Moldy Avocado

I have an avocado in my lazy susan that is just sitting there. It was purchased before Christmas. At the time it wasn’t quite ripe enough. I bought it anyway because I LOVE avocados and can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and DO). It came in a pack of four and I kept opening them hoping that NOW they’d be ripe enough but sadly each one was worse than the last. This last avocado has been sitting there waiting to reach it’s peak but somewhere between Christmas, New Year’s and now, it has gone bad. And still it sits there because I willfully ignore it, sad for a missed opportunity and loathe to make the decision to put it out of it’s misery.

The avocado is an apt metaphor for my life right now. I just got the “thanks but no thanks” letter I’ve been dreading about a job I wanted. I can’t help but feel like the longer I sit on a shelf gathering mold and dust, the less valuable I am. It feels like my expiration date on this particular shelf has long gone by. I really can’t take anymore rejection. Right now, right in this second, I just want to go home.

The funny thing about LA is though that in an hour, I am going to be shooting photos of Billy Idol and Tommy Lee on the red carpet for the opening of Cirque Berserk at the Staples Center. Highs and lows up in this bitch and while excitement is great, I can’t seem to get anybody but the state of California to cross my palm with a dollar bill. It’s. Really. Seriously. Getting. Old.

Maybe I’ll take my 365 Face Project with the red carpet behind me. That might perk me up.

* Also no judging on the Halloween placemats I’ve put down for the cats. I totally forgot to switch them out and never really notice them. I’m usually a lot more picky about these things but can’t seem to muster the strength to be.

A Letter to Me from Me

My friend Jenn just posted on FB that she wrote a letter to herself and sealed it to read next New Year’s Day. I thought that was a great idea so I did the same. I just wrote down how this year went, how I want next year to go and some things I hope happen for myself and everyone around me. It was two pages long and on some creepy-ass stained glass stationary I bought a few years ago. Speaking of creepy, this is the folder I found it in:

I am nothing if not a thrify nerd/maniac. I found that gem (and all of the weird stationary and stickers within) at various NJ dollar stores. Good. Times. And yes that is a unicorn and a castle on my envelope to Future Coleen. I have it on high authority that Future Coleen will appreciate the sentiment and (questionable) wit of affixing these to such a personal document of posterity.

I really wish I could say that I won’t be searing your eyeholes with another post today but I have had three giant cups of tea and MAN am I having a good time. Deal with me, Happy New Year!

P.S. Yes Kristyn, I am going to force you to do this too! We will store them in the Card Moose until next year!

P.S. #2 How about that? I am the first person to add a Richard Marx tag to WordPress!

Happy New Year everybody!

Not to brag (yes to brag) but we had an awesome New Year’s Eve too. Before I get into that, I want to tell you about the package that my sister Christine sent us this week. It arrived on Tuesday but I was at the DMV taking my written tests for my CA Driver’s licence. I failed the first time, read the entire 90 page book, took it again and squeaked by. I’m a licensed CA driver y’alls! (My NJ one expired yesterday and I just only remembered this week so I hopped to it, thank god.)

Anyway, the package came while I was there and then was re-delivered on Wednesday. OMG was it awesome. She sent us all of our favorite NJ foods!!! Rolls from Brother’s Bakery, Bagels from Bagel Bistro, Entenmann’s Crumb Cake (which for some reason they don’t seem to sell here in LA), Bags of Wise Chips (Honey BBQ and Sour Cream and Onion Ridgies), some Scottish stuff (Digestives, Fingers, Smarties and Maltesers) etc. SO GOOD. Also she gave us a copy of the Observer, our town’s newspaper. I don’t know what it is but if you are from Kearny or the surrounding towns you are admittedly or unadmittedly obsessed with that paper. It’s always good for an unintentional laugh and you can always see someone you know’s picture or name in the paper (whether it’s for an accomplishment, a man out on the street, police blotter or obit haha).

She also got us slippers, a book called Girls to the Front and a BETTY WHITE CALENDAR!!!!!! Now you might recall me saying that if I don’t receive this calendar, I will refuse to even open my eyes for the entirety of 2011 because I don’t want to see a year without Betty White in it. Well thank god for some miracles. I was getting a little worried about how I’d manage it. We hugged and high fived over that calendar A LOT. Thank you Christine and Matt!

We’ve been eating through this package since Wednesday. It’s safe to say that all of the rolls and bagels are gone as is most of the crumb cake. We did some damage to the chips and sweets but we still have some to plow through.

So onto New Year’s Eve. Kristyn had to work last year so basically I just counted down with the cats and then went outside to watch the fireworks my neighbors were drunkenly shooting off. This year Kristyn had off so we planned a big dinner! We bought a Tofurkey again and had some potatoes, home-made stuffing, biscuits and pumpkin bars for dinner (thanks again for the Pumpkin Bar recipe Jessica!).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We slept late, got up and had the rest of the rolls and crumb cake for breakfast with giant cups of tea. Then I re-read some of my old Myspace blogs for a project I’m working on while Kristyn cleaned. DAMN she did a great job! Then she got showered and ready while I baked the Pumpkin Bars and made the Cream Cheese Frosting. After that I started on the Tofurkey and Potatoes because I figured we’d be hungry in the hour and a half it would take to bake. I showered and got ready and then we played the Michael Jackson Experience some more.

I tried my hand at making stuffing but it was honestly only a “nice try” haha. I have a basic idea down and I think it will work out better next time. So we ate at around 8:30ish. Because 9pm is midnight on the East Coast, we put on the ball drop and had our countdown at 9. Then we texted all of our family and friends and talked to Kristyn’s Dad on the phone for a while. He said, “Now don’t be calling me at your midnight because I’ll be in bed!” Haha. Duly noted.

After that we fooled around with the Christmas Story temporary tattoos my sister sent us with her Christmas gift. We put them on our wrists and took pictures haha. We played some more MJ and drank some wine and before you knew it, it was West Coast New Year! We totes missed the countdown and we don’t have cable so we didn’t see the ball drop. Suddenly fireworks went off and we looked down and it was 12 on the dot! So we ran outside and watched the fireworks and played with sparklers. I bought these in Montreal in like 2006 or so. I’ve been trying to get Kristyn to play with them since. That and I keep forgetting. So first we played with some poppers, you know those things where you pull the string and confetti comes out? Then we started lighting the sparklers. Turns out Kristyn has never played with a sparkler before and I guess thought they were dangerous. I guess if you put one behind your ear things could get sketchy but I don’t know of anyone who has blown up via sparkler haha. Anyway, we took a million pictures of the sparklers.

Once we went through those, we came back in, put on PJ’s and played Harry Potter LEGO until we were almost falling asleep. We fanciful slept on the couches while watching Buffy. It was a great day.

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The Christmas Monster

This year it feels like Christmas is just passing me by. I guess it’s because we didn’t have to do any Christmas shopping. We’re not in a position where we have enough money to buy people things, let along ship them cross-country. In fact, we’re not even exchanging gifts with each other. Anyway, we’d been stressing about that and just realized we should just, for this year only, call it a wash. Next year I WILL have a job and we will feverishly lavish our loved ones with birthday and Christmas presents, we SWEAR.

But this is our favorite part, buying prezzies for people so Christmas without it is almost TOO unstressful. Like we don’t have to constant fever to pick out the right thing but it leaves a weird present -shaped hole in the holiday season. *sigh*

On the upside of stressing over something that’s not stressful, I have been listening to more Christmas music this season that is healthy for one person. I listen to almost constant Christmas music. Sometimes I listen to so much that I get aggrivated and have to shut it off. I’m doing to myself what people in service industries have done TO them. And Kristyn just found an app recently that lets us listen to NYC radio stations so we have been splitting our Christmas music listening time between LA and NYC’s radio stations. It’s sick and they don’t even play different music for the most part. We originally wanted to listen to New York’s stations because we wanted to hear “Dominick the Donkey” and “Donde esta Santa Claus” but they’re not playing them this year! A Christmas Travesty! We were stunned to learn that these songs are a regional delicacy last Christmas and are flabbergasted to learn that theyre not even being played this year at all. I didn’t even hear the Hannukah song once! (Although I saw Adam Sandler a few months ago.)

