Friday, November 30, 2007

For Me, Please Do This...For Real

In 26 days it will be stinkin' Christmas again and it's 85 degrees outside and my family has moved across the country. Add that to my million other things to do, and I'm just not in the Christmas spirit at all. I might be in a couple weeks, but right now I'm all about completion of important tasks and none of those tasks involve Christmas shopping. Unfortunately I still have to share the same stores and roadways with people who are maniacally, rabidly, dead set on Christmas shopping and as much as I try to avoid having to drive in all the traffic (because my city decided that Christmas and the start of tourist season was the perfect time to repair the streets) sometimes I do have to go out and sometimes I do have to go to the store too.

The Social Season has officially begun and that always coincides with tourist season. People from all over the world are coming to South Florida now and this promises to be one of the absolute busiest and most crowded holiday seasons we've ever had. Thank God I'm going to California. The dollar is so weak that thousands of people are coming here from Europe and South America to shop. What I'm trying to say is that I've never in my entire life seen so many people buying things.

At the same time I've never seen so many badly behaved children howling and shrieking and foaming at the mouth in retail establishments.

I'm rather fond of children even though I don't have any myself. I worked in a kindergarten after all and I used to be a nanny. I like to play with my friends' children and their toys, so it's not that I'm some kid-hating bitch or that I just don't know because I don't have any children myself. Trust me, I know plenty about kids, including how to control 20 five year olds for six hours straight without tying them to their small wooden chairs.

That said, I'd like to return to the terrible behavior I've seen from children in stores recently. You've seen it too. Kids get into a store and freak the hell out because there's all these beautiful, colorful things all over the place and they see people all around them putting the beautiful, colorful things into carts and leaving the store with them. Children do not understand the concept of money. They go into a store and see people taking things so they want to do the same thing. It's nearly impossible to try to explain to them that you have to pay for things and you have a limited budget so you can only get detergent because you actually need that and you don't really need three dolls that look like hookers and a robot dog because you have to buy food for your actual dog instead. Kids just see stuff and people taking stuff and then they feel that they need to get in on the action too because it is so unfair for them to miss out on something as great as a big place where you can just take stuff off of shelves and go home with it. Combine that with sensory overload from advertising targeted at children and the prevalence of horrible parenting and you've got a lethal combination, especially at Christmas.

I understand that even the most precious little one is going to lose his shit in a store at some point, but parents must handle this properly and none of the parents I have witnessed has done the right thing. Since I haven't been in my 'hood much lately, I've been shopping in the Rich White People world of Basura, Florida where no one knows how to raise a child properly, not even the nannies who actually do most of it.

Rich White People are terrible at parenting and mainly they're so terrible because they think they're so great. They've read all the books, they go to therapy to talk about it. They take medication and make sure their children take it too. Rich White People believe in reasoning with children and being their friend. They do not believe in any sort of discipline, though bribery is common.

Recently in stores I've seen lots of Rich White Mommies who are toned and sculpted, tanned, blonde, injected and enhanced. They all wear gym clothes with expensive shoes and carry thousand dollar purses. Their children are all named last names for first names or else very frilly Italian names and they all throw fits in stores, but not ordinary fits. These are blind, snarling, thrashing rages where the children are red and violent and look like some captured jungle predator, pre-tranquilizer dart, that you see on Animal Planet documentaries.

"I WAAAAANNNNNT ITTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!" can be heard through the aisles of every grocery store and Target, amid the racks and shelves of every Big Box, and from within the quiet and tasteful holiday displays at the finest boutiques.

The other day I had to go to Target for some rather mundane things and I witnessed at least 18 children who were recreating the Manson Family Murders in front of Butterscotch the Furreal Pony. As an aside here, I think something went awry in the Hasbro marketing department when they named this thing because at first glance it looks like Butterscotch the FUNERAL Pony to me. Is it just me? I don't think it is. Can you imagine a Funeral Pony? That would be a whole different toy now wouldn't it? What exactly would a funeral pony do? But I digress...

I had to walk past the toy section to get to the cat box and lightbulb section and as I tried to make my way out of the toy section with it's snot and tear-slicked floor and into the peace and freakin' quiet of the camping good section for my own safety, I saw a little girl of about four beating the hell out of her own mother, who was your typical Rich White Lady, talking on her iPhone while at the same time trying to reason with her daughter.

"Sweetie, don't hit Mommy, that's not nice," said the woman.

The child screamed and continued to assault her mother.

"Hold on," said the mother to whomever she was speaking, "Isabella, sweetheart, you have to stop this. It's hurting Mommy's feelings. You're going to make Mommy cry Isabella. Please don't hit Mommy. Ow. Stop Isabella. Ow. Honey, it's mean to hit Mommy. Please stop. Isabella, please don't make Mommy have to put you on a time out. It would make Mommy really sad to put Isabella on time out. Mommy doesn't like time out. Ouch. Please honey."

This went on and on and Isabella screamed and continued to "hit Mommy" repeatedly while also tearing things off the shelves.

Isabella's screams blended with the screams from the other children nearby. They seemed to be having a screaming competition, because if they were all screaming then to get their parents to give in they had to be the loudest and it escalated until the point where I decided I needed to intervene. I couldn't just mind my own business and go into the cat box section to get my litter and leave like a happily childless adult.

I decided to give every single parent in Target an early Christmas gift.

"Excuse me, " I said in my best loud, scary, authoritative voice.

Children commonly listen to strangers better than their parents, so most of them stopped and looked at me. Isabella stopped attacking her mother.

"I would like you all to know that I work for Santa Claus and I'm the person who checks to see who's been naughty or nice and all of you are being VERY NAUGHTY right now. Santa Claus is not going to be happy about this one bit!"

The children straightened up immediately and I'm surprised the parents didn't hoist me into the air, crown me with a tiara and carry me out to a ticker tape parade in my honor. The store was quiet. Everyone could shop in peace. Isabella's Mommy could continue her telephone conversation. All I can say is thank God none of them were Jewish because I wouldn't have had a reply for that.

Unless you live in a largely Jewish or non-Christmas part of the world, I encourage you to try this technique when other people's children are getting on your nerves. If you do it, please comment here or email to let me know what happened. I'm thinking that if we all do this we could start a revolution wherein we terrorize children at Christmas to make them behave in stores. I think Santa would approve.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

The GD Internet is Broken Again

Normally I would just not post until it was fixed, but dammit, there's only ONE MORE DAY left and being an insanely competitive person who never shirks a challenge, I am determined to post every single solitary day of this month so that I can possibly win something that some woman in South Dakota donated to people who posted every day in November that will be given out during a random drawing.

Perhaps I need to explore this obsession I have with wanting to win something, but as the dreaded Final's Week is nearing, I'd rather not and instead just continue to obsess about winning something until I actually do win something. It's a great distraction from seminar papers, you know.

Also, I'm in a bad mood and could at any second whip somebody's ass. Someone needs to take me to Dairy Queen.

Does this count as a post? Ok? Good. Please, please let them draw my name for the hand knitted angora sweater with a rainbow on the front that some Mormon Mommyblogger made at her church. Please let it be me. And if I don't get that prize then let me win the homemade jelly from Montana, ok?

I think what I really need to win is a free therapy session.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Time Gabby Thought She Was Pregnant

Gabby and Andre Lefkowitz, her sleazy divorce attorney, were in Monte Carlo for much of the summer so I didn't see them for a long time and then finally my sister, who is a bartender, saw Gabby and Andre last week while I was in California {this happened about a year or so ago}. Gabby was alone at the bar for 15 minutes last Friday, while Andre made a phone call, and although it was very busy, she managed to fill my sister in on many intimate details of her life.

"How you think I look?" Gabby asked my sister, who lied and said "fine."

"I look good! See, three mens already looking at me and Andre only gone two minute! Andre, he think I look crazy."

At that moment the other bartender brought Gabby a bottle of Dom Perignon courtesty of one of the "three mens" who was looking at her. It was true. Wherever Gabby goes, the "mens" are falling over themselves. Gabby explained that before they went to Monte Carlo that she had gotten her hoo-ha tightening surgery and decided to upgrade her boobs while she was at it. She got her already cantalope sized breast implants, changed out for now, watermelon sized ones. This would have been her fourth breast augmentation.

"Andre and me go to Monte Carlo and he tell me, he don't like them! I say he crazy, he say they too big! How tits can be too big? What he is talking 'bout? Andre say they make me look like pole dancer, that son of a mother. How he can say that to me? We get in big, big fight. I say fuck you Andre, no buceta for you no more. I going back to Basura."

