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Fri 02/16/2018
the best game you can name

Anne and I had more (ridiculously tame) hockey adventures this week. We went to the C@nes-K!ngs game which the home team somehow won convincingly and went afterward to stand in the cold and wait for autographs. Sadly after a big win, not very many players stopped, but it was still rather entertaining.

This was due mainly to the head coach, who pulled his truck over to inform the small crowd that "the players are still in the locker room but I had to get out of there quick, I have to go give my wife her Valentine!"
Crowd, as one: OOOOOOOOH.
Coach, laughing: Not like that!

He shook his head and drove off.

The other funny thing was this one 7-year-old who was there with his dad. Dad had trading cards for the players to sign but he wasn't always quite sure who was who. But he did get it right when TVR pulled over, and told the kid to wait his turn and then politely ask if TVR would sign his jersey and card.

So, when it was the kid's turn, he held out the card and said, politely, "What's your name?"

TVR, looking slightly pained and peering at the dad: ...Trevor.
Kid: Will you please sign my jersey?
Dad: *facepalming* 

After TVR drove off...

Dad: You don't ask them who they are! You just take the autograph if they're nice enough to give it to you!
Kid: I didn't ask who he was! I asked what his name was! He was a creepy van guy!

Sadly, Commie was not there to sign my #22 jersey. 

Posted by Molly at 1:25 PM EST
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Tue 08/29/2017

At the doctor's office, Patrick suddenly said, loudly and worriedly, "I don't want to have my testicles removed!"

I laughed somewhat nervously and the doctor said, "Oh, do you have a dog that just had that done?"

Patrick said no, and then he asked if it would hurt.

I said he didn't have to worry about getting his testicles removed, but if you had surgery they gave you medicine to make you sleep and you didn't feel it.

Several minutes later I realized he meant tonsils. 

Posted by Molly at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wed 07/26/2017

Back in North Carolina last month, we watched Trolls for the first time when it hit Netflix. Audrey was immediately smitten, and so was my mom. Yet after repeated watchings, we still didn't have all the troll names down.

When Mom was up here in Ohio last week, we watched Trolls again. At one point Princess Poppy says good night to all her friends, including Satin and Chenille.

Audrey: "Mom! Their names are Satin and Chenille!"
Grandma: "Oh? Captain and Tennille?"
Me: *hysterical laughter*
Grandma: I think there's a generation gap here. 

Posted by Molly at 10:38 AM EDT
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Sat 07/22/2017
where the wind comes sweeping down the plains

Last Sunday, my mom, my Aunt Chris, me and Audrey went to see Ok!ahoma! at the Er!e Playhouse. I was ... not super excited. I'm just not that cultured; I don't love plays, and I was worried about how Audrey might act. She's fine sitting through a movie, though, even a non-animated one, so I figured we could give it a shot.

We arrived just a few minutes before showtime and got settled. Oddly, the playhouse had a movie screen in front of the curtain and was showing previews/ads. Eventually the orchestra started playing. I (again, uncultured) assumed that this was the intro and that any moment the curtain would rise. This was not the case. The music went on and on. The curtain remained stubbornly down. Audrey was already bored.

Finally the curtain went up. There was a nice lady pretending to churn butter in the middle of the stage. Up and down, up and down. Things did not improve from there.

None of us actually knew anything about the play. Aunt Chris and Mom knew a few of the songs. But we really had no idea about the plot. So when, midway through the first act, the cowboy started trying to convince the guy in the smokehouse to hang himself, we were a bit taken aback. Audrey was blissfully unaware of this, having draped herself across my lap to proclaim that she was hungry! And thirsty! And really hungry!

Since I was mostly trying to keep Audrey from complaining too loudly, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to Mom and Chris. Until Mom's phone started ringing. She just got a new number last month, and apparently Steve or Jerry who had the number previously, didn't inform his friends of the change. So Steve/Jerry's friend had something important to say on a Sunday afternoon, and Mom had forgotten to silence the phone. It took 4 rings to silence it, and by then the (mostly very old) people around us were starting to look unhappy.

