Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Perils of Clubbing

Let me just say, this is not about me. But, it made me laugh so hard that I had to let the poor souls involved that it would be posted! Here goes....

A sweet girl of 19 has recently returned to Orlando from her first year of college. As most soon to be college sophomores like to do, she and her friends decided to hit a club on ladies night! Woooooweeee, nothing but fun happens at a club on ladies night. NOTHING.

So, Sally heads to the club. She's dancing with the girls and hangin' out. You know how it goes. And some guys start hitting on them. No big deal, innocent flirting going on. Then it got a little weird.

This guy comes up to her and starts telling her all about his life. He's just moved back home to be with his big family. He can't wait to spend more time with his nephews and nieces. He is looking for a job -- can't really find one, but it'll come. Yada, yada, yada.

And all the while Sally is thinking, "This guy looks just like Dr. John. How is this possible? My mom is going to laugh like there is no tomorrow when I tell her this guy hitting on me looks like Dr. John." It's like a clone is talking to her. And as that creeped her out more and more, something hit her.

"You're a Gammichia, aren't you?" she blurts out having put 2 and 2 together: the large Italian family, the growing up in AltSpgs, the brother moving back into town.

"What? Did I say my last name?" he ponders.

"I babysit your niece and nephews. I know your family."

And then the kicker -- "Oh, yeah," he realizes, "I've seen your picture on John's refrigerator!"

SWEET!!!! That makes me laugh every time!

So, he asks her to dance, and she leaves out the back door.

Priceless. I love it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Johnston Invasion

An invasion.  I'm sorry, but there really isn't any other way to describe what happened to my world 2 Thursdays ago.  Back in January, while K was beginning to dream up summer plans, J had queried that perhaps they could come stay on the property where I live with an RV.  I talked with my people and they offered their vacant home for 2 weeks in June.  Well, jumping on an offer like that is the only way to do it.  So, the Johnstons came up for 10 days in June.  And it was quite a trip.

On Friday, we went to Baltimore.  Saw Babe Ruth's house, some ate soft-shelled crab sandwiches (should have taken a photo), drove through town and experienced many cultural interchanges.  From shouting, "fried CHICKEN" around town, to being vindicated on poor landmark visitations, we made it home.  And none too early, for Saturday held a big day in DC.  My last post is about that experience -- it was a good day.

Sunday led the Johnstons back to DC as I had to work.  Then came Monday.  We went to Philadelphia to see the historical sites.  We had a Philly Cheesesteak -- yum.  We saw Betsy Ross' house, the Liberty Bell, Edgar Allen Poe's residence and every one way street in the historical area.  Can I just tell you that finding parking there is a pain in the ___ .  Yeah, I said it!

Heading home late, we got ready for the big trip to NYC!  We arrived in Hoboken, NJ around 12p, headed into town on the PATH train.  Please note, I am now a Subway expert!  You want an elevator in the station?  I'll find it!  We were lazy!  We saw Ground Zero, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and more Starbucks than I think ever have existed.  I know they say that sometimes NYC smells bad (because of New Jersey!!!).  I really think that might be why they brought in so many Starbucks.  Because now it just smells like coffee.

We dropped our bags at our residence for the evening, and headed back out to Times Square and Broadway.  We saw Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman!) singing at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble.  We had dinner at a restaurant with singing waiters/waitresses.  Let me just note, that they were fantastic performers.  They probably were the stars in High School and perhaps college.  They probably had every single lead in the plays.  They came to NYC to make it big and now they are singing at Ellen's Stardust Diner.  All in hopes that one day they might hit an audition and get out of there.  Amazing dedication.

I digress.  We ventured to Time Square where they have set up lawn chairs in the street to just let people hang out!  Not kidding!  It was so cool.  And because we hadn't eaten enough, we went for dessert at Juniors.  It was good.  But what was awesome is that the host was a theatre guru who gave us all the scoop on what to see.  And that next door, Angela Lansbury was performing in Blithe Spirit.  Guess who we saw once she came out afterwards!?!?  That's right!!  Angela Lansbury!  Cool!

Next AM, we tried to get on the Today Show -- didn't happen.  Found another elevator though! We did see Matt, Al, Erin & Natalie under the umbrellas on that drizzly morning.  Some of us head over to get tickets for Shrek.  We got them!  And saw the show!  It was such fun.  What a hoot and full of great performances.  We went to Central Station, Tiffany & Co, Anthropologie, Trump Towers, Central Park, and Levain Bakery (2 blocks from where we stayed).  It was recommended by a college friend and it was awesome!!!

Headed home and crashed on the floor all day Thursday.  Man, were we beat!  Friday, as I worked, they headed back to DC.  Then came Saturday.  We headed north to Lancaster County.  Or as we called, Amish-ville.  The Amish are interesting people.  They love to quilt - got some great fabrics.  They plow, irrigate, harvest things with their team of 3-4 mules.  They love their Shoefly pie.  And they have the oddest town names ever.  For example:  Bird-in-Hand.  Not too bad.  But just to the east is Intercourse.  To the west - Fertility.  Close by: Virginville.  And then Paradise.  Let's not get started on what jokes may or may not have been mentioned while traipsing through Amish-ville!

We made it over to Hersey, PA and hit Chocolate World.  Might be a close second to my favorite world: OUTDOOR WORLD! (Please read that in a very booming voice!)  Oh, and I don't really like Hersey Chocolate anymore.  It's true, I'm a food snob!  

My dear friends headed home Sunday PM.  It was super fun, full of adventure and many laughs.  And the Mid-Atlantic states are still intact, as far as we know.  If they can handle the Johnstons +1, they can handle anything!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

D-Day in the flesh

My friends are here in town -- for 10 days, I get to play with a family of 6 who are up from Orlando!  We ventured into Baltimore on Friday.  Let's just say, we're done with Baltimore.  I do enjoy it, but parking is frustrating, it was raining and we drove around and around.  We went to a market in town that provided 2-3 different drug exchanges.  Good times!  It was great to see the history and the years of impact through the streets.  We saw the poverty, the glamour, the people.  It was great.  Not sure we're going to hit it another day!

Yesterday, we went to Washington DC.  My friends wanted to see the monuments and some museums.  So, we ventured to Lincoln, the Korean War and the Vietnam War Memorials.  I really hate going by the Vietnam Memorial -- I cry every time.  We headed East towards the Washington Monument.  The WWII memorial was before us, so we decided to stop.  

As we were getting into town, there were way too many cars in the Metro lot that I like to frequent.  I couldn't figure out what was going on.  Well, there was a Race for the Cure Event, the first weekend of summer, and some other things.  When we got to the WWII fountains, we saw a large group of people coming down the ramps towards us.  Why were all these people here.  And man, they were old.  DUH!!  It was June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.  And here in front of us were busloads of men who fought in those battles.  

Countless men took pictures in front of their state's pillar and in front of the quotes which talked about their service.  They looked at the bronze reliefs of different WWII scenes.  They talked about the memories with each other.  Their friends and family laughed and photographed them.  The families were so proud of their own personal heros.  These men were standing with pride and seeing what they had done.  

And it was so moving when my friends were trying to get a better glance at something in the memorial.  Upon seeing a Veteran coming, they stopped the family's procession to let this hero walk ahead first.  That simple gesture, perhaps unnoticed by the Vet or his family, it spoke volumes to me.  That was D-Day, in the flesh - remembered, honored, experienced.