Saturday, December 31, 2011


My favorite present this year was from my nephew Kevin.  Tell me he isn't the cutest: 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Presents from Pop-Pops

Last week was filled with the usual holiday cheer. I saw Cinderella with Rach and Laina on Wednesday night.  We grabbed dinner beforehand, and when the waitress came over to us Laina called her by name (she wasn’t wearing a name tag), mentioned that she remembered her from when she worked at the Starbucks down the street and the usual pleasantries.  I was marveling at her memory when the waitress walked away and Laina said, “Yeah.  She’s the worst.  She is the only person that I have actually complained about to a manager.”  Just who you want serving you when you are running late to see a play. 

I flew home to New York on Thursday night and on my way home from the airport; Frita was telling me about teaching religious ed the night before.  Apparently he had been told that he would only have the students for ten minutes, but then suddenly he had them for 45 minutes with no lesson plan.  The night before he had “found” a book about Christmas and asked my mom if she had seen it before.  She explained that yes, she had seen it before because it was hers.  I had actually giving it to her last Christmas.  Anyway, with 45 minutes and a classroom full of 8th graders looming in front of him, he pulled out this hardcover book about Christmas, ripped it apart and handed a couple pages to each of the students.  As he was relating this story again at Sean’s, my niece Bailey, who adores books, was shocked into laughter as she tried to process anyone, ever, desecrating a book like that.  When my mother complained, Frita said, “What, it only cost 3 dollars.” When he handed me back the dust cover (which was basically all that was left of the book, I pointed out that it was in fact a 15 dollar book, but whatev’s right, Momela?  

In Patrick’s (9) religion class, he actually volunteered to sing Silent Night (and he did know all the words without music) in front of the entire class.  I’m not sure his teacher knows what to do with him because she told Maureen that, “I try to trip him up all the time, but I just can’t stump him.  He’s a pain in the ass, but he sure does know his religion.”

We headed to my Brother Sean’s house to celebrate his birthday Friday night.  He arrived home wearing his traditional red corduroy sport coat.  Friday was also his second day at a new company, and the number two guy saw Sean in his holiday jacket and said, “You might not know this, but we have a policy here of not looking like a Jack*ss.”  Sean shrugged this off, but then as he was about to go down to the floor, the boss said, “You aren’t going on the floor like that are you?”

Sean: Yeah.
Boss: Don’t you want to put on a different jacket?
Sean: No.
Boss: Do you want to take your company badge off?
Sean: No.
Boss: Okay, fine.  Just don’t go on TV like that. 

Jackie showed us one of her soccer trophies that was super cool with color changing LED lights.  As she was excitedly showing off, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus

And Morgan looked at me and said, “Isn’t this the perfect song.” 

We also learned more about Bailey’s baby-sitting techniques.  She first told her younger sisters about someone who fell asleep and their sibling shaved off their eye brows.  Then every time her younger sisters bothered her or didn’t listen, she would just wipe her finger first across one eye brow, and then the other. 

Before we left Sean’s, among the Happy Birthday’s and See you tomorrow’s (we open presents at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve), Jackie announced, “If you don’t see me tomorrow, call 911 because someone has locked me in the basement.”  

I spent a couple hours Saturday morning making sure that not only would each person have their presents in a pile in front of them, but also when you looked at the presents as a whole they just looked like a big ole pile.  Then everyone arrived, and I was, as usual very anal about everyone getting into the room at the same time, and sitting in their assigned (by me) seats, and starting at the same time.  We go around the room one at a time.  On Kyle’s (6) 2ndturn, he picked up a box that said, “Love Pop-Pops”.  We forgot to warn him about the “Love Pop-Pops/Dad” gifts, and before you knew it he had opened up a box of tissues.  The look of utter disappointment and anger rivaled those of the Jimmy Kimmel Kids

We tried in vain to explain that Frita wraps up odd gifts, but it was too late.  As my dad was opening a can of Cashews, Jackie said, “I wonder if this is Toilet Paper,” which is funny because that’s what Kyle has promised to get his Pop-Pops next year.  I got a box of stuff from 5th grade (in an Always Maxi-Pad box).  Sean got an address book from when he was younger.  He read several entries and tried to put it away until Stacey called out his self-portrait.

