Tom wanted a tour of my new apartment. I picked all my favorite things to show him.
Two years ago this past weekend, my father had an accident at a church dinner dance and broke his hip which led to emergency surgery which led to a staph infection which led to some unimaginable medical mishaps which led to a horrible amount of pain and screaming which led to eight months in a wheelchair which led to a new hip which FINALLY! led to physical therapy which led to now:
Dad is pretty much back to normal.
(In terms of his hips, that is. I can’t quite say my dad has ever been normal, if you know what I mean.)
My father was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support he received during his journey back to health and so he decided to throw a huge party this past weekend. It was basically a THANK GOD I AM STILL ALIVE party, with a huge emphasis on gratitude for the people who helped him. On Friday night, my parents rented out a hall on Long Island, got a completely insane amount of food and invited a gazillion people to party on. We ate and we danced and we celebrated life and all that it gives to us – the good, the bad, the friends and family who carry us through.
(Saturday was also my parents’ 34th wedding anniversary so they kept making out WHICH IS SO GROSS CUTE.)
My dad called me a few months back when they were party planning and said he kind of wanted to do a little magic show, to thank some specific people who helped him and make everyone laugh. He asked if I would participate and reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in years.
When I was in sixth grade, I did a report on humor.
(ELEVEN YEAR OLD LAURA,
YOU ARE SO ADORABLE.
TWENTY-EIGHT YEAR OLD LAURA.)
As part of my project, I brought my dad in to class for a presentation.
(If you are new to this blog, you may not realize that my dad is a part-time clown/magician. Just let that sink in. I KNOW.)
My dad and I put on a skit for my class called Banana/Bandana which is comedy at its very very basic and very very best. A simple misheard word turns into hilarity (you hope). When dad asked if I wanted to perform an encore of our COMPLETELY HILARIOUS AWESOME 6th grade comedy routine for his party, I was all YES because my dad is the best in the world.
“REMEMBA,” my dad said to me over the phone a few days before the party. “I DO MOST OF DA WORK. YOU JUST GOTTA STAND BEHIND ME AND HAM IT UP.”
And so I did.
May I now present, Laura and her Dad, a phenomenal comedy duo, performing ‘Banana/Bandana’. This video is rated G except for the parts where my slip keeps showing and I am sorry about that and hope it will not offend. This video also contains the most incredible Brooklyn accent you may ever have the pleasure of hearing. You can thank me later.
Pretty sure I will treasure this video until the end of time. Huge thanks to my super studly boyfriend who used his iPhone to record this after I realized my video camera which I had DEFINITELY CHARGED BEFOREHAND was…DEFINITELY NOT CHARGED BEFOREHAND.
The incredibleness of me and my super healthy dad. (Can we talk about how skinny he is? Dude has lost almost 30 pounds.)
ENOUGH ABOUT HIM. LET’S WATCH HIM.
So! A little over a month ago, my cousin Christine got married in Massachusetts. It was the most lovely wedding and I was correct in assuming she would be a beautiful bride. Like, GAWGEOUS. I’d been meaning to put together some photos from it but in six weeks, had only managed to put about half up on flickr. Then I got distracted by something bright and shiny.
SELF, I thought. WAIT! THERE ARE SO MANY MAGICAL PHOTOS! YOU SHOULD MAKE A VIDEO OF ALL THE PHOTOS! PHOTO MONTAGE! SET TO MUSIC! IT’LL ROCK! I envisioned a glorious and tender video clip full of pictures set to “Wind Beneath My Wings”. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Yeah. The thing is that it’s a great idea until you sit down to do it and then iMovie keeps freezing and shutting down and you forgot to save the latest version and why is it coming out blurry? and you realize you left out a few pictures of certain people and are they going to get offended and it sort of has to flow with the music but the timing just isn’t working out and then you THROW YOUR COMPUTER OUT THE WINDOW and it kills a homeless person on the sidewalk below.
C’est la vie.
This is why, three months later, I still haven’t begun to touch the videos of me and Tom in Italy. I think I uploaded about three clips and then I was all, OKAY THAT IS ENOUGH.
