Category Archives: dumb

Down with Valentine’s Day – Up with Love

Few holidays are more contrived than the annual Commercialization d’Amore known as Valentine’s Day.  I wonder if martyred St. Valentine himself also the patron Saint of Beekeepers and Epilepsy, who knew?  would have had second thoughts about marrying those Christians and Roman soldiers forbidden martial bliss, had he known that centuries later his name would be attached to a day of obligatory cheap chocolates, cheesy baubles, and forced sentimentality.

Does it sound like I’m down on love?

Not. At. All.

In fact, I’m quite the hopeless romantic, prone to bouts of bad poetry and rambling love letters. Sonnet? I’m on it. (see, it’s pretty bad)

So what is my beef? Why am I again up on my well-worn soapbox? Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with receiving my annual cheap chocolate. Yes, I get it too ladies. What got me was watching a package on ABC World News last night (in 2014) in which the Roving Reporter slogged through the slick, soggy, icy and quite frankly, dangerous streets of Manhattan to deliver a ginormous bouquet of roses. 

In the piece our valiant delivery guy hands over they flora to the beaming woman, exclaiming, “Someone loves you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

The door closes and the story goes on to chronicle the many Florists on the East Coast dealing with the dilemma of making deliveries in time for Valentine’s Day amid the storm’s aftermath. This story followed a feature on the treacherous conditions caused by the storm that had ravaged a swath of the country ranging from the South to the North East. saint valentine

I’m currently living through what the storm dumped, and I’ve gotta tell ya it was a nasty bugger.

The takeaway here folks was essentially this,  if the overpriced flowers, cheap chocolates, environmentally dangerous Mylar balloons and/or cheesy stuffed animals don’t get delivered ON or before February 14th, YOUR LOVE IS INVALID.  

Who cares about the safety of those delivering said “love”, or those who might love them… get the damn flowers there on time or my relationship is a sham!

My challenge to you is a boycott of this type of Valentine’s Day in favor of honoring True Love (yes, I said that in my best Princess Bride voice-over)

Do something from the heart, do it today. Maybe then also support those LOCAL Florists (ugh, one more box of mail-order sad looking flowers and I’m going to find a goat to feed them to) on a random Tuesday for no reason other than you love her/him and you want them to know it. 

Here are a few ideas for a NON-Commercialization D’Amore, that just might help you… um… score. wink

  • Write a love letter
  • Take care of the one chore they hate doing most
  • Make a meal, with your own two hands (seriously it’s not that hard there are a TON of blogs out there with simple recipes. Or heck, pop for one of those meal delivery kits. 
  • Rent -or stream- a classic flick that you both dig. Get some wine, snacks and act like you’re in high school all over again. Only without the insecurity and bad skin, ya know.
  • Go with the bad poetry, it works.
  • Play a game of Twister and do shots. You’re over 21, doesn’t mean you have to act like it. Let go, have fun!
  • Plan a getaway together. When you do that it allows you both to find things you each want to do and takes away some of that pressure to make it “perfect”.
  • Make a “mixtape”. Spotify is great for this. Put together songs that mean something to the both of you and then… DANCE!

Who needs Valentine’s Day anyway? Up with love every damn day!

note: this is a post first written in 2014 and now updated for 2019, meaning I pretty much just changed graphics because it’s still snow and also this shit is timeless advice, yo! 



Don’t qoute me boy I ain’t said “bleep”…

I’ve got this friend who is slightly obsessed with quotes.  Just between you and me -and the three other people who read this blog- it’s annoying. Mostly the quotes are “inspirational” and “encouraging”.  Things like, “Every wall is a door” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. Um no Ralphie honey sometimes a wall is just a wall and if you try to walk through it you’ll just look like a nutjob, a drunk or even worse you could end but being the next Youtube “Star”.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t enjoy a little inspiration or need some encouragement every now and then. It’s just that I’d much prefer you be original about it. We all know, “Life is like a box of chocolates” so just shut up and bring them to me already.. you never know what you’ll get.  In actuality I much prefer the zingers my kids come up with (usually when enamored of my ability to give them what they want, when they want it).

“You’re the best mom ever. I don’t care what Grandma says!”

“Have I told you lately that you are totally cool?” (often preceded the handing over of car keys)

You are the best cooker in the planets” (okay so I don’t really get this one, it might be a little too existential)

The point being that quoting someone else, and their words of wit or wisdom is sort of point less. Be original after all  “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”  ~Confucius
– Confucius

The Snowman Cometh

Looks like somebody ticked off Old Man Winter.. AGAIN! Will you people please stop that already?! We are told to brace for five inches here. No big right? Well if I’ve learned one thing since moving here from the left coast it’s that those dam weather prognosticators are clueless oafs in a fake profession. Even my much lauded crush on CNN weather hunk Bob Van Dillen can not sway me into believing these people know any more about weather than my cat. If I let my guard down for even a minute we end up with THIS


Don’t get me wrong I like snow. Let me rephrase that… I like snow I can ski on, get off of, retire to a warm lodge from with a hot adult beverage and then drive away from. When we bought this house the Realtor told us that we could expect about an inch or TWO a year. WRONG! Dam this global warming crap. Wait.. did I get that wrong or did Al?

So here are a few of the things I’ll be doing if we get snowed in tonight:

  • Building a fire. I like to watch things burn, so what?!
  • Playing board games with the kids
  • Pulling kids off one another and screaming “Now NOBODY gets to be the car in Monopoly!”
  • Spiking my hot coco
  • Longing for La Jolla or any beach vacation
  • Complaining to nameless, faceless, strangers on the interwebs. Also known as Blogging (bonus: it’s cheaper than therapy)

So if you’re suffering in the Snowpocalypse of the South, I feel for ya.. but could you just keep it down that-a-way?

