The things I’ll do to get out of Halloween

bananaHere is a normal conversation I had with a friend the other day. 

“I can’t wait to get my costume in the mail.  I hope it comes on time.”

“What are you going to be?”

“A banana.  I can’t wait.  I’ve always wanted to be a banana.”

It’s true.  She’s always wanted to be a banana and I bet the arrival of her costume will just make her out of her mind giddy.  She was so excited about this costume that it even prompted me to blurt out, “I could be an apple.”  Instantly, upon hearing myself say those five words, I somewhat hated myself.  An apple?  A pineapple maybe.  But an apple?  Christ, I’m not ever going to be an apple.  I got caught up in the moment and considered moonlighting as a Golden Delicious.  And this is an example of why I hate Halloween.  I do not understand what is fun about dressing up like a complete lunatic and jackass, primarily for the purposes of getting drunk with other excited assclowns you already know.  There’s no candy involved anymore and I drink enough on my own.  I don’t need to do it as another person, or fruit for that matter. 

And I hate things meant to scare.  I don’t get a thrill out of any of that.  I get closer to death.  My heart can’t take it.  I don’t get a kick out of almost pissing my own pants.  I don’t like haunted hayrides or the feeling like I can’t escape and no amount of hay is going to hide me because they, those evil haunted hayride workers, they can always find the ones, me, that are really scared.  They can find them because your boyfriend or friends or siblings or whoever has something against you points you out, the minute the scary chainsaw man busts out of the fake, abandoned butcher shop.  And then it’s you (me) being dragged off the hayride or out of the house, or off the trail, by the man trying to cut your leg off.  That’s not funny.  Another thing that’s not funny is that dead walk they do towards you.  The one where it looks like their arms are too heavy and just dead weight at their sides and they stare at you with that crazy, blank, I’m going to gut you stare.  That’s really not funny.

Other not funny things.  The Scream mask.  The scary out of his fucking mind kid with the blacked out eyes and mouth from The Grudge.  People wearing paper bags over their heads while swinging on random swing sets ala The Strangers. (which I forgot the name of and when I googled it for the purpose of this blog, the GD bag heads popped up and to get them off my screen I googled “kittens”  as fast as humanly possible.  I have no idea how or why I did that, but that friends, that was quick thinking.)  Continuing on with not funny at all aspects of Halloween.  Knives of the butcher sort.  Ice picks.  Eyeballs in anything edible looking.  Jumping out of dark corners.  Touching me at any time while in anything said to be haunted.  Screaming, moaning of the scared nature, screaming louder and wails of death.  People in cages, swinging and grabbing for you.  Chainsaws, the sound of a chainsaw, the fact that I insist I can smell it burning and therefore it must work.  Lightning that flashes some scary ass face that you continue to see for the next ten minutes every time you blink.  These things are all not funny to me. 

For the record, I know October 31st isn’t All Comedians Eve.  I’m not expecting it to be.  And I know no one cares what I find funny and what I don’t.  But for shit’s sake.  I don’t want to be scared all day and night and I don’t want my weekend to revolve around it.  Yes, 96% of whoever reads this will want to comment that I am no fun.   I will delete your comments.  I was fun in college with this little Halloween and here is why….perfect segway to my next point about Halloween.

Halloween is for prostitutes in training.  You all know it.  I only have one friend that I know that has put real and true effort in finding great costumes to wear every year and even she tricks it out a little…anyway, Halloween was createdme halloween1 for hookers.   And yes, friends, I was a card carrying member of this club, not so long ago.  Let’s go over a few of my outfits.  I was once the classic “Little Devil Slut”, which was me, dressed in all black–black shirt, black tube top made into skirt, black tights, black heels, red lipstick and horns.  Mmm hmmm, lots of effort there.  The next year I was “Playboy Slut”–very playboy1easy to understand.  I was a Playboy Bunny with leather pants, a cowboy hat, and a very flattering bra with a low cut playboy shirt…and glitter.  I think I remember glitter.  Classy.  This was followed by some sort of “Belly Dancer Slut” costume in which I chose to wear half a shirt made of some sort of metal, a lot of eyeliner and I can’t remember what else.  Here is the proof, for all to see.  I can’t remember what I was any other year, but it doesn’t matter.  It wasn’t appropriate and it wasn’t scary, just trashy. 