BUT BUT BUT – Christine’s wedding was such an absolute blast and my very favorite people were there and how could I not make a PHOTO MONTAGE because we were all crazy on the dance floor for about seventy gazillion hours and wait, did we talk about this?
You know how at most weddings (most of my experience with weddings is in the NYC area so this could just be a regional thing), you show up to the reception and there’s a cocktail hour maybe and you drink wine and then you meander into the bigger room and you sit down and the DJ does that really annoying introducing thing like WEEEEEEEEEEEEEELCOME FOR THE FIRST TIME! MR. AND MRS. SOTOMAYOBLEWSKI!!!!!!!!!!!
(I hate that part.)
(Not as much as I hate the cake in the face or the garter. But I’m getting too involved in sharing my wedding opinions which, no one cares about. AM I RIGHT LADIES?)
Anyway! Then all the people come in and the bride and groom have a dance maybe (I cry during this part), then you sit down and eat something and then the maid of honor gives a speech and cries (YOU GUYZ ARE MEANT 2 B, I’VE NEVER MET TWO PEOPLE MORE DESTINED 2 B 2GETHER…) and then the best man gives a speech (REMEMBER THAT TIME DEREK GOT ALL DRUNK AT THAT FRAT PARTY?) and then you eat some more? And then maybe they put on some tunes, usually to get the old people dancing, a little LET’S TWIST AGAIN, LIKE WE DID LAST SUMMER or RUNAROUND SUE (my dad’s fave) and then you sit back down and eat some more and then maybe they play some disco (OHHHHH TOOT TOOT! YEAH! BEEP BEEP!) and then you eat some more and maybe spend the last hour or two dancing to some legit popular tunes that the bride shouldn’t be allowed to dance to (ALL THE SINGLE LADIES!).
Um. Okay. Is that about right? Is that in the ballpark? No? Just me?
Christine’s wedding went something like this:
– COCKTAIL HOUR – WINE WINE PLUS I HAD SOME WINE
– Meander into the big room HEYYYYYYYYY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, MR. AND MRS. YOU KNOW WHO!!!
– Maid of Honor speech that actually included something other than crying and I KNOW U GUYZ WILL BE SO HAPPY! It was good!
– Best man speech in the thickest Boston accent ever, leaving me completely bewildered because I understood NOTHING.
– EAT EAT EAT
– 17 Hours of Dancing
Seriously. We danced for one thousand hours. I felt like I was 22 again and staying out until 4 am in those crazy clubs in the Meatpacking District.
Oh, wait. I never did that.
But if I did, it would’ve felt like Christine’s wedding. And I mean that in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY because instead of gross Manhattanites, I was surrounded by my family – Christine and Tom and their four other insane siblings, MY insane siblings, one of who was extremely intoxicated due to lots of whiskey, aunts and uncles and friends and MY GOD YOU GUYS! IT WAS SUPER AMAZEBALLS.
I THROW MY HANDS UP IN THE AIR SOMETIMES SAYING AY YO.
Which reminds me.
I love weddings. I do. I mean, I think they are great. And my favorite weddings are the weddings that are a perfect example of the two people getting married. You know what I mean by this? The little touches that make you say OH THAT IS SUCH A GARY THING TO DO…
Oh, Gary and his penchant for thoughtful wedding favors.
You get my drift though.
Christine and Scott’s wedding was a wedding like that. It was sophisticated and simple and meaningful and the music went on for three days.
I should’ve expected this because Christine has always loved music and dancing and I remember her Sweet 16, which happened back before MTV got involved and these parties were just becoming really popular and OH MAN were we on the dance floor for one million years dancing to such classics such as BOOM BOOM BOOM, LEMME HEAR YOU SAY WAY-OH – WAY OHHHHHHHHHHHH and BABY WHEN WE’RE GRINDING, I GET SO EXCITED…
Oh, the late 90’s. You are a time to cherish.
ANYWAY. I am getting SO OFF TOPIC HERE.
The point is that Christine loves to dance and so at her wedding, we danced and danced and danced until I could no longer feel my feet and I cannot remember having that much fun, really. Ever. So, weddings rule.
And to commemorate the experience, here is a video montage, sadly NOT set to “Wind Beneath My Weddings”. I know. You’re upset. Don’t worry. Maybe that’ll happen in the future.
