Monday, June 29, 2009

Austin's wedding toast

I thought I would let y'all see what you missed this past Saturday at my little brother's wedding in Nashville. More to come...

Roughly 25 years ago I rode in the back of our parent’s Volvo station wagon with my new baby brother Austin. At that time I was bigger than him. While playing with my brother for the first time, I solemnly told him that I would “learn” him everything I knew. Since that time I’ve done my best to educate Austin on the finer points of life.

I thought it might be appropriate on the night Austin starts his married life with Lauren to give him a few more nuggets of brotherly wisdom…

Austin, I believe that I can speak for myself and everyone here in saying – No one wants to go to your gun show. We’ve all been there and once was more than enough

Be considerate of Lauren. You’ve lived the past 25 years in male dominated households. Put down the toilet seat

Disputes and Arguments will crop up from time to time. Be slow to anger, quick to listen, and first to apologize. From my experience your wife will always win anyways.

Finally – let her know that you love her everyday. Never stop telling her she’s beautiful and don’t be too annoyed when she beats you in any competition.

I love you Austin.

Lauren, it’s been wonderful getting to know you. Austin has been a new man with you in his life and we are all excited to having you as part of the family.

Congrats! Let’s all raise our glasses to Austin and Lauren.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Real Live Baby Doll

Earlier this week Olivia and I went to the Hilton to visit Grandma Marian and her six house guests. A family from Zimbabwe is on sabbatical for a few months and they’re living with the Hunts for a couple of weeks. I had heard that the situation in Zimbabwe was bad, but meeting people who are actually living with shortages of food and water and electricity makes it way more real, and sad. They seem to take it in stride. I don’t think I’d be so graceful about it.

The four girls LOVED Olivia—specifically the three younger ones. The girls are about 4, 6, 8 and 10. They played with her the whole time, and Olivia was thrilled, as she loves kids. It was so funny to watch them play. As soon as I set Olivia down to play with them, it was as if she belonged to them and I could just go away until it was time for Olivia to go home. Haha. I first realized this after we had all been playing in the hallway upstairs and Marian announced that it was time for tea. As I was getting up to walk over to grab Olivia, one of the girls picked her up herself and started to carry her down the stairs while another girl insisted on holding Olivia’s hand. I didn’t exist. Then they took her off to the living room while the grownups set the table.

At one point they were fighting over who got to hold her. I was letting them work it out because Olivia did not seem to be bothered that they were pulling on her appendages, and I believe in not coddling your kid. But Marian realized that it could get out of control and reminded the girls that Olivia is a real person, not a baby doll that they could tug on. They stopped pulling on her. But they still could not agree on whose turn it was to hold/carry/sit with her.

JB came over after work and we all had dinner together. Then he played Mouse Trap with the girls and their Dad. Later JB commented how it can be fun to have so many kids, because you can play games together, etc. I agree.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mullet Boy

Tomorrow my old roommates Beth and Amanda are coming to town and we're going to hit up the Grand Rapids Art Festival with our cameras in tow. I am very excited about this because I've wanted to go for years and always have something else going on that weekend.

Now everyone knows that where there's a crowd, there are mullets. So in honor of my possible mullet sightings tomorrow, here's a story that I first published in part on my Xanga blog. I had meant to publish it in two parts because of its length, and I never did part II. JEss, I remember you asking me for part II, so this post is for YOU! :)

Mullet Boy
(January 2003)

I saw a classic mullet last Saturday at the hockey game. JB and I were running late for the game because we had dinner with Nathan at Rio Bravo’s. We slipped in right near the end of the first period—just in time to settle down and get used to the score, which was 3-0, Spartans, by the end of that period.

The break came and I gave JB a dollar to get a raffle ticket—he likes it, and I have fun imagining in my head all the fun things we could do with the money. Actually it would be JB’s money because it’s his ticket, but I’m sure I could persuade him to buy me a thing or two—or at least contribute to the wedding fund.

So I’m sitting by myself when I see this short pudgy body hunker down the steps to my left. Just as he moves by JB slides in next to me and he notices it too: the mullet. “Hey, there’s a mullet for you,” says JB. But I had already spotted it and was recording it in my mind. The mullet was riding the head of a little boy of about six. JB later said he was only four or five, but kids that young aren’t that BIG. He had black hair with the bangs in front and a rat-tail growing down his back. But it wasn’t even a well-kept mullet—I could see the split ends from my seat in the stands five rows up. He was wearing a white t-shirt that just fit his chub inside, and some sort of unimpressive pants. No coat, though it was freezing outside. No hat. Just a big box of popcorn and that rat-tail that lay stick straight.