So as a very classy(and lazy), newly 30 year old woman, I found a sneaky way out of Halloween.  I told Chris I am dyyyyying to go to Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, for the weekend for a picture taking, gluhwein drinking getaway for my little fam.  Which I am, so I don’t feel as though it’s lying.  The sneaky part about it is that I know he doesn’t remember what weekend it is.  He doesn’t seem to be able to keep track of dates or time over here, much to my advantage.  And so I will not tell him and make sure I distract him from all and any conversations involving ghosts, haunted houses, blood and tricks. 

Ahhhh, but wait.  I am tricking him….so in theory, I am practicing the very fundamental parts of Halloween.  So there.  I win.

Things I’ve learned in 29 years

im a pepper resizedThis list will not be the complete list, but hey, it can be the start to my, “Things I’ve learned in 40 years” right?  Holy god, 30 is enough…40 is just too much.  So here is a random list of things of 30 things I’ve learned in the past 3 decades.

1.  I don’t like eggs.  It’s like in that movie “The Runaway Bride” or whatever.  I just don’t like them.  I try to, every Saturday, and I fail miserably. 

2.  My hair is blonde in the summer and reddish brown in the winter.  No hair dye required, it just happens.  What my hair is during the spring and fall is the result of the salon.  Now you know. 

3.  I think that by the time you’re 30, you have the best friends you’ll ever have—your siblings and the ones from childhood, high school, college and your early 20s that made it through the worst with you and came out of all the mess and the fun, still holding your hand. siblings daves wedding

4. We all turn into our parents. 

5.  You really will stop growing around 17.  I always hoped for one more inch to get me over 5′, but the spurt never came.

6.  Having your heart broken a million times is a fair trade off in finding the one you know you are meant to spend the rest of your life with.  You’ll never believe that growing up, but it’s true.

7.  When you think you’re fat in college, you’re probably not.  When you think you’re fat ten years later, you probably are.  Look at it picture from ten years ago if you don’t believe me.

8.  No material possession will ever be worth more than words someone has said, written or expressed in a photo. 

9.  me 3 smiling yellowYou can never take enough pictures or write enough life stories.  Even if it’s just notes or a random snapshot that at the time means nothing, it will mean something to you in twenty years. 

10.  You can never make people stay. 

11. Best friends will sit next to you in silence and feel your pain, not try to fix it.  They can talk to you with just their eyes.  They will hold your hair, your hand, and your chin up, even if you hate them for it.  They will show up at your house, especially when they aren’t invited and they will sleep in your  bed when you are scared or most likely hungover.  They will make you laugh until your stomach hurts and they will keep your secrets until the day they die.  Hearing the sound of their voice is an instant remedy and if you were to never see them again, part of you would disappear with them. 

12.  You can have your cake and eat it too.  It just takes some skill and practice. 

13.  20 year old girls are a fad, 30 year olds are classic.  Classic will never get old.

14.  Running and green vegetables are the only trick to losing half of your ass.  And it sucks.

15.  Beauty fades but wit and intelligence get better with age….just like red wine, which I don’t drink, so I wouldn’t know.

16.  Santa Claus does exist in a sense, even when you find out he isn’t the one delivering your train set every year.  He exists because he’s magic and you can always find magic in something.  The Easter Bunny on the other hand is just ridiculous and stupid. 

17.  Heels make any outfit look better.

18.  Sunshine and fresh air can fix just about everything.

19.  Confessing your secrets and fears under a blanket at 1am to your sister will do more for you than any amount ofme katie first day school time spend in a confessional. 

20.  Some people will never be happy for you.  Success and happiness are the best forms of revenge.  Two lessons that go hand in hand…

21.  No one is guaranteed tomorrow.  Live your life like a fabulous journey and don’t stop to worry about where you’ll end up.  You’ll end up there, it’s just how you get there and how much fun it was that matters in the end.