My sister was busy filling orders for about twenty martinis (urine free), but she kept listening for my sake.

"I get home and he stay in Monte Carlo. He dont even call me! Believe this? No call. I say fuck you more. Somebody else get buceta."

Then Gabby went and had fun for the next few weeks until Andre came home. After he got home, he apologized profusely and bought her a new mercedes convertible, so she promptly went back to the cosmetic surgeon and had the watermleon sized breast implants removed and replaced with the cantalope sized ones again. This girl is willing to make a bloody patchwork quilt out of her twenty-something year old body, and to risk her life with multiple anethesias, all based on the whims of men who buy her things. And Andre said she looked like a pole dancer with the watermelon sized breasts, but honestly, she looked like a pole dancer before. She has never looked like anything other than a pole dancer or a street walker. Obviously, Andre must be blind or something. My god. The whole story is absurd and grotesque.But that's not all!

I haven't even gotten to the part where Gabby called me after lunch today!

"This emergency. I need you tell me day I get new car. I need to know day exactly. Remember I see when I get new car? You smart, you have to remember for me," Gabby said.

I told Gabby I didnt remember, but I thought it was the last week of August maybe.

"Oh no. I have to know. I need you try hard. I have to have exact day."

I tried to rack my memory and as usual Gabriella became an open book.

"Ok, it was the second week of August I'm pretty sure because I was out of school," I finally said.

"Thank Jesus you tell me this. I find out I having baby and I think maybe Andre's. Doctor say I about six week pregnant. I say, if six week, when I get the car? Andre get buceta when I get the car. Before that, Andre in Monte Carlo still and I meet this guy, Italian. He got six Ferrari. He make Andre look like trash man."

What she was trying to say, I think, was that she was six weeks pregnant and couldnt remember who she had slept with six weeks ago. If she had gotten the car less than six weeks ago, the baby was not Andre's. If she had gotten the car six weeks ago, it could be his. In any event, she totally confused me and the date she got the car is very important in determining the father of her unborn child because she didnt sleep with Andre until she got her car because they were in a fight over the size of her breast implants. If she got pregnant before she got the car, the father was the Italian with all the Ferraris. If she got pregnant after she got the car there was a better chance of it being Andre's. My head was spinning. Can you all get this straight, because I sure can't. So Gabby is pregnant and doesn't know who the dad is and she is trying to figure it all out. In any event, she sounded thrilled because a baby means that she will have no immigration problems and can not be deported back to Brasil, or so she believes. I don't know anything about immigration law.

UPDATE: It's a little over a year since this happened and Gabby's pregnancy did not pan out and no one ever heard of it again. It could have been drama. She could have gotten an abortion. Maybe she was making it all up for attention. I don't know. All I know is that she traded in the old Bentley and the Mercedes and while she was broken up with Andre for all of five minutes this week, that Abe helped her get a new Bentley, but then she went back with Andre. Andre has still not procured the 5 carat diamond and I have a feeling, being the slick divorce attorney that he is, he knows better than to do that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Background On Gabby Kirschner - As Promised

This is a repost of the first time we encountered Gabriella Kirschner:

I just saw Gabriella Kirchner, who has got to be the biggest gold-digging whore in all of South Florida. Of course, she does have a lot of competition in that department, but most of the time she does a good job at keeping herself, shamelessly in the top position.

Shameless is the best word for Gabriella, but at least she is honest. She never claims to be anything but a money-grubber and sees no reason to hide her intentions. You really have to respect that, because she is never insincere and never leads anyone to think she has any other intentions for her relationships than for the men to take her shopping and on lavish vacations. She never proclaims love for her conquests. She does however, loudly profess her love for Bentleys, Rolexes, Chopard jewelry and Versace designs. Gabriella is half Italian afterall and often pays homage to her idol Donatella by going on wild shopping sprees, having long stringy hair and starving herself half to death. The other half of Gabriella is Brazilian. She says that her mother is Brazilian and her father is Italian. She has a Brazilian accent and looks more Brazilian. Actually she looks like more of an Afro-Latina mix. Men go wild over her look, which is very Jungle-Chic.Gabriella isn't what I would describe as beautiful, but she does an excellent job of creating the illusion that she is a glamourous, gorgeous sex goddess on 5-inch lucite, platform wedges. She is not a stripper, she just likes their shoes.

Men are easily fooled into thinking she is attractive, but women see through the belly shirts, cantalope sized fake boobs, hair extensions, bad nose job and butt-crack-low Brazilian skinny pants. Gabriella adores animal prints. I have rarely seen her in an outfit that does not feature something zebra, leopard or tiger printed. That is why I call her Jungle-Chic. She also wears gigantic earrings and has Morticia-Addams style, waist-length, panther-black hair extensions. It must take her 3 hours to get ready in the mornings, because once I saw her as her normal self, minus the extensions, fake eyelashes, red lipstick etc. and I thought she was someone's maid. She looked like a 12 year old boy! It was scary.

One of my favorite things about Gabby Kirschner is that she is proud of her plastic surgery. A lot of these women pull an Ashlee Simpson and become very coy and secretive about their gravity defying breasts and wrinkle free faces at 80 years old. Not Gabby. She will tell you all about her tummy-tucks, three boob jobs and two nose jobs. She'll tell you who paid for it and give you her doctor's numbers if you're interested in recreating her look. She's proud. Again, I love this girl's sincerity. No one could ever call Gabby a phony.

I met Gabby a few years ago when she first started living with Abe. She was about 23 then. Abe Kirschner had returned from his Italian vacation with her on his arm and she moved right in and starting making bad risotto for him, which he loved. Abe is in his 60s and thinks he's 22. He wears leather pants when its 90 degrees and likes to smoke cigars and ride motorcycles, but he's nice and fun and makes everyone laugh. He has never given anyone a single problem. I like Abe. Gabby really needed to stay in the US so Abe agreed to marry her. They then upgraded to a bigger home and Gabby redecorated it with lots of gold lion heads, red carpets and leopard couches with fringe. I saw it, and it looked like a bordello. Gabby liked it for a little while until Abe bought her a car and she was pissed. Abe cheaped out and only bought her the Mercedes C 230, the most inexpensive model. She wanted the S 500. Then he had the nerve to buy her a clothes boutique and actually make her WORK in her store. This was just not acceptable to her. To make matters worse, he bought her a stainless steel rolex instead of a platinum. Her engagement ring was only one carat and that is a total embarassment. Gabby was not pleased and felt she could do better. After a year of marriage she decided it was time for an upgrade in men. She had had her eye on Andre Lefkowitz for quite some time anyway.Conveniently, the very sleazy Mr. Lefkowitz is a single, 40 year old divorce attorney who happened to live right in the same community. This enabled Gabby to kill two birds with one stone, as Mr. Lefkowitz has a fabulously successful practice, drives a Bentley and lives in a big, gaudy house of the exact sort that Gabby loves. Gabby could not only upgrade to a richer, and younger man, but she could also get a free divorce lawyer and best of all, she could stay living the good life. Everything worked out perfectly for her. She even got her S 500, and a Chopard watch. I hear she is working on the 5 carat diamond, but Andre has yet to produce.

Andre is a jackass. No one likes him and he tries to look like Fabio but only succeeds in looking like a pirate with a bad hair transplant. He has long, wooly hair and likes to wear tight jeans, cowboy boots and big, puffy shirts unbuttoned to well below mid-chest length. The two of them make the perfect Eurotrash match and they look like they go together more than Gabby and Abe did. The only problem is that Andre has no interest in marrying Gabby, which she needs to secure her future. The immigration thing is no longer an issue so its all about money now.

Apparently Gabby has realized that she needs to step things up a bit to seal the deal. I just don't quite agree with her methods.Gabby, living up to her name, brazenly provided me with TOO MUCH INFORMATION this morning. Way too much. She visited to tell me that she was going out of town and as Andre was in France for a week without her, the house would be vacant and she needed someone to keep an eye on things. I inquired as to where she was going. This was my first mistake.

"Dominican Republica," she said excitedly, "I'm going get new surgery there!"

She was all giggles and smiles.

"South Florida is like the cosmetic surgery capital of America, why would you go to a third world country for that?" I asked.

Second mistake.

"The stupid doctor here say no, he wasn't do this kind! Imagine you! I say I pay and he say no that son of a mother. He don't want my money. He say I don't need surgery and I never had a baby so I dont need and if I do I can't have baby three year, so No, he not gonna do it."