What else? Oh I FINALLY just got done with and mailed the Christmas Cards. Yeah it’s the 21st. I have literally been working on them all month long. I told Kristyn that there is no way in the firey pits of Santa hell that she is getting off the hook for writing Christmas Cards next year (but that’s what I say every year and every year she chuckles while my writin’ hand addresses and stamps fourty something cards haha).

One thing that is making me berserk though is that I STILL haven’t hung the Christmas lights on the front window. (Actually the BARS on the front window haha.) This is happening tonight, rain or no rain. I’m about to have a mini-light nervous breakdown over this. Kristyn kind of backs away from holiday decorations because she says I am a control freak about it. She is not wrong. I don’t mean to be but I just come from a family that considers holiday decorations TO BE A VERY SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT AFFAIR WHERE THERE ARE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS TO APPROACH THINGS. Haha. I’m not saying it’s a pretty attribute but it is what it is. BUT the good thing is that we kind of divvy stuff up according to what I MUST CONTROL and what Kristyn likes to do. I have to put the lights and garland on the tree and she hates that so I do it and she reclines. I have a very specific way I like the “base ornaments” to go on the tree while Kristyn likes to put on the specialty ones. And this is where Kristyn goes haywire. IDK whether she does this because it makes me sigh or because she likes it. She actively admits to doing things so I’ll “yell at her”. (FYI this “yelling” she speaks of is a smirk and an eyeroll but she likes it.) Anyway she at some point decided she wanted to put birds all over the tree. She buys one every year (though she hasn’t for the last two). The tree is covered with birds and they’re her FAVORITE to put up. She gets to excited about them so that is her major HAVE TO as far as the tree is involved…that and a set of glittery grapes that I am POSITIVE she only puts on the tree to get me to “yell” at her. Hideous. At least she puts them somewhere towards the back haha.

I am also really picky when it comes to hanging lights around the apartment. For the most part she stays away but she’s taller so sometimes I have to compel her to help me reach things and she does it. What I am not really picky about are the decorations that go around the house and I know she likes to do that so typically while I’m obsessively hanging lights on things, she is placing stuff around the house. There are only a few things that “are supposed to specifically go there”. Hahaha. I’m the Christmas Monster.

BUT don’t feel too sorry for her because she’s always “busy” from December 26th until mid-January and can’t seem to find time to take the decorations down or get rid of the tree. She’s also always very, very busy and can’t possibly put the boxes away. And it’s her birthday in late January so we’re already on “It’s your birthday!” mode so I let it go haha.

So that’s all our Christmas dish for right now. We got a bunch of presents in the mail from family and they’re all under the tree waiting to be opened and being sit on by cats. We have (mostly) decided on and bought our meals for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Kristyn has both off!!! Thank god! Last year she had to work and I was here alone. We both got the short end of the stick because at least I was home but at least she was with people. This year we can celebrate both together!

Okay I gotta go get ready for another job interview. Wish me luckaroonies!

Bits of this, bits of that

Sunset Boulevard this morning on my way to a job interview. It's not a great pic but the sky was cool.

I went on another job interview today for a really cool company.  They do post-production but the position is REALLY entry-level.  I’d like that though because honestly I have been out of the “real work” game for a while that I feel kind of unsteady on my feet.  It would be really nice to start at the bottom and work my way up.  At my last paying job I always felt like I came in at the middle.  It wasn’t an entry level job so there were times that people who had a technically “lower position” knew more than I did about the way things ran.  I mean it was fine because I wasn’t responsible for DOING that work but it sucked because I was responsible for know HOW to do it.  In retrospect, it probably would have been better for me to start at that rank and move up but so it goes.

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Dream House

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Here is the rest of what I was saying:

I know that we will eventually move back to the East Coast. There is a lot about the East Coast that doesn’t suit us but there is a lot about the East Coast that does (namely family and friends and some of the weather and the food and…)

BUT rather than living in NJ again, maybe we can move to NY. We’ve never lived there before so maybe we’d like that better. OR at least we can move to a different area in NJ that is still close to NYC ALTHOUGH NJ is not that big so if you are near NYC, you are basically near where we are from and therefore in a similar neck of the woods. What I DO know that I like is Upstate NY. If there is anyplace on Planet Earth that I would definitely WANT to own property, it is there. It’s beautiful, it smells good, the sky is full of stars, there is a huge amount of open space and trees and grass and hills and water…There are a lot of interesting boarded up houses and farms that are interesting to look at and photograph (and it is rumored that a lot of these properties are going to be restored to their former glory). There are county fairs, drive-in movie theaters and tons of antiquing and thrifting. It’s beautiful. BUT I have also spent two weeks straight up there and after a little while it’s like, “Okay, I feel a little too removed from the world.” So I know I can’t live there full-time but I want it as an option in my life. Also, there aren’t enough job opportunities up there for my taste.

SO the way I think our lives will go is that we will probably eventually buy a small house up there (or just land and build a small house on it) and then rent an apartment in Montclair or NYC. We want to be close enough to NYC so that it’s not a shitty commute but there are things to do and conveniences around. There are NO conveniences in Upstate. Not like in Northern NJ or NYC anyway. Shit shuts DOWN. And the area I like (The Hudson Valley/Catskills) is about an hour and a half to two hours from Northern NJ/NYC. In not much of a time investment, you really feel like you’ve gone somewhere else. It’s simple to drive in a weekend. When you’re there you actually FEEL the shackles of your life coming off of you, the little stressors you didn’t even realize were there until you don’t have them anymore. I just feel like up there, I actually sit down and read newspapers and books and kind of get up out of my chair and DO physical things. Take walks, go swimming, go biking, collect rocks, look for firewood, just kind of rudimentary things that seem like a hassle (or aren’t even an option) to fit into your daily existence but up there are ALL you have to do. No schedule or appointments, just EXISTING for a while. And you don’t have to go to bed at any particular time but you fall into bed EXHAUSTED at the end of the day anyway and wake up at the crack of dawn naturally.

We’ve always gone up there camping in the summer but can’t go up there in the winter because there the heat and electricity gets shut off in the part of the campground where we stay. I feel like if I had my own little house or cabin, it would be nice to go up there year-round. Spend Thanksgiving and Christmas up there. Have Easter egg hunts in the woods. Have a fireplace inside and outside. Maybe have a pool for the summer. It’s just a different world up there. There’s no one around to bother or to bother you either. Also the general lack of visible police is actually more comforting than you’d imagine. First of all, a visible police presence isn’t NEEDED because you’re not in any danger. Second of all, you don’t realize how monitored you feel until you are somewhere that isn’t passed by a police cruiser every ten minutes. I’ve brought people up there who get uneasy because of this. They don’t feel safe that there aren’t police around. But if you really stop and think about it, they’re not there constantly because they don’t need to be. That is nice. (And in the 30 years I’ve been going up there, I’ve never needed a police officer or SEEN anyone need one either. There is a general “live and let live” policy up there where everyone minds their own bidness and respects each other’s stuff/privacy.) Third of all, it is kind of freeing to know that, for one, there aren’t eyeballs on you other than those that belong to the people you have invited. You don’t realize what a stressor that is until you don’t have to worry about it. (Not that I do ANYTHING that is illegal. I am a girl scout but what I am saying is that it’s nice to just be away from prying eyes and left to your own devices sometimes.)

