Category Archives: family matters

The Time I Sprained My Ankle at the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum (a post by Anna)

This is the story of the time I sprained my ankle at the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum:

It was the museum’s big opening night gala. I convinced my strangely-reluctant friends to join me and couldn’t have been more excited. 



The injury, which happened before the gala even began, is the boring part of the story. I took a tumble and flailed my arms in the air yelling “whyyyyy” with no sense of irony whatsoever. I really thought I’d broken a bone. But my heart was set on Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan, so I found a seat and powered through.

In true Bushwick fashion, the gala started with glittered cupcakes, Tonya/Nancy trading cards, and PBR. The museum curators gave a presentation on how to know if you’re a Tonya or a Nancy, and then several performances began.

Are you a Nancy or a Tonya?

Are you a Nancy? Or a Tonya?

At first I thought synchronized mini-trampoline faux-skater dudes in leotards were my favorite part, but then a guy singing his own George Michael parody called “I’ve Gotta Have Skates” won the gold.

Synchronized trampolining.

Synchronized trampolining.

Though the entertainment successfully numbed my intense ankle pain, eventually the gala ended. My friends carried me out to the most expensive cab ride of my life. It was a night of firsts, so I don’t know why I’d expect anything less.

The next week, I went to a doctor who recommended x-Rays and a very sleek orthopedic boot.

Gotta boot.

Boot, from aerial view.

Doctor’s orders were to take it easy. I’m not a sitter, so the next month of my life was torture. I spent every waking hour being waited on by Gwen, seat-filling Broadway shows, and bonding with a bag of frozen quinoa. Things got so bad that I voluntarily accepted a free seat-filler ticket for the show Gigi.

My budding relationship with quinoa.

My BFF, quinoa.

I was helpless, so my mom offered to visit for Mother’s Day weekend. After flying to NYC, she cleaned my room, went grocery shopping, did my laundry, took out the trash, and cooked my lunch for the week, all while I RICE-ed my sprained ankle. It was the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had!

Me, Mom, and Mothers Day Macaroons.

Me, Mom, and macaroons.

The minute my mom left town, my ankle injury was cured. What a miracle worker!

I guess the moral of this story is… tread carefully while you’re at the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum; it’s all fun and games until you leave in a cast.


Take Your Mom To Work Day 2014 (a post by Anna)

So yesterday was Take Your Mom To Work Day at my office. It was fantastic!

We got the day started with the copy machine.

Mom, making copies.

Mom, making copies.

Then, I taught her how to field phone calls.

Mom, fielding phone calls.

Mom, answering the phone.

In the afternoon, she unloaded boxes and organized textbooks on our shelves.

Mom, arranging textbooks.

Mom, arranging textbooks.

She was especially great at working the mailing machine.

Mom, mailing letters.

Mom, mailing invoices.

It was a highly successful Take Your Mom To Work Day, if I do say so myself!

To quote Jordie, "I hope you eventually found a chair for your mom."

To quote Jordie, “I hope you eventually found a chair for your mom.”


Lee’s Unpublished Entries, Vol. 3 (a post by Lee)

Y’all, praise be. I think I have finally uncovered my very last extant journal. I wrote in this particular notebook rather sporadically, detailing my last year of middle school until just past my first semester of high school. It is, as one can easily imagine, horrifying. Enjoy, dear readership.

At the pool hall today, I met 2 interesting 7 year-olds: Matt and Neil. They threatened to kill me in five different ways (they take karate). Matt looked like the actor Shawn Ashmore, who has never threatened to harm me in any way.


In lunch today, Walter sat at our table, with his Nutrageous bar. I don’t know anyone who loves Nutrageous like W does. He’s nutrageous. I think I’m getting taller., I guess!

Okay, so I haven’t written in a super-long time. So much has happened! A few months ago, for example, I got my period. It was intimidating.

[All of my favorite lyrics from Blink-182’s recently released album are written out. Turns out I had a lot of favorite lyrics. This actually takes up the majority of the notebook and all of the i’s and j’s in the lyrical selections from “First Date” are dotted with hearts. Some of the hearts have arrows through them. I am burning these pages later today, and we are never to discuss them again.]

