Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Family stuff’

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Posted by Lissa on January 27, 2009


(If you’re looking for someone to blame for The LookingForLissa Snark — that guy up thar’ is a good bet.  SRSLY.)

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Hoping I still have the intestinal fortitude of a college student

Posted by Lissa on January 26, 2009

Jenny and I went up to visit Dad last night, as a belated-Christmas early-birthday joint celebration.  There was much laughter, snarkiness, verbal flaying of thine enemies and tormenting playing with the completely stoned  catnip-mellowed tabby. 

Dinner was both easy and fun, in that we brought up Boboli mini-shells and made our own pizzas.  Jenny’s a sucker for Hawaiian pizza; she covered hers with chunk pineapple and diced ham.  I stuck with relatively simple bell peppers and pepperoni.  Dad’s pizza closely resembled mine, except his was also decorated with fiery green bits of hell jalapenos.  (Parents — this is a great way to do a casual Friday night dinner, have fun with the kids, and avoid the “But I want mushrooms on the pizza!”  “Well, I hate mushrooms!” argument.)

By the time we’d baked and eaten our pizzas, opened all the presents, eaten fruit-topped cheesecake, packed up everything and driven home, I was pretty sleepy and contented.  Which is why I forgot to put my leftover pizza in the fridge last night.

And if you think I intend to throw out pizza that I personally designed and produced myself, you are severely mistaken.

So WHAT if it sat out without refrigeration for, oh, twelve hours or so?  Once pizza is cooked, it’s good for that long, right?  Back in the college days I distinctly remember eating leftover pizza for breakfast; not only had it sat out all night but it was probably topped with stale beer, to boot.

In other words — here’s to hoping I still have the gastrointestinal fortitude of a college student.  If I’m wrong . . . well, that’s why they invented this lovely thing called Pepto Bismo.

UPDATE: Fixed the typo in the title — thanks Brad!

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Conversations from home

Posted by Lissa on January 22, 2009

LilBro2 had a birthday recently. Among his presents was a copy of this:

Mom: “What IS it?”

Stepdad: “Some robot-guy.  Look, the other dude’s only got one eye!”

Mom (peering at it): “Huh.  Wait, it’s a girl!”

Stepdad: “Huh?”

Mom:  “Look, it’s got BOOBS!”

A rule of thumb that dates back to the dawn of time, no doubt. 

My mom is AWESOME 🙂

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Family holiday traditions

Posted by Lissa on January 7, 2009

When I was but a wee, little lass, growing up in innocent springshine and dandelions, I looked forward to Christmas like noboby’s business.  Even after I stopped believing in Santa (sniff), I loved Christmas morning because I love to see people open presents.  (Full disclosure: I do not love so much SHOPPING for the presents.  I am drearily convinced that I will NOT get what they want, or if I do, my sister would have found something better, or at least cheaper.  She’s done all the Christmas present selection for the last, oh, two decades, and I’m okay with that except when I feel seriously guilty.)

Alas, dear readers, over the years Christmas also developed a dark and horrifying tradition. 

You see, I had a squishy Santa doll that I just loved.  It was huggable, it was squeezable, it was jolly.  It was a happy Santa.

So you can imagine my distress every year when my older sister would stride into a room and say, in a sinister voice:  “Hey Lee . . . HO HO HO!!!”

“Nooooooooooo!!!” I would wail, tearing off to find my poor Santa.  And every year I would find some version of . . .

Read the rest of this entry »

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12.5 pounds of Who-Roast-Beast

Posted by Lissa on December 30, 2008

This post is dedicated to Jay G, whose magnificent blogger-bash I was forced to miss for fear of ungodly wrath from four parents. (Also, I had it scheduled for this coming Saturday. Because I lack Teh Organizational Skillz.)

