Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Day Of Being Fourteen

Peanut butter ice is good, real, real good. While taking a stroll through S's neighborhood, we stopped by Scoopz, an ice place. We walked in the very hot sun with our ices. I was in peanut butter heaven. She was in chocolate with a hint of mint hell. She'd ordered their version of Dip N Dots thinking it would be more mint, less chocolate but it was mostly chocolate with barely any mint. As it melted, it looked like chocolate only. That was a letdown, but I was still on a high from the peanut butter. This was a much better experience than when we went to Uncle Louie G's and I got a weird lime that Eddie wound up eating half of because they didn't have anything he ordered because their machines were broken and they'd run out of milk. Scoopz wins by a landslide!

After being out for a few hours, walking around, taking in the neighborhood, we headed back to her place and settled in to watch Beastly. I had toyed with the idea of adding it to my queue, but now I didn't have to since she'd gotten it instead. Basically, it's a Beauty and the Beast story in present day high school.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Don't read the rest of this if you are planning to be shocked by the predictable and simultaneously nonsensical ending of Beastly.

Everything made predictable sense at the end. The girl falls in love with the ugly guy. The guy turns into a handsome-ish guy again. The spell is broken.

Then the house servant's children are allowed to come live in America, which is what she's been waiting for since she's been working in America and sending money back to her family in another country. Okay, that's a nice thing. It doesn't really have anything to do with anything else, but a feel good ending is what fairy tales are all about.

Now for the insanity. The blind tutor regains his sight. The father had hired a blind tutor so his ugly son did not have to go to school and the tutor didn't have to see how ugly the son was. The tutor rubs his temple while holding the children's documentation, repeats there it is there it is, and boom! He has his sight back. What the?

S and I rewound the friggin thing several times, thinking we'd missed something. Then we looked up the movie online for a summary. Every summary describes exactly what I just did--the tutor can see, the end.

Then I found a summary of the book that the movie is based on. It has a lot of differences. The ugly version of the boy has a different name. The time frame to break the spell is two years instead of the movie's one year. Oh, and there's a deal the ugly guy makes with the witch that includes giving sight to the blind tutor AND the witch is really the servant under a curse, who is now able to be set free.

While that sounds convoluted, it actually makes much more sense than a blind man randomly regaining his sight by rubbing his temples and gently urging his eyes to see again. While it's a feel-good moment, I don't think the movie should have kept that part in, especially when there's no talk of the deal that makes him see again and the servant and the witch are not the same person.

To rid ourselves of the absurdity of the film, we watched Pretty Little Liars.

I know. Ices. Beastly. Pretty Little Liars. You'd think we were teenagers. However, yesterday, we both did laundry, and S went to the dry cleaners, so we earned our Tiger Beat perfect day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Duck Farms And Flying Eggs

Every summer, Eddie's family has a reunion. In the past, they've had it at a park in New Jersey. I went last year. I ate a veggie burger and watched people play bocci.

This year, one of his cousins hosted it in her backyard. His cousin lives in Ferndale, NY, which is 20 minutes south of Roscoe, home of the Roscoe Diner off Rt. 17, the quick resting point on the way to Oneonta. I know this because I stopped at that diner many times when heading up to college. It's been a while since I'd been up that way, but as soon as we hit Harriman, I was like, Oh, jeez, we're actually here. Not that being there is a bad thing. I was simply having flashbacks of my undergrad days. Or to put it more specifically, daze.

The drawback of the reunion was that at some points we heard people on the duck farm were shooting things. The duck farm was located right next to the house. They share a property line. So I had visions of ducks being shot in slow motion, one duck holding another duck in its feathers, screaming out Why God Why? However, I don't think they were actually shooting the ducks. What good would that do to shoot the merchandise?

Other than that, the day was grand. I met and remet his family. He has like seven aunts who are all married and have children, who are his cousins. His cousins have children, who are his second cousins. Some of his second cousins have children, who are his third cousins. There were a lot of people there, and for the most part, they all were part of the same branch on the family tree. That means that he has even more cousins and aunts and uncles who I haven't met yet. I'm okay with that because I was still lost as to who was whom and how they were related. He had to keep explaining it until I was like, let's just forget names and relations and call everyone part of the family.

What made me feel better was when we were leaving, there were several people there he did not know at all. Yeay!

The highlight of the day was the egg toss. He asked if I'd be his partner. I said I would play as long as there was no yelling, no screaming, no sternly instructing, and no pouting when we lost because we were definitely going to lose. This was my first egg toss ever--yes, that's right, ever. I'm sure when I went to day camp there was an egg toss, but I'm also sure that I didn't join. I wasn't much of a joiner when I was young, ugly, shy, and awkward (a quadruple threat! don't be jealous!).

So as everyone got their eggs and lined up, I stood through a rousing lesson of "This is how you catch an egg." I know how to catch an egg. In theory. I understand that an egg cannot hit a hard surface and not crack. I get it. I watched The Mighty Ducks. I know how to "accept the egg".

Meanwhile, his cousin next to us heard me talking about how I wasn't sure how long we'd be in this game, and then was like, Oh man you're in for it. Apparently, he's seen Eddie's competitive side come out. Eddie will be the first to tell you, sure it's only an egg toss, but he wants to win.

When we started playing, he threw the egg and I caught it. Everyone caught it successfully. My line took a step back. Then I yelled to him, You never taught me how to throw the egg! His cousin laughed. He was like, just lob it underhand, don't worry, I'll catch whatever you throw. I threw it. He caught it. Someone did not catch it and was out.

Phew! We were still in the game. I did not make him the first out. Now that that was out of the way I was feeling much better. I simply did not want to be first out.

That feel-good vibe did not last long as Eddie threw me the egg after we stepped back and I totally did not catch it. It's not like I dropped it. I simply didn't even come near catching it. We were out. So was another team. I left my egg in the grass, unsure of what the ettiquette is for dropped eggs. As long as the dog didn't go near it, I was okay with leaving it.

The game went on and on until two teams were left, each partner far across the yard. They both dropped the eggs on the last throw so either they both won or no one won. I'd like to go with no one won. That way, no one really lost either. Or we're all losers. At least we're all on the same page.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hands Up!

The thermometer kept rising during our heat wave. One day was hotter than the next. On one of the hottest record-breaking days, T, D, and I decided, hey let's go to the park for a free concert! Because not only do I make dumb decisions, but we all make dumb decisions.