Before we even sat down to open presents, Maureen taught Kyle how to get her beers from the keg outside.  Much later in the evening, when Maureen said, “Kyle!” he said, “Mom, it’s freezing outside.”  He still went out to get her beer, though he returned saying that the keg itself was frozen.   While Maureen was still shocked by this news, Sean went out, untapped the keg, cleaned out the frozen beer from the tap, then re-tapped the keg.  When she had finally gotten a beer in her hand, Maureen said to me, “Sometimes, I’m not sure about my brother’s love, but then he cleans out the keg for me, and then I know.  He really does love me.” 

I don’t want to brag, but I think he loves me too because look what he got me for Christmas:

I better get working on round two to catch up.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I sent out Christmas cards this year and I got a card back from my Aunt Phyllis that said, “It was great to hear from you, but that Christmas card was NOT appropriate.” 

I got my new iPhone, but I’m still not happy about it.  I don’t what it is with me and change, but carrying this new phone makes me want to scream “Stranger Danger!”  Yea, I have issues.  

Last week I was reviewing an audio book and on page 374 of 388 I realized I was reading the wrong PDF.  I did not see that coming.  Also, we had a work scavenger hunt on Wednesday in which we broke up into 26 different teams and ran around Kirkland for a couple of hours (So. Much. Fun. )   After 2.5 hours with my team, this one girl said, “You know what’s funny?  I have never seen any of you at work before.”  To which I replied, “You know what’s REALLY funny? I don’t even work here.” And then I went inside the building without explanation.  Now I think if I see her in the kitchen, I’ll just pour my free coffee; put a finger to my lips and whisper, “Shhhhhh.” 

We are having a competition between buildings at work over who can donate the most to charity.  Both buildings decided to do some auctioning to raise money, only I just moved to my current building from the other building last week.  When I did some hunting to find the other building’s auction I had to take a screen grab and send it to my boss:

On Wednesday, we went for a walk late at night near the skate bowl, then went grocery shopping.  It was the first time I saw the bowl that Lucas dropped into and got a concussion.  It was a serious vert – I didn’t even want to walk into it afraid that I wouldn’t make it back out.  When we were in the car on the way home: 

Lucas: Did you have fun?
Me: I did. 
Lucas: Me too! That’s good. I’m so glad we both agree on what is fun because I just had the best time ever. 
Me: You know we should make time to look at the Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa.
Lucas: Yea, that would be fun, but I don’t think anything will beat the fun we had tonight. 

We were Christmas shopping when Zach over heard someone say, “It would be less creepy if you were watching porn.”  We puzzled over what could have been creepier when Lucas said, “Maybe he’s driving around in that ice cream truck.” 

Dawne was noting that her baby Jesus was missing from her nativity scene.  She looked at Jordan suspiciously until he said, “When the only thing left is the Three Wise Men, then I could be suspect.”

We went up to Mt. Baker this weekend and stayed in my Cousin Raymond’s cabin.  As soon as you walk in you see this:

To which I announced “That’s going to be the theme for this weekend folks” in relation to lack of phone service, television and internet.  Given that I had to go 6 days without my phone, I had already gotten over the separation anxiety being without a handheld device.  However, by the second night, Derek was having dreams about the internet.  On our way home we stopped for lunch and I realized we had cell service again so I was reading my text messages.

Derek: Feels pretty good to have 3G again huh?
Me: What?
Nate: Derek had an orgasm in the car when he saw that he had the internet again.  It was really messy. 
Me: That’s a little too much information for me. 

We were at dinner Friday night and honestly, I don’t know how it came up, but Jordan explained that according to his AARP magazine the secret to a long life is sex twice a week and an hour walk. Lucas quickly replied, “Then I guess I’ll be dead any day now.”

I couldn’t ski because I hurt my back so I just hung out in the ski lodge with Jordan.  You know, the movies always show these glorious ski lodges with couches by the fire… not a cafeteria complete with chairs and tables. 

After every 5 minutes hearing Lucas look for something else (toothbrush, deodorant, shirt, towel, and socks…)
Me:  You are a mess.
Lucas: I am going to have to take your word on that because I have to put my faith in someone, Tiffany.

