Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jersey, pizza and also some mobsters.

(This post may offend an organization I will not name but I will give you a hint: it rhymes with "The Bafia".)

My mom took her girls on a tour of her hometown this summer.

After we visited her childhood home:

and her school:
"How'd you get to be so awesome?"
"Duh. I went to High Cool."
(Mom jokes are great.)

we went to lunch at Vesuvio's Pizza

an appropriate decision as we had only eaten pizza 37 times the previous week.




We were all excited about the garlic-and-onion pizza my mom extolled repeatedly but we I was even more intrigued to know the place was run by a well-known member of the Bafia.

It's a great thing that the pizza was excellent as you can't buy pizza anywhere else in the area, according to my mom. Years ago there was a rival pizza joint on a nearby corner but it wasn't open very long. It's apparently hard to stay in business after your restaurant mysteriously explodes.  

These are the stories my mom tells about her childhood. It's never, "One time my dad took all us kids to the zoo." It's stuff like, "One time my dad had a disagreement with the mob and they shot him right in the arm and my mother had to pull the bullet out with tweezers." This story was usually preceded by one of us kids crying about some triviality and followed by the admonition to "come to me when you're in real pain."

As we ordered and ate at Vesuvio's, my mom chatted easily with the men there. (You know, the ones in the mob.) She recalled all the time she and her sister spent there as teenagers. Guys, she has shared memories with the Cosa Nostra!

As we walked along the shore (no Snookie!), I saw my mom in a new light. She comes from a world so unlike my own, a place foreign to my white-bread life.

She *knows* people in the Bafia!

I guess what they say is true: you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take Jersey out of the girl.

(Do not cross this woman. Because she probably has a knife.)

Despite the lack of photographic evidence, Amy actually was in attendance on this trip. She just a little camera-shy I guess. Or maybe she just doesn't like having her picture taken while shoving pizza in her mouth. Whatever.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Don't even get me started on Mark Paul Gosselaar

Wings has been off the air for thirteen years. 

Still haven't gotten over my crush on Steven Weber.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sometimes I'm kind of like a dog

One time a friend of mine commented, "Kim, you are like the happiest person I've ever met." 

Which I took to mean, "Kim, sometimes you act a little retarded."

But I really can't help it. You wouldn't believe the running dialogue going on in my head when I get up in the morning. I talk like I'm in an infomercial. It goes a little something like this: 

Ah, morning! My bed feels so good! This is seriously the best bed in the world! Oh and the sunshine? That is so awesome! That's the best sunshine of my life! This shower feels so nice and that soap smells so good! And these jeans are the best jeans ever! I love these jeans! And this straight iron is awesome. Oh my gosh I love this thing! And on and on and on . . . .

I wish I were kidding.

When people ask me how I'm doing I always answer, "So good!" in my peppy, cheerleader voice. I think people assume I'm joking but I'm not. I really am doing so good! (That is unless I am PMS-ing. That's when everything is lame and stupid and I hate it and I hate you and why don't you all just go to hell?)

I feel like I walk around all day with my head spinning over the fact that the world could possibly contain so many wonderful things specifically designed to make my life awesome. It's perfectly astounding!
Here are some things that make my life awesome:

1. The newspaper. I get the newspaper delivered every day and I love it. My favorite thing is the letters to the editor. And I also read all the obituaries and wonder about the people who've died. I wonder what they were like and if we would have been friends (because I have an ever-present need to be liked, even by dead people). And every night I curl up in bed with the crossword puzzle and I'm not allowed to go to sleep until I finish. And then the Cryptoquip too. Getting the newspaper makes my life awesome.

2. Basically every voicemail my sister Amy leaves for me like ever. They are the highlight of my life. I'm sometimes tempted to ignore all her calls just so I can get another hilarious voicemail. (But I wouldn't do that, Amy. Never.) The last one I got was pretty short and simple:

"Kim! Do you know anything about catching wild turkeys? Please call me back. I need you!" 

Amy's voicemails make my life awesome.

3. The "90's Hits" channel on DirecTV. I listen to it every morning and it puts me in the best mood. There's something wonderful about putting on your make-up to the same music you put on your make-up to when you were in junior high. And bonus! I know all the words to all the songs so I get to sing along. And it doesn't even get annoying to my roommates. Nope. They love it. 90's music in the morning makes my life awesome. 

4. Pie.

What makes your life awesome?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Maybe auto makers are just really pessimistic.

How come when something lights up on your dashboard, it's always bad? It's things like "Check engine" or "We're kind of about to break down" or "Seriously, how is this thing still running?"

I think they should balance the bad out with a few good messages. Things that say "Good driving!" or "Everything is working fine!" or "You smell nice today!"

Then I probably wouldn't say so many curses to my car.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maryland Folks

Going to visit my parents is such a trip (joke) because as much as they protest they "live right outside a big city!" they are definitely out in the sticks. When you have to drive through a pasture and honk at a cow to get home, you know you're in the backcountry.

But once you get used to the winding two-lane highways often blocked by dawdling tractors, the air heavily perfumed with livestock, the shock of how dreadfully out of reach Target is, well, it's nice. It's really nice.

It's playing pick-up baseball with the brothers in the field off to the side of the house. It's slurping grape popsicles at dusk on the porch swing while the kids run all over the yard after fireflies. It's driving down the road with your arm resting out the window to raise it in that casual two-fingered salute neighbors exchange as they pass each other. It's getting directions based on barns and bridges rather than street names. It's the sweet smell of grass that never washes off.

One lazy day out there my brothers and I decided to grab the kayaks and head down the Monocacy.

We slithered our way down the river easily, splashing and goofing and paddling along. We had no schedule to keep, no pressing appointments, no nothing. It was just us in the sunshine, the somnolent cawing of birds periodically breaking the stillness of the day, and always the slow plops of our paddles hitting the water's surface. 

When we were halfway through our leg of the river three gunshots rang out in quick succession, shattering the quiet and raising a veil of birds to the sky. We looked around confusedly and spotted this:

near the shore. 

An elderly, shirtless man in a fishing boat with a shotgun.

We continued down the river giggling, reminded once again that we are in hick-country. But I think I'm okay with hick-country. I think I'd fit right in.