Just Another Memey Monday

Momma Chaos tagged me for a meme that *I can't believe it* I've never done before.  The jist is that you go to your 6th picture folder and publish the 6th picture.  Um, I'm naked in that picture.  We've already covered that.  So I'm totally cheating, and I don't care what you think of me for it.

That adorable child with the great top and the totally awesome fivehead?  Me.  Somewhere between 8 and 10, I'm not entirely sure.  That teency little baby I'm holding?  My brother.  Somewhere between 2 and 14 days, I'm not entirely sure, either.

In fact, I had no idea that picture, documenting my parents admirably sophisticated decorating scheme, even existed until my brother emailed it to me a year and a half ago.  Which doesn't seem very exciting, I know, but the thing is, that picture is damn close to the last time I saw him.

See, his mom met my dad and they went and had them some babies after my parents got divorced.  The jury is still out on whether or not their overwhelming need to procreate played any part in the divorce, but if it did, well, then I thank their naughty bits.  My parents never should have been married anyway.  In my scattered memory, my dad moved out and the very next weekend there was that new baby.  Except that if you look at that picture, I'm not 6.  So my memory is clearly wrong; imagine that.  Fact is, I don't know the age gap between us, but I think it's 8ish years.

His mother and my father had another boy two years later.  Dear god, I loved those boys.  I loved their mother, too.  She was a total raging bitch to my other brothers and sisters, but she was always really great with me.  I so wanted her to be my new mom.  My mother, for obvious reasons, wasn't the biggest fan of my father's new flame, but we spent every other weekend with him, and we lived mere blocks away from him, and the babysitter lived just doors away from us, so we got to see them plenty.  I think my mother actually let them come over once or twice to play, as well.  We were six active siblings, for sure.

My father and their mother stayed together until one fateful Christmas Eve when, on the heels of a pseudo-break up, the boys and their mom came to see my father at his new apartment, opened presents, had dinner, went to bed one big happy family, and the next morning my father woke to an empty home.  She'd taken the Christmas stuff and the boys and he never saw them again.

My father is a rather difficult man to live with.  She'd had her fill, and I gather from the sketchy stories I've been given, told him over the phone to go away and stay away, and as long as he did that, he would never have to pay her one dime of child support.  It sounds shitty that he agreed, but you should know that in his mind, she was The One.  His great love.  He still aches for her to this very day.  Her mind was made up, and he loved her enough to let her go.

I don't know much more than that.  I know he'd sent gifts to the boys that she'd taken the gift tags off of and replaced them with tags bearing the name of her new boyfriend.  She was determined to wipe him out of her existence, and he rolled over and died.  I saw her and the boys at the grocery store when I was 15 and the boys thought it was really funny that we had the same last name.  They had no clue who I was.  And that broke my heart in two.

My father and I would watch old home videos of the boys' early birthday parties sometimes, and we'd cry a little together, imagining what they were like as teenagers.  He always said that once they turned 18, once it was up to them, he'd look for them.  But he never did.  I imagine that would be a really hard road to start walking down as a parent, and I really don't blame him for just letting it be.

Occasionally, I'd look for them online.  There wasn't really "google" then, but I tried digging through Classmates, guessing what schools they'd have gone to.  I'd search whatever engines I could for their names, but we have a really common Irish last name and they live in Philly.  I just never found anything.

Until MySpace, that is.

A year and a half ago, I was dicking around on MySpace, and who did I find but a boy named Ian MyLastName, with a private profile and a blurry picture that didn't look anything like that baby up there, but he lived in the right place, and was about the right age, and so what did I do?

I freaked out, that's what.

I stared at that profile picture for a while, wrote a post about it, and eventually just sent him a random friend request with no explanation.  Which he accepted.  Once I saw his pictures, I knew it was him.  After a while longer, I got the balls to send him a message that just asked, "Hey, do you remember someone you grew up with named Shannon?"  Which, two (of the longest of my life) weeks later, he replied simply, "Are you my sister?  Because if you are, you really should just say so."

Oh, how I cried.  For days.

We eventually sat on the phone together and rehashed our lives.  He didn't know he had siblings, but when I sent him that message, he vaguely remembered that maybe there was a sister and her name was Shannon.  He sat his mom down and asked her flat out whether or not I was his sister, and she said that I sure was, and that she was more than okay with us talking.  He didn't know anything about our father; he'd never seen a picture, never heard a story, nothing.  Most importantly, he'd had a really good life.  He was happy.  He played guitar, just like we all do.  He was good at technical work, just like we all are.  His life had been good, and that's all I ever wanted to hear.