The other night, I babysat T. His bedtime story is THE ENTIRE PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS. If he doesn’t grow up to be a scientist, he at least better make it on to
Jeopardy. Oh, today I thought about starting a band made entirely of identical twins and calling it “Double Vision.”

Deep Thoughts: If I had money, I’d spend it on getting rid of coal and oil factories. Solar power is the future! And I wish that everyone, you know, loved everyone.

[The worst poem ever written in the history of mankind is on this page. I can’t bring myself to type it in its entirety, but it includes the choice couplet “It takes a while for a heart to mend / But that’s exactly what it does in the end.” Oh, 13 year-old Lee and her complex feelings.]

I got picked on today by a sophomore. Oh, well! It’s like they say: Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. I’m not sure that makes sense there, but neither did [bully’s name redacted]’s insult. LOL. (LOL means laughing out loud.)

And that’s all she wrote, folks! Or, at least, enough of what she wrote. She was a total weirdo.

Lee’s Unpublished Entries, Vol. 2 (a post by Lee)

As I was digging through my closet at my parents’ house a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this gem of a notebook:

Turns out, it was the journal I used after this one. Let’s delve into the life and times of 8th grade Lee!

[A straw is taped to the page, with the words “My straw saxophone” written next to it.]

I went to my first school dance today. I went partly because my friends wanted me to, and partly because
[boy on whom I had a painful and unrequited crush, and whose ever-evolving hairstyle I describe throughout my entries in vivid and horrifying detail] is going. I saw [crush] but didn’t dance with him. I swing-danced with Alex. I just generally became way overheated. I fell attempting the electric slide. I’m nervous because we’re going to have sex ed in health class soon, and someone told me it’s x-rated. I hope it’s not too shagadellic. I must be turning teenager. Dude, I’ve run out of things to talk about. J’adore [crush’s French class name].

I’M AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN. Also, I don’t like small, cramped spaces.

I got my Halloween costume today. I’m going to be a lawn gnome. I wanted to be a Teletubby, but I’m bein’ a gnome. I’m good. Oh! Today was Picture Day.
[Crush] didn’t spike his hair for his picture; I was very upset.

In activity, Ashley cut my hair. She was like, “Can I cut your hair?” and, silly me, thinking it was a joke, said okay. She then snipped a lock real fast and taped it to her binder.

[Only the word “sassy” in huge bubble letters.]

I’m worried Remy is tone-deaf.

I really struggle with spelling the word “broccoli.” I played The Sims for the first time today. You can marry anyone in that game! So I married Patrick Swayze. Duh. We adore each other. We adopted a daughter, but she got taken away from us by Child Protective Services. Oops! Also, someone told me today I’d be a bad competitive swimmer. DISS! But actually I agree.

[I wrote out the lyrics to “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys in both English and poorly-translated French.]

I should write a song about my emotions. I have so very many of them.

I hope I never have to pierce my lip. That would dampen my spirits.

Kirsten Dunst is a good actress.

And on that note, I think I’ve had enough nostalgia for one day. Oh, 13 year-old Lee. You were just so very weird.

Happy Birthday, Mom! (a post by Lee)

My mom celebrated her 60th 2nd 30th birthday on Sunday. For almost 10 years, she’s requested that my siblings and I perform Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend” for her. We’ve yet to do so — sorry, Mom! — but hopefully this Elton John-inspired homemade song will suffice in the meantime. Maybe for your 70th birthday we’ll finally have our act together…

Happy birthday, Maman! Je t’aime!

Lee’s Unpublished Entries, Vol. 1 (a post by Lee)

When I was home for Easter this year, I discovered an old journal in my closet. It’s sometimes fun but mostly incredibly painful to scour through old journal entries and see what mundanity I felt compelled to document. I browsed through this particular notebook and decided I’d share some of my least most poignant preadolescent insights in all their unedited splendor.

