Tag Archives: food

The worst parts of my childhood.

21 Aug
i hate soccer

Needless to say, we all quit soccer.

When I got in trouble for mooning someone at a rest stop. Picture this. You’re seven. You’re sitting in a station wagon, at a rest stop, in the middle of June with your two older sisters and one older brother who’s probably sexually active at this point, and thus far too old to be going on seventeen-hour road trips to Disney World.

Our parents just went into the rest stop probably to buy a map, or maybe my Dad was smoking one of his Merit’s, who knows. My Mom was probably perusing the casino brochures outside of McDonald’s. Anyway, they were in there for like 5 whole minutes. That’s a really long time to leave four kids alone in a station wagon in the middle of summer, especially since we’d all finished listening to every NKOTB tape on our Walkman’s.

So my brother dared me to moon the guy next to us. I pulled down my elastic-waist shorts and planted my hauntingly white 7 year-old ass, complete with a birthmark, against the window for a good 2 seconds. I remember exactly what the guy looked like, he had a curly mullet and a wife; they were driving a sensible car, probably a Volvo. It was AWESOME!

But the bastard waited for my parents to get back to the car, and he told on me. And I got in trouble. Shame. Seriously, what would you have done in that situation? It was a dare. I had a moral obligation to do it, and plus, it was fun. I don’t regret it, only that I got caught. Let it be known — if a child ever moons you at a rest stop, PLEASE don’t tell on him. Just let him/her enjoy that blissful 2 seconds of uninhibited taunting.

slush puppieThe last 1/4 of the Slush Puppie. Being the youngest, cutest of my three older sisters and brother, I may or may not have been the most convincing of the group to get all of us something that we collectively wanted real bad. And being a bunch of sweaty kids in a giant, old station wagon  in the summertime, stopping at a gas station meant one thing and one thing only: Slush Puppies.

One way or another, we scored them. We’d suck them down, ignoring the splitting sensation erupting behind our eye sockets, savoring the smooth, round ice pellets swimming in blissful, sweet, blue chemical liquid, letting it slide down our throats into our high fructose corn syrup -heaving bellies. We’d slurp and — so abruptly, without warning — nothing. Cruel, really. We’d tear the plastic top off the cup and peer inside. ALL ICE. NO MORE BLUE. WTF, Slush Puppie? You’ve been around like 47 years, and you still haven’t figured out a way to make the blue shit last through the end of the cup.

krissy and me

Krissy (left) eventually forgave me for hitting her with a bat. Judging by my face I’m still a little guilty.

When I hit my best friend with a bat and got in trouble for it. I grew up as a self-proclaimed, and universally described, “tomboy.” I had a blond bowl-cut and sometimes pretended to be a boy named “Tommy” – more on that later. Years later, my mom told me she raised me as a tomboy because it was cheaper than buying lots of pretty clothes.

When I was about 6 years old, I was playing in the street with my two best friends, Krissy Grossimon and Michael Salvaggio. We were way into T-ball at that time. So I was carrying around one of those foam red bats with my last name written in angry magic marker on it in huge letters, “McCORMICK.” I was also “scooting” around on a skateboard, because I was 6 and I didn’t care if people thought I looked like an idiot.

We were in the middle of the street, in an intersection, which probably wasn’t very safe. Anyway, Krissy said something I didn’t like, and I nailed her with the bat. It wasn’t really that hard, I don’t think, and let me remind you that the bat was covered in foam. Needless to say, I hit a 6 year old with a bat and I thought it was funny. She cried. And told on me, and I got in trouble with my Mom. And realized you shouldn’t hit your best friends with bats, because it’s not funny. Or, it’s not funny to the other person.

When my grandmother convinced my parents that “Chores” were a good idea. My grandmother, Nan, babysat us one snowy weekend when I was 7. (Apparently all the worst parts of my childhood happened around age 7… I’ll bring that up to my therapist later.) All of us kids were playing outside in the snow, and my brother and sisters decided to climb on top of our pop-up camper. Come on, how is that NOT fun? I remember standing there and thinking it was bad but not really caring too much about it.

