Yes, I have once again foolishly decided to spend three weeks in New York with Jimmy's family. This time, Jimmy is actually along for the ride for the first week, at which time he will flee back to the safety of California, and Jude and I will stay on for two more weeks with HIS family.
Why am I able to visit his family for far longer than he can? Because as the old joke goes, your family pushes your buttons, because they installed them. And luckily, Jimmy's family didn't install my buttons, though they have discovered a few of them over the years.
For those of you new to Second Blooming, you might want to catch up on why I agree to this insanity every year, and just who the hell these in-laws are, I highly suggest you read Dramatis Personae (which explains the cast of characters), A Family Drama (which tells of Pop's 20 year hiatus from Mommy - a juicy story!) and definitely at least one of these stories about my amazing, eccentric, beloved mother-in-law, Mommy - Beauty Tips From Mommy (amazing but true), RTT: The Mommy Edition (random Mommyness) and 5 Christmas Tips From Mommy (Mommy's guide to the holidays).
Our first few days here have been devoted almost entirely to the prep and production of my brother-in-law Tony's book signing for his children's book I Once Met a Monster on My Way to School! (which you can buy through the Amazon widget on my sidebar - and please do!). We deliberately planned our trip so we could be here for the signing, as Tony modeled the character of the boy in the book after Jude, and he wanted Jude to help him read aloud from the book. This, by the way, explains my absence from BlogHer!
And somehow, my poor sister-in-law, the amazing Niki, got rooked into hosting a huge post-signing gathering at their house, despite the fact that she not only works a full-time job, but is also in college! Tony had invited 50+ relatives and old friends, and it really was a wonderful opportunity to get the whole group together. So, needless to say, Niki needed a little help.
As per usual with the family, a startling number of crises (please read Crisis Du Jour) happened at the last minute, not the least of which was that Niki and Tony's air conditioner conked out, and Tony had to rush out and buy a new one, which I had to install. In our family, Niki and I are the only ones with ANY mechanical abilities, and are thus expected to perform any kind of installing/repairing/putting-together that arises.
Niki spent the entire day Friday running around from store to store buying everything for the party, and she asked if I could help her with a few things to get the place set up while she was busy, and I, of course, said sure. But then, while Tony was driving us over to their house, I asked "So, what do you need me to help with?" To which Tony replied "We need to install a new air conditioner." To which I asked "And by 'we' you mean...?" To which Tony replied "By 'we' I mean...you." Ah!
And so, the first day of my "vacation", was spent sweating through my clothes (oh dear God, it's hot and humid here - really - unstinking believably hot and humid) while I installed an air-conditioner. But you know, really, I can't complain because they would absolutely have done it for me, and...that's what family's for, isn't it? And I'm damned lucky to have a family who loves me enough to know that I'll install an air conditioner for them if they need it!
Anyway, the book signing/party was a huge success. Jude and Tony were unstinkingbelievably cute reading aloud from Tony's book together. The sound is poor here, so you'll have to really crank up the volume...
The turnout was huge, and the party great fun! Jude discovered cousins he'd never met...
Here's Mommy looking fab as always in one of her slutty tank tops...
I complimented Mommy on her youthful arms, and she told me about the new exercise she's added to her already 45 minute long nightly beauty regimen. It's very strange and involves "hugging the sink", and seemed very odd and complicated and I was baffled about what muscles she could possibly be working doing it, but who am I to argue with success?
Okay, we're off to swim in the neighbors pool, and then go to eat steamed clams "by the water" and other things you're supposed to do on your "vacation".
More news from the East to come!