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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Dear Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood:

I had never visited you before last night, but I’m old enough to remember when you were just the Lakewood Amphitheater — much less fancy, and inexplicably easier to get to via public transportation.

(Side note: What is Cellairis? A constellation? Anxiety drug? Wiener go-go juice?)

Anyway, a $20 ticket special for Nelly, TLC and Flo Rida was enough to get me off my couch and onto your lawn — with the kids even.

However, when the first cloud of weed smoke wafted over, I began to question my parenting choices.

I’m not the only one who should question choices.

Take, for example, this scene:

Let’s break this down.

In blue, a gaggle of girls in Uniform 1.

In red, a gaggle in Uniform 2.

In green, the one dork they brought along to be their Snap photographer.

They didn’t even talk to each other. Or listen to the music. They just took photos for 30 minutes.

And let’s talk about the booze. Everything seemed sold out in the concession area, but you could buy plenty on the lawn.

Anyway, Nelly was great, and helped me redeem myself with Dominic, who thought I was dragging him to a country concert. (He’s lazy, I’ve told you. Too lazy to Google, apparently.)

But my main interest was TLC. T-Boz and Chilli have still got it, from what I could tell. (Your acoustics made them sound like they were singing out of a portable speaker at a pool party.)

Once we heard “Waterfalls,” we bounced — along with hundreds of other ’90s music lovers who had to work the next day.

So thanks for an entertaining night. It’s unlikely I’ll be back. I guess I just prefer smaller, more intimate venues.

It’s not you; it’s me.

😉

Your friend,
Beth

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Dear Karma,

Sometimes I don’t think you really are a bitch. But then there will be an experience that renews my faith in you.

I had one of those experiences this week.

Or rather, the troublesome 14 year old in my life did.

We shipped Dominic off to stay with cruise friends Patrick, Petra, Ryder and Mia so that Ryder and Dominic could be counselors at a summer camp together.

I didn’t hear from Dominic all week, so I checked in.

So I asked the head camp lady if he could come back in two weeks. She said she would love to have him, but didn’t have anything for him to do. No room on the schedule for him.

I’ve raised a resilient, motivated, intelligent child, right?

Not so fast.

He still has trouble following directions. When to get off the bus, for example.

Also, look at what he did to himself in a bike accident:

How? He was rooting around in his backpack while driving the bike instead of paying attention. The speed bump won.

Anyway, thank you, Karma, for avenging me. For all those times he drove/drives me crazy, thank you for sending a plague of toddlers.

You’re the best.

Back to believing,
Beth

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Dear Carnival:

It was so great to see you again. I’m sorry our three-family tribe cheated on you with Royal Caribbean.

It won’t happen again.

You have everything we want:

Comfy chairs where Edgar can nap, and Pat can play his games

Photographers willing to take unusual pics

Plans

Limited tolerance (for what, I’m not sure)

Maybe for Swedish girls throwing gang signs (?)

Places for Uno battles to break out

PLENTY of places

Places to play with children too

Even enough room to pay a push-up penalty if you are too loud while playing Uno

An unflappable wait staff

Exotic food liked smoked oysters with some kind of weird froth

Games designed to titillate while taking Edgar’s money

Elevators big enough for parties of 11

The ability to get intimate with sea life

And, most importantly, the chance for friends to get together and have fun year after year

There is only one thing we needed but couldn’t have: unlimited bacon.

Fix that, and we’ll love you forever.

Still, we’ll see you next year.

Wet, sloppy stingray kisses,
Beth

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Dear Apartment:

I’m going to miss all the quality alone time you and I had while the guys were out of town getting my mother-in-law’s house in Puerto Rico ready to rent out.

Don’t get me wrong: I do love them. But when I cleaned you the day after they left, you stayed clean.

You and I had so much fun together. I got to watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV. I could roam around in my underwear without embarrassing any teenagers. I didn’t have to worry about your front door being left unlocked or coming home to random friends of aforementioned teenagers inside you.

What’s more — and this probably made Charlotte next door very happy — you and I were peaceful together. So peaceful.

The communication styles of my family members are just so different.

The quietest one missed me. He texted me almost every day.

The medium-loud one texted me informative tidbits regarding house progress, interesting videos, and photos engineered to make me wish I had left you.

The loudest and grouchiest one did not talk to me at all until he wanted something the day before he came back to us.

It figures.

In an interesting twist, Dominic the Loud immediately stripped upon arriving back to you and charged around eating chicken wings.

I guess Eddie’s right: He and I are alike.

Anyway, I’m going to miss you, my fortress.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear 2019:

Despite the fact that I likely won’t be awake to officially welcome you (I’m elderly and need my sleep), I really am looking forward to seeing you.

[As for you, 2018, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance (we did not have the time of our lives).]

Readers who have been with me here for a while know that I’m not a resolution kind of gal. Why wait to make changes you need to make?

I needed to start a diet, so I did — in September.

I needed to rethink some relationships, so I did — in July.

I needed to get a project back on track, so I did — in February.

