the rest of us headed up to the Baltimore Zoo (or the MD Zoo in Balto).  I made several jokes about Sarah being 9 months pregnant and needed to walk the baby out, if a zoo keeper can deliver an elephant… you get the drift.  Then, when we got to the entrance, someone working at the zoo made the exact same jokes.  At first I thought she was eerily inside my head until I just realized that my humor wasn’t all that unique. 

Wait, I forgot.  On our way to brunch, I needed to stop for coffee.  I was distracted by I’m sure something on my phone when I heard:
Roy: ugh. These people always take up the road.
Me: The cars?
Roy: The funeral procession. I was waiting for you to look when the hearse was driving by.

Then, when I got coffee, I unknowingly spilled it across my chest (yes, of course on the white tank.)  I didn’t notice until 3 hours later at the zoo—and I guess my friends love me no matter how I look. 

This is us waiting for Sarah to get out of the bathroom/and then Sarah herself.  She was a trooper and made it through 90% of the zoo with us before heading back to VA (and the bits she missed weren’t all that great, I promise.) Then Julie, Nick, Kristy, Roy and I laid out blankets and had a picnic of Brookies that I had brought from WA while listening to the only 10 songs that I had on me.  I’m not sure, but I think Kristy got a nap in also at this point.  Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Julie and Nick who went back to PA.  When we returned to Roy’s we… TOOK ANOTHER NAP.  It was only supposed to be a quick one, but 2 hours later… Kristy was jumping in the bed to wake us up. 

Roy: Do you drive stick
Kristy: Yes.
Roy: Do you like stick?
Kristy: Sure. What is this for?
Roy: No reason it's just something I like to ask.

(I know this is what I usually wonder about when I just wake up.)

Then we went to dinner at this Italian place. 

Roy: Why do I always choose restaurants where I'm the youngest by 40 years?

We ordered beverages and food, and just before the salad arrived the power went out, which did not prevent us from clearing our plates like hungry hungry hippos (that we did not see at the zoo) before we got kicked out of the restaurant, and went for round two.  On our way to the second Italian place, there was a road with trucks parked all along the road. 

Roy: This is where truck drivers stop for blowjobs. Oh! That's Chucks rig. I haven't seen him I'm forever!

Over a delicious dinner, Kristy told us about going to a bikini contest every Sunday where the winning qualities basically boiled down to which contestant could perform the best butt clap.  She then admitted to testing out her own butt clap abilities which inevitably made the contest winner’s physical abilities all the more impressive.  

When we got the hotel in Arlington, my cousins Jonathan, Katie and her husband Kyle were in the lobby.  Katie saw flowers delivered to the hotel and walked over to speak to the florist saying, “Are those for ‘Storms’? Yea.  Those are for us.  Don’t worry, we’ll take them up to the room ourselves, it’s really no trouble.  Yes. I’m sure.  Kyle? Jonathan? Take these up to the room.”

(At breakfast the following morning, Jonathon said, “When I was little, I watched Katie always talking and learned you get into less trouble if you’re quiet.”)

At the WWII Memorial someone asked my dad if he was a veteran and he was highly insulted. 

At the Lincoln Memorial I tried in vain to take a picture with a penny in it.  See?  Katie thinks I need a better camera, but I don’t think the nice camera’s come in pink. 

Apparently, the night before, my cousin Colleen repeatedly offered to go on a drive by to all of the sites.  While Katie appreciated avoiding the very extensive walk, and the added bonus of bringing along beverages, she had to explain to her aunt that perhaps calling it a “Drive By” in the murder capital of the US might not to be the wisest terminology. 

The family was all in DC/Arlington for a memorial service for my Aunt Joan and Uncle Donald.  The night before we had a couple hours in the hotel bar for free happy hour.  My cousin Caitlyn went up to her dad and asked him if he could get her a beer (b/c she is underage) when the gentleman behind her father stepped in and said, “I’m sorry.  I can’t let you do that. I’m a Federal Agent.”  While we were sitting around, I whipped out napkins with Origami patterns on them.  So, while I was putting animal tattoo’s on my nieces and nephew’s hands, I also got to hear my whole family mock me for bringing entertainment.  Personally, I think they were trying to cover up their inability to make a Crane. 