"What exactly are you having done?" I asked hestitantly.

HUGE mistake.

She pointed to her crotch which was hidden behind a teeny little skirt that would have been a headband on anyone else.

"I want make her smaller!"

I nearly passed out.

I know I was a deep red-purple and part of it was from horror and part from trying not to bust out laughing, because well, how could you not? There is no way you can't laugh at that. I must have looked puzzled because she began to offer more explanation.

"Surprise for Andre when he come home from France. I find a doctor in Dominica who make her just like she 13 again. Very tight! Small like little girl. Mens love that!" She explained.

"They do?"

"Ohh yessss! They like her be very small. Feel good to them. Andre gonna love this. Maybe he marry me then!" She said.

So...yeah. Gabby wants to go to a third world country to have some hack doctor (pun completely intended) slice and sew on her cooch to make it tighter, except it probably can't be all that loose to begin with since she never had a baby and is barely 26, and she is doing this in the hopes of making a 40 year old jerk who looks like a pirate, marry her. So of course this got me to thinking about how big her crotch actually was that she wanted to make it smaller. I know its got some miles on it. Her lady-stuff is her best assett and her source of income, so maybe after so much use it needs a tune-up. I don't know. I can't fathom such a thing.And I totally love how Gabby refers to her crotch as "she."
Monday, November 26, 2007

My Anniversary

Today is my second wedding anniversary and I don't know about you all, but I'm going out to dinner and I'm going to have some romance. That means if you want a long story then you'll have to visit the archives or wait until tomorrow.

I leave you with a photograph from my wedding, but this isn't just some random wedding picture to commemorate the occasion. This is the proof I've been looking for to settle an argument. Note the photograph above. That's my wedding cake, designed by me and made with my recipe. This is not because I was a Bridezilla, because I was pretty laid back. I just wanted to have a good time and I wanted everyone else to have a good time too. The cake mattered to me simply because I love cake and every time I go to a wedding the cake looks like a work of art and tastes like a piece of cardboard. I planned on actually eating my cake so I wanted it to taste good, and it did. The funny thing was at the beginning of the reception I thought I noticed a full green apple stuck into the backside of my cake, but caught up in the whole vortex of drunk relatives, flash photography, flowers, and a corset that squeezed my liver into my esophagus, I forgot about it until after the honeymoon. I actually thought it was really funny, and when I mentioned it, no one else saw and no one believed me. When the professional pictures came the cake looked perfect and I thought I was losing my mind. I knew I saw that green apple in there and I thought it was funny and I wanted to prove that I was right because I love being right. Finally, in the hundreds of pictures my friends sent to me, I found a picture of that dang green apple. I don't know who put it there, but it just cracks me up. This may well be one of my favorite wedding photos. I guarantee you that whoever the apple-sticker was, that they are related to me and that they had been hitting the open bar. Before I go, I don't know if any readers are planning weddings, but the one bit of advice I have for you is this: Macaroni and Cheese Bar at the reception. People are still talking about it.
Sunday, November 25, 2007

In Recovery

I'm still trying to get over going to the mall on Black Friday with my mother and Aunt Kiki. I haven't had that much fun in years as I did watching those two shopping for bargains and not finding any.

Last night they hooked up with some Canadian bikers and went to a bar with my cousin who has a fake id and ended up getting kicked out, literally thrown out of a bar, after nearly inciting a riot, mouthing off to bouncers and refusing to wear shoes on the dance floor. Do not even ask. I so love my family. I'm only glad this guy wasn't there because I know that might have been the end of Aunt Kiki and my Mom and we would have been hearing about them on a different blog.

So here are some highlights from Thanksgiving:

Second Most Inappropriate Comment - Howie Lipshitz brought his mother who is at least 97 years old and has a glass eye. Mrs. Lipshitz wanted a tour of Casa dei Sogni so my mom graciously showed her around and told her how much everything cost and where it was imported from and as they were getting to the purple bedroom (yes there is a purple bedroom and yes it was my idea) Mrs. Lipshitz suddenly goes to my mom : "Your hair is very unbecoming young lady. You need to cut it all off." Because this is naturally what one says to one's Thanksgiving host while taking a tour of said host's home. Sometimes old people just lose the stop signs in their mind that tell them "maybe you ought not say that." Or maybe old people figure they've been repressed all their lives and now they're old enough to say whatever the hell they want and get away with it. I don't know. I kind of do it now, but I'm not old enough to get away with it yet. Luckily my mother is gracious and compassionate and shrugged it off with a casual "I like my hair stick straight and bleached blonde and parted down the center." My mom has pretty hair. She'd look awful with anything else. Mrs. Lipshitz on the other hand would look better with a new glass eye.

Abe Kirschner Has Continuing Problems With His Ex-Wife - Sometime this week if I get around to it I will re-post the old stories of Abe and Gabby for all you new readers who don't understand the hell he has allowed himself to be put through by his 26 year old, plastic surgery addicted, gold digging, Brazilian ex-wife who wears no clothes.

The big gossip event of the evening was that instead of us having to worry that Gabby was going to show up with her boyfriend/ divorce attorney Andre Lefkowitz and cause a tense scene, that in fact Andre Lefkowitz had dumped Gabby on her silicone enhanced ass and that Gabby was actually coming as Abe's date. It was a huge shocker. We all couldn't believe it. Afterall, poor Abe has nothing left for her to take and her immigration status is secure. Abe doesn't live in a fancy gated community anymore and just crashes on his cousin's couch in an apartment on the beach. He's not so much her type anymore.

Abe showed up alone, and looking damn good might I add, and I asked him where Gabby was.

"She had other plans," he said.

Hmmm. Later we learned that Andre Lefkowitz took her back at the last minute, but not before Abe had bought her a new Bentley earlier in the week.

Aunt Kyle's Boyfriend Looks Like a NASCAR Fan - I didn't know gay guys had mullets and watched car racing. He's really nice. I definitely approve. They're going to start their own Chinchilla breeding business together.

Aunt Karl Shows Up Too - Aunt Karl is my mom and Aunt Kiki's best friend from the Millpond days who has retired down here for the winter. He is a snowbird now and rented himself a small house in the Haitian ghetto where he can smoke weed on his back step and lay out naked under an avocado tree. I haven't seen Aunt Karl since my wedding and it was a pleasant surprise for him to show up, however, the World's Gayest Man Competition immediately ensued after two bottles of Patron had been emptied.

Aunt Kiki Does Not Bring Her Children - Aunt Kiki was amazingly straight and a joy to be around. She seems to have come off her recent year long bender. It's that or else she's been replaced by Bizzarro Aunt Kiki: a Chico's wearing, perfectly highlighted suburban housewife still sporting The Rachel. I couldn't believe it. She didn't bring her children though, I guess because she feared for our safety. The good news is that my cousin Fallon isn't stripping after all. She's tending bar and all that stripper gear was from amateur night at the strip club, and I'll have you know that Fallon won the amateur contest 2 weeks in a row and they pay $250 a pop, which means that now Fallon has enough halter tops from Charlotte Russe to clothe an entire high school of hoochies. Also, Hunter is not pregnant and is on probation for breaking and entering. Brooke Lynn is famous on that MySpace thing.

25 Black Girls Show Up With a Pot of Collard Greens - Don't ask me where they came from, but anybody who shows up with a pot of collard greens is completely OK in my book. They all sat around while my mother held court. One of my favorite conversations of the evening went as follows:

Black Girl 1 : Oooh girl, I was watching that Kim Kardashian show and I says to myself, I says, look at that girl's ass! How a white girl get a ass like that? I said, she got some Black up in her, because ain't no white girl nowhere got a ass like that.

Black Girl 2 : I know!! She got some Black someplace.

Black Girl 3 : She Do!! She Armenian!

Black Girl 1 : See, I told you. I knew she had some Black in there. See. She Armenian.

