Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Christmas message

Time once again with the annual family Christmas letter. I've take over writing this tradition a few years ago after another wildly incorrect letter from Mom. She would write "Lindsay won a marathon", when the actual statement was "Lindsay run a marathon". Anyway, the letter has to be somewhat toned down as the relatives don't have the same appreciation for curse words that I do. Admittingly this is not my best work (I wish it was funny laugh-out-loud instead of just funny ha-ha). Oh and it has been censored to protect identities and future politicians.

Merry Christmas from the [insert surname here]. Actually it should say Happy New Years instead as we have yet again procrastinated.
We are dubbing this year “the year of the baby” as we added TWO to the family. Angela & Brad welcomed a son, Bennett, on August 1st. He is a good baby and smiles with his toothless mouth all the time. Bennett is constantly amusing his parents by showing off how far he can urinate. One time the stream hit him right in the head, and we’ll remind him of that experience when he turns into an awful teenager. The couple remains avid fans of the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball team (I attribute it to the tight pants the players wear).
About a month later, Tiffany& Aaron welcomed their second daughter, Hadley, in early September. Yes Angela and Tiffany were both pregnant at the same time (battle of the belly). Hadley was born a few days after Ava celebrated her 3rd birthday. Ava just learned the word “No” and is putting it to use everywhere. It is hard not to laugh at her when she tries to be so angry. Hadley is, well a baby, so she mostly just stares out at the world and launches projectile spit-ups (okay spit-ups is the nice way of saying baby vomit). Aaron’s Christmas light home display hit a new obsession level as he doubled the quantity of strands for this year’s newspaper making display (giving Clark Griswald a run for his money).
Lindsay continues to live and work in Chicago. She was rewarded for her hard work by being honored nationally as one of the top 40 consulting engineers under the age of 40. Mom attended the awards banquet with her and commented, “whoa, engineers are sure boring”. At least they gave out a plaque for making us sit through the droning speeches. Lindsay’s annual abroad vacation this year took her back to Greece. Unfortunately she had terrible timing and arrived right when the country attempted to declare bankruptcy. Nothing says relaxing vacation like protests, riots, and a transportation strike (which lead to a very exciting yet slightly illegal trip to the airport).
Mom retired in June after 31 years of teaching. It couldn’t come soon enough as she claims the 8th graders get worse each year. She is a full time Grandma now and spends most of her time visiting the kids, oh and substitute teaching every once and while (only when the babies are not available). She also has turned her free time to organizing the bins of memorabilia from the kids and grandbabies. Man, six was a terrible year for us in hand turkeys and coloring.
Dad still enjoys the retired life. His day is a rotation of eating, napping, and watching educational television. He excels at making the grand kids smile and laugh (they really get him) and he is the favorite lap for Ava when she wants to “read” to someone.
We hope all of our friends and family are well this holiday season, and earnestly preparing to break their New Year’s resolutions.

Bennett & Hadley duking it out

Ava as Dorothy for Halloween

Bennett's game day gear

Ava loves her little sister

The three grandkids at Thanksgiving

The three regular kids in August (Tiff is 9 months pregnant)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Who wears short shorts...

I’ve said it before, but Halloween is my favorite holiday. Yes I realize it is mid December and I am writing about October…ah happy memories of warmer times.
Last year I was invited to two fabulous parties. One had us playing charades, which may sound dull but was actually quite fun if you get a bunch of drunk adults together. The game gets even more interesting when you have to act out “whale penis” or “cell phone picture of brett farve’s junk”. Jewed Law made the game interactive by writing up slips involving another guest. Thanks to him, one guy got a lap dance and I ended up sticking my finger in a very perplexed guy’s mouth. The funny thing is that this relative stranger let me put my finger in his mouth once and almost let me stick it in a second time.
The second part was a “mash-up” theme. This means you take two ideas or characters and mash them together. I was dressed as a giant banana with a hammock draped around my shoulders…get it, a banana hammock (or a giant banana hammock because if I was a dude, I would require a big one…oh yeah). Some other good ones were lady ga-ga-zilla, pee-wee Herman Munster, sonic youth the hedgehog, carrot top chef, poison ivy (poison being the rock band), Salvador dolly, finding captain nemo, and my favorite Jiffy Pope. How awesome is Jiffy Pope! His cape was aluminum foil, his scepter cane thing (forgive me I am not catholic, so I don’t know the formal name for everything) instead of a scroll was a stovetop jiffy pop package, and the best part was that his hat (miter I think) was filled with POPCORN! Okay this is sacrilegious, but he would bless people and feed them pieces of popcorn like communion.
The mash up theme party was such as hit, that it was copied for a Halloween party this year. With all the great costumes last year, I had to think a bit to come up with something totally balling. A quick trip to the local thrift store on ½ price day (yes I do know when my thrift store has ½ price days…hey don’t judge, it is a sweet deal and the people watching is awesome) and for about $7 I picked up my entire costume. I purchased a size 50 men’s khaki pants. Holding them up, I had a weight watchers moment…you know when they can fit into one leg of the giant pair of pants. Anyway, I needed the huge pants in order to create motorcycle pants like what George Patton favored. Yep I was going as Patton…Dolly Patton (a mix of Dolly Parton and General Patton). I cut in a waist and leg below the knee to make it fit perfectly. One thing I realized was that men wearing size 50 pants have HUGE asses! The crotch extended down to my knees! Don’t believe me, go wander around the big and tall section in Montgomery Ward. Sewing I can handle, but the hard part was incorporating gigantic balloons into my chest. They were so big I couldn’t see my toes or grasp my hands in front of me. I guess she has gotten used to them over time.
Jewed Law’s costume was much simpler to create. During our paint the condo weekend, he was wearing a really tight pair of jeans. We spent the weekend trading jibes about his tight jeans and how he should audition for the Thunder Down Under male review. Anyway, I wanted to work these jeans into his outfit. The only thing I could come up with was making hot pant a la Daisy Duke. Surprisingly he was down with this (not gay I swear). The first cut I made was about boxer length…then he let me go a little (or a lot) higher. The end result cracks me up even thinking about it. The other part of his costume was some cardboard guns, a cigar, and a red tank top for….Duke Nukem. Finished product = Daisy Duke Nukem.
I don’t know if it was his milky thighs or my riding crop (made from a coat hanger and some electrical tape…I am Mac-fucking-Gyver), but our costumes were a hit. Other witty combos were a zom-bee (half zombie and half bee), the wicked witch of the Northwestern, Jew-do (judo), and a unicorn-on-the-cob (ah ha ha ha…the horn was actually an ear of corn).