Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Right now I'm sitting in my apartment drinking tea, relishing some alone time and trying to eat. I just have no appetite and I can't figure out why. Nothing is appealing. I tried to finish an english muffin and it made me want to gag. I also have to add that this morning I got up with this brilliant idea that I would try something new and see if it inspired me and the something new was a teeny little jar of orange marmalade that I must have taken from a hotel in the past year. You see, I have an obsession with things in miniature so when I see those little ketchups, honeys and jellies I have to hoard a bunch of them. Don't even show me an itty bitty Tabasco sauce - I will completely lose my mind. The thing is that I'll collect all this crap and then I'll never eat it, because DUH, if you eat it you don't have it anymore! But this kind of thinking is stupid and it's what caused my closet to fall down, so I decided to try some orange marmalade. I don't like orange marmalade. I've always put it into the category known as "Foods That Only Old Men Like." Other items in that category include mince pies, black jelly beans, fruit cake, head cheese and those huge smoked sausages that come in gift baskets and don't need refrigeration. I figured I like oranges a lot so I should give the marmalade another shot. I still don't like it. Bleccchhh. I do, however, think I might like it IN something, like a sauce or on chicken maybe.

At this moment I am also anxiously awaiting the instant that every Cuban in South Florida decides to go absofreakinglutely ape shit about Castro resigning. Husband and I made a vow that when he died or resigned or was overthrown that we would seek out the wildest displays of Cuban apeshittery and document it because that is some serious history happening and we are right here to see it. So far I haven't heard of anyone banging on pots and pans in the street just yet, but I have a feeling it's coming. I heard rumors a while ago that if he died they were planning on throwing a gigantic party in a stadium but I have no idea if this is true.

As a honorary Cuban I think I should celebrate too. You guys didn't know I was an honorary Cuban? The honor was bestowed on me by my former roommate. I lived with a Cuban guy for five years (completely platonic, not like that) and he declared me more Cuban than he was. It was partly for how I look but mostly because of my cooking and my strange dependency on a diet of beans and rice. My roommate couldn't fathom the idea that gringas ate that too or that I could cook them as good as his Mama.

In South Florida I've always been around the Cuban culture and having a Cuban roommate for five years, I really do feel a connection with these people and their traditions. My roommate had to escape in the middle of the night with his mother and one suitcase of clothes while his father, who was a journalist and political cartoonist, ended up dying in prison. I know countless other stories like this, and it had always made me so sad that there is this beautiful country just a few hundred miles away that I could never visit because of stupid politics and regimes and nonsense like that. My dad got to go a few years ago and if I can find some of his pictures I will try to post some for you. He was doing a creative project so he got special permission to go. I was extremely jealous.

But enough of that. Nothing's happened yet. Not that I would know because I still don't have TV dammit. It's going to be another week, but at least I have Internet.

I'm also looking out my living room window which faces your stereotypical white trash shack. It's a beautiful view I have to tell you. These people used to have a fence but it fell down in a hurricane and they never put it back up so now I'm treated to a view of all the junk they heap in their weed infested, overgrown backyard. Last week when I got back I noticed that the man of the house had begun collecting what looked exactly like horse-drawn carts. Closer inspection revealed that they were actually some sort of rickshaw-like contraption. There are several of them and some are covered with a tarp. This is why you can really make an argument for the merits of a homeowner's association. This is the exact reason. Rickshaws.

In other news the madness at my parents' house has escalated to levels I haven't seen since late 2005.

After my last post the boat pulled back up and all the pirates came spilling off of it and back into the house and I kid you not, one of them offered me a valium because I seemed nervous. I told you, didn't I?

My parents proceeded to have some semblance of a BBQ except that they hadn't really planned the BBQ and so it became a free for all with the pirates inviting more pirates and then later in the evening some very tan Asian hookers in seven inch platform boots showed up with their kids who sat on the living room floor and watched portable dvd players. I was disturbed.

Here is a rundown of the guests. Some are staying at the house, some were just there for the free for all BBQ.

Norman Hershelbaum - Norman is in the music business and is visiting from New York. Although he is white and clearly Jewish, Norman describes himself as African American and means it. He kind of reminds me of Steve Martin in The Jerk. Norman really believes that he is Black, so much so that when someone tried to fix him up with a white woman he said he doesn't date out of his race. Norman also wears jeans with big green and purple stars made out of alligator skin.

Two Stock Brokers - These two guys were friends of Norman and they were both pretty cute in that Jdate, slick South Florida kind of way. If you went on a date with either one of these guys neither one of them would call you back the next day. You know the type? They would, however, pay for dinner and try to fuck you in the backseat of the car in the restaurant parking lot. Most girls would let them.

Asian Hookers - see above.

Sam Antonio - Sam (62 years old) is staying at my parents' house indefinitely. He is rumored to be a dot com billionaire who made it big in the 90s. He lives in Malibu but is from Texas and he has long white hair. He arrived on the red eye from LA at 5am Sunday and was drunk. He has not been sober since. Sam, having not much to do with his billions has dedicated his life now to the promotion of LaCrosse, which he believes is the next big thing in sports. He is trying to popularize Arena LaCrosse and he has visions of it being as big as football and baseball. Currently he is building arenas and putting together professional LaCrosse teams.