All Black Girls Combined: Mmmmm Hmmmm.
Uncle Mendel Leaves Suddenly for Costa Rica - Uncle Mendel, my grandmother's brother, is a staple at any event involving free food and who can blame a 75 year old bachelor? Some of you may remember Uncle Mendel from my trip to New York last March for my cousin's Bar Mitzvah. Uncle Mendel is a soft spoken, diamond dealer and a typical old Eastern European Jewish man in every way except for his penchant for exotic women, by which I mean teenage thai prostitutes and African-Hispanic hookers from the Dominican Republic, whom he calls his "girlfriends." Uncle Mendel is a sex tourist, we fear. He romps the beaches of the world, ramped up on Viagra and showing off his Speedo like any proud geriatric, Eastern European. We adore Uncle Mendel and we're glad that at 75 he can still get it on with 20 year olds even if he has to pay for it, but, just...ewww sometimes. You know? Ewww. This doesn't stop his exploits from being extremely amusing though. Uncle Mendel was taking an evening flight to Costa Rica where apparently there is a hotel, the lobby of which is filled with at least 1,500 prostitutes every night, ripe for the picking by skeezy old Americans and Eastern Europeans. One of them is Uncle Mendel's "girlfriend" and she is 19. He was going to visit her for the weekend and she asked him to bring her a cell phone, so he went and bought the cheapest one he could find and it was a whopping $17.00. He showed it to us and my dad mentioned he had a similar model sitting in a drawer, so Uncle Mendel, being extremely thrifty asked if he could have that one instead, because then he could take the other one back to the store and get his $17.00 back. My dad gave him the old phone for Uncle Mendel's "girlfriend."
It's funny. You wouldn't think a cheap man would be into hookers and paying for sex, though maybe at his age if you don't pay you don't play. The man spends his entire life looking for a deal, haggling and arguing over the price of small, insignificant things, and he seems to experience genuine physical pain if he finds out he bought something he could have got cheaper somewhere else. I bet he bargains with prostitutes.
"$25.00 for a blowjob? You are kiddingk me? I can get blowjob in Miami for $15.00. I give you $17.00!" I can hear him saying.
I have to give him credit though. At least he doesn't let the women take advantage of him like Abe does. Uncle Mendel wouldn't come off a penny for a gold-digger and I commend that.
My Cousin Explains Certain Things Done By "People He Knows" to Get Into Fraternities - My Cousin, the one visiting from the prestigious university, would like you all (especially his mother and sister) to know that at college he is not participating in any fraternity hazing rituals at all and that all he does is study and go to Hillel. He also does not know anyone who may have pooped in the graduate library at said prestigious university on a dare and he has no idea how to play beer pong and he definitely did not tell me any of this after having a few drinks with the 25 black girls and Aunt Kiki. He went to bed and prayed. For the record.
A Kosher Turkey Must Immediately Be Procured - At the last minute my extremely religious Jewish grandparents let us know that instead of having Thanksgiving at their Temple with 250 99 year olds, they were coming to our house instead. We had to get a kosher turkey at the last minute and cook a separate kosher meal for them and it was then that I noticed that the kosher turkey still had feathers and that they wouldn't come out, so we just cooked it that way and then at the last minute again they decided to just have dinner at the Temple and come to see us for dessert, so then we had 4 entire turkeys, one of which had burned up feathers sticking out of it.
And that, Dear Readers, was the madness of Thanksgiving at Casa dei Sogni, although I will probably remember a few other things after I post this.
Saturday, November 24, 2007

All Those Casseroles I Told You About

As you can see, we had a very brown, very disposable pan Thanksgiving. There were a lot of croutons and cracker crumbs decorating souped-up vegetables. Left to right, bottom to top we have: pumpkin bread, stuffing/ dressing (eel-free), pine-appa casserole which my dad attempted to rename Pineapple Bread Pudding, sweet potato casserole, cauliflower casserole, squash casserole, ham and turkey. We had a separate table for cold "salads". I think you can barely make out Aunt Kiki's husband in the background.

Pea Salad: It Really Exists People

Complete with paper table cloth. My mother even sprinkled paprika on top for decoration. Anyone want the recipe?

Always Wax A Week Before A Holiday or Important Event

Wednesday night I remembered suddenly that I had a moustache and that my eyebrows looked troublingly like EDIT: something very hairy because my husband did not approve of what I said here before, so I ran over to the place where one gets waxed and begged them to squeeze me in because it was a dire, facial hair emergency. They agreed and I was squeezed in and promptly waxed. I will spare you the description of the process because frankly, it's a cliche and every single damned chick-lit book and girlie blog has a chapter or a post devoted to some waxing horror story and they're all the same. I hate getting anything waxed, but I'm resigned to the fact that it's a part of life, so I do it and don't complain and I long for the day when the "natural" look, a la 70s porn, comes exploding back into style, because I believe it will one day. But anyway, I got waxed and was all happy with my perfectly outlined arched eyebrows though all through Thanksgiving my face tingled. Yesterday I woke up with a few bumps and by the end of the day I looked like this. My face has rebelled. My skin is angry. It wants its excess hair back.
Friday, November 23, 2007

And The Award for Most Innapropriate Comment Goes To...

Surprisingly, it wasn't Aunt Kiki. Aunt Kiki was fairly well behaved all day and actually made it through dinner although her husband did not due to two bottles of Camus, which she prononouces to rhyme with anus. Isn't it Cah-moo or is that just the writer? I have no idea, but she kept saying Camus Camus all night. Aunt Kiki was passed out by dessert though and she just sort of disappeared into the guest room without mentioning "I'm going to go pass out cold right now. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!"

The most inappropriate comment, conversation actually, came from some jackass that nobody knows that my parents' massage girl brought.

The massage girl's name is Star and she's very tall with wildly curly, multicolored hair that sticks off her head in a thousand different directions. Star is very eccentric and always gives far too much information. For instance, one time I went to dinner with my parents and when we got back to their house Star was waiting for them in the driveway because the door was locked. As soon as we got out of the car we hear "I had to take a piss in your driveway since you weren't here!"

My mother said she'd hose it off.

"You're lucky I didn't poop on there too, because I have to go really badly but I figured I could hold it," Star said.

Star likes to give massages while drinking apple martinis and one time she had too many. My parents tried to get her to stay over, as she was in a terrible state, but she somehow escaped and didn't get two blocks out of the neighborhood before she got a DUI. And thank God she got a DUI because she could have killed someone.

They invited her to Thanksgiving and she brought her friend The Environmentalist. The Environmentalist is in his 50s and looks like a combination of Jimmy Buffet and John Denver. He is from Newfoundland, but lives down here and does a whole lot of nothing, though he does it with a funny accent.

I was standing on the dock with Husband and some other people talking and I threw a couple pieces of turkey into the canal because if you do that a whole bunch of big fish will come up to eat it, which amuses me because I am five.

"HEY!!!" shouted The Environmentalist, "You're polluting the eco-system by doing that! Do you realize that's a $50,000 fine? Do you? That's considered dumping!!"

Everyone was quite taken aback.

Later in the evening several people were sitting outside at a table, and I realize this sounds odd to most of the country where people are shivering inside and all the coats are on the guest room bed, but here it was a balmy 75 so we were outside. There were a bunch of beer bottles on the table so I said to another guest to put the beer bottles in the recycling bin and not the trash.

"Pfft," said The Environmentalist.

"Excuse me?" said me.

"Well I'm glad to see you recycle at least."

Thus began a strange exchange.

Me: Of course I recycle. You know what else I do? I have all those special kind of lightbulbs too.

The Environmentalist: Oh. Well I'm just really into conservation. I love recycling. It's really important to me. I tell Star all the time she uses too much water.

Star: Yes he does, but I'm not stopping.

The E: People use too much water taking showers. You can fill a small tub or even the sink with soap and water and wash yourself off and then use the water to water your plants and that's enough, you know. People are trying to be too clean. It's not natural.

Star: I'm natural, and I'm not going to stop taking showers.

The E: That's because you like to masturbate in the shower, but you don't understand how much water that wastes! It's ridiculous. You need to use some rechargable batteries and get a vibrator or just use your hand.

(I am about to faint.)

Star: Nothing else does it for me! One time I had this place and the shower head fell off and I look at that nice stream of water and thought mmm hmmm. So now every time I move I take the shower head off and call it Frank.

So yeah, at that point the conversation came to a screeching halt and everyone who was sitting at that table except Star and The Environmentalist of course, suffered from an acute case of too much information.

This may well be the most inappropriate Thanksgiving conversation of all time

More on Thanksgiving innapropriateness later. I'm going to eat leftovers.
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving - A Tribute to Nasty-Assed Cooking

I'm not really a fan of Thanksgiving dinner. I like the holiday with the Macy's parade, I like turkeys and cornucopias, the Pilgrim Indian story which I've recently learned isn't true (it's true to me, alas), and I even rather enjoy getting together with my family and all their strange friends. I like the holiday and I like the idea of a lavish spread; a feast made from the bounties of the harvest, but the reality of Thanksgiving, at least to me and anyone from the South and I suspect the Midwest as well, is that the fourth Thursday in November is one gigantic, nationwide tribute to some spectacularly horrible food.

