he's basically dead to me.

This terrible thing happened when I was on my blogging sabbatical. I'm ready to talk about it with you. It's been rough. It's been emotional. It's name is Chuck Allison turned 30 and that makes me want to die.

I am not trying to sound discriminating here, but I am 29 and maybe I don't wish to spend the last year of my prime with an old man. I mean, it's just a lot of pressure on me being all young and spry and trying to keep him active in his age. It's becoming too much.

Also, it throws a big kink into the look of this blog.
Maybe you've never noticed this little button I made for our blog back in 2009 when Chuck was 27 - it feels like a dream ago.

Note that it says TWENTY-SOMETHING.
FYI one of us is no longer a twenty something so this is officially a lie.
So in addition to having to be married to a thirty something, now I have remake this button, which is a PAIN, and c'mon, how much do I have to do for this guy now that I am basically just his arm candy?

Ok ok ok.
I get that thirty isn't that old. And that many of my blog readers have past that milestone, and all it signifies is the death of Chuck's youth, so no big deal.

Fine. Fine.

Let's get to the party.
Obviously we had a big 30th birthday party for Chuck. He's one of the oldest in our friend group (because someone was sooooo good at Kindergarten, he got to do it twice) so he's the first in a rapid succession of dominoes that will fall this year. I am second to last in this wave of 30, and thank God.

My girl friends would like it noted right about here that I will be the first of all the girls to fall, but we won't talk about that. Let's focus on Chuck's issues for the moment and leave mine to next March. K?

So, the party.
The basics were, we did a party at home because we are home people.

I made it as cutesy as I could for a "manly" 30th birthday party.
(I had to really censor myself as apparently, pom poms and glitter are not good for boy parties.)

Everyone pinned the same thing from pinterest so we had three of these:

But they were all adorable and great and hey, that's the risk we all knowingly run with pinterest.

It was a good party.

Oh and here's a funny story, I decided we should have sumo wrestling suits.

Chuck didn't know I was ordering sumo suits, so this is him being surprised by cousin Mark attacking him in suit. He knew something was "up" when he saw me with a tape measure poking around the house, which made him worried at first, but then hopeful because whatever I was doing, at least some sort of thinking was going into the planning of it.

Let's rewind a little bit and hold hands down "how did we get here" lane:
I started thinking of Chuck's 30th birthday and how I imagined it, and what I thought he'd want. Then, I thought "I should rent sumo suits". So I did. Alright so that wasn't exactly as good a story as I thought because really the idea just came to me (like divine intervention) and something about it just felt so right. Like, yes, sumo suits is exactly what should be at Chuck's birthday.

And that's that.

Chuck is 30.
The thing about 30 is it feels very legit and a little bit like he needs to turn in his key card for the young fun club, and pick up his membership to the maturity outlet. I'm not a 100% sure, I may be a bit biased, but I just don't feel like this guy screams maturity and 30-something.

That is his "crunk goblet". It comes out only for the classiest and most special of situations/occasions. Yes it says his name. His sister made it for him about 7 years ago.

And now we will begin the pictures.

Two of my favorite delicate flowers.
They are just plain dainty.

Let's tell this story, shall we? First of all, that is not happiness on my face. That is panic. Josh snuck up behind me, picked me up, and cousin Mark pushed the bottom half of the suit onto me. It was aggressive and violent.

So naturally I picked Chuck as my opponent.

(If you have a second, find Dania in the above picture. She is unexplainable.)

Here's a missed opportunity:
We should have taken our Christmas card picture wearing the suits. I know, I know. These are moments we will never get back.

Award for hands down the most intense and aggressive match up:

These two. You wouldn't know it by looking at those pretty faces.

It was on.

A few more pics,  then we're done, I promise. This is kind of like being forced to go through someone's vacation pictures/slideshow. Am I right? That is the worst. But seriously, you can't blame me for this. People only turn 30 once (or never as I won't) and that once was 2 months ago for Chuck so I kind of need to go overboard here.

Emy and I are celebrating our 13th year of friendship.
Our friendship is a seventh grader.

Josh flew in from Montana just for Chuck's birthday.
He is single and a gem. FYI.

Guess who has a giant cartoonish mouth, hair that we aren't sure if we are growing out or cutting, and learned how to use the grill on her own this summer? THIS GIRL. Lit it on my own. No adult or Chuck supervision.

So Libby (left) and Chuck have back-to-back birthdays (except that she is two years younger). So his birthday party was on her actual birthday but she is such a good sport she let him steal her thunder. She did ask for a pygmy hippo in return, and Chuck has not paid up.

