Category Archives: family

Boot Hockey

I stopped in the office today to pick up my laptop. It’s been snowing all day so our roads are a mess – again – for like the 100th time this winter of non-stop snow here in Wisconsin.

But this morning also brought some boot hockey with the crew from my old job. Big T and I rolled out of bed this morning, bundled up and joined my old friends for some boot hockey at a local park frozen over with ice rinks.

Worth prefacing, I am not coordinated at all with a stick in my hands and on ice. I wiped out a lot. My elbow is still sore from one particular complete wipe out. But hey, I scored two goals!! And two assists. And my one stint at goalie rather sucked, because I let in three, but the other team had some kids with actual hockey experience. So I’m going with the positive – I had two goals!!

I think I also had about 30 shots, but let’s not think about how many times I wiffed it. 🙂

Tonight, I’m hanging out with my mom. If you haven’t hung out with your mom in a while, you should. Or you should call her. Mom’s are awesome.



Filed under Blondie: my thoughts, family

Need a break from work?

My brother’s throwing an end of January sale today … look for something cute for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

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Saturday in Arlington, VA

A quick post from my Mid-Atlantic vacation … first time we’ve had fast and free wireless since I left Madison.

Flying out was good, other than being delayed for over an hour sitting on the tarmac at O’Hare on our layover in Chicago. I just read, my dad slept and that plane got really really hot. A crying baby was also not very happy. We landed in Philly after our delay, drove around a bit and saw some of the city before driving into New Jersey. We decided to stay in New Jersey halfway to Atlantic City.

We stopped at our hotel to drop off bags, clean up and then opted to drive down to Atlantic City … which is pretty dirty and full of casinos. I’ve never been to Vegas, so it was a bit unreal to see casinos which cover 3-4 city blocks at a time. And the rest of the city is a bit run down, but we parked and walked into the boardwalk to go see the beach and ocean. The ocean is always beautiful, even if the beach had some trash. I did find some pretty black scallop seashells though. We walked around the boardwalk for a while (Wisconsin pals – Think the Dells on mega-steroids). We also walked into the Trump Taj Mahal to see the inside. A huge – no ginormous – cavern of slots, gamblers, lights, change dropping … even an “asian gaming pit” or a poker pit for asian card games. I have a nice picture of my parents standing in the sand by the ocean with the large neon-lit skyscrapers in the background, right before my camera died. Oh well.

Friday, my dad and I got to decide how to spend the day. Our options – more Philly, spending the day (heat in the 90s) in the city seeing the sites or traveling south in New Jersey back to the ocean to a town we read about in a newspaper we picked up in Atlantic City. Our love of the ocean and small towns won out – plus my love of seafood (real not-shipped in seafood!), so sorry Philly, but we decide to drive through the country (well, kind of country … country for New Jersey) to Cape May, New Jersey right on the tip of South Jersey.

The entire town is a National Historic Landmark. A little fishing and vacation village on the north side of where the Delaware River feeds down into the Atlantic Ocean into Delaware Bay. The vast majority of the homes are victorian-era and preserved/decorated as such. The beach is gorgeous and the town is small and seems like it keeps some of the Atlantic City crowds away. There was even a $4 charge to step onto the the beach (huh?). But we walked around on the promenade, bought fudge, saw all of the multi-colored umbrellas dotting the beach and more of the ocean. We then had a great lunch of peel-and-eat spicy shrimp, crab and crab cakes at The Lobster House restaurant in Cape May on the fisherman’s wharf. Delicious.

After lunch, we had some time to kill before we were going to take a ferry across Delaware Bay into Delaware (a 17-mile trip!) so we drove to see the Cape May lighthouse (and a very confused white swan hissing at tourists), then to Sunset Beach where it was free to walk and we could collect the famous “Cape May Diamonds”. Quartz stones wash down the Delaware River over thousands of years and wash up on this beach. You can collect them, polish them down and they can look just like diamonds when you cut and facet them. I picked up a few of the rough stones because they are still very white, smooth and polished from washing down the river and into the ocean.

The ferry ride was beautiful … I just love the ocean. We even saw a dolphin heading into the breakwater in Lewes, Delaware. From Lewes, we drove across Delaware, stopped at Elmer’s Farm Market (where we almost purchased my sister a concrete gnome statue (but didn’t!)) and drove into Maryland, then towards Washington, DC nearing 9:30 p.m.

Then we got lost in downtown DC. It was … super … fun. All I have to say is, hey politicians, let’s work on the street signs, okay? We finally made it to our hotel in Arlington after our impromptu little sightseeing trip around the city.

So … today it will be 98 degrees in DC. My dad said we should go to the National Postal Museum … he thinks he’s funny.

More later … and pictures too. And hello from DC to my brother! We miss you. And we haven’t killed Dad yet, although I did just threaten to feed him to the Pandas.

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Filed under family, New Jersey, Philly, vacation, Washington DC

Philly, D.C. … Comin’ Your Way

Thursday morning, my Dad and I are flying out to Philadelphia to meet up with my Mom. She’s been on the East Coast for the past month for a historical teaching tour.

We’ll be flitting around in Philly, Atlantic City and Washington, D.C. for four days, then driving home to good ol’ Wisconsin. And yes, I already realize this is a very quick trip. That’s just how we roll.

I’ve never been to Philadelphia or New Jersey and only spent a few hours poking around Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., so there will be brand new adventures out there for Blondie and parents.

For all of my readers out in that area of the country, drop me a comment and let me know anything I should absolutely not miss. We plan on going to the National Zoo (my mom wants to see the Pandas), possibly 1-2 memorials and maybe the Smithsonian. In Philly, likely the Liberty Bell, but my mom’s been out there seeing most of this stuff already, so we’re really open to anything.

I’m also eagerly anticipating eating seafood. Crab cakes? Or hey, Philly cheese steak sandwiches too.

So leave me a comment! Maybe we’ll take up some of your advice. And worth noting, I will be not be able to drop by and play rugby anywhere (although I thought about it!). This trip is too short and all about family. Next time though.


Filed under Blondie: my thoughts, family, travel

Happy Birthday Little Sister!

Just a quick post to wish the Happiest of Birthdays to my sister A-P-P! She’s 28 today!!

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Memorable Weekend

Just recapping my weekend of being home alone …

Saturday morning, my dad picked me up at my apartment and we picked up my sister at her place on the East Side to go to our local Farmer’s Market. Since it’s getting officially “very cold” outside, the market is now held indoors at our convention center downtown. So the three of us found parking, bought coffees and wandered into and around the market.

It was much smaller and more crowded than the outdoor version. And no summer yumminess, so it didn’t take us too long and we didn’t buy much. But it was still nice to spend the time with my sister and my dad.

Six hours away, my boyfriend was in St. Louis for the Midwest men’s select-side camp and he called me that morning to tell me he had separated his shoulder in one of the starting drills. A second-degree separation. A major bummer, especially since it had happened right away and not even in a game, and then worse, he was now stuck in St. Louis for the rest of the weekend and would just be able to watch all the camp. If he had been in Chicago, I would have gone down and picked him up, but St. Louis is just past a quick drive. So my weekend alone continued …

After the market, my sister wanted to wonder around an art fair going on next door, so Dad and bundled up and walked back to her apartment – just five blocks and along the lake – to get his car and he offered to take me to the grocery store. Quite an adventure … shopping with my dad. It seems he didn’t realize that my idea of grocery shopping and his were vastly different. Even more fun later when he needed to help me carry up my bags to my third-floor apartment. Grumble, grumble, grumble. I just kept reminding him how he would treasure the memory of time with his daughter. 🙂

Since I was supposed to have people over Saturday night, I attempted to seriously clean up my apartment and also made some salsa (yum!), but got sidetracked because The Rock with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery was on television. My sister was supposed to pick me up at 4 to go see Maggie’s roller derby at 5 p.m., but I was still bumming around at 3:45, so I picked up my cell phone to call my sister and tell her to take her time. Except weirdly enough, she was calling me at the same exact time and neither one of our phones rang, it was just us saying “Hello?!” right away. Weirdness. Kooky sister weirdness.

The roller skating rink where Maggie’s derby was being held wasn’t too far away, so we got there fairly early and lined up to go in. We ended up standing behind this nice guy who seemed to very good friends with all of the Derby girls and he answered some of our questions. He also told us that everyone had been excited about “the rugby girl” trying out (Hear that Mags?). And he liked her derby name … “Cassidy Butch”.

[It should be noted that Maggie spent months trying to figure out her derby name. There’s a national database I guess and you can’t have someone else’s name. But it needs to be fun and original. I offered up several choices (including rugby-esque ones), but alas, all were rejected. She also didn’t like our team’s derby name for her … but we’re still using it!]

So Maggie was drafted to the “best team in the league”, which after seeing the derby Saturday night, I would agree with. Her team is the Reservoir Dolls, so in uniforms resembling the gang in Reservoir Dogs. Black and white with ties. Lots of short skirts, hot pants, naughty underwear, fishnet stockings as well.

And if you know Maggie, this isn’t exactly her idea of fashion. Which only adds to my utter amusement.

The Dolls destroyed the two teams they played against and after my sister and I semi-figured out the rules, we started cheering loudly. It also helped that Maggie knocked a few girls on their asses.

Our rugby coach and his wife sat by my sister and I and he was very excited about this new sport that our team could potentially recruit from. He also asked how Derby could attract so many fans (they typically sell out to 700-800 people who pay to see it) and promotion and why couldn’t our team do this. So I explained that yes, we could promote ourselves better, but it’s a lot of work, and the Derby also had a element of hollywood drama and badass attitude (hello hotpants and peekaboo bras, never mind players named “Stank Girl”, “Thunder Kitten” and “Pocahotass”) that wouldn’t fly as well in our sport. I’m sure that I’ll hear a lot more about this … but seriously, I don’t plan on wearing fishnets to our next match. Maybe hotpants …

It was interesting to note the difference in the overall athleticism of the women in comparison to our rugby team or other sports. There were some very fit women, but there were also quite a lot of larger, less athletic women skating. My sister pointed out that some rugby players don’t look very athletic until you see them on the field though, which I hadn’t though of.

And of course, my brother later asked if I was now going to join a derby team. To which I thought about for a few seconds and decided that while it would be fun to check it out for a day of a practice and a bout, it’s not for me right now. Maggie can be our lone representative. 🙂 But I’m pretty sure I could be a very sneaky badass jammer.

So the derby was very fun. I’m looking forward to taking my boyfriend to see it and our team hopes to all go together to support Maggie soon to a bout. If you haven’t ever seen roller derby, there’s probably a team in your area and you should go check it out.

Afterwards, my sister dropped me off and I finished making some yummy taco fixings before a bunch of my teammates showed up for our first-ever Super Nintendo tournament. Which Dana and Ber handily won in Mario World (turns out Dana was sick with the flu once and spent the entire time winning Mario) and Kim, without any knowledge of actual moves, won Street Fighter II as the sumo wrestler. We capped the night watching Super Troopers (Pinkie and Kim can quote every line, who knew?).

Sunday, I offered to help my dad put up some new fencing for my mom’s patio while she was out of town (she just finished her master’s degree in teaching! Congrats Mom!). Projects like these always seem like they’ll take much less time than they do. Plus it was cold and snowy, which later turned to muddy in the area we were working in.

We were taking down some old wooden fencing and replacing it with new eight-foot wooden panels of privacy fencing, so my parent’s house and their neighbors each gained more quiet. It seemed simple enough until we started realizing we were working on an incline, needed to keep adjusting the heights of the fence, checking the level and eventually having to force some of the structural posts (which were much taller than me) to be more level. Not to mention tearing down and then restacking my neighbor’s wood pile right on the property line.

But really, how many females do you know that are handy with most power tools, know how to build a nice fence and have spent far too many hours of their childhood stacking wood for their dad’s fireplace and now find themselves doing it again as an adult? I would wager not many. This is the kind of stuff that you should be able to put on your resume.

After four hours in the cold and mud, and stopping a few sneakouts from our curious dogs, we finished up the fencing just before it got dark. And then, being a glutton for shopping punishment that I am, I asked my dad to go to Target with me too. Where we wondered around for an hour discussing how’s Target’s food section wasn’t really as cheap as the grocery store but it was okay because now my dad didn’t have to make a separate trip. We putzed until my dad remembered he might have left a candle burning in the house, so we need to race home before mom got home and he got in trouble for it.

All in all, a laidback, but adventurous and memorable weekend spent with friends and family. I haven’t had one of those in a while …

NaBloPoMo: Day 14

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Filed under family, friends, NaBloPoMo 2006, Roller Derby

Little Italian Plumbers & Me

This weekend, I am home alone. Well, my cat and I. The boyfriend is driving to St. Louis tonight for his Midwest Rugby Camp (Yeah!).

My cat will finally get his own pillow back.

This afternoon, we’re also supposed to get four inches of snow. I’m now really excited that I biked to work today. Granted it’s less than a mile to my apartment, but a mile in snow on a bike could be tricky. And of course, it’s uphill too. AWESOME!

Tomorrow’s plans are to check in with my dad and make sure he and our dogs haven’t burned my mom’s house down (he’s home alone too!) and if there isn’t a blizzard tonight, help him put some new fencing up along our family’s patio.

More importantly, tomorrow is also my teammate Maggie’s first-ever Roller Derby bout at 5 p.m.!! Thumpsgiving with the Mad Rollin’ Dolls! They have an awesome website, so check it out. Maggie, aka “Cassidy Butch”, will skate tomorrow in her new team’s Friends and Family bout. Maggie is now a Reservoir Doll, her team skates in naughty black/white suits and ties. And despite the fact that she kept telling us we didn’t need to come, I think she will have a large rugby contingent of fans there. Seriously, Mag, like we would miss you wearing fishnet stockings!

But most importantly, tomorrow night after the derby, I’m throwing a party! And we will be having a Super Mario World Tournament at my apartment. Yes, we’ll be busting out my 15-year-old Super Nintendo and competing to save the princess and Yoshi from those evil turtle dudes. I have several very excited friends eagerly awaiting hanging out with Mario and Luigi.

I’ll take pictures of my adventures this weekend, no worries.

Best of luck to everyone traveling to Disney World for the D-1 Women’s Championships and to Raleigh, North Carolina for the D-2 Women’s Championships! I’ll post updates when I can.

NaBloPoMo: Day 10

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Filed under blondie, family, NaBloPoMo 2006, Roller Derby, Super Nintendo