Happy Birthday to Larry and his twin brother Barry. My husband is a twin and so are my best girlfriends Jana and Jill.
You might think that being surrounded by mutants would be scary, but I actually lead a perfectly normal life with very little setbacks due to the "twin thing."
Even though Larry is here in California and Barry is in New York, they will call each other today at almost precisely the same time to wish each other a "Happy Birthday."
(Twilight Zone music fade in)
Now, here are some nice things I've written about my husband where I don't call him a mutant...or giant... or make fun of his big clown feet:
** amendment: I actually do call him a giant in one of these posts. I'm just impossible I guess. Thanks Nik for pointing it out
** amendment: I actually do call him a giant in one of these posts. I'm just impossible I guess. Thanks Nik for pointing it out.
I am loving our new house. We broke it in tonight with a birthday party for my mom. Nothing like having the whole family scattered throughout to get a feel if the place will implode at the chatter of 7 people all trying to talk over Fox News.
I made my very first birthday cake. Darn it, if I am not old enough to make a cake. My mom is a whiz in the kitchen and I haven't ever had to lift a finger in the baking arena of our family, but since it was her birthday, I thought I would forgo the store bought treat and make it myself. It turned out magnificent (pitiful over-exaggeration for a Betty Crocker, one-step-better-than-store-bought cake--but I am proud of myself so...)
Mouth-watering, no? I do give part of the credit to my camera, which makes everything look good. Take a bow Canon Rebel.
I made Joey's BBQ'd pulled chicken sandwiches and instantly put my brother, Randall, in charge of the "pulling." If he thought getting married would stop me from bossing him around, it was confirmed today, it has not.
Apron by "Heavenly Hostess." Though Randall looks great in it, it's actually mine--a gift from Jana and Jill for my birthday.
This is very easy to make, but that didn't stop me from calling Joey in Montana to ask him to walk me through it, again. Four chicken breasts, two bottles of bbq sauce, four hours in a cast iron pot and a lot of pulling and shredding makes this delicious sandwich meat. Randall can be lent out for parties and special events, but he needs to be home early so he can ride his bicycle in the morning.
Happy Birthday Mom. You are truly a delight and a blessing to have as my mom.
Every Memorial Day for the last five years we have gone to the Memorial Day Service at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana. My husband served in the Special Forces as a Green Beret from 1983-91 and today holds profound meaning to him, as well as other veterans and their families.
My favorite part of the ceremony is when they ask the veterans from each branch of the service to stand and be acknowledged. I know in that sea of men and women there are stories of sacrifice, heartbreak and pride. It makes me want to stop and talk to each one. Today there was a survivor of Peal Harbor. He stood small and fragile and everyone stood to honor his sacrifice. What his eyes' have seen is what today is all about.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I feel like telling a little Irish story--my very own Irish story.
When I was nineteen I went to Germany to visit my brother and, for reasons that are too complicated to explain now, I ended up traveling alone to Ireland.
Armed with a Youth Hostel pass, an enormous backpack and limited common sense, I hitchhiked my way through most of the country. I spent about a week and a half there and I'm happy to report, they were some of the best days of my life.
When it was time to leave, I boarded the ferry that would take me back to the train, that would take me back to Heidelberg. This song, Troy, by Sinead O Connor, was playing in my ears as Ireland disappeared between the two grays of the sea and the sky.
So what if I cried? I cried my eyes out, okay. I never wanted to leave.
Sometime I have to tell you the story of the filthy-mouthed truck driver, Pat, who drove me from Dublin to Galway...where I was stung by a bee while eating a Nutella sandwich...which was almost all I ate while there...oh,oh..and about how I stood for hours in the rain, just outside Dublin, waiting for a ride to take me to Belfast. Then, finally, a nice couple stopped, leaned out their window and said no one would take a single American girl to Belfast--too dangerous. Apparently, they could tell I was American by my shoes, which I took as a compliment, but realized later it probably wasn't. They drove me back into Dublin and treated me to tea. (Well, that's really the whole story about them.) Oh, and the mime! William Kennedy, the Irish mime. Don't let me forget to tell you about him. I spent DAYS with him...