Mumbling things like, We're idiots, and, We're not very smart, we carried our chairs and bags onto the lawn of the Harry Chapin Lakeside theatre in Eisenhower Park. I'm now an Eisenhower Park expert, having driven around it in circles enough times to figure out how to pretty much do exactly that, drive around in circles. I'd not been to the lakeside theatre previously, and it was a very pretty view. It was also on a hill so when T asked, should we park here or go down there?, I responded before she finished, Stay here! If we went down the hill, we'd have to come back up it. I did not want to walk uphill. I was already sweating.

Everyone was sweating. It was gross. We sat still and barely moved and we were sweating. There was a portable misting fan thingie attached to a hose coming out of the bathroom facility that I'm pretty sure doubles as a malaria-spreader, but it was good to know that it was there in case of overheating.

We were putting up with the wall of humid heat to see Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors for free. This was the second time I was seeing Gin Blossoms with T for free. The first time was fun; her boyfriend had joined us and we planned to make an air band until he kind of kicked me out of my own band. I'm very into the air triangle and the air cowbell which I guess don't have any place in his air band. Anyway, this was the first time any of the three of us were seeing Spin Doctors, and we figured it was a fun out.

We got free reuseable bags from KJOY. They have the faces of their morning show DJs on it. It's kind of a scary bag.

Spin Doctors came on first. The sound was off. Something just didn't sound like it was plugged in or turned up right. T pointed out a guy down in front. She was like, he's having a good time. I don't know how he was doing this: dancing. I don't know how anyone was standing, let alone dancing. He had his shirt off, which maybe made him cooler, but I don't think by much. I'm pretty sure I could have been sitting there naked and I still would have been just as hot and sweaty. Now that's a sexy picture.

We were actually surprised it was still on. D and T thought that maybe they'd cancel because the performers could possibly pass out or to protect people from passing out. I thought that to conserve power, they wouldn't have it. But no, everyone was there and it was happening.

They played for almost an hour. I knew maybe three songs. People cheered. I kind of clapped. Oh, and I was sweating profusely. I'd downed almost four glasses of water already.

D broke out the Twizzlers during the intermission. Then she pondered asked the children next to us to fan us with their oversized frisbees. That didn't happen, but it was a nice thought.

The Gin Blossoms finally came on as the sun started setting. We felt a breeze. It was a warm breeze, but it was good. Then it went away. And it was hot still. I was still sweating. My clothes were stuck to me.

The lead singer of the Gin Blossoms was very happy to be there. He kept saying that it was hot and they were from Arizona and they still thought it was hot. Then he said he lives in Valley Stream. Then he said they were from Arizona. Again.

Down in front, the dancing shirtless man now had a following. Several other men were bouncing up and down with him as if they were following the Dead. The other men had their shirts on, though.

Meanwhile, the lead singer was moving people in the crowd into empty seats. I don't know why seats were empty because as far as I knew, the only seats available were the ones we brought. Maybe they'd set up seats in the front to make sure people sat near them. I don't really know what was going on other than the lead singer taking up a lot of time in making people move and in not singing.

They have a new album coming out. They did last time, too. This album sounds exactly like all the other songs they were playing, so it's nice to know that the Gin Blossoms are not radically changing their formula.

The one thing the lead singer did more than anything aside from sing was to tell everyone to put their hands up. Get your hands up! Hands up! Let me see your hands! Hands in the air! Raise your hands! You Got Hands? Put Em Up! Hands to heavens! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

It was hot. I was sweaty. I did not want to move. D and T joined in putting their hands up, so not to feel left out, I eventually joined, too. We did so not with any kind of pizazz or whoo-hoo, but rather out of a sense of duty, or kind of like we were being held at gunpoint. It was all very rock n roll.

The music? Was good. Gin Blossoms are good.

We packed up our stuff during Hey Jealousy. As we walked away, passing the malaria misting station, I heard him give one more hands up directive and was happy I was heading home instead.

Wearing White

Matt Nathanson has a very sweet song called Wedding Dress. If you don't know him by that song, then you probably know him by his more well-known song that goes I miss the sound of your voice . . . come on get higher . . . I'm doing it such justice right now.

Anyway, that's the song that was in my head as I headed out with S and my mom to find a white sundress that would be my wedding dress at first and then would slide into my closet to be in my wardrobe as a choice of sundress for future activities. I have never wanted a wedding dress that I would wear for a few hours for one day. I guess that's the practical side of me. I did agree with Eddie that I should get a white dress.

So S and my mom and I were off to the store with the two of them in my backseat because S was being respectful and telling my mom to sit in the front while my mom was already climbing into the back. So there I was, the chauffer for the evening.

We got to the store and somehow found the dresses. It was a large store, very challenging to navigate. Everywhere we looked didn't make sense. There were dresses and then shorts and then dressed and then shirts and then pants. Nothing really had a place of its own.

We found a few dresses that were very pretty but not white. One was black and white and very very me but I'd agreed to white, so I let it look pretty on the hanger.

S found two dresses that were white. My mom found something and brought it over, saying, This is white and cute. I was like, Umm, that's a shirt. She was like, then never mind. S found another dress that was stained and we couldn't find another in my size without the stain.

I tried on a dress. It was just not fitting in any way. It had an eyelet top that looked like a baby's bib. Ugh. I climbed out of it and started to get annoyed. I don't like shopping. S was like, do you want to go to another store. I was like, we may as well.

We saw this dress too. It has built-in boobs. I did not get a dress with built-in boobs.

As we were leaving, we found another place that had dresses. Then we spotted a white dress. It looked like one I'd seen online. I tried it on. It was too big. I asked a sales rep if they had it in the smaller size. The size I showed her was a small. She was like, Which size? There's only one smaller size, but I explained, Extra Small.

They didn't have it but they had a kiosk where I could order it online and they would ship it for free.

And so began the fight with the kiosk that reminded me that nothing could really ever be that easy. First off, the screen is so huge that anyone within a ten foot radius around it can see exactly what you're doing, which includes your name and all your info on the screen (as well as what size you're getting--I don't care who knows what size I wear, but I'm sure some people do; plus, what if you're buying undies or something? Seriously.).

When it got to the part where I had to swipe my card, it didn't work. I swiped it several (hundred) times and it didn't work. So I chose to put my info in manually. That took about ten tries because if I messed up even one letter and tried to delete it, the machine took me back to the beginning. Ugh!

BTW--this whole time, my mom is standing there holding the dress up behind me so no one can see what I'm doing. My mom is shorter than I am so I'm not sure what this was accomplishing other than bringing me amusement, which I needed lest I punch the machine.

I had a discount code, too. That's when S called over the sales rep to help. The rep was like, I want to throw this machine across the room. My mom was like, I'll help you. Apparently, the kiosk sucks all the time and this woman is stuck helping people with it all day long.