His, our, baby brother had just before I'd found them joined the Air Force, and was in Italy at the time.  We all started emailing, I gave our oldest brother (who y'all see around my comments as Gnilleps) his email address, and we are slowly starting to come together after something like 20 years.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because sometime this morning, BlogHer is going to announce where they're having BlogHer '09, and Philly is one of the 3 cities on the chopping block.  If it's in Philly, guess who I get see for the first time since before I had armpit hair?  Oh, and my littlest brother is now stationed in Little Rock, and can come up for the weekend if I'm there.

So, yeah, I'm praying quite loudly to as many gods as I can think of that they didn't pick St Louis.  I'd really like to pinch these cheeks sometime soon.

Update: Chicago. It's in CHICAGO. le'sigh. So much for killing two birds with one stone, eh?

Just Another Memey Monday

Darcie asked me to do this little meme thing the other day, and I swear with god as my witness, I've done it eleventy-hundred times before, but I'll be damned if I can find it in my archives.  Of course, I started looking for it and promptly died from boredom and had to be carted off by ambulance to the nearest ER where I had to wait for 6 hours in a waiting room with some guy who had a live lemming hanging out of his right ear and then they shocked me with those electric charge paddle things and I totally saw God, and he was really in need of an eyebrow wax, and now that I'm back I just don't think I can risk trying to read my archives again.

Anyway, seven random things about me.  Feel free to go read something more interesting.  Might I recommend this?

  1. I chew on my hair.  Constantly.  I'm doing it right now.  I oftentimes wonder if I don't have a monstrous hairball in my gulliver, and what it would look like if I ever coughed it up.

  2. My pretend celebrity boyfriend is Mos Def. Because yum.  Also, yowzas.

  3. I have never seen a Freddy, Michael Myers, or Chucky movie.  I'm quite susceptible to nightmares.  Charlotte's Web gave me one.

  4. Joe Vs The Volcano and Jesus Christ Superstar and Death To Smoochy are battling for the title of My #1 Favorite Movie Of All Time.  Next time I tell you I have excellent taste in movies, you can feel free to tell me to shove it up my ass.

  5. When I stand up straight and still, I have to cross my feet.  There's no way to describe this.  Stand up with your feet side by side.  Now, take your right foot and put it on the left side of the left foot.  Like, line them up.  That's how I stand.  Yes, it's completely obnoxious, but I'll fall down if I don't.

  6. I LOVE going to the dentist.  Overly.  And flossing.  Flossing is the bomb, baby.

  7. I also love religious stuff.  Not even the cheeky, funny things.  I have a wall of crosses, I can't ever throw away a rosary, I have boxes of biblical reference material, shelves full of Templar books, an  hors d’oeuvre dish with the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows, and so on.  I am a religion junkie.  Which in only random insomuch that I am an fairly staunch atheist.

Mrs 4444, Mr I, Rodious, William, Mama Nuggle, MariaBird, RagingDad, and Special K; would you be so kind as to participate?

Rate the Hate the Pot Luck Edition

Tonight, we're not having a recipe post. Today, the recipe is the invitees. Auds at Barking Mad has asked us to host a dinner party on our blogs and invite 10 bloggers to come over. I am all over that shit, yo. Especially since Andrea at Little Bald Doctors and Dana at Supernanny, Where Are You have already asked me over and I'm plum out of anymore dishes to bring.

I am supposed to invite 10 people I'd really like to meet in real life, so I am assuming I should omit those I already HAVE met in real life, for the sake of fairness. I had to wiggle some ladies in there, but for mostly unselfish reasons.

1. I'm trying to do this by menu item. First, in charge of the wine, I'm inviting Ron at Ducks Mahal. I don't know if Ron know thing one about wine, but I'm betting he's hysterical all drunk. He also gets to say grace before dinner, because there's something about him that makes me really want to go to church again. Ron is my kind of believer.

2. With some seriously refined appetizers, I'm inviting Andrea at Mommy's Martini. She made some dip for Bossy that evidently inspired proposals of marriage or something. Come on over, Andrea. Bring those martini recipes, too. I know they'll be as elegant as she is. Andrea will sit right next to me and correct me every time I drop a semi-colon in; the wrong place. And then we will laugh our asses off over almost nothing at all, like we were 13 or something.

3. I am recruiting Chris Cactus (and of course, his wife Beth) to bring the juice boxes and the Baskin Robbins cake for the kids. He knows why. I am inviting them because, well, I kind of want to hook up at least one of their kids with mine. You've got to at least try to pick your co-grandparents, right? I also secretly hope Chris will make a mixtape for us to listen to. Chris will be in charge of making sure the bathroom is clear of all freaks, short, mythical, outlandish or just flat out wrong before we enter. He will take 5,439 pictures of the party, and he will be the focal point of 5,438 of them. And that will be just fine.

