I had a migraine last night. Rather than fight it, I took a tylenolPM, put on my jammies and crawled into bed at 8pm. Tuesday ended while I slept and I awoke to a beautiful Wednesday twelve hours later. Hot coffee and quiet time. Laundry running and Style network full of my guilty pleasures-How Do I Look?, Jerseylicious, and Supernanny. Just before I wanted to get in the shower, Babygirl wanted to go for a walk, so we leashed up the doggies and took a nice walk to Dunkin’ Donuts. I came home a bit sweaty and started dinner.
I had wanted to make beef stew in the crock pot, but since it was already afternoon, I figured I’d make it on the stovetop. I simply wanted to cook the carrots a little before adding everything else. And so, they merrily simmered….and simmered. Hubs came home early and we had a brief conversation. Babygirl was leaving for a baseball game and work and I said goodbye. I prepared to get into the shower…..again. Then I remembered the carrots.
The water had boiled away and the carrots were now fried. Hubs was still in the office and didn’t notice. I got rid of the burnt ones and cut up new ones. It was no big deal. I stalled until they boiled and then shut them off. Now I had nothing to worry about.
I got into the shower and just enjoyed it. I stayed under the spray longer than usual, shaving my legs and feeling the heat on my back. It was glorious!
Cleaned and refreshed, I went into the kitchen to finally finish the stew. Onions, beef, potatoes all went into the pot. It smelled great already. Hubs and I sat in the living room to relax for a bit.
Before I knew it, my boys came in the door. Son2 was running right out to the MLS All-Star Game. But Son1 was here too. Apparently he was looking for jumper cables because the work truck seemed to be slowing down. Hubs went looking down the basement for the cables only to find…..
The basement had flooded.
Due to the roots in the line from trees and bushes, we have the plumber come out every now and then to clear the line. It’s that time again. Any laundry that had been sorted and waiting washing, was now soaking in two inches of water. The laundry I ran this morning? Yeah, that water. The long shower I took? That water too. The shower that Son1 was currently taking? Yup, that water too. Oh yeah, I think one or two of us may have used the toilet today too.
Hubs plunged out the line as best he could. It began draining again. The sump pump kicked on and sucked the water down. The dehumidifier came on to do its job. All I had to do was sweep some of the water toward the floor drain. I rolled up my pants and began.
Slowly, but surely, the water went away. I stepped backwards to push a pile of whites away from the flow of water and my foot began to slide….
I tried to brace myself with the broom…and continued to slide…
OMG! I’m falling into a split!!!!!
I started to laugh at the absurdity. I couldn’t stop. Instead of taking the hurt, I fell backward on my ass and kept right on laughing.
Now, with my ass soaked to the skin, I got up, went upstairs and changed. Before heading back to the basement, I noticed how yummy it smelled. My stomach growled and I realized that I hadn’t eaten today. Mmm….stew….
The basement finally clean, clothes running once more in the washer, Son2 gone to the game and Son1 on his way home, I went to check my stew.
I had been distracted for too long. The stew had dried and begun to burn.
The wonderful smell of stew lingered tantalizingly. The potatoes? Overboiled and mushy. The beef? Somewhat seared. Carrots? Brown.
I sighed deeply. Hubs scooped some stew up and began to eat it. “If I don’t like it, I’ll just throw it out.” he said. Just like that. And eat it, he did. Was he simply too tired and hungry to care? I think so.
I reached into the cabinet for my own dish, and noticed a pain. I turned and almost stepped on my dog. I noticed another pain. After a once over of all my body parts, I discovered a swollen and jammed thumb, slightly tweaked back, shoulder pain and a possibly bruised butt.
I still need to go food shopping tonight. I hope I manage to get it done before the worst of the aches start! In spite of it all, without sarcasm, I can still say,
Among the various things on my “bucket list” were two things: Visit a truly haunted place, and go to a decent house of horrors.
Hubs hates blood and gore. He’s not a fan of haunted houses at Halloween. And most of all, he has no belief whatsoever in the paranormal. As I get older, I was coming to the realization that most of my friends echo his feelings. I’ve been told haunted houses are “for kids” and that “we’re too old for that kind of thing”. Babygirl hates being scared. Son1 prefers to go with Jazzy or his other ‘friends-with-kids’. Son2? He’s too fucking cool to be seen with his mom at a scare house.
And so….I got a message on Facebook from my girl Teri. A friend of hers is visiting from Florida (where he is a scenery designer at Universal Studios horror houses.) One of the things he wanted to do was to visit Eastern State Penitentiary. Immediately, Teri thought of me and invited me to go with them.