Later that night, my parents came home and  my Dad found out there was a dent in the roof, due to us kids climbing on it. He was furious. I got in trouble because “You didn’t say anything, so you’re in trouble too” or something to that effect. Apologies that my sense of judgment wasn’t fully formed at the age of 7, Dad. Geez.

nan

What are those, Nan, Christmas cookies laced with poison? Just kidding, love you!

That night, we ate dinner with my grandmother at our big, oval dinner table.

“These kids are getting away with MURDAH,” said Nan. That changed everything.

I’ll never forget the way she said that, because I remember feeling extremely guilty for whatever my 7 year-old self had done that could be equated with slitting someone’s throat and throwing them down a well. I also remember these exact words because my family didn’t really have a heavy Boston accent like she did — well we did, but I think most of us grew out of it once we realized that it’s generally unattractive.

Nan left that night, and the next week my Mom posted a schedule of weekly chores on the wall, which would forever be resented. For years, YEARS I tell you, we would all stay inside after dinner sweeping floors, scrubbing chairs, vacuuming the rug under the dinner table, doing SLAVE labor while our friends would play Four Square outside without us. Even when my friends came over, they’d have to wait in the living room and watch TV while I toiled away. It was torture, I tell you. All because of a visit from my grandmother.

So there you have it, the four worst parts of my childhood.

mccormick family

My Mom requested that I not upload this family picture because of her 80s perm. Challenge accepted.

“Hey Black Person, Buy Our Shit”

1 Dec

I love advertising that targets minorities. I was picking up some veggie burgers in my local grocery store today (I was told they didn’t order any so they could fit all the turkeys in the freezer — fail) when I spotted this exact display of Little Debbie snacks:

 

Racist?

Note the very top of the display case, where two (black) people are ‘just chillin, son’ next to the Little Debbie logo. Also note the jumping (black) man, which is clearly an allusion to basketball players. Who are black. I guess in order to be good at basketball, you have to buy 1200-calorie Little Debbie cream pies. Healthy.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the McDonald’s ads of today no longer target little kids with Ronald McDonald. Instead of a clown, their new mascot is the twenty-something black man or woman. And the settings for their commercials are almost always in urban locations. I’m lovin it. They even have a website for black people. I wish they would make ad targeting mid-Western white people. But it would probably would be boring and not have any of that funky hip-hop in the background.

There’s a good quote from this ad for KGB, some crappy 99-cent mobile phone Wikipedia-esque thing, below this screenshot…

“Oh No you bett’ not be putting no yak up in MAH weave”

Furthermore, American Apparel targets easy girls, Alex and Chloe targets dirty skinny hipsters, and Apple targets people who have to buy their individuality:

 

Blech

 

 

 

It’s Carnie Time!

27 Sep

It’s that time of year again! The trees are turning orange, the air is brisk, and the Uggs are flying off the shelves. Yes, people, we have again entered state fair season.

Saturday night I paid $15 to get into The Big E, the biggest state fair in New England right in Western Mass.  What I actually got was the chance to peace out on societal norms for a night. Breath of fresh air, it was. Smelled like sausage.

The Big E 008

There is no other place where it is socially acceptable for a girl to shove three corndogs down her throat. (Well I’m sure there are some, I just haven’t been to them.) I watched as 15 year-old bastard children of carnies sadly dropped dough into vats of hot oil, struggling to earn their keep. A “M8K YOUR OWN SLUSH” cart failed to see the expansion of the 711 chain — but, paradoxically, people lined up all night to pay $5.95 for the same experience. My friends and I searched for 2 Girls 1 Cup on my cousin’s iPhone while standing in line for Fried Oreos — yet the thought of eating poop didn’t phase us when it came time to have an unofficial eating contest for the tasty, gooey-brown-center treats.

