Sunday, November 25, 2012

Balti-delphia

Thanksgiving Weekend. All my dreams came true when my mom and my three single siblings came to my house for the holiday. Really, I have been in the VA for 9 years and I have been wishing that I would have some family come to me for a holiday. It was great. This year, instead of Black Friday shopping, we decided to take a little road trip. I was lobbying hard for Monticello or Williamsburg, but as we were discussing it, I fell into a tryptophan coma. I awoke two hours later only to hear that the decision had been made. We were going to head North. The Utahns wanted to see the great cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia.

  The fun part was that we rented a huge van so that we could all ride together. It was also amazing to eat both a Baltimore crab cake and a Philly Cheesesteak in one day. The not fun part was that we had to go to Baltimore and Philadelphia to get them. 

  These two cities have something in common. I know guys who were missionaries in both places. Pete served his mission in Philadelphia, and my sister Lydia's boyfriend (am I allowed to use that word Lyd?) was a missionary in Baltimore. Now, listen non-Mormon readers. In most cases, when you know someone who has lived in a place you want to visit for two years, that person would generally be a good person to tell you where to go and what to see. However, if that person lived in a place for two years because they were a Mormon missionary, PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Because although they can tell you a bit about the tourist attractions, they probably lived in the crappiest part of town and were very poor. Missionaries don't live in the projects, they live right next door to the projects so that they can try to serve and preach the gospel to the people of the projects. But what will probably happen is that they will get bricks thrown at their heads and have their bikes stolen. For Pete this was the case. I can't speak for Hank, but he sent us to the Lancaster Market for lunch. And while we did eat the most amazing crab cakes I've ever tasted, we all left severely traumatized. Do not confuse the Lancaster Market in Baltimore MD with the Lancaster Market in Lancaster County PA. Lancaster County is a delightful place, the only thing that will traumatize you there, are the Amish uni-brows. But after an hour in the Baltimore Market, my children have seen and heard things that have taken away their innocence. Ahhh the dregs of humanity. On our way out, we passed a couple of meth dregs dancing to some music. My brother Dallin took some hilarious video and sent it to me, I was mouse clicks away from posting the video but I realized that the fruit was just too low and one should always think before one posts a 'hilarious' video taken by a 21 year old college kid. Instead you get an insta import: Pete and I, Lancaster Market, and the view across the street from Edgar Allen Poes's house. Or should I say Edgar Allen's 'po' house? Heh.


  On to Philly, Pete actually did a great job of keeping us in the few and far between less sketchy parts of town. We saw Independence Hall and did the Rocky steps. Nevertheless, Philadelphia took years off my life and I just realized why. It's because of the junior version of Parkour that my kids have invented. They will find  the most complicated way possible to get from point A to point B. If there is a ledge to walk on, they do it. If there is a step to jump off of, they do it. If there is a space that seems like it might be a bit too narrow for them to fit their fat sweaty heads between, they try it (and fail) anyway. I really don't know how my visiting family could stand it. When it is just one kid, it slows things down but it's pretty cute. But when 5 kids are playing junior Parkour, it is a spectacle at a snails pace. 

  The asterisk here is that it actually was a fun day. I love the East Coast warts and all. And it makes me really really happy to be able to have my family come and stay with me and show off all the sights. And they are  nice to my kids. Like really nice, no judgement, no impatience, they are just helpful and loving all of the time. I know that you would expect this from a Grandma, but the single people in the fam really went above and beyond. Please come spend another holiday with me. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Post Where I Talk About Toms.

I was on pinterest the other day and I saw a link to cheap Toms knock offs. Really people? You can't spring $40 for a pair of shoes for a poor kid? Hey I know they're comfy, but as Megan pointed out, people aren't buying them because they look good. I've seen enough Zhang Yimou films to know that the inspiration for the Toms design isn't exactly the Paris runway. They're commie prison shoes. You know it and I know it.
 
I bought a pair at Nordstrom a few months ago, at first I picked out and purchased the blue sparkly ones, I got about 50 feet from the store, when I realized that I was never going to pull off blue sparkly. So I walked back, and exchanged them for gray. But when I got home I realized they were too small so I went back the next day to exchange them again (along with a set of car tires I needed to return) On the way to the store, I made up a joke about Toms and was pretty excited to use it. I went to the shoe section and found someone to help me get a pair that fit. I chatted with the salesman about Toms as he rung my transaction, you know getting ready for my joke. As he handed me my receipt, I began, "Gosh I feel really bad returning these shoes, I just hate to think about somebody taking shoes back from some poor kid in Africa or something." (These are the jokes people.) My joke was lost on the clerk, he was completely un-phased, "Yeah, you know, a lot of people return their Toms and are really worried about that, but I just explain to them, 'don't worry, they don't take away a pair of shoes that they've given, they just take a pair of shoes off of the next truck.'" I can't decide if that was the stupidest response in the history of responses, or if he was telling a Tom joke that was much much funnier than my Tom joke. It was probably a combination of both.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts on stuff- aka a love to letter to Emily B-M

I mean it this time, I'm going to start blogging again. I was going to start it for realsies. But then I went on this awesome trip to New York with my good friend Emily. It was sort of a last hurrah before she moved away from me and broke my heart. We had a blast. It was epic. Imagine Liz Lemon and Whitney Port being best friends and hanging out in New York together, and that's how it was. Only we are much cooler then Liz and Whitney and have 8 kids between the two of us. Emily humored me while I drug her to a bunch of food places that are on my list. And then I tried to act cool while we did hip things like walk the High Line and did a bit of ultra chic clothes shopping. When she passionately expressed her thoughts on the long term repercussions of what she referred to as disposable clothing, I nodded pensively like I think about that stuff all the time.  It was pretty awesome when we went to the City Bakery for a pretzel croissant (thanks for the rec Janelle) and guess who sat next to us? John Liguizamo. You know what I did? Ignored him, like it was no big deal, 'cause I'm cool like that. Well, I may have told a story in an extra loud voice that I think would make a great movie, but that's beside the point.
 Anyway, here's what I'm getting at. When Emily left, I was forced to do some real soul searching. Emily and I have been friends for our entire adult lives, and we have lived near each other for the last 5 years. She is great company and she makes me feel like I am great company too. But when she left, here's what I realized. I'm not really good company. Let me rephrase that, I'm not good company. This was a huge introspective realization for me. My entire life I've been under the false impression that I was a total blast to be around. It turns out, I've just surrounded myself with nice people. I'm not that friendly, not really chatty, not particularly smart, I'm catty, overly sensitive and judgmental.  I can't believe I'm in my 30's and it's taken me this long to get it. But I finally do get it. I have myself figured out. I am an introvert with a very very high self esteem. And so it is with this understanding that I will pick up blogging again. 

p.s. The City Bakery croissants are not as good as mine.