We were passing by this neon sign that said “GASTRONOM”
Lucas:  Without the “Y” it looks like a tasty restaurant.
Me: That’s so weird, because I knew it was missing something, but I assumed it was really called “GASTRONOMNOM” and it was a REALLY tasty restaurant. 

After hearing his Ukulele fall from the kitchen table, Lucas announced, “Every time a Uke falls, an angel dies.” 

We were all in the cabin reminiscing about our favorite holiday moments when we were kids when Mila, who grew up in the Ukraine, told us that she used to “fall asleep to the drip drip drip of her father’s vodka being made in the bathroom.”  Then she proceeded to teach me how to make vodka in the bathroom (and didn’t once make fun of the way I saw Vodka.)

So I dragged Becky around with me last night to say “Merry Christmas” to a bunch of my friends who I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see before the holidays.  I was surprised when Shana handed me a present.   She seemed to think it was perfect for me:

Sadly, I often think that everyone IS actually hanging out without me.  Though, I ready a couple random bits as soon as I opened it, and Shana was right, not only were those lines hilarious, they were perfect for me. 

“This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.”

“As my mom has said, when one person is unhappy, it usually means two people are unhappy but that one has not come to terms with it yet.”

“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”

“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”

― Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I also asked Cathy to photoshop Zach into, what in my opinion, is the greatest album cover image of all time.  I then proceeded to blow it up and give it to people because, frankly, I love gifting incredibly great pictures of myself. 

I stopped by Dr. Rach’s and Santa Clause 2 was on… the part where he goes on a first date and she shows up with a picture of Santa on her sweater.   I decided that it was be the highest of lariouses to show up to a date wearing a shirt with their profile picture (not a disturbing facebook photo form 2004 that would, of course be weird), but just a zazzled T with their primary photo.  As I took my jacket off, and slightly moved my pashmina so they could see the image, I would casually say, “Oh yea.  I thought it was a great picture of you too.”  Rach said I could, and should, never do this.  I think I should, because it will give this mystery man they most creeptacular first date story EVER.  However, I agree, I couldn’t, because I would totally crack up.  Then, if this gentleman laughed too… where would we go from there? 

And here’s just one more delight from another SNL fav, Steve Martin:

Happy Holiday’s folks!

****In addition****

Two quick notes that I forgot to include: 

First, the awesome and incredible album cover was taken by photographer extraordinaire, Jen.  It was taken on Prom Sunday, after my "30 is the new 70" party.  And, as Shana commented, "The Lord loves a Formal" so here is a picture that I took (so it's not as good, but at least it includes Jen):

And the second thing, is Lucas and I watched quite a number of "Epic Meal Time's" including fast food lasagna and TurbaconEpic Thanksgiving.  

You're welcome.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jerky Friendly

It has been 3 1/2 days since I have had a cell phone.  When I first discovered that my cell phone was no longer functioning (it turns on, so I can see that I have 6 text messages, 10 missed calls I just can’t press any buttons to see who they are from or to answer or make any calls) I actually had to use a pay phone.  A buck 75 later, feeling dirty like I was also going through the trash at the same time, I was finally able to contact my parents.  When I went to Verizon, my dad watched me nearly have a nervous breakdown.  The Verizon guy was all… well you aren’t going to get anything until Monday.  I grabbed the guys arm and looked deep into his eye to say, “Do you have ANY idea the panic that is racing through my body right now? I opted not to spend $90 dollars to replace my blackberry, and just took the plunge and ordered an iPhone.  He then asked, “Do you want to wait until Dec 28th for the white phone?”  I’ll let you imagine the look I gave him, as I said, “Did you not hear about the anxiety the word “Monday” gave me??” (PS, when I asked if they could fix my phone, another gent said, “Oh, you’ve already take the battery out and put it back in? That’s the extent of our tricks.” What?)  We got into the car, and I called Julie’s cell from my dad’s phone because for whatever reason I remember her number.  As I’m telling her that I won’t have a phone for 2 days, I head my dad say, “Um… it’s more like 3 days. “ and then 5 minutes later, “If you want to get technical it’s actually 4 days.”  Easing into it did NOT help, Frita.