Oh..my…God!!! I barely took a breath before I messaged her that YES! Of course I wanted to go!!
Eastern State is a truly haunted prison. It has been featured on several paranormal shows and many unexplained occurrences have been documented there. However, every Halloween season, it is turned into Terror Behind the Walls. Whether it is it’s notoriety as a haunted place or the fact that it is in the city, no one ever wanted to go. I was so excited about this that I found myself counting down the days, and hours, until I would be there. Before I fell asleep at night, I imagined what it would be like. I imagined a contact outside of the realm of ‘spooking’. Would I possibly feel a cold blast of air? Would I see a dark, unexplained shape? I got chills…anticipation? fear? Both!
Teri parked a distance away where we go on the ‘Ghost Shuttle’, a tourist trolley car run by the event. We were treated to a story told by a guy dressed in costume. This was an opportunity lost. This guy must have had ADD because his story was not scary, spooky, or even coherent. He went off on too many tangents. Why not have one scripted story of ghost, ghouls or unexplained noises? This could have turned on the imagination before ever getting to the main course! If not a ghost story, then perhaps a story about the Prison’s history, that would tie in with the areas of the tour that we would be exposed to. Like I said, an opportunity lost.
We pulled up at the Prison and joined our friends, signed our ‘release form’ and got in line. Several characters roamed about setting the stage for creeps and chills. The wait to get into the prison itself was kind of long, but it actually went pretty quickly. The characters creeped us out, there were tv monitors showing paranormal videos of the prison, and there was just the curiosity of looking at a building with such a heinous history.
Inside the prison, we were treated to the standard ‘scare house’ fare. Strobe lights, creeps that stared or followed you, the ones who stole up behind us to softly blow on our necks. There was the infirmary with its mad doctors, the intake with its sadistic guards, and the cells themselves. I was particularly happy with the 3D portion. Looking down at my feet, it was as if my legs went into the floor! But again, there were opportunities lost. Why not have a dummy operation on the hospital table? Why not a gore covered ‘doctor’?
Of course, it all ends with a Gift Shop. It was not overly big, and the selection was small but very cool. And the prices? Pretty decent.
I have to say that it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped but it was very good overall. I didn’t have any otherworldly experiences. I do , however, plan on going back during the daytime to take the more historical tour, in which cameras are allowed, and you get to see the closed off cells, like that occupied by Al Capone during his incarceration. The cool thing is that we were given coupons for a discount on the return tickets.
Speaking of tickets….There was a fee for an “Exit Pass” . We had parked at a designated parking lot. In order to get onto the shuttle back to the lot, we needed an exit pass. This was used to get off the lot with the car! I confess that I did see it listed when I purchased my ticket online. But what if someone missed that? What if they had run out money? Now THAT is a scary thought!
Will I go back for the scare house? YES. It was a fun time. Will I go back for the day tour? DEFINITELY!
So I got a two-fer off my bucket list. A truly haunted place, and a cool scare house.
This is not a paid review for Eastern State Penitentiary…..Although it would be cool if it was!!
A bouncer, a mullet-wearing trucker, and an Aryan brother…..
No. This is not the opening of a joke so maybe I should start at the beginning……
After leaving the city of Pittsburgh, Bubblewench and I made our way to Cincinnati, where we picked the third of our little travelling group, Sybil Law. We chilled out with Sybil overnight (which included a small corner bar, a trip out the door – withholding name to avoid embarrassment *bw*-and a rough night of “omg, I shouldn’t have had so much to drink”) The following day we went to visit MattMan (you can read about it here)
Due to the fact that MattMan passed out fell asleep, we called it an early night there, but ended up at the bar across the parking lot from our dive lovely accommodations. We walked in and immediately, Sybil was beset by a tatted up douchenozzle a patron of the establishment. We outside for a smoke (and to get away from him) but he followed us outside. Sybil made sure to say “I’m married” but he heard “I’m ready to jump on your dick” He actually thought that the key to her panties was “I am an Aryan brother”. That’s all she needed to hear. Suddenly the ‘bitch’ was unleashed. She proceeded to tell him the many ways that his beliefs were wrong. This argument continued for the remainder of the night. (Interspersed with “If you weren’t so cute, I’d hit you” and “You look like you wanna kick me in the balls”) Of course they were followed by Bubba the huge bouncer. He made sure that SonnyBoy kept his distance.