Also, when we used to go camping, we had clothes, towels, toothbrushes and just “stuff” we used there that stayed there all summer. And that “stuff” wasn’t ever pretty or stylish or anything but functional. That “stuff” was always handmade or thrifted and was always fell into one of these two categories “useful” or “fun”. Nothing was “have to”, everything was “want to”. It as a relief to have a space full of things that didn’t hold any ties to “have to”. When you only have your house or your apartment, you don’t know how relaxing it is to have a separate place where ONLY your “want to” things live. And responsibilities DO come with owning such a place because you have to clean it and weatherproof it, etc but even THAT is a “want to”. It’s like a giant craft project and if you involve your family and your friends, it can become a “want to” space for everyone and therefore a craft project everyone can get involved in. Everyone can contribute things that can be used later by everyone like games and toys and puzzles and warm blankets and books etc.

So anyway, that is what I want for myself. And if anything ever happened to my apartment in/near the city, at least I’d have a home to go to. *shrug* As much as I like people, I need a space to get away from people too. And living in such close quarters to other people on other people’s land is just too shaky for me. You never have a sense of ownership or power in your station. But buying a house in even a semi-urban area like where we’re from in NJ stresses me out because that feels like it would be sort of a kick in the ass. You OWN this property and yet you STILL can’t turn your radio up or have a party or not have to hear the person in the next house throw up. Haha. I feel like I would feel too indignant all the time if I owned a house that I didn’t have total control over.

We have to stay here for a few years and work and go to school. Ultimately what I want is to have a job where I make enough money to have an apartment on BOTH coasts. It would be nice to be able to fly back and forth for work and get the best of both worlds but I am dreaming in that respect. But I feel like if I had a house Upstate, I could move West for work if I had to and then our families could get use out of it. We all win, whereas if I owned a house in Montclair, NJ why in the hell would anyone want to take over that house when I’m not there? I mean it’s a cute town but not different enough from anywhere else so that you feel like you’ve gone on vacation. If we had a house in the woods, even when we were out of state, someone else could enjoy it and relax for a weekend or for a week.

So that’s the plan for someday. And I WILL make this happen, mark my words haha.

2005

It was unseasonably warm on December 31, 2004 and me, Kristyn and Amanda had no plans. We decided that this would be the year that we’d brave Times Square for new Year’s Eve. Unlike the thousands who’d arrived to secure their spot at like, noon, we showed up around 7pm. We’d all had to work that day and weren’t interested in finding a way to hold our bladders from noon to midnight in the middle of Manhattan.

Even at 7pm, it was pandemonium. People were EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t even actually GET to actual factual Times Square anymore. All those sections were LONG taken and closed off by the NYPD.

We entered a maze of areas sectioned off with metal police horses. In each area, there was a set of police officers. You had to show your ID to the officers if you wanted to advance to the next level. It was so weird.

We finally got to the section we’d be in for the rest of the night. When I say it was “unseasonably warm”, it was probably 45 or 50 degrees outside, which is pretty warm for New Year’s Eve.

Because I have no sense, I took this to mean that it was beach weather and wore a flimsy jacket. I mean it IS still December/January and it IS still NYC and it IS still winter so I don’t know what I was thinking. So we spent a lot of time concocting ways to make our bodies fit in such a way that we were all always siphoning heat off of one another. There was nothing better to do.

It was weird to be in that caged up like that. You weren’t allowed to leave at all and if you really really HAD to leave for one reason or another, you’d probably never find your way back because of the elaborate (and necessary) screening process you have to endure on the way in. So we just willed ourselves not to urinate. We noticed that there were food vendors cleverly selling pizza and other things from the sides of the cages. Naturally we threw ourselves at the screaming melee of people and ordered a pizza. There were pizza boxes fng EVERYWHERE. We even scooped some of them up so sit on so we wouldn’t have to sit on the cold ground.

In front of us were a bunch of Norwegian tourists. They really made us happy. They were just so joyous and excited. If not for them, our moods would have soured with a quickness because unlike most New Year’s Eves, there are no couches to sit on, no champagne to sip, no hors doeuvres to much on. It’s just you, a cardboard box, the NYPD and a thin jacket.

After five HOURS (I don’t know how the “noon people” do it), it was time for the ball drop. We could see the back of it as it dropped but not for its entire trip down. As it got toward the “3…2…1” position, the buildings covered it up. Such is life. In the distance, we saw a ton of confetti rain down on the crowd. In our area, we were confetti-free, woo.

So basically immediately after the ball dropped, the entire crowd about-faced and started walking toward the train stations. So, we followed suit. We got back home probably about an hour later and didn’t want to go to bed yet. So, we decided to go to the Loop Lounge.

We’d bought “2005” sparkly glasses on the street in NYC and were still wearing them when we accidentally cut off an entire line of people waiting to get into the Loop. We literally sailed right in like we owned the place. The bouncer knew us and just let us go. We didn’t find out until later what we’d done. We were stone cold sober, just idiots. He’d been holding the line and letting people in as other people left so as not to overload the place and here comes our asses…OMG.

Inside, people were dancing and having a good time. We got some beer and started dancing too. Some gal was wearing a gigantic dunce cap that said “2005” on it. She approached me and asked if she could wear my glasses for a little while in exchange for her allowing me to wear her dunce cap. Of course, I agreed, thinking it would be a “little while”.

I was keeping an eye on her because I didn’t want her walking off with my glasses. I’d sat on the ground for five hours in NYC and probably had hemorrhoids now to earn those glasses. I lost track of her and got really pissed off at myself for letting that happen. BUT THEN.

I saw her in the crowd. She saw me see her and kind of tried to skirt away. I grabbed her arm and asked for the glasses back. She suggested that we keep the trade as it is. I told her that I went to Times Square and bought those glasses. They’re a keepsake and I want them. She actually told me that she knew that’s where I’d gotten them and had hid from me the entire night hoping I’d get drunk and forget so she can keep them. I snatched them away from her and plopped that stupid dunce cap back on her head. Haha…Shit.

Times Square!

A little later that month, George H. W. Bush was going to be sworn in for his second term. Like I said in my last blog, me and Kristyn were mad as hell and we weren’t gonna take it! We had enough bees in our bonnets that we decided to drive down to DC and protest the shit out of that inauguration and that is exactly what we did.

Krissy and Riot Police, haha.

We stayed in Bethesda, Maryland and took the Metro into DC on the day of the inauguration. It was craaaaaaazy there! Speaker systems everywhere broadcasting news coverage of the event. Barricades up everywhere. Riot Police on motorcycles, on horses, on foot. Protestors, revelers, families, DC Fat Cats. It was incredible.

And it was COLD. Oh my LORD was it cold. BUT we had bugs up our butts and we weren’t happy about it so we braved the cold so’s we could use our right to dissent in the form of a middle finger to the Commander in Chief. (Any Bush lovers reading this, settle down because if you could give President Obama the finger you’d revel in the opportunity especially in such a heated election as this had been.)

The crowd was crazy and super tense. The GWB fans were holding three fingers up in righteous indignation at the protestors’ signs. Me and Kristyn hadn’t thought to make any signs so we found some posterboard and scribbled some shit on it, haha.

So earnest.

There were like Puppets of George Bush, posters claiming all kinds of things like that Bush was responsible for the downturn in the environment (which he is) and that he is responsible for trying to tear down women’s rights (which he is) and that he is responsible for starting a war we can’t win (which he is) but whatever I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s just say it was interesting to see and leave it at that.

Some of the protestors were ridiculous and made us cringe. Like why would you riding unicycle in a clown suit while banging a drum make the Republicans say, “Oh they DO have a point there, don’t they?” That’s the kind of zealot I can’t stand…the ones who are there just to soak in the chaos of the moment and act a fool. Whatever.

I wanted to run through this banner so bad.

The FUNNIEST part though was the DC Fat Cats though. Here we all are, jammed into our winter coats, thermal underwear under our clothes, scarves covering our mouths and noses to keep warm. And here comes the Fat Cats. The men were decked out in tuxedos with calf-length expensive black wool coats and cravats. The women had ankle-length gigantic fur coats. You couldn’t have created a more divisive statement if you WANTED to.

So we got us a spot right on Pennsylvania Ave a couple of blocks down from the White House. There were sharpshooters on the top of all of the buildings. Decked out in all black, you could sometimes see their silhouettes when they stood closer to the edge of the building to get a better vantage point. It was terrifying.