New Year’s Resolutions: I found the perfect one!

I’m loathe to make any sort of resolution, let alone one at the start of the new year. However, being the big fury ball* of contradiction that I am, I went and made one this year. Brace yourselves Nuggetiers it’s a doozie. (insert pregnant pause followed by a symphonic drum roll)

In this, the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve, I -Lara DiPaola, being of questionably sound mind and certainly unsound body- do solemnly resolve to be ever resolute in my personal resolution to resolve NOT A DAM THING!

You see I hate to fail. Really who likes to? So why do we set ourselves up like this every January first?

“Oh, I resolve to spend my time doing the things I like to do.” (she quotes in her best high pitched mocking tone)

Really, ya do huh? I say we all make that resolution. Why not? Because honestly who needs people to spend time doing things they don’t like? Perhaps things like oh collecting trash?

AP – For the first time since a Christmas weekend blizzard that dumped 20 inches of snow on New York City, …

Or in my case doing laundry, paying bills and acting as though a weekend at my in-laws would be a good idea. Nah who needs that? I say we  just drink beer, watch football and dance people!  Then again, if you’re into picking up trash or hanging with the MIL… like it’s your “thing”… well then more power to ya, resolve away my friend.

“I resolve to be more kind to others” (blah blah blah)

Good for you! I say that earnestly and in the most sincere way I can, for you see I could never keep that one. I’d be toast the first time some asshat cut me off in traffic or worse one who sped up so I couldn’t change lanes. You know that guy. He is the one who can’t live with the thought that someone might even be pondering the notion of encroaching upon the lane that was no doubt created with the expressed use of ONLY his over priced, gas guzzling, environmentally uncouth SUV in mind as it’s only purpose in life. My kindness resolution would be out the window, along with the bird no doubt.

“I am going to get organized and stay on-task and in-the-zone this year” (gag)

Aside from the obvious and gratuitous overuse of annoying catch phrases in this resolution there are several other issues at play in my inability to hop on board with this resolution. 1) Organization is for the sick-minded. B) If I had just one task, dude this would be doable. As any mom can attest, that just ain’t happenin’. Lastly) I have four kids. Game. Set. Match. This one is in the crapper.

“I’m going to loose weight, get in shape and change the world” (oh you poor, poor, deluded thing)

In actuality this one I could support. The thing is I can also support sparkly, hot, vampires who will no doubt meet me in some antique bookstore, quote Edna St. Vincent Millay to me -in Italian of course- and whisk me away to an eternity of free reading time and crazy pillow “talk”. So yeah, I’m thinking neither of these -as lovely as they sound- is in the cards for me.

That leaves me with the best option for success out there.. do nothing.. it’s a sure thing!

* By “fury” I mean actual fur. Have you seen my upper lip? WTH?!

On this date in history…

On this date in history, July 8th in the year 951 Paris, France is founded giving the world The City of Lights. The same day in 1907  Mr. Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first follies on the roof top of a New York theater. And on this day in the year 1971 history failed to impress us in the same manner and instead gave us the birth of one ME.

In the words of the indomitable Ms. Dolly Parton as Truvy from Steel Magnolia’s “Time marches on and sooner or later you realize it is marchin’ across your face”. And boy does it! I looked in the mirror this morning and was convinced that somewhere in our family gene pool a Shar Pei must have stopped to take a pee!  So I did what any “maturing” woman should do on her 39th birthday… I put on my big girl panties, the ones that cover everything from navel to knee and have been around nearly as long as me, introduced Juan Valdez to my friend Mr. Bailey’s and proceeded to take a trip down memory lane. Join me won’t you? I hear misery is clingy bitch and needs the same approval from strangers that I do.

Morticia and Gomez Mom and Da were pretty young themselves when they brought me home. I wonder if they noticed my ENORMOUS Alien head?

The first of my 39 Birthdays

From a very young age I was keenly aware of the power of accessorizing. Sadly Mom had fallen prey to Caddy Shack couture.

Juan Valdez is such a hack. Dude ripped me off!
As the mother of four now myself, it’s starting to sink in that even though our kids seem to NEVER listen to us, some things may sink in. So maybe my own mother tried subtle subliminal messaging.  This may explain some of my later choices in life…
Susie Salior girl.. age 3

Then came the awkward, gawky, pre-braces and the even worse…braces years…
Pre-braces sporting the Magnum P.I. meets wanna be Farrah look

<—-This is all your gonna get here gang. After this photo I was  rather apt at camera avoidance. A skill that serves me well to this very day. (on a side note you’ll notice why my father says I was blessed with an eight-head.. double the size of a forehead. Well he got his gang.. he now sports what I lovingly call his SIXTEEN-head)

Enter the teen years and beyond. When I think about it I’ve packed so much into 39 years that I may just be equally as freaked out about the thought of boredom as I am about aging with little grace.. um okay.. NOT!

I fell in puppy love…

Our Senior Prom theme "On the Edge of a Dream" how hokey! RIP Johnny Lee

sewed some of those famous “oats”…

Susie Sailor girl.. age 19
... wayfarers on baby... (I think Wanda is gonna kill me for posting this)

and was eventually lucky enough to land the love of the world’s most amazing guy!

Can't help lovin' that man o' mine (yes I married Serpico.. ha ha)

AND have some pretty cool kidlets…

A Sillybanz of Familyhood

All things considered (well accept for the wrinkles, sags, bags and lack of Jags) it’s been a great three decades plus 9 and if I can maintain any semblance of sanity I think I can safely say I look forward to FORTY!