In the meantime, BW made friends with the bartender who promptly started hooking us up with lemondrops. (OMG!!) And me? Gary, the mullet-wearing trucker had taken a shine to me and not so subtly reminded me that “what happens on the road, stays on the road” DUDE! Are you fucking kidding me??? I could have been on the road for 10 years of celibacy and I STILL wouldn’t have looked at you twice!!! (But I did let him buy me a drink.)
We decided we’d had enough and went to our room. We laughed and agreed that we couldn’t wait to head back to Cincinnati.
Yeah, she’s hurtin’ but we all were. But it’s my blog and I choose not to show you my
Once upon a time, I had a date with a girl. Her name was Becky (aka Hellohahanarf) She had a smile that lit up the room and a laugh that bubbled up from her toes. For the chance to be with her for just one night, I traveled across the state of Pennsylvania to the city of Pittsburgh. The things that Miss Becky showed me changed the way I look at churches, beer, and lego people.
Bubblewench and I drove for a whole day. That particular day began with rain….it was the tail end of the tornado storms that had raged through the midwest at the end of April.
We arrived at our hotel which also happened to be where the NRA were holding their convention. (“Are you here for the gun show?” “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…!”) The hotel room was awesome but we barely had time to check in before the phone call came for us to cross the parking lot and join Becky at her job. She showed us where she works her magic by day:
Apparently her job is high stress because she makes sure that the office is stocked with clear fluids.
She took us through the building and introduced all of the suckers hard working employees who were still there past 4pm on a Friday afternoon. She even showed us the desk where all the important work gets done:
After our tour, we freshened up and Becky came to get us. She took us to the place that all good girls should go – to Church. This place was incredible and the hummus was huminahuminagood! Becky even got a motorboat in church! Then we met up with her friend Young William and his friend Alfredo. We had tons of laughs and headed to the Hofbrauhaus where the crowd was kinda young.
The highlight of the night for me, however, was the trip to see the skyline. The view was amazing.
One thing we noticed, is that Pittsburgh is full of easily found businesses. We saw the “Food Store” “The Deli” “the Italian Bread Place” and even ate in “Eggs R Us” (and for some reason, the pictures of that great diner are missing)
Let me tell you, if you are ever in Pittsburgh, hook up with Becky. She loves her hometown and is chock-full of interesting trivia that you won’t get on any other type of guided tour. She made me and Bubblewench feel like VIP visitors to her town. I wish we had had more time to stay and visit, but she crammed so much into the few hours we spent with her. I can’t wait to visit again.
Thanks Becky. You’re the best Becky in Beckyland!!
I wanted to post something, but I was at a loss for words. (WHAT ? ME?) But as I wandered through the blogosphere, I found that MattMan’s girl, Schmoop had done a better job than I could have. Therefore, here is my gift to you.
PS. Yes, I drank some Wild Irish Rose…..I have no esophagus left after the burning…..
The dinner party was okay. I looked good, didn’t fart or swear, and only had one glass of wine. That’s all I’ma say ’bout that.
Now, onto NoVa Con.
A group of bloggers gathered in Chantilly, VA this weekend. I rode down with Bubblewench, Bellaventa, and Libragirl. As soon as we pulled up to get Bella and Libra, the shenanigans began and they didn’t end until some time on Sunday. I laughed so much that I hope I managed to burn more than a couple of calories!
We got there, checked into our room and headed off to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We saw lots of airplanes and such and I was more impressed with the trip than I thought I was going to be. We went to a store for alcohol and to eat lunch and then back to the hotel for cocktails, showers and naps.
The naps never happened.
After showers, Ren called and said “Hey, let’s hang out!” And with that, NoVa Con was on. CissaFireheart also wanted to hang out and so they both came to our room and we got our drink on. We took pictures, shared lots of laugh and then there was a knock on the door. BlondeBlogger and her man Matt were there! Yay! I have waited for what seemed to be a lifetime to hug my ‘soul sister’ and at last the moment was here. We hugged and in the middle of such a group of folks, I would find myself just looking at her, drinking up the sight of her and storing away mental pictures and memories of her beautiful laughter. A pint of tequila, some rum and cherry vodka later……..
Dinner time came so fast, but that only meant MORE bloggers! We met with Poppy and Dawg (and Mrs Poppy’s Mom, and a few of Cissa’s friends) We went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook at your table. It was incredible. Mr. Shiny joined us and I have to say, he gives great hug. Whall was there via Skype on Ren’s ipad and we passed him around to say hello. As the ipad got to the end of the table, a shout went up….
Whall was with us! He had been in DC since Thursday and Ren had managed to keep it under wraps. No one-and I mean no one-had a clue that he was actually in town. It was the best prank ever.