I do not like Thanksgiving dinner. On Thanksgiving I feel the aching sense of injustice that I wasn't born into a family of Connecticut WASPs very keenly. I flip through Martha Stewart Living and long for a family who fashions place cards from the fallen leaves of sugar maples and a family who uses a table cloth that isn't made out of paper, or worse yet, and old bed sheet. Once an innocent sorority girl asked me casually what kind of china I'd be using for Thanksgiving and I was honestly astounded that there are real people who actually use chin-a instead of Chin-ette and who polish their silver for the occasion instead of buying a big box of plastic utensils at Sams Club. In our family we've never participated in one of those idyllic scenes where all the women clean up and wash dishes together. We clean up by hauling the outside trashcan into the kitchen and dumping everything straight in it. It takes less than ten minutes to make the kitchen spotless and by then the Cool Whip's done thawing out. But I can handle all of this. I'm not so bothered by the paper plates, the lack of rustic looking arts and crafts, or the fact that we serve our feast buffet style, straight from the pot and then scramble to find a place to sit, somewhere, anywhere in the house, and hope our plate doesn't cave in.

What I can't handle is the food. Thanksgiving is the day for white trash cooks to really shine, to really show off their best combinations of prepackaged convenience foods in new and unexpected ways. In my family and in every single other Southern family that I know the typical Thanksgiving dinner contains at least 7, 385 calories, two week's worth of fat grams, no molecule of vegetable matter that isn't cooked within an inch of it's life and drowned in velveeta, cream of something soup and/ or smashed up ritz crackers, at least five dishes with mayonaise, cream cheese or both, and no holiday is complete without, of course, the requisite Jell-o in some abominable manifestation. Each item on the white trash Thanksgiving menu is important and holds significance and if a single dish is missing someone's day will be completely ruined and that person will not speak to the cook at least until Christmas, because oh my God, how dare you, how could you, forget that salad that's made with broccoli, ranch dressing, and a packet of raw ramen noodles including the flavor packet still in powder form?

In honor of Thanksgiving, my southern heritage and white trash cooks all over the United States, I'd like to share with you some of my family's finest dishes from the Nasty-Assed Recipe Hall of Fame.

The Whole Issue of Salad

Salads are where the lines really start to blur when it comes to white trash cuisine. A lot of things, apparently can be called a salad, and many of these things call into question what I believe a salad to be. To Southerners and white trash people everywhere, salad is something different than it is to everyone else. Salad comes from a bar, usually found at Sizzler. On special occasions one can have salad at The Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Salad, on the rare occasion that it is eaten at home, is not the generic mixture of greens, tomatoes, croutons and the like that we know, but a kind of salad, like a waldorf salad, or carrot and raisin salad. In the South, I have figured out that the word “salad” just must means food that is cold. There is also, as I mentioned before an entire sub-genre of Jell-o salads, consisting of Jell-o mixed with any number of things from canned fruit and Cool-Whip to, and I know this sounds gross but I swear its true, chopped celery and mayonnaise, and these Jell-o salads are served with the actual meal and not as dessert, although a lot of them seem a lot more like a dessert than a salad. It can be quite confusing for outsiders. It is really confusing to me and I've grown up with this shit. Here are some of the scariest that we will be having.

Pea Salad - This is by far the most terrifying thing my mother cooks. If I had been in a Thai prison for six years living off of nothing but maggot infested rice and when I got out this is what I had to eat, I would just as soon go out in the yard and eat grass. But pea salad is a big deal in my family and the recipe has been passed down for generations, though I have no idea why. It is vile. Pea salad has two cans of peas (Le Seur because they are FANCY), and as if that is not bad enough on its own, one then adds chopped Spanish olives (the green ones with the little red thing), chopped celery, hard-boiled eggs and worst of all, Miracle Whip. Pea Salad is not ok with me at all. I have searched the Internet and I couldn't find a single recipe for this, so I'm assuming that every other family in the world has the good sense not to eat something this gross.

Pretzel Salad - The second most repugnant salad of all, which is curiously revered by the family, is the salad that my God mother Jeannie Lee brings each year. Jeannie’s salad is held in such high regard that she is only required to bring this one dish, which is not even by the farthest stretches of imagination a salad at all. It is called Pretzel Salad, but in fact what it actually is defies all culinary genres. Pretzel Salad consists of a layer of crushed pretzels mixed with margarine and layered in the bottom of a large rectangular pan. On top of this is a mixture of Cool-Whip (of course) and cream cheese. On top of that is a firm layer of bright red strawberry flavored Jell-o, and this is just wrong. No one should have to eat something like this, but I am not kidding, I have seen my cousins nearly knock one another out over the last square of Pretzel Salad. They can have it. Sometimes Jeannie Lee also brings Pistachio Salad (nothing should be called that, come on), which is a variation on the Pretzel Salad, but instead of Jell-O and strawberries it has pistachio instant pudding mixed with Dream Whip, cream cheese and maraschino cherries. Instead of pretzels, for this one you smash up a mess of saltines and mix them with some I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter (well you might not be able to, but I can) and sugar. Again, this is just wrong.

Ambrosia Salad - My mom loves this shit. I've seen other recipes for Ambrosia but they weren't even close to what we have in my family. You take a tub of Coolwhip and stir in the powder from a packet of orange Jell-o so that you now have orange Cool-Whip. Then you throw in some coconut, chopped walnuts, a small can of crushed pineapple and a small can of mandarin orange segments, drained naturally. Eww. Why would someone can a tangerine? Who thought that up? Well anyway, you stir the hell out of this and dump it in a crystal bowl and if you are really fancy you will have saved some orange Jell-O powder to sprinkle on top as decoration, and if you are seriously talented you can mix the leftover orange powder with some of the coconut to make orange coconut (wow) which you can put over the Ambrosia instead. People will be impressed. "How in the hell did she get that coconut orange? I tell you what, that girl is a genius."

Green Stuff - This is a variation on Ambrosia, again with pistachio pudding. It's Cool-Whip, pistachio pudding powder, a can of crushed pineapple, walnuts, and here's the real kicker, ok, get ready - mini marshmallows. But this is not a dessert. You have to serve it alongside of meat and casseroles, ok? NOT. A. DESSERT. This is a vegetable. I have also seen family members, who will not go named, using Green Stuff as a dip for potato chips.

I Am Deeply Troubled By Casseroles

Casseroles are all the same. I can't tell any of them apart because they are all variations on a theme consisting of a base of canned vegetable mixed with cream of something soup and then topped with something crunchy. No one in my family except my father because he's foreign, will eat a vegetable unless it comes in this form. I like the originality shown in casserole topping choices. They can range anywhere from croutons, busted up ritz crackers, to Chex cereal, crushed potato chips and honest to God, smashed up Cool Ranch Doritos. And of course, really expert white trash cooks know that to take your casserole to the next level that before you add that crunch topping that you should always throw in a layer of Velveeta, or at least stir in some cubed cream cheese.

Perhaps the most horrifying casserole I've ever seen, and I still have nightmares about this, was an asparagus casserole served at Evil Ex's sister's in laws house in Arkansas. It was canned asparagus topped with cream of chicken soup, slices of orange American cheese of the sort that comes individually wrapped in plastic, and decorated, when it came out of the oven, with hard boiled egg slices. Again, maggot infested rice would be way better.

But as much as I complain and moan and gag over casseroles I will probably have some green bean casserole, but mainly because I like those onions.

The Complications of Stuffing

I'm the only person in my family who calls it stuffing. It's really dressing, but some time spent in the North got it into my head that it's really stuffing and I can't stop calling it that. No self respecting Southerner would ever stick a mess of wet bread up a turkey's ass, so it technically isn't stuffing, since we cook it in a pan alongside the turkey.

I only like my mother's stuffing and I don't even like it that much. I am afraid of stuffing. Too much can go wrong and too many scary bits can be hidden within all that soggy starchy goo. I have to watch my mother to make sure she doesn't lose her mind and start chopping up gizzards and hearts and throwing them in like Memere (Beef Heart is Filet Mignon) Marie does. But my mother's stuffing or dressing or whatever you want to call it is pretty decent. It's spicy and crunchy and has 25 sticks of butter and a pound of sage in it, so I can handle it. She also puts in apples and cinnamon, which I also like, and my mother's stuffing is the reason why I can't go to other people's houses on holidays and why I always hope and pray I don't get invited anywhere besides home.

