Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blackhawks and blinders. How much fun can a human possibly have?

A while back, my stepsister Michelle asked my husband and I if we'd like to accompany her and her boyfriend Guy to a Blackhawks game.

Not just any Blackhawks game, though...this one was in a suite.  A penthouse suite.
Yeah, we're that cool.  Well, at least we know someone who's that cool.

We drove in from Rockford to pick both of them up, leaving our car in Willowbrook and proceeding into the big city.

Our first stop was at Frank's.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a shrimp house.  While in the car, our hosts decided that one pound of the fried shrimp would be adequate, especially if there would be food in the suite.  Joe and Guy went in while Michelle and I chatted in the car, and soon they were back with an enormous sack each of the biggest, best fried shrimp I have ever eaten in my entire life.

Thanks, you two, for ruining any other fried shrimp for me.  Forever.

After that, Michelle and I were instructed to close our eyes and keep them that way for the duration of the trip.  Why?  To protect us from the trauma that is his driving.  We heard several times on the way to the United Center, "Don't look.  Don't look."  When I dared to look I realized we were driving a six foot wide car down a five foot wide path.  How we managed to avoid knocking off our side mirrors or the side mirrors of other drivers, I'll never know.  Because I wasn't looking.

Once at the United Center, with our too-cool-for-school parking pass, we accepted the free Blackhawks binder given to us via binder night.  We then took the elevator up to the penthouse suites, found ours, and OH MY GOSH.

It was the most amazing thing.  Michelle greeted our host, while we all stared goggle eyed at the scene before us.

We're not in Kansas anymore.  We're much higher than that.
And food?  There was a hot dog station, a nacho station, an Italian beef station, and all the beer you could drink.  Mixed drinks.  And don't even get me started on the dessert cart, but I'll just say this...I had a turtle the size of a hamburger patty.  And it was delicious.
Going to the railing overlooking the rink was a little off putting for me, as I have some weird type of reaction to heights, i.e. I feel as if I'm being pulled off my seat by my crotch for a quick trip off the railing headfirst.  A quick consult with the sister found that she had the same problem.  I'm glad I'm not alone.

I couldn't actually take a picture looking straight down without gagging.  This is as close as you're going to get.

The Blackhawks won, of course. 
actual proof.

The game was amazing.  The company awesome.  The food delish. 

actual hockey players, although from our vantage point, they looked like black ants as opposed to Blackhawks.

The only fly in the ointment was sitting in the parking lot after the game waiting for it to clear, watching a carload of white trash punks pick a fight with someone who was not only probably 20 years older than them, but also an off duty police officer.  Who didn't need duct tape to hold up his car windows like the youngsters.

In this day and age of concealed carry, do you really want to pick a fight with a stranger?  I vote no.  Making it more difficult to watch and understand was that the carload of kids only spoke the language "motherfu*ker" and at one point told the police officer "congratulations on living past your prime."  I was certain there would be a shooting and ducked in anticipation.

That same carload of idiots realized they could get through the parking lot by backing up and driving around instead of cutting in front of the cop.  The only problem with that was that we were in the way.  We once again closed our eyes against the certain impending crash, but it never came...although that car was truly less than a half inch from ours.  If my phone battery hadn't died out I would have gladly recorded it for all of you.

Joe and I had such a great time.  Should we be so lucky to go again, I will:  buy more shrimp, wear blinders, and secure myself to a seat with a bungee cord.   Just in case my crotch should pull me over the side.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snarky McSnarkster. A/k/a I'm Grateful.

(our last prompt in Prompt Club was to write 1000 words starting with the words, "I'm grateful.")

I’m grateful, truly I am.  Roof over our heads, food on the table, money to pay the bills and from time to time visit a fancy restaurant like Chipotle or Granite City.  I have three healthy kids, a beautiful granddaughter and a husband who still wants to hold my hand all the time.  I have been on the opposite end of the financial and romantic spectrum, so suffice it to say I know whereof I speak.
I’m also grateful for things other people might not think of as worthy of appreciation—for instance, my gift of sarcasm.  So when we drew the prompt where you had to start a story with the words “I’m grateful”, I immediately snarked it up.
I’m grateful that years ago before a doctor’s appointment, I was able to help my middle daughter learn to pronounce “vaginal” correctly without laughing. 
I like to think I spared her the embarrassment I endured when my 7th grade science teacher asked our class what the hangy thing in the back of the throat is called. 
Turns out “vulva” was not the answer he was searching for.  That day, I comforted my 12 year old self with the thought that I didn’t need social acceptance and popularity anyway. 
Fast forward 35 years, and guess what…that social acceptance and popularity thing is on its way because my youngest daughter just told me that in another week or so her six new puppies will be winged.  If that’s the case we’ll all be so popular we’ll have to move.  I’m grateful I have days off coming because puppies are a lot of work to begin with, but flying puppies and a nine month old—that’s a recipe for disaster. 
I’m grateful for the fact that I got shingles right before my daughter’s 21st birthday, so that I was forced to cancel plans to take my granddaughter for the weekend like I had promised months prior so she could celebrate.  I’m also grateful that I didn’t have to worry about sleeping while I was suffering with that wretched condition, because that gave me plenty of time to worry about a worrisome secondary rash and the mushroom of a cold sore on my lip.  It also gave me extra time to drunk-google late at night terms like “duration of shingles” or “shingles rash” or “should you drink when you have shingles” or my personal favorite, “how many people die per year from shingles”. 
Actual shingles that were on my back.
ps. Good news.  I didn't die.  But it sure did burn. 
I’m also really, truly grateful that when I finally was able to give my husband the seductive come-hither green light after the whole shingles/cold sore fiasco, Aunt Flo decided to come for an extended visit.  She didn’t just bring an overnight bag like she normally did but in fact the biggest, bulkiest suitcases she owned and jammed them in my uterus but good.  I’m plotting her demise and she will be grateful when her death finally arrives.
I’m grateful for the snowfall that prevented our family from a 2 hour drive into Plainfield on New Year’s Day for a delayed Christmas celebration to see family I don’t see often.  I hadn’t gone grocery shopping because I knew we’d be in Plainfield, so there was hardly anything edible in the house.  However, it’s good to experience true hunger once in a while.  Thankfully we were able to gag down all of those old, questionable leftovers and dry Christmas cookies whilst face-timing with the Plainfield crowd, watching everyone eat spinach dip and cheese potatoes.
I’m also really grateful they didn’t let me know ahead of time they were going to call, because it’s good for my family to see what I look like with no makeup, glasses on, and hair scraped into a brutally oily ponytail.  In case they weren’t buying all those gorgeous selfies I post online.   
I’m grateful for the guy who maintained a 4 inch distance between the front of his vehicle and the rear of mine the other night as we drove through blinding snow during rush hour.  Your thoughtlessness kept my mind off of how slick the roads were that night.  Especially helpful was the rage that kept me warm all the way home.
And speaking of slick, I’m grateful for the Kenyan sprinter masquerading as our black lab.  It’s good to test my own speed slalom skills in the back yard from time to time while being dragged behind a speedboat of a dog.  It keeps me limber.  He also helps me keep the ligaments in my shoulders stretched as he sprints off the icy back porch, yanking me with him.
And with all the things I have to be grateful for, I need to stay in the best shape possible.