Monday, November 29, 2010

Creepy Makeout Boy

I was at dinner over the holiday with Sar, Ash, and TJ, and the subject of Creepy Makeout Boy came up. I hadn't thought about him in AGES, and I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to blog about him yet.

So I give you...the story of creepy make out boy.

A little over four years ago, my best friend Joe decided to come visit me at JMU (he was a HS Senior at the time), and he brought our friend Vanessa who was a freshman at GWU. I was stoked because no one had come to visit me at school yet and I was excited for them to meet my new JMU friends and see what my life was like, blah blah blah. As a JMU student, I knew it was imperative that I show them what JMU nightlife was like (looking back I feel like I did an excellent job the first night, and a TERRIBLE job the second night). Friday was easy because it was Project's Fall Show, aka we just went to Project House, but Saturday was more complicated.

One of my music major friends had told me to go to The Mill for some band party (MISTAKE), and since I knew of nothing else happening, that's exactly what we decided to do. Now since I was a freshman, these were the days of riding the Drunk Bus every weekend. (NOTE: You do not have to be drunk or have had any alcohol to ride the drunk bus, that's literally just what the late night weekend bus is called at JMU.) Other than walking, it was pretty much my means of transportation as I had no car, didn't have money for cabs, and didn't know enough upperclassmen yet to get rides. So the three of us ventured out of my dorm around 11:30pm to go wait for the bus. When we got there, we were the only ones at the first.

A few minutes later, two guys showed up. In a fit of horror, I recognized one of them. He was a freshman vocalist, and was in a bunch of my classes. This kid was already INFAMOUS in School of Music for being slightly strange. In fact no one knew his real name because he had two first names that he interchanged, Wesley Jared and Jared Wesley (last name is censored, sorry friends). He would introduce himself as either one of these names, so we never knew which it really was. Much to my dismay, they immediately came up to us and Wesley Jared said "Hey, you're in my diction class!" to which I replied "Yep."

He then proceeded to introduce us to his suitemate, the other guy with him, who certainly seemed more normal but still with a hint of awkward. I then had to introduce Joe and Vanessa so not to be insanely rude, but this ended up being a HUGE mistake as Jared Wesley took this as a sign of our inevitable marriage. He would not leave me alone. He asked us where we were going and I simply said "To some party." I should have known that no matter what I said he was going to follow us. Which is exactly what he did. At this point I had given up being polite because I wanted him to get the hint that I had no interest in him whatsoever, and so this meant that I completely ignored any attempt at communication and when he followed us off the bus we walked in two VERY distinct "groups."

I spent the entire party hiding from WJ. Everytime I tried to go dance he would try to dance with me so I had to force Joe to act as my barrier. It was the worst.

Finally it was time to leave. We were fairly certain WJ didn't see us getting ready to go so Joe and I tried to leave quickly and stealthily...but Vanessa pretty much ruined all hope. For some inexplicable reason, she "befriended" WJ's friend during the party and they were TOGETHER...meaning WJ FOUND US. DFUIHDUIHFUIDHF

Also when we got to the party the weather was fine, but when we left it had started to drizzle. So our "crew of 5" (UGH) walked from The Mill to the bus stop because we didn't feel like standing in the rain in November. If you've never been there, the bus stop is right on the side of the road without one of those covered bench things, but luckily there's a 7-11 close by. By the time we got to the bus stop it was pouring, and we had no idea when the next bus was coming. Joe and I immediately decided to go wait under the cover of the 7-11, which we announced to the group and walked away. We assumed everyone would follow us, but when we got there, only WesleyJared-JaredWesley was with us (theme of the night). We looked over at the bus stop, and there was Vanessa and suitemate, HARDCORE making out. It was not okay.

WesJared looks at me and goes "They're making YOU wanna make out?"