Aunt Chris leaned across and whispered, "There's only two more songs until intermission." Sadly, she had miscounted. Two songs later began the 15-minute-long drug-induced dream sequence ballet portion of the play. I will hand it to the folks at the Er!e Playhouse. They were true to the movie, at least. At this point, I noticed that Aunt Chris was fanning herself with her playbook. It WAS a bit stuffy in the theater. A few minutes later, still in the midst of the awful dream sequence, Aunt Chris began fanning harder. I looked over and noticed that tears were streaming down her face.

Turns out that when the overly skinny dancing cowboys had come onstage, THEY HAD NOT BEEN DANCING IN UNISON. This set Mom off. She had a prodigious laughing fit and could not contain herself. Aunt Chris was trying to hit her while also not looking at her because SHE couldn't contain herself. Mom began trying to do some Lamaze breathing techniques.

Luckily, FINALLY, one hour and 49 minutes in, intermission came. We marched out into the lobby and Aunt Chris announced that there was no chance we were going to stay for the second act, and we walked out.  

Posted by Molly at 7:22 PM EDT
Updated: Wed 07/26/2017 10:34 AM EDT
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Thu 02/09/2017
"He was washing his hands"

Once, many years ago, one of my very dear friends said to me, "I wish I could be as obsessed by something as you are with baseball." Regardless of how it was meant, I took it as a compliment. And now, finally, I have found someone who feels the same way about something. And that someone is another dear friend of mine, Anne, and that something is ... stalking hockey players. 

One of the goalies for the local hockey team was having an autograph session at a local taco establishment. We decided to go. And also to eat tacos and drink tequila. Anyway, as it often is, it was me and Anne and the three kids. She had brought lots of things (for Will) to get autographed, and she had two extra posters for Patrick and Audrey to take up there. Audrey, of course, refused to go anywhere near the table. She has still not recovered from the First Goal program. So the boys went up, got their stuff signed, posed for pictures. I handed my phone to Patrick and asked him to take a picture of me and Anne and Edd!e and so he took about 17 terrible ones. We thanked Edd!e and went back to our seats.

Anne said that maybe when the line had died down we could go back up and have an adult take our picture. So we did that. Then, Anne mentioned to Audrey that if she'd go up and pose for a picture, Anne would buy her an ice cream. Audrey refused. But Will heard the magic words "ice cream." So Will and Patrick went back up to chat with Edd!e. Patrick asked him if being a goalie was hard. ("Sometimes yes and sometimes no so much.") Will asked him if he'd come over to the table and see Audrey. Audrey heard this and looked stricken. I reassured her that he wouldn't come over.

Then Edd!e got up to go to the bathroom. Suddenly Will disappeared. And then reappeared. And announced, "He's coming to our table."

Lo and behold, Edd!e emerged from the bathroom and came over to the table to pose for a picture. Audrey was mortified and buried her head in my shoulder. Anne grabbed her phone to take a picture and motioned the boys over. "Ahh, a family picture," said Edd!e, who is totally awesome and grinned and posed for the picture. He then went back to his chips and beer and autographs and we left.

In the car on the way home, we had the following discussion.

Anne: Will, did you follow Edd!e into the bathroom?
Will: ...no.
Anne: You won't be in trouble, we just want to know.
Will: No, I didn't! I didn't follow him into the bathroom.
Anne: Are you sure?
Will: ...yes?
Me: Was he peeing?
Will: No! He was just washing his hands! ... Okay, I followed him into the bathroom.




Posted by Molly at 8:06 PM EST
Updated: Thu 02/09/2017 8:10 PM EST
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Sun 01/03/2016
2015 Year In Review
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Sold a house. (It sucked.)
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, I resolved to stop letting myself go and lose weight. I think I finally achieved the first but not until I gained more weight so...yeah.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! And more on the way this summer.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What places did you visit?
Disney World/Orlando, FL. Galveston. Houston. Creedmoor. Pittsburgh. Washington, DC. Carolina Beach. Wilmington, NC.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Oooh I actually achieved a couple of these last year: a bigger house and a shorter drive to get to Target. Sadly I still need more savings. I would like to travel. Like, for real, not just back home, although, that too.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
We moved to Texas on Sept. 18 and the sale of our house closed on Nov. 25 but I doubt I'll remember those long-term.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not to have a recurring theme here, but ... we sold the house.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting myself go. Spending too much time reading Outlander and thinking about how dissimilar my life is. (HAAAAA.) Being depressed about moving and not making the most of it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, we were mainly healthy in 2015. (knock on wood)

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new house? 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The kids have done well with the move.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills. Houses. Taxes. Dear Texas, despite your lack of state income tax, your taxes suck. The end.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sarah got pregnant. And I went to some hockey games. Ohhhhhh my life is depressing.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
So, I listen to sports radio and my CD player in my car broke. I have no idea.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Sadder. I want to go back home.

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. I need to start using the greenbelt trails.

c) richer or poorer? Poorer. We have too much debt. 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Being present. Writing emails to my far-away friends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Thinking about the past and people and things that I shouldn’t. Worrying. GAAH THE WORRYING. STOP IT, MOLLY.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2015?
We opened our presents at our house in the morning, then my parents flew in in the afternoon. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I finally STOPPED watching Greys Anatomy when Stupid Shonda killed off McDreamy. It was slightly liberating and I don't miss it. I like the Property Brothers. I tried to get into the Outlander TV show but the actor they got for Jamie Fraser just wasn't Jamie Fraser for me. Anne and I called it Scottish porn and Patrick thought we were saying Scottish corn and that was amusing.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2015?
Anne made me a cake and got me a singing candle. We had to do the family celebration early because James was working in Wilmington.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read a fair amount of stuff but nothing particularly memorable, it seems.  

25. What did you want and get?
A new house. Unfortunately not the one we wanted. Our offer wasn't accepted on the one we wanted. We got our second choice but realized after we moved in that the previous homeowner was a DIYer... I see last year I wanted a bathroom remodel and we did technically get that but it went to the new homeowners so boo.

26. What did you want and not get?
The credit card(s) paid off. Fit.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
Um. Hm. I saw Cinderella (the live action one) in the theater and it wasn't bad. Other than that I only remember going to see The Good Dinosaur and that wasn't great.

28. Did you make some new friends this year?
No. I need to get on that.

29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not moving to Texas. But it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Elastic. And shoes!
31. What kept you sane?

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I just added someone to my 5. I can't think who it was. Crap. Oh! Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. 

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

34. Who did you miss?
Who I always miss. [Except! Something. Happened. I don't miss him as much now oddly.] Also, sometimes, my previous life. Not like I want it back, but man, those were some good times. [I have made no progress since 2010.] 

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Don't move to Texas.

Posted by Molly at 10:44 PM EST
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Wed 07/15/2015

Once again, months have passed. Patrick finished kindergarten. He earned the principal's award for academics and behavior. He continued to cry every.single.morning when I dropped him off. Audrey turned 3. Her party was under-attended and that made me feel bad. I made no plans for the summer and sadly that includes vacation plans. We went to DC over the 4th of July because we are insane, and I was TRYING to get to Denver for our not-quite-annual sibling baseball weekend but that fell through. I saw NSG on TV. He looked basically the same and was sucking his teeth and it gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I had a disturbing dream about a certain Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. I don't know why I'm recounting these insignificant details.

We might be moving (back) to Houston. I never, ever, EVER thought I'd go back there.

Oh fuck it. The spirit is willing for blogging but the muse has left.

I will close with an amusing story. I suppose I have buried the lede.

James has been working in Wilmington six days a week. So when Patrick asks questions like "Why do I have balls?" I attempt to answer. James says just to leave it to him but I don't like leaving things hanging (as it were. HA). So anyway I launch into this awkward explanation about how when you're as old as Daddy and you're 38 ("He's 37," said Patrick) and you want to have a baby then your balls make the stuff that helps make that happen. "So you grow new ones every time?" Patrick asked. Well, no ... The balls make stuff called sperm, and it meets up with an egg-- "SO WE DO HATCH OUT OF EGGS!" yelled Patrick. "WE'RE REPTILES!"