We were on the sidewalk and in front of us, FACING us, were a line of Riot Police in total Riot Gear (with even the face shield). There was a divider but they wanted to make absolutely SURE that nothing happened to the motorcade and therefore stood watching us. It was definitely extremely eerie.

We’re standing there people watching and taking pictures. The crowd is largely chanting anti-Bush sentiments on and off. At this particular moment however, the crowd had settled down. There was a girl who’d been standing in front of us for a while. In a split fng second she was completely naked save for a pair of underwear. I don’t know how she did it or what it meant but one minute she’s standing in winter gear in front of the Police and the next minute she is naked and being lifted up and over the divider being naked arrested. It was awesome and I am so glad I caught a picture of it.

Clothed not a second prior.

As the motorcade started approaching, there were either three fingers or one finger stuck up on the air depending on which side of the party lines you fall on. Typically the President will get out and walk that last stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue where we actually were but not this time. The tension was too thick and it could not be risked.

I have to tell you, although I admit that it was immature, it was really, really awesome to be able to protest the inauguration like that. It didn’t change a damn thing but for sure, but it sure was nice to make a point.

At this time, Kristyn had like psychic lightening fingers. She was constantly finding us weird, cool shit to do at a moment’s notice. Somehow she found out that the cast of “The L Word” were having their premiere in NYC. We HAD to go just to see them and take pictures. It was pretty awesome and we got really close to the cast. I can’t find all of the pictures but we took a picture with Alice (Leisha Hailey), stood very close to Rosie O’Donnel and her wife as well as Tina (Laurel Holloman). We got pictures of Sandra Bernhard and even talked to Gloria fricking Steinem for a hot second! I saw her and tried to take her picture. She said, “What’re you taking a picture of me for? I’m just a publicist…” My FOOT.* But what was most awesome was that Kristyn got to take a picture with Shane (Kate Moennig). SO exciting! Oh AND, if you ever thought for one second that Jennifer Beals was just “alright looking”, you are WRONG. I thought she was just “eh” until I saw her in person. “Statuesque” is the word I’d use for what she looks like up close. “Stunning” is another word. Damn, good for you Jennifer Beals!

Kristyn and Shane AKA Kate Moennig

Bette AKA Chick from Flashdance AKA Jennifer Beals

* I think it was this same year that we got tickets to go to V Day event at the Apollo Theater. Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Rosie Perez, Marissa Tomeii and a coupla other gals were there. It was so awesome. Michelle Branch played a rendition of “Wild Horses” on the piano that made me cry so hard! It was awesome.

Probably between 2004 and 2005, we had gotten heavily obsessed with a memoirist named Laurie Notaro. Unless you hate yourself and don’t like laughing, READ HER BOOKS. They are beyond hysterically funny. We both worked at a publishing company at this time and drove to work together. We used to read her books aloud to each other on the way to and from work and just cry laughing. Start with The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club and go from there. SO good.

Anyway, Kristyn’s psychic magic fingers found out that she would be doing a reading and then a signing at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square so we were THERE. She was so nice and so funny and it was a total honor to meet her.

Kristyn, Me, Laurie Notaro

THEN Kristyn’s favorite band, Sleater-Kinney, came out with a new CD, “The Woods”. I liked Sleater-Kinney at the time but I didn’t LOVE Sleater-Kinney at the time. After seeing them live a couple times, I totally do. BUT being that I wasn’t star-struck, I was like, “Hey Kristyn, lets get our pictures taken with them.” She was like, “Oh no we can’t do that, now way, please omg, yes let’s do it, not let’s not I don’t want to piss anyone off.” I was all, “What’re they gonna do, shank us? They say no, we just scram.” So like the naturally annoying person I am, I asked them for a picture and this is what happened.

Carrie was the sweetest and I’m glad because I read a blog that she does for NPR and I’m glad I can read it knowing she is a legitimately nice person.

Me, Carrie Brownstein, Kristyn

Corin was really, really friendly too!

Me, Corin Tucker, Kristyn

Janet was a little annoyed at us frankly, haha. She wasn’t annoyed to take the picture necessarily but she BECAME annoyed with us (understandably) when we wouldn’t stand still for the picture. She stood on the right side of me which would have made the picture be her, me, Kristyn. Since SHE is the person of interest in the pictures and since Kristyn is the bigger fan, I wanted her to be in the middle. So I started kind of playing musical chairs like running around her because the more I moved, the more she moved until she was basically like, “Will YOU cut it out?!” Haha. I was like, “Yes I will but you have to please stand HERE.” So yes I managed to turn a celebrity photo op into an episode of the The Benny Hill Show but we got our picture and she got to get away from us. Everybody wins!

Me, Janet Weiss, Kristyn

2005 was also the year that we met the Gossip which I outlined in a previous post and will not bore you with again. Still, I had to add a picture because it was awesome.

Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie

We did other things apart from meet celebrities but not much. We were working pretty hard at this point and dealing with bunny drama for much of this year.

Did you know that the gestation cycle of a rabbit is 30 days? Also, did you know that they can be impregnated immediately following birth or even while pregnant? Were you aware that rabbits can become pregnant OR impregnate a rabbit oh, almost immediately? Yeah us neither.

THIS is how we ended up with twelve rabbits. Despite our best efforts, Little ended up pregnant, three separate times. I mean guys, we made cages for them in separate rooms, padlocked the cages and STILL put a gate up between rooms and Biggie was still able to tap that ass.

Long story short (too late), we ended up having to spend much of 2005 finding homes for rabbits. We gave them to people we knew and worked closely with the Humane Society in Lyndhurst to find them homes as well. Actually, one of the rabbits is living at NYU’s Rusk Center for Rehabilitation. He is an on-site rabbit who is there to be petted by and played with by children and adults with physical or mental disabilities. I went to see him last year and I could *swear* he knew who I was. I wanted to bring him home!

It was really rough parting with all those little guys. They were soooo cute BUT it was also REALLY rough caring for all of them. Once rabbits reach a certain age, they cannot be together anymore. Rabbits will fight to the death if you keep ones that don’t get along together.

Also, not all of them survived. On Little’s second pregnancy, we counted the babies in the morning and the sum total was six. When we went back and counted again, there were only four. Wha-wha-wha? We had no idea what could possibly have happened and prayed that we wouldn’t come upon a bunny zombie later on.

WELL on Little’s third pregnancy, we DEFINITELY found out what happened to the bunnies we couldn’t find. She’d recently given birth to some babies that all seemed healthy but she’d done it on the top floor of her cage. I found one of them on the floor. She must have given birth and it must’ve just fallen through the cracks. WELL, initially he looked fine but we eventually saw that his hind legs were atrophied. They were stuck out straight, kind of dark and totally useless. We like animals that are disabled so we LOVED him immediately. One night, I was sitting in the kitchen with the bunnies. I had him in my hand when Little hopped up. She started sniffing him and I held him out thinking she might groom him. Bitch actually BIT OFF a section of one of his legs!!! WHAT?! I couldn’t even look at her. Both of us were SO DISTURBED and immediately separated him from the pack. Clearly we were dealing with a mini lop-eared psychopath.

Little plotting her next kill.

We soon found out that rabbits eat their young if something is wrong with them.  This is another prey mechanism for protecting the whole of the family.  They can sense if there is something inherently wrong with their young like if they’re sick or damaged and in order to leave zero trace of the rest of the babies, they just eat’m up.  “What baby?”

Separating this little guy from the pack posed a problem though because it is vital that a rabbit feed from its mother when it’s born. It’s chances of living are 0% to 0% when they’re that young. They need to drink from the mother but also, and this is sort of gross to hang onto your cookies…The mother begins producing poopies called “cecotropes”. Typically bunny duts are just little hard balls of like hay or whatever. The cecotropes are a little different in shape and consistency and are SERIOUSLY infused with vitamins and minerals that are absolutely vital to a rabbit’s health. I mean, I spose you could stuff a poopie in the rabbit’s pie hole but I don’t think that’s how he wants to eat it. And you CAN buy synthetic kitten milk and feed it with a bottle but that’s not really useful for the rabbit so much as it is for you feeling better about not letting it starve to death.

