Unless you live under a rock in lame land, you've probably heard that The Simpsons Movie opened this weekend. To promote the film, several 7-11 stores were converted into Kwik-E-Marts.

Here are some pictures from the day that Andrew and I visted our local Kwik-E-Mart...

This is me looking upset because I do not yet have a Squishee in hand.

Buzz! I tried a can. It tastes like tooth decay.

This is what joy looks like.

Indian guys are sexy.

I match Marge's hair!

Andrew matches the building! We like to coordinate.

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
Their floors are Stick-E-Mart.
They made dad Sick-E-Mart.
Lets Hurl a Brick-E-Mart!

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
I dooooooo!

When Did Coop Start Dressing Like A Backstreet Boy?

I like the jutting tummy. Cute.

"Like Living With Drunks..."

A reporter once asked Johnny Depp what it was like being a dad. He likened having kids to, "living with drunks."

Cooper stumbles around speaking slurred gibberish and leaving a path of destruction in his wake. But I don't see him so much as a rummy. He's more like E.T.

The other day while we were walking through the courtyard, Coop stopped at a rose bush. He went to grab at the thorns and I said, "NO NO! OUCHIE!" And he responded with this worried and intrigued noise that sounded just like E.T. I practically heard John Williams' music underscore the moment.

As he waddled by my side, he continued making sounds of wonder and confusion. I could tell that he thought the flowers were pretty and was not sure why I would call them "ouchie." I felt like Elliot--teaching and escorting my little alien (one who is easily fascinated by toilet paper, drinking straws and Popsicles) back home.

Then I locked him back in the closet with the stuffed animals so the government wouldn't come and take him away.

New England Coop

Sorry. I know these New England pictures were due at least a week ago.

I've been too pooped to post. I look so tired that the ladies at Ralph's have been asking if I'm ok. I dig Trader Joe's and all, but my Ralph's tribe of check-out chicks that I see nearly every day really look after me :)

Anyway, here's our New Englandavaganza!

First, we stayed with Jakob's grandparents, Mary and Rudy Bonin, in Pocasset, MA.

This was our room. I wish I could have had Jakob posing with a pipe.

Since Grandma JoLynn goes by 'MiMi,' it seems only natural that Great Grandma Bonin should go by, 'GiGi.'

Cooper adored GiGi, Great Grampa and the coasters in their living room.

I tend to only see New England in the winter. Being back there in the summer made me feel like a kid again. I grew up with these roads, trees, rotaries, beaches and packies.

Cooper enjoyed running around the lawn, playing Bocce, eating, eating, eating and hanging with Uncles, Great Uncles, Great Aunts, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, and cousins! Whew.

Guess who got another birthday party?

Ask the kid with blue frosting all over his dimpled mug.

Cooper went on two boat rides; one of Hyannis Bay and the other of Lake Winnepesaukah. (official "suckers/tourists pay cash for these" portraits soon to come)

I turned to Jakob and said, "I wouldn't mind living on a lake or a bay." We looked at each other and laughed in a way that only poor people can laugh.

I like this photo. "Adult Life."

I'm glad Sean is coming to California.

We spent the latter part of the trip in Strafford, NH. Cooper ate lobster. Do you think he liked it? Well, let's see. It was warm and buttery and covered in cream sauce and amazing and it was LOBSTER. Yep. He liked it.

I love the family I was born into. I love the family that accepts me like their own. I love the family made up of my close friends.

And I love the family I'm building.

I Make Silly Things When I'm Sad

I had a big cry today.

That's when your baby falls asleep and you just bawl for several minutes straight with unabashed sorrow.

Then I got up and made this puppet.

Sometimes I get so sad that I have to do something silly.

I miss so many people right now. I've had my fill of loss, losing and loathing. What I really could use is a laugh.

Raymond 'Pepere' Charbonneau

The Charbonneau family, still struggling to cope with the loss of my Aunt Karen, has yet another reason to grieve.

My grandfather, my Pepere, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 82.

Here is Pepere nearly 30 years ago at my Christening. He's the rather serious looking guy on the left side. This picture makes him look so stern. That's not how I think of him.

He was in the Navy. He was a cook. I know he made a custard pie for the actor Edward G. Robinson once. Mr. Robinson said it was top notch. Pepere was flattered.

He had a family of 11 kids. He drank. He smoked Pall Mall cigarettes. He had a huge voice that filled a room, no matter what size the room was. I get that from him.

My Pepere lived with us for several years on Cape Cod. First, we all lived together at the Panorama Motor Lodge above the Bourne Rotary. This photo is from a New Years Eve celebration there. Don't I look festive? You can see my sis, Danielle, also rockin' the shiny party hat in the background.

Later we moved to Falmouth and Pepere lived in the apartment below our house at the Capewind Motor Lodge in Teaticket.

He used to play with our dog Izzy. He used to ask her over and over again, "Who's a good girl?" Izzy loved the attention.

He'd make amazing stuffed quahogs and clam chowder. (Pardon me, 'chowdah.')

We used to have large, weekend-long family reunions and we never stopped eating, talking, drinking or laughing. He looked forward to them.

In the 90's, he quit smoking and lost a ton of weight by walking every day. The transformation was remarkable. I admired him for it.

He was friendly. He talked to everybody. He got me my first job at a local bakery by telling the owner that I was a great kid. I was 14.

I use to buy him Old Spice and scratch tickets for his birthday.

For the holidays, he used to play Santa Claus. He really played the part, too. He had a real beard and an enormous laugh. Kids used to see him around town and think it was the real Santa.

He always said, "Hi Ho! Hi Ho! Here's Nicole!" Just like the song the 7 dwarfs sing in 'Snow White' as they head off to work. I think it was because I was always doing something, always working, always creating.

He said 'I love you' all the time. He was a wonderful grandfather.

This is without a doubt my favorite photo of my Pepere. I am so fortunate that he got to meet Cooper before he left this earth. Cooper liked him right away.

I feel like I can still here him laughing. Heck, if anyone has a voice that's powerful enough to travel all the way down from heaven, it's Pepere.

I love you, Pepere. You may not have ever won the lottery, but you were rich with a wealth of friends and family and we will all miss you.