Monday, November 26, 2001

Post Thanksgiving Wrapup

I got lots of good feedback on the Thanksgiving 1989 trip outlined in the last entry. Lots of laughs. Memories... aaaaah they shine in the corners of my brain (to totally misquote Barbara "How DID I get so famous!?" Streisand-Brolin). Scott was amazed at the amount of detail I recall about that trip. He said I picked up some horrid book about Lenin's wife. Can't say I remember that part or even know where the hell it is to this day, so it must have been a great find.

This is the co-worker upon whom the A9 parking permit has been bestowed. I had it a full week and a half. Sigh. I could get used to parking right next to the building. Cuts a whole three minutes off the commute in, and gets you out of here three minutes earlier. I wish her great enjoyment with the A9. Sigh.

Okay, on to Thanksgiving. Our drive down was not nearly as interesting as in years past, thank God. When you have kids, and you're on a long car trip, the concept of such adventures is anathema. No longer do you say "Hey, if the car breaks down we can hoof it, or hitch..." The protection factor, the desire to get there in once piece, the longing for them to take a nap... these things weigh heavier on the parenting heart. Adventure don't enter into it none. Just getting there and opening a cold one is all you look forward to.

We left early Thursday morning, avoided the bulk of the traffic except on the Mass Pike (WBZ radio didn't mention that traffic from Rte 290 to the I-84 exit was at a standstill. Had they done that, we've stayed on 290/395 down to New London. But no. They didn't mention the 10 miles of parking lot we had to sit in with no chance of exit... bastards), and on the LIE where there was construction from the Clearview Expressway all the way to the Nassau County line. What a fucking mess that was! We so should have taken the GCP to the NSP, but Doug opted for the LIE because, again, the radio didn't mention it at all. Fucking News Stations with their bullshit traffic coverage.

Well, we got there in 5 hours nonetheless, which was very good. No one expected us until like 3 pm, so we took them by surprise. Never ever underestimate the Geiger Clan. When you think you've got us figured out as being perpetually late for stuff, we'll fuck your estimations right up baby. Yeah!

Upon arrival we all got to meet Rob. He's really nice and I liked him a lot. And I can't believe I didn't take one picture of him to slap in here. Duh. It is always good when siblings bring someone home who you can get along with. Linda has had a good track record of bringing home nice guys with great senses of humor. Face it. To put up with our family you gotta be able to laugh.

The kids played nintendo like crazy (my mom is a big nintendo addict. I'm recommending she seek counseling and treatment, and join a 12-step program) and we had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Doug was exhausted, so he hit the hay at about 10. My mom, sister, Rob and I decided to play Trivial Pursuit... but because my mom has all the cards in Genus I memorized, we took six boxes of cards, one from each of the six versions that they own. We decided that once you landed on a color, you had to roll the die again to pick the box out of which your question would be asked. That proved fun, because you never could count on getting the box you wanted and it made it more challenging.

I ended up winning, but it took me forever. Every time I landed in the middle and got my final question, I fucked it up. My cousin Joe was up visiting from Florida, and he was sitting in the living room yelling out the answers to the questions, so at least one of them that I got had to be returned, to my chagrin, because he yelled the answer out before I said it. Little shit.

We ended up playing for like three hours, with some interruption. I got to bed at 2. Our plan was to get up very early and go to Atlantic City. We were booked in at the Tropicana Hotel, three rooms, one night. Yowsah.

We had intended on leaving at 10, but got on the road at about 11:30. My dad rode with us, and he did a good job at shotgun holding the EZ Pass up to the window so we could cruise through the 200 tollbooths between my parents' house and our destination. Goddamn tollbooths!

The trip was fairly uneventful. Traffic on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn was horrific, but it always is. Views of NYC were sad from the Verazzano Narrows Bridge. No smoke rising from the sight though. It still broke my heart.

We got to ACNJ at about 4pm. My sister, mom and Rob rode in another car, so we checked them in and I called them on the cell phone to let them know to come up to their room when they got there and they could reimburse us later. This was the view from Rob and Linda's room.



Gone, just about. Linda and friends arrived just as the sun was setting. It was nice to watch the sunset. The room glowed bright orange, and was so pretty. Sigh. Well.

After they dumped their stuff we went to dinner at the Buffet downstairs below the casino. It was an interesting time, let me tell ya.

While we were in line there was a strange trio of people who were either from Baltimore or Delaware, with the weirdest accents I've ever heard. They were scummy looking and she was riding in a wheelchair with her bandaged foot up, and talking on a walkie talkie with someone up in the casino letting them know where they were in line and what the wait time would be. Reception on their piece of crap walkie talkie was poor in the first place, so we had to listen to her yell into the piece of shit for like 10 minutes. "What? I didn't hear you. Say that again." "I said ten more minutes..." Her charming groom was a corpulent weirdo who looked as if he hadn't bathed in a few, weeks, and he had on a set of earplugs so he could listen to this little hand held radio. When person number three would talk to him, he'd yell "What? I can't hear you. I'm listening to the radio. What?" Jackass, take the fucking plugs out of your ear and listen to the person trying to address you. Shithead.

They were probably THE most bizarre folk I've seen in quite some time. We got into the seating area, and he put his stuff down and RAN to the serving area like there was only one bag left of USA relief grain and he needed to feed his family.