So we named him “Stumpy” and were hoping for a full recovery. We’d already decided that should Stumpy pull through, we’d keep him and make him our favorite pet. We wanted to lavish him with a little bunny wheelchair and laugh at him as he tooled around our apartment. We made him a bed in a shoebox filled with towels. We woke up in the morning and found that Stumpy had taken the first Haley-Bopp comet out of town and would see us in another lifetime. *Sads*

So we wanted to give him a proper Viking burial but no one had a boat or flaming arrows to speak of. So we went to Amanda’s house and decided to bury him amongst Amanda’s sundry ex-pets on the side of her house. We brought little Stumpy in his box and each took turns digging the small grave. We’re all lapsed Catholics so we read a passage or two from the Bible and “lowered him into the ground”. Amanda started filling in the hole and wanted to make sure that nothing could dig it up because her cats are outdoor/indoor and there are a lot of strays in the area. In her zeal to make sure Stumpy’s grave would be untarnished, she forgot the reverence of the moment and started taking the shovel and BASHING it into the dirt over and over again, intending to flatten it down. The sight of Amanda wielding a shovel so VIOLENTLY at a bunny funeral had me and Kristyn questioning her sanity and laughing hysterically.

That Spring, we came home one night and for no damn reason at all, Biggie was dead. In order to keep him away from Little, we’d taken to separating them in cages, in separate rooms with a gate between the rooms. Still, he was always finding ways to break out of his cage and get into the kitchen. SO we started piling things up in front of the gate to save Little and ourselves any further grief. In our enthusiasm to help the situation, we probably inadvertently caused Biggie’s death. We found him in the kitchen. He must have just died. I think he probably tried to jump over the obstacle, got caught on something and broke his back. Rabbit bones are hollow and therefore extremely easy to break. SO, we had another funeral on our hands. This time, we buried him in Kristyn’s parents’ yard. Again we had another little ceremony.

One good thing that DID come out of Biggie and Little’s union was Moe.  He was one of the ones we were SUPPOSED to get rid of but ended up keeping.  He was beautiful and huge and VIOLENT.  He was the leader of the pack and had not only attacked all of the other rabbits but also once accidentally bit Kristyn’s FACE.  I had to take her to the doctor for a tetanus shot and while she was there, she accidentally flashed her derrierre off to all of the nurses.

Moe in a bookcase.

But bad news comes in threes so naturally, and I knew it was almost Mitten’s time to hang up her hat. I knew that I wanted to get another cat IMMEDIATELY following her death because I just couldn’t imagine living without her and wanted a distraction. We went to Petco on Route 3 and they were having a pet adoption fair. When we approached, there was this little kitty that looked EXACTLY like Mitten from behind. When she turned around, we saw that she was missing one eye. She was so sweet and so pretty and we LOVED her. I said, “If we didn’t have Mitten, I would have adopted that cat today.”

Two weeks later, in the span of a week, she stopped drinking, stopped eating and lost a ton of weight. I was holding out hope for her to rally but really I knew that this was probably it. On Friday night, we came home from work and Mitten was on the armchair. She jumped off of it to greet us like she always does but when she hit the floor, she collapsed. Her forehead was extremely stiff and we were SO freaked out. I called my mother in hysterics and she came over. My mother is a nurse and told me that Mitten was just dehydrated and this is what happens to people and animals when they’re dying sometimes. It was an extremely stormy night and I wanted to go put her to sleep immediately because I couldn’t take the thought of her suffering. My mother pointed out that she wasn’t suffering at all and I realized that that was true. She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t in pain. She was looking up at me with love. If we’d gone out into the storm, it would have been nuts because it was like, flood conditions outside. So my mother gave me some money, told me to wait until morning and just to keep her comfortable. I’d hoped she’d pass away over night like I always wanted her to. When we woke up the next morning, she was even worse off and it was time to go. She was clearly uncomfortable now and couldn’t move. She followed me with her eyes but I could see that she was ready to go. We put some soft beach towels in a box and laid her on top of them. In the car, I petted her and we listened to soft music. The last song that played before we got out of the car was “Modern Girl” by Sleater-Kinney. The refrain of that song is:

My whole life
was like a picture
of a sunny day

My whole life
looked like a picture
of a sunny day

I am crying now thinking about it, ugh. We brought her inside and were brought into a room. The vet tech was immediately sympathetic because she’d had a little Tortie herself who’d passed. The doctor explained what was going to happen. I sat there petting her and staring into her eyes as she passed. She knew she was loved.

I’m so glad it happened like this. I’d always hoped that when she died, she’d go at home, in peace. But honestly, in all likelihood, she would have been alone because that is the nature of cats, to go hide and die alone. Instead, she told me that it was her time and I got to hold her hand and comfort her as she went. It was perfect.

I love you Mitten!

After that, we immediately went to a couple of shelters. Kristyn suggested that maybe we wait but I didn’t want to. Mitten meant a LOT to me and her loss would create a HUGE hole in my life that I really, really didn’t want to face. Plus there are a lot of kitties in this world that need a home TODAY. Why not let one little guy or gal do double duty and make us both happy?

At work that week, when Mitten was still winding down, suddenly the name “Edith” had popped into my head. I love me some “All in the Family” and ESPECIALLY Edith but hadn’t seen the show in a long time. BUT that name popped up and I knew I was looking for Edith.

We went to a couple of shelters and met a few ADORABLE cats who were all contenders but not quite Edith. None of them felt right. At the end of the day, Kristyn said, “Why don’t we go back and see if that one-eyed kitty is still there?” We did and as soon as we saw her again, I was like, “THAT’S EDITH!!!” We signed the paperwork but couldn’t take her home for another two weeks.

This pictures sums up Edith. She's a tough broad who deals with my craziness with grace and hilarity.

In the meantime, we decided to have a funeral for Mitten. She’d been my best friend, sister and advisor for 18 years and deserved a proper sendoff. We invited our friends, cleaned the house and prepared a spread. All funerals have the “after funeral eating times” so we figured we should provide the same. Also, for no damn reason, we bought a shit load of cat bobbleheads from the dollar store to give out as souvenirs. Bad taste I know but you love it. The BEST part was that I made a kitty litter cake which basically looks like this:

So delicious, so disgusting.

Here’s the recipe:
http://thekoolaidmom.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/read-a-thon-go-eat-kitty-litter/

Oh and it’s delicious even if it did shock and anger our guests, haha.

It was rough going with her at first bc a) she’s come from an abuse situation and doesn’t trust humans or other animals and b) I was used to having a cat who wanted almost too much of my attention, not one who wouldn’t let me touch her. So it was kind of heart-breaking at first, actually HAVING a cat but not being allowed to interact with said cat.

But she’s come a long, long way. She still hates cats but she looooooves her some humans. She lets me pick her up, she lets me pet her and she’s such a happy little girl. She IS a total weirdo though. She tends toward sudden violence, she hisses at everything and doesn’t like to move around if she doesn’t have to. We learned quickly to laugh at the hissing and violence because it’s all just drama. And we basically had to FORCE her to enjoy being petted and picked up but tough titties on that. You WILL be loved and you WILL like it…and she does.

I think that’s enough for 2005. It was a crazy year. I made a helluva lot of vegetarian empanadas in 2005. Also my brother gave me a lamp that said, “Bitch” on it for Christmas and I cried but now I think it’s funny. Also we had a huge snowstorm and my brother walked to our house in the middle of the night in shorts and socks to come play board games with me, Kristyn and Christine, haha.  Oh and I realized I was bisexual in 2005. Oh I also slipped on a patch of ice and broke a bottle of wine in 2005 which sucked. Oh and we went to an anti-nuclear war rally in 2005. AND we marched in some protest that I can’t even remember what it was for and got mixed in with a section of Communists.