22.  No amount of money will make you happy.  Find a job that makes you a better person.

23.  Thanksgiving dinner is the best meal on the face of the Earth.  No $100 steak or $400 five star, four course meal will ever make you as happy as turkey dinner.  With cranberry sauce.  And gravy, lots of gravy. 

24.  There is no city better than Boston when it comes to sports.  I will never even bother to debate someone on this. headband cropped (I will, if you make me.  But prepare to lose and be verbally assaulted)

25.  Heather 3rd gradeYou can never buy self respect and confidence will make you more beautiful than any amount of lip gloss, bronzer or hair gel.

26.  Your gut is always, always, always right.

27.  Fight like you mean it.   Have the type of sex that makes you blush.  Love someone as though you’ll never see another sunrise.  That’s what the best relationships are made of.   And patience if you’re loving me. 

28.  We all still wish on stars.  I don’t know why, but I won’t stop. 

29. Telling a good joke and giving a great blow job is a skill set worth more than anything you will ever learn in 7th grade Home Ec.

30.  I live my life thinking that it is better to burn out, bursting in the air like a firework, than fading away, slowly and quietly.  This isn’t a black and white picture…it’s my life and I’m here to paint the world red.

Me CampingHere’s to no regrets and never looking back.  Goodbye 20s!

No, I will never give up birthday week

candlesPeople probably think it’s odd that I insist on celebrating birthday week, especially since I’m turning 30 in two days (48 hours, 48 hours) and I’m about halfway through my seven day celebration–which actually got extended to next weekend, since Chris’ family was here and I could not celebrate my week properly or selfishly with guests around (I really am too much during bday week).  I don’t care if it’s childish and odd…it’s fun and I will never understand people who don’t love their birthdays.  AND, this one I can blame on my father.  HE is the one that started birthday week, birthday month, all that is excessive about our birthdays.  (Here is a picture of his birthday,bday high school if anyone needs proof–please note his headpiece thing)  If you were to call my father anytime during the month of May, especially near his birthday, which fell on Memorial Day weekend, he’d answer the phone cheerfully (and loudly), asking, “Helloooo?  Have you called about my natal month?”  Then he would bust up laughing, that really loud, belly laugh he had, and remind me how many days I had to buy him a gift.  He wasn’t kidding.  He loved cake and gifts and celebrations just as much as the next six year old.  And so I have inherited the love of birthday month.

Birthday month is easy to explain.  Basically, I get to do (and say) anything I want in October and blame it on my month.  I can choose the plans for the evening, the dinner menus, the number of days in a week I drink too much.  I can eat cake twice a day, sit in my pjs, buy myself something I shouldn’t (which has been tough this year with stolen change) and really do anything.  If anyone questions me, “It’s birthday month” is the appropriate response. 

bday kidsBirthday week is like Mardi Gras.  It’s a birthday party that lasts for seven days straight with one big celebration at the end…well, it’s kind of like Hanukkah meets New Years Eve, but not Jewish and in October and the guest of honor is yours truly.  What’s even better about birthday week is that I share it with Katie, so often it gets to be a two week celebration, one after the other.  As kids I didn’t appreciate birthday week as much because her birthday was always interfering with mine, as we shared a birthday party.  I didn’t ever want her touching my balloons or Jem or bike and she always would, even though she had her own pile of presents to play with.  See what’s going on in that picture of us?  Katie is blowing on my cake…though it suspiciously looks like a joint cake, which I would have never asked for.  Hmmm…There are 11 candles on that cake.  7 for me, 4 for her.  Looks like in 1986 Linda cheaped out on us and made us share a cake.  I’ll take this up with her this week and review the photos of every other birthday from 1983-present.  I would hope 1986 was a fluke. 

This will be the first year in at least six years that Katie and I won’t be sharing a birthday week, a cake, or a hug (shot) on our birthdays.  It will be the first year I don’t get some sort of baked good from Jayne, who really makes the best cakes in the world.  And it’ll be the second year I spend my birthday week without a phone call from my dad.  Normally the phone would have rang last night, right around the time of the Pats game, so he could rag on me about birthday week and then we could talk football.  He won’t call again this Wednesday and sing to me like he used to, and I mean up until I was 27…he sang to me for 27 years.  And there won’t be another card in my box with his writing, and so I will have to go look for old ones just so I will not forget what they look like. 

