Category Archives: Piece of History

Kinda fun, kinda dumb.

Here’s something about The Boy I haven’t told you. We actually went out on a few dates a lifetime ago. 1985. We were high school juniors.

I vaguely remembered it, but wasn’t sure if it was one date or two. And I only remembered odd details, like blowing bubbles in his living room, and sitting on a dock overlooking a pond. The rest resides somewhere in the Mommypie abyss alongside Econ 101, misplaced Chuck Taylors, AND, with the exception of the Chicken and the Road, any joke I’ve ever heard. I can NEVER remember the jokes, dammit.

The Boy remembered even less. Which started the hamster wheel turning. I’ve kept a journal pretty much since the age of 10. What were the chances I WROTE about the date? Or dates?

Turns out pretty good.

It only took about 10 minutes to find. Which, considering I keep EVERYTHING — every letter, every card, even old calendars saved for their notations — was a small miracle in and of itself.

There were four pages dedicated to The Boy. I sat on the floor of the closet and laughed out loud. Really. I LOLed. Which I never write in comments or texts, because … seriously, people. No one’s REALLY LOLing when they write LOL. And if you hadn’t already guessed, they’re definitely not ROFLing either. OR laughing their asses off.

Anyhoo, apparently I was diggin’ The Boy in the ridiculous way only 17-year-old girls can. With bubble letters and lots of drama. There was a kiss — apparently a good one. BUT, it was the final week of summer and The Boy didn’t really “want to go back to school with a girlfriend, but would still like to date.” Magically, The Boy vanished from the pages of the journal, and was replaced with another short-lived infatuation.

Which kind of bummed me out. Not because The Boy was being … a boy. Because *I* was being SUCH A GIRL. Uck. Somehow, in my memory (which clearly cannot be trusted), I was so much COOLER than this cringe-worthy boy-crazy bubble-writing idiot. I’m not saying The Boy didn’t merit the attention — he WAS totally hot. And still is. But, HOLY CRAP. Looking at that absurd handwriting and reading those pages was JAB-A-SPLINTERED-CHOPSTICK-IN-MY-EAR PAINFUL.

And so, because I have absolutely NO shame, I read it to The Boy over the phone. We had a good laugh. I told him I’d been plotting revenge all these years.

And the journals went back in the box.

Muahahahaha …


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Poppy does the Boot Scootin’ Boogie.

A few weeks ago, Poppy (my stepdad) received a special delivery.



Technically, it’s not an ACTUAL Rascal, I just can’t help calling it that.

RRRRRASCAL. *jazz hands*

Mobility scooters aren’t cheap. Because Medicare covers only a small portion of the cost, he and Grammy had nearly given up on ever owning one. Which meant, due to the nature of his Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Poppy would remain (for the most part) housebound.

That all changed when they crossed paths with a empathetic pharmacist/medical equipment retailer who has a father in the same position. Thanks to good fortune and Grammy’s uncanny ability to charm anyone, this pharmacist surprised them with a nearly new scooter at virtually no charge. Seriously. Mind-blowingly cheap.

Put Poppy behind the wheel, and he’s a kid with a Big Wheel at Christmas.

I came into work last week and this was on my desk. QB had printed out the daily Police Reports — something for which our town is … kind of well known. You’ll see what I mean.


We’ve made it on Leno more than once. Well, the TOWN has. Not the Pie Family PERSONALLY. Although, back in college, I’m pretty sure my brother’s antics earned a mention or two.

And for the record, no, the Scooter DUI was not Poppy. Although I may have an idea who the half-bald woman was …

Now I’m inspired to start posting more reports for your weekly enjoyment. Okay, for MY weekly enjoyment.

Oh yeah. The scooter salesman is a single dad of a six-year-old daughter. Grammy totally tried to set us up. Which never ends well. But that’s a story for another post.


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There is no progress without change.

Tonight, I, along with nearly every other American with a television, am glued to the set — bearing witness to arguably one of this country’s most historic elections. As I write this, CNN has just predicted Obama to be our next president.

Tonight I am full of hope.



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The origin of words.

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew Finn’s second birthday while my brother and his family were in town for a wedding. One of the days, Grammy arranged for a tour of the local fire station. The kids were diggin’ it.