He had no parents or any other guardians with him. And there was no way he was in his assigned seat, because he plopped down right in the front row behind the penalty box—the rich people seats. He was holding that big box of popcorn, and from the moment I laid eyes on him, he hadn’t stopped his steady, monotonous hand-into-the-box-then-to-the-mouth movement. He kept his eyes on the ice and all activities on it, with a curious look on his face, but he never really cracked a grin—not that one should have expected him to, because he had his mouth full the whole time. Hand in box, lift popcorn to mouth, chew, chew, hand in box…

This continued through the entire second period. I could hardly watch the movement on the ice because I was mesmerized by the mullet’s movement. Fortunately, there was a perfect opening in the seats between him and me, so I had an excellent view. I bet every 30 seconds I would exclaim, “He’s STILL eating!!!” JB would laugh. I was convinced that somehow the mullet boy had gotten his hands on the one magical box of popcorn ever made—a bottomless box.

Then came the second period break. Though I kept an eye on my little friend, I paid attention enough to console JB on his raffle ticket loss. Rats!

But soon I was back to observing. For one short moment, I thought he had stopped eating. I didn’t see his arm moving. But then he shifted his weight and I noticed that it was because he had been holding the box right up to his mouth and was systematically shoveling the popcorn in with his wrist only. But this must have been tiring because he gave way to his original method, without losing his rhythm once.

Then came the entertainers. The women’s hockey club or something sent out its most talented skaters in an attempt to launch free t-shirts to the best candidates in the audience. Basically, if you were cute enough and loud enough, you got a toss in your direction. As I nonchalantly watched them slide around and make wimpy throws to the crowd, JB leaned over and said, “Hey, the mullet got a free shirt!” I looked, and sure enough, he had gotten one. It was probably because he was the only one within a 30 foot radius of where the thing had landed. I forgot to mention that there was NO ONE sitting even remotely near this kid.

Now any normal kid, heck, even a normal adult, when honored with a free t-shirt, would let out a small shout and hold the shirt up high. Then he/she would open it up and take a look and be all happy, even if momentarily. But the boy just picked it up and tucked it under his arm, careful not to lose his popcorn-eating rhythm. And on went his life of eating and casually watching the activities on ice.

I was shocked!

All through the third period the popcorn kept rising out of the box and into the mouth. I saw him drop his t-shirt once, and he stopped eating long enough to snatch it up from under the seat and tuck it back under his arm. It wasn’t until the very end of the period that his food supply ran out. He was rather indifferent when this moment came. He merely found something else to do, which was put his mouth on the plexiglass wall at the back of the penalty box and blow his corny breath into small fog circles. This grossed me out, and I began to wonder where his parents were, and why didn’t they stop him.

At the end of the game, the stands were clearing, but mullet-boy still had no one to claim him and maybe give him another treat. He just stood watching the players wave from the ice, with that little t-shirt tucked nicely under his pudgy arm.

New layout

How's it look?

April was "complaining" about wanting to change our blog's look earlier this evening. And now here I am hours later, up way later than I should, working on our blasted layout.

--I hope this works sweetie, cause I'm done for the night.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weigh-In, 6/2

Weight change for the week:

JB: -1.8 lbs April: +.6

Weight change to date:

JB: -1.4 April: -2.8 the race is a little more even. This would be okay for me, save that I GAINED this week. Good Lord, do I have to cut out ALL my desserts?!??? And I can't stop this diet now. I have two prizes in mind, both equally special to me.

The first prize that I thought of was fabric for my nine-patch quilt that will have Civil War reproduction fabric. Or perhaps some fabric for K's citrus quilt, which is next on my docket after Olivia's quilt (which is stalled because I'm still working on our stupid drapes! Those things are taking FOR-EV-ER).

But yesterday I stopped in at a funky shop in Easttown, Gallery 154, and there was a selection of cool framed vintage Michigan travel posters that I must have. They're a
t a great price, considering they're double-matted and professionally framed. So perhaps my prize can be to get one of those. I love vintage travel posters. And ones of Michigan and the Great Lakes, which I haven't seen before, is mega-cool.

The closest one I've found online is this, which is even more fabulous than the ones at the store, but just the POSTER in 18x24 is $50. Whatever. I am not desperate enough to pay $50 for a piece of paper.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doggie Personal Ad

Wanted: Sitter for neurotic but lovable dog, Lucy. Will pay. Original sitter situation fell thru.

See Lucy’s personal ad:

Cute and lovable SW-BFD (single white/brown female dog) looking for BLPH (brave, loving, patient human) to watch me while my people go on vacation in a few weeks.

I like long walks, chasing balls, chasing squirrels, sitting on the couch and watching TV, climbing trees, jumping really high, cuddling in bed with humans (if you’re into that sort of thing), other dogs (if I get to know them), and being around people. I do NOT beg at the table, chew furniture, or destroy things.

Turn offs include: being left alone in my pen for long periods of time. (I will eliminate in my pen, often with disastrous results. I have not done this in months, but I still have it in me to be quite destructive if I’m upset.)

If you’re interested in taking me on, please contact my mother, who posted this ad for me.