>Today began with a colorful bang when at 1 am I woke up and threw up the fried feast I ingested at the Taste of Chicago. (I shared: saganaki, beer-battered artichoke hearts, a sweet potato biscuit, a piece of turtle candy, seedless watermelon, Eli's frozen chocolate chip cheesecake crunch dipper, pierogies, beignets, blue raspberry Italian ice, garlic-mozzarella cheese bread, boneless rib snadwich, pad Thai noodles, Spumoni ice cream, and hummus and a grape leaf. Husband and I remembered the days when we each kicked off the taste with a piece frozen cheesecake and ended it with a piece of frozen cheesecake...) By 10:30, we were at my aunt's house for brunch to celebrate my granny's birthday for the first time today. (My sister and brother-in-law were leaving and thus missing dinner, which will be at the ever classy Olive Garden, which my granny chose.)

After my aunt served red velvet cake birthday cake, which my mom could not understand ("Did you add food coloring? Why is it red?" she asked repeatedly until my aunt finally yelled that it was Betty Crocker and came that way), it was time for the card exchange. Not only were birthday cards given to Granny, but also anniversary cards to Husband and I, anniversary cards to Sister and Brother-in-Law (3 years on July 7), and birthday cards to Husband (30 years old on July 17). Granny went first. As she struggled to open the envelope of my mom's card, she began mumbling about why anyone would want to seal an envelope.

"You should just tuck it in," she muttered.

"What, are we talking about drag queens?" Husband querried.

Next Granny opened my aunt's card to her. "Ooooh, this is beatiful!" she exclaimed. Then she flipped the card over. "How much was it?"

"It's not a Hallmark card," my aunt helpfully noted.

Justin received a birthday card from my aunt, uncle, and cousin that said on the outside, "Birthdays are like boogers." On the inside, "The more you have, the harder it is to breathe." This prompted my sister to tilt her head back and insist that the sinus surgery she had in April enable people to look up her nose and into her brain. My mom said it was too dark in the dining room and she'd have to look again when we got outside.

More cards were opened. "Show us yours," my aunt requested. "You show me yours, I'll show you mine," my mom replied.

Yes, I am looking forward to dinner.

Comment