Monthly Archives: April 2011

Checkmate Kate, you won the king

First of all, let me start off by saying I was not one of those people who woke up at 4 a.m. to start watching coverage of the royal wedding.

It was 3 a.m.

Ha! I kid, I kid. Short of a national disaster and/or all-night bender, Momma doesn’t do anything at that ungodly hour.

However, when I finally did roll out of bed around 8, I will somewhat sheepishly admit that my eyes were glued to the TV. Now, I say sheepishly because originally I had planned to boycott this whole three-ring circus of Will and Kate.

I mean, all this week I’ve only been hearing one of two things:

1. News coverage and speculation over every possible aspect of this event (including so-called “experts” who would discuss the mysterious wedding dress, coming to enlightening conclusions, such as “it will be a dress” and “possibly white”).

2. People whining on Facebook and Twitter about all the news coverage and speculation over every possible aspect of this event.

Now prior to today, I was firmly in the latter camp. I just didn’t see what the big deal was. It’s not like these two will be our prince and princess. In fact, if I do recall any detail of my sophomore history class with Mr. Clayton (which ain’t much considering he made Ben Stein look downright manic), it’s that we fought our little American asses off so we wouldn’t have to celebrate crap like a royal wedding anymore.

Alas, maybe it was because I hadn’t had enough coffee yet therefore no energy to grab the remote that was five inches away, but I ended up getting sucked into it just like the 32 bah-jillion others around the world.

And I must admit, watching it made something stir even in the cold, cold recesses of the empty space where my heart should be.

Maybe it’s because Prince William and I are the same age and I grew up with him (metaphorically, of course, thanks to that completely unwarranted restraining order). And I used to daydream about marrying him (prior to the hair loss).

Or maybe because I remember watching the breaking news when his mom died and the impact her life and death had on the world. Or…(shudder)…maybe even I…(gag reflex)…like fairy tales just as much as…(pained swallow)…the next girl.

But I couldn’t stop watching. I even found myself clapping when they finally had their first kiss.

Jaded as I am, I found it moving.

Let’s face it. Here in America, we don’t have royalty. The closest thing we have are celebrities and thanks to reality TV, many of those celebrities are mildly disgusting and increasingly stupid. So instead of pomp and circumstance, and big theatrics, and national pride, we get Britney running off to Vegas for a 55-hour marriage followed by the epic love story involving a man who willing went around with the name K-Fed. Or Brad dumping Jen for Angie. Or two redneck teens from “Teen Mom 2” getting hitched. Or Tom Cruise turning Katie Holmes into some sort of weird robot wife with shiny hair.

Was the wedding over-exposed? You bet your tea and crumpets it was. But it was nice to see two young, yet mature, people in love and getting married in a manner that did not include a sweat suit with “Bachelorette” emblazoned on the butt.

And to see an entire country standing and cheering for them.

Because honestly, all we have to look forward to here in America is Snooki finally finding some guy to jump on that grenade ’til death (or herpes) do them part.

Cheering on the Boston Marathon, one beer at a time

The Boston Marathon. A living testament to dedication, endurance, skill and no short amount of pain (and possibly permanent damage).

Naturally, of course, I’m talking about the livers of the spectators who begin drinking while the runners are still stretching.

Yes, while 20,000 people run 26 miles, pushing the limits of human athleticism and subsequently inspiring the world, the hundreds of thousands of people on the sidelines were busy pushing the limits of public drunkenness. And this first-time spectator was no different. 

Having only lived in Boston for a little over two months now, I felt it was my duty as a new resident to check out what goes on during Marathon Monday that they don’t televise. Thanks to a tip from the Tweeter (I owe you one @BostonTweet), I decided to start my day at the American Craft bar, which was on the marathon route and, more importantly, was opening up its beer garden at 10 a.m.

Feeling a bit sheepish (and dangerously close to a lush…well, more lush-ish than usual), I had reservations as I stepped off the train. I mean, what would people think of me as I ordered booze that was not the universal before-noon acceptable drink of Bloody Mary?

But that feeling quickly melted away as I realized I had absolutely nothing to worry about. As soon as I sat down at a prime spot (the early bird catches the worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle it seems) and ordered a screwdriver (hey, at least it has orange juice in it, I figured), groups of others quickly arrived and sat all around me, ordering everything from beer to shots of whiskey.

They say New Yorkers will come to opening of an envelope. If I’ve learned anything during my relatively short time here in Boston, it’s that Bostonians will make a drinking game out of it.

And so, there we sat, when suddenly a cheer erupted from somewhere, gradually making its way down the street to us. The first of the wheelchair division was making its way toward us.