This whole story kinda negates the previous story that I was going to tell about how after making jokes about iPhone’s vs Razors I saw a commercial for the droid razor.  It looked super cool.  Maybe if I hate the iPhone I’ll make the switch.  Don’t worry; you’ll be updated with my every decision.

After we left Verizon, Frita told me that his Uncle Tom was “Jerky Friendly” like my brother Sean.  He then tried to explain that this was an expression that was used all the time, and that naturally, it was a good thing.  He then told me that Uncle Tom would tell this joke all the time about going to a nudist colony and someone asked if there were more men or women at the nudist colony and he would answer, “I couldn’t tell, they weren’t wearing any clothes.”  Frita said that he thought of this story when I was in the Verizon store.  (Naturally.)  When I asked WHY he thought of his “Jerky Friendly Uncle and the Nudist colony joke” my dad just said, you know, because clearly that guy in the store was missing the point. 

Maureen ended up having pneumonia and couldn’t talk to me for a couple of days.  When she finally was well enough to chat, I told her that I had called our mother to have her go over and check that Maureen wasn’t moving furniture.  Maureen just laughed and said, “That’s so funny because I actually DID move furniture.” 

We finally watched that Spy show last week… and now you can too!

Last week, when it was 32 degrees out, Patrick came out dressed for school with his Christmas socks pulls up halfway between his ankles and knees, wearing shorts and a shirt.  Maureen told him he had to go back into his room and change.  5 minutes later, he had come out wearing a different shirt. 

Patrick had asked for Halo stuff for Christmas, so for Kevin’s birthday, I thought he might also want to some Halo stuff.  I got him some mega bloks thinking that who doesn’t love mega bloks.  He opens the first present and says in a most disappointed voice, “Oh.  Halo,” then he went to the next gift.  He did this three times until he got to the Giants scarf and actually liked what I had given him.  When he opened a Pok√©mon game from my sister he got very excited then looked at me and said, “You could have gotten this for me if you hadn’t QUIT.”   He also got something from my parents that featured King Arthur.  One of his little friends said, “Who is King Arthur?” and Kevin said, “No one you know.”  He also expressed that my parents knew the real King Arthur.  J

I got to see some amazingly fun people this weekend including 7 of my cousins, 2 friends from college and 4 friends from when I was little.  Not to mention a host of other pretty awesome individuals.  I also ate a lot of my mother’s ham.  A lot.  It was basically a perfect weekend.  Julie got me this EPIC apron that I put on right away… I agree with Julie that the description for this particular apron was screaming my name.

I was explaining about how, while making pea soup a couple of weeks ago, I injured myself.  By cutting 3 carrots, 3 pieces of celery and an onion, I got this HUGE blister on my finger. (I’m very sensitive.) My cousin Katie told me that she didn’t like manual labor either.  In fact, when she was younger, she and her brother Jonathon were supposed trade off and clean the bathroom every other week.  Due to the fact that Katie didn’t want to clean the bathroom, it only got cleaned once every other week by Jonathon.  She did finally try to clean the bathroom, but after 2 minutes, she ended up slicing her finger open with a razor as she was wiping down the shower and successfully got out of ever cleaning the bathroom again.  I think I’ve met my match. 

My cousin Jennifer works as an officer in a prison down in Florida.  She was telling us about funny things that they do during down times using the intercom.  I asked her if she also runs through the hallways yelling… I’m freeeeeeeeee! I’m freeeeeee! And also maybe sometimes opens the prison doors saying, go ahead, come on out… really… ha! Ha! Just kidding!  (This is why I’m not allowed to work in a prison and she is.)

At one point Dara announced that she was leaving with Joe and Christine, while her husband Kenny said that he was staying so he could leave with Ben and Melissa.  Despite her insistence that she wanted to go home, 10 minutes later, we heard Dara.  She had hidden outside and then ran back into the house.  As we were mostly just laughing, but some people were concerned about drinking levels, Dara yelled, “I’m not angry and I’m not throwing up.  Don’t worry.”  Fair enough.

My roommate from college, Julie, is having a baby in April.  Apparently she thinks I have a big mouth and once she told me I would tell everyone, so I didn’t actually have to add “If she tells you, act excited like you heard it for the first time.”  We had been talking about seeing each other around Christmas when, at the very end of an email, she said, “Oh --other things I said I'd update you on-- It’s a girl.”  I just adore you Julie.  J

Go Go Kiddo is available for both ios and android now: Go Go Kiddo!