4. I am inviting Jenny, the Bloggess, because as much as I lovelovelove her and no bathroom counter will ever feel the same again to me *wink*, my husband is majorly in crush with her, and he may not survive much longer if he doesn't meet her. I'm asking her to bring some oxygen tanks for the rest of you who don't know yet that you have to remember to breath when she talks, because she doesn't, at all, and you won't either. Just like when your husband snores all night and then stops, and you wake up almost but not quite totally asphyxiated. Fucker.

5. Laskigal is bringing the main dish. Why, I don't know. I just get the feeling she could make a really great main dish. She is just really great, kind of all the time. I think she'll make something interesting, but not at all pretentious, with just enough but not too many ingredients, and there will totally be something deep and spicy about what she makes. None of us will be able to quite put our finger on what it is, but we'll want more. After her course is over, we'll all be really settled and content. Because she's awesome like that.

6. Kori is going to get stuck making some side dish, and she'll do it, and she'll roll her eyes at me the whole time for making her do it, and we'll sit across the table from each other all night and make really quiet, subtle, inappropriate jokes that no one else will catch. We'll go outside together for a smoke, and we'll have some earth shattering heart to heart chat, and then we'll go back in and be all cool and collected and sly. She will tell stories over dinner, she'll be really monotone and even and calm about those stories, and the rest of us will sit with our jaws on the floor while she speaks, and we will all be in total awe of her come the end of the night. Then she'll make a blow job reference. And THAT is why she's invited. I can't be the ONLY one making them.

7. I am inviting the Suburban Kamikaze, because god knows someone has to get her out of the mid-west, even if for only one night. She's in charge of after-dinner drinks, and I fully expect them to have those snow-ball ice circles in them, sister. She will wear really hot underwear, and she will say things that everyone else in the room is thinking, kind of, but she will say them in a way none of us would ever think to, and we all will lose our will to speak by the end of the night, and just let her do it for us. We won't be sad about it, either; she's that good.

8. I am asking Momo-Fali to bring the beer, so long as it isn't Natural Light. She will be in charge of making sure there are no germs left on the counter, on our hands, in the air, or around most of the major metropolitan area. Afterward, she will write a 4 sentence recap of our dinner party, and it will be the most funny, brilliant thing anyone has ever read, and the entire night will be summed up perfectly. And her son will have labeled us all neatly before the night is through.

9. Polly, or Lesbian Dad as you may know her, is coming with Ms. Lesbian Mom and their children, who are so beautiful we will all be rendered instantly sterile, because what's the point, really? She's bringing dessert. She will talk of deep things, of stories that need to be told, with words that must be said, and we will all cry and be changed and forever moved, and then I will take the dessert she brings and lick it off of her. And I think she'll let me.

10. I am asking Sleep Deprivation Ninja to come, and we won't actually notice he's there, but occasionally we'll see a dark, shrouded blur whiz past us and hear a little chuckle adrift in the air. Just image how fast the dishes will be cleared from the table after dinner. Every dinner party needs a ninja in attendance. Just sayin'.

11. Fuck it, rules were made to be broken. RedNeck Mommy is coming, but you wouldn't know it unless I told you, because we look exactly alike, are almost exactly the same age, have almost exactly the same story, both have nose rings, are both Canadian, and both have so many kids we're about to have to move into a shoe. We will just trade places all night, never being in the same room at the same time, and you'll be slightly confused, but you'll get over it, because she's totally enchanting like that.

And that's all I'm allowed to invite, which kind of sucks, because I'd like to ask a whole lotta other people over. Maybe we'll have to do it again sometime.

Updated for what I suspect isn't the last time:

What's a party without some crashers? NO KINDA PARTY, that's what. Carolyn is crashing, and it's going to cause a bit of discord in her home because, well, she lives with a possessive jerk. *wink* She better not bring her kids, though, because we're serving Paranta and, well, go see for yourself. I have it on good authority that her kids will NOT be amused.

Ree is sneaking in with Andrea, and she's bringing the KY. Yep, I said it.

We'll see who else shows up. I'd better bust out some dixie plates.

It's the Time of the Season...

Let's hope you can see the picture now. Also, there's some more terrible advice over at Stark Raving Dads
today. Go, and be amazed. At our mediocrity.

MommyTime, my, like, just about all-time favorite blogging chic, wants to know your prom story.

I don't have a picture of me in my dress, but I did manage to dig up this little gem.We have no life.