All that said, the first day of the new year offers a good time to reflect. And I have looked inside myself and found some internal shriveling. Hence (such a good word), here’s how I hope to improve while I’m in you, 2019:

  1. Refrain from strangling Dominic for one more year. It’s so hard. He’s 14; the hormones are strong with this one. Eddie and I take turns playing Good Cop and Bad Cop. Today, Eddie was Bad Cop, telling Dominic to turn in some missing school work. Then I get this text:
  2. Let Gideon hold my hand, even when his hand is clammy. His hand is always clammy. Or sticky. Dear God, WHY is his hand always clammy or sticky?
  3. Stop telling Gideon his hand is clammy/sticky, and that he needs to wash WITH SOAP.
  4. Resist the urge to roll my eyes at Eddie. Ever. No matter what silly thing he is asking/doing/saying. At least where he can see me. And he will do the same for me. (And believe me, I give him plenty of opportunities.)
  5. Avoid being a beer snob. If all they have is Coors Light or PBR, just walk away. Get some water, maybe even out of the garden hose (same difference). No need to make a big deal of it.
  6. Cut down on collecting dead things. Photos of dead things can be fine. And friends posting about dead things on my social media also is fine. And live things too.
  7. Refuse to engage with toxic people. Clearly, I’ll have to give up Twitter. (But then I’ll miss people posting about dead things and live things.)
  8. Write more; talk less. And don’t get sidetracked by Words With Friends. (Is this appropriate? Probably. I don’t know him.)
  9. Seek help for my Amazon Prime addiction. The plus side of this is that Christmas shopping was done by October.
  10. Invite people over. Yes, our apartment is the size of the Keebler tree. No one cares.
  11. Use the following words every chance I get: savory, shank, persnickety, moist, perfunctory, shocking, lollygag, kerfuffle, fracas, soiree, illicit, nefarious, supine, incandescent, degloved and mollycoddle. They just have a remarkable mouthfeel.

As for you, 2019, we will chat again when your 90-day probationary period is up. And mine too, I guess.

Happy new you,
Beth

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Dear Retailers Who Start Decorating for Christmas Around Halloween:

There’s a special place in Hell for you. Sorry, not sorry. By doing this, you skip over one of the most important days (well, what should be one of the most important days) of the year: Thanksgiving.

Despite its rather-odious origin, Thanksgiving provides a good time to take stock of your life and be happy for what you have.

Look, I’m not great at this. In fact, a quick check of this blog reveals I haven’t done this publicly since 2012.

While much on that list has remained the same, today I am thankful for these particular things:

Jason Momoa

Dear God. This fine creature is No. 7 on the list.

  1. Friends and family who “get” me. For example, I am fortunate enough to have a spouse and at least one child who went willingly along as I planned a Thanksgiving trip (more on that later) and brought Hando. (The other child, not so much. He’s 13 and permanently cranky.)
  2. The ability and inclination to travel.
  3. Funny, wise and supportive work colleagues (you know who you are).
  4. An endless supply of taxidermy (and related products) on the Internet and in physical stores.
  5. The bacon-imprinted blanket Trish gave me. It’s the softest thing ever.
  6. WiFi.
  7. Jason Momoa, you sexy bastard.
  8. Willpower to stay on a strict diet (22 pounds less of me so far, in case you were wondering).
  9. Creature Comforts’ Athena, my favorite beer.
  10. Apothic Red. It’s just an eminently drinkable red blend.
  11. The fact that I’m clearly not an alcoholic, as I’ve been able to stay away from No. 9 and 10 because of 8.
  12. Coffee.
  13. Diet-sanctioned almond milk for No. 12.
  14. Labeling of products in other countries (see photo below).
  15. Leaves that change color.
  16. Uno.
  17. Airbnb.
  18. Words with “ack” in them, like “slack,” “crack” and “tacky.”
  19. Dating Hautnah,” the German version of the British show “Naked Attraction” (and it’s on where we are traveling!).
  20. This blog. I used to keep a journal, but I’ve updated my practice thanks to technology. Now I can document all my weird adventures and odd thoughts, and schedule them to post whenever. (A corollary: I am thankful for the readers of these strange musings.)
Good times!

Re: No. 14. I’m not a mayo fan, but this labeling might make me reconsider.

My point is that there is not a direct line from Halloween to Christmas. If you need to divest people of their money, then you can play up the need to be thankful. Guilt is a great motivator.

Talking turkey for real,
Beth

* Thank you, Ariana Grande.

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Captain’s Log: Day 4

New York was hot. So hot. The musical should have been “Spider-Man: Turn on the Air.” After the 10-block walk from Penn Station, the sweat had dripped into my eyes and pooled in my underwear.

I felt sorry for the furry characters hawking photo opps in Times Square. I could only imagine the human soup puddles in their fuzz-covered shoes.

I’m from the South, but even my blood wasn’t thin enough for that heat.

The musical was … meh. Even the boys were a little bored. After another romantic Peter/Mary Jane love scene, Gideon groaned, “Not again!”

A walk through the sea of people that is the theater district, dinner, then “Wicked.” That musical did not disappoint. I saw it when it first opened in 2003 and featured Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. It’s still snappy, even at 10 years old.

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Day 3 ended with two trains, a bus and a shuttle back to glorious Newark.

Today began with another trip down memory lane. This is the Somerset, New Jersey, house I lived in until I was 3.

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I remember standing at the front door eagerly awaiting the garbage man, on whom I had a crush. Nice.

Then we were off to Easton, where we spent the day with half a dozen of my cousins — none of whom knew we were in the area and coming to visit until I happened to text one of them last night. They hadn’t heard we were supposed to be in town with the RV either. Oh Dad. Dad the Anti-planner. Surprise!

All’s well that ends well. Or ends wet in our case. Yay for play time for the kids!

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Finally vacationing,
Beth

Coming tomorrow: Crayola factory adventure

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