Job well done, me. 

Posted by Molly at 4:26 PM EDT
Updated: Wed 07/15/2015 4:27 PM EDT
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Tue 04/21/2015
Days in the Sun

There are these moments, the best way I can describe them is transcendental, but that doesn't quite cover it. It's like it happens, and then when it's over you look around and see that the world is still turning and no one else noticed this thing that affected you so viscerally. And eventually (it doesn't take long) you just go back to doing whatever you were doing until the next moment comes along.

I had one when I opened the mailbox to my UNC acceptance letter. When I stepped on the grass at Enron Field that first time in February. When the aforemented NSG ran his finger across the palm of my hand and...oh. 

Of course there are more common ones: when you leave the hospital with your new baby. (Or without -- but we're talking about the good ones here.) When you go see Riverdance and you actually have to push your jaw closed because they can't possibly be tapping that fast except THEY ARE. And then there's the Bryan Adams concert. (Haaaaa.)

So I went to the Bryan Adams concert last Saturday. The 30th anniversary "Reckless" tour. Thirty years ago Saturday, I was ... nearly 5. And listening to Jim Nabors singing about how you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd. But if you don't love a good Bryan Adams ballad, we probably can't be friends. (I might make an exception if I really like you.) Anyway I wasn't super familiar with the first half of the concert, is what I'm saying. It rained Saturday afternoon, and the concert was delayed (even though it SAID rain or shine), and suddenly the lights came up and there was Bryan Adams, no preamble, and everybody stood up and then ... sort of fidgeted because the only person who knew these songs was the lady in the striped shirt who was swaying back and forth four rows in front of me. But then he did "Heaven" and everyone sang along and he yelled, "I love it when you sing" and I thought, oh, I hate it when people sing and the performer turns the mic on the crowd, it's why I don't buy concert CDs (okay, well, if I still bought CDs but you know what I mean). This is probably in large part because I cannot sing. At all. It is terrible.

Anyway, after the Reckless part of the concert, he started doing favorites and so everyone could and did sing along and thankfully he only really turned the mic on the crowd very occasionally. And, I mean, I'm not an avid concert-goer so I don't often go sing at the top of my lungs in public -- certainly I've belted out FINS TO THE LEFT FINS TO THE RIGHT at Jimmy Buffett -- but there was something very freeing about it. Dare I say ... transcendental. And then sometime during the encore (I think) Bryan -- can I call him Bryan -- said something like, "You know I told you earlier I love it when you sing and I meant that. For so many people to come together like this ... it makes magic." And it was so cheesy but so true. It really was magic.

Posted by Molly at 2:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wed 07/15/2015 3:25 PM EDT
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Fri 04/17/2015
To Be Filed Under: Emails That Will Never Be Sent

Dear NSG,

There's this scene, in the movie Pearl Harbor, where Rafe is talking to Evelyn after he shows up alive and she's knocked up with Danny's baby but nobody knows and Rafe says something like "blah blah blah and so I'll walk away and I'll never see you again but I just want to know why. Will you please tell me why?" And that's how I feel about you. You've made it clear you don't want to be friends. But I have no closure. I just want to know why.

We used to be so close. And I know people move away, things sort of fade away, but that's not it. We'd weathered that. We had settled into a long distance friendship that maybe was not quite what either of us had hoped it would be (for different reasons, HA) but I was okay with it. You seemed to be. You didn't tell me things that maybe you once would have (and I had to find out when Sarah read about it in the newspaper and called me) but that was okay. We were still friends, still talked, still could pick up the phone and chat, whatever.

Then it all stopped and I don't know why. And so I cannot get over it. I have mostly moved on. I only think about contacting you once or twice a year, and usually I don't do it. This is where Facebook would be a great resource. We could keep up with each other's lives but without any of those awkward FEELINGS. Speaking of Facebook, though. There was a time when you wouldn't stay in touch with anybody else in our "crowd." But you stayed in touch with me. Now I stay in touch with most of them on Facebook. Of course you're either not on Facebook or you've made it so private that I can't find you. But here's the kicker. Since I keep up with them on Facebook, I know that you DO keep up with them. So again I'm left to wonder why on earth you can't just drop me a line here and there.

Like when I give in to the urge to actually send you an email. An innocuous one. "Hey, heard you got a new job. Congratulations! Want to make a small wager for old time's sake? Hope you're well." And ... nothing. Despite my best intentions, I can't help but hope for a reply. You replied to Sarah, for heaven's sake. I could try to tell myself that maybe you didn't get the email; after all, I sent it to your work address and it was from gmail -- maybe it went to spam...but no. No, the fact is you STILL won't acknowledge that I exist, that we existed, that we were friends, that at one time I did actually mean something to you. And that kills me. So I just want to know why.

In closing. I wish you would get out of my head. I wish I didn't care. I wish I could just accept it and move on but I can't. So, sorry. You'll have to put up with the emails that I do send every two years when the little voice in my head says "what have you got to lose?" Sadly the answer still seems to be something rather than nothing. But anyway, at least you won't have to read and ignore this one. 



Posted by Molly at 12:46 AM EDT
Updated: Fri 04/17/2015 12:47 AM EDT
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Tue 03/10/2015

Dear Audrey,

One day, when you're older, you might perhaps look at photos of yourself at age 2.5(ish) and wonder why on earth I let you out of the house wearing the same outfit for days on end. Or why I let you out of the house wearing pajamas. Repeatedly. Or you might wonder why I never did anything fun with your hair.

Well. LET ME TELL YOU. You are very headstrong. And stubborn. Now, you would think that I, as a 34-year-old woman, would be able to exert my will upon you, a 2-year-old. You would be wrong. I mean, I suppose I COULD but it frankly is not worth the effort. I have to choose my battles. I would rather you brush your teeth than your hair. I would rather you wear something than nothing. I would rather you not scream for 10 minutes while flailing on the floor because I told you that you needed a ponytail. (Yeah. That happened.) I have oftentimes threatened to cut your hair off and get you the same haircut as Patrick. You see this as the empty threat that it is and tell me that you will brush your hair BY YOURSELF. Then you get the brush stuck in your hair. Lately, you have let me brush your hair and put it in Elsa or Anna braids. This is only because your other option is a ponytail or pigtails which you hate. As you do barrettes. And headbands.

Are you sensing a theme? I am not exagerrating. 

So far, the worst offenders have been the gray boots and the red pants. They gray boots started off well. They were half off at Old Navy, little knock-off Uggs with tiny cutout stars. Super cute. And you loved them, and I loved them and it was winter and your feet were warm and all was right with the world. There was just one problem. You ... did not like to wear socks with your boots. At first, this was not a problem. Until you did it enough that one day you kicked off your boots in the car and everyone dived for the buttons to roll down their windows. It was bad. I washed them. That helped for about two days. I washed them again and made you wear socks. That got a week. Finally I decided enough was enough. You loved the boots and would wear them every day but ... it was bad. So I threw them away. AND YOU FOUND THEM, AND PULLED THEM OUT OF THE TRASH. After another week, I got smarter and threw them out on trash day. Success!

The issue with the red pants was a different one. You wanted to wear them every day. With every thing. That didn't match. They were red fleecy pants which were perfectly serviceable but which did not look cute under dresses. This did not deter you. I could not in good conscience tell you not to wear them, I mean, that would have been reinforcing gender roles or something -- who cares if they're cute -- but it drove me crazy. CRAZY. You even tried to wear them to your Easter pictures. This finally was solved when the weather got warmer.

But you still didn't brush your hair.

So that, Audrey, is why you look like a little ragamuffin in pictures. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.


Posted by Molly at 11:06 PM EDT
Updated: Wed 07/15/2015 3:56 PM EDT
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