The ladies figure skating competition in the olympics is going to start soon. Are you as excited as I am?
When I was a child, I LOVED ice skating. Not just watching - actually skating. I begged for lessons. I didn't get them for the same reason I didn't get gymnastics lessons - Skeletor wasn't interested.
She was, however, interested in piano, ballet, and irish dancing. I wasn't very good at any of them. Charmaine was great at all of them (that bitch)!
Charmaine felt bad for me. She tried her hardest to convince Skeletor to let me have ice skating lessons, or even take me to a rink to just skate - to no avail.
She was undeterred. It was winter in Connecticut. She knew it was going to snow. She took the garden hose to the front yard next to the driveway and set about pouring water. By morning, the little puddle was frozen. She brushed off the snow. And there it was.
My own personal ice skating rink.
I strapped on my skates. The rink was no more than 7" long and 5" wide. Just enough to skate forward a bit and do a little twirl. If anyone drove by, I'd try to stop really fast. I knew I had to look like a freak. But it was worth it.
Like Frosty the Snowman, the rink would soon melt. Until the next storm when, without fail, Charmaine would be out in the front yard with the garden hose.
There seems to be a consensus that I need the help of reality tv.
Not just one show - several.
My neighbor thinks I need to be on "Clean Sweep," which if you recall makes you get rid of all of the crap in your house. I agree with that assessment; but it's no longer on the air.
My sister, Charmaine, thinks I need "Super Nanny." I have to disagree with that. I don't think my kids are so bad. And what does she know? She doesn't have any kids (although those are usually the people who think they are experts)!
Brody thinks I need to be on "What Not to Wear." As much as I would like $5,000 to shop in New York, I won't, because they would make me get rid of my favorite violations - Uggs, torn up jeans, and turtlenecks in every color. Not gonna happen!
A little over a week ago, I flew to Chicago to attend the viewing for my 46-year old cousin, Michael. He committed suicide.
I hadn't seen Michael or his siblings for quite a while, though I chatted with Michael on Facebook recently and had received an email from him 5 days prior. I'm not going to say we were close, though over the years, there were times when we were.
Michael went to college in Denver. I remember the night that my mother and sisters arrived home from the hospital where my father had just died at the age of 47. I don't know why, but Michael was standing outside our door. The five of us went in the house and sat in shock at what had just happened.
Fast forward 29 years later, and I am in shock again. But this time, it's Michael.
In the midst of the trauma, there was something good.
I was able to reconnect with my other cousins and meet all of their children. I was a little uncomfortable at first, but it didn't take long to find my way back to the cousins that I had once known.
Enter Mark. The youngest of that batch.
Four years apart isn't much now; but when I was 16 and he was 12, it was huge. He was a brat. A fun brat, but a brat, nonetheless! He's not a brat anymore; but he's still very fun.
He happened to have an overnight in Denver a few days after I returned (he's a pilot), so he came over for a few hours. One by one, he enchanted each of my boys. They played guitar and drums for him. He played piano. He encouraged them to do their best.
And then, just when I thought he couldn't impress them anymore, he pushed the coffee table out of the way and started teaching them how to wrestle.
None of us could stop laughing.
Now Mark has taken up the cause of making my family healthy. We are all under strict orders to do at least 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups every day.