Out of all the days in the year, I miss him the most on my birthday, and on his.  And so this year, I will really do it up and think of him on the day I turn 30.  I’ll celebrate on Friday (the real day is a day of cake and rest)…After my day at the spa, it’s a night on the town with friends. I’m thinking fishnets, red lipstick, three pieces of cake, heels, and sieben vodka martinis, up and extra dirty.  It is a kickoff to my dirty 30s, afterall….

Two more days….

Rules at the Inn

Eight straight weeks of visitors will teach you a few things about what makes a great hostess and what makes a good guest.  You learn a lot about your guests, friends and family, and you learn who is allowed to visit more than once in a year–a full 365 day calendar year.  Secretly, I have ranked all of my guests and will continue to do so as more come.  I will never tell you were you fall on my list, but it isn’t hard to figure out who is on top and who is at the very bottom–did I tell you that you were welcome back whenever you want?  No? Then you are not coming back until 2010.  So in secretly ranking our first 6 guests, here are a few things I have learned or formed opinions on. 

1. Anything over a week is probably too long, unless you are fine with sitting at my house doing nothing for a few days here and there. There are a few exceptions to this rule and if I offer you an extended stay in the downstairs apartment it is because 1. you are lucky and you probably cooked me a meal and did my dishes and 2. I technically don’t have to see you because you have your own entrance.

2. I am not a travelocity.com rep or flight attendant.  I will not take you to Italy, Ireland, and Prague in one week.  That’s like asking me to take you to Florida, Texas and Illinois if I live in Maine.  If that’s what you want, check out germanwings.com and I’ll drop you off at the airport.

3.  I take back anything I ever said about being happy to drive to Frankfurt to pick people up.  There are now two options: fly in Stuttgart and I’ll pick you up or fly into Frankfurt and you’ll get your first taste of the train in Europe. 

4. Day trips will consist of no more than 4 people in a car or 3 and two dogs.  And I automatically get the window seat or the front seat.

5. Headphones are really great for car rides, especially if there are more than 4 people in the car.

6. I don’t know German, either.  The bathroom is toilette and how much is kosten.  Hello is alo and thank you is danke.  That should do it for the week.  Sending me around to “speak German” for you is funny because I only know 10 phrases more than you do and 90% of people here speak English. 

7.  Why am I always sitting on the floor or the awkward camping chair in my living room?  I will let you sit on my couch for the first 4 days in my spot but then I get my couch back and you get to sit in the camping chair. 

8.  If you cook or clean for me or at least just after yourself, I will love you forever and most of this list will never pertain to you.

9. I live here.  I like castles and palaces and forests too, but there is this thing called the train and a bus and they go there just as fast, if not faster than my car.  I don’t like hand holding in the first place, too sweaty, but really, they speak English too.  Give it a shot. Traveling on your own is fun too, I promise.

10.  The dollar is worth nothing here and it’s not the fault of the German at the bank.  You can blame a few administrations in the states if you want, but not the Europeans.  And no, they won’t take your dollar anywhere.  It’s like paying with the peso in Maine. 

11.  Saying the N word and the H word will get you a trip back to the airport or at the very least, you will be hated by every German within 5km.  They may have wiped out millions of people once upon a time, but they don’t ever want to hear about it again.  Interesting defensive behavior, I know.  Just don’t be cute and wave your hand above your head while you’re here.

12. If I give you the book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die book, and you don’t bother to look through it and point out a few places you’d like to see, then you are going where I take you. 

13.  I’m doing the unthinkable.  I’m announcing a rule no one could have ever imagined they’d see on this page.  It’s my “we drink only every other day” rule.  My liver can’t take it anymore. You can drink whenever you want.  Drink 90 beers a day if you want.  It was great fun for me the first month I was here…I know how excited you are about trying every beer, the wine, Rammazotti, Jager, Ouzo and Gluhwein.  But now? My liver reminds me daily of the days it’s slowly taking off my life.  I will watch you drink and I will steal steins and glasses for you to take home, but please stop yelling at me, demanding that I drink 90 beers with you.  And no more Bud Light requests.  You will drink German beer and you will like it.