Now, I’m not usually one for being sentimental. But watching everyone stop what they were doing, whether they were in the beer garden or just walking down the sidewalk, to cheer them on, made me feel, well, downright sentimental(granted, that feeling could have also been related to the second screwdriver).

By my third screwdriver, the first of the elite men’s division was passing us by and by this time, throngs of people were making their way to the sidelines. The cheering never stopped.

Realizing that if I continued drinking the way I was, I’d be lucky to be awake past noon, I paid my bill and made my way closer to the action. By this time, the sidelines were packed with people, everyone from families to the group of 20-somethings who were not-so-discreetly carrying around red Dixie cups filled with “juice.”

The sense of excitement, regardless of your soberness level, was palpable. Being the country bumpkin that I am, I had never experienced anything like this before (unless you count the time my husband and I accidentally stumbled into a re-enactment of the Alamo in San Antonio…like literally were walking down the street with the period dressed actors until we realized what was going on).

Hearing the encouraging cheers (even the drunken, slurred ones) and seeing the city come together like that was truly inspiring.

In fact, as I rode the train home (which was an adventure in and of itself…by my count, three drunks almost got run over), I started to think how much I really wanted to be a part of this great event, more than just getting my buzz on and using it as an excuse to daydrink. To think that there’s so many people out there that aspire to complete this Herculean task, sacrificing and training for months, made me want to be among their ranks next year. Seeing the entire crowded subway car cheer when a runner who completed the marathon got on only fueled my new resolve.

But then, luckily, I went home, took a nap, sobered up and decided eh, maybe in 2013…or 2014. 2015 even. Or maybe to celebrate my 50th birthday or something…

Besides, those screwdrivers aren’t going to drink themselves next year.

Where’s your train goin’, hobo?

Well, I’ve finally returned from my two-week odyssey to my hometown in Ohio (luckily, I was able to squeeze this vacation into my busy unemployment schedule of watching “Criminal Minds” reruns and my increasing obsession with the character Dr. Reid). And the score so far is:

Number of times my parents footed the bill at a restaurant: 6

Number of times I did: 1

Number of bottles of wine my mom bought in anticipation of my visit: 8

Number of bottles we drank: 9

Number of items my mom bought me to get me to stop whining: 4

Number of times I snuck outside to smoke a cigarette in secret: 53

Number of times my family was completely aware of what I was doing: 53

Number of relatives’ babies I held: 2

Number of relatives’ babies that drooled, puked and/or released some other form of mucus on me: 2 (3 if you count my drunk friend Dan).

Number of times I got called a hobo because of what I was wearing: 1

Number of times I got called a train conductor because of what I was wearing: 1

Number of times my friend who witnessed both above incidents made fun of me for being a train conducting hobo: 3

Ah, yes, there’s nothing quite like going home for a visit to make you realize just how much of an illusion adulthood is.

Oh sure, I may be approaching 30 and have lived thousands of miles away from home for the past six years. But it never fails. As soon as I step off that plane, I suddenly revert back to my 16-year-old self. But honestly, it’s not my fault. I mean, how can I maintain maturity and independence when my mom makes me whatever I want for breakfast? And lunch! And dinner! And my 12-year-old brother keeps calling me a turd? And I’m having sleepovers at my best friend’s house (only instead of pigging out on Doritos and Diet Coke and calling boys on the phone, we pig out on Doritos and Bud Light and stalk boys on Facebook)?

Not to mention, I made the mistake of going to a dance fundraiser for my old high school, which sent me reeling back to my days of acne and awkwardness, especially when the formerly popular, older “kids” started talking to me. Instead of being the cool, confident, fashion-savvy writer and photographer living in Boston I fancy myself to be, I was the girl who giggled awkwardly when told by my ex-boyfriend’s best friend that my Calvin Klein dress and knit hat made me look like a hobo (speaking of which, now that I’m back in Boston and back to my old self, my response to that is, oh, and I see you still look like an asshole, Ken).

Now granted, maybe I should be ashamed, at least a little bit, of how quickly and easily I lose myself every time I go home. But I guess it just goes back to the old theory that you can’t go home again.

Because if you do, you’re sure to turn into the goober you once were.

Will Write For Food

So, I’ve been spending the past two weeks hanging out in my Ohio hometown, visiting family and friends, and well, drinking with family and friends. Alas, this busy beer schedule of mine has left little time to write (at least coherently).

The good news though is that this trip has given me enough material to last me until June…possibly October (just a to give you a preview, titles will include “Aprill Gets Called a Hobo,” “Potential Reasons Why My Mom Calls Bud Light ‘Buddy Light'” and “How Not to React When An Infant Sneezes In Your Mouth”).

But until then, if you’re just desperate to kill time (or enjoy references to Bugle witch hands), you can check out my latest column “Will Write for Food” here.