Best friends are the best part of life. Period.

Chuck's BFF and soul mate Paul (and Shiann) came in from LA. They said they couldn't come, then got Saturday off, flew in, and decided to surprise us. Chuck has great friends who will apparently travel great distances to celebrate him. I'm not surprised. Chuck's a pretty nice guy and people tend to like him.

Truth be told, this is all Chuck wanted for his birthday. Friends and lawn games. I reasoned that sumo suits were lawn games. He's a simple man.

This is the "30 club". I was invited to take their picture, but not to sit with them.

Well, that's it.
Chuck's 30. I met him when he was 19 and remember his 20th birthday like it was yesterday, which is terrifying because that is for sure only something old people say.

Oh one more picture:

Now we're done.

supporting my friend by exploiting her.

There really is nothing better than supporting your friends.
There's nothing better than showing them you care.
Letting them know you have their back no matter what.
Being there for them.

This becomes especially easy when your friend enters herself in a body building competition and wants you to come watch. Supporting your friend has never been easier.

I think I've rushed things a little here and need to back up.

You might recall that last Thursday when I awoke from the blogging dead that I mentioned my BFF Dania had practically forced me out of blogging retirement and as pay back for making me do "work", I would exploit her as I see fit.

Just for reminders, this is Dania:

Actually this is Dania (left) and Emy (right) but I thought it was such a gorgeous picture of these girls, how could I not? Plus, Emy needed a little blog shout out so....done. Also, I think having a baseline view of what Dania normally looks like will come in handy in about a minute of reading.

I cannot recall when exactly it was the Dania turned from "I manage a gym and am in good shape because I teach a lot of classes" to the corner of "Arnold Schwarzenegger" and "too far". But she did.

If I really try (which I rarely do), I'm thinking it was last winter sometime when this shift happened and she announced she would be entering a body building type competition. This made me incredibly happy. I'll explain in a little bit why it made me so happy. And it was probably for the wrong reasons.

Dania went down the fitness rabbit hole.
My friend who downs Wheat Thins by the box and Cherry Cokes by the case (none of this is hyperbole. Just the facts.) was suddenly eating boiled chicken and green beans in 2 hour increments while chugging a gallon jug of water every day.

Things got real.
Just looking at her made you hungry.

She was a work out machine.

I love her. I admire her for it. Maybe if I put half as much effort into exercising as I did to watch all three seasons of the Vampire Diaries, I'd be even a smidgen of Dania... But then again, I do not like boiled chicken. Or exercising. So I guess we are done with that thought process/paragraph.

Ok, so here is why I was super excited for Dania's body building.
(Other than supporting my friend and cheering her on and blah blah blah)

I've already been to a body building competition so I know what a hoot those things are. What?! I just never thought I'd get to say I've been to MULTIPLE body building competitions. This is what made me so happy. My life list just got way more interesting. Oh you back packed around Europe? Cool. I've been to two body building competitions. What now?

When did I go to my first one? Thanks for asking. If thou art a true blog reader (which there are about 5 left), then you may recall that my beloved sister did a body building competition many years ago (six to be exact).

I posted this picture on the blog a few years ago.
Also we are genetically related. I feel like that needs to be stated.

So, back to Dania.

Once little Miss Dania got herself Arnold ready, it was time for the competition. It was like Christmas morning for me. A really good Christmas morning, like the one when I got my Gameboy. Why? Because Body Building Competitions are amazing. They are like NASCAR, or Monster Truck Rallies, or Horse Races. You have to go to at least one in your life. Also I recommend taking one Chuck Allison with you, because if that guy sticks out normally - wait until you see him in a room of over tanned, over muscled men. Wowza.

It took Dania one glittery bikini, three spray tans, two body paints, and pack of fake eye lashes to make her competition ready.

Truth be told, I was so proud of her as she strutted onto that stage.

(And it was definitely a strut.)

She moved like an angel up there.

An orange angel, but still an angel.

Also, good news: Chuck only sang the Oompah Loompah song one time so he got a gold star on his behavior chart for the day.

Can we back things up a bit and remember that she had a KID 18 months ago.
Like a real human child came out of her.
She's a Mom. And she looks like that.

I know. I know.

Obviously, I didn't go to the competition alone - Jessica and her husband Michael came with. It was their first competitions - like they would miss this.

For the record, this is the whitest and fattest Jessica and I have EVER looked in a picture. I don't even want to post it but I have to because it's that outrageous. Apparently the camera and Dania's lack of carbs adds 10 pounds to us.