Illustration from Betsy Walton on Etsy.
Loads of birthdays this month, so I thought I would let an old friend, Clare Grogan from Altered Images take care of the well wishes...
80's tangent is unavoidable: I absolutely loved Clare when I was in high school. In my tragic attempt to look like her, I HAD that black & white outfit with the red hat. I remember shopping for each piece--the black pants, the poka dot top-- and the triumph I felt when I found that hat (I believe at Wet Seal.)
If you remember, she was in the Scottish film Gergory's Girl. In which, by the way, I also tried to copy her straight-hair-with-bangs- look from the movie--leading to similar disastrous results.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to my sweet son Ben, who is now four, my dear friends Ericka and Eve and my ace Stepdad Glenn!
I read Stanley Bing's Blog on Fortune.com. Today he posted this hilarious list--this is exactly why I read him. Please make SURE to read the comments after his post. The first two are just as funny as the post.
Regarding the comments, I received several of these sorts of comments after I posted "The OC" the new "Frisco." The comments, which I deleted because they came from anonymous (which I refuse to publish anything from anonymous), were along the lines of, "San Francisco is way cooler than Orange County" and "Orange County will never be like San Francisco" .... ah...kinda missing the point. Also, with my "OC Post Marries in Private Ceremony," I received comments like "Why do you waste your time writing this?" and "What dribble," all again, from that perceptive soul at the keyboard--anonymous. Anonymity really makes some people brave.
For Valentines Day, some great loves...
Today is the birthday of my two favorite people in the whole world--Jana & Jill. No, not a mind-boggling coincidence, they are twins.
There are so many advantages to having twins as your best friends; I can always get one of them on the phone, I have twice as many people to tell me I am not getting fat, and, and... since they are the kindest, and truest friends I know, I am twice as lucky as the average girl.
They are the type of friends you can call mid-meltdown, weeping into the phone until you can catch your breath and say something-- you don't have to wait until you've pulled yourself together a bit (at least I don't).
They back your husband when he deserves it and will tell you when you are wrong.
It's never bad form to them to laugh at whispered inappropriate remarks at children's birthday parties or during hymn singing.
We are very much a like, but they are like a better version of me. I don't mean to disparage myself, it is just a very accurate statement.
Jana and Jill are one year ahead of me in age, turning 41 years old today. I SAY, YOU GIRLS ARE ONE YEAR OLDER THEN ME, TURING 41 TODAY!
("Holiday Deer Holiday Cheer" from A Fanciful Twist)
You have never met me, but I am a friend of your friend, Ericka Rizio. All of Ericka’s friends were so sorry to hear you were diagnosed with breast cancer. Ericka, of course, was saddened and felt helpless to do something for you because of the distance between you.
Since you are a friend of Ericka's, you are automatically a friend of ours. We are funny that way. You really have no choice but to be lumped in with us. Sorry, you will have to speak with Ericka about her choice in friends, but for now, you are stuck with us.
A few things about being our friend; we are exceedingly sarcastic and silly and think nothing of interrupting a touching story with a "clever" remark. Oh, and we are forever copying each other’s ideas in dress and manner taking the other's signature phrase or look as our own, without thinking twice...and..and, once we are friends with you, we NEVER let you go. Just ask our friend Christine who tried to leave the tether of our company, only to be endlessly emailed and voice messaged until she finally relented and started seeing us again.
Back to the point, all of us "Friends of Ericka" or FOE (ironic and a bit confusing) for short, wanted to do something for you and also wanted to give Ericka a way to show how much she cares about you. So we loaded the kids in the car and went down to The ARTbar. They were having a fundraiser for breast cancer. We could all design dress forms in any way we choose and enter them in the coming exhibit. All to raise money for research.
(FOE at the ARTbar)
(We filled the joint with FOE.)
(This is your new friend Jana. She's a good egg.)
(The Rizio clan's creations)
So, when we were done putting the magical touches on our **fingers** artwork **fingers** we turned them in to be displayed at a later date.
(Some of the entries were truly remarkable and touching.)