Prom. Huh. I didn't go to one school dance until my junior year of HS. My Junior homecoming was my first school dance, ever, and I was the (dateless) photographer. My senior prom however.... I was crazy-stalker in L.O.V.E. with some guy from high school. I wanted him to ask me to prom *this* bad, and made that quite clear, but yeah, he thought I was a crazy stalker.


My BFF, whom we shall call Ditto, asked me to go in the very nonchalant way he did everything. I accepted, in the very nonchalant way I did (almost) everything.

I picked him up about 30 minutes before the gig started, and he was still in a t-shirt, playing video games. I had to help get his tie straight while his mother found his Doc's. While I was wearing THAT monstrosity. That my boobies looked so good in, you don't even know.

Anyway, he hadn't eaten yet, so we hit the Burger King Drive-Thru and then off to prom we went.

Warm and Fuzzy, no?Our prom was held in a (remarkable spacious) hallway of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, giving us a lovely view all night of <---this.

My English teacher spent the evening from the balcony heckling all the girls who dared hoist there boobies up in the middle of the dance floor. I spent most of the night waiting for Mas Younon to ask me to dance, and Ditto more than likely spent most of the night waiting for me to stop waiting for Mas Younon. Whatever.

We did our thing, hit the stupid after-prom, and then I drove him home. I was admittedly nervous, so I also offered the German foreign exchange student and some girl I can't remember the name of but I seem to associate with food stuck in braces a ride home. I dropped Ditto off first. No hanky panky, no making out, nothing.

That? I TOTALLY regret.

2 years later, a friend asked me to go with his little 10th grade brother to his prom, and that I totally did. And that? Was, like, the funniest night EVER. We danced the Time Warp. In kilts. I was WAY older and cooler than every girl there. And that little 10th grader was suddenly the coolest boy in school. And my dress was LEAGUES better. Just sayin.'

That, friends, is my very boring ass prom story. Please don't make me ever tell it again. But now that I've shared mine, you HAVE to share yours. Let MommyTime know if you do.

Updated: You all need to read this. Goddamnit, I wish this had been MY prom story. Matt, you are officially the comment of the week.
I am a little late on this one, but my prom story is pretty good. My plan was to go to the prom with my girlfriend at the High School, five minutes at the after-party, then to some hotel rooms we'd reserved with a group of friends.

On the way to pick her up I stopped at a Quick Trip for a fountain soda. As I was paying, I saw a shady guy in a fishing hat and a Union Jack T-shirt eyeing my van (I had painted it black and red like the A-Team one) suspiciously. When I questioned him about it, he handed me five hundred dollars in American express Travelers Checks and told me to follow him to the alley behind the gas station, where he peeled back the corner of an old tarp that was covering the bed of his maroon El Camino. There were 4 or five Hefty bags in it. He said the money was mine if I drove them in my van to a trailer park in Missouri and dropped them in a dumpster that had the phrase "pemmican rules" written on it in green spray paint.

Being young and stupid, I took the money. There were no cell phones back then, so I hoped my date wouldn't be too pissed...Missouri was about an hour away.

Sure enough, as I was crossing the Martin Luther King Bridge, a cop going the other way turned on his lights. I watched, horrified, in the rearview as he pulled a sharp U-turn. Damn! I jerked the van to the side, ran to the back, ripped open the bags and started dumping the contents over the guard rail. I couldn't believe what was inside. Cat heads. Perfectly preserved. Hundreds of them. Some of them seemed to look at me angrily as they fell, growing smaller and smaller until they splashed into the Mississippi, making soft plopping noises. The cop pulled up behind me, his brakes squealing. To make matters worse, a local Channel 7 news team happened to be passing by and got the whole thing on film. I was all over the evening news on prom night as "The Cat Head Kid". Needless to say, I spent the whole night in jail and missed my prom. My girlfriend left me and I was the laughing stock of the town for a while. I did manage to keep one of the heads though. It sits on a shelf in my bathroom next to my back scratcher and a bottle of Brut aftershave.

Pretty boring night, actually. Sorry for the long comment.

A meme that I did NOT get tagged for

Because I almost never get tagged for those things. Perhaps I'm boring to the general masses. Perhaps I already reveal too much. Who knows?

Anyways, here we go. (Updated a bit upon further consideration)

Name your (current) top 5 movies of all time.
Hmmm. #5: Babe. Tied for #5: Scotland, PA. It's brilliant. Watch it. #4: Elf. I don't care if it's 117 out and July, that freaking movie rocks. #3: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Hey, it struck a cord, you know? Tied for #3: War Games. #2: Raising Arizona. Every time that bunny blows up, I almost pee my pants. Every f'ing time. #1: Jesus Christ Superstar. Don't you judge me. *

What is your favorite movie line ever?
Eeeew, this is tough. I'm going with Molly's answer: I like smiling, smiling's my favorite.
On second thought: You take that diaper OFF your head and put it back on your sister! Or my super-duper fav ever: Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt...of elderberries!