In the end, Dania took 2nd (which I think is a crime because she was clearly #1 up there) and we are all so proud of her and what she did. Obviously, I plan on force feeding her many cheeseburgers after this, but still, she did good.

And that is the end of me exploiting Dania on my blog.
At least for now.

who doesn't hate modern art?

Seriously, other than the people making modern art (and their moms), who actually likes modern art? That stuff is the worst.

I don't know what I hate more:
The pretentious-ness of it all (and don't get me wrong, I love being pretentious, I'm super pretentious - because I'm better than you - but even I have my limits). OR the fact that I have legitimately seen better work from my first graders than some of it. And not in a joking "haha a six year old could do that", but I have seen some seriously inspired work...especially if this is what we are comparing it to:

This was at the Musem of Modern Art (MoMA).

Dear MoMA,
This is not art. This is the IKEA LACK shelf and it's $14.99 - $16.99 depending on length. I'm not sure what was happening with your curator at the time of acquisition but you got had. I don't know who the artist is, but if I took a wild guess, they're an 18-21 years old, were moving apartments, lost the brackets to rehang this and sold it to you as art. Tough break.

Do you see what I mean here?

It was ridiculous. And I'm know I'm not the only one, because a post like this about not "getting" modern art is practically blog rhetoric. I don't really care. I'm not here for breaking journalism.

But, IRregardless of how played out this topic is, I still want to show you some of the gems I found at MoMA. Because that place has some HIGHlarious art - I don't exactly think that's what they were going for though.


Loved this one.

It even came with a guard standing by it.
At first, I thought that's because 90% of the people I watched nearly tripped over it and who needs a modern art law suit. THEN, I realized it's because there's more. (Maybe that's what the artist was going for - there's more than meet the eyes in life. Jeez, I'm can't even fake type this garbage).

This should help you see it:

It's a fishing line that went floor to ceiling.
I can't make this stuff up.

If we are calling this art, then FYI I got a whole pile of art in my backyard. You can come see it for $25.

I'm gonna revisit my letter to MoMA re:IKEA and add to it a section for this piece.

Poor, poor MoMA,
Someone saw this idea on pinterest. Tried it. Didn't like it (because it's boring). And convinced you to take it off their hands. It's the same thing that's going to happen to most of us at Christmas when we all get and give pinterest gifts.

They're pages from a notebook.
Put in frames.
And hung together.
They're art.

And, finally, my personal favorite:

Uh huh.
I heard this one husband say to his wife "If this is art, then I make you art all the time at our house. Stop nagging me to finish my remodels, baby. I'm just giving you art." I loved him.

So that concludes our day at MoMA,

Yeah ok so we did see an awesome Jackson Pollock, Monet's Water Lillies, Picasso's Three Musicians and Starry Night, but sadly, this is what I will remember most because as amazing as Monet is, he's not nearly as funny as a piece of fishing line with its own security guard.

vacation pictures round 2 ('cuz you can't get enough)

Look who's back and blogged two days in a row.

I'm not trying to sound uppity or boast about myself, but that is a three month record. And that is also probably not something to brag about, but when has that ever stopped me (I will brag about pretty much anything).

Since so many of you had nice things to say about my pictures from New York - the ones I posted yesterday - let's do another round today. But in the honor of keeping things balanced in my life, if yesterday I posted good pictures...today...well...

Sometimes it's not the easiest thing to go on vacation in a twosome.
Someone takes the picture. Someone stands awkwardly alone wondering what's taking so long. Some stranger pokes in and says "Can I take one for you two?"

This is the endless cycle of the twosome vacation. I hate it.

We decided to spice things up for this vacation and we made a little picture game.
Enjoy our pictures. They are UH-mazing. And watch your judging. Judging hurts.

Top of Rockefeller Center - views of the Empire State Building.

Statue of Liberty

New York City skyline from the ferry (with a nuun shout out).

Brooklyn Bridge

Fountain in Central Park (additional nuun shout out - shameless)

The Bull down by Wall Street

Starry Night at MoMA

Radio City Music Hall

Grand Central Terminal
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center

Be honest.You love our pictures. You want canvas prints of them.

How did this happen? I'm sure that's the real question. What was the thought process/conversation between us that prompted the "Hey let's block every important landmark in all our pictures" game. Well...

I'm not sure.
I'm not sure why we do anything.

I do know it started with the picture where Chuck blocked the Empire State Building and it definitely went down hill from there/got out of control.

And isn't really that the story of most things Chuck and I do?
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