In my head, I'm pretty sure I was screaming "IS THIS REAL LIFE WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME WHO EVEN SAYS THAT?!" What I actually said was "WAH NO!" (not really any more tactful than the sentence in my head)

His response was a very simple "Awww maaaaaaan!" (I still can't remember this without laughing out loud)

And thus Creepy Makeout Boy was born. CMB then decided to go into the 7-11 to get some snacks (??) but the bus came while he was in there. Joe ran in to tell him we had to go, but he never made it onto the bus. Three stops later, in a completely different part of Harrisonburg...CREEPY MAKEOUT BOY GETS ON THE BUS. We were all stunned if not terrified at how he had managed to accomplish this (I still never found out). He sat down with us (of course) grumpily, and said "Way to leave me behind guys." I don't think I could even utter words because I was still so stunned at his random appearance. I did manage to get my senses back in time to take this proof of the insanity (CMB is obviously the one on the left):

And then I took this picture to capture the mood of the night:

(side note, on FB, the caption for this picture is LGH! ...remember when we used to say that?)

To this DAY I get texts from people telling me when they see CMB. People UNIVERSALLY began to refer to him as Creepy Makeout Boy, just because of this story. As the year went on he got even more bizarre. One time he showed up for our Diction Final 45 minutes a tuxedo. Here's to you Creepy Makeout's to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I hate Dave Matthews Band

And I pretty much have for my entire adult life.

I'm sort of surprised no one has ripped my diploma from me yet, because apparently it's impossible to be a college student without liking Dave Matthews (and somehow I made it four years).

But I really do hate DMB. Sorry not sorry.

Unfortunately for Dave, it doesn't have much to do with his music.

It started on June 25, 2006. The reason I know the exact date is because I distinctly remember this happening the DAY before my birthday which made it twice as infuriating. So let's set the scene...

The summer after my senior year of high school I was an usher for Nissan Pavilion (an outdoor concert arena, for my readers from afar). I was actually a VIP usher, and the VIP ushers were in charge of the high paying guests and subscribers. They have special "boxes" in the pavilion, and there's also a special club (which is more like an exclusive patio) that the ushers have to "stand guard" at to make sure only VIP customers enter. I HATED working there. It was the ultimate test in customer service because not only is everyone obnoxious, everyone is DRUNK. And you still have to be nice to them. The following things are the only things I enjoyed about working at Nissan:
1. I met the drummer from the Foo Fighters, who is seriously SO hot and maybe the most charming person I've ever met
2. One time a drunk guy at the Jimmy Buffett concert tipped me $50 to pour his beer. We weren't supposed to accept any tips at all but this was at the end of the summer and I had stopped caring.
3. I got to work in the house for the Kelly Clarkson Concert (this was the Breakaway Tour, aka at the height of Kelly gloriousness), and at the end of the show she walked through the aisles during Since You Been Gone...aka a foot from me. It was awesome.

BUT THAT'S IT. THREE THINGS. Other highlights included car trips with Sarah and Joe (who both worked there for a hot sec) when we sang RENT in opera voices...but I don't think that had anything to do with Nissan so I'm not counting it.

Anyway. Back to the story at hand.

On this particular evening Sarah and I both got assigned to work together at the front of the club. This meant we stood at the bottom of a wooden ramp and let people in the club and made sure the non-VIP guests (the 3rd class passengers, if you will) didn't get in. Two things about this particular evening: Everyone was high (it's Dave Matthews, after all), and it was POURING. I kid you not, it was like someone took a bucket of never ending water and poured it on the pavilion for an hour. Luckily for all the guests, the concert pavilion is covered. The staff who stand outside? NOT SO FORTUNATE. They gave us "rain ponchos" to keep us dry, but that pretty much only worked for our Nissan-logo bearing shirts. The rest of our bodies (including our mandatory socks and close toed shoes) were drenched. If I remember correctly, I looked sort of like this:

So there we were, FREEZING and soaked, unable to hear any music, on the eve of my 18th birthday...did I mention that my friend Eek was also having a party we were missing? A party with LUMPIA AND FILIPINO FOOD? Yeah I was not happy.

But all of this was Christmas morning compared with what was to happen next. The rain finally died down, so guests started to wander to the food stands and club. One particular guest, a man who was at least 35 years old and completely wasted, wandered over to Sarah and I to "chat". We humored him, denied his request to let him into the club, and we fully expected him to eventually leave us alone.

Buuuuut first he had a favor to ask of us.

Crazy: Ok ladies, before I leave, can I have a kiss?
Me and Sar: I'm sorry sir, but no.
Crazy: Oh come onnnn I'm not leaving until I get one!

He then offered his cheek to Sarah, who hesitated, but kissed it so he would leave us alone.