She showed us what to do with the code--which we should have been able to figure out but by that point, we just didn't want to figure anything out anymore--and we typed it in. S was like, this is the cheapest wedding dress ever. I was like, I have to buy a bra and it'll probably be more expensive than the dress.

I wanted to print the receipt and so I pressed the button that said to print it. That's when some guy walking by was like, just wait for it to process and then press it. He was a kiosk guru I guess. I waited and then pressed the button and then it printed.

In less than an hour, I'd gotten my dress. As we got back in the car, my mom, climbing into the front seat, was like, do you have shoes? I said, I have two pairs to choose from. S, from the back seat was like, you're almost all set then. Yes, I am. Now for a bra. Matt Nathanson does not have any bra songs. Does anyone?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ring's The Thing

Everything looks strange on Eddie because he's never worn a ring. We visited a few jewelers and the first challenge was getting into the mindset of what a ring should look like. The second challenge was figuring out his ring size since some of his knuckles have gone through some damage from sports.

We sat down at one place I'd found rings online from that looked like something he would wear. The girl came over to help, said she was from Pennsylvania and this is the largest selection of men's rings she's seen in any store. She showed us a bunch of 14K gold rings. I asked to see white gold at 10K. She showed us more 14K rings. Then she wanted him to try on bands that had diamonds in them and I was like, No he's not wearing that. They looked like women's rings. Eddie was like, Thank you. Sometimes he thinks it's rude to say no even when he doesn't want something, so in this situation, where I'm a bit more comfortable than he is, I was the one doing all the talking.

I asked to see the titanium bands. He tried on a bunch of both metals. She said he looked like a 10 so he kept trying on 10s. They all looked weird except for the titanium one. It would have to be resized because they had only 11s. She said she couldn't send it out because it would take about three months and we wouldn't have it in time. Everything she said sounded made up. I suggested to him we go shop around some more.

In the next store, the first thing the woman did was measure his finger. His actual size is 8 and 3/4 or 9. So looking and guessing about a 10 is not really what you're supposed to do. Maybe that's how they do it in Pennsylvania. This store also had the same size selection as the previous store, you know, the one with the widest selection ever seen. This woman explained that Eddie needs a 14K gold ring. needs it. She said, once it's on, it's not like you're going to take it off. We all laughed politely. I insisted he try on the titanium rings, too. We asked if they could be resized in a timely fashion. She said, yes. As opposed to the decade it would take in the first store. As Eddie waivered back and forth, she said, go talk about it.

We left and headed to one more store. We walked over to the men's rings and no one approached us. I was like, Oh look they have the metals listed. Their sign explained which metals were good for what you'd be doing during the day--which were scratch resistant and such. It was helpful.

A guy came over and asked if we'd been there long. Eddie immediately said, No not at all. I was like, yup, a few minutes. We were there like eight minutes, but it was actually a handy eight minutes during which Eddie got back in the game and didn't feel like he'd never find a ring in time that was cost effective and fit. The guy showed us the titanium rings first because they are the most scratch resistant. He remeasured Eddie's finger. We asked about resizing and he said that usually it takes two to three weeks but he could put a rush on it, too.

And that's how we got Eddie a ring. See how easy it is when someone comes over and helps you in a way that is actually helpful? The ring is on its way. Soon enough, Eddie'll get used to what a ring looks like on his finger. After all, it's not like he's gonna take it off.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Half Birthday, Half Meet George Glass

AEF was planning a BBQ to meet George Glass, D's boyfriend who was yet to make a public appearance with her (you know, like the way Big showed up to happy hour to say Hello to the girls). Then they both came to Eddie's almost July 4th party, so that became his debut. That does not mean we still couldn't have a party for the hell of it. I mean, that's what big backyards are for.

So off we went to AEF's house. Eddie and I were the first to arrive of course because I have a problem with being 100% on time. We got a grand tour of the place which included a peek into the under construction basement which is coming along fantastically. She and her brother are doing it themselves. Oooh, it's gonna be sweet. She's gotta put in walls and ceilings and I keep asking, So when's the bar gonna be up? Heh heh. Priorities.

As the gals arrived with their respective gentlemen friends, we all headed outside. Where I immediately was under assault. Oh, the bugs. They get me every time. Only me. Okay, not only me, but me for the most part. The last big bash in AEF's backyard I attended ended in my having to leave after being bitten by maybe 15 insects at once when she was wrestling some guy and they disturbed all the critters in the grass that decided I was the culprit. I had to pop an allergy pill and I had ice on my face because that's where most of them landed, so I left before I passed out from the meds and before my face swelled up.

This was the first time Eddie's seen me really get bitten and he was sort of amazed at how the bites swelled up. T and I then retold our tale of taking on the siege of mosquitoes in the Yucatan, during which we kind of prevailed if prevailing means heading back to the cruise ship covered in bites swollen to the size of softballs so that you kind of look like you have the onset of leprosy.

T had brought balloons to celebrate AEF's birthday which is in December since the weather usually kills all bday plans for her. I tied them around a chair and they hit me in the head. Then we tied them around another chair and they hit someone else in the head. Then one got away and got stuck in a bush. Then we tied them to the tent where they stayed for the rest of the evening.

The rest of the day was devoted to making fun of each other and eating. That is the best kind of party, really. My night was over when Eddie and T's boyfriend started having a cell phone flashlight war. I kid you not; it happened.

As for George Glass, well, he's not George Glass and hadn't been for a while, but it's always fun to reference The Brady Bunch.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dancing In The Mist

Wednesday means free fusion dance at Jones Beach all summer. Fusion dance is what Jones Beach calls line dancing. We like line dancing. S and I found our first available Wednesday was filled with mist. When I pulled up in front of her house, the mist turned into a few large drops of rain. Then it stopped as she climbed into the car. I called right away. The number I'd found for the beach from their awful website last year is programmed into my cell so that I don't have to spend another two hours looking for a number to call.

I listened to the recorded message that leaves a bunch of other numbers I should hang up and call if I want to talk to someone else at other parts of the beach. I stayed on the line and it rang and rang. Finally, someone picked up. I asked if there was line dancing. The woman asked someone else in the office with her and then said, Yes there is. I said thanks. We were off!

As we turned onto the Meadowbrook, S gasped. A rainbow! she exclaimed. Across the grey-red sky was a very thick rainbow, brighter and wider than any I've seen before in real life. We wound down the parkway, the rainbow's both ends popping in and out of sight through the curves. When we pulled into the parking lot, the sun was at halflight, the rainbow was lingering.

