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October 2008

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Happy Halloween, kids. The end of October is upon us which, of course, means that another Ten Happy Things is also upon us. Behold!

10. It's been just about two months since my brother went back to Iraq and I'm entirely happy to report that he's not been shot, stabbed, combusted, blown up, set on fire, or harmed in any physical way. Reportedly, there's not a scratch on him. Mentally and emotionally, he also seems better off than I thought he'd be. He's handling it rather well…or, at least, that's the face he puts on for me when I hear from him. The last time I talked to him, he actually said he was kind of bored. Bored is good. I like bored. I told him I'd send him some new video games to keep him entertained (they actually have a PS3 in his little section of the war). He seemed pretty pleased with that idea.

9. Customarily, I'm not really happy about this. Actually, I try to avoid the whole affair all together if I can. I'm trying to put on a brave face this year. My birthday is Monday. Yay. There are good sides to this. One – I'm getting a fancy pedicure Monday night just to pamper myself. Two – the day after my birthday is the election…and then it will be OVER. THANK GOD. I usually dread my birthday but I'm actually looking forward to it this year just because the arrival of my birthday means the end of this horrible election. That is a serious yay.

8. This is more a funny thing than a happy thing…but if something makes me laugh really hard, I usually count it as a happy thing. You all know my sister, Jaime, is pregnant. She's still pregnant, which is an accomplishment. She's super high risk, though, so she's not really allowed to do anything….including work. My sister is kind of a high-energy chick. She works pretty hard and she's good at her job. Now that she's at home and she's not allowed to do pretty much anything, she's bored as hell and it's making her do some really funny shit. All the older siblings and their corresponding significant others band together at Christmastime and do group gifts for my parents and the two younger siblings. It just makes things easier. We also usually do a grab bag kind of thing amongst ourselves but we're not doing it this year because we're all kind of sick of it. Truthfully, I'm sick of Christmas having anything to do with presents as a whole…but that's another story. Anyway, Jaime's trying to get her Christmas shopping done a bit early because she's worried she's going to be too pregnant and uncomfortable to do it next month. She's not due until April…but whatever. So, she dropped me an email and told me she was going to ask around the fam and see what everyone wanted to do about presents for Mom and Dad and whathaveyou and I was all "sure, great, just let me know what you'd like me to do." Her version of asking around was some of the funniest shit ever. She actually sent a spreadsheet around to all of us with a list of instructions and voting boxes and charts for gift ideas to fill out. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I opened the email. There were tables and charts and these detailed, numbered instructions like you'd find on an official government form or something. That's how bored she is. I emailed her back "you are the most bored human being alive." It just cracked me up.

7. Okay, so, last month Fall was right around the corner. It's here in all its finery now. It's down right chilly outside. There's been freeze warnings. I've actually had to put on a jacket. This is profoundly good news in Meredithland.

6. You all might find this peculiar, especially with the way I usually go on and on and on about the subject….but I'm extremely happy that baseball is over. Frankly, the season is just too damn long. I mean, really. This year, though, has been more aggravating for me than usual. My baseball wife, as is the usual, failed me entirely. My mistress kind of came through, but only half-heartedly. Her heart wasn't really into it. The two teams that spent the ENTIRE season annoying the piss out of me ended up playing each other in the World Series…and then the team that I totally wanted to lose ended up winning. All in all, a not great baseball season. So, I'm glad it's over. Truthfully, I don't know why I'm so attached to something that makes me so miserable. ;-) Now I can focus on football! J-E-T-S, Brett, Brett, Brett!!!!!!

5. Even though all four major tournaments have been played and the Ryder Cup is over, there's still a lot of golf flying around, especially on the European Tour. Last weekend, Sergio Garcia hosted his first tournament – the Castello Masters. The tournament was played in Spain on Sergio's home course where his father works as the head golf pro. The course was beautiful and a lot of great European players came out to inaugurate the first ever Castello Masters. The best part, however, was that Sergio totally won. Mind you, he damn well should have won considering they were playing on the course that he friggin grew up playing on….but still. Any time that Sergio wins is a great day for me. In true Sergio fashion, he cried during his little speech because that's the type of cry baby bitch he is. I fucking love it. Sergio's so money and he doesn't even know it. Who's the big winner? Sergio is.