Like I said, 2005 was a radical mess, haha.

2002

2002 was one of our craziest years yet. We had such a good time this year that it was incredible. To start off the year, I was working at The Bagel Bistro in North Arlington, which I absolutely HATED. Thankfully, my friends Mildred and Charles got me hired at the Fairfield Inn which was awesome. I moved from my Aunt Heather’s house to Amanda’s House. Much thanks to my Aunt Heather, cousin Brianna, Amanda and Mr. and Mrs. DePalma for taking me in. I know I was a handful and I am forever in your debt…

Livin at Amanda’s House.

We started hanging out at the Loop Lounge and at Dingo’s Den a lot. Dingo’s was fun because there werecouches but it was always ear-splittingly loud up in that piece. Still, we managed to eek out a good time.

Amanda, Kristyn, Me, Anthony, Erin and Lauren at Dingo's Den.

We suddenly got into No Doubt this year and went to their Rock Steady tour. It was general admission and we were hella close to the stage. It was awesome and we all walked out with crushes on Gwen Stefani although Kristyn spent a lot of the concert pressed up against someone who smelled like cat urine but that’s another story.

Gwen Stefani!

A few months later, we went on a cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas and the Bahamas. Kristyn’s sister Lynn and her now-husband Tommy were getting married and wanted to do it cruise style. Oh my god, what a great idea that was! Probably like 20 people went, we all had fun on the ship, got to get off and visit the islands, the ceremony was on the beach in St. Thomas and they got off in the Bahamas for their honeymoon. It was a great time.

In San Juan, we got off the boat and walked around the harbor. It was beautiful there and the architecture was amazing. We found out that you’re allowed to drink in public so we all bought cans of beer in a store. But while in the store, we found out that you can drink them in public but you have to drink them in the store. What?! Haha, no problem. We slammed them in the store and then went wandering around. I got a little dizzy at the port because of the size of the ships. The ships are probably like ten stories high, I’m not even joking. And parked close together, it’s like walking down a ten story high hallway. Oh my god even thinking about it makes me want to faint. And we got hungry so we went to a restaurant thinking we’d get some good Puerto Rican food. Nope, for some reason we found the only American Baseball-themed MEXICAN restaurant in San Juan. It was crappy Mexican food too. We get back on the ship and find out that there is a HUGE party on the main deck. Food and drinks for miles. Ice sculptures, music, dancing…it was incredible.

Me and Amanda dancing with Pineapple drinks!

We're in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the boat.

We were supposed to stop next in St. Maarten I think. On the ship, in your room, there is a tv station that shows you what is going on outside the boat. There are cameras on the side of the boat and if you’re moving, you see the water moving. If you’re stopped, you see that the water is flat. We were expecting to be docked already but instead saw moving water. The captain came over the loudspeaker and told us that we couldn’t stop at the port for some reason or another so “Free drinks on the main deck!” Well alright. Some day I’ll post the pictures of what happened that day and you will love it. For now I can’t find them so you’ll have to suffer in suspense.

BUT we went to St. Thomas and it was loverly. I think that is where we are below:

I think I was tryin to make it seem like the water was deep and that Kristyn was walking on top of it but I don't know for sure.

We also had a lot of time to kill on the boat. Stops at ports were only so long. For the most part we were at sea. This day we went and played Bingo. I won $197. It was awesome.

Me and Amanda on the Ship.

On ship dining was a hairy experience. Oh the food was good, definitely. You had your choice of whatever you wanted to eat every minute of the day. They had a breakfast buffet, then shortly following, hot dogs and burgers by the pool, then lunch, then dessert, then soft serve, then appetizers, then you could have dinner in the formal dining room, in any restaurant you wanted or delivered to your room. All of it was included in the price of your cruise ticket. It was bananas. So we wanted to eat in the formal dining room at first because they serve you like eight courses. So we thought that was fancy and awesome. We were seated with a family though (who actually were with our party, sorry Lynn) who forgot who we were every night, haha. They introduced themselves and asked us who we were and what we did every single night. They made constant racist jokes. And they called each other fat every other minute. “Really dear? Do you really NEED that?” “Oh my GOD, why don’t you have a little bread with your butter…” “Oh I’m gonna be so bad and finish this corn.” After a while we were like, “Okay, nevermind” and ate in our room. BUT we liked our waiter and took a picture with him for posterity’s sake.

Us with our Waiter. He reminded us of Simon, Amanda's cat.

In 1999, I had interviewed for and gotten hired to do an internship at Walt Disney World. For various reasons, I decided not to do it and that I missed that opportunity really nagged at me. I decided that I would interview again and if I got it, I was definitely going this time. Kristyn interviewed too and we decided come hell or high water that we’d do it. Well we were both accepted and lost our nerve. BUT after a lot of mutal back-patting, we took the plunge.

We left for Florida in late August/early September. We got to Newark Airport and almost missed our flight because we were enjoying some Pretzel Dogs at Wetzel’s Pretzels. I shit you not. They were closing the gate. They’d been calling for us for a half hour and we plain didn’t hear it. Idiots.

Ooops.

We had Mitten with us in a carry-on case. My parents sold their house and there was no where for Mitten to go. My friend Karen lives in Orlando so she offered to let Mitten stay with her while we were at Disney. You’re supposed to keep pets under the seat but I took her out and she sat on our laps for the entire flight and was a good girl. There was only one little incident that was totally my fault. I put her carrier on top of our suitcases at Orlando Airport and then accidentally knocked it off. Her carrier, naturally, landed upside now. Mitten, thankfully, was unscathed but nonplussed.

We got to Orlando a week early to kind of settle in and chill with Karen. It was weird because we had no idea where we’d be living or who we’d be living with. We really even only had a vague idea of where we’d be working. We were going to be given our assignments when we got there.

I miss you Mitten!

On the morning of our checkin at Disney, we got on line and ended up rooming with the four girls on line next to us, haha. Jamie, Mandy, Lynzi and Regina. Me and Kristyn got our own room, Regina and Mandy stayed together and Jamie and Lynzi shared a room. We really lucked out because there were tons of stories of roommates like physically fighting and hating each other. We all got along great!

As for our work assignments, I was to work in Attractions at the Magic Kingdom. At first I worked as a Fast Pass Operator (don’t ask) in Fantasyland. I worked specifically at the Winnie the Pooh ride, Peter Pan and the Haunted Mansion. Later on, they moved me to Mickey’s Toontown Fair and I worked at Minnie’s House, Micky’s House, at a place where you greet characters and the Barnstormer, a children’s roller coaster. I also got to do Parade Crowd Control in the front of the park which is what I’m doing in this picture below. At Micky’s House, I got to meet Ricky Martin (I almost fainted bc like a year before me and Amanda had cultivated a huge Ricky Martin crush and even spent $80 each to go to his concert, haha) and doing crowd control, I saw Gary Sinise (I almost died bc Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies).

Me in my rain gear and "costume" at the Magic Kingdom.

Kristyn worked as a hostess/line server at Restaurantosaurus, a restaurant in the Animal Kingdom. She hated it because she had to stand on the fry line and came home caked in grease every day, haha. BUT in the mornings, Restauranosaurus was a character breakfast and she got to see all the characters and greet the guests and give them a spiel about how Donald Duck evolved from a Dinosaur into the Donald you see today, haha. And her costume was by far the craziest which made it the most awesome.

Kristyn in her "costume" at Restaurantasaurus in the Animal Kingdom.

We soon got to know our roommates and had a great time. Below, Mandy is teaching us how to shotgun beers to varying success. I still don’t have the hang of it seven years later.

