First of all, haaaay guys. Second of all, this picture is kind of gross blown up, unless you're into tattoo goop residue and sock indentations. At my friends' shop they did a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Sandy where they set up a mostly Jersey-themed flash sheet of tattoos you could pick from, in various sizes and priced either $50 or $100, and all of the proceeds were donated. It was totally packed so my friend Amanda and I waited for a long time, but it was totally worth it. I went to Ray, who I'd never been tattooed by before, and he pulled out a couple extra stops with the shading and everything- Chuck, the owner, came in and started a little friendly smack-talking about how he knows these are supposed to be kind of quick, simple tattoos but he had just knocked one out of the park, and Ray was like "Oh that's how it is?!" and pulled out a couple extra colors. I ain't mad. They raised a ton of money, I'm not sure what the grand total is but there were 6 people working and I know Evan raised $1,050 on his own, so I'd say the whole thing was a success and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.
So it hasn't come up before but my family structure is a little unique, age-wise. I have 2 half-sisters from my dad's previous marriage, and since my dad is a lot older than my mom, my half-sisters are a lot older than me and Will. Karen is 23 years older than me and Lynne is 21 years older, to the day! We share a birthday, and this year she had a big one- 5-0, baby. Karen had the fucking genius idea to have her throw her own surprise party and it was perfect! Lynne thought she was just hosting one of the bingo nights she and her friends have from time to time, but the doorbell just kept ringing and more and more people from her life kept pouring in. She seemed awestruck and thrilled all night and it made me so happy to see. Sarah was awesome and took the trip to Long Island with my parents and me and Lynne burst into tears when she saw our Dad- the whole night was just a lot of happy. I got to meet my nephew's girlfriend, who seemed sweet, and see him for what's going to be one of the last times for a long time since he's going into the army. Ugh, that's a whole other thing. Also I saw my niece Audrey who's loving college, and my other nephew Robbie who seemed like he was doing great too. Oh yeah and I sang a heinous karaoke version of "New York, New York" with my dad and got to realize that I don't really know that song and that weirdly I don't have the same vocal range as Frank Sinatra about 30 seconds in. The perfect time to realize that.
Ryan, Jim, Joe and I headed to Hoboken to see one of Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah shows- they play each of the 8 nights, every time with an opening act and a special guest that doesn't get announced until you're there. We came into the city a little early and grabbed food and sangria at a banging tapas place before settling in at Maxwell's and finding out that Sun Ra Arkestra (didn't know them) and Fred Armisen (felt lukewarm about) were opening. Well, that shit changed! Sun Ra turned out to be a jazz band of mainly old men wearing spangly robes and headdresses singing about the solar system, and I was into it. Check out Exhibit A up there for Duh. They just seemed really psyched on what they were doing and it was infectious, plus glittery robes. And then turns out, Fred Armisen is hilarious. I mean I didn't have a huge aversion to begin with but I couldn't specifically say I was a fan, and then he killed it. He definitely knew his audience, a lot of indie-rock/music nerd based jokes, like impressions of people trying to be polite when a boring band is playing. Then Yo La Tengo was just so good. You could really hear a pin drop during quieter songs, they definitely spoke quietly and carried a big stick, or whatever that one dude with polio said. Really glad I got to see it. Oh yeah, and then right before we left Fred Armisen grabbed my arm when I was on my way to the bathroom, and when I turned around he went from smiley to smiley-but-confused, and I was totally taken aback but quickly knew this was a mistaken identity thing so I just kept it moving. Me moving was also related to panic stemming from a famous person touching me- I lose my mind in the presence of anyone I know from the teevee.
I can't really summarize this time in my life without mentioning that I have been just annihilating any food that crosses my path, seemingly regardless of whether I really like it that much or not. I mean those Pretzel Crisps up there I liked MUCH- one of my coworker's relative's works for the company and brought in a huge bag that I shit you not had about 20 bags of different flavored crisps in it, and the back room of the salon became a serious taste testing war zone. Even though it wasn't pretty and they were about 80% of my food intake that day, that at least makes sense because I love crunchy, salty snacks. But what the fuck is up with the chocolates I'm eating? We all keep getting boxes of chocolate from clients for the holidays which is sooo nice but not necessarily my bag, and yet I'm totally dipping in. Also pictured above is a pastry I bought from one of my coworker's daughter's for a fundraiser, and which I ate about a quarter of on my way home from work in the car like a sticky fingered animal and the rest that's missing by cutting off multiple tiny slivers when I got home. Good thing I'm totally confident with my body and I don't believe in denying myself pleasure within reason and as long as I exercise I'm totally fine with it, really, and yadda yadda yadda (but seriously mama, chill.)
This past weekend was very laid back- I walked to the bar with Sarah on Saturday night to meet up with Ryan, Will and Allie and bumped into some other acquaintances, then the next morning got Vietnamese food including some really pretty Thai iced tea. It was dreary on Sunday so I mostly parked it on the couch with Ryan to watch a bunch of episodes of Boardwalk Empire. I was about to say that "we" made baked pasta and meatballs for Sarah to take to her family's house when she went over for dinner but that would be a dirty lie since Ryan did almost all the work- he's a much more seasoned meatballer than me so I thought it best to let him go for it.
On Monday we walked around Metuchen, which is a really cute town that I hadn't really checked out before. We ducked into a super crammed used book store that was just a mess with piles and piles everywhere, and I sort of loved it. Later that night we had plans to go to my parents' to watch a movie and decided to grab dinner first at a brewery nearby, which included a beer sampler and wings- you can't really tell but I am the absolute messiest wing eater with serious Sauce Face in that picture. My face and my napkin were a disgrace, I tried to trade napkins with Ryan so the waitress wouldn't know how disgusting I am but he wasn't having it. It was torn up, how did I even do that?
And today I hung out at my parents' house listing a few really great designer purses of my aunt's on eBay (they're here if you'd like to see, I still love Etsy but it just seemed to be more the market for them) and putzing around. All in all, world class weekend. And all in all, I need to go to bed because WEEKEND'S OVER, time to make the donuts.