Monthly Archives: August 2008

Don’t go, Summer!

I hate to see summer end.  As much as I love having a day off on Monday (and wish I had a whole week off), I don’t want to see September come.

Summer is freedom.  It means no school buses on the road and a lot less traffic so my commute is much easier. Summer is the top down on my convertible and dashing around with the breeze lifting troubles away or at least easing them.  Summer is long hours of daylight so you don’t feel like the day’s gone as soon as you leave work. It’s custard stands and the drive-in movie theater and Riversharks baseball. It’s camping in our RV and the smell of campfires and utter relaxation. Summer is the shore and the boardwalks and the sound of seagulls under a warm sun and the ocean breezes.

Even with bad gas prices and a hard economy the last few summers cutting down on how much we do, the fact is that it’s still there, that freedom.

I hate to see it leave.

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Bad cakes are funny

They are.   Really. For example, take a look at James Lileks’ look at this cake cookbook, Party Cake Houses.

This book hails from 1956, an era before every corner grocery could turn out perfectly decorated cakes on request. The homemaker was on her own. Fine – in these circumstances, one needed all the ideas you could get. Helpful hints were welcome.  But this book consists of one idea, one premise, one motif, one unswerving certainty: people want nothing more than cakes in the shape of a house, and they don’t want anything else.
Ready? Let’s start baking our own leavened Levittown. But first . . . well, you’ll see.

One cake a month, each in the shape of a house, and each with a motif for the month.

Yes, for your first cake, spend an entire afternoon lettering the months of the year with a tiny nozzle. Top with a buttery Lincoln fetus!

With the laughs I’ve gotten from Lilek’s site, I was really happy when my friend Preston showed me Cake Wrecks.  The great thing about Jen’s blog is, she knows what makes great humor.  It’s not just funny pictures:

It’s the great commentary to go with it that makes for really good humor.

I Believe the Children are Our Future

“Teach them well and LET them lead the way,
Show them all the [juvenile delinquency] they possess insiiiiide

Because every four-year-old is searching for a hero, that’s why. And if that hero can bus’ a cap with his 9 mil (check the photo), so much the better.

Play on, Lil’ Derrick: play on.

So as we celebrate paying only triple the price for gas…

Yay!  Triple!  We’re only paying triple for gas!

… go have a laugh at Jen’s Cake Wrecks and at Lilek’s Party Cake! Party Cake! Baker’s Shame!, and feel good about yourself.  You didn’t make these atrocities!

Say it proud! It sucks to be me!

It’s amazing how many people are going through really bad times.  I know two other people who lost their moms like I have.   Another friend almost got laid off and 35 people in her company did.  Others have had to have surgery or other health scares.  My brother, a robotics engineer with 30 years experience, got kicked out of his job in 2000 because HP went overseas; he came home from our mom’s funeral to find his water heater was broken and needed replacing; a week later, I let him know our stepfather cut us off.  My friend in Oregon has serious nervous system problems so that she constantly has extreme seizures; her company doesn’t give health benefits, so she has to pay for her own AND had to wait 4 months before they would see her or they would have classified it as an existing condition.  NOW she can’t work because of the seizures and when she can’t work, she can’t afford health insurance so she can’t get treatment to stop the seizures so she can work!

That’s when you either have a friend who has to tell you their life stinks to the point you can’t even get a word in that you’re feeling really low and could use a chance to talk instead of them shoving your high spirits even lower into the sewer.  OR they send you one of those emails about how people are starving in Ethiopia and aren’t you lucky that you had a breakfast bar that morning!

And don’t tell me things can get worse because then they do!  Stop jinxing me!

(You can hear the rant building up, can’t you?  I’m reaching Lewis Black levels.)

Well, guess what.  I am lucky not to be starving or any of those other people, but that doesn’t mean life is all sunshine and rainbows.  And if we all just keep bottling in that need to vent because we’re not starving in Ethiopia, it’s no wonder we have blood pressure problems!

So I’m starting a rally where everyone who is having a bad time gets to shout it out without someone giving them guilt or happy-happy-joy-joy speeches!

So how is your life?!  Struggling to pay bills at a crappy job where your boss is a Burgermeister Meisterburger?  With a two hour commute in slow moving traffic just so you can get pulled over for having something hanging from your rearview mirror?

How about the fact that we’re supposed to be so grateful that gas prices are triple what they were when the lies about the need to hike them started, instead of quadruple!

How about the economy blows and you can’t afford to buy a bag of Doritos because that’s now a luxury item only to turn on the TV and see the political conventions spending THOUSANDS for 2 guys who already have the nomination to leave their multi-billion dollar campaigns to talk about how much they understand your money problems?!

Then rally behind me with Avenue Q’s perfect anthem: It sucks to be me! If you don’t know it, watch the video and join me afterwards:

Come on, rant with me!  Purge the system of all those bad feelings in one massive pity party!

It sucks to be me!

I didn’t even vote for the jerks who screwed everything up!  Either time!

It sucks to be me!

I voted for the jerks in 2004 who were supposed to fix things and didn’t!

I say it

My favorite line!

Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-
Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-
Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-Sucka-
Suck!

Say it loud! And don’t feel guilty!

It sucks to be me!

Whew!  That’s better.  Now we can move forward.

The life of a Chubindales wife….

So many people have asked… What’s it like?  And I always answer….