I was not as giving. He offered his cheek for approximately ten seconds, which I stared at coldly. He then shrugged and said "Ok, that was your only chance!" and began to walk away...



IT WAS NOT OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He sprinted away before I could punch him in the testicles, but the damage was done and I am probably emotionally scarred for life.

When I tell people this story, they don't understand why I don't just hate crazy creeper, it has nothing to do with Dave Matthews. But to them I say, if it weren't for Dave Matthews, I never would have even been at that concert, and even if I had been working another event that very same night, chances are wasted guy would not have been there, since the DAVE MATTHEWS culture is partially what contributed to my trauma. So he gets 100% of the blame.

And that's why I hate Dave Matthews.

This story does have a happy ending though. After the concert Eek's party was still raging, so I went home to put on dry clothes and when I walked into my room it was FILLED WITH BALLOONS! Joe and Harry had come over while I was at work and filled my whole room with balloons and birthday signs since I was turning 18 at midnight. It rocked twice as much as usual a)because I LOVE surprises and b)Because my day had so epically sucked. Then I went to Eek's and ate a crap ton of food and it was magical.

P.S. This blog post has inspired me to blog about other things that I hate vehemently, of which there are more than you'd think. So stay tuned for some fun ones.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Music Returns!

Except not for this biddie.

I used to be that girl who started playing Christmas music in October. I seriously LOVE Christmas. But I realized that by the middle of December I couldn't take listening to only Christmas Music anymore and I'd switch back to regular music...right at the height of the season (BLASPHEMY)! Because you see once it's Christmas Season...I listen to 97.1 and ONLY 97.1 (and maybe Christmas CDs). I forget that Top 40 exists. I forget that Musical Theatre exists. Christmas all day every day. Which, after 9 weeks, gets a little old. There are only so many Christmas songs.

So the past few years I have decided to be a purest, live up Thanksgiving, and start Christmas music that night (usually on the car ride for BLACK FRIDAY).

This year that's easier said than done. I've been paying attention this month anytime I've listened to 97.1 to make note of the date they were going to start playing Christmas Music...November 19. Which I forgot today was. So today, when I got in my car to go to work, my radio happened to be set to 97.1...and of course, just my luck, not only is it already playing Christmas (aka I can't listen until next week), it's MARIAH CAREY CHRISTMAS (my ultimate favorite). Delilah probably put them up to it because she knows how much I hate her. I listened for about five seconds, mostly in horror because I knew I had to change it even though all my natural instincts were telling me to listen to it forever. I then actually yelled "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and changed the station.

Since I forgot today was November 19 (where the heck did November go?), I thought maybe it was a mistake or a commercial or something, so about 3 minutes later, I tentatively checked to see what was playing. The 1.3 seconds I listened to were enough for me to know it was Wham's "Last Christmas". This prompted the following sound as my response: "WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHWHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" The Christmas Universe is clearly punishing me for not listening by playing all my favorite songs. I now have to spend the next 6 days avoiding 97.1 every time I change the station. I spent the entire car ride to work suffering because I knew I was missing gloriousness and I was forced to listen to NICKELBACK. UGH. If there's anything I hate more than not listening to Christmas Music, it's Nickelback.

In other news, saw HP7PT1 last night...

We saw it at the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly a)Because I figured it would be coolest there because museums have bigger screens and b)It was already sold out in IMAX at Potomac Mills and Tyson's by the time I tried to get tickets. And I knew I was seeing this movie in IMAX. I had never actually been to the Air and Space Museum IMAX theatre until last night so I had no idea if the screen was even that much bigger than the AMC ones...

It was probably FOUR times bigger. SO EPIC. This was the way to see Harry Potter, hands down. Also they didn't have any previews! And it costs the same!!! There wasn't the mass hysteria of the crowds like I'm used to, since there was only one theatre, but that was actually fine. I think for Part 2 I'm going to get everyone I know to go in the same place and then have a big after party. Gotta do it up right. Also I'm going to do everything I can to get to that premiere. I will spend $500 on a ticket. Maybe more. Judge me if you want but this is the last movie and therefore my last chance to achieve my Harry Potter dream.

Anyway go see HP7PT1. It's easily the best one so far. I usually am a little let down after every movie but they did this one right. I can't wait for PT2. CAN'T WAITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Also I'm stoked for tonight because some of my favorite people are coming back to Northern Virginia and I get to see them and also I'm wearing gold tights and nothing can go wrong when you're wearing gold tights.

P.S. Silver Bells is stuck in my head. The next week is going to be strugs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


If you've been watching my facebook posts at all today you know that today is a very special occasion....


Monday, November 15, 2010

Shoes of death

So I have about a half hour to kill before I have to leave for rehearsal, and I have decided that the best way to spend this time is to blog about my day.

I figured that since it's Monday and we never have shows on Monday, today was a good day to give the new heels a trial run to determine how painful they are. Usually I have to walk to the bank every morning to go change money, but Mondays I don't have to since no one is using the cash boxes in the evening. Mondays usually involve desk work; obviously this would be the best day to trick myself into thinking these shoes didn't murder my feet. Because they really are magnificent, but like most other magnificent shoes, they make your feet want to die.

I actually have another pair of shoes that could be considered shoes of death, except I call them Satan's Shoes. They are FANTASTIC but a)HURT SO MUCH OMG and b)are INCREDIBLY slippery. I discovered this during the dress rehearsal for my Senior Recital. During this song, after my "big reveal" (3:50, in case you're curious and don't feel like watching the entire video), I walk out in the shoes. However, in my dress rehearsal, I didn't leave the stage for my quick change soon enough, which meant that even with Ash and Joe throwing Satan's Shoes on my feet, I was still rushed. I was late getting on stage, so I tried to run...AND EPICALLY FAILED. You know in cartoons when characters step on a banana and wipe out with their feet going right in the air, causing them to land right on their butt? Yeah imagine that in real life. Happening to me. In the middle of a song. I actually was fine but I don't think anyone in my recital will ever fully recover. People were actually crying with tears of laughter. I don't even blame them, it was HILARIOUS.


Anyway. So I got to work and had some emails to send, calls to make, etc. All good tasks for the shoes. My next tasks included:
-Finding every headshot for the people coming to audition tomorrow in our files (this means standing)
-Copying all the sides and music for auditions tomorrow and then creating packets for each character (this means more standing)
-Rearranging the lobby for a CD release party tonight (standing AND moving things)

BAD day to test the shoes. Bad, BAD day.

But they really got their fill of torture this afternoon when I went with my boss to Harris Teeter to get food for the party tonight. It was actually maybe the most entertaining thing I've had to do at work thus far (well, excluding the time we spent two days making this), mostly because we had to buy enough "classy" finger food to feed FORTY people and my boss doesn't buy a lot of finger foods (that's a nice way of saying he had zero idea of what to buy).

Luckily for him, his intern happens to be a food GODDESS who hosts parties roughly once every two weeks, so I was ON IT. Veggies, grapes, cookies, crackers, and CHEESE. NAILED IT. I even told my boss how much my best friend would enjoy what I was doing (shout out to you Sarah Smith). This is because we bought Brie and Smoked Gouda (and cheddar, but I don't think cheddar ranks for her like the other two do), and Sar likes these cheeses arguably more than she likes most of the people she knows.

We probably spent 45 minutes shopping, and the next hour creating masterful ways to present the food. Needless to say, a very very entertaining way to spend two hours.

But imagine doing all of these:


Luckily I brought moccasins too so they can recover during rehearsal. Because if you think I'm never wearing these shoes again simply because they're painful, try again. See you on Friday night, shoes of death!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Growing up Kingett

I don't think that when my parents got married they ever expected their house to turn into the absurd place it is. I say absurd of course with the utmost affection; I love my house and my family. They entertain me more than anyone else on this planet. But I still very much doubt they knew the potential for crazy their children would have.

Maybe my favorite thing in the world is Kingett Family Dinners. We're all so busy plus for the past four years I've been in school, and now Josh is at school, so they don't happen that often anymore. A Kingett Family Dinner is defined as a meal that includes the entire family (so me, my parents, and my four brothers, Josh, Jacob, Joe, and Chris), and it can take place either at home or out (the best ones have always been out, because there's the element of being in public that makes everything feel as ridiculous as it actually is). It can either be just our family, or it can include other featured guests (who honestly should consider themselves lucky to witness a KFD). You wouldn't even believe the range of conversation these dinners have. For instance, one time a conversation led to my dad leaving the table to go research choads. We're having a KFD tonight because Josh is back for Christian's confirmation tomorrow and I cannot wait, and that is partially what has inspired this post.

Anyway, I've compiled a collection of some of my favorite Kingett stories. These have proven to be good crowd pleasers at parties, and I know I'll be telling these stories to people probably for the rest of my life, that's how good they are.

1. The time Christian got stuck in a tree

We've had two different houses in Virginia. Our first house we didn't own, and it's about 10 minutes away from the house we live in now. This house was situated on a MASSIVE hill, so when you walked in the front door you were on the main floor, but the back door led to a porch, with the actual ground more than a story below. One day after school in 2001, which meant I was 13, Josh was 10, and Christian was 4, I was making a snack in the kitchen. The kitchen window was at the back of the house and overlooked our massive hill. As I was putting something in the sink, something caught my eye. A person. At eye level. It was Christian, in a HUGE tree, three stories above the ground. I couldn't hear him, but he looked fairly panicked and I could see him mouthing the words "HELP ME!"

I was fairly nonplussed because Christian was absolutely the most insane out of all of us as a child and consistently did things of epic proportions. So I casually said "Hey...Mom...I think Christian is stuck in a tree."
"What? Where?"
"Come look out this window."
She walked into the kitchen, saw Christian, and was a little more concerned than I had been.

How a four year old climbed 30 feet into the air on a tree I'll never know.

2. The time Christian ran over the mailbox

Like I said, Christian makes up the majority of these stories because he was NUTS. One day I came home from school to find our mailbox removed. I walked inside and asked my mom where it was. This was one of those fancy mailboxes, kind of like this:

You'd notice if it was suddenly uprooted out of the ground. Her answer was "Your brother ran over it."

Christian was three at the time and the only kid not in school so I knew it had to mean him...but the sentence literally made no sense. Apparently he had snuck out of the house, climbed in the car (which was in the garage, meaning he had to also open the garage door), managed to release the parking break (this car was a stick so it had the tendancy to roll...), and rolled down our driveway into the mailbox. My mom heard something crash, so she ran outside to see Chris in the driver's seat, looking shocked but a little pleased with himself.

3. Cake explosions and toilet pillows

This actually happened last night, and was so ridiculous that it inspired this entire post. My parents were in Tampa, FL until today, so I've been in charge all week. Last night I was absolutely exhausted, so I went to bed at 9, and before I did, I told the boys to lock up and not make a mess.

They did lock up. They did not follow my other request. I woke up around 3 and decided to get a glass of water before going back to bed. I also had to pee, so I decided to use the bathroom on the main floor (rather than my bathroom in the basement) before getting my water. I opened the bathroom door, turned on the light, and found a pillow, just standing straight up, in the toilet. Christian's $100 memory foam pillow. Assuming that this was probably a dream since things this strange don't occur in real life, I closed the door and pretended it wasn't there. I decided to get my water and then let myself actually process what I had just seen. I should have taken a picture because now in the light of day I can't remember this image without laughing out loud.

However, I walked into the kitchen into an actual CAKE EXPLOSION. There was cake EVERYWHERE. Apparently Joe had decided to BAKE A CAKE at 9 o'clock at night. This was because two days prior I came home from rehearsal to Joe making BUTTERCREAMS. Except Joe, who has the common sense of a paperclip, thought the recipe he was using (from the Julia Child cookbook) was for buttercream candy...when it was in fact for buttercream FROSTING. He did not realize this until I tried one of the "buttercreams," thought something tasted VERY wrong, and realized I had just eaten a giant glob of frosting. He saved it and decided to make a cake later to use the frosting on. I guess he decided a good time to do this would be at 9 on a school night after the only other "cook" in the house had gone to bed.

There was cake in the sink, on the counter, on the floor, on the table, and a big hunk that I guess he considered "the cake" on a cake plate. Because he wasn't going to just bake a cake in a rectangular pan and frost the top, oh no. This cake was going to be circular and have LAYERS. He had also cleaned NONE of the pans and bowls he used to create and then bake the cake. He also obviously tried to frost the cake without letting it cool at all, so there were little patches of melted frosting all over the hunk. It was cake disaster.

I was livid, because I didn't feel like cleaning anything at 3 in the morning, and I knew it needed to get cleaned up before this afternoon or my mom would lose her mind. So I went to Joe's room, woke him up, and informed him that he would be waking up a half hour early for school to clean the cake explosion. Then remembering the pillow, I asked "Also, why is there a PILLOW in the toilet?"
"Oh, it's Christian's."
"That does not answer my question at all. Why is it there?"
"Well he put mine in the toilet first, so I put his in and he just left it there."
"You are both idiots."

I then woke up Christian and made him take the pillow out of the toilet. When I asked him why he left it there, he said he didn't care because he had plenty of other pillows.

I used to think he was smart.

4. When Josh wasn't wanted
This is an old story, but a classic. When I was a child I was incredibly spoiled. I was my parents' first child, I was also a GIRL, and so I pretty much got everything I wanted. So when my parents told me I was going to be a sister I was fairly pleased. I don't think my three year old brain had quite figured out that this meant I was no longer going to be the center of attention, I just saw it as an opportunity to have a little sister who I could dress up like a doll and turn into my private slave.

Yes, I said sister. Because I was not interested in having a brother whatsoever. I wasn't a child who was lonely and was looking for another sibling to have as a companion. I couldn't have cared less about being someone's sister. I pretty much wanted a toy that was alive...aka...a little sister.

As you know this dream was never realized. I think God thought a cool way to teach young Shannon about reality was to send her four brothers and zero sisters. Now I know that this was actually the best case scenario, because I never had to deal with anyone stealing my thunder, I pretty much never had to share anything, and I can STILL sweet talk my mom into shopping all the time because she only has to buy things for one child, and she loves to buy things almost as much as I do.

But I was NOT pleased at the time.

This fateful event took place on February 4, 1992. I was at my grandparents' house, blissfully playing with every toy ever created and probably being spoon-fed sugar made from gold...when the phone call that changed everything came through. It was my dad, calling to tell us the baby had been born. He talked to my grandma first, and then asked to talk to me. This is how that conversation went, I kid you not.
Dad: Hi Shan!
Me: Hi Dad! (I never called him Daddy, I might be the only child in the world who didn't do that)
Dad: Guess're a big sister! You have a new baby brother!
Dad: What? I said you're a sister! Mom just had the baby, it's a little boy! You have a brother!!

I guess my parents didn't keep the receipt or something because the hospital had a no returns policy. I was SO MAD. This is evident in home videos around the time of Josh's birth. In ALL of them you can see me trying to manipulate my parents into disliking their own newborn son. The day he was brought home from the hospital there's video of all of my extended family gathering to see Josh for the first time, and I spent the whole party crawling around and yelling "goo goo gaa gaa LOOK AT ME I'M A CUTE LITTLE BABY!" Two months later, on Easter, my dad decided to video tape me opening my easter basket, and he set the camera on a tripod so he could help me and not have to hold the camera at the same time. When he went in the kitchen to grab something, you can see me venture over to Josh's little bassinet, put my face really close to his, and wait for his curiosity to get the best of him as he tried to grab my face. When one of his hands grazed my cheek under my eye I screamed "DAD JOSH JUST PUNCHED ME IN THE EYE!!!!!!!! HE NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED!!!!!!"

5. When Jacob burned down the house

Many of you know this, but for those of you who don't, the title does not lie. Jacob actually burned our house down. Five days after Christian was born, Josh and Jacob (who were just-turned-5 and 3, respectively) were in the basement playing with toys while my mom and grandma were upstairs with Christian and Joe. I was at school and my dad was at work. Jacob, who had always been a fan of pushing the limits for the sake of fun, had seen my parents use a grill lighter a few weeks earlier, and thought it looked like a cool toy gun that SHOT FLAME.

He must have paid close attention when they put it away and began to plot a way to play with it on his own. The lighter had been placed on the top shelf above our computer desk, which was probably 7 feet high. Not an easy feat for a three year old. But Jacob, never to be stopped, climbed on top of our old school Macintosh and just managed to get the lighter. These kinds of lighters didn't have safeties back then so it was easy for a three year old to get to work. Either by accident or as an experiment, they tested the "lighter gun" out on the guest bed we kept in the basement...the guest bed with a polyester comforter. When the bed caught on fire, they tried to blow it out like a candle...but it didn't quite work. The flames kept growing, and the two of them thought it better not to tell anyone, in case they got in trouble. Finally my grandma smelled smoke, and she came downstairs to see an entire bed aflame. She tried to dump water on the bed but it was too late. She grabbed my brothers and my mom and they ran out into the Massachusetts February weather (with a newborn) to wait for the Fire Department to come. By the time they came the entire bottom half of the house was scourched and the smoke and heat damage ruined almost everything we owned on the upper floor.

Now this would be a really depressing addition to this blog full of family anecdotes if it weren't for my family's good humor about terrible life situations. A year later on February 13, the one year anniversary of the house burning down, we threw a massive party and invited everyone we knew to commemorate the anniversary. Everything at the party was fire themed.

Last summer when I went to NH, we stopped at my old houses in MA and I got to take a picture of the house (obviously renovated post-fire). This is what I'd like to imagine my house looked like as it was burning (I wouldn't know I was at school):

6. The neighbor's bathtub
We were one of the first families to move into our current neighborhood. Our house had just been built and many of the other houses in the neighborhood weren't even completed yet. One of these houses was across the street from our house. The house was almost done, and my brothers thought it would be cool to explore the inside while the workers weren't there and the house was unlocked. They ventured into the master bathroom, and saw there was a giant tub that had a little water in it. So, for their own enjoyment, they dared Christian to pee in it. Chris, who had no limits at this time and did almost anything deemed "ridiculous" for his own enjoyment, thought this was a great idea, but only under the condition that they weren't allowed to tell on him.

I don't know why he trusted them. The first thing they did was tell everyone they knew. Christian got grounded for the entire summer. He was only six years old.

7. Christian's cage
As is a theme in this blog, young Christian was insane. You probably wouldn't think it if you only know him now, he's a pretty chill teenager. But he used to be completely out of control. When he was one, he learned how to get out of his crib. He was WAY too young to be sleeping in one of those little toddler beds (the next step after a child outgrows a crib), plus he always escaped the crib to try and wreak as havoc as possible; a bed would only make that easier for him to do.

My mom's first approach to the situation was to try and reason with Christian and just TELL him he needed to stay in his bed. This obviously did not work whatsoever. Her second approach was to threaten him with punishments (yes, as a one year old. Chris was too smart for his own good and was fully capable of time out). This also did nothing, because Christian wasn't concerned by things like consequences. The crime was ALWAYS worth the time. So finally, my mom got desperate, and bought one of these to go on top of the crib:

This made Christian VERY angry. It was the first time he had actually been hindered. He would sit in his cage and screeeeeam, but my mom had no mercy for baby Satan. So he tried a different tactic: focusing his efforts on escaping the cage. Now this cage was NOT easy to escape from. It had a special little pouch you tucked the zipper in so that the baby couldn't unzip it themselves. But somehow, Chris managed to figure out how to free the zipper and let himself out.

So my mom began safety pinning the zipper to the cage, so that even if he could get the zipper out of the pouch, he couldn't unzip it.

Until he learned how to undo a safety pin. As a one year old.

Finally in desperation to make Christian continue taking naps, my mom fashioned a "lock" out of a wall hook and a shoe lace so that she essentially could LOCK Christian in his room and he couldn't get out. He never found a way to get out of this one.

But he did find a way to finally make my mom give up her fight. When his crying and screaming did not merit his release, he went to the only weapon he had...his own poop. One day, after my mom had decided "nap time" was over, she unlocked the door, and found Christian sitting in the middle of the floor, covered in poop. And he wasn't the only one. There was poop on the crib, on the walls, on the floor, on EVERYTHING in the room. She recalls standing there agast as Christian sat happily in the middle of his own deification, 100% aware of what he had done and quite pleased with it.

8. The car vomit
Anyone who knew Joe as a child knew of his "affinity" for vomit. The kid threw up at LEAST once a day, usually at every meal. We think this is because he a)didn't have an "I'm full" mechanism and ate so fast that by the time his body knew what had happened it made him throw up because he had consumed FAR too much food, and b)he also had the most intense gag reflex of any human ever. ANYTHING could make the kid throw up. If he saw a PICTURE of something disgusting, he would throw up. Joe has never gone to the restaurant Lone Star and NOT thrown up (we don't go anymore for this very reason).