Mandy, Mandy's boyfriend (at the time), Me, Jamie

Mandy, Me, Kristyn, Jamie

Around Halloween, Disney goes crazy. The parks are awesome. The Magic Kingdom does a nightly Halloween party that lasts all through the end of September through the beginning of October. They have the Headless Horseman ride through the park. There are fireworks every night. The characters are all dressed up in Halloween costumes. One of the coolest parts is that they have candy stations set up all over the park so everyone can go trick or treating. I volunteered to work at one of these stations. I got put in front of the Teacups. I had to dress like the Four of Hearts every night with some dude. Honestly, it sucked. Halloween in Orlando is like 85 degrees +. I had to wear a red turteneck, white pleated khakis, a giant felt card and that giant red heart on my head. Nightmare city. Kind of fun in retrospect but ONLY in retrospect, haha.

Me and some dude dressed as Hearts in front of the Teacups.

We decided to have a Halloween party at our apartment. We didn’t know a ton of people so not a lot of people came but we managed to have a great time regardless. We invited Karen, her boyfriend at the time and her brother. Also some people came and brought friends. Me and Kristyn had been going through a serious “Gone with the Wind” phase at the time and talked about that book to anyone who would listen. So, naturally, we cornered some girl we didn’t know and started making long soliloquies about Scarlet’s impishness and Rhett’s sexiness, blahblahblah…we’re going on and on when the girl offhandedly says, “Oh, Margaret Mitchell was my Great-Great-Great Grandmother”. In case you don’t know, Margaret Mitchell WROTE Gone with the Wind. It was all the f over at that point. We started like asking if we could touch her and then touching her without her permission. We wrote down our phone number on little scraps of paper and stuck them in her pockets. We demanded that we hang out with her all the time. We high fived a bunch of times. It was out of hand. Before long, Margaret Mitchell’s great-great-great Grand-daughter remembered that she had to get up early. She yawned and said, “I’m definitely going to call you!” and left. We never heard from that girl again. I wonder why.

Regina, Kristyn, Mandy, Lynzi, Jamie, Me

We didn’t make a lot of money so we couldn’t really go out to too many places. We made like $6 an hour and then had like $70 taken out of our checks per week for rent. So basically we had like $30 or $40 after taxes with which to buy groceries and have a good time. So we had to kind of be careful with what we did with our money. But, we did manage to get out on the town a coupla times. Mainly when we wanted to have fun, we went to Pleasure Island, or “PI” as the locals called it. On Thursdays we could get in for free and there was a free bus to get there so we would get bombed and go dance our asses off. We also had free access to all the parks and resorts so we spent a lot of time going on rides and taking buses and trams to weird Disney Resorts and Parks you probably don’t even know exist. It was hella fun.

Us and our boyfriend Rocky.

From November to January, all the parks get decorated for Christmas. If you think Halloween is awesome, you haven’t seen Christmas. Oh. Ma. God. They make it snow! There are separate parades for Christmas, all the characters are dressed for Christmas…it’s gorgeous. At MGM, they have an area that is all sets. Like one set looks like New York City, etc. Well in this area, they have it crazily lit up with Christmas lights. And they give you these glasses that make each individual light look like a thousand tiny angels. It was AMAZING.

The pictures below were taken on Thanksgiving Day. We are wearing the glasses in the first picture and dying from food coma in the second because we made the hugest Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever seen. It was disgusting and amazing.

Amazing glasses.

Me and Jamie'd had enough.

Then our friends and my family came to visit! I couldn’t find pictures of my Mom, Dad and Charles visiting but below are pictures of my sister Christine, Amanda and Bernice visiting. Bernice actually moved to Florida at this time and only just recently moved back to NJ!

Bernice, Amanda, Me, Minnie Mouse, Christine and Kristyn

Christine, Mickey Mouse and Kristyn

We had such a great time. We were able to get everyone into the parks for free!

Bernice and me on one of the trams.

Bernice, Me, Christine, Karen, Kristyn, Amanda

Christine definitely left her wallet at this bar.

There was a notice put up in the Magic Kingdom that Good Day New York was going to come to Epcot to film a segment. They were looking for “cast members” ie. workers from the Tri-State area to come to Epcot and be part of the crowd. Don’t mind if we do!

We got to meet Weatherman Dave Price!

Me, Dave Price, Kristyn at Epcot

And we got to meet Florence La Rue from the Fifth Dimension! This blew my mind because during my high school love affair with sixties and seventies music, I fell in love with the song, “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” from “Hair” as sung by The Fifth Dimension! We got to meet them and Florence wore our Mickey ears! Amazing!

Kristyn, Florence LaRue, Me

Self-satisfaction.

During Christmas, we pooled our money bought a fake tree and some inexpensive lights and ornaments. We had a little party and exchanged small Disney-themed presents. We bought each other little dolls and picture frames and t-shirts. It was cute and I still have all of that stuff. We also got an idea that we should get a professional portrait taken at Wal-Mart! Lynzi wisely sat this one out, haha. We’re all mostly wearing scarves that I’d knitted for everyone over the semester. I spent a lot of time home knitting scarves and reading Gone with the Wind like a little old lady when I was in Florida for some reason, haha.

Jamie, Mandy, Me, Kristyn, Regina

New Year’s Eve was a ton of fun. The semester was over and we were all about to go home. There were a ton of parties and we just party hopped around. It was a great time.

Me, Jamie, Lynzi, Kristyn

We had a Graduation Day Ceremony and I know this is 2003 already but I wanted to finish all of my Florida tales in this post. Anyway, no one but me, Kristyn and Jamie wanted to go to the ceremony. The three of us figured that if we did the time, we should get the diploma and ears at least, haha. They had a buffet breakfast for us and gave us some speeches. They took a professional portrait of us at the ceremony too, haha.

Jamie, Kristyn, Donald Duck and Me

Lynzi had decided to stay another semester and had already moved out to live with her new roommates. When we got home, Mandy was about to leave and we were really sad and crying.

Regina, Kristyn, Me, Mandy, Jamie

I think I forced us to take this picture below. Look at Mandy’s face, hahahaha…

Regina, Rene, Kristyn, Screaming Witch (I forget her name), Me, Jamie, Mandy

This was probably the next day. We were standing outside waiting for Jamie’s bus to come. It was really emotional and I actually haven’t seen Jamie since that day. God it’s been seven years. I keep threatening to travel to Oregon and see her. Now that I’m on the West Coast, she’s been put on notice to beware. She DID force me to agree to give her some notice though. People and their details…sigh.

Kristyn, Me, Regina, Jamie

Regina is from Mississippi and her parents had originally driven and dropped her off in Florida. They were going to come and pick her back up again but what the f did we have to rush home to? Also, we’d accidentally booked our return flight to NJ for a week after when we were supposed to leave like morons. SO the three of us devised a plan a few months before it was time for us to leave. We saved up our nickles and dimes and booked a rental car to take Regina back to Mississippi. We took this picture right after we’d shut the door for the last time.

Kristyn, Regina and Me in front of our door for the last time.

We got in our (convertible!) rental car and met Karen and her mother for lunch. I LOOOOOOOOOVE me some Karen’s Momma. She gave me my first, second, third, fourth…ninetieth quesadillas. She gave me Mexican candies in high school and let me sleep over and let me act a fool in her house and didn’t kill us when we listened to the Grease soundtrack over and over and over and over again in her house. She’s like my second Momma. SO we met up with her before we were gonna leave. Suddenly she says, “OMG we have to leave! Someone’s paid our check!” We were like, “Wow who?!” She was like, “I don’t know but we should definitely leave before they change their mind.” We were mystified by our good fortune. Duh and double duh. Second Momma Guadelupe did us a solid and I had no idea. Thank you and I love you!!!!!!!

2000

I started off the year 2000 at my friend Erin’s apartment at Rutgers. We got to the party a little late (because I had to work) so after some rushing we got down there around 10:30ish. To make up for “lost time”, we all go plastered out of our minds. It was the Y2K New Years so we weren’t sure if we were going to blow up at the stroke of midnight so we took the partying pretty seriously. SOMEONE who is 5’6″ went shot for shot with someone else who is 6’4″ between the hours of 11pm and 12pm. By 12:30, there was champagne all over the ceiling, walls and floors. People were crying. SOMEONE was throwing up heavily. I was playing nurse. Someone else peed in a closet thinking it was the bathroom. It was absolute mayhem. And yeah absolutely nothing happened at the stroke of midnight, haha.