….I have one of the most difficult, but rewarding, livings because I’m married to one of the Chubindales founders. And he’s not just a club President; he’s a dancer too:

I think Cathy, wife of Six-Pack, would agree with me that it’s not an easy life.  You lose your privacy when you’re married to a famous celebrity, and the dirt that the supermarket tabloids make up can put a real strain on your relationship. I think the worse, for us, was the scandal about Angelina Jolie dumping Brad Pitt for my husband.  I had to backhand her and tell her, “Stuff your Thundelina, Jolie!”  Then she tried to adopt our dogs away from me and Lizzie away from Cathy so that she could add to her “diversified family”.  (Cathy taking her down was fun sight to see.)

Plus, people are always asking: “Doesn’t all the women pawing at him bother you?” Of course it can, especially when they recognize him off the stage and think they can still shove money down his drawers. Not to mention, you have no life of your own. I’m “Mrs. Thunder”, not Erin, with no individual identity or life to call my own. HIS life is my life.

The difficult thing that people don’t think of is: it’d be too easy for “love” to become just work for him since that’s what he does at the office. And when he has women like Angelina throwing themselves at him and then trying to adopt away his family so they can have “a slice of Chubindale to cherish at home”, you start to feel like, how can I compete with that?

But knowing that I’m doing what I’m meant to do, making a happy, safe home with those 3 cherub faces waiting at the door to greet him, providing the place for him to retreat to after the spotlights, means HE gets to do what God has called him to do: bring great happiness and spread unending joy. There’s no greater reward in life. I may have no identity of my own, but being Mrs. Thunder means serving a higher purpose.

Plus, knowing that I’m the woman that he reserves, for me alone, the body that so many women crave….. there’s nothing hotter than that.

The Chubindales

It all started when someone on Tagrel asked “What do you do for a living?”  Our buddy John from Trenton jokingly said he was a “Chubindale” dancer.  Then my husband John said he was a co-founder.  That led to finding the Chris Farley picture of him in Chippendale’s gear and….

Stand back, ladies!  Theyre taken!

Stand back, ladies! They're taken!

Confusion and angst

I haven’t posted in awhile because it’s the same sad news. Good things do happen: John took me to Wildwood a week ago and we had a good time. I even got a mp3 of “Watch the tram car, please!” and made it my ringtone! Plus, he found this “pewter” angel from a mom to her daughter that clips to the visor to watch over you. He said my mom would want me to have it. It helps me to see it each day.

But then things happen with my family and the whole Ralph situation, and just sits so heavy in my thoughts and feelings, that it’s very hard for me to shake it.  I had a good “talk” over email with Terry and Gerry that clarified a lot of things for me and helped to explain how I felt.

But right after that began people in the family starting up this whole thing that makes no sense to me.  Cheryl and Gerry began calling Ralph or having him over.  Cheryl has actually talked more about her concern about Ralph — about Ralph! — than anything about our Mom being gone.  I don’t even need one whole hand to list the number of times she talked about Mom and how sad she is.  I’d have to borrow a few people and their hands to count up how many times she’s talked about “making sure Ralph is okay”. Because, after all, she says this is my mom’s fault, not Ralph’s. Where in the hell are the right priorities?!!

When they talk to Ralph, they never bring up the problem, never try to resolve it, and then claim how great everything is.  Gerry even sent one email with quotes from the Bible and and a note saying Mom would want us to make peace.  Us?! I’d love to make peace, but hello!  I didn’t start the war or keep it fueled!  She’s sending that to the wrong family!

Then she sends me an email this morning saying how great it is that she talked to Ralph and cleared things up.  In actuality, what she did is say, “If I did or said something that hurt you, I’m sorry.” and he said “Okay.”  I don’t even know if he heard her because his hearing is terrible, especially on the phone.  When Gerry gave me this spiel of how she did what Mom wanted and it made the situation so great, I asked: so you he told you to come pick up Mom’s things that she wanted us to have?  The picture in the antique frame of our great-grandparents farm?  Her first wedding ring that I’m supposed to get?  The scrapbooking things that you wanted?  He reassured you that he didn’t cut us out of the Will?  She said no, but the situation was still fixed.

So I asked: he apologized for accusing of us of stealing things?  He apologized for devastating Cathi to the point she couldn’t talk or function?  He explicity said he never should have listened to Debbie’s accusations and that he knew we’d never do the things she said?  About the cards, the dolls, the expensive bowl, my mom’s jewelry?

Silence.

Because of course he didn’t say any of that.  Nothing’s changed other than his saying, “Okay.”  Guess what?  He said that to my face a week before his talk with Cathi, all the while he believed I was a thief and a liar, and planned to keep my mom’s personal belongings for his family.

I understand the idea that they’re trying to keep in contact so the rift doesn’t grow, but at some point, you have to actually DEAL with the situation or nothing changes.  It’ll be like that Sunday when I visited: he’s thinking all these things, he’s doing these things, but won’t say them to my face.

Now they want to have him to the shore during the week we had planned to get together to remember my mom on what would have been her 80th birthday celebration.  I’m sorry, but I can’t sit there and make nice like nothing happened.  I can’t be a hypocrite, and for me, that’s what they’re asking me to do. Hug the man who accused me of stealing my mom’s jewelry, of breaking into his house and stealing from him! Of hurting and disrespecting my mom!  I don’t want to attack the guy, but I want to discuss this situation and settle it.

Sorry for the doom and gloom.  Like I said, it’s hanging heavy on me.

Live from Disney World: the Steve Allen family!

Not that Steve Allen! (First of all, he passed away.) It’s our buddy, Steve, from doing local theater.  He’s teasing me/fulfilling my need for a Disney fix by sending his pictures; he’s down in the World right now. I thought other Disney World fans might enjoy seeing them.