14.  I will steal your change if you leave it out.  I don’t think that makes me a bad person.  It’s survival of the fittest over here and at I least warn you.  Hide it or have it taken. 

15.  Have a great time while you are here. 

There, that should do it for now.  As more guests arrive, more rules will pop up.  I may just post them on the fridge next year as a reminder to those who visit.  It’s not rocket science, just a few suggestions to help keep me sane. 

That being said, who is ready to book their trip for the Spring? 🙂

Another milestone…

I plan on doing another post when I have time this weekend, but for the sake of keeping it simple….here is how I kicked off my weekend last night.   That’s three whole liters of Turkish vodka with some sort of fruit punch/red bull combo.  Have I mentioned lately how much I heart Germany?

me glass boot

Fall in Germany and the year of weddings

path of leavesI have to admit, I feel bad for our parents this week, which is a new feeling for me.  Our poor parents, they now have me Katie youngtwo daughters getting married in the same year because Katie is engaged!!!  I wondered why my mother kept sending me facebook messages about calling on Sunday night (no, I didn’t wonder, Linda is a facebook nut, she can’t get enough of wall postings) and sure enough, come Monday morning when I did get in touch with Katie, there was a whole lot of shrieking and crying and shouting jubilantly.  I would have cried with her, but I derek and katedon’t do that and it was funny listening to her lose it the day aftershe got engaged.  It was cute, really, and she deserves to be this happy.  First her nursing job and now her engagement…something I know she’s been not so secretly hoping for for about mmmmmmm 5 of the 6 years she and Derek have been together.  Haha, I laugh because we’re so different, and because I really am so happy for her. 

So this year, we get to plan our weddings together, though no part of our weddings will be joint.  I don’t do joint and I am selfish and like my own celebrations, where I get to be the center of attention. 🙂  There are only a few times in your life when you can have the world revolve around you and I think a wedding is one of those times.  Besides, she wants a beach-ish setting in July and I want a barn/rustic/lake setting in October.  I really thought she was going to try and steal October from me, as its our favorite month, but alas, she did not and thank god because we would have had to fight it out in our front lawn, just like we used to in high school. Ha.  That would be a sight.  Anyway, she already wants to go dress shopping and talk centerpieces and thank god she loves weddings because my poor mother is not going to be thrilled with my planning or wedding ideas.  Thank god for sisters…my mother can tackle that wedding. 

In thinking of the next year to come and the past 26 years my sister and I have spent together, I have noted a few differences between me and Katie:

Katie is a romantic, optimistic, mostly responsible person.  She is a great baker, crafter and caretaker in general. She is like a mini Martha Stewart, but nicer and prettier, of course.  She likes the elderly, small children, and can tend to the sick.  She can sew and scrapbook and run a marathon if she really wanted to.  She likes to have her house in order, and she loves the idea of a wedding and marriage.  She’s probably more like my mother than I am, but she did inherit my father’s sense of humor, except I get to be the funnier one.  She has small hands and pretty eyes, and wants the perfect wedding dress.  She will invite the family that I will not, which is fine, I’m good at playing the asshole.  She will have a white house for her White family in no time, and she will have kids far before I do.  She is the perfect sister…the one that makes you look bad at the holidays, but that’s ok, I love her for it and I really miss her.  A lot. me kate wedding

Me?  I’ve never wanted a wedding or marriage because until I met Chris, I didn’t believe in either, and for the sake of keeping this a nice post, I won’t go into why.  I won’t get married at a church like Katie will, and my dress will come from JCrew.com.  At her wedding, her tables will have expensive flowers, at mine we’ll have pumpkins and while hers will have more money spent on music and flowers, mine is going straight to food and booze.  We all know I don’t bake–didn’t anyone wonder why there are no pumpkin bread pics?  I’ve never wanted a white picket fence…I’ll take a tent and train pass through Europe.  My house is never in order and I make my bed only twice a week.   I am most like my father–funny, temperamental, extroverted, but luckily, she got his nappy hair.  I am jaded, pessimistic and not responsible at all most days….and these are just a few ways we are different. 