Other people don't know how to make stuffing. You would not believe the things I have encountered on the years I haven't been home. I nearly passed out when I went to someone's house and they had OYSTERS in the stuffing. I thought these people had lost their ever loving minds. Who would put a snotty looking shellfish in stuffing? You'd have to be insane to do that.

Once I went to J Dogg's house for turkey and I almost fell out on the floor because his family put sausage in their stuffing. Sausage? In stuffing? It was too much for me to handle, and I secretly liked that one a little bit, but don't tell my mom.

The other day I was perusing
Serious Eats and I read an article about stuffing stir-ins where the author, who should be committed, suggesting mixing smoked eel into your stuffing. Are you fucking insane?? EEL???? On Thanksgiving? If my mother tried this our entire family would end up in hospital from the trauma of it all. I can see her now "Look everyone! I made a nice big pan of EEL STUFFING!!!!" YUM!! EEL!!!

So on this Thanksgiving, I'll be eating some cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and turkey and saving lots of room for dessert.

What Nasty-Assed Recipes have you been served on the holidays? Please make me feel better about what my family cooks by showing me that your families are just as gross.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Pumpkin Pie Martini

A lot of people (like 5, but that's a lot for me since I'm not one of those famous bloggers) asked me for the recipe for my sister's Pumpkin Pie Martini, so this morning we were on the phone complaining about how good Chex Mix was and trying to convince one another that we were virtuous enough to actually enjoy steamed shrimp and vegetables on brown rice with no sauce, I asked her for the recipe. She gave me the ingredients, but says she doesn't measure and it doesn't seem like something that needs measuring to me anyway.

My Sister's Pumpkin Pie Martini Sort of Recipe

First dip the rim of a martini glass in graham cracker crumbs.

Vanilla Vodka
Liquor 43 (she says this is key and it isn't good without it)
cinnamon schnapps
I suppose you could add some pumpkin schnapps too although she doesn't because we tragically discovered that it tastes exactly like a Yankee candle.
canned pumpkin pie mix (its the puree with the spices already in it kind) probably a few spoonfuls.

Shake it all up and pour in a martini glass. She then decorates the top of it with cinnamon sprinkled in the shape of a triangle and whipped cream in a line along the back of the triangle to look like pie crust (get it? you make it look like a slice of pie is floating on top of the liquid). Oh jeez, I'll try to get a picture of one. I should have taken a picture last Saturday night but I drank it.

Then, if you are Aunt Kiki you use it to wash down a few Vicodin.

I'm off to brave the grocery store, but when I get back and when I get a few pies safely in the oven, I promise you the fun will begin, as I write about my favorite subject - Nasty-Assed Recipes.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Small Emergency

The Internet at my house is broken. I decided to come to my parents' house to use theirs to let you know that the Internet at my house is broken, and as I stepped onto my front step I saw that someone or something had pooped at my front door.

I repeat. There was a turd on my doorstep. A big turd. My doorstep is a pretty out of the way place for anyone or anything to take a crap so whoever did it had to go to some effort.

I am not happy that my Internet is broken and that someone has deposited feces in front of my apartment. This is not ok. I will spare you a photograph because I know that you all don't want to see a turd as much as I don't want to see a turd and that it would be almost as jarring for you to load the page and discover poo as it was for me to open my door and nearly step in it.

I arrived at my parents' house to use their computer and found my one sane, normal, healthy cousin who has decided to take his vacation time from a very prestigious university to spend the holiday with this crazy lot. I think it has something to do with our close proximity to South Beach, but this is merely a theory.

There was also a man named Elvis standing in the kitchen talking to my mom.
Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Begins

I interrupt this story briefly to let you all know that it is officially Thanksgiving Week, and thus for the rest of the week all posts will be dedicated to the holiday and all it encompasses. I will finish the story next week when Thanksgiving is over.

If you think this means that we're all going to sit around feeling the warm glow from a crackling fire while sipping mulled cider and sharing all the beautiful and delightful things for which we are eternally grateful, then you are in the wrong place and should go read a Mommy Blog or the blog written by a Born Again Christian pre-school teacher who also writes self help books in her spare time that she has when she is done converting heathen Catholic children in South America. Because while I confess to having my self-helpy moments, these moments are generally obsolete during the holidays when I become an even bigger asshole than I usually am. Mostly this happens from a combination of horrendous food and freak overload. Too many recovering addicts and an excess of cream of mushroom soup makes me irritable. Sometime around noon tomorrow the first of the freaks that want to spend Thanksgiving at my parents' house will make their first appearance. Then the "small, family only" Thanksgiving of our dreams will turn into a major event, the phone will ring constantly at Casa dei Sogni with people wanting to bring someone and I will decide it's best to make three chocolate cream pies because remember what happened last year when I was mad because I didn't get a piece and wanted to stab someone with a fork over it. I sulked all through Black Friday because I really had wanted a piece of chocolate cream pie.

I thought before this all gets underway that I would share the current guest list, although this is subject to change, because when I start with the tales from Thanksgiving dinner, you will need to know who is who.