So was the 11-year-old boy. He needs a haircut.

For whatever reason, MP was a little freaked out by the fire truck’s cockpit. Is that what you call it? That’s what it LOOKS like …

Now I’m thinking about cockpits and roosters and the origin of the words and imagining the Wright Brothers arguing for weeks. Seeing them sitting in their bike shop locked in heated debate. Orville having his heart set on Dickpit. Wilbur reeaaally wanting Prickpit. Their father, being more respectable, urging them to consider Penispit … as their five-year-old nephew runs around screaming “Peepeepit!” Their gay cousin Hector finally coming up with the weiner. And it being Cock ever since.

And I bet you didn’t know, years later, when women started to fly, there was an uprising among those of the feminist set. Clearly, the name was sexist, yes? Amelia Earhart was actually on a protest flight when she famously disappeared without a trace over the Bermuda Triangle.

Who’re you gonna believe? Wikipedia or Mommypie? Seriously. (It coulda been worse …)

Original photo stolen from Who are loving me right about now.


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THAT Morning.

In 2001, I was living in Denver in a miniature 400 square foot apartment. The two-story, whitewashed brick building housed six tiny apartments, but had seen many incarnations since the dawn of the 20th Century, when it was born as a corner candy store.

I felt safe in my little nest. I adored everything about it. Two years later, MP would, in fact, be conceived in that apartment.

But back in 2001, THAT morning I was waking to the sound of AM talk radio. Like any other morning. I lay in bed on my back, eyes closed, slowly gaining consciousness. Listening to the news.

And then hearing what sounded like someone reporting, “It appears as though a plane has HIT one of the Twin Towers …”

I remember bolting upright, the exact words, “What the FUCK?” escaping my lips. I remember leaping out of bed to turn on the TV, just in time to see the aftermath of the second impact. I had literally missed it by seconds. I remember sitting on the couch, the same one I sit on now as I write this, mouth agape. The collective expression of a nation. Of the world. I remember watching as long as I could, before having to shower and get to an “important” off-site work meeting scheduled at a local hotel.

As I dried my hair, I paused to listen to the latest developments, and heard something about the Pentagon being hit.

They’re confused, I thought. The Pentagon wasn’t hit. It was the second tower. I looked out the bathroom door into the living room and saw the TV. Oh my God, they weren’t confused. The Pentagon HAD been hit.

Oh. My. God.

And now I have to rush out the door to a meeting. The world’s gone mad and I have to go on, business as usual. Furiously, I raced to the hotel, finding everyone gathered in the bar, silently watching events unfold. Eventually we were herded into a conference room to commence the meeting.


There we sat, 25 of us circling a walnut board table, trying to at least APPEAR as through we were paying attention to the speaker that had flown in the day before. It was ABSURD. Every few hours we’d break and gather in the bar, getting the latest news.

“What’s happened?” we’d ask each time. We were told the first tower fell. And we went back to our meeting. The next break we were told the second tower fell. And we went back to our meeting. I remember frantically trying to get ahold of my brother, who, at the time was working in the tallest, most recognizable building in downtown Denver. There were rumors of it being a potential target. Once I got through, I begged him to leave.

Unable to get through to New York, we all worried about our colleagues in the corporate office.

And still, the meeting went on.

One year later found me in Manhattan, visiting those colleagues, who thankfully, were all okay. But the shadow still loomed, and as uncomfortable as I was telling the cab driver to take me to “Ground Zero” I felt compelled to bear witness.

In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle just a few blocks away, the area surrounding the crater that marked where the towers once stood was eerily quiet. No cars honked. No one spoke. Pedestrians paused along the chain link fence lining the street in silent deference, many leaving flowers.

And people openly prayed.

I was one of them.


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A Lesson in Judgment

Before yesterday, I never would’ve considered myself a judgmental person. Anyone who knows me, knows I am anything but. At least I always thought so.

I stand corrected.

A few posts ago I wrote I was being sent to the armpit of the state for a two day conference. I spent yesterday, last night and today in this town, and am now humbly eating my words.