I’m excited to plan the next year with her.  She is my best friend and my maid of honor and I’m hers.  Looks like 2010 is going to be a great year…I’m looking forward to it. 

Alright.  That was enough sap for a month.  Jesus, no more girly wedding talk.  Back to my life in Germany.  It’s really german countrysideofficially fall here!  The leaves are changing, the air is a beautiful and sunny 60 degrees and the earth crunches beneath my feet wherever I go.  It was Thanksgiving this weekend inred treeGermany, Erntedankfest, but it’s really not a big deal here.  It’s a day of cooking fish a sleeping, surprise, surprise.  So instead of sleeping all day, we took a ride through the country with the dogs, looking for fall and enjoying the nice weather.  We made a stop in Babenhausen and Tuberlingen, both about within 40 minutes of my house.  They are both really pretty, quaint towns—one a small town with great German architecture, and one a university town, with a cute little town square nestled on a river and a castle high atop the hill.  We gave them both 3 stars out of our 5 star scoring system, and we decided we’d bring family there on the days we aren’t doing something amazing, like touring tuberlingen waterSalzburg or eating croissants in France.  Speaking of bringing family here, there, everywhere…Chris’ family arrives in three days…Today is Trey’s last full day in Europe and I drop him off tomorrow.  I have two full days of quiet to clean my house and then tada!  the Hopkins family is here for 11 days.  The tentative agenda we’ve made makes me dizzy just thinking about it. 

Friday we’re surprising them and bringing them to Volksfest to give them an idea of what Oktoberfest is like in Germany, yet keeping them local so they don’t pass out due to jetlag.  It will clearly not be as crazy as the night we went, as I limit my beer intake so as not to get fresh with the in-laws. 

Saturday is a day of rugby.  Chris is playing in Frankfurt so we’ll be up there, finding something to do.  I really don’t find Frankfurt attractive or entertaining, so I’m working on finding a nice restaurant or castle or something for us to look at between now and then.  Apparently we should check out the Städelsches Kunstinstitut (one of Europe’s finest collections), Goethehaus (Wolfgang von Goethe’s childhood home), the Gothic St. Bartholomäus Cathedral (which offers a great view), and Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt’s preserved old quarter).  We’ll see.  I like to wander more than I like noted tourist attractions…

Sunday is a trip to Strasbourg.  I know I was just there last week but I don’t care.  I would live there and commute tohouse on canal the bases in Germany for work if I could.  It’s that pretty.  Just to prove how pretty it is, here flammkuchenis yet another picture of Strasbourg, the love of my life.   This time I’m going to make sure I find myself a restaurant that serves flammkuchen, one of my most favorite french treats–it’s like pizza, but not italian at all.  Fantastic.  I’m also going to take a picture of this street mime I know that stands in front of Notre Dame de Strasbourg…this mime had the audacity to having a staring contest with me last time I was there, and I”m sure she could tell that I was freaked the hell out by her, which seemed to entertain her.  I could be making this all up in my head, but I can’t let some stupid street mime beat me in a staring contest.  It’s on and I will win.  And I will take her picture and not give her money, just to punish her for scaring me last week.

Monday-Thursday will be days of rest/day trips.  I’ll go back to Hohenzollern (third time) and probably Fussen (third time) and Lake Constance (third time).  They’re easy trips that will keep the in-laws entertained and get us out of the house.  Fri-Sun we have a big weekend of the Eagle’s Nest (which I find boring and not at all as interesting as advertised), Salzburg (I LOVE YOU HOME OF MOZART) and Munich (post Oktoberfest so as to remain alive).   It should be a very fun and exciting week, though exhausting, because just planning it makes me want to take a nap.

Looks like it’s time for me to start banging out my to do list.  That and when Trey wakes up, we just might go find liderhosen and dirndls on sale and vintage clothes in the Stu.  Apparently all Trey wears is vintage tees and he wants a few German ones to take home with him.  Who knew.