After closing the restaurant, everyone went back to our suite. We all hung out on the fold out bed laughing, talking and causing mayhem. The group of young kids in the suite next door was bothered by OUR noise. We were told “Think of the children” when their chaperones scolded us! We called SybilLaw and left a great voice mail. And we took pictures……lots and lots of pictures…..
Things finally broke up and we promised to meet the next day for breakfast and shopping.
Unfortunately, NoVaCon had to come to an end. Some went on to a kite fest, others (us) went shopping and GeoCaching and still others got a jump on the traffic and began their way home. It was the best time ever, full of great friends, great times and great food and drink. It went so well that we are planning on making this an annual celebration. Keep this time of year clear on your calendar so that you can join us in 2012!
I learned three things this weekend that may seem little to most of you, but that are kinda big to me……
Three…..I was told by a teenage boy–who is not related to me–that it was fun shopping with me. I was in Claire’s with his mom and sister. (Shopping for an eleven year old girl who is overwhelmed by the number of sparklies is a joy I have gladly given up!) We giggled together over the stupid sunglasses and furry hats. I threatened to tell a girl that he liked her. He threatened to act like I was a cougar hunting young cubs. This is a kid that only a few short months ago, was more annoying than the sound of nails on a blackboard. It made me smile….a lot.
Two….I found out that my exercising is starting to pay off again. I have gone from a 44D to 42C. This was somewhat exasperating. I needed to return two bras that I had bought last month and I only expected to exchange them. My friend talked me into trying on two different styles. They didn’t fit me for some odd reason and she begged to see what the problem was. Before I knew it, she was throwing bra after bra over the dressing room door. “Humor me”, she said over and over again. I was getting pissed and I felt like a teenager bra shopping with her mom. I was fed up. She said “humor me” one more and time and I told her that this was the last time. She handed me three more bras that were smaller. They cupped my boobs firmly and yet cradled them way above my belly button. They are pretty. They are floral. They are silky. And she said “I told you so.” Bitch. Yeah, I’ll let her get away with it….this time.
One….Hubs woke up in one of those rare moods. He was playful and I wasn’t. I got dressed to go out, and as I started to put on my coat, I noticed I had a spot on my blouse. And so, I changed. He thought it was funny that I was getting ticked off about the spot. Whatever. Oh and before I put my coat back on, I wanted to rinse my mouth with mouthwash. As I did, I dribbled down the front of the new shirt. He roared with laughter. It was at this point that I was ready to pull on my pajamas and go back to bed. I was still sleepy and not in the mood for playing around. He came to the bathroom door and hugged me. “Why are you getting so upset?” he asked me. “I feel like an ass and you’re laughing.” And then he said….
“I love the way you make me laugh. I love you and you’re so cute.”
Yeah, that one was the number one thing…….That and the french toast he bought me for breakfast.
Yesterday, Hubs took me to the movies. We like to go to the movies once a month or so, depending on what is out there. I think the last one we saw was “The Expendables” (I have an opinion on that that I will let you in on in a second) But this time we went to see “Red”. I was so excited at seeing this because so many of my favorite stars were in it and I wanted to see Helen Mirren blow some shit up.
“Red” ……”Retired: Extremely Dangerous”
We (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘he’) thought the movie was supposed to start at 1:40. When we got there, we learned that it was actually going to start at 2:10. That’s a nice long wait. However, this gave us an opportunity to do something that we rarely do….get seats that were dead center of the theater. I love those seats. I am not assaulted by the soundtrack that booms out of speakers directly on one side of me. I see the entire screen head-on rather than off to the side. I don’t have to tilt my head back because I am too close and I don’t get distracted by the doors opening and closing because I am too far back. We also managed to take our time at the concession stand. We didn’t feel rushed by lots of people who were all anxious to see the same movie at the same time trying to get popcorn from the same poor harried girl. I have a feeling we will do that again some time.
The next thing I noticed, was that this was “Senior Citizen Time” . We went to the movie so early because we had no other plans for the day. It was something to do. But we were surrounded by old people! “Oh dear”, “My Goodness” and “Well that was violent!” was heard more than once during the movie. It was a far cry from hearing someone yelling “Fuck Yeah!” when the bad guy gets blown up! A young guy dared to speak during the beginning of the film (it’s one of my peeves and I was highly annoyed.) An old fellow turned around and yelled out ,”If ya wanna talk you can walk the hell out. I sure as hell don’t wanna listen to you talk about cool the movie is. WE KNOW. WE’RE WATCHING IT TOO!” That is the best thing about old people. They’re too old to give a fuck about making a scene!