Martine - Martine is Sam's 24 year old pirate wench and owner of the killer chihuahua, Chanel. Martine is platinum blonde and has a prominent boob job. She wore a red bikini with a skull and crossbone pattern and sat with her legs wide open. I'm guessing Sam met her in LA's equivalent to the Bubblegum Kittikat and took her home as a pet. Martine won't eat because she wants to lose 20 pounds. I told her she was skinny enough and she agreed.

"I need to lose weight for a specific purpose," Martine said, sipping champagne.

"Which is?" I asked.

"Well, ok, so like I want to break into acting and I know I can do it because there are like people who hate me. They hate me and think I'm a total fucking bitch and they were still like 'yeah you could totally be an actress Martine.'"

Nice, right? Sadly though I think it's going to take a little more than losing 20 pounds for her to be successful in Hollywood.

Hartley and Peanut - Hartley is Sam's 18 year old son who is taking a year off and Hartley is the absolute best kid in the entire world and he seems to want to stab Martine in the neck with a ballpoint pen. I seriously couldn't believe how sweet, mannerly and helpful, as well as composed, this kid was. And he's adorable in a slightly Emo (no eyeliner though), Abercrombie-ish kind of way. Hartley could make it in Hollywood way before Martine, let me tell you. The sad thing is that Hartley is lost and sad. He hates that his dad is with a drunk, 24 year old stripper with no sense in her head. He said it's an embarassment. Hartley reminded me a lot of myself - the one sane person in a family full of maniacs. I think sometimes the kids of wild, partying parents become very orderly and responsible as a way of handling the chaos. Hartley has totally devoted his life to the care of Peanut, a Pomeranian puppy who is so damned cute that I could bit her head and I have never seen a teenaged boy love a dog so much. It completely made up for the attack chihuahua in cuteness and sweetness and I was able to forgive these people for bringing dogs with them to stay at Casa dei Sogni. I guess it's ok with me as long as the dog is cute.

Colbi-Ann - CA is my mom's Black girlfriend who is gorgeous and never comes over without a pot of collard greens. She was the leader of the 25 black girls who showed up on Thanksgiving (with collard greens) and talked abotu Kim Kardashian's ass. I'm very fond of Colbi-Ann. She came over to see if she could be fixed up with Norman, as they are of the same race and all. I don't know if they made a love connection or not because the Asian hookers seemed to create a distraction.

Uncle Mendel - Uncle Mendel showed up telling us about all of his 20 year old hotties in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He claims that he is being stalked by a former Miss Universe contestant from Peru, but she, at 38, is way too old. Uncle Mendel is in his 70s.

My Orthodox Grandparents Saba and Savta - they seem oblivious to it all by now.

Oswald Vanderwitt - Oswald has been dying for me to write about him. I have no clue how he knows about this blog, but he found it somehow and now he asks me constantly not to write about him in a way that makes it obvious that he really wants me to write about him. Oswald is so interesting that he is going to get his whole own post pretty soon, but for the meantime I will tell you that he is a complete mystery. I don't even know if Oswald Vanderwitt is even his name, and he is currently trying to break into the spirits busines with a revolutionary new product - Viagra Beer. More on this later.

Huge - Huge is the guy who came over last week wearing the shirt that said "I'm Huge." He is not particularly huge, at least not where I can see and he swears by colloidal silver. I told him if he keeps up he'll turn blue. Blue and Huge. Now that would be something to see wouldn't it? No one can tell me anything about Huge. My parents picked him up in LA. They went to Sundance with him. They don't remember where they met him. No one knows what he does. Huge is described only as "the most hooked up motherfucker you ever want to meet." I guess that means that there's a good chance that some of you know him, as he apparently, is rumored to know "everyone."

There were also about 20 more random people and dogs running in and out of the house, but I kind of lost track.

Tomorrow, Uncle Ben-Yusef is coming from Israel, but he deserves a post all his own.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't realize how out of it I am until I read about Huge. I don't know him, so I must really be disconnected.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that made me want a valium! Great job with the descriptions, I look forward to hearing more about the pirates :)
Hope you get to feeling better!
PS -Orange marmalade can make a great Sesame Orange Chicken or shrimp!

Anonymous said...

I freakin' love your blog.

Oh, and Old Man Food? How about Liver and Onions - only the most vile-smelling concoction in the world.

~ Lauren

Anonymous said...

Hey! I like black licorice! And I'm your age! However....I did learn to appreciate it from my grandfather...hmmmm.

I love the posts where you introduce people, they are always my favorites. Glad you are feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Can I please come to your parents' house??? My life up here in the Northeast is painfully dull by comparision.

nicrogers said...

