Dinner and a Motorcycle

Whew!

It’s been hotter than Hades lately.

But then, it seems the intense summer heat is inspiring for new beginnings.

At least, for me.

My blog anniversary was just a few days ago.

And now, it’s my anniversary anniversary.

And much like my magnetism for memorable birthdays…

There was one highly memorable anniversary that tells quite the tale.

The year was 2011.

My husband DJ and I decided to celebrate by going out for dinner.

But first…

We stopped at a motorcycle shop.

Which inevitably led to the purchase of a motorcycle.

After long day of work.

When judgment is always at its peak.

Because everybody knows that’s the best time to make big decisions.

It’s also common knowledge that just looking at something translates roughly to:

Let’s buy this thing!

Like, right now!

Because, really, when was the last time we’d gotten anything nice for ourselves?

And did I mention it was our ten year anniversary?

A big anniversary like that warranted something big.

Like a motorcycle.

Tradition dictates that year ten should be gifted with tin or aluminum.

While I’m usually not one to care overly much about traditions in the sense of gifts…

Aren’t bikes made of steel and aluminum?

Ha!

Anyway…

It was an electric green Kawasaki Ninja 650R in great shape.

I liked it.

DJ liked it.

So we signed a contract and we were on our merry way.

The funny part?

Spontaneously buying a motorcycle turned out to be the most normal part of our evening.

Celebrating in memorable ways seems to a talent for us.

(Horses, anyone?)

After buying the bike, we figured we’d enjoy a nice meal out.

And so we drove to a Greek restaurant I’d been to only once before, several years earlier.

It was way on the other side of town, so we didn’t get out that way too often.

But I remembered loving that restaurant.

It was a Saturday night.

And the parking lot was desolate.

That right there should’ve been an omen.

But that didn’t stop us from going in.

We were greeted by a host who looked like he’d had a few drinks himself.

Which was entirely probable, given the impressive bar in full view behind him.

And…

As luck would have it, our drunken host turned out to also be our drunken waiter.

There was no other sign of life whatsoever within those four walls.

No other diners.

No other waitstaff.

Nada.

Had this tipsy waiter just killed the rest of the restaurant staff? 

Which would have been rather unfortunate, given the fact they prided themselves on being a family owned and operated business.

But I remembered truly enjoying a scrumptious assortment of authentic Mediterranean food in my previous trip.

So we stuck around like the sadists we apparently were.

Our waiter ambled around momentarily before producing two sad-looking menus, held together by uneven patches of tape.

Despite an authentic-looking Greece interior, nothing about this looked overly promising.

But we were hungry.

And remained cautiously optimistic.

Spoiler alert:

When the food came, it did not get any better.

With spanakopita slimier than worms, pita bread that could crack a pig’s head open, and hummus that tasted more like mud than mashed chickpeas, it bared no resemblance to my previous dining experience.

Did we save room for dessert, the stumbling drunk inquired?

Right.

It didn’t matter if it was our anniversary.

We’d already had all the fun we could handle, without gambling on dessert.

It was beyond comprehension how this restaurant had been a six-time Best Greek Restaurant winner, awarded by a local newspaper.

Incidentally, 2011 was the last year they’d won the prestigious award.

Which was the second and final time I set foot in that place.

I must’ve been really, really hungry that first time.

Or maybe things just really, really went down the toilet in the few years since I’d first gone.

I scoped out some Yelp reviews to see if we were crazy, or if it had just been an off night.

But no.

“I thought that I was part of an elaborate prop set for what would be a great tragedy. The place is certainly capable visually of transporting you to Ellada (Greek word for Greece). The place was also as barren as an off-season tourist trap near Plakka. The only two other people there seemed to be regulars.”

And this one:

“I am certain from the many posted accolades all over the walls of the place that this restaurant was indeed great. But its day has come and gone and its legendary service and cuisine is all but a page of mythology.”

But then there were a few reviews like this one:

Amazing food. Authentic and unique. The wait staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.

Unique, yes.

Incredible?

In a way, yes.

But not in any positive sense of the word.

Love the entire experience!

Seriously?!?

I mean, our experience was plenty memorable.

But definitely not in the way of loving it.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m all for irony.

But, wow.

So on one hand, its stellar past was not a figment of my imagination.

On the other hand…

Had those few satisfied diners had their hummus spiked?

It’s uncanny.

That whole dining experience had been way, way off the mark.

Suffice it to say, the heat wasn’t the only hellish factor on that day seven years ago.

But, hey.

A cool motorcycle and a freakish dining experience.

Which, evidently, meet all my criteria for a memorable evening.

We ended up selling that motorcycle two years ago, when my husband decided to upgrade.

Yet, in an interesting twist of fate…

It’s now for sale again.

And it’s our anniversary again.

Is this a sign we ought to buy it back, for the sake of nostalgia?

Is it fate?

I guess we shall see…

~Happy Saturday! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!~

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let's see if it's meant to be... a second time.