This movie was great. If you’ve ever seen an action movie with Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, or Bruce Willis, you need to see this one. They haven’t lost a thing. It had a smart premise, it was well acted, the stunts weren’t ‘over-the-top’ and it was funny. Helen Mirren? Funny, funny lady and she was a gem as spy who missed killing people. To see her in an evening gown and army boots shooting a machine gun was a joy.
Now this is where I need to tell you about “The Expendables”. I feel that a comparison needs to be made. We saw that one and I was disappointed in it. The story line was ‘meh’ , but I didn’t expect much because it was written by Sly Stallone. I expected big booms and corny “I’ll-fuck-you-up” dialog. But…..I thought they tried too hard. The booms were too big and unbelievable. Stallone as a hero just doesn’t cut it anymore. Mickey Rourke was under used in it as was Jason Statham. I don’t know why it wasn’t better. It had all the old action stars and had the potential to be a really great flick. “Red” was just better. Go see it.
Now the last thing.
Why do we have to sit through the end credits to get one last tidbit? The first few movies that did it actually dangled a carrot of what was going to come in the future. Then it turned into a somewhat funny joke. Now, it’s just stupid and annoying. Everyone jumps out of their seat and makes their way to the exits where they all stand around-blocking the aisles- to see if something is going to be there at the end. “The lights didn’t come on yet! That means a “last scene” ” . I’m tired of them and they have to stop. How about this? The end. Cast: list the main actors. “Last scene” and then all the other credits. DONE!
Babygirl’s boyfriend found this link and I just had to check it out. Can I just say LOVED IT! So now I pass it on to you….you know you’ve wondered……http://www.bodycounters.com My favorite counts were “Troll 2” and “Zoolander”.
Yeah, it was a slow weekend……
(Sorry Grant. No bunny flicks but “Big Trouble in Little China” was listed…..and maybe you’d like “the Anarchist Cookbook” or “Stacy” by Naoyuki Tomomatsu)
Sunday was one of those lazy days. Hubs and I stayed in bed until nine or so and then moved to the living room. He made some eggs and I made some coffee. The sun was shining and I opened the drapes to let some of it in.
“Wow,” I thought. “It’s too nice to stay in.” And so I got dressed with the intention of perhaps going for a walk with Bandit. Hubs, however, was still walking around in boxers and a robe. “Maybe you would like to walk with us? We could stop at Dunkin’ Donuts” And so, with the promise of cream-filled baked goods, he started for the bedroom to change. But something outside caught his eye.
“Who’s that outside?” I looked to see a man and woman climbing off of a motorcycle. No one I know travels that way and I told Hubs that they couldn’t possibly be coming to our house. “Maybe she got a wedgie and needed to pull over to fix it. Maybe they’re lost. Maybe they are visiting the old lady across the street.” The possibilities were endless…..
“Nah, Chris. I think they’re coming here.” He quickly made a dash for the bedroom, leaving me to answer the door for these strangers.
But they weren’t strangers! At least one of them wasn’t anyway. It was a woman who had been my best friend in seventh and eighth grade! We hadn’t seen each other since 1982. Since both of her parents had died, I had no way of tracking her down. The last thing that I had heard was that she had married and moved to Delaware.
I ran out the door, and wrapped my arms around her. We laughed. We cried. And we hugged some more. I asked what had brought her to my doorstep. She responded with the old line “I was in the neighborhood.” But I knew that the twinkle in her eye betrayed her lie. She has no family in the area any more and she has lost touch with most of our friends also.
She had made the hour and a half ride just to see me. (As I said, the weather was gorgeous.)
She came into my home with her husband (number 2!) Hubs came out dressed (at last) and we sat down to catch up.
The men sat back, content to listen to our reminiscences, our peals of laughter, our catching up with lives, families and jobs. We spoke of how the old neighborhood changed, of who we still spoke to and who we missed. We recalled sneaking her dad’s whiskey to mix with cranberry juice way back when. We recalled stealing my dad’s smokes to puff while we drank in her back yard.
She was the one in the seat next to me on the first roller coaster I ever got on. She was the one who helped me eat a two pound chocolate ‘kiss’. She introduced me to comedy albums (her favorite was Gabe Kaplan and mine was Steve Martin) I took the blame when we were out past curfew, and I asked her stay overnight when I knew that her dad was plastered and arguing with her mom.
Our time together flew by too fast. We made plans to visit at her home. I will definitely see her when our classmates get together again.
And we will now blow up each other’s phones shooting the shit and becoming best friends all over again……