The Big E 001

Children on leashes, hick-couples handing over a buck to see “The World’s Biggest Pig,” a Bear Funhouse which hopefully didn’t contain a live bear, a horse show which I still have NO idea what the purpose was, fat people mowing down on steak hoagies. At the end of the night, a large splatter of vomit on the pavement was the icing on the cake.

Good times, good people; Fall has officially begun.

Homesick for Boston

24 Jul

I’ve been away from home for over 2 and a 1/2 months. With only 3 weeks left of my internship in North Carolina, it’s high time I started getting homesick for my hometown of Boston. Obviously, I miss my friends and family (Katie, Jess, Megan, Jenn, Devin, Mom, Dad, April, nephs, He Who Will Not Be Named…) Other than precious people, these are the things I miss the most…


1. Road Rage

Besides the drive-by shootings, I haven’t seen road rage once here. I actually miss getting cut off, then leaning on my horn and swearing at someone through two layers of glass and ample distance. It’s such a stress reliever.

IMG_0121

2. The North End

I’ve never had the money to go to Europe (hopefully that will change come next summer…), but there is no better local Italian than the stuff the families cook up in this little neighborhood. Dearest Mediterranean raviolis, a cannoli, and a cappucino, all for $20? I miss you.

3. Amvets

I tried shopping at the Goodwill here in North Carolina. It’s good if you’re looking for worn-out rayon clubbing -wear, I suppose. Shudder. I miss my Amvets, smack-dab in the middle of the ghetto, where I bought a J.P. Gaultier blazer and Vivienne Westwood jacket for $4 each. Because the average customer there doesn’t know Prada from Kathy Van Zeeland. It’s like stealing candy from a baby. :)

4. Wearing a sweatshirt in the middle of summer

Going camping in the summer in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Vermont means packing a coupla hoodies for rainy candy bar Bingo days and cool nights.

5. Bob’s Discount Furniture Commercials with 1980s Special Effects

Color me crazy, but I love waking up to a cup of coffee and a miniature Bob dancing in the the corner of my TV screen.

6. Dunkies

I don’t need a therapist. Just a little box to yell “A medium hazelnut iced coffee with cream and three Splenda” at.

7. People who think they’re wicked smaht

One of my favorite reasons to go to Harvard Square, the Institute of Contemporary Art, or the Museum of Fine Arts is to stand next to the bespectacled smarties or hipsters and listen to the ridiculous things they say. “Ah, this plywood table with a tennis shoe stapled to it must represent the poor and oppressed being stepped on by the wealthy and priveleged” — “Ah, yes, I concur.” Actually, my friends, you just stumbled into the supply closet where Mr. BeeBo the learning impaired janitor was working on a craft project.

Where am I?

"Where am I?"

8. Die-hard Red Sox fans

If I hear one more Tarheels comment I’m gonna throw up. I need me some red and white.

9. Serious Accents

I go into a gas station here and hear “Ha, how’re yu doin?” — I bump into someone, say I’m sorry, and without fail hear “Yer fahn, yer fahn.” VOMMMM. I miss walking into a gas station and hearing “Howaya, c’i getta packa Newports? ..Thanks take care.”

10. Being LOUD and being around LOUD PEOPLE!

Everyone here is quiet and proper. It’s really annoying because I often get shushed in the workplace, or on my lunchbreak, or in public, or in general. I’m loud – it’s who I am! Let me be who I am, North Carolina!

11. That Northeast sense of humor

Whether loud and obvious a la Chris Farley, or dry a la The Office, I miss the Northeast sense of humor. People just don’t joke around here like they do up North. One time I tried to sneak out early from a TERRIBLE improv show (don’t ask) and the magician intercepted my friends and I on our way out. His dress shirt was ridiculously wrinkly, so I told him “Good job ironing your shirt tonight.” My friends were APPALLED – and he was too. Don’t they know that, in the Northeast, making fun of someone is a playful way to engage in laughter? You must not take these insults seriously! (Regretfully, after I said this there was just awkward silence.)