This particular vomit story is maybe the most epic. It was summer time, so we were all home, and it was cleaning day, which happened once a week. We had to be out of the way, so every week we'd go to some breakfast restaurant and then do random things. I think this week was going to be shopping, or the movies. Either way, we went to Silver Diner for breakfast, and afterward, we all hopped in the van to drive the maybe 200 yards max to the mall.

I guess right before we got in the van we started talking about this coat one of my brother's friends had left at our house (note, this coat was NOT in the van, it was still at our house). Josh and Jacob were talking about how bad this coat smelled, and I was turned around in the front seat to listen to them. The next thing I knew, Joe was throwing up alllllll over himself. He was throwing up just REMEMBERING the smell of the coat. As I have now graduated from college, my vomit tolerance is excellent, but my 14 year old self was not so accomplished. I immediately felt my stomach come into my mouth, rolled down the van window, and threw up onto the side of the van.

Christian, witnessing both of these things, ALSO proceeded to vomit all over himself. It was like a chain reaction of horrible. I think my mom was just stunned that it all had happened so quickly (but then she got reeeeeeeeally mad).


When we visit my mom's dad and stepmom in New Jersey, we always go to church at the Catholic Church that is literally right next to their house. It's this tiny church that maybe seats 300-500 people max. Let it be known that at church, my dad is always the loudest person in the congregation. The loudest singer, the loudest participant in spoken prayer, you name it. When he says the Nicene Creed, he sounds like Mufasa.

This particular Sunday the opening hymn was "Praise to the Lord the Almighty," which if you don't know it, sounds like this (skip the beginning part, start at :40). Padre was no different. He was singing louder than any individual in the room. As the first verse drew to a close, the organist slowed down to signal that the song was over and we would only be singing one verse. A message very clearly received by everyone.

Everyone, that is, except my father. Honestly, who hasn't been there. You think a song is going to keep going so you keep singing. Maybe it's a little embarrassing but most likely no one hears you, or you can play it off.

That was not the case in this situation. I'm pretty sure people down the street could hear my father begin the second verse. And it wasn't just the note either. My dad was really into the song and decided to really draw the first note out and scoop into it with a nice "Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraise!" The church was SILENT except for his resonating voice. The priest paused for a second to recover, and then began mass. My dad, as usual, was relatively unphased and probably oblivious to any embarrassment a normal person would feel. The rest of my family, however, were beside themselves. I was crying with silent laughter. Even my MOM was unable to keep it together. I don't think Jacob and I stopped laughing until well into the first reading, and even then, any time one of us stopped, the other would verrrrry quietly sing "Prrrraise!" and we'd lose it again.

10. The epic pee story
I had to save this for last because it's absolutely my best story. I was a freshman in high school, and Sarah Smith and Kelly Sproesser had come over to hang out with me and see the new house (we had just moved in). We were hanging out in my room (playing my Harry Potter trivia game, in fact), and my brothers (Joe and Chris) were taking a bath (they were both little and could still take baths together without it being weird). My dad was "giving them a bath", which actually meant he was in his room watching TV while my brothers sat in the bathtub. The bathroom is on the same wall as my (old) room, so we were able to hear everything 100% clearly. The first thing that happened was Joe started SCREAMING. It was so loud that we stopped playing our game so we could listen to what was happening. Next was Christian's maniacal laughter (he was 5, Joe was 6).

My dad ran in the bathroom and this is what we heard:
Dad: What's going on?! Joe why are you screaming what's going on?!
Joe: Chris PEED on me!
(we immediately start laughing in my room)

I thought I would never stop laughing but it got even better. Joe, still in vomit phase, immediately began to throw up. My dad, so tired of vomit phase, did not punish Chris, but instead yelled: "JOE! STOP THROWING UP. STOP THROWING UP JOE! STOP THROWING UP!" Chris just laughed the entire time (as did we).

It maybe is the funniest thing I have ever witnessed.

Years later, when we were telling this story at one of our parties, I asked Chris how he even peed in Joe's mouth in the first place. He indignantly said "Well I was only trying to pee on his BACK, but then HE turned around!"

This was a picture we had taken professionally as an anniversary gift to my parents. It basically sums the Kingett children up.