We walked up onto the path to the beach that goes under the road in a dark tunnel that the Parks Dpt. seems to be renovating. Lots of little kids run through it and scream. It's a good time. As we were walking towards the boardwalk, S said, Uhoh. She saw some line dancers leaving. That's not a good sign.

The wind was wild and there was some mist here and there, but it wasn't weather that you couldn't dance in. Then I saw some of the "professional" line dancers leaving. I asked, Should we keep going and see for ourselves? We agreed to keep on towards the beach, knowing that it was not looking good.

As soon as we turned the corner and made it to the bandshell where the dancing takes place, two lightning bolts struck across the sky. Not five seconds later, a PA announcer was instructing all beach-goers to leave the shoreside immediately because there was lightning. I looked around. It was a good idea to leave. All the railings are metal. The picnic tables are metal, too, but they look coated in rubber. Plus, the huge mast in the middle of the boardwalk is the tallest thing around. However, if you stand on the shoreline, you're totally getting hit.

We turned around and made our way back to the car. People were milling around, not really rushing. A park ranger came out to yell at people on the sand who were totally not packing up.

I don't know why I called ahead. This isn't the first time I've called and they've given me the wrong information. Couldn't they just say, it's probably going to be canceled?

After the lightning, no rain came. None. The mist stopped. No more big drops. Nothing came down from the sky. No more lightning struck. So, exactly why was it canceled? I'm not sure. I guess they don't believe in delay. It's either on or off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Checking Out The Venue

Eddie hates geese. I know this because we went to visit our wedding venue in person after booking it after seeing it online only, and it had geese there. I'm way ahead of myself. So here we go from the start.

Where can we get married?

Not a church. Not a temple. No religion.

Not at the house. Not in the backyard. Too laid-back. And cramped.

Not at a hall. Not at the beach. Too confusing for either of us to understand how to do.

How about a park? I listed all the parks in Nassau. I found them online. Some had pretty pictures. One is down the street from my grandma's place.

We needed a permit. The permit is cheaper if I have a leisure pass, which costs money but the cost of the pass and the permit is less than the cost of the permit without a pass.

That's how Eddie and I found ourselves driving back and forth through Eisenhower Park, about six times in all, looking for the building that issues the leisure passes. We finally asked someone in the snack and golf cart stand where to get one and she pointed to the brick golf building. We went in and the woman was like, Window Three!

We walked to a different window and no one was there. We saw the same woman through Window Three that we saw when we walked in and stood in front of her at what I suppose was Window Two. There was a door next to Window Three so I wondered if we were supposed to go through it. Just when I was about to push on it, the woman came over to Window Three and asked for my driver's license and asked if I was getting one or two passes. I said one. She took down my info. Then she asked me to sit in a chair. I did. She took my picture. Ah, that's why we had to be at Window Three. It had a camera.

By this time, Eddie had disappeared behind the screen I was sitting in front of for the picture. What was he doing? Fighting with the snack machine, of course. He'd put a dollar in and it was not giving him anything in exchange and it was not accepting more money. We pressed some buttons and then finally got the dollar back. I told him the universe didn't want him to eat from the machine.

Finally, the leisure pass was ready. I noticed two things upon walking out with it: 1. The name of my street had an extra R in it. 2. It was good until 2014. Sweet! I'm totally getting in as much leisure as possible for the next three years. I would say that it's worth the cost for that amount of time, but really, aside from the discounted wedding permit and a discount in golf that I'll never use, I don't know what I can do with it. The website for Nassau County Parks says that with the leisure pass, I can do a whole bunch of things for free or for a discount, but it fails to list exactly what those things are. I plan to carry around the pass wherever I go and show it to whoever will look at it in the hopes of getting something for free or at a discount. Plus, the picture isn't that bad. Maybe I'll start showing that to people when they ask for my ID instead of my license. The picture on my license is heinous and no one under the age of 21 is going to own a leisure pass.

With my leisure pass in hand hot off the computer lamination press, we headed to the admin building where the people in the leisure pass and golf office thought we could file the wedding permit. Really, no one knows a whole lot about these permit things. They just magically happen. We found the little house where the picnic permits are issued. We'd planned to ask if we could file the wedding permit there, too, but the office closed at 3:00 and it was now 3:04. Dangit. We went straight home, slapped a stamp on an envelope, and mailed the permit in, complete with my leisure pass number written in big bold happy digits across the page.

Assuming we could use the park because it was very unclear as to how this whole thing would work--being allowed or not to use the park--we visited. I pulled up to the gates which were two blocks over from where I thought they were, Eddie asked, So we can just go in? I was like, yes. He goes, so it's open for everyone? I said, Yes, it's a public park.

That's a drawback. When the ceremony is happening, anyone can be there. We can't mark off a part of the park. We have to get there early to guarantee a specific spot if we want it. This park is not the busiest park in the world, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but we are getting married around noon, so that's high time for picnics.

Anyway, we walked into the park and walked down one trail. There were a lot of bugs flying around, but, after all, we were in a park. There were supposed to be bugs. The path was brick. That was easy. We made our way to the pond. There's a bridge that goes over a narrow part of the pond. There's also a pier-like structure that juts out into the pond, but a huge weeping willow-like tree that also looks like a monster basically consumes the entire pier thing. When we turned to go, the geese were on the path.

Eddie was like, we have to wait. I was like, why? He said, there are geese. I was like, so? He goes, they're in the way. I said, we can go around them. He said, no we can't. Then he explained how his mom was going to have a canniption if the geese came near her so we had better figure out a way to not be near the geese. I'm not really a big fan of the geese, either. I've had a fight with one here and there while walking through a park or parking my car at my old job. Geese are mean and stubborn. That does not mean I won't walk around them on a path.

The geese started moving so we slowly followed them. They finally made their way off the path so we ran by them. As we came to a stop, we noticed a gazebo-like thing off to the side. We figured that it was a much better place than over the river and through the woods where we'd been. It was a closer, straighter path. It was covered in case of rain. It was small, but it was doable.

We walked down one more path. No geese. Few bugs. Pretty scenery. We decided we could take pictures there. Then a few more bugs appeared and attacked us so we ran away.

A few days later, we magically received the permit back, signed by someone.

Why Netflix Sucks Ass Right Now

Last week, a third DVD came in the mail from Netflix. I have a two-at-a-time plan plus unlimited streaming(somehow if you hook up a PS3 or Wii to the internet, Netflix can magically stream movies through it), so this third disc was a confusing suprise. I went onto the site to check what my queue said, but all it showed was 1., 2., and +. I don't know what the + means. Netflix has never had a very informative website. As much as they continue to change the format of it, they still don't make it more helpful.