Unfortunately, because all those freak shows out there searching on ‘wet granny panties’ and ‘hot mommies’ have made me paranoid, I’ve never divulged my state of origin.

And dammit, that pisses me off.

Because I’d love to tell you about this town. Its amazing history, architecture and origin of its blue-collar culture are something I’ve never taken much time to learn. And it’s a shame, because, in a city that appears run-down to most, beats a heart filled with colorful and rich memories. Memories of speakeasies, working class Irish immigrants, and brothels that, at one point in time, made up the largest red-light district in the U.S.

It’s a mining town. A hard-drinking town. And a town filled with honest, hard-working, down-to-earth people. After decades of seeing only part of the picture, in one short day, my perspective has changed. I can appreciate it for what it is.

A place where history lives through its architecture.

Home to one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen.

Home of the pasty, a traditional Cornish lunch eaten by local miners every day, thousands of feet under the earth.

Three words. De.Lish.Us.

I bought 24 of these yummy victuals — pastry crust filled with meat and potatoes — and brought them home to freeze.

Image borrowed from these guys.

Whatever you do, just don’t pronounce it “pay-stee.”

Image borrowed from these guys.

It’s ‘paaa-sty.’ Rhymes with ‘nasty.’

(Irony. It’s a beautiful thing.)

So, my apologies, Town-That-Shall-Remain-Unnamed. You’ll be glad to know, tonight when I walked through my door, I brought with me a valuable lesson — I’m not as non-judgmental as I’d like to think. I can do better. And, as hard as it is to leave MP overnight, I’m glad I made the trip.

The enlightenment is worth more than a crappy t-shirt any day.

Now, before I log off, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the top-notch entertainment the city has to offer.

Well, three outta four ain’t bad.


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A Very Waldo History Lesson

MP received her first Where’s Waldo book from Grammy and Poppy this Valentine’s Day, and it’s been a HYUGE hit. Once in bed, this book keeps her so occupied, looking for any one of six characters and various objects, she falls asleep in no time.

That is, once the shouting from room to room stops…

“Mommy, I found Wizard Whitebeard!!”

“Great Honey – quiet time now.”

“Mom, I found Odlaw!!” (Which she pronounces “Allah.” Which just sounds weird.)

“Good … close your eyes.”

“MOM! I found a Waldo Watcher!!”


She had the book a few days before we sat down to read it together. I have to admit, it was the first time I’d taken more than a quick look. Turns out it, has a history theme, featuring a time-traveling Waldo as he visits memorable periods of history.

First we learned about the ancient Romans.

Then, we learned a bit more about our Norse ancestors.

And what would a history lesson be without covering the Crusades?

Ever see Apocalypto? I know, it’s about the Mayans and not the Aztecs, but c’mon … if you’ve seen one human sacrifice, you’ve seen ’em all, right?

I found Waldo! See him peeking out from behind that nice Samurai soldier?

Maybe the book is meant for older kids? Maybe depictions of the Christians being thrown to the lions is more suitable for … mmm, I don’t know … eight year olds? My bad. Silly woman.

I have to admit, the book is pretty entertaining. Once you get past the whole bloodyviolentbattlescene theme thing, of course.


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Valentine’s Day by the Numbers

I love stats. So, to celebrate Valentine’s Day and embrace my inner geek, here are some numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau I’m recording for posterity. Someday, I suspect, if it’s still around, this list will blow MP’s mind (for many reasons) …

2.2 million
The number of marriages that take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 5,918 a day.

The number of marriages performed in Nevada during 2006. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year among states was 35th.

25.5 and 27.5
The estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men, respectively, in 2006. The age for women rose 4.2 years in the last three decades. The age for men at first marriage is up 3.7 years.

56% and 60%
The percentages of American women and men, respectively, who are 18 or older and currently married (includes those who are separated).

Percentage of men and women ages 30 to 34 in 2006 who had been married at some point in their lives—either currently or formerly.

5 million
Number of opposite-sex cohabitating couples who maintained households in 2006. These couples comprised 4.4 percent of all households.

Number of single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages.

Number of single men (i.e., never married, widowed, or divorced) age 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same ages.

The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenues. (I can only imagine how large this number is now …)

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