Casa dei Sogni Official Thanksgiving Guest List 2007
Me -Y'all already know more about me than most of my friends.
My Husband - Turkey fryer extraordinaire. My husband is obsessed with frying turkeys and he always fries way too many, which I believe has something to do with making himself very busy with something dangerous and important looking for long periods of time so that he does not have to interact with any of the guests. His turkey frying makes me very nervous because of all the horrifying videos you see this time of year in which entire homes become engulfed in flames within the span of 3 seconds because some idiot put too much oil in and it boiled over. I imagine awful scenarios in which my husband ends up looking like the English Patient and all for a cajun spice injected turkey.
My Sister - Perhaps the one person on the planet who hates our Thanksgiving more than me, my sister has this year perfected her pumpkin pie martini technique (this year without urine!) and will also be bringing a pumpkin cake roll. Her first trial run on the cake roll was quite successful. The recipe can be found on the back of a can of pumpkin.
Aunt Kiki - My mother's younger sister who will, as usual, miss Thanksgiving dinner due to a combination of pills purchased on the Internet and the aforementioned pumpkin pie martini, which she will likely drink without the cream, pumpkin, schnapps and cinnamon, leaving only straight vodka. We'll be sure to lock up the mouthwash, vanilla extract and hair spray as well.
Aunt Kiki's Husband - How this normal man puts up with his wife no one will ever know. Normally on holidays he tries to round us all up for an impromptu intervention, I mean, since everyone's there already anyway, we may as well. Did I also mention that he is a little person and that he is also a convicted murderer? Because he is. He is also not the father of any of her daughters.
Fallon - Aunt Kiki's second oldest daughter who was born during Aunt Kiki's Dynasty era. Fallon is pretty, bulimic, 21 and a stripper, although she claims to be a cocktail waitess. Aunt Kiki found her six inch lucite heels and spandex dress with velcro closures, so what else could that mean? It means that clear shoes match every outfit, that's what it means. Dammit.
Hunter - Aunt Kiki's third daughter and born during the "Bold and the Beautiful" period. Hunter is goth in a bad way, has a veritable buffet of personality and mood disorders and will probably actually kill the entire family at some point. If you see the headlines "Family Slain at Thanksgiving Dinner in Florida" it will be my family and it will be Hunter who murdered us all. She has been arrested numerous time, Baker Acted even more times, possibly pregnant at certain points, and was found hiding a loaded gun in her bedroom. Hunter is 15. She also steals things, so you have to keep your pursed locked in the car with the car alarm on if she's around.
Brooke Lynn - Aunt Kiki's youngest. Brooke Lynn is 13 and a pedophile's dream. At this moment I guarantee you there are hundreds of men jerking off to her MySpace page. Brooke Lynn dresses exactly like a hooker, cusses like a trucker and you know what, I don't want to know what else she does. Aunt Kiki thinks her youngest child is glamorous and beautiful. I think she's trying to get a fake id so that she can star in x-rated films before she's 18.
Mini-T - My adopted black brother who pimps out cars for a living. He is famed for installing plexi-glass Hennessy holders inside of SUVs. Once he even had the brilliant idea to install a spice grinder in the glove box of an Escalade to make it easier and more convenient to separate buds while driving. Mini-T will probably not bring his child or his 18 year old baby mama with whom he is currently not in a relationship, though by next week that could change.
Villa-Jo Quinn - Mini-T's real mom. Villa -Jo hails from Phenix City, AL, a city where the population is so uneducated that they cannot spell the name of their own town correctly. Villa-Jo has 8 children by 8 different men and ran a prostitution ring in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics which allegedy serviced the Russian wrestling team. Villa-Jo also ran a shoplifting operation where she hired several extremely large young ladies to steal electronics in big box stores by umm, hiding them between their thighs a bit close to their own big boxes. Apparently the sensors don't go off because they can't penetrate the thick layers of thigh. Evil-Ex used to buy some of these hot electronics back in the day and I have always suspected that Villa-Jo had something to do with hooking Evil-Ex up with his Baby Mama, but I have never found conclusive proof and merely circumstantial evidence. In spite of her flaws, I rather like Villa-Jo, who looks just like Josephine Baker and makes the most sublime sweet potato pies I have ever tasted. Villa-Jo often shows up unannounced, so I imagine that she'll pull up in her car around 5am Thursday morning. We know she's here because she always carries her green parrot Lucille with her and Lucille has a swearing problem, so in the half light of a new dawn, when I hear the shrill shrieks of "MUTHAFUCKA POOPUT BITCH ASS HO!!" I will know to go open the front door.
The Rockin' Rabbi - He used to be 500 pounds and is now 300. The RR sings opera, is Orthodox, though very UN-orthodox, and drives a motorcycle with a Hamsa on the front of it. He looks exactly like Hagrid. He doesn't eat turkey because it isn't kosher.
One Hit Wonder - Yes, you know the song. They played it at your cousin's wedding, your nephew's bar mitzvah and on every cruise that leaves this port. It's on commercials and cheezy people start singing it whenever they can. One Hit loves my parents because they make him feel loved and make him feel encouraged since he lost all of his money to a corrupt manager.
Howie Lipshitz - Howie is my dad's best friend and was the first person my father met when he moved to America. Howie is Jewish in the exteme. Nothing about this man is remotely gentile and he is allergic to everything so he doesn't eat either. He is recently divorced and was on a J-Date rampage until he met a beautiful New York lawyer. Howie reminds me of Eugene Levy, and he could easily be a character in a Christopher Guest film.
Jeannie Lee - Jeannie Lee is my godmother and the nicest person in the whole world, bar none. She was my mother's childhood best friend from Millpond. Jeannie Lee came down here in the 70s and got hung up with a Colombian drug lord who left her alone and penniless when he faked his own death. Jeannie Lee became a heroin addict stripper and was rescued by missionaries when they found her passed out naked on a church lawn. They took her to West Virginia and brainwashed her. She came back here, got a degree, is working on a masters, and is a social worker. She loves Jesus very much and I am 100% positive that Jesus loves her back.
Aunt Kyle - He got his own post. Scroll down.
My Cousin Stu - I love my cousin Stu so much that I could squeeze his head and bite off one of his ears. Stu and I are a month apart and have the same nose. He looks just like Joaquin Phoenix. Our grandmothers back in Millpond are sisters, but he lives down here now and is into glass blowing, installing alarms and Jam bands. He's one of those people that follows Widespread Panic and several other similar bands who play 3 1/2 hour long songs that I've never heard of. Before I had a husband Stu fixed things in my apartment that broke and everyone in my building was convinced that we were having sex and I was all like "We are NOT from West Virginia just because we have southern accents, GAWD!" I don't do it with my cousins, but if I were going to, I guess out of all my 389 relatives, I'd have to choose Stu. Eww. That's not even funny. Yuck. And besides, Stu is the paramour of my sister's best friend Adelaide, who I love as much as I love Stu, and together they dance to Goverment Mule and The String Cheese Incident.
Abe Kirschner - Long time readers may remember my stories of Abe and his women. First his ex-wife the brazilian gold digger Gabriella, and then the lunatic meth head Tanna who ended up in jail in Kentucky and who swore a bunch of mexicans who ran a taco stand as a front for a prostitution ring were going to kill her. Abe is, thank god, currently single and we love him to death. We'd love to set him up with Jeannie Lee, but alas, she is not 20 and jacked full of silicone and she wouldn't abuse him and spend all his money. Did I mention Abe was in his 60s? He likes 'em young and greedy.
Gabriella Kirschner - Abe's ex-wife often sees fit to come to holiday celebrations half naked and unannounced because she loves to create tense and awkward situations with her ex-husband, although she lives with her divorce lawyer who is a gazillionaire because he handles every high profile divorce in the area. He bought her a Bentley. He should buy her some clothes because Gabriella looks like she gets fashion advice from Lil Kim. Pasties? Of course they count as a shirt. As long as most of your nipple is covered you are wearing a shirt. And yes, thongs are indeed pants. Especially when they are leopard print.
That's it for now. As more guests are confirmed. I will add to the list. Please enjoy the madness, dear readers.
Sunday, November 18, 2007

Part 3 - Where I am Not Discovered

Scroll down for Parts 1 and 2.

I’m not about to say that when I read Sula I had a life changing experience and that the book spoke to me and that I identified with not just Sula but also with Nell and that the book shook me to the core of my soul and made me realize that I had to go to college and MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF! If my life were an Afterschool Special maybe that’s what would have happened, but my life is real and in real life things don’t exactly happen like that.

Two things happened. First, when I read Sula, I finally felt like I could barely sort of begin to understand a Toni Morrison storyline, which was a small miracle. The second thing that happened was that the more I read the more pissed off at the Boy with the PhD I became, and I don’t think the two things were related in any way except that I was doing them both at the same time.

Some time when someone offers a critique of you and you find yourself blind with a rage that makes blood pour out of your eyeballs, consider for a moment that perhaps the reason you are so angry is because perhaps the person offering the critique of you is right and you know they’re right and you don’t want them to be right because you just want to be right for once instead. I knew Mr. PhD was right, but I had just read Bridget Jones and I wanted someone to like me exactly as I was, all uneducated, with a job that was going nowhere, depressed and living in my parents’ guest room. I understood that Mr. PhD needed something more than a mildly cute girl who wasn’t annoying and who shared his love of Thai noodles, good sex, Radiohead and dark, ironic humor. But the fact that I understood, did not mean that I would admit I understood and it did not mean that I would concede defeat to some other girl who was a Chiropractor or Psychologist just because she had a degree and I didn’t. I was still mad.

I went through 2 more jobs in about six months and all the while PhD and I acted exactly as if we were in a relationship although we weren’t, and the whole time we dated other people and got violently jealous over each other about it. The whole time I knew I needed to go back to school, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually go over to the community college and sign up.

I have a dreadful character trait that I struggle with constantly. I never have any problem making up my mind. I always know what I want and what I ought to do, but often I can not take the steps needed to act on my desires. I take forever to do things. Years sometimes. I’m currently doing this now with a Yoga class. I know I want to take the Yoga class but I can’t seen to actually go and take the damn class, yet I spend hours thinking about how I am at some point GOING to take the Yoga class. This is what I was doing with school.

One day PhD was being what I perceived as particularly condescending and it probably had something to do with me not having heard of something or pronouncing something wrong or calling Hispanic people Spanish. Perhaps it had to do with my family, who PhD didn’t like or approve of. Maybe he had gone on another date with a degree. I don’t know, but what I do know is that he finally made me so angry, so flushed and trembling with fury, that I finally had the catalyst I needed to go to the community college registrar and sign up for a class.

This happened during the summer and it was the week before the shortened summer classes began. I was babysitting Aunt Kiki’s younger two daughters Brooke Lynn and Hunter, who are excellent forms of birth control. I have only once in my life encountered worse children than Brooke Lynn and Hunter, and on the day that I went to sign up for Community College, I had to take these two hellions with me and I knew that everyone thought they were my rotten kids. As I stood in line they fought. They dripped popsicle all over the floor and themselves. Brooke Lynn got gum in her hair. Hunter made incessant farting noises, some of which were genuine flatulence. Generally the two children caused an embarrassing scene and made me want to hack them into small pieces and bury them under the foundation of a tract home. I confess to having jerked them each by the arm a couple times, but they were used to that so I threatened to lock them in the hot car to suffocate and when that didn’t work I promised to take them to the Cheesecake Factory, which did work. For like two minutes.

Most of the classes were closed so I had to sign up for a Speech Class, a History Class and then I had to go take a test to see what Math I could be in, and it turned out that I was actually, literally retarded in math, so I had to be in a super extra remedial class for people who are super extra dumb and can’t figure out tips in restaurants.

After this I felt worse about myself. I didn’t feel triumphant or educated. I actually felt like worse white trash. I wasn’t proud of going to Community College. I cringed when I had to emblazon the parking sticker on my bumper which advertised that I could not get into a real college if my life depended on it. PhD didn’t make me feel any better because he had gone to good colleges and couldn’t take CC seriously. I don’t even think he was mildly fazed by my enrollment.