August 20th I go meet up with the family for camping in New York (my sweatshirt will come in handy I’m sure), then I’m going home! :)

A tree DOES grow in Brooklyn

13 Mar

pic_0095_1

Yes! Now I don’t have to read the book…

It was Day Three of staying in a hostel in Brooklyn when I realized why there was trash all over the streets. CATS. The manager of our hostel refers to these cats as “lions” – they’re scruffy, giant city-cats who team up in the wee hours and tear into trash bags, carrying chicken bones and Golden Krust wrappers onto the sidewalks and streets.

Other than the trashy streets, I have fallen in love with Brooklyn. Our skin color made us stick out, but we were friendly and everyone was friendly right back. We walked daily to Fulton Street to eat and catch the C train to Manhattan.

Fulton Street (C Train to Franklin St.)
Fulton Street (C Train to Franklin St.)

You can smell Fulton Street a block away because of the hundreds of amazing and cheap Caribbean, West Indian, and soul food joints. There must have been a sale on yellow signs because they’re everywhere. I had a couple of spicy jerk chicken co-patties ($1.50/ea) and Greg had jerk chicken at Golden Krust (a Caribbean fast food chain). We ate a $3.50 breakfast two mornings in a row at a diner owned by a Portuguese family. I had THE BEST macaroni and cheese of my life at a soul food kitchen (C Train to Throop) accompanied by the cutest “Hi, honay” and “What can I getcha, baybeh?”

I bought a pair of new Nikes and Adidas sneakers on Fulton St. for $20/each. They’re ridiculous-looking and I love them. We also went to the Goodwill where I found a bunch of new, pretty dresses that were too big :( I found a brand-new black leather handbag and paid a whopping $7 for it.

It was a genius idea of Greg’s to rent bikes and ride all over Brooklyn & Manhattan. We rented two Schwinns in Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) at Recycle a Bicycle. It was only $30 for a 24 hour rental including a helmet and lock! Do you love my sweet windburn?

dsc00321

We got “pulled over” and ID’d by two cops in Brooklyn for biking on the sidewalk…so after that we had to bike on the street. It was scary at first but a ton of fun. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge and navigated through crowded Canal Street, which is essentially hundreds of stores selling the exact same crappy handbag and pair of sunglasses.

dsc00310

My favorite park in Brooklyn

My favorite park in Brooklyn

The view from Grimaldi's

The view from Grimaldi's

After waiting a half-hour in the line outside, we ate “the best Brooklyn pizza” at Grimaldi’s. No. No way. The pizza was SO bland! The sauce was begging for a bucket of spices to be dumped on it. I am what one might call a Crust Maverick, and I left their bland crust on my plate for awhile (then ate it because I was bored and still hungry.) After not being impressed by “the best Brooklyn pizza” I officially began my quest for the REAL best Brooklyn pizza. (Coming soon to Bravo, brought to you by the creators of The Real Housewives of Orange County/New York City/Atlanta.) My second try for good Brooklyn pizza was at a Jewish pizza shop on Fulton Street…FAIL. This might just be a lifelong quest. For now I’ll stick with my town’s own Holbrook House of Pizza as my personal favorite pizza.

Last, I really must plug Pedro’s, a Mexican/Spanish/American casual restaurant/bar in DUMBO. Please ignore the “I-have-a-tamale-up-my-ass” reviews on Yelp, because this place has intense cheese tamales ($6 for 2) and salsa and a cool atmosphere – we came back twice. I wish we went back there at night. Below is the exterior, and if someone can find me this stencil I will give you $4.

Pedro's

Pedro's

So that’s the rundown on Brooklyn. My next post will be about Manhattan. Thanks for reading, betches!

%d bloggers like this: