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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In Which I Fought The Law, BABY!

Okay, so on my travels home from my brother's back in August, I was clocked going thousand miles over the speed limit through this tiny town south of Pittsburgh. Come on! I swear I was only driving a couple (hundred) miles above the limit. Seriously. I was only keeping up with traffic, Yo. Otherwise I would have caused an accident.

That's my story. I'm sticking with it.

(Boy, that's a lot of "Is" in that paragraph)

Anywho, I decided to fight it. This morning was D-Day.

Baby's first Traffic Court.


So in an attempt to appear all penitent and shit in front of what I assumed to be a burly rube of a judge-wanna-be, I donned a nun's habit, set the GPS to East Effing Jabib and set sail into the murky waters of Deliveranceville. I gave myself ample time to make the 9am appointment so I could crawl at a snail's pace, because the last thing I needed was to get a speeding ticket on the way to FIGHT a speeding ticket, right?

How lame would that be.

Fifty minutes later, Grandma Moses pulled into a semi-strip mall nestled amongst a rundown neighborhood on a dead end street. Ooookay. Weird. I half expected to see roaming dingos emerge from beneath cars up on blocks, thirsting for my jugular.

A. I hadn't had coffee yet.

B. Clearly, I watch too many vampire-related programs.

Moving on...

I'm greeted by Barney Fife who, after genuflecting, guides me to a little room in the back. After hearing his confession (he confused me with a priest) he worked a plea to present to the honorable Judge Hatchet.

So the Judge bellows out to Barney to send in the first loser of the day. We walk into a room filled with thick, heavy chairs behind a large wooden library table (circa 1975) intended to make one feel insignificant before of the great and powerful Oz. In front of us was a raised judge's bench where the Man of the Morning was desperately trying to look busy shuffling papers and scribbling notes. You know, just like on the TV.

Judge Happypants didn't even look up from his Playboy, I mean, busy work when Barney read his recommendation of no points and a reduced fine.

Grumble Grumble Sigh Belch pfffft "Fine. Whatever. Get the hell out of my courtroom, Sister. I need to hit the head."

And that was that. Ten minutes, no points and money back! HOLLA!

I got back in my car, defiantly tossed my torn up ticket and wimple out the window and screamed "So long, Suckas!" laying tire in my wake as I pealed away.


Wait. What's that in my rearview mirror, a cherry top?


Big Mar's Birthday Fest 2011 (Part Two-Photos N@)

Okay, so the festivities started in earnest Friday. My sisters, niece, Big Mar and I headed to the local sweat shop, AKA nailery for party manicures from Vietnamese girls who pretty much hated the world. Okay, so maybe that was just my nail tech. You just know they're talking smack about you when they grab your man hands, roll their eyes and start yakking to each other in Vietnamese. It's not just me, right?

Anywho, from there we went back to the homestead to nosh on a huge brunch of breakfast casserole, cheesy potatoes, waffles with strawberries and an assortment of other non-figure-friendly sweet rolls.

dueling waffle irons 
part of the partay 
fruit bouquet to counter balance the crap
And we washed it all down with Mimosas.

Gotta have your daily requirement of Vitamin C. :)

We were joined by out-of-town relatives to begin the eating festival. Thirteen of us crammed around the table. Afterwards I gave our cousins from Georgia a quick tour of the city before heading back for... dinner! It is ALL about food at the abode.

We decided to each take a meal so our Mum wouldn't get pooped out feeding everybody. It worked out beautifully. My sister Toni did a tremendous job coordinating everything and keeping us all on track. She IS the party queen. She's so organized, it's revolting. I can't even figure out what time I need to get up in the morning and she's got charts and graphs and spread sheets for every facet of her life. Okay, I exaggerate, but she's amazing how she has everything mapped out. It's impressive. And sick.

And then, Saturday was the party!

The next two days were all about celebrating the wonderfulness of Big Mar. The fact that so many people traveled so many miles just to be with her on this momentous occasion speaks volumes as to how much she is genuinely loved and adored.


Big Mar with the grand kids
her pride and joy
Our delightful niece, Jaimie (in the blue top with matching blue hair) pulled a prank on us all by wearing a blonde wig...the very one my Mom is wearing, because that's how one shows reverence for the aged. By stomping on her dignity by forcing her to wear a wig.

What say we dress up the old gal

"When I get off this chair, I swear I'm gonna
belt someone with my cane for this."

Mikey loves his G

Mike and Reg with the Grandma

I love her

so let's see how many faces can you cram in one frame.
at least a half dozen more. pffft.

the eldest does the toasting honors

Big Mar relieved her stripper photos weren't mentioned
I kid I kid

the rowdy Card Club ladeis

The Fam

a shit load of fam

a shit load of cars at the family homestead

8 pounds of chicken + 3 huge desserts + one case of wine
= 25 happy campers

the "kids'" table
me hanging at the kids' table, pre-vin

kids' table, post-vin

is that a big enough piece of cake, or what?!

newcomer to the fold, Ben
with the dessert sampler
Then we did the coolest thing. My siser-in-law, Leslie brought a dozen Chinese Sky Lanterns that we launched in honor of Big Mar's big day.

Unbeknownst to us, our nephew brought firecrackers. We became the even louder family. Dogs barked, ticked-off neighbors came out, car alarms went off... It was the grooviest.

"Light and run, Mike!" - his father's sage advice

Each lantern's graceful ascent into the night sky seemed fitting tribute to a woman whose lightness of being, verve and elan have filled all those around her with immeasurable joy and abundant love.

So Happy 90th, Mum. Here's to a life well lived with elegance, grace and just the right amount of saltiness. You are and ever shall be cherished. May your spark never fade.