Anyone who has not yet presided over the melding of two families can’t understand the amount of friendly-yet-o-so-delicate negotiations that went into Saturday’s little dinner party. It started out with Mike’s mother (MM) and her sincere sadness that I refused to have a bridal shower. (All my old friends live way out-of-state; there’s no way I’d ask them to come all the way to Lissaville, Home of the Evil Conservatives, just to give me MORE swag. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who had to buy a plane ticket to come to the wedding is excused from present-buying. Also, I think bridal showers are unnecessary for someone like me — Mike and I have lived together for a little while now, we both had apartments before we cohabited, we have enough toasters and microwaves and glasses and sets of china. And, yes, I have enough risqué underwear, not that you would ask!)

Anyway, despite my vehement opinions on the subject, MM was really afraid that if I skipped out on the bridal shower I’d regret it for the rest of my life. (I have this old-fashioned goal of having this marriage with Mike last me “until death do us part.” I know, how quaint!) So she scurried about emailing with my sister and tried to arrange a bridal shower during the Christmas season, consisting of our extended families. First, we were going to have it in a hotel in Westborough. Then we were going to have it at Mike’s uncle’s house. Then my mom offered to have all twenty-ish people to her cozy little house in Liberalville. Then we were going to have it at Mike’s other uncle’s house. Then we considered just renting out the tent from Barnum & Bailey, keeping the buffalo and tigers for entertainment, naturally.

It didn’t take too much wrangling to figure out that the best solution was to have a family dinner at The Kitty Den. True, my folks had to travel all the way from Liberalville to Lissaville, Home of the Evil Conservatives — about two hours each way, ACK — but it gave Mike and me the responsibility of cooking and cleaning and decorating and serving and organizing, and that was the way it should be. After all, we’re kind of the reason for such a family gathering to occur, you know 🙂

Long story short, it went GREAT. BETTER than great. We’ve got Chinese blood on my side and Italian on his, so our idea of enough food is everyone eats enough that they consider dying but only if they can have ONE MORE BITE FIRST and then sending home leftovers. Mission accomplished! Between the cheese and crackers, bread and pepperoni, carrots and grape tomatoes and fat-free-Ranch-dip, chocolate and pretzels, Tostidos and salsa, we had more than enough . . . for appetizers 🙂 (Considering my family missed hors d’oevres, damn good thing we scotched the bacon-wrapped scallops and the pigs-in-a-blanket!)

Mike was in his element, cooking meat with fire. Rawwwrrr! He picked up a magnificent-looking bone-in twelve-and-a-half pound tenderloin roast (is that right, Mike?) from our local butcher shop and roasted that sucker PERFECTLY. I mean BEAUTIFULLY — seared on the outside to keep in the juices and wonderfully, wonderfully medium-rare on the inside. YUM! Then Mom brought a vat of homemade chicken lo mein (it does NOT taste the same as your generic Chinese restaurant, thankyouverymuch), and I added gravy for the roast and tomato-pesto pasta nests and green beans stir-fried with bacon and freshly-baked pesto bread and HAVE YOU ALL KEELED OVER AND DIED YET? HAVE YOU??

I hope not. Because for dessert we had made-from-scratch chocolate decadence cake and pecan brownies and homemade chocolate and orange-date tea bread (all from Mom) and Jenny brought a cheesecake sampler platter and a tiramisu and YES, THANK YOU LISSA, WE JUST DIED. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, B*TCH? ARE YOU??

Anyway, the parents got along fabulously, my older sister was her most charming self, my younger brothers were on their very best manners, and everyone left happy.

And as soon as they did, I turned to Mike and slapped him vigorous high-fives.

We’ve had our first grown-up dinner party, y’all. And nothing got burned, and no one died, and no one broke anything, and no one ended up in tears. HALLELUJAH!!!!

I most sincerely hope that y’all’s holidays and families went as smoothly and enjoyably as mine did. I couldn’t ask for any better, and I’m so grateful that Old Man Murphy was apparently face-down in his eggnog that night.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Lissa on December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas, to each and every one of you!  May your holiday season be full of joy and happiness and warm fuzzies and kittehs and bunnies pooping marshmallows and rainbows. 