Who is your favorite movie character?
No hesitation at all on this one: Michael Corleone. Yummalicious.

What movie do you love that most people hate?
Also easy: Death to Smoochy. It's totally tied for second with Raising Arizona. I never understood why people didn't dig that movie. It kills me.

What movie do you hate that most people love?
All the Jim Carey obnoxious movies. Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber. I loathe them. And Gone With the Wind. Loved the acting, hated the movie as a whole. And now that I think about it, Grease. Yuck. Eeee. I've never seen it all the way through, but once, when I was 21, I sat down and tried to watch it. I really, truly tried, but it is seriously the most wretched piece of c-r-a-p I've ever seen. This is coming from a girl who loves Joe Vs. the Volcano. I'm open and shit. Ughth.

What is the last movie you saw in the theatre?
I saw half of some movie in the theater for my kids birthday, and spent the other half in the lobby with a screaming one year old. Last whole movie I saw was Stranger Than Fiction. With a very cute boy. Who was not on a date with me.

What was the last movie you watched on DVD or via Video OnDemand?
Last night I watched Jackass 2. I have puffy eyes today from laughing so hard I cried. Before that, Apocalypto. Esthetically flawless. Totally predictable. Gorey as all hell.

Can you remember what the first DVD that you purchased was? What was it?
The Wall, baby.

(For us old fogies ... ) Can you remember the first VHS movie you purchased? What was it?
Oh god, no. My father had, like, 20 VHS decks and a movie catalog that he could have rented out to the neighbors. All we did was buy movies. I do, however, remember buying my first Beta deck. Still have it, too.

What movie have you seen that you never want to see again?
I used to manage an independent video store, guys. This could be a very long list. If I had to pick one, it would be Shindler's List. It took me years to recover from that. Oh, and St. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band. Which was my mostest favoritest movie of all time, when I was 5. Before I knew who Frampton, or the Bee-Gees, or the Beatles were. I lurved it. The other day it was on and since I hadn't seen it since I was 5, I figured I'd watch it. Not so good. Bad with a capital Horrible, to be precise.

What is your least favorite movie ever?
There's this one, this one I saw on my very first date in the fall on 1993 with the boy I would end up being engaged to for 3-ish years. I can't remember the name of it, but it was some sci-fi monstrosity that I would rather have my toenails pulled out than have to sit through again.

What song or soundtrack would you choose as your life's theme?
Opening credits: Raised on Robbery by Joni Mitchell. Why no one has snagged that for a soundtrack yet if beyond me. Closing credits: The Murder of One by Counting Crows. I have the whole middle soundtrack, too. I make soundtracks. For people. It's a problem.

Which actor or actress would you like to look like?
Um, Eliza Dushku, duh. Oh holy hell, she's gorgeous. In a question-my-own-orientation sort of way. And Aubrey Hepburn. Because everyone does. And everyone should.

What classic movie are you embarrassed to admit you've never seen?
Lots, in fact. I just can't get into the classic movies. Never seen a Chaplin Film, never seen a Marilyn film. Have seen every Coen Brothers film, however. Sad, isn't it?

What is your favorite movie genre?
This is a bad question. I guess I'd have to say independents, but I loves documentaries (LOVES) and there is nothing better than a night with Pixar. It's a bad question.

What is your least-favorite movie genre?
War movies. Ugh, I just hate them. Westerns, too.

Is there an actor/actress/director whose movies you refuse to see?
Not really. I tend to strongly dislike Kubrick movies, but he's dead now. Bygones.

What is your favorite movie concession stand snack?
Popcorn and Coke. The kids' godfather taught me this trick where you take a straw and hold it up to the nozzle on the butter-dispenser thing and shove the other end deep into the heart of your bowl of popcorn, thus evenly distributing the artery-clogging butter-ish product. It's divine.

Front row, back row, center seats, aisle seats - where do you prefer to sit in a theater?
Aisles, for sure. Three kids. Easy escape route.

*This question is hard, nigh, impossible to answer. I feel it imperative to mention Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, Joe Vs. the Volcano**, Pi, The Royal Tenenbaums, Auntie Mame, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, My Fair Lady, Monty Python's Holy Grail and Romeo & Juliet (well, Baz Lurhman in general). My little globe would cease is axis around the great sun without those movies.

**That's right, Joe Vs. the Volcano. What of it?