Because I had watched too many Lifetime movies and read several Chick Lit/ Inspirational novels for women who are idiots, I imagined an elaborate scenario in which a teacher would notice me, the quiet girl in the back of the classroom, and realize that although I had problems and had endured tragedy that I was actually a genius the likes of which this little Community College had never seen. The teacher would take me under his or her wing and I would be a star student, getting As on everything, excelling wildly and winning awards that never even existed but that the school had to make up just because I was that fantastic at everything. Then I would go to Harvard and be really famous at something and win a Nobel Prize and come home from Sweden to a ticker tape parade in my honor where I would ride in the back of an antique convertible wearing a tiara and a sash and waving very slowly. I’m not kidding you. I really believed this would happen, which may be the final proof of my stupidity.

Obviously this has not occurred.

I failed my first History paper because I didn’t know how to use punctuation and I didn’t indent. I had no clue what the hell MLA citation meant and I didn’t know how to use “quotes” (Me 28).

As a complicated defense mechanism I became very stuck up. I was better than Community College (yeah right, please) and I felt like I was above everyone else there (also not true). Community College is definitely not glamorous. It’s the government cheese of education; a Brazilian jean and baggy short wearing conglomeration of the ghetto and a trailer park. A classroom at the CC looks like someone rounded up the customers at Wal-Mart, complete with old people, and forced them to learn something together whether they liked it or not. I believed that since I didn’t shop at Wal-Mart that I didn’t belong in the super extra remedial math class with all of Wal-Mart’s shoppers either. I also joked that I went to Port Au Prince Community College because of all the Haitian students, but when a very sweet Haitian girl explained to me that her relatives died coming over on a raft and that she lived in a one bedroom apartment with 15 other people and worked three jobs just to go to Community College so that she could be a nurse, then I stopped being such an asshole because I realized that there were people who had come a lot further than I had and who had way worse problems than I did.

I was not a star student. I didn’t stand out and the teachers didn’t have to wear sunglasses to class due to the glare of my shining brilliance. I was pretty much just like everyone else, although I’d like to believe that I was slightly better dressed. I went to class, I took notes, I studied and I tried really hard to do my homework right and on time. I was pretty, tragically ordinary.

Though I had hoped to discover some hidden talent, like gene splicing, I didn’t. You didn’t think this was going to be the story where a teacher sees through all my technical errors to uncover the latent genius in my writing and then tells me I should be a writer, did you? Good, because that STILL hasn’t happened, although the closest I’ve come in six years was last Tuesday when a teacher hit me on the head with my own manuscript and issued me a very cryptic and deadpan “Keep writing” which I have yet to decode.

I never even knew I had a way with words until I met White Chocolate in Speech class.

To Be Continued...
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Part 2

Part 1 is HERE if you haven't read it yet.

I did not want to end up 55 years old and still working at a strip club. I did not want to lie to my friends and family and the guys I was trying to date any more and although I needed to be at the Bubblegum Kittikat exactly when I was and although I learned many lessons there about compassion, generosity and acceptance, I knew my time working the door had to come to an end.

Once the 55 year old stripper had told me that when she was 18 she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, but lured by the easy money, which becomes an addiction, she began to dance, always thinking it was temporary – just a few more nights, a few more weeks, maybe another month. But her maybe another month turned into maybe another year and before she realized what had happened, there she was: 55, relegated to day shift, and trying to plaster her face with makeup to trick the customers into thinking she was maybe 35, but for dancers, even 35 is considered old. The 55 year old stripper couldn’t do anything else. She had destroyed what was obviously once a pretty face with desperate, cheap plastic surgery and her greatest skill in life was her ability to move each of her breast implants independently in time to the hip-hop music she didn’t even like. As I sat in my stool by the mirrored front door and watched her flexing her chest to move her deformed, calcified, horribly scarred breasts to the beat of the Notorious B.I.G., I realized that while it was way too late for her that it was not too late for me and then I got up, went in the back office and quit.

My mother had been bugging me to go to school forever. Every single day she said something to me that was annoying and nagging and absolutely true.

“You need an education,” she told me, “You gotta do something with your life.”

Not a single soul in my family had ever gone to college. My sister became the only one of us to ever graduate high school, and I was a horrible student who got in trouble all the time, so I didn’t think I could handle the rigors of college. College was hard. I knew this because when I lived with Evil-Ex he was going to college and it seemed impossible and like something I could never do.

I thought about going to college for a long time but I couldn’t get my act together enough to actually go enroll and it was overwhelming. I didn’t know how to register. I hated teachers. The college wouldn’t accept me. I was older than everyone else there. I would fail. I would have to take math which I was terrible at. I couldn’t even figure out a tip in a restaurant. I went on and on and on with this nonsense, but at least I had taken the first step. I no longer worked at a strip club.

I got a job in an art gallery that only had about five pieces of art. No one ever came in and nothing ever sold, so all day long, because there was truly nothing to do and no other employees and there wasn’t even anything to clean because the gallery was little more than some white walls and wood floors, I sat behind a counter and read books. Sometimes I did the crossword puzzles in the paper, but because I was not smart I could never finish them.

Then I would go home and my mother would nag me some more and tell me that at some point I needed to move out and be able to support myself and a retail job in a gallery that never sold a damn thing was not a useful career that would help me live on my own. I knew this, but I kept reading books.

One day I saw Toni Morrison on Oprah and I was so struck by this regal, majestic, extraordinary human being that I said to myself “I want to be like that too.” Toni Morrison was smart and I wanted to be smart, to be able to articulate gracefully and to sit poised and proud and speak authoritatively in front of strangers. I deduced that if I wanted to be smart like Toni Morrison that perhaps I ought to read one of her books, so I went and bought one and tried to read it, all thinking I was smart now, and then I got about three pages into it and realized that I could not understand a solitary word of what this woman was writing. It sounded kinda good, so I kept on reading and eventually I finished an entire novel, but by the end I still couldn’t say what was going on. It was hopeless, I thought. I was stupid.

Around this time one of my J Dates finally worked out. I met a boy with brown eyes and a space between his two front teeth and this boy was a doctor. He had just finished his PhD, so the boy was very smart and I liked the boy more than I had liked anyone in a very long time. I wanted him to like me back and it seemed he sort of did. Once the boy told me that I was not annoying, and this was and still is, one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. The boy with the PhD and I spent lots of time together. We slurped noodles and listened to Radiohead and kissed all night long and I was constantly in the throes of infatuated bliss, but then the boy and I had to have The Talk. This is the dreaded talk where the relationship has to be defined, and I swore that the boy was going to tell me I could be his girlfriend and that he was madly in love with me, but the boy told me that I could not be his girlfriend and that I was not The One. Some time went by and the boy and I acted, for all intents and purposes, exactly as if we were boyfriend and girlfriend. We did everything that people in relationships do except refer to ourselves as significant others. Had this all happened to the Me that I am now, as soon as those words about not being The One would have come out of the boy’s mouth, my ass would have been halfway down the street already, but as you may recall I had the self esteem of a piss ant, so I took what I could get, and plus the sex was good and he played the guitar.

Several months into this I had read two Toni Morrison novels. I still had no idea what was going on. I can’t remember exactly how this happened, but the boy’s friend may have told me. The boy himself may have let it slip, but somehow I came to learn that one of the main reasons that the boy decided I could not be his girlfriend was because I did not have an education. He felt that because he had worked so hard for so many years to become a doctor, that his soul mate should have done the same. Their accomplishments would bond them. They would be on the same intellectual wavelength. His perfect girl would understand how hard it was for him to finish his PhD because she would have gone through it too. I couldn’t possibly understand because I hadn’t even finished high school. There was also that whole issue of class. PhDs belong to the intellectual elite and I was the academic equivalent of an undocumented migrant worker. I was below peasant class and again I was reminded of all the things I couldn’t do, have, belong to or be accepted by because I was White Trash.

While I felt sorry for myself and the terrible trailer lot in life I had been born into, I read Sula.

To Be Continued Again…
Friday, November 16, 2007

And I Forgot to Add...

...that last night I busted myself in the face with the shower door and now I have a black eye, while earlier in the day I was trying to get something out from under a desk and ended up hitting my head on the desk corner hard enough to make it bleed. I'm not in good shape Dear Readers. People are going to think my husband beats me, but I can assure you that the sweet, gentle man only WANTS to beat me. He doesn't actually do it.

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