I'm thinking the third disc was a bonus as to dull the blow they plowed everyone with the day after I got it. According to the company, they are changing their rate plans, simplifying them to benefit their customers.

Now, a company can change its policy at any time. That's what private business is all about. I don't have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is a company raising the rates of plans and saying that it's for the customers' benefit. Um, no, that's for your benefit, jerkface.

Right now, I pay a certain amount for two discs out at a time unlimited and unlimited streaming. Netflix is now splitting up the services, to accomodate me, and pricing them separately. So now if I want both discs and streaming, I have to pay more.

Someone show me how that benefits me please.

Here's the thing about the Netflix stream:

Yes, it sucks. I can never find the movies I want to watch on it. It has a very limited variety that constantly changes. The last few movies I watched through it were not from my queue. They were movies settled upon after getting tired and giving up the search for quality: Unthinkable (a Samuel L. Jackson movie where he plays a violent terrorist interrogator) and Solitary Man (a movie with Fitty Cent). Ugh.

I've taken to simply watching tv series I've always wanted to see. I watched all first six season of The Office so that I'm all caught up and can watch along with the world now. I watched two seasons of Party Down. Now I'm in the middle of the second season of Twin Peaks. These are all available on disc, but since it's the summer, I may as well lounge around a bit and take advantage while I can. Once the price increase comes, the streaming will most likely come to an end.

So really, Netflix, if you think your stream is really worth a higher price, you need to sign up for your own services. Guaranteed, you'll want to ask for a discount. But you won't be able to because you'll go to the website and you won't be able to find any way to contact the company. Because the website is constantly updated to confuse and distract you. Watch At Home!

Stalker Officiants

Finding someone to officiate a wedding is not that simple. First off, I wanted to be married by a boat captain. I figured, I could hang out around a dock somewhere, find a guy with a boat, and then get him to marry us.

No dice. A boat captain is not a wedding officiant simply by being a boat captain in New York. Well, thanks, New York, for ruining my fun.

That's not to say a boat captain can't be an official marriage maker. Anyone can be one: truck driver, boat captain, accountant, meter maid, violinist, baseball player, hall monitor, astronaut, school nurse. Anyone can be one if they file the proper paperwork and become official. The whole thing about the boat captain was that I thought they could do it just because they are boat captains. But now, I kind of want to be married by a meter maid.

Anyway, speaking of boat captains, I logged onto because I'd heard of it and figured they might have a list of officants. They did. Only I couldn't see them unless I created an account. Fandamtastic. That's exactly what I did not want to do, but I did it.

I was happy I did because I found a boat captain! Some guy wears a very nautical military looking outfit and marries people. He's a boat captain and a wedding officiant. I got Eddie to email the guy. Eddie sent a very detailed business-like email. A few hours later, we got back something like, Got ur msg. May b good. Need date. Will contact. So either the Captain was using some kind of nautical shorthand or he was an unprofessional whackjob. Either way, I was very let down by the captain and decided to search more.

Did you know that TheKnot is not the only wedding website? I found two more. So I searched for more officiants. Some overlapped. Some did not. One wedding site I found actually had a countdown for how many days were left until the wedding. That seemed slightly over-dramatic. I actually deleted my profile from that one as soon as I created it because instead of letting me look for people, it had people look at what I was looking for and then pitch to me. I didn't want that. It was annoying.

I sent out a bunch of messages. Later on, we got another message from the Captain. It was a longer email about his services and with a bunch of questions. We didn't answer right away. The next day, we got another email from the Captain, asking if we were still interested. Whoa, buddy, take a breath.

I received several emails back over the course of a few days. Within these few days, the Captain continued to pop up. Eddie wrote back and asked for a quote. He answered with $550 and then continued to send more messages. We told him we were in early planning stages and we'd let him know. He sent a few more messages but then stopped.

I zoned in on five people who looked like they were normal and knew what they were doing. I contacted one back and within seconds, I had a message from him. Then I sent an answer back to his question and he sent two more emails. Oh no, it was like we had another Captain on our hands, only this guy didn't have a fun nickname. I started calling him the Pastor even though he wasn't one.

One woman wrote me back and was completely helpful and normal. Her prices were actually on her website. She listed packages and what we'd get for each price. So that was a good thing. There was something about her that didn't seem excited about what she was doing, though, so I never got back to her. I guess I prefer some stalkerish qualities over nothing at all.

I narrowed down to three people. I emailed them with the date, the time, and the place. Immediately, the Pastor wrote back, telling me that he was happy I was able to send the venue but he needed a time. I showed it to Eddie, saying that people in general have a reading comprehension problem. I didn't get back to this guy. He was off the list.

That didn't mean that I was off his list. He send three more emails consecutively.

One woman who is also a writer wrote back to me. We had a very pleasant exchange. I liked her vibe. It was probably the writer thing.

Another woman was also in touch with me. I liked her name. We also had a simple, pleasant exchange.

Then, the Captain reappeared. It had been about a week or a bit more, and suddenly, Eddie showed me his phone. The Captain--and I'm not joking here--was on a cruise and wanted to let us know that he would be back soon so he wanted all the information about our wedding so that he could make sure he could be there. As if now he's not really officiating but he's an actual guest, perhaps one of the family already. It was not clear if he was on a cruise for vacation or if he was the boat captain for the cruise.

Let me first explain this: we are having a small wedding. We are inviting our parents, our siblings, his nieces and nephews, and my grandmother. That's it. The ceremony, I'm guessing, will be about twenty minutes. We are going to be in a park. If it rains, the park has an odd metal thing that I think is supposed to be a gazebo that we can stand under. It'll be a slight squeeze, but it's doable. Then we're going to a restaurant to eat. So we're not looking for someone who will be the life of the party. We're looking for, simply, someone to marry us legally.

So, spending 550 for a boat captain was not going to happen. I know we're also paying for travel and services as well as time, but still, that's a little steep. Unfortunately, the Writer was a bit steep as well, ranging from 400s to 600s.

And so, after telling the Writer and the Pastor that we had to decline, we went with the other woman, one with no nickname, a very plain jane kind of thing. Except, I really really like her name. We're getting married by Judy. That's also the name of my GPS system. But that's not why I like the name. I like the name because I can say it in all kinds of fun ways. Yes, this is how I offered input into who would marry us. At this point, all Eddie knew was that he didn't want to be stalked by the Captain anymore.