P.S.  You know why Santa’s so jolly?   Because he knows where all the naughty girls live . . .

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Birthday present FAIL

Posted by Lissa on August 22, 2008

Dammit, dammit, dammit.  Lissa just struck out.

We sat down at one of my favorite Boston restaurants, Brasserie Jo, to celebrate Mike’s birthday (no, I’m not telling you how old he is).  We munched on hot, crusty bread spread thickly with fresh salted butter and sampled their carrots, weirdly but not unappealingly coated in some sort of dressing.  The server popped our Chauteau Greysac Medoc, we sampled a splash and filled our glasses, then toasted each other while I practically writhed in my seat with anticipation.

For you see, good peoples, I really thought I’d picked out a winner.  All wrapped in red tissue paper, decorated with a red tissue paper flower, and inside a red bag, was The Ultimate Matrixtrilogy in HD DVD.  As necessary background, you must understand: I hate the second and third Matrix movies with the power of a thousand fiery suns.  My sister and I like to pretend that they were never made; there was one movie, The Matrix, and nothing came after, they all lived happily ever after forever’n’ever amen.  So the fact that I’d bought him the repulsive follow-up movies — and by tacit implication was willing to watch them — was a present in and of itself.  Add the fact that we’d (unsuccessfully) looked for The Matrix in HD on Netflicks a few weeks ago, and I really thought I’d hit this one out of the park.

WRONG.  Turns out, they don’t make HD DVD players anymore, so Mike doesn’t buy them anymore.  It would be much better to get the Blu-Rayversion that comes out in October.  I was a bit puzzled that he wasn’t jumping up and down for joy, and he thought I really needed an explanation, so he very gently suggested that we exchange it for the Blu-Ray.  To both our horrors, my eyes started leaking.  I wasn’t CRYING, mind you.  It’s just that my tear ducts got a faulty signal from my brain and decided to start working overtime.  Stupid tear ducts.  Poor Mike was guilt-stricken like you wouldn’t believe, as I desperately tried to close the damned floodgates and stop crying into my Steak Frites.  Boo!

They messed up the steak, too; it was medium-well, instead of their usual beautiful medium-rare (as I ordered it).  Hmph.

P.S.  No, it wasn’t that bad.  I managed to stop the weepy-works (felt like THE MOST PATHETIC LITTLE GIRL IN ALL THE WORLD), the frites were delicious and the steaks were pretty good, and we followed with exquisitely-made Profiteroles (for him) and Floating Caramel Islands (for me).  I’ve already got a backup present for his birthday, so I guess he’ll get the Blu-Ray for Christmas.  And they all lived happily ever after forever’n’ever, amen.

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The kitteh’s request

Posted by Lissa on August 21, 2008

“Dear Ceiling Cat, plz to send Hapee Burthdey to Mike, KTHXBYE.  P.S. Send cheezburger.”

Happy birthday sweetie 🙂

P.S. Wish Breda’s Mike a happy birthday too!

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You go Grandma!

Posted by Lissa on August 19, 2008

Because we all love happy endings:

LAKE LYNN, Pa. — An 85-year-old great-grandmother from Lake Lynn, Fayette County kept an alleged burglar at bay using a .22-caliber pistol. [snip]
“Dial 911 and don’t attempt to throw the phone at me, or do anything bad or i’ll just shoot you,” Smith said.

While we may debate the merits of .22 versus .357, shotgun versus pistol, birdshot versus buckshot, I doubt we’ll debate whether or not Granny would have been better with her gun, or without.