At that time, I worked at the Sheraton, went to BCC and partied like a wild animal. I was single for the first half of the year and started dating Kristyn in the second half. I managed to have a very, very, very good time with my bad self that year.

The below pictures are of a party I threw at my Parent’s house. Bad girl Coleen. Can you spot the future “rock star”?

I don't know why this was a good idea, haha.

Me and Lisa

Lisa, Mike, Dan

Kristyn wearing my Uncle Ken's waders in my hallway-like basement bedroom, haha.

Like I said, I worked at the Sheraton so I got a lot of great hotel discounts. When they opened the W Hotel in NYC, I got a discount rate and me, Kristyn, Allison and Slam rented a room to hang out for the night. When we got there though, there were two TWIN beds. SO, we did the only thing that made sense. We took the beds off of their frames and laid them sideways of the bedframes so we could all get a good night’s rest. Of course that makes sense. Of course it does.

Flash of inspiration.

There goes Slam, always trying to knock some sense into us. As usual, it doesn't work. As usual, we love Slam.

Me giving a little kissy to Allison who is seemingly dead asleep.

We thought they were asleep. Seems like Slam is onto us, haha.

Me and Amanda went on vacation that summer. First we went down to Seaside Heights and rented a room with Kristyn, Dan, Erin and Lisa. For some reason, me and Amanda got our Belly Buttons pierced. And then on another night, all of us girls took HOURS getting primped to go out on the town while Dan mocked us. We said, “Fine you stay here dummy, we’re going out to have a good time.” We walked down on the boardwalk and someone said, “Hey why don’t we walk down on the beach?” Why not? Then it was, “Why don’t we put our feet in?” Sure. Then, “Oh shit, my pants got wet up to my knees, I might as well wade in to my knees.” Okay. Then “Oh God, I’m wet up to my waist!” Then the next thing you know, all five of us bitches were on all fours letting the waves CRASH INTO OUR FACES. Yes, we were intoxicated. All that time spent getting ready and one innocent idea has us dripping wet, makeup smeared all over our faces in like ten minutes time. We had to walk all the way home like that, everyone pointing and laughing at us on the boardwalk. Dan’s face was priceless though. “What did you dizzy bitches DO?!” Hahahaha…

And for some reason we got our belly buttons pierced. I thought I was going to bleed to death.

After that weekend, me and Amanda drove down to her parent’s campground outside of Atlantic City. Here we are on one of those little carts that they wheel you around on. We had sworn NOT to get in one of those things but that damn boardwalk is so deceptively long that we went for it and I’m glad we did!

First trip to Atlantic City! Taking a cart ride!

At that time, we also hung around a lot in my bedroom, just chilling and drinking beer. For some reason we were obsessed with doing this with bottle caps and below Christine can’t seem to keep a straight face for long enough, haha.

Here we are just chilling in my room. Christine's face is priceless.

We also started going to Aldo’s really regularly. Aldo’s (for those not in the know) was a local 80’s/Goth/Industrial Bar that was heeeella fun. GREAT for people watching. It was during this time that we made the aquaintance of one “The Captain”. The Captain was a 60 something year old man who hung out at Aldo’s and always dressed in nautical gear. He was in love with Kristyn and forever trying to get us to go on his boat. He would say to Kristyn, “You can come on for free and everyone else just has to pay eighty dollars!” One day Kristyn wasn’t there with us and he said to me, “You can come on for free and everyone else just has to pay eighty dollars!” I said, “Well what if Kristyn comes?” He said, “Then she gets on for free and you have to pay eighty dollars!” Hahaha. Awesome. Oh AND it turns out he didn’t even have a boat, nor was he a Captain of anything. He used to turn up to Aldo’s in a Limo that we thought he owned. Nope. His friend owned the Limo and he liked to rent boats. He was a recycling man. Haha.

Our love affair with Aldo's is in full swing.

We found out that Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were going to be at Willowbrook Mall signing copies of “Dogma” which had just come out on DVD. So, while waiting on line, we saw Jason walking around. We approached him to get his autograph as did a couple other people. He signed their shit and they left. But suddenly swarms and swarms of people closed in. We were like pressed up against him and just wanted to get out of the crowd. The more people that came, the more stuff he signed but he kept not getting to ours. Eventually we were like, “Can you just sign this already?!” And he got pissed, haha.

This is the first of two times we met Jason Mewes (of Jay and Silent Bob). We pissed him off royally trying to get his autograph, omg oops.

And Kevin Smith was the nicest! So friendly. It was so worth it to stand on line and wait to meet him because I really love his movies and am glad that he’s actually a nice guy. Sometimes you meet someone you look up to and are sorely disappointed.

It's not every day Kevin Smith invites you to sit on his lap.

Blahblahblah, New Years Day, blahblahblah.

Happy New Year's from Richard Simmons!

I don’t have the time to start uploading pictures from the decade but I have a coupla minutes to kill so here I am.

Last night, I went through pictures and had a good time with my bad self and then suddenly I realized it was time to get to steppin.  I had baked a cake for Krissy (Funfetti, her favorite) and suddenly had to frost it, clean up and shower all before the ball dropped!  I managed to do it and thought I had more time than I did because when the clock struck midnight, I only had one eye of makeup on and missed the “10…9…” section of the countdown.  I ran over to the TV and did the rest of the countdown and hooted and hollered by myself, haha.  Then I realized Monster was sitting there so I grabbed him and made him my New Year’s kiss.  And then I took these pictures:

Here's Carson immediately following the ball drop. Why oh why did I miss Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper?! I hate you Coleen!

 

Monster is all confused as to why I just screamed, danced around and then involved him in the mayhem.

Chucky!

Edith didn't like 09 and isn't thrilled about 10 either.

Elvira did NOT want to be bothered.

Fireworks were going off so I went outside to see them.  I couldn’t get a good shot but I did manage to take a picture of the Blue Moon.

Blue Moon!

 And then I basically immediately left to pick Kristyn up from work.  She got out at 1 and all night they’d been saying on the news how there were going to be a lot of random traffic stops on the roads to check for drunk drivers.  Usually it takes me twenty minutes tops to pick Kristyn up from work but I wanted to make sure I had enough time because I had no idea if there would be a lot of traffic and I had no idea if I would get stopped.  I didn’t.

Downtown LA on the ride back from picking Krissy up.

Today we had all of these ridiculous plans to get up and go to the beach, etc.  Did. Not. Happen.  When we got home (around 2am), we had some appetizers, Mimosas and watched us some Lost.  We retired to bed around almost 5am!  Haha.  We woke up at 1:30pm.  I know, dirty layabouts that we are.  And we have all sorts of plans to go to the movies and to Target and to put together a TV stand.  Methinks we’ll EITHER go the the movies OR to Target.  One hundred thousand dollars says we do not put anything together tonight, no matta what.
We DID manage to eat a lot of Funfetti today and exercise.  We both did EA Active and Kristyn played some Mario Kart and did a catsitting job.  As for me, I’ve fooled around on Facebook and took my sweet ass time loafing around.  Ah well.

Elvira chilling on New Year's Day.

Edith just wants to nap peacefully.

Monster is hungover.

I found me Dad's hat.

Monster and Kristyn relaxin.

Oh AND fun fact about the ball drop:

They don’t show it live as it’s happening.  They show it at midnight.  I was always under the impression that we watched the ball drop at midnight because we lived in the NYC suburbs.  I thought that other places had other things that dropped or exploded or humped or something at midnight.  I mean I knew that you could SEE it in other places but I was fully expecting it to come on at 9 and I was all curious to see what it is that happens here.  Nope.  Just like at home but three hours later.  So weird!