Judy told me how to send in the deposit to save the date and time for her services. I did so and we had a short email exchange to ensure she'd received it. It's been some time since I've heard from Judy. I'm pretty sure that by this point, she's skipped town and run off to Mexico.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marilyn Moment

The Summer Gazebo Reading Series on the Schoolhouse Green in Oceanside is exactly what the title suggests--every summer on Monday nights, a bunch of writers gather round on the grass next to a school in Oceanside to listen to a few writers read their stuff from the very pretty gazebo. It's a really great series. Luckily, I was invited to be a part of it.

Two years ago, I read and almost made the director pass out. He has a strict PG policy so I gently nudged the line. I didn't break any rules. He told me he was flipping out on the inside but then I brought it around. It was a poem based on a Bryan Adams song, so blame Bryan Adams.

This year, I had no such push against the line. As Eddie looked around at the crowd, he told me flat out, You better not curse with this audience. I was like, I can't anyway--there's a rule against it. He was like, good because this is not the group to do it in front of. Heh heh. He's a good evaluator of crowds.

Instead of using words for shock value, I was going to use my plentiful booty. You see, the wind was not blowing as we left the house and got into the car. When we got out of the car at the schoolhouse green, my short dress was whipping around all over. Oh, I make bad decisions. Still.

I put my hair in a ponytail. I never do that. I also wound up walking around with one hand clamped on the side of my dress. This was not good.

When I met up with the director, he was like, I have a special guest for you to meet. Turns out that his nephew is a student in the online poetry class I'm teaching. They basically forced him to come. He didn't want to seem like he was sucking up, but they told him, oh come on come on you have to come.

So I did my teachery thing. I was like, So you got all your work in right? His face dropped and I was like, It's not due til tomorrow. He looked relieved and his whole family laughed. Ohhhhh, poor him. I told him he was going to learn a lot and he should enjoy it. Then I left him alone. Eddie was like, you were really outgoing. I was like, I am more outgoing with students than with anyone else because students get awkward when they see their teachers out in public.

As the readings began, D showed up with a chair. I explained the whole dress issue. Then the three of us settled in for an interesting time. Everything was pretty entertaining. When it was my turn to read, I held my dress and held my poems and somehow got through it without flashing everyone.

The final reader was also wearing a dress. Hers was long but had slits up the sides, which the wind caught. This woman was reading from her new novel. At one point, she said "bitch" and immediately D and I looked at each other and gasped. She cursed! She cursed!

When it was all over, my student actually came up to me to say goodbye, which was a very bold and nice thing to do. Then we all chatted a bit with the poets and the audience, but mostly, I just wanted to get back to the car. The wind was still blowing. No one needed an aftershow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Waste Of Our Tax Money

About a week after filing for the marriage license, Eddie and I received identical letters in the mail. They were type-written, like on a word processing machine or a type writer and were in informal letter format (you know, the letters that have indents for all the paragraphs).

Up in the left corner is a picture of the town clerk in black and while, smiling widely. What's he all happy about? Oh, he's happy that we're getting married.

That's what the letters say. It congratulates us on our wedding and says we can contact him if we need anything.

I'm all like, Awww.

Eddie's all like, okay, that's nice and everything, but look. He held up the envelope. Then he said, Long Island has like the highest taxes of anywhere, and this is where our tax dollars are going. I'm going to write him a letter back saying, thank you but stop wasting my money on sending letters to congratulate people.

My man? Has got a point. But still, it's so nice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Bunnies In The Hamptons

Every year, Shecky's in the Hamptons is my one chance to head out East on the Island and pretend I'm well-off. S, D, T, and I piled into Yolanda (which is apparently a zippy car as T pointed out--I go a lot faster now) and took the hour and some minutes drive out there, finding a sweet parking spot right across the street--last year, S and I parked down a few blocks. We got on line and in no time we were inside the grounds, ready to look at pretty things we would probably not buy and, more importantly, to imbibe in the sweet liquor that was pretty much free. Free! Free! We love free!

Okay, it's not really free. We paid for the tickets, but we got them half price and along with the tickets we get a goodie bag of stuff worth at least twice of what we paid for the ticket, so with all that factored in, the drinks are totally free. Free! Free! We love free!

But first, we headed to the bathroom. Which sucks. Porter potties sitting in the sun are gross, even when you're the first to use them. Ew.

Usually, we float around for a while, deciding where to go and what to look at since everything is so glittery and colorful. Jewels. Dresses. Shoes. Books. Beauty products. It's all there. This day was different. We instead signed up for the mixology class sponsored by Cointreau. Then we stood on line to get a mixed drink made with Cointreau that came with its own shaker, and the shaker has a hole for a straw so you can drink out of it. I got the skinny lemonade. Because you know, I'm watching my girlish figure.

Then I asked for the drink and he got a piece of mint caught in the shaker so he had trouble closing it. I was like, yup thanks for that, and we got out of there and met up with D and T who had no trouble with their drinks.

More proof that the hatred of the line dance world towards us is spreading to the world at large.

We headed right into the mixology tent and S and I got caught at the table in the sun so we edged our way back into the shade. Two women arrived later and took the sun table. Heh heh.

The mixology master was very much into the Skinny Lemonade and was in love with Cointreau. He pointed to the four of us and was like, I see some of you are already enjoying it. I think he wanted to steal it from us. He told us to hold up and break the dried rinds in front of us to smell them. Mine? Would not break. So I stood there trying to bend a stupid piece of rind like an idiot while everyone else was snapping and smelling. T and S shouted out that it smelled like oranges. He was like, yes correct!

Then he asked a bunch of questions about alcohol content. S kept answering them by reading the label on the bottle until he caught on. Then he asked, For those of you who are not looking at the bottle, does anyone know....

We began to make margaritas. Now we had a different shaker in front of us that had different recipes on it. It did not have a straw hole so we all had plastic cups. We opened our shakers and S's cap went flying off. I was hysterical. Then I did the same thing. Twice.

The mixology master insisted that we all shake our shakers at the same time. I don't know why. We all shook. Then we poured. Oh, man, that was a nasty tasting margarita. Not because of the Cointreau, but because I screwed with the recipe, not wanting too much tequila. It was like all lime all the time. Ick. I dumped that right out into the grass. Lots of little bugs got happy from that, I'm sure.

But now the four of us can be bartenders anywhere as long as you order something involving Cointreau and the recipe is on the shaker.

Still sipping on our original drinks, we took a walk around the booths. A lot of flavored water vendors were there. So we got free waters. Then we settled in the shade for a moment where someone had abandoned a goodie bag. D and I were all set to divvy it up when the woman returned for it. Damn. Meanwhile, S and T were tasting the Persecco drinks. I had a sip and did not like it at all. I was quite content with my lemonade.

