Hi, remember me? I used to blog somewhat regularly about things other than a one-week trip to DC that occurred six weeks ago now. So, um, yeah. Apparently I’m in a blogging rut. It’s not that I don’t have things to say — I just don’t have motivation to say them. And then I get bogged down by the idea of doing a big post and that makes me put it off for yet another night. And the vicious cycle continues as I find myself spending an obscene amount of time on my computer looking at absolutely nothing (seriously. An hour will pass and I’ll think, “What the hell did I just do for an hour?”)
So, inspired by my two favorite parts of any TV show — the Previously On and On the Next … — consider this your (as brief as possible) what you missed about my summer so far:
Good-bye to my little buddy
Two nights before Fourth of July (aka July 2), DadJovi and I were hanging out watching TV when we heard a huge BOOM at about 11:10 p.m. I thought, “Great, the neighborhood fools are starting on their fireworks already.” But then I suddenly panicked that it was actually E. rolling out of her bed (she’s done it a few times and I swear it shakes the house). As I checked on her, DadJovi looked out the front door to see if he could see anything.
“Look, now they’re parking three cars in the driveway next door.” Yes, our annoying neighbors next door are still parking their car across the sidewalk.
I walked to the window and said, “Wait, where’s your car?” and at almost the same moment he yells, “SHIT! THAT’S MY CAR IN THEIR DRIVEWAY!”
We rushed outside and discovered our car had been smashed to hell by a hit-and-run driver and pushed from in front of our house into the driveway next door.
The car was totaled.
When the cops arrived, we asked if hit-and-run drivers are usually caught. This was basically their reaction.
Speaking of Lebowski, those bastards even destroyed the sticker that really tied the car together.
They killed my car.
I bought that little Mistubishi Mirage in the winter of 1999, just a few months after I graduated college. She served me faithfully in DC, making frequent drives home to Pennsylvania, to New York to see friends or to Dewey Beach to get wasted for entire weekends. Then, we packed things up and made the drive from DC to Florida in the summer of 2003. In 2005ish, she became DadJovi’s car and he loved that car even more than I did. He loved the fact that the A/C didn’t work for four years (and was fixed — for free and in about 5 minutes — last summer). She had bumps, scratches, dents, banged up hubcaps, the windows wouldn’t roll up if you rolled them down and the power locks stopped working about six months ago. But she was the only thing we truly owned outright and debt-free.
We have only two more payments on our other car and we were hoping to catch up for a couple years before getting another car. Oh, life, you are a cruel bitch at times. Instead, we just got to sign our lives away again for another five years.
And no, there are still no leads. Don’t worry, though, I’m an optimist and I’ve saved our bumper for forensics. Obviously.
Fourth of July Blowout
After losing our car on the 2nd and all our money on the 3rd, we were ready for a big bang on the Fourth. As we always do, we headed a couple streets over to our friends’ cul-de-sac, where all the kids roam from house to house, swimming in pools, playing in yards and just enjoy being free-range for awhile.
And the dads buy the biggest box of fireworks they can find from a roadside stand.
And the moms do shots. For ‘Merica. Obviously.
Don’t worry — the sober dads (we have a pretty non-drinking crew of dads, which works out great for us ladies!) were in charge of safely supervising the kiddos. Thankfully, the kids are all really good when it comes to the fireworks and basically have to be talked into holding sparklers … and then they run off again. See, E. only briefly paused from her dress-up party to get her patriotism on.
Anytown, USA, I tell you.
Reading something that doesn’t make me cry would be nice
Since there’s not much on TV, I’ve finally been reading more books this summer. And I haven’t stopped crying, thanks to Michelle. “Oh, you HAVE to read ‘The Fault in our Stars,'” she tells me.
Here, allow me to share the synopsis with you:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Yup, a light summer read. If by light you mean you suddenly feel lighter because your heart is ripped out of your body and thrown on the ground.
Here’s the funny thing, though. As sad as the premise is, the story itself is mostly funny and downright enjoyable. I couldn’t believe it when I’d made it about 80 percent through the book and hadn’t shed a single tear. I’m the person who cries at every Publix commercial after all. But don’t worry, all those tears you’d saved up were just waiting for the right moment to come bursting out.
So, if you’re in need of a good cry and enjoy reading literature about literature (you’ll understand when you read it), check this one out.
After crying my eyes out, I somehow asked Michelle her advice for another book. I guess she wants to see me puffy eyed at all times because next she suggested this one to me:
Here’s another uplifting description:
Even though tragedy after tragedy keeps occurring in this book, I NEVER wanted “Moloka’i” to end. It was so beautifully written by Alan Brennert. So full of rich characters and scenery. And so fascinating. Any time I read a historical fiction like this about such a huge event in our country’s history, I’m always ashamed by how little I knew about that event. What did they teach us in school?
I’m also once again obsessed with wanting to return to Hawaii. I spent three days there once on a work trip, so my sight-seeing was minimal. I’d never wanted to go before that trip but ever since, I’ve been itching to get back. This just relit that fire. Anyone want to send me?
And finally, welcome to Florida, Mom!
Last weekend, DadJovi, E. and I helped get my mom and stepdad set up in their new house in The Villages! For those of you out of the area, The Villages is a large 55+ community about an hour or so north of Orlando. Community doesn’t even do it justice; this is NOT a senior living center. This is a freaking party place. As some residents have said, “We’re a drinking community with a golfing problem.”
Through my day job, we have done dozens of stories on the active lifestyle in the Villages. It’s a hotbed of masters athletes, clubs, singing groups, lifelong learning classes and more. It’s pretty awesome actually.
And everyone gets around by golf cart.
The plan is for them to rent the house out for the first couple years, and eventually transition to spending part of the year in PA and part of the year here.
So they are here for one week to get the house into shape for the rental agency, which has a lot of requirements (everything from the number of nightstands to the measuring cups in the kitchen!).
We helped them find furniture and then rented a UHaul to help them move it in, saving on delivery costs. Sadly, I didn’t get pictures of it, but both DadJovi and I took our turns behind the wheel of the 17-foot truck.
Fact: it’s a lot more fun starting from scratch when you move. If we ever move, I’ve decided we’re leaving it ALL behind.
E. was a pretty good sport during a not-so-fun-for-her weekend, but thankfully we were able to sneak in some pool time occasionally.
She was a hit with all the ladies at the pool. Most of them are from the midwest and northeast, so they just couldn’t believe that a 5-year-old was swimming so well. I told them in Florida, our kids learn to swim before they walk, and in E’s case, since she didn’t walk until 14 months, that was nearly true. This summer, swimming has just really clicked for her. She cannonballs into the deep end. She does handstands on the bottom of the pool. She does somersault after somersault. It’s really so much fun.
And to reward her for being so patient, she got to pick something out at Target.
It’s a crown! It’s a headband. It’s a creadband. And it was $1!
And that’s what you’ve missed.
What have you been up to this summer? Got any books to suggest that WON’T make me cry?