4. Keeping with the whole Sergio Castello Masters thing, I have another one of those not really a happy thing but a funny thing so it's a happy thing things. Because the Castello Masters is a brand new tourney, they had to come up with a trophy for the event. In keeping with the glorification of Castellon, Sergio's hometown, a Spanish sculptor from Castellon was commissioned to create the trophy. What he came up with made me laugh so hard, I cried. Instead of some kind of actual trophy or cup or crystal pillar or something, he came up with this:


Okay, what the HELL is that? I mean, just what the hell is it? When they handed it to Sergio, even he looked at it and laughed and he knew ahead of time what the thing looked like! It's some kind of coffee bean head guy. It's kind of like the Spanish golf trophy version of the Buddy Christ. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It looks like a bad trinket someone would bring home from a gift shop in Hawaii. I don't know how much they paid that sculptor to come up with that shit but I hope it wasn't a lot. Nevertheless, I got a great laugh out of it. I still chuckle every time I look at it. How the hell do you put something like that on a mantle next to your other trophies? You know Sergio's friends are going to come over his house and look at his trophies and be like "dude, what the hell is this thing?" Too damn funny.

3. Today is Halloween. Of all the holidays, Halloween is my favorite. I'm leaving the office early today to go home and participate in the neighborhood Halloween shenanigans. In honor of Halloween, I'm also sitting at my desk wearing an enormous black velvet and gold sequined King Tut hat. It's the bomb. I'm the coolest dork you know.

2. In honor of the Halloweenness all around us, last night I watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It was aired on TV on Tuesday but I Tivoed it and watched it last night. Few things in life bring me more glee than the Great Pumpkin. I LOVE it. It's almost the best thing ever. The absolute best part? When Linus gets all freaked out that the Great Pumpkin is upon them and his hair goes all batshit. He's in the pumpkin patch with Sally and he hears a rustling (that turns out to be Snoopy) and he just freaks out….and his hair just goes ballistic. You've got to love animation that conveys a character's emotional state not only through words and facial expressions, but through hair as well. I watch that part and I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Then the end comes and I cry because it's so sweet. I think it's the big sister in me that makes me so soft about the end. Lucy, who is just about the worst person on the planet, wakes up at 4 am and fears that Linus may still be out in the pumpkin patch. She gets out of her bed and goes to check and, sure enough, Linus' bed is empty. So, like the good sister that she in underneath all the bitchiness, she puts on her coat and goes outside to fetch him. She doesn't yell at him or call him names or make mean faces at him. She just goes and gets him and brings him in and puts him in bed. I know it's a cartoon…..but it's so precious. It makes me well up every year when I watch it. Melts my heart, it does. It's the big sister in me. :-)

1. Alright, you all knew what was going to be number one this month. You all knew it was coming. You guessed it….New Kids on the Block. On October 4th and October 24th, I saw the New Kids on the Block Reunion Tour concert. It was the best times EVER. I cannot begin to describe how fun it was. Yes, I know the music is horrible. Yes, I know it's ridiculous. Yes, I know they're all like 40 and way too old to be doing this shit. Yes, I know I'm almost 32 and way too old to be going to NKOTB concerts. I know, I know, I know. I don't even care. It was the BEST. Both shows were filled with thousands of women in my age group, screaming and jumping around and singing the songs like we were all 14 years old again. I mean, SCREAMING. We were all carrying on like we'd never seen a man before. Grown women in our thirties just screaming away like nymphomaniacs on death row with one last chance to see a man. And the boys were just lapping it up. It looked like they were having as much fun as we were. I cannot tell you the last time I felt so young. Not that I feel old…but I feel my age. At those two shows, though, I felt so young. The shows were everything they should have been. They played all the old songs everyone wanted to hear plus some of the new ones. There were costume changes and light shows and pyrotechnics and choreography and the whole nine yards. The Hangin' Tough encore nearly blew the roof off the Allstate Arena. I nearly blew my shoulder out doing the arm wave thing that goes along with the song. I lost my voice after both shows. The absolute best part was my friend, Yvonne. I went with a big group of girls to the second show. Yvonne is pregnant and is, of course, an over-emotional crazy pregnant chick just like all pregnant chicks tend to be. The New Kids hit the stage and started doing their little choreography thing and Yvonne just lost it. She BAWLED. She cried and swooned like the girls did back in the day. She cried through practically the whole show. It was so cute. She looked at me with her little tear stained face and said "oh, I feel 13 again!" It was really a great experience. It's not every day that you get to relive a little part of your life from fifteen years ago. I was at the first New Kids tour at Jones Beach in New York in 1988……and 20 years later, I was part of their last tour…twice! Laugh at me all you want…I wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was really some of the best fun I've ever had.

So, there's the Ten Happy Things. I'm off for home now to do the Halloween thing. Have a happy weekend and don't forget to shower me with cash gifts on Monday… Ha! :-)

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