We went to get our goodie bags which required standing in the sun for a long period of time. The bags were filled to the brim. Everyone got Pop Chips but me so I snacked on what I thought was going to be a Fiber One cereal bar and turned out to be a fake brownie that didn't taste too good. But I was hungry. It sufficed.

S and D took the bags to the car since T and I had new drinks and couldn't carry them out. This is when the bunnies arrived. We were standing in the shade and T was like, don't make eye contact! Neither of us enjoys characters. Neither of us understood why bunnies were there. Ugh, it was horrible. They were ten feet from us and we had no cover. Thankfully they went away.

Then S and D came back, S smiling and shoving her phone in my face saying, Look! Look!

She'd found a Montana license plate and had won the license plate game. I was happy for her. But then I thought, Oh no. If she won, then Eddie lost. He had only one more to go. We're still looking for Hawaii.

Next we went on a mission to find water. S wanted plain water. All the water we found was infused with stuff. Then one of the women in a booth suggested she ask the bartenders at one of the bars. I was like, don't wait on line. She was like, really? I was like, just go to the side. The guy nodded when she asked if they had water and soon enough, she had ice cold plain water.

The timing was perfect because we found chairs in the shade and were able to lounge around.

We made a plan to visit a few more booths and then head to eat at Sip and Soda, the place S and I had found last year. We walked because I could not drive.

I had one and 2/3 of a drink and I couldn't drive. Several years ago, I had seven drinks and was perfectly fine. What's happened?

The walk was good. The food was really good. Soon enough, we were headed West once again. And so my life as a rich Hamptonite is over once more until next summer.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Goin To The Village Hall And We're Gonna Get A Marriage Licence

We were going to Town Hall to get a list of judges and other people who could officiate a wedding on a Saturday.

We brought our birth certificates. We figured we may as well get a license while we were there.

And so, that's how we solidified the idea we'd been kicking around. We're getting married August 13. Next month.

The first woman who helped us at Town Hall was very chipper. She came over singing, Hello hello! She gave us a pink index card to write our SS#s on. She pointed out, G is for groom, B is for bride. She'd hand written G and B on it. It's all very high tech.

Then we sat as they made copies of our driver's licenses and birth certificates.

Then we went with a very young blonde woman. She asked Eddie what he did for a living. He said, I'm a mortgage broker assistant. She asked for what business. He said the name of the business. She looked confused and then asked, no what type of business? He said, mortgages.

Mine went more smoothly because when I told her I was a professor, the computer automatically brought up Education as the industry.

She asked if I was taking his name. I did not look at Eddie as I said, No. When I finally looked at him, he shook his head. He said something about understanding that he's the man and that's why women take the guy's name. Then he laughed at himself because he thinks he's funny.

The couple in the next cubicle over were delightful. They were an older couple. The woman had been divorced. He kept making comments about how she was pretty much dumb and unorganized and he said more than once, no rush we're not getting married today. Ugh.

Oh, and one of the cute parts about Town Hall is that the wedding license room has little wedding bells and other decorations around the doorway. It's cute. Everyone in there seems happy. It's nice to know that there's a place you can work for the government and be really happy every day.

We signed some papers. Then the girl had to redo them since my mom's maiden name wasn't listed on the first set. We signed some more papers. She said, You're getting married in a church, right? I was like, no. Then Eddie said we weren't sure where yet. She then explained that if we get married outside of Town Hall, we'd have to mail back the license, but if we got married there, it would be there already. Then she said, congratulations!

We left and then looked at each other. We're getting married next month. Huh. How'd that happen?

Famous Pizza Has Pizzazz

Grimaldis in Brooklyn is supposed to have pizza worth standing on line for hours. Eddie and I geared up to get there early and stand on a short line. We got to Brooklyn and drove around and around, attempting to find a parking spot. It took about two hours to get into Brooklyn and find a spot. It was horrible. I almost had a breakdown in the car. Who can stay in a car that long to go to a place that's only about 40 minutes away. As we circled looking for a spot, we saw a line starting to form in the place where it had not been before.

We found a meter. Finally. Then walked to the restaurant. Then stood on line. For only ten minutes!

Their pizza is thin crust smaller pizza. It's not like New York Pizza. It's very yummy. It's not the best pizza in the world, but it is yummy.

For as small and busy as the restaurant is, the staff is really nice and courteous. That's a hard thing to accomplish.

After eating, we took a quick walk to the water. It was about 95 degrees out so we didn't stay very long. Plus, we were on meter time. But it was good.

Fulton Ferry Landing

Brooklyn Bridge Park

I Want That Job #2

I want to be a hot dog count flipper lady!

Women stand behind the competitive eaters and flip numbers over on a pole to keep the count.

They don't do the actual counting. The refs in front of the eaters do and then tell them when to flip.

They don't have to stand in front of the eaters, so they don't get grossed out.

It probably does smell a little depending on the food and the heat, but it looks like a fun job. Count me in! (Get it? count? That totally was not on purpose. I hate puns).

My Mom's A G

Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest is gross. Eddie and I arrived at the corner of Surf and Stillwell as the women's competition was finishing up. This year was the first year the women competed. An Asian woman won and then climbed into the crowd. She did not throw up on anyone.

The crowd grew and moved and we were in the thick of it as the eating contest people prepared for the men's contest. There was a rapper, who is also a competitive eater; he didn't qualify this year. There was a break dancer. There were acrobats who climbed up and down on poles and ribbon-like sheets. A man sneezed on me. That was not part of the entertainment. It was a guy who pushed his way through the crowd, stood in front of people, and then sneezed on me. People kept doing that, not sneezing, but pushing through and deciding to stand in front of people who were already there. One old guy walked right in front of someone, clearly blocking her view, and said, This is a good spot. Yes, it is a good spot, which is why someone else was standing there.

The guy on the mic for the most part is the guy who is the president of the competitive eating association. He wears a patriotic hat. He screams into the mic without being able to really excite people. He rides up and down on a hydraulic lift. It's all very absurd.

We watched the contest on a big screen attached to a truck. During the contest, the feed went out, which produced a collective moaning Awwwww. That was probably my favorite part. The feed came back on and we were able to keep watching the contest that was about 50 feet away from us.

Joey Chestnut won again. It was gross. He jiggles and wiggles as he eats. Blech.

Eddie and I walked the boardwalk to get back to the car. There we saw a guy dressed in an American Flag jogging suit. Ah, I love a good American Flag jogging suit.