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let’s see if it’s meant to be… a second time.

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Bigly Bestest Magician

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Optical illusion?  Funny camera angle? Or am I secretly The Bigly Bestest People Eater? Oh, come on. I wouldn’t hurt a fly! It’s magic, I tell ya! 

If you'll excuse me, I think it's naptime. Yaaaawnnn!

If you’ll excuse me, I think it’s naptime. Yaaaawnnn!

~Happy Tuesday, friends! Hope your week is off to a great start!~

Three’s a Charm

Hooray!

Woo hoo!

Yippee!

Comically Quirky just turned three!

This particularly blogiversary is especially special.

It’s the first anniversary since The Bigly Bestest Doggie came along!

And made Comically Quirky bigger!

And better!

And even more exciting!

Thank you all for enthusiastically welcoming Jett and his doggone fun weekly feature, Tails ‘n’ Tweets.

I don’t know what I ever did without that incredible doggie.

He undoubtedly adds a certain je ne sais quoi to this blog.

Thank you for three fun-filled years of goofiness.

And laughter.

And chaos, too.

Thank you for joining us on yet another year of adventures!

We’re so very happy to know you!

~Happy weekend, friends! If you’d like to read my very first post that kicked off the insanity, please click here! Thanks again for being so awesome, and have an amazing weekend!~

Thanks for joining us!

Thanks for joining us! ~ Jett

Bigly Bestest on the Move

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Car rides are awesome! No idea where we’re going, but beats sitting around the house all day! Sure hope we’re off to the park…and not someplace yucky, like the vet. No, no. Think positive!

~Happy Tuesday, everyone! Life is good when you just sit back and enjoy the ride!~

Perilous Parallels

Turn the wheel!

Keep turning the wheel!

More!!!

And the driving instruction fun continues.

Raise your hand if you remember how to parallel park!

Aww, come on.

It’s just like riding a bike!

Really!

I mean, sort of…

As of three days ago, I still had a vague idea of how to parallel park a car.

More or less.

I hadn’t made any legitimate attempts at parallel parking since my own driving test at the age of 16.

And even then, I’d been instructed to park between two snow banks rather than actual cars.

Which is good, because I likely wouldn’t have passed if I had to wedge myself in between two real cars.

Don’t get me wrong.

I do park in parallel spaces.

But only when I can easily drive right in to them.

(Shhh!)

On particularly rough days, I struggle to park my car straight in between the lines of a parking space…

Yet, I have impressive success backing our large pickup truck into parking spaces with amazing precision.

Go figure.

At any rate, it was time to teach my teenage son the basics of parallel parking.

Because how could that be a bad idea?

And so we drove to a nearby school parking lot.

Here, let me show you how it’s done.

Uh…

Show him what, exactly?

Yikes.

Going purely on instinct rather than any delusion of certainty, I tried.

I missed.

I tried again.

This time, the car was in between the lines.

A flawless execution it was not.

But at least complete and utter mortification was avoided.

For how can one teach what they themselves cannot do?

I must not have done too horrible a job of demonstrating, as my child managed several successful attempts of his own afterward.

My boy has been taking pleasure in using every opportunity to get behind the wheel.

On the bright side, he’s been commenting on my driving with far less frequency.

The tables have turned.

Anyway…

After the sobering knowledge that some of my driving skills might be rusty, I’m tempted to try a few more rounds of parallel parking again.

Totally off topic, but…

Did you know I used to speak French fluently during my teen years?

It’s true!

But then I ceased to continue making the effort to utilize my conversational skills.

So now I sound like I’m speaking Klingon rather than French.

Because skills you don’t use are skills you lose.

So use it or lose it.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Hope you all have a great weekend!~

Parallel parking. Yay.

Parallel parking. Yay.

Bigly Bestest Rockstar

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Move over, ball! Looks like there’s a new toy in town! My dreams of becoming the World’s First Rockstar Doggie may finally come true!

~Happy Tuesday, friends! What could be cooler than a guitar-playing doggie? Jett will be sure to keep you all updated on his progress. So far, he’s mastered sniffing and licking it.~

Summertime Procrastination

Good things come to those who wait.

Well.

If that’s true, why did I just get eaten alive by a tribe of vicious fire ants?

Let me backtrack a moment.

Four years ago, we started a new tradition after moving to No Man’s Land.

My boys wanted to do something epic to celebrate surviving their first chaotic school year here.

With a crazy housing market at the time, we made a major move without being sure where we’d be living, where the kids would go to school, or if I would be homeschooling them…

And this was a mere three weeks before school was set to start.

Yeesh.

But all the pieces eventually fell into place.

And we survived.

So we celebrated.

My older son had enjoyed watching his New England Patriots get doused in massive buckets filled with freakishly neon Gatorade to celebrate their Super Bowl victory earlier that year.

My boys wanted to celebrate their victory of surviving the school year.

And so a new tradition was born.

Every year for the last three years, we did our Gatorade Victory Shower on the last day of school.

Except this year.

It rained heavily and the wind howled like a banshee.

So we decided our celebration could, and probably should, wait a day or two.

Or, you know, five weeks.

Yeah.

First, we inadvertently “floated” my birthday back in April when my husband was out of town for work, with the intention of celebrating that weekend.

And celebrate we did.

Almost a month later.

When I’d practically forgotten about it myself.

Life has a way of keeping us busy, overwhelmed, and overloaded.

But at least we finally got out and enjoyed dinner and drinks.

And an impromptu trip to Toys R Us.

(For the record, I will ALWAYS be a Toys R Us kid. Today is a sad, sad day.)

But anyway, back to our floated Gatorade Shower.

Days passed.

Then weeks.

And then I had a thought.

Maybe we would do the shower for my son’s 13th birthday!

But no.

We’d missed out on that, too.

Maybe we should’ve just started a new tradition with a Back to School Gatorade shower!

But I wanted to do it this summer.

We weren’t moving very fast, though.

We’d keep drinking from our stash of Gatorade.

We’d keep replacing them.

The cycle continued.

Just in case we ever got around to doing the shower.

Which we finally did.

Today!

This morning, I gathered all the Gatorade bottles.

And the Nerf Super Soaker water guns.

Which are great…

Unless your child is gleefully spraying you in the face.

I even splurged on those self-sealing balloons so I wouldn’t spend 30 minutes trying to make and tie a whopping 10 water balloons.

3 easy steps Bunch o Balloons!

None of the steps of which involve me actually reading the directions, it would seem.

The first batch of balloons didn’t go over all that well.

I hadn’t realized they needed to be in water.

Like a fish.

Otherwise, you pretty much get the same end result.

We’d been so ready for this shower for five weeks.

Except not really ready.

Until today.

I can’t be certain, but we might’ve just unintentionally celebrated my older son’s last day of Drivers Ed.

Oh well.

At least we finally had our celebration.

And aside from a few WWE-like moments with flying Gatorade bottles, a good time was had by all.

Until those evil fire ants came along…

~Happy Friday, friends! Have a great weekend!~

Our exciting arsenal of melee makers...

Our exciting arsenal of melee makers…

Bigly Bestest Pep Talk

@thebiglybestestdoggie: Quick! Put on your biggest, most natural-looking smile! Work that charm! Momma will never know you’ve been up to no good again!

~Happy Tuesday, everyone! Jett is a charmer and he sure knows it!~

Terribly Terrific Teenagers

Teenagers.

They’re awesome.

Really, really awesome.

Sooo…

Yesterday was my youngest son’s birthday.

He turned 13.

Now I have two teenagers.

With one kid learning to drive and the other playing his new electric guitar around the clock, things are now twice as fun around here!

And that’s not even factoring all the hormonal mayhem and other joys of those delightful teenage years!

(And kids are always complaining they don’t have anything in common with their parents!)

(Well, overwhelmed by something, at any rate…)

(Make that plural. Teenagers. Not one, but two. Twice the woo hoo!)

(Yeah, that. And speaking of wine…)

(Did you know some wine glasses can actually hold an entire bottle of wine? Probably the genius invention of a frazzled, disgruntled mom..)

(It takes my kids a whopping two hours to even realize I’m home from work. Meanwhile, The Bigly Bestest Doggie always eagerly awaits my return. Yeah. Dogs clearly care more.)

(Google takes a backseat to my expert kids and the plethora of factual knowledge they evidentally think they possess.)

(If you’re a fan of unpredictable extremes, then teenagers are totally your people!)

(If you’ve already punished your child by confiscating their electronics, there’s only one thing left to do. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.)

(Judging by the size of the average teenager, it’s probably far too late to even consider attempting this.)

(Kids don’t realize all that arguing and back-talking is equally exhausting for their parents. And tired and cranky parents are not happy and reasonable parents.)

(Seriously. Don’t mess with me. Mostly because I’m already at the end of my rope…)

Truly, for all that people complain about teenagers, they’re really not so bad.

Except when they’re arguing with you.

Or being irrational.

Or finding ways to endanger both your life and your sanity.

But other than that, they’re the best!

~Happy Friday, friends! Who here has teenagers, or has survived the teen years and lived to tell the tale? I hear there is hope, so I’m fairly optimistic… Have a great weekend!~

Bigly Bestest Treat Tantrum

@thebiglybestestdoggie: So you’re telling me I can’t have any more treats today because I already had two? What kind of nonsense is that? The doggie down the street told me he gets four treats a day! Four! I know where I’m sneaking off to later…

Gimme a break. Do I really look like I'm buying this nonsense?

Gimme a break. Do I really look like I’m buying this nonsense?

~Happy Tuesday, friends! Jett is still resisting his deliciously crunchy dry food, but he’d sure be happy to eat treats all day long!~