Grannies can be tough, y’all.  When I was but a wee little lass growing up in Texas, my tough-as-nails grandmother lived with us for a few years.  When I say tough-as-nails, I mean tough-as-stainless-steel-projectiles-fired-at-high-velocity-from-a-nail-gun tough; she lived through the 1938 Japanese invasion, hid in caves for months at a time to avoid the carnage, then picked up altogether and left China to join her husband in Jamaica, whom she hadn’t seen in ten years.  Consequently, civilized life in America didn’t always mesh with her worldview. 

On one memorable occasion (as told by Mom), a very, very large python decided to play in our back yard.  (I can’t blame it, really; we had a kick-ASS vegetable garden that constantly attracted squirrels, birds and other pesty buggers.  Can’t blame them either, we had the best green beans south of the Mason-Dixon line.  In other words, anywhere.)  Seeing as how my wee sister and my wee self liked playing in the back yard, and seeing as how the snake might not be too healthy a playmate — Texan snakes not being known for their sanitary habits — Japo (the grandma) promptly picked up her meat cleaver and headed purposefully for a Deathmatch 2000 type confrontation with said snake.

Luckily, Mom being home at the time, Japo was bodily stopped and dragged back inside while Mom tried to explain the concept of “police” and “animal control” and “Ai ya, crazy lady!  You don’t fight snakes with meat cleavers!!”  Snake was removed, garden harmony was preserved and everyone lived happily ever after, except the snake, which is as it should be.

Don’t f*ck with Grandma, y’all.

(On the flip side, we had an awful hard time explaining to Japo that Cotton was a “hamster,” not a “rat,” and no, she could not chop its head off.)

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

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An interlude of peace

Posted by Lissa on August 7, 2008

Traveled down to Falmouth yesterday to meet with my mom, her husband and her old college roomie.  (How do I love thee, Garmin?  Let me count the ways . . . )  When I was a teenager we often a spent a week’s vacation camping out at the Cape, usually at Wellfleet or Truro.   As such, my memories highlight, with loving attention: 

– water so freezing-effing-cold that it was a true and joyous relief when you finally lost all the feeling in your legs

– ocean so filled with seaweed that you had to struggle through huge waterlogged meadows of the stuff

– the above two points combining for a constant paranoia that a shark was brushing against your legs every moment while swimming (and about to bite off your toes.  Of course)

Oh, and since we were camping, you can’t forget the concrete shower buildings (lemme tell you, frogs and bugs are NO RESPECTERS OF PRIVACY) and the occasional 3 AM crash of a bear breaking into your food tent.  (Well, actually, it was a raccoon, but I didn’t KNOW that when the racket jolted me out of a sound sleep.) 

In other words, I much preferred Ocean City, MD to Cape Cod.  And yet, walking along the beach yesterday, I will attest to a lonesome, wild sort of charm:


Lissa BTW should have hedged her bets.  Before I left the apartment, I spent some time deliberating whether I should wear jeans and sneakers, or boots and a skirt.  Seeing as how we were planning on going out to a lobster dinner, and seeing as how I hadn’t seen Auntie L (the roomie) in about thirteen years, I decided on the latter. 

Wardrobe = FAIL.  Because instead of sitting around in the cabin, cozily sipping coffee or wine as the rain beat down around us, then going out to an elegant restaurant . . . we walked along the rocky, sea-shell-y, seaweed-strewn rain-damp beach.  Then we hiked up a path to see the view from the top of the Knob, then hiked back down.  Then we walked along a bike path.  Then we sat down at a casual restaurant, before walking through town some more.  Thank goodness I was wearing sensible boots, but still, wardrobe = FAIL. 

On the other hand, I’m wicked excited that I’m going to age like the woman on my right.  She could easily pass for forty, right?  (That would make her twelve when I was born, folks.  She’s not that type.)

As far as bodies of water go, I far prefer the Caribbean.  But, you know, the Cape ain’t half bad . . .

P.S.  Mom’s been happily married to my stepdad for almost thirty years.  So everyone who was going to ask me for her email address is SOL.  Sorry!

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