My camp is leaving for Costa Rica today. When we go to the rain forest, I think it’d be cool to see monkeys and sloths. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a good picture of a monkey. If I’m even luckier, Mom will let me enlarge the photo and frame it in my room.

We are in Tellahorsa, which apparently is actually spelled Tilajari. We rafted down the river, and I saw tons of sloths and howler monkeys! My life is complete! Right now I’m watching “Road House” on TBS, because it stars Patrick Swayze! Hurrah! We’re gonna have a really big day tomorrow, so I’m gonna stop writing now.

I read “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer today. That was a bad idea.

We returned home to New Jersey today. I found some feathers.

At Kelly’s today, I made up a dance. It’s called “The Hot Tub Cha-Cha.” Everyone was impressed. [Ed.: False.] I am glad and sad camp’s over. It’s hard to have two emotions at once, since they’re so opposite one another.

Steph gave me good advice today. She’s my Ann Landers!

I never want to forget that French trip last year where we saw Carson Daly (host of TRL), Travis Barker (drummer from Blink 182), and Tyrese (I think he’s a singer). I’m playing Dogz right now and creating an Adoption Kit. Mental note: Find out who Johnny Depp is. Philippe had Elliot over today, who’s this awesome short kid. Mom told me not to see Space Cowboys because there are too many famous people in it, and that means it’s a bad movie. I can’t work tapes on my boom box. It’s very confusing. Adam Sandler reminds me of Mr. M (in case I read this when I’m elderly – Mr. M was 7th grade science teacher). [Ed.: In case I read this blog post when I’m elderly – Mr. M was nothing like Adam Sandler.]

Bon Jovi’s song “It’s My Life” is pretty good. I want to get his CD. It’s almost school time so we went to Staples for school supplies. I got a cool binder and cool pencils. Here’s a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio:

[No text, just two more pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio.]

I’m interpersonal.

I had a dream last night where I brushed my teeth. Philippe was running really fast down the hall today, and I stuck my foot out, and he flew. I’m calling him Superman now. He’s sitting in my room working on a drawing of a truck. I wish they’d let us carry our backpacks in the hallway at school. I think rules like this is what my Civics teacher Mrs. H meant when she defined totalitarianism.

Amy, Stephanie, and I saw 9 Days today. We were in the front row. We all got to slap the hot guy’s hand! They signed my Jets hat. Remy called me “a lucky loser.” Sassy!

Jenna was kicked off of Survivor today. Rudy had immunity. I haven’t heard from my pen pal Anze in a long time. Kenzie’s cat Skitters may die today or sometime soon. 😦

Simon’s aunt’s brother, Josh, used to work for MTV, and he met MANDY MOORE! So cool. Who is Robert Iler?

Someone Like Remy (another painful video by Lee)

I’ve been pretty exhausted lately. It’s reached the point where today I actually had this conversation with Anna Marie as I was toodling off somewhere:

Lee: Peace be with you!
[a beat]
Lee: …Is that from the Bible or Star Wars?
AM: Girl. Bible. You’re thinking of “May the Force be with you.”

So when Remy’s birthday rolled around this year, I sort of hoped he’d forget about it so I wouldn’t be expected to, you know, do anything. Unfortunately, my brother is self-aware and remembers things like when he was born.

I set a dangerous precedent for his birthday and Christmas gifts, in which I make him atrocious music videos, like this and this. He hasn’t forgotten about those, either, as I was reminded over gchat on his big day:

Remy: where’s my music video?
me: you needy Nelly
I’ll think of something. I still have… 9 hours?
Remy: i don’t know what time i was born…but let’s pretend you have until tomorrow morning
me: I work well under pressure.
Remy: well, i’m not going to pull your leg, but if you want to make me a video i’m sure i’ll love it

No pressure, right?

Anyway, I decided to truck through and comply with his request. Be careful what you wish for, however, because sometimes what you want for your birthday is something meaningful and special but what you get is an atrocity like this:

Happy birthday, Remy! I hope everyone is lucky enough to know Someone Like You.