Mystery, Starlux, School, Project Runway, Mondo, Breathe.

You know when that somewhat histrionic friend of yours posts vague status updates on whatever media outlet they’re addicted to? The ones that hint at something great, terrible, impending, or happening, but they won’t just come out and say, “Yo. This is what happened. It made me feel this way.”? And it bugs you, partly because the Human Being inside yours naturally curious about things that are unclear, but also because it’s pretty lame to post something and then clarify that you just actually cannot post about it.

I never do that.

Except now, I’m going to do that.

There’s a project I’m working on and due to the nature of the project, I really can’t talk about it in a public way. So normally I’d just work on it, and leave my Pistols and my Popcorn out of it, but I want to shout from the rooftops now that “Yo! I’m working on something! And it makes me feel really good and happy and productive! And it has nothing repeat nothing to do with children, parenting, me, or my family!” And that’s basically all I can say due to the dangerous nature of me being involved with it. Ok ok just kidding about the danger. But, yeh. I just thought you should know. And I’m sorry that I’ve just become that guy that does that one thing. But I hope we can still be friends.

Moving right along.

Roan - Wild

Epic past few weeks. Epic has become the most overused and totally annoying word in the jibberjabber world of teenagers and pop culture but too bad because I’m an adult, and I’m using it correctly. The end of the summer has happened, and so did our last BANG BOOM POP WOW chronology of events.

Hotel balcony, fake palm tree. Love.

First – as a family, we actually left the eight-block radius we rarely travel outside of (though we stayed in the Tri-State Area). We went on a vacation with my sister Lori and her family, to Wildwood, NJ. Now – full disclosure – at no point did I ever trade, barter, influence or hint at any type of potential review for this hotel we stayed at so our experience there is likely to be exactly the same as yours would be.

Wildwood Boardwalk

And it was totally epic. HAHAH – kidding – it was totally awesome. (Awesome is back, right?) We stayed at a place called the Starlux Hotel. It was lovely. A clean and surprisingly warm pool. A bubbly hot tub. A cool hotel suite (2 bedrooms, kitchenette, balcony, living room) for $135/night (off-season, FYI). They set up cribs for the tiny twin tyrant masters, they had free bicycles to cruise along the boardwalk with, they provided shovels, pails, and boogie boards for the beach, and even have a complimentary washer/dryer. The staff could not have been any more friendly or helpful. One morning they opened the pool early because Boone and Roan asked them to. Seriously. They gave my sister a stamp to mail her rent check. They doted on the twin boys. And always had coffee ready for us in the morning.

Delux Starlux

You’re in NYC looking for a quick beach weekend getaway? This is the jam.

Summit Street Gang, First Day of School 2012

The tragic ending is that the night we came home was the first school night of the year. Roan started fourth grade the next day. (Actually, Roan is a bit square and loves school, loves his friends at school, and was probably ready to get away from the park circuit I had him on during the summer. But still. He likes to pretend that starting school is a drag so I go ahead and help him spin his little fiction.)

Heidi Klum literally glows. She is from a different planet, here is the proof. Tell a friend.

The upswing is that Roan missed the second day of school to attend the Project Runway Season 10 finale taping at Fashion Week. Oh man my son and I love going to this thing. It’s just a little crazy to be a few rows behind Harvey Weinstein, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Debra Messing and Jennifer Hudson. Like, I totally could have nailed any one of those people in the head with a grape, had I chosen to do so. How many people can say that?

Roan + Mondo

Most importantly, Roan got to talk with Mondo, our favorite Project Runway celebrity. That guy is a supercool dude. He took a nervous 8-year-old boy and put him at ease, showing the greatest interest in the pillows that Roan has been designing. I want to fold Mondo up, put him in my pocket, and bring him with me everywhere I go.

But that’s probably illegal so I will not.

Right? So. Now it’s time to breathe, eat some goldfish crackers, watch a little Yo! Gabba! Gabba! and ask Fall….whatchu got to compete with this Summer finale, hmmmmm?

Speak Up or Suck-It-Up?

So I’m just a small town girl who grew up in Colorado.  There really wasn’t all that much training in the art of speaking up.  Even in my adolescence, when I tried my hardest to start controversy, or to raise eyebrows with my bleached out spray painted jackets and blue (then red, then blonde, then silver, then shaved) hair and nose rings and army men hanging from safety pins off of my ears – even then I would get a mostly warm reception from the good people of my rural community.  Sure sure there were a few jocks who were all, “YOU’RE A FREAK!” but then they would secretly pass me notes saying they were sorry, and any chance we could hang out some time?

So my assertive voice was never really groomed.  Fast Forward to 2010, and I’m living in Brooklyn, New York.  I feel like my Old Mother-Hubbard age, combined with my experience in the world has put me in a pretty competent place to stand up for myself when I need to, but I still shrink a little when people are bugging me, and if the choice is suck-it-up and not cause a ruckus, I keep quiet.  But this weekend, I got to experience two girls born and bred somewhere in New Jersey, who were not taking *it*  from anybody.  It made me think – do I have a lot more to learn in being assertive?

Two Happy Mermaid Parade Fish

Let me set the stage: on Saturday, we went to The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island.  This is sort of a Brooklyn community event, a nod to the Mardi Gras Parade, complete with tons of topless women, lots of body paint and glitter, sea creatures, floats, children, adults and New York icons (this year’s King and Queen of the parade were Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, and Neil Patrick Harris was spotted getting his groove on) mixing it up on a hot summer day.  My crew arrived to the parade early, to secure a good view.  As expected, the crowd was epic.  But we were right on the front.  Soon a boisterous woman elbowed her way to right behind us, with her young daughter clutching her hand.  The woman poked me in the back and said, “My daughter wants to see”.  My response, while not confrontational, was assertive enough in my own head when I replied, “Yeh, well I think we all do!  Huge crowd, huh?  We got here early to get these seats, and my son and his cousin aren’t going to give them up just yet.”  Or something like that.

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, no?

It kept her at bay for all of 30 seconds, when she started muttering, “My daughter wants to see, my daughter wants to see” and essentially was trying to walk through to the front.  And then I got schooled by this girl to my right, sweet and slight and totally unassuming.  She had talked to my sister and me for a while, just small talk, and couldn’t have been nicer.  She turned around to the woman and said, firmly and snarkily and with no fear, “Lady, you’re getting annoying.  You need to go.”

And the woman left.

And I was all, like whoa.

Easily Roan's favorite costume of the day

Soon, people were dodging the police barricades, climbing under them to get closer to the parade to take pictures.  At first, it was just photographers with their fancy press passes.  But soon enough, teenagers with their cell phones were snapping away, right dead in front of us, blocking the view pretty effectively.  New Jersey wasn’t having it.  She called a cop over, and the police man stupidly (I mean honestly, it was stupid) said, “Those are professional photographers taking pictures for the newspaper.”  New Jersey then pointed to the teenager, with her celly, and said, “Oh really?  Her?  She’s professional?  How about him?  Her?  Him?”  She plucked each poser out of the crowd and got them put back behind the barricade, with us common folk.

And again, I was all, like whoa.  Because she did it with no discretion, not hiding from the teenagers she was calling out.  They knew who was ratting them out, and New Jersey did not care at all.

No need for costume. Naturally fabulous.

Both of the times she spoke up, I would have liked to.  But I didn’t.   I’m revisiting that now – I’m wondering now where’s the line between being assertive and aggressive, and did she cross it?  Or am I just a natural-born wuss, whose time has come to step-it-up at least a bit more?  How about you?  Do you correct strangers?  Or do you just avoid that kind of confrontation?  Where’s the line?

Smoke-A-Thon

So. My entire adult-friend-making-status-quo-structure of only being friends with people who have kids who are friends with my kid fell to pieces – was shattered - when I received an invitation from a person who I’ve never met.  The invitation was from a person who has the audacity to not have a child the same age as Roan.  Yeh, that’s right people.  I was not only recently invited to a stranger’s home, but it was a home one state over, in New Jersey.  I would have to take one F train, one Path train, and one bus to get there.  This entire scenario sounds like it’s right outside of my comfort zone but I didn’t shown you this yet:


 
Photo stolen directly from Thursday Night Smackdown.
This is a picture of a dessert that would be served at this stranger’s home.  It is what will be “Grownup Banana Pudding”  which is The Awesome.  Also, the stranger is the architect of this sentence:



“I’m pretty sure the season finale of LOST already happened, so just use it [the bourbon-laced banana pudding] as a stand-in for whatever other thing you want your kids asleep for: pulling out the bong, playing Grand Theft Auto, watching an R-rated moving picture, talking about them behind their backs, or obsessively watching Discovery Channel specials about the truth and/or fiction of the conspiracy theories behind Angels & Demons even though you find the book itself to be a horrid pastiche of clich