The next morning at breakfast, my niece Jackie took full advantage of the buffet:

Upon dropping a pancake onto his shirt, my nephew Patrick turned to his mom and said, “Thanks for not letting me wear the shirt I'm going to wear today.”

The ceremony at Arlington for my Aunt and Uncle was incredibly impressive.  My cousin Mary and done a lot of preparation and planning to make the entire day perfect, though incredibly emotional for everyone involved.  I don’t have anything funny to say about the ceremony itself but I’ll share a couple stories about lunch after the beautiful memorial. 

First, at lunch, my dad grabbed water from one table then ended up sitting at a different table so he had to two glasses in front of him, one that he had been drinking from.  Momela suggested he give back one of the glasses, so Frita went to do just that when I heard Momela say, “No! The FULL one!”

Mary asked us all to go up and tell some stories of Aunt Joan and Uncle Donald which was lovely, but also intimidating because no one had prepared anything to say.  Here are some of the stories that I remember:

After Aunt Joan died, Mary was making something for her dad thinking it was a favorite, when Uncle Donald said, “That was your mother’s favorite. I hate it.  I just ate it because she liked it.”

Colleen mentioned that Joan would speak, and Donald would back her up—no matter if she was right, honest or otherwise and commented that we would all be blessed to find a partner who supported us so thoroughly. 

Katie always thought that her family was normal (her grandparents Joan and Donald had 8 children) but she realized when she went to Thanksgiving for the first time at her new husband’s parent’s house and they brought out enough food for the 6 or so people who were there, that maybe her family was not the norm.  At Joan and Donald’s there was always not only food for the entire family, and their family and friends (everyone was always invited and welcome) but also food for everyone to take home with them. 

Pat, a son in law, recalled a night of drinking in which, instead of driving home, slipped into a car outside.  His father in law, Donald, knocked on the window, waking him up.  When he saw it was Pat, Donald just replied, “All right then.  Just wanted to make sure someone hadn’t broken into the car for a nap.  Carry on.”

Jennifer told of a Christmas, when her son Donavan was 4, and Joan and Donald came over at 5 am.  Donald and Jennifer went in to wake up Donavan saying, “Santa came!” When Donavan opened his eyes he immediately said, “And he brought Papa!” Then, he went into the living room, passed right by the huge pile of presents, spotted Joan and said, “And Grandma too!” (Later when Curtis, Jen’s husband came back into the room to tell a story, he also went to tell the same story.  It was a good one. J)

My brother Sean was talking about sitting around a table with my sister Maureen and cousin’s Jennifer and Erin and they were all laughing over something and all of a sudden my dad and his brother Donald turned around and gave them the same look, in stereo, and instead of being chastised, they all just laughed harder. 

Joan’s brother told a story about going to see this scary movie when they were little with a possessed hand and as they were in the theater Joan sneaked over and grabbed his neck, effectively scaring the crap out of him.

I mentioned that my first memory of my uncle was being burned by a cigarette, twice.  Maybe not the best memory, but extremely vivid.  And that my dad always told me to call Uncle Donald when I had any school projects because he knew everything there was to know about the family.  And, what I didn’t mention, because everyone was stressing family and togetherness, was my favorite memory of my uncle was just me, Matty and Uncle Donald, sitting in the living room on Sunday night in December listening to him tell stories, because that night was a gift (and now Matty and I know a bunch of deep dark secrets we’ll never tell anyone. :P)

Lastly, when the kids were going through papers after their parents had died, they found a will when Joan had went to visit Donald in Thailand and my parents had watched the 8 kids, plus Sean and Maureen (obvi, this was pre-Tiffany) and the will gave custody to my parents.  I sure hope my new siblings respect how much attention I require. 


That’s my story for this week.  Sadder than usual I guess, but none-the-less, memorable.

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