He got a ton of vegetables from the salad area and went to the pasta chef. He cut everyone in line and gave the guy the pile of veggies and TOLD (note, told, didn't ask, request or inquire whether it could be done) to sauté them with some pasta. So the big pile of veggies took up 2 of the 3 little skillets the chef had. The Fat Jerk then went and cut someone in line to take food and walk back to his table. Linda saw the activity at the pasta bar. And the guy almost killed Geoff when he came to inquire as to the readiness of his dish. It wasn't quite ready so he left... pasta man made Geoff's noodles and we were sure to say thanks. The poor guy must suffer such abuse at the hands of people showing up acting like he's their personal fucking chef...

After a while, Fat Jerk's food was ready, and he was no where to be seen. Linda said the chef was disgusted. When Fat Jerk came back he was all full of attitude. "Well, is it DONE yet???" The chef gave him his food and the guy was pissed. "Where is it all. This is only half of it... what, did you throw half of it out?"

The Fat Jerk then went and did the dumbest thing in his life.

He cut in front of my husband.

First of all, being rude is one thing. Second, cutting any big guy at a buffet, that's suicide. Especially since Doug had witnessed him acting like a jackass for over an hour. He'd had it with this dorkus malorkus and said to him, "Getting between me and the buffet isn't something you want to do. You do it again, it'll be the last time you do much of anything."

So the guy gets into it with Doug, grabbing his arm and yanking the serving spoon out of his hand and just yelling shit at him. Doug easily could have beat the life's blood out of Fat Jerk, but FJ backed off and went away.

Great line though: "Getting between me and the buffet isn't something you want to do..." Bwa ha. Never cross Doug at the buffet. Damn.

The rest of the evening went swimmingly, no pun intended. I realized I had forgotten to pack a bathing suit, and the kids were hell bent to leather for swimming. Rob and Linda both had their suits, and took the kids swimming. The pool was too deep for Geoff to be in with just Jessica, so I'm ever so relieved they were prepared.

Error of the mommy: always making sure everyone has their shit, but you forget half of yours. That's what always happens to me, even though I think I'm all planned right. So kudos and muchos thankeros to Rob and Linda. They had about an hour in the pool, and the kids were worn out good. Geoff was asleep by 9, Jessie was up much later, but nice and mellow. My mom watched them so that the four of us "kids" could go down to the gaming area.

I love slot machines. I know they're mindless... but I like the spinning and the sound and the flashing. I'm no good at table games like black jack or poker, unless I'm playing for fake money or with Brian, Ben and Dan. Then I do great. But when it is real money, a quarter slot is okay by me.

At one point I think Doug was up about 400 bucks. He lost it of course. I hit for over 70 bucks on one of them, which was hot shit to me. I took my winnings and pocketed them... Doug kept handing me money. I figured if I held some aside there'd be lunch for us the next day. I knew we were going to lose our collective shirts, so I figured being safe and reserving some cash was wise.

Rob and Linda went over to the dollar slots, and Rob hit for $2500.

Uh, hello? What the fuck is up with THAT!!!

Linda came rushing over to us to tell us. And we were stunned. No shit. It was getting pretty late, and he was pretty much done, and just popped in one more token and wham.

So that was astounding. The night ended on a very up note. We had wings and beer at Hooters and hit the hay.

The next day we kind of slept in, cruised the Boardwalk for a few hours. Ate at an mediocre buffet. It didn't thrill me and made me kind of ill. We went to Ripley's Believe it or Not, which is always fun, even though this one seemed really small and close.

Rob, Linda and my mom split around 2, they had to get back to LI cause they were meeting some of Lin's friends for dinner... so Dad, Doug, the kids and I moseyed back and got home around 9.

The kids were famished, so we got them some grub. Geoff immediately got sick and puked all over. I didn't see that coming. He was sick all damn night. We were all waiting for it to hit each of us, figuring he's the smallest so it's gonna impact him first, like he's our personal Colemine Botulism Canary. But the rest of us stayed puke-free. So I've ruled out food poisoning. I'm not sure what he came in contact with, did, or ate that would have made him sick like that. He had no fever. Just puking, every 20 minutes. Dry heaves and everything. He finally got some good sleep between 4 and 6 am. I woke up every time he moved.

Sick children are so damn pathetic because there is NOTHING you can do to help them, just be there to hold them and encourage them that they'll be okay. He wanted a glass of water so badly, but every time he took a sip he'd immediately hurl. "A glass of water will make me well," he kept saying. It broke my heart, because I wanted him to be able to have one, but wetting his lips and letting him sip a bit was all that I could do. And it also broke my heart to hear him say the saddest little sentence in the world... "A glass of water will make me well."

He said well instead of better. sigh.

I slept from 6 to 9 off and on. Got up for about an hour. He kept a big cup of water down for a long time and didn't hurl again, so I felt confident I could go upstairs and grab a little extra sleep prior to our departure. At 1pm Doug got me up, all cranky and tired I was, and we loaded up and left. We hit the road at about 2. And thanks to the Rand McNally atlas we skirted a ton of accidents and backups by taking alternate routes, and made it home in about 5.5 hours. Geoff rode in the back with the green tub my mom gave him to throw up in, and managed to not get sick the whole way home. It was uneventful save for almost getting hit by a woman changing lanes with us right beside her. Doug beeped at her and scared the shit out of her. Serves her ass right.

So that was our adventure. We got home. We are home. I'm glad to be home. I wish I'd hit for $2500 bucks but at least someone I know made out well. I wish Geoff hadn't gotten all sick, but we weathered that storm and survived. I'm relieved Jessica didn't get ill. The only thing worse than one kid hurling is two.

I have some pictures that I will post of our trip to Maine and other stuff. But that's pretty much the update from here. I hope all your Thanksgivings were great. Suffice to say I'm glad we're staying put for Christmas.

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