The show is now over and I am going down to pick them all up tomorrow. We are going to send you a few with absolutely no expectation of you putting them up in a prominent place in your home. Sheri, on a more sincere note, we are all praying hard for your full recovery. We all feel like we know you. When we heard the news your son broke his collar bone last week, we all let out a huge “Awwwww,” in disbelief and sympathy for you and your family. As you already know, you have a true friend in Ericka. She is a wonderful person, way out of our league really. Take care and please keep Ericka posted on your progress. Best Wishes,
(Some of the entries were truly remarkable and touching.)
The show is now over and I am going down to pick them all up tomorrow. We are going to send you a few with absolutely no expectation of you putting them up in a prominent place in your home.
Sheri, on a more sincere note, we are all praying hard for your full recovery. We all feel like we know you. When we heard the news your son broke his collar bone last week, we all let out a huge “Awwwww,” in disbelief and sympathy for you and your family.
As you already know, you have a true friend in Ericka. She is a wonderful person, way out of our league really. Take care and please keep Ericka posted on your progress.
I once heard someone say, "If you have money to buy a book and the capability to read it, you are one of the most blessed people on Earth." Or something like that. We have so much to be thankful for.
I wanted to provide you with some holiday conversation-starters from my blog as my gift to you:
"55 of the Worst Songs Ever" even though you should probably stay away from the topics of religion, politics or Lionel Richie, talking about the worst songs ever could eat up a fair amount of time.
You have my permission to say "That's Interesting" to your brother-in-law when he starts to discuss his kitchen remodel (in excruciating detail.)
Add to the list "Ten Ways I Wish Some 70's TV Shows Were Different."
When you pull out your new Isabella Fiore clutch you got for Thanksgiving, review with your husband "Handbags, Totes and Clutches 101."
If you are coming to my house, this is a little reminder for when you are talking to Larry, "Five Ways to Anger, Annoy or Prompt Eye-Rolling from a Green Beret."
You have my permission to tell my "Five Snail Jokes."
If you know Diane K., call her and wish her a Happy Birthday!
He is forty-three today. I thought I would make a list of the ways he is the same today, at forty-three years old as he was at sixteen.
The Ways Randall is the same at Forty-Three as he was at Sixteen:
-Thinks every girl he meets has a crush on him.
-Listens to his headphones too loud.
-Would do anything for his friends.
-Hates any "loud" sound in the morning, like the blaring sound of someone simply eating their Cheerios.
-Really, really likes to ride his bike.
-His car is the most bitchin car in the world!
-Loves his family with all his heart.
-Still likes to tease my friends, but only if they "totally deserve it."
-Can't watch the movie "Tommy,” too scary. (Don't click link Randall!!!)
-Not quite able to discern the difference between a private thought, that should be kept private, and a thought that is appropriate to share with others (especially while at dinner)
I really lucked-out in the brother department. Both my brothers, Randall and Rob, were always pretty nice to their little sister (me). Aside from one terrifying episode where they hung my Holly Hobbie doll by a noose from the ceiling light in my room, they both took me to parties, and to the beach and gave me advise on boys and music. They were always looking out for me.
One final Randall story and I will be done with it. When I was sixteen I was going on a trip to England with my school. I wanted to be a photographer and had a very nice Nikon camera. It was stolen three days before I was supposed to leave.
Do you want to know what Randall did? He went out and bought me a new camera from money he had earned over the summer. I'll never forget opening my bedroom door the morning I was leaving and seeing a Nikon on the ground with a note that read, "Have fun in England." Not many nineteen year olds would do that for their sister. I had two brothers like this. So Lucky.
Happy Anniversary Larry.
This is your card. I bought you a card, but it is in the back of my car and I would have to open the garage door to get it out. That would wake up the kids. Since I won't see you tomorrow, I won't be able to get it to you on our actual anniversary. So please accept this as your card. I can't remember what was on the card I got you, so I have composed some cards of my own:
"What was the name of that place we got that really good cookie that you said tasted like Fruit Loops?"
I look forward to not remembering thing together. Happy Anniversary
"I will never not kiss you because you have puppy breath." Happy Anniversary.
Posey Get's Cozy
"Let's Hoe-Down" Happy Anniversary
I love you!