Because the poker tournament had gone so late, I was exhausted so I took a midday nap, something I rarely do. It was exactly what I needed to gear up for the fireworks.

Eddie had been excited to take me to the 69th street pier to watch Macy's fireworks from Brooklyn. On there pier, there were kites and children, which is not a good mix. We stood near the railing to watch, behind a few people. When the fireworks started, the people in front of us left in about two seconds, giving us a front row view.

Two boys next to us provided most of our entertainment. One was telling the other how his mom celebrates holidays on a boat. The other one asked, How did your mom get on a boat? And the other one answered, because my mom's a G. I shit you not. Then he went into a story about how his mom's boyfriend got into a fight once on a boat and the coast guard came on the boat with M16s. Eddie was like, that story is totally made up. But that banter coupled with the fireworks made for a very exciting evening.

To avoid the bumper to bumper traffic on the Belt to get home again, we stopped off at the Vegas Diner. The staff was fighting when we got there, and that was funny. I had a waffle! Then we were able to watch fireworks all the way home, including some that were being set off on a rooftop that looked like they were about to set all the buildings on fire. Now that's patriotism!

And now, for some poorly shot footage of the contest. I don't know why this happens, but when you record something already on a screen, it comes out weird. So that's part of the poorness. The other part is my lack of camera skills.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Texas Style BBQ

A real barbeque in Texas probably includes pulled pork and more stuff I wouldn't eat and wouldn't know how to make. The Texas in Eddie's barbeque was really all about cards. He invited his poker buddies and my friends over for a Texas Holdem Tournament and barbeque. My brother grilled. My parents dropped by. I made lots of vegetables.

The rain was the big event aside from the cards. As soon as we got everything out to eat, the rain started. We brought everything upstairs and ate. The rain stopped. We went back outside. The bugs came out because of the rain. It got muggy. We went back inside.

I must have walked up and down the steps maybe about 87 times.

We got to meet D's boyfriend F for the first time--T and AEF already knew him, but no one else did. She brought brownies which everyone devoured. T brought chocolate covered strawberries that were very yummy along with some chocolate cake. S did not bake but brought her iPad and showed my dad how to play sudoku on it which he enjoyed and my mom did not because now he'll want to play on her iPad when she gets it back from the computer lady with all new apps on it. AEF brought maybe 200 cookies and some really really good dip. Mmmm, dip. I looked at the cookies and was like, how many people do you think I know? She was like, I just wanted to be covered.

The Holdem game came later on when Eddie's friends showed up. SMM and A came with SMM's two friends and the game began. I read Tarot cards for A, AEF, and S. S got two readings because the first one didn't go so well. A got the best reading. AEF did mine and that wasn't so good. So we put the cards away.

The night went on and as the boys played, me and A were left on the couches, half asleep. When poker finished, they immediately started playing Spades. What the? Boys love their cards. Next time, I'm gonna weasel my way into their poker game and throw them all off. I plan to win.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Can We Record This?

I don't know if it was boredom or a yearning to be on wheels again, but Eddie decided he was going to teach me how to skate. I have owned inline skates for years, but used them perhaps three times. I had tried to teach myself to skate. That ended when I fell on my ass and really felt hurt. I got scared that I was going to seriously injure myself and so I tucked them away. I then tried to sell them on Ebay and no one wanted them.

So we gathered our skates up and went down to the driveway where he'd pulled out all the cars. He helped me get my skates on tight. Then he asked, Is there any way we could record this? Heh heh. As soon as the skates were on, he knew it was going to be a show.

Step One: Standing Up
I couldn't stand. I wrapped my arms around his waist and he hoisted me up, saying, Let go let go. Only I couldn't let go. I was attached to his waist.

Step Two: Move
I couldn't move. Once I was up, my feet were locked in place and attached to the ground. I rolled only when he skated backwards as I was still attached to his waist.

Step Three: Really Move
I pushed off with my feet as soon as I was able to separate my torso from his hip. The bad thing was that my driveway is slightly downhill and slanted so I was picking up speed.

Step Four: Hold On For Dear Life
Somehow we got to the front of the driveway. I stood and grasped onto the bottom of the banister of the stoop. He skated away, showing me how to skate. Then he skated up and down the street to show me how to move my body when I skate.

Step Five: Let Go
I let go of the banister and grabbed onto him.

Step Six: Skate To The Back
I actually pushed with my feet to travel back up the driveway. It was inclined this way and I wasn't bent over at my waist staring at the ground.

It went this way a few more times. We stopped when his skates started to get really loose. I did not fall. When we got back to the chair I could not sit down. And so, we finished the way we started. I wrapped my arms around him and he had to lean over the chair to get me to pretty much fall into it. That's the sign of a really good skater, no?


AEF is trying to kill me. She invites me and T to the Long Island Ducks game. I'm excited because I've never been to one and T told me that it's more silly fun than baseball game. That's my kind of sporting event. When I saw the Staten Island Yankees, I spent most of the time doing the puzzles in the little pamphlett they handed out. It kept me busy and entertained. So at the Ducks game, they have silly contests between almost every inning. Pie is involved. Water ballons are involved. It's great fun. The seats were also in the shade, so that was heavensent; however, I didn't get to wear my hat that I'd brought along just in case and debated about carrying with me when we got out of the car. T was like, did you bring your knitting bag too? Heh heh. If I could knit, then maybe I would've.

So there we were, T's boyfriend N, T, me, and AEF, sitting all in a row, watching the game. We were reading the players' names on the big board, where they were from, their stats. T recognized one as the brother of someone who went to school with her brother. Then up came a graphic that said Fear The Beard and this bearded guy from Puerto Rico gets up to bat. Usually, those slogans are for kitsch. Little did we know it was, like, a serious warning, because this guy swings, gets a small piece of the ball, tips it, and WHAM! Into the stands goes, right into a child who has to be carried out of the seats by some guy with the paramedics following after.

Then the guy that T recognized was up at bat and fouled several pitches up and behind him, slamming the balls into the top deck windows, causing people to duck and cover. Some tried to catch the balls.

I? Was terrified. Our seats were right behind home plate and there was netting right below us so for the ball to come towards us, it would have to go up and then out and then arc back a little bit again, you know, like the magic bullet, only this was a bigger baseball. Some of the balls went up over the roof. It's a small stadium, but that's still a powerful hit.

Aside from being terrified, I had a lot of fun. At the end, we thought there would be fireworks. Instead, fans had small bouncy balls that they chucked at the field in the hopes of winning an outdoor grill. That's some good ol' American fun.