Archive | June, 2011

New Kensington’s Community Days

27 Jun

Alrighty. Part 2 of the best weekend we’ve had in a long time. Sunday we finally hit up Community Days. I had no idea what to expect, and I was totally impressed. For starters, I was walking up to the park entrance and ran into my neighbors, who also live next door to my in-laws. They are really cool people and so we walked up together and they insisted on buying my admission. I don’t know how to fully capture in words the sense of community that Pittsburgh is steeped in, but that generous gesture by my neighbors sort of exemplifies it. People here are generous, courteous and care deeply for their communities. They are friendly, welcoming and supportive. For me, moving here…living here has been like stepping into a television show. It’s the stuff I’ve always dreamed of, the life I fantasized about for so many years. The community festivals all year long, Kennywood (you can’t understand unless you go there,) neighbors who actually know each other and wave at you when they see you out in your yard. For me, having grown up in what is basically a retiree destination in Florida, this is surreal.

But anyway, back to the topic at hand. Community Days is put on by the local fire department, I believe. There were booths with people selling trinkets, crafts and services lining the paths through the park. A couple of booths were offering facepainting. There was an area dedicated to food and picnic area with tables. There were several inflatable “attractions?” I don’t know what to call them. One was an obstacle course, one was a huge slide and one was a standard moon bounce. There was also a bungee trampoline thingy.

I let Dagny get her face painted while we waited for James to park the car. She sat so still and was so well behaved my head almost exploded.

I was shocked. The kid is a spaz. I was bursting with pride at how perfectly focused she was. She loved it. Once James arrived we bought tickets for her to do the bungee jump thing and a couple of the inflatable things.

So yeah, we let her do the bungee jump. It sounds worse than it is. I think. They strapped her into the harness and she was swimming in it. The operator assured us there was no way she would fall out and he even flipped her over to prove it.

Obviously the guy doesn’t have kids because he had NO IDEA how much that freaked me out as a parent. But once I caught my breath, I totally reveled in Dagny’s squeals and laughter. She freaking loved that bungee jump. She was fearless.

Next we took her through the obstacle course and super big slide. Again, she was fearless and thrilled. Unbounded joy. Which we had to squash by not letting her do it over and over and over again like she wanted.

We ate what I call “fair food” aka “carnival food” and it was awesome. There’s a distinct difference in the types of food available at events here versus what I’ve experienced in Florida and Colorado. Here there is almost always pierogies, gyros and haluski. And sausage. So we had our fill of the greasy delicacies and by then it was time to head for the car.

So yeah, that was our Sunday. Pretty awesome, eh?

Anthrocon

26 Jun

This weekend was a smashing success. Yesterday we went downtown to check out a table that was on Craigslist and figured since we were down there, might as well drive over to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and see if we could spot some furries. If you were not aware, and why would you be, Pittsburgh is hosting Anthrocon 2011 this year. Anthrocon is sort of a gathering of furries, although it is also much, much more than that. It was fascinating walking the streets surrounding the convention center, seeing the characters and interacting with them. I first heard about the whole thing from a post by Michelle over at The Burgh Baby. Last year she took loads of cool photos and asked a bunch of questions, then blogged about it. She also went down this year and took more photos.

We took Dagny because we correctly surmised that she would get a kick out of seeing the “doggies” but she is young enough not to pick up on some of the…let’s just call it sexual energy…of the experience. That’s not to say that it’s at all crazy and perverted, because it’s totally NOT. There are just some provocative characters, some of whom have friends who are not afraid of public displays of affection. For the most part, it’s just a lot of fun, I think.

We were not the only ones who brought their kiddos down to check out the convention. Lots of strollers being wheeled around down there. Apparently you have to be registered with the conference to get into the convention center. We just walked around and got to interact with some characters who were hanging out around Toonseum and along Liberty Avenue.

We were too chicken to go poke around at the Westin, which I think is where a lot of conference attendees stay since it’s right across the street from the convention center.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a slight inclination to make my own fursuit and cavort with the plush creatures. As well as the less plush. It’s not as if I don’t have experience sewing fur…

I made the panda, m'self. It was a rush job. I know I can do better.

I am fascinated by the whole thing, and I love fantastical imagery. It also happens that the sexy-fied characters are my favorites to gawk at. I wish I had the balls to full on stare at them as long as I’d like to. As it stands, I’m currently afraid to make eye contact.

I still want to make another post about all the fun we had today at New Kensington’s Community Days, but alas it is getting late. Stay tuned for the rest of the story tomorrow.

The Brazilian, Prologue

24 Jun

I bought a Groupon for a Brazilian wax at a salon in Florida. The plan is to have it done within the first few days after I arrive. Can you believe that!?! What was I thinking?!

First of all, and some of you may already be aware, but you have to grow out any hair that you intend to have waxed. It has to be “at least” a quarter of an inch. Let’s just say, I haven’t let my lawn get that out of control since high school. At the risk of crossing the line, I’m going to tell you that it is AWFUL. It looks awful, it feels awful…I’m losing my mind here. And I look like a 14 year old boy walking around scratching myself every 10 seconds. Oh yeah, now I remember why I haven’t seen my lawn in, oh, half my life. Sixteen years, it’s been!

I could go on and on about all the gory details of how much I dislike the current situation that I’m in, but I’ll spare you, delicate reader.

I called the salon to get the lowdown on what a person must do to prepare for a…Brazilian. Are you imagining pause filled with theatrical, ominous music every time I write…Brazilian. Because I am. Anyway, I was instructed to grow it out for at least 2 weeks. Being the overachiever that I am, I’ve been restraining myself for three weeks now. Upon hearing that I am a first-timer, the waxing lady informed me of a product she sells called “No Scream Cream.” I’ll leave you with that to ponder.

My Witchiness Revealed

9 Jun

So check this out. I am a habitual mumbler. I don’t talk loud enough for a lot of people and it gets worse when I’m in new and unfamiliar situations. It’s driven James nuts for the better part of 14 years. However. HOWEVER. He is a habitual “you never said that-er.” We’ve bickered about who is to blame for pretty much all of those 14 years. Obviously it wasn’t and isn’t a dealbreaker for either of us. Just an annoying little glitch, and as a lot of you know, after this long it’s now pretty much a joke between us. That’s not to say it isn’t infuriating when we unwittingly miscommunicate. So as part of the kind of a joke with a grain of sincerity to it, I’ve been calling for James to have his hearing checked for a long time now. I truly believed he maybe had less than average hearing. Which is freaking hilarious right?! I’m a mumbler. He’s one of those one-track mind engineering types. I mean, it’s not that big of a mystery what was going on. But you guys! He did it. He went and got his hearing checked a few days ago! I promised I’d start talking louder or stop holding it against him if he went and got his ears checked. And here we are.

I get this look a lot.

So it turns out that his hearing is… … …FINE! Would you believe that?!Damn it all to hell. Turns out, he can hear just fine, he’s just not paying attention! Shocking, isn’t it? Ok, ok…I’ll knock it off. So it turns out they don’t just test your straight-up hearing these days. He did the expected listening to the beep thing but they also tested him a different way. They played someone speaking a sentence and then increased the amount of background noise until he could no longer make out the sentence. Turns out he is “challenged” in that area. It’s a totally double edged sword. On the one hand I felt slightly validated, but on the other it means I have to take extra care to make sure he’s “paying attention” when I am saying something important. Unfortunately even times when I think it’s safe to impart important information, it ends up that it didn’t “stick.” So perhaps he also needs to “focus” his attention when I ask him to.

Anyway, I just thought it was pretty hilarious the whole scenario. Whining, bitchy wife sends “innocent” husband to get his hearing checked. Ladies, we all know they’re not totally innocent, am I right? But James is an awesome guy and I think this pretty much proves it. He actually went and got his ears checked. Unreal.

Today Is My Birthday!

1 Jun

I am now 32 years old. Lots of people wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook and via email and darn it, I felt special. I spent the day scurrying around town to collect groceries for my birthday dinner. Then I came home and James parlayed those groceries into an Olive Garden fettucine alfredo copycat. We also had chicken parmesan, salad complete with Olive Garden’s dressing and ice cream cake. I’ve always wanted an ice cream cake and this year, I got one. The kids were a pain in the neck pretty much from the time they woke up, but I was in a good mood almost all day. I had a moment of weakness around 5:30pm, but in the end it was a good day. I even got some birthday gifts! I felt a little like a kid again.

This is what 32 looks like on me. I'll take it. As long as it's garbed in a loose-fitting shirt ;)

I had a fabulous day today. I’m radiating my love and happiness and smiles out to all of you. I hope you are having a fabulous RIGHT NOW!

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