And to get you into the holiday spirit, here is a little Kristin Stewart ridiculousness:

I hope you are all gearing up for a wonderful holiday season, I know I am!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stop. I Can't Breathe

Zach: Have you watched Spy?
Me: No.  I'm so sorry. I will though.  I promise.
Zach: Watch all 6 episodes right now and call me back so we can talk about it.
Me: I will watch them, but not right now.  I'm watching "How to Marry a Millionaire" and that's obviously more pressing. 

We went to this charity/dueling piano's thing for Dreams for Orphan's last night.  The pianists were very entertaining.  There was even a big battle when someone requested Katy Perry, which the one guy was thrilled to sing, and then this lady kept shutting it down, and the rest of the people were pooling their money to get him to continue singing until Katy Perry ended up making over 200 dollars for the Orphans.  We learned that Dawne had never heard the song, "I touch myself" and she was appalled at the lyrics.  I asked for the Mister Roger's theme song (because it's for the Orphans, and Orphan's love Mr. Rogers.)

Only, he didn't really know that song and it sounded terrible.  During a particularly poignant song, cell phones were raised with their fake lighters until one lady raised an ACTUAL lighter.  Pianist (in the midst of singing) shouted, "Give it up to for the smoker in the first row!" Then, right before we left, Dawne requested "We are the World."   He also did not know this song, and explained that usually he plays to a drunk audience that doesn't really care.  But, for 200 dollars, he was going to give a try.  And he was right; it was awful.  Our table could not stop laughing though because we knew that even though it was terrible, no one was going to give $201 to make the train wreck stop.  

Saturday morning, as we were sipping coffee…
Dawne: What are you doing on December 11th?
Me: I don't know... why?
Dawne: I want to take the dogs to the theater. 
Me: Naturally. 

I packed up the last of the presents that need to be shipped to NY and brought them to the post office.  Lugging the rather large box up to the counter, the postal worker informed me that it would cost $130 dollars to ship this box.  So, I said, "Thanks, but I'll just fly it there myself. Have a great day." And then I proceeded to walk out of the building with my box. 

While reading the Bloggess, I discovered "Marcel the Shell with shoes."  If you haven't seen this, you need to.  Now.  I know what I'm talking about.  I watched it 4 times yesterday. 

Lucas: Apparently I'm behind all things internet.  I mean I got excited about baby monkey riding a pig which I'm told is as old as the internet.

We headed to brunch before going to the Urban Craft Uprising on Sunday morning. 

Lucas: I have the integrity of a brick wall.
Matty: Integrity - or intelligence?

Lily (age 5 to her mother): Can you pay for mine too?

As soon as we got into the Urban Craft Uprising…
Jen (to Lily): Lily.  Don't touch anything.
Less than 60 seconds later
Me: Lily! You can totally touch these. 

Overheard at the UCU: Do you know how I'm going to hide this large gift? Inconspicuously.

I was at work when I overheard someone forcefully yet calmly state, "Let me interject.   Are you ready for me to interject?"  I just imagined the person on the other line saying, "Lemme finish."

After one of those pop up toys popped up and flew into the kitchen, I couldn't immediately find it. 
Me: I guess it's lost forever.
Lucas: It's under the fridge.
Me: Okay.  I guess it was just lost for a moment.
Lucas: I feel like if you looked up in a thesaurus what the opposite of "forever" is, it would say, "a moment."

As I mentioned, we started this whole diet thing so that Maureen could breathe.  Unfortunately, despite the fact that the only time I have cheated was an hour on Thanksgiving (and I felt extremely ill afterwards) Maureen still is having trouble breathing.  I know this for sure because:

-She can't seem to talk to me without having to hang up to Nebulize.  Honestly, I'm not able to have a conversation with my sister without giggling the whole time, and apparently it's hard to laugh and breathe.  
-Kevin held her hand as she slowly made her way from the parking lot to the field, saying, that it was okay and she could make it. 
-Kyle has begun to pray for her.
-She's actually going to the doctor today. 

 Lots of love and hugs going her way... and I'll try not to call until you med up.