Oh my freaking god! I don't know how you stand it??? lol It sounds crazy. No wonder you are such a gifted writer. The material you have is just never ending. How big is this house anyway? It must be huge!

Please, sometime very soon, share with me your recipe for rice and beans. WHenever I try to make them, they do not taste good. And I love them.

Anonymous said...

Also add Plum Pudding to list of old man eats. It's similiar to mince pie in that it has all kinds of groddy random things in it, and the original recipes actually called for suet to hold the whole thing together. Oh yeah...and don't forget to light it on fire before you eat it so it looks exactly like a flaming pile of dog-poo. Ewwww...

Anonymous said...

There was a Blue Man on the Today show a while back, and he took that collodial silver stuff. He was really blue, and he will stay that way.
Your posts always brighten up my day. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Your family vs. the Pirates & Company.
I couldn't decide who I loved the most. They all seem so charming.

I am with Envylfashionista, can I come over too? I want to check these folks out. But I only coming if you promise to take us for a ride to see the "Crown Royal Car" and the "Pimped Out Ice Cream Truck".

The Merry said...

It just gets better and better... :)

ssztj - the word verification.
Also, coincidentally, the sound made by one hooker scoring more points than her colleague in the high-heels-and-snark competition.

Anonymous said...

I think one sign of entering adulthood is realizing, absolutely, that your parents are insane and you wonder how you ended up so normal.

Been there, done that.


JDogg said...

Seems like I should come over and visit just to take in the sights and sounds.

Anonymous said...

I would so love to live across the street from your parents. A front row seat for the circus that ensues - but a door that firmly closes when I have overdosed on it all.

I too like the cute small samples but unlike you I love orange marmalade when on buttered toast. Scrapple by contrast is a disgusting food that should be eliminated from the face of the earth.

Thanks for another great read.

MP said...

I am SO SO happy your parents came back from California..not that your personal life is boring..it's just that Florida was a bit lost without him.
ps- I'll be surprised if the Cuban population gets excited about Castro..his brother seems just as bad as him. I'm jealous of my Canadian blogger friends that vacation in Cuba..I too would love to visit.
ppss..I'm 41 and black licorice, black jelly beans and Black Jack gum are my favorites!! I think I'm an old soul.

Anonymous said...

Take the marmalade with a little red wine add corn starch and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Drizzle over chicken breasts, over linguine (preferably spinach, very pretty). There you go!

Corianne said...

I love your stories and the descriptions of the colorful cast of characters. :)

I had no idea so many freaks could be concentrated in one place- but then, i've never visited Florida. AZ has its share of freaks, but nothing like what you describe!

Anonymous said...

The more I read your blog the more I want to meet your parents which brings me to an incredible discovery... I must be a FREAK !

Anonymous said...

Daniel - if you read a few posts ago, you would have the fun of knowing there is a house being built across the street which some really awesome black people thought about buying. You could be a very lucky prospect! Look into it and you'd never have to leave your house again for...other than to get food...nevermind, you could either order in or hopefully be invited to an awesomely unplanned BBQ!

UmmFarouq said...

This is hilarious. I could just picture all of the guests.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are pregnant?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous

I do recall that house being built across the street but if I remember correctly the house was described as not being very attractive. I really wouldn't want to live in the ugliest house on the block.

Maybe I should have wished I lived next door or across the fence in the backyard.

Anonymous said...

Daniel - no fence in the back yard as to they are right up on the beautiful waterfront. The house it actually not ugly. I don't think it is....although it could possibly be 30% bigger. That's what probably makes it ugly! Makes sense! :)

Wide Lawns said...

Yeah, the house across the street isn't ugly anymore. They put in some nice landscaping and really fixed it up, so it's a pretty house. It's true there isn't a back fence, but there are side fences!

Yerba Buena said...

Oh man. Nothing in this post didn't make me laugh. It was great.

With the marmalade - mix it with some apricot jam to even out the tartness, then stir in a little horseradish. It's an awesome dipping sauce for coconut shrimp.

P.S. I eat black jellybeans willingly. And I find chopped chicken livers on saltines to be culinary heaven.

Anonymous said...

Wide Lawns,
I love your blog. I've been gone for 2 weeks so now I'm catching up on it.
As for baby shower gifts, I'm going to suggest some practical things. And a couple of frou, frou things that are not as expensive.
First of all diapers. Not baby, newborn diapers, but like diapers for 6 month olds. I suggest a name brand that rhymes with Buggies. Also, I suggest some clothes for 6 months old. You never know how fast a baby grows, so they might be able to wear that adorable newborn outfit for one week and then outgrow it. And wet wipes. Oh my gosh, a case of wet wipes. Not very frou, frou, but they will DEFINITELY be used.
Cloth diapers are another thing that can be used for like the first year. Also baby soap or lotion. I prefer the name brand that rhymes with Byohnson. It's a well trusted brand.
As for semi frou, frou stuff. Baby Einstein is great. Also, you can go online and find organic baby lotions, powders, etc.
But hopefully this can help you give some useful gifts without breaking your bank account! :)

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