Maybe I’ll make a video of me dancing with my father who’s in a wheelchair. It’ll involve me pushing him around in a circle on a dance floor, spinning while in a unitard, maybe twirling ribbons or a baton or two. JUST YOU WAIT. That video is gonna be sick. Perhaps I can start out with “Wind Beneath My Wings” and then as I jump into my dad’s arms in the wheelchair and we spin together, the music will segue into “Butterfly Kisses”.
You guys. I think that might just be gold.
IN THE MEAN TIME.
Here you go!
The craziest photo montage of the craziest cousins around!
Music by Vampire Weekend.
Congrats, Christiner Beaner! That wedding was MAD FUN and Boston accents still baffle me.
Growing up, I was a huge fan of Shel Silverstein. I read, re-read and recited tons of his poems from A Light in the Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends. In fact, I got a role in my very first play in 4th grade by reciting “‘I will not go to school today,’ said little Peggy Ann McKay. I have the measles and the mumps! A gash, a rash and purple bumps!”
I bought both volumes of poems for Owen and River for Christmas and we’ve been delightedly reading them aloud before bed ever since. They seemed really into them for awhile, despite some of the drawings being WAY CREEPIER than I ever remember and some of the poems being downright horrifying. (Sorry we read “For Sale”, you guys! That poem where the weird screaming guy tries to sell his kid! I WILL GIVE YOU MONEY TO TALK ABOUT THIS IN THERAPY IN 20 YEARS! MY BAD!)
However, none of the poems can compare to what the twins are really obsessed with: another Shel Silverstein book that I had never before read. It was another Christmas present from someone else and they show no sign of ever putting it down. They demand it at bedtime every single Saturday and lately, we’ve been taking turns reading it aloud as the twins can read the whole thing and then some. But also because by now, we’ve all got it memorized.
I wouldn’t really classify the book as a kids’ book. I mean, the meat of it goes completely over their heads. (Like a ‘for kids but really for adults’ Pixar movie, I suppose.) In fact, the first time we read it, I almost cried. I found it so incredibly sad.
The book is about a circle that is missing a piece. He goes off in search of his missing piece and does all kinds of things until he finds it—he passes a beetle, a butterfly lands on him, etc. and as he goes along, he sings a song about how he is looking for his missing piece.
Toward the middle of the book, he meets various pieces but they do not fit. They are too big or too small or they don’t want to be his missing piece. THEN! OH JOY! He FINDS HIS MISSING PIECE! And you think the book is going to end happily!
It doesn’t. Well. It does, I suppose. Just not in the way you expect.
He realizes that with his missing piece, he cannot be himself. He can’t sing his song, he can’t talk to the beetle or the butterfly, he can’t do anything he did before. So at the end, he gently sets down his missing piece and goes on his way.
THANKS, SHEL SILVERSTEIN.
FOR SHATTERING ALL OF OUR DREAMS.
I have heard there is a follow-up to this book called “The Missing Piece Meets The Big O” so maybe something is resolved but I haven’t yet read it and let’s be honest: it sounds like a porno.
THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF THIS BLOG ENTRY.
The point is that I love the book so so so much, way more than I did the first time I read it. It really resonates with me, someone who often feels like I am missing a piece but who is also reluctant to give up some of herself to find that piece. I still wonder if it is possible to still be me AND have a missing piece.
But that is neither here nor there.
What I really want to share with you is that when the song comes up in the book:
Oh, I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
Hi-dee-ho, here I go
Lookin’ for my missin’ piece…
Owen and River belt out a tune that is just UNREAL, singing it with a very particular melody that they made up. It never ever changes. And I often find myself humming it randomly throughout the day because OH, it is pretty catchy. (Those twins are musical GENIUSES.)
I’ve been thinking about the fact that the twins’ interest in singing this song and reading this book will eventually wane. They will attach themselves to something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT as kids are wont to do. (Maybe so mething like Pokemon and that will cause my insides to spontaneously combust and I will die.) And oh, I will be so sad when they are no longer on my lap screaming out the lyrics to MY MISSIN’ PIECE with raw emotion and artistry.
And so, on Saturday, I attempted to capture it on video so that it would be preserved for all time.
My favorite thing about the song is Owen’s commitment to it. This rendition is particularly soulful as he croons his missing piece song like a singer-songwriter on a stool with his guitar. I especially love his attention to detail. Namely, his observation that ‘looking’ and ‘missing’ do not have ‘g’s and he abbreviates them appropriately. WITH FEELING.
I present to you now, Owen reading the first few pages of Shel Silverstein’s “The Missing Piece” which of course, includes him singing an evocative rendition of the Missing Piece Song.
You are welcome in advance. HAND THIS BOY A GRAMMY.
Here are two videos from the winter weekend. The first requires some explaining.
As I mentioned, I was pretty sick during our trip. On Sunday, after breakfast, I decided to go back to bed and take a nap. Apparently, while I was sleeping, PCG took a very relaxing hot bath in our large awesome bathtub. When I woke up, he was all LET ME RUN YOU A BATH! YOU’LL LOVE IT! And I was so so so excited because it sounded AMAZING.
Of course, when I stepped into the bath, it was ice cold.
Because PCG used up all the hot water for HIS bath.
I decided to take a video and ask him how his bath went since I sadly was not going to get the chance to experience my own. OH I AM SO SARCASTIC AND HILARIOUS.
Noteworthy tidbits from the video!
1. PCG’s real name! I believe I use it in both videos because, duh, I do not refer to him in real life by his blog pseudonym. SHOCKER.
2. PCG spends the first part of the clip grumbling about me and “Long Island girls”, namely “North Shore” girls (PCG is from the SOUTH shore of LI.) and then the rest of the video telling the camera how I was drooling in my sleep, etc. He’s so nice, no?
3. His last question at the very end of the clip – “What kind of car are we driving?” cracked me up at the time because it seemed to be the running joke of the trip. You see, when we picked up our rental car, I was on the phone with my mom and to her, I said, “Our rental car is awesome! Brand new!” and when she asked what kind of car it was, I said “Red” which apparently was hilarious because for the rest of the trip, PCG was all LOOK! ANOTHER RED CAR! THEY SURE DO MAKE A LOT OF THESE TYPES OF CARS, etc. etc. EXCUSE ME. I meant to say – BRAND NEW RED TOYOTA COROLLA but I didn’t know that at the time, I just knew the color and by the way, SHUT UP.
So, knowing all that (aren’t you so glad you know all that?), here’s some video fun.
The second video requires far less explanation as it is simply PCG and I going down a mountain on a snowtube. HOLLER?
Last week, my roommate and I hit up a Jason Mraz concert which was nothing short of spiritual.
Except for the GOD AWFUL HORRENDOUS ATROCIOUS opening acts.
At one point, I busted out a magazine and flipped through it, waiting for the hell to end.
When that got boring, my roommate turned the camera toward me and this is what ensued. I could apologize for my blatant rudeness. Then again, I don’t have to. YOU’RE WELCOME.
I spit out water at my desk at work watching this video.
I mean, just kidding. I don’t watch videos at work! Oh my God! How could you SAY that!? AT WORK, I AM OBVIOUSLY WORKING.
So here is a video for you to watch when you’re NOT working. ENJOY. (Thanks Tom for sharing the love!)
My dad learned three new magic tricks recently and I say “new” because that is meant to imply that he knows at least a dozen others and practices them regularly.
He was VERY excited to show us all his new tricks yesterday when I traveled home for Easter Sunday.
I wasn’t able to catch them all on video as my camera didn’t have the capacity but I did manage to capture this one. My favorite part is when my sister-in-law enters the scene completely unaware and is rewarded with multiple bops on the head via yellow balloon.
Enjoy the crazy Polack at his finest.
Okay. So this year sucked for the most part. HOWEVER, when I was looking through all my pictures to make this video, I realized that 2008 was also full of so much joy. So, I take it back that it sucked for the most part. It sucked a lot. But not THAT much. Does this help?
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
My first resolution is finished – learn how to use iMovie. I suck at it and there’s one picture that goes by really fast and some if it is blurry and WAH